A social worker assists a client in a wheelchair.

Online Master of Social Work (MSW)

Online Master of Social Work

Offered through the School of Social Welfare, the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree prepares graduates for advanced social work practice in one of two broad specializations — either clinical social work practice with individuals, families, and groups, or social work macro practice aimed at social service administration, social policy development, and social advocacy. The flexible curriculum was designed with community and student input to ensure a dynamic, educational experience that incorporates real-world opportunities. KU’s online MSW is fully accredited from the Council on Social Work (CSWE) and has consistently ranked in the top 12% of public institution social work programs, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The School of Social Welfare offers Advanced Standing and Traditional plans of study. Advanced Standing requires a bachelor’s of social work to apply, requires a total of 38 credit hours consisting of 24 credit hours of coursework and 14 credit hours of field practicum, and takes one year to complete. The Traditional plan requires a bachelor’s degree of any major other than social work from an accredited university or college to apply, requires a total of 64 credit hours consisting of 36 credit hours of coursework and 28 credit hours of field practicum, and takes two years to complete.

38-64 credits | 100% online

Apply by Feb. 1

What careers are possible with a Master of Social Work degree?

Overall employment of social workers nationwide is projected to grow 12% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. KU’s online MSW degree prepares graduates with the skills they need to enter a variety of relevant career fields: education, health care, clergy, community service, private practice, administrative settings, and counseling for substance misuse and behavioral health.

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Master of Social Work Careers

$62k
annual salary
96%
employed after graduation
Top 12%
of public institution social work programs

How flexible is online learning at KU?

KU’s online degree programs are designed with your busy schedule in mind and offer the flexibility to study wherever — and often whenever — is most convenient for you. Our online courses are taught by the same highly regarded faculty and expert instructors, and consist of the same rigorous curriculum and instruction as our on-campus programs.

Why get an online MSW degree from KU?

KU’s Master of Social Work degree program offers newly revised courses designed with community and student input to ensure a dynamic, educational experience that incorporates real-world opportunities. Online MSW courses are taught by the same highly regarded faculty and instructors as our on-campus programs. Graduates of the MSW program are equipped with the knowledge to provide counseling and direct services to individuals, families, and groups and make changes in organizations, communities, and policies that affect large populations in our society.

 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

The School of Social Welfare strives to be a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the university and in our community. We want to ensure that all students, faculty, and staff feel safe, heard, and valued. The Toni Johnson Scholars for Racial and Social Justice Program helps fund students at all three levels: BSW, MSW, and Ph.D. View Toni Johnson Scholarship page for more details about the scholarship program and the School of Social Welfare's DEI page for more details about the School’s Strategic Priority 1: DEI.

 

Vision of justice, mission of change

To supplement the student experience, all incoming students are asked to state their vision of justice — big or small. We hope students use their vision to assist and help structure ideas for their coursework. If used throughout various aspects of the program, by graduation, the student will have a body of work that is designed to create change and move us all closer to a more just society.

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Program Details

Costs

$700 per credit hour (inclusive of all fees). Contact us to learn more about costs, scholarships, financial aid, and more.

Admissions

Degree-seeking students must follow the admission process of their program.

Advanced Standing curriculum

Requires a total of 38 credit hours and takes one year to complete.

Traditional curriculum

Requires a total of 64 credit hours and takes two years to complete.

FAQ: online master of social work

Both the Advanced Standing and Traditional applications must be submitted by Jan. 5

The Master of Social Work degree prepares graduates for advanced social work practice in one of two broad specializations — either clinical social work practice with individuals, families, and groups, or social work macro practice aimed at social service administration, social policy development, and social advocacy.

Graduates have the skills they need to enter a variety of relevant career fields: postsecondary education, health care, clergy, community service, schools, leadership and government, and counseling for substance misuse and behavioral/mental health.

The Advanced Standing plan of study can be completed in 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time. The Traditional plan of study can be completed in 2 years full-time or 3 to 4 years part-time.

The online format is blended synchronous, combining online coursework with live online classes taking place bi-weekly at a specific date and time.

Advanced Standing Field Practicum
The Advanced Standing plan of study requires two consecutive semesters of practicum work, totaling 14 credit hours. The advanced level practicum requires 16 clock hours a week over two semesters for a total of 512 hours at the field practicum (from the end of August through April).

Traditional Field Practicum
The Traditional plan of study requires two separate practicum placements: one during the foundation level, and one during the advanced level of the program. Each placement is for two consecutive semesters, totaling 14 credit hours for that year. During the first year of the Traditional plan of study, students will spend 16 clock hours a week for a total of 416 hours at the field practicum (from the end of August through April). During the second specialized year of the Traditional plan of study, students will spend 16 clock hours a week for a total of 512 hours at the field practicum (from the end of August through April). 

For information on degree-specific scholarships, visit the School of Social Welfare's scholarship page.


Learn more about this online program.

Get more info on admission, deadlines, tuition and financial aid, career paths, curriculum, and more when you fill out the form below. We’ll be in touch to answer any questions and help you get started.

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