Affordable Online Master's in Social Work Degrees

Dec 28, 2019

A master's degree in social work helps to prepare students for working in the field of social work, and ready them for advancement within the field. Many programs can be found online and are affordable. Read on for an overview of some of these programs, as well as common admissions requirements.

Affordable Online Masters Degree Programs by University

The University of South Florida

The University of South Florida offers a fully online Master of Social Work program. USF's cohort model helps foster collaborative relationships between students in the program. This program also utilizes live classes, with students participating via webcam. This program takes place over the course of 60 credit hours. For both in-state and out-of-state students, tuition for this program is about $347 per credit hour, so will total about $20,820.

Utah Valley University

Utah Valley University's hybrid MSW program has a heavy online focus. Although there is some in-person work required, the online component is significant. Utah Valley University's program is most affordable for in-state students. Content areas include practice-informed research, research-informed practice, accessing individuals, intervening with family groups, and engaging in policy practice. In-state students will pay a total of around $22,000 in tuition over the course of the 60-credit program.

California State University-San Bernardino

California State University-San Bernardino's School of Social Work offers a distance learning track for its Master of Social Work degree program. This program has an approximate completion time of three years. Students will have the opportunity to select focus areas such as homelessness, domestic violence, child abuse, poverty and public welfare, racism, sexism, child welfare, and substance abuse. The cost of the 90-unit program is around $400 per unit, so students can expect to pay about $36,000 for total tuition.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University's Master of Social Work with a concentration in advanced generalist studies degree is available online, and it can be most affordable for in-state students. ASU's somewhat unique concentration area allows students to become educated in a wide variety of social topics and equips them to deal with a number of social concerns with comprehensive solutions. Students will also have the opportunity for field placement in their own geographic area. This will give students the chance to learn through hands-on experience. The tuition for this three-year program is roughly $13,384 per year for in-state students, resulting in a total of $40,152 for the duration of the program.

California State University-Northridge

California State University-Northridge has an MSW program that is fully online and equally affordable for in-state and out-of-state students. This program also utilizes the cohort model in conjunction with asynchronous coursework, with students meeting over the internet via webcam once a week. Students even have the option to watch the class recording at a later time. This program is another that takes the generalist approach, allowing students to learn about macro, mezzo, and micro levels of social work. The cost of the 60-credit online program is roughly $742 per credit at this university bringing the total cost close to $45,120.

Common Admission Requirements

Each of these online MSW programs, although having their own individual variances, share many common admission requirements. Generally, a GPA of 3.0 or more earned during undergraduate studies is required for acceptance into these programs, as well as having successfully obtained a bachelor's degree. You should also expect to provide official transcripts. Schools might also want to see a resume of professional work or volunteering in the field of social work. Letters of recommendation and personal essay/statement can also be required to further flesh out your academic career and your individual experience in the field of social work.

In summary, there are several affordable online MSW programs with varying styles and tuition. Admission requirements will vary by program and school but common requirements include a 3.0 GPA, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

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