An online Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program usually consists of online coursework; however, these programs typically also require real-world field experiences at sites in your local community. Many online programs have two different format options: an advanced standing option for those who have earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree and a traditional or foundational option for those with undergraduate degrees in disciplines other than social work. In this article, we explore several of your options for attending an online MSW program in Texas.
Texas-Based Online MSW Programs
The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington offers several online MSW degree options for Texas residents. First, there is an advanced standing option that can be completed in an accelerated or regular format. The accelerated advanced standing option can be completed in 12 months through 8-week online classes, while the regular advanced standing option features 16-week online classes and can be completed in 16 months. The traditional option can be completed in 26 months or 36 months, depending on whether you attend part or full time, through 16-week online courses. Also, these programs allow you to choose a specialty in children and families or mental health and substance abuse (the accelerated advanced standing program also has a specialty in aging available). Along with coursework in social practice, you are required to complete field experiences and a thesis or integrative seminar.
Texas State University
Texas State University, which is located in San Marcos, has an online MSW degree program that features a foundation track and an advanced standing track, both of which come with a concentration in advanced practice leadership. In both program options, you could take coursework on advanced assessments, family interventions, social service organizations leadership, and individual intervention. The advanced standing track requires 36 credit hours, while the foundation track requires 62 credits. Both also require field practicums and can be attended on a full- or part-time basis.
University of Houston
At the University of Houston, you can earn an online MSW in 3 years through the traditional program or in 2 ½ years through the advanced standing program. This online MSW program also features a concentration in clinical practice and specializations in health and behavioral health. In this online program, you could take classes on such subjects as human diversity, leadership, community development, and assessment. You are also required to complete at least 900 clock hours of field work to earn your online MSW.
Our Lady of the Lake University
In San Antonio, Our Lady of the Lake University offers an online MSW in advanced standing and foundation formats; it also features a unique focus on the Hispanic population. The online advanced standing option requires 30 credits and can be completed in about 2 years, while the foundation option requires 57 credits and can be completed in about 3 years. In either program, you could take classes on such topics as psychopathology, Hispanic children and families social work practice, and US policy and programs related to the Hispanic population. As with other online MSW programs, Our Lady of the Lake University's online program also requires real-world field placements.
Located in Waco, Baylor University's online MSW degree program features a 32-credit-hour advanced standing option that can be completed in about 12 months and a 60-credit standard option that can be completed in 24 or 36 months, depending on if you attend full or part time. This online program also allows you to choose a specialization in community practice or clinical practice. Your online coursework in either track could include classes on clinical theories and models, social justice, and administrative practice. The full-time standard MSW option requires 1,030 field hours over the course of four terms, and the advanced standing MSW option requires 550 field hours during two terms.
Admission Information for Online Texas-Based MSW Programs
First, to apply to an online MSW program, you must hold a bachelor's degree. If you have earned a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work degree, then you can apply to an advanced standing program, but if you have a bachelor's degree in a different field, you must apply to a traditional standing or foundational program. Also, some programs require that applicants with a non-social work degree have taken undergraduate coursework in the humanities and liberal arts. Many programs require an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 as well. Common application materials include transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.
Online MSW programs in Texas typically consist of online classes and real-world field experiences. Most of these online programs have two program tracks (an advanced standing track and a traditional or foundational track), and your specific track will depend on if you have earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree or another kind of undergraduate degree.