Social Work Graduate Programs in Florida

Nov 11, 2018

Social work graduate programs in Florida offer master's degrees, doctorate degrees and graduate certificates. Programs help students develop social work skills for several professional roles in social services agencies, mental health centers, schools, healthcare facilities and in higher education institutions. The following are some social work graduate programs throughout Florida.

Social Work Graduate Programs in Florida

Florida A & M University

Florida A & M University (FAMU) is a public institution located in Tallahassee. The FAMU Master of Social Work degree requires 67 credit hours, and all work must be completed in four years. Students may study full-time or part-time. The school encourages students to carefully evaluate whether working full-time is an option while studying since the program is rigorous. Coursework includes field experiences and internships. Prior to graduation, students must write an in-depth professional paper that examines a social work issue.

Florida Atlantic University

A public university, Florida Atlantic (FAU) in Boca Raton, offers a Master of Social Work degree that requires 60 credit hours to complete. Students may study full-time, part-time, or through a hybrid part-time to a full-time arrangement. An advanced standing program allows students with Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited bachelor of social work degrees to complete the program with 30 credits, in one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study. Students complete field experiences as part of their coursework and the MSW degree must be completed in five years.

FAU offers two graduate certificates for MSW holders, an aging certificate requiring 15 credit hours and a child welfare certificate requiring 12 credit hours.

The school also offers a Doctorate in Social work degree which prepares candidates for advanced practice, research, and teaching. Applicants must have an MSW degree, two years of post-MSW work experience and be eligible for licensure. Cohorts are admitted to the program in the fall of each year. The DSW requires 80 credits beyond the BSW degree. A capstone project is required, and students must complete the program in seven years.

Florida State University

Florida State University in Tallahassee has several graduate social work program options, including a Master of Social Work, PhD in Social Work, and graduate certificates. MSW students can choose an online program or campus-based study at the Tallahassee or Panama City campus. Students living in counties near Tallahassee or Panama City are not permitted to enroll in the online program. MSW students can choose a clinical or social leadership concentration. The program requires 61 credit hours for completion. Students holding CSWE accredited BSW degrees may seek advanced standing which requires 39 credit hours beyond the BSW degree.

FSU also offers joint degree programs including the MSW/MBA, MSW/JD, MSW/MS in Criminology and Criminal Justice, and MSW/MPA. Individuals enrolling in dual degree programs must meet admission and course requirements of the second degree program. Certificate programs include gerontology, child welfare, and Leadership in Executive and Administrative Development (LEAD). Certificates require 12 credit hours for completion.

The PhD in Social Work focuses on teaching and research. The PhD in Social Work program does not require students to obtain a certain number of credit hours prior to graduation, but stresses independent and comprehensive scholarship. However, doctoral students are required to take statistics and research-related courses, complete teaching practicums, and complete 24 credit hours of dissertation research. Students have five years to complete the program.

University of Central Florida

Located in Orlando, the University of Central Florida offers a Master of Social Work degree. The MSW can be completed through full-time or part-time online or campus-based study. Students who already hold a BSW from a CSWE accredited program can choose the advanced track which requires 32 hours beyond the bachelor's degree. Students who enroll in the traditional track must complete 62 credit hours. None of the tracks require a thesis, but students must complete field experiences.

University of West Florida

In Pensacola, the University of West Florida is an option for getting a Master of Social Work degree. The school offers an advanced standing program and a traditional program. The advanced standing program permits students with a CSWE accredited BSW to take 30 hours to complete an MSW degree, and students can complete the requirements in three to five semesters. Students with other bachelor's degrees may enroll in the traditional program which requires 60 credit hours and can be completed in five semesters. Candidates may choose full-time or part-time study and they may enter the program in fall, spring or summer.

Social Work Graduate Program Admission Requirements

When seeking a graduate program in social work, applicants should ensure that the program is accredited by the CSWE, the organization that establishes education standards for schools of social work. The general admission requirements for social work graduate programs are typically consistent with graduate school admission requirements which include an application, official transcripts, GRE or MAT scores, letters of recommendation, and an essay or statement of purpose. Typically a GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred, though specific requirements may vary by institution. Also, graduate social work programs may have additional admission requirements such as interviews and criminal background checks.

Bachelor's level social workers or those with four-year degrees seeking a career change have several opportunities through social work graduate programs in Florida. Certificates, master's and doctoral degrees help individuals develop advanced skills necessary for direct service, administrative roles, or teaching and research in social work.

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