When looking to earn a master of social work, it’s important to know what schools have CSWE accredited MSW programs to make sure that you’re applying to programs that meet high standards of faculty, curriculum, and the overall goals of preparing you to help the less fortunate set by the CSWE.
Number of Accredited Programs
As of February 2018, there were 522 CSWE accredited baccalaureate social work programs and 260 CSWE accredited master’s social work programs. In addition, there were 15 baccalaureate social work programs and 25 master’s social work programs in candidacy.
List of 12 CSWE Accredited Online MSW Programs
Though all of the sponsored listings below meet the accreditation standards set forth by CSWE, each have a unique design. In addition, many offer a variety of concentrations that help tailor your curriculum to a specific aspect of social work.
A multicultural scholarly community, the University of Southern California (USC), believes that diversity enriches all of our activities and interactions. The mission of the university is the development of human beings and society as a whole through the cultivation and enrichment of the human mind and spirit.
Offered through the Suzanne Dworek-Peck School of Social Work, USC offers both online and on-campus MSW options in a full-time and part-time format for your convenience.
Classes are kept small, with a 12:1 student to faculty ratio, to encourage conversations and collaboration so that you can develop relationships with your classmates and your professors.
Some of the concentrations available for your MSW at USC are:
For more than a century, Simmons College has been pioneering liberal arts education, which is why it continues to rank as one of the best schools by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes.
The MSW at Simmons is designed to prepare clinical social workers for direct practice through a curriculum that draws on practical approaches, such as:
- Solution-focused therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Cognitive behavior therapy
Your options for pursuing an MSW at Simmons are:
Committed to diversity in all dimensions, Fordham University is the Jesuit University of New York. Located in the Bronx, NY, Fordham awarded 584 Master of Social Work degrees in 2016.
The MSW at Fordham prepares you to effectively engage across all areas of the challenging and complex world of social work through a forward-thinking curriculum that starts with a comprehensive foundational phase focusing on skills grounded in theory and ethics.
The University of Denver is a private institution located where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains and embodies the spirit of exploration and discovery that defines the region.
Designed to provide you with the skills necessary to create social change, the MSW at the University of Denver teaches the practical skills in mental health and trauma and prepares you for a career working with individuals, families, and communities impacted by oppression.
Arizona State University opened its doors in 1886, almost 30 years before Arizona was granted statehood. Since then, ASU’s history has continued to be rich, bold, and vibrant, which has led to the school being recognized as the “most innovative” university in the country by U.S. News and World Report three years in a row.
Committed to addressing pressing issues and finding practical solutions, the ASU School of Social Work is one of the largest and most diverse social work programs in the world. Fully accredited by the CSWE, the Master of Social Work (MSW) at ASU offers three concentrations:
- Advanced direct practice
- Advanced generalist
- Policy, administration, and community practice
With more than 33,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 130 countries, Boston University is no small operation. This community is like no other and is one of the most dynamic universities in the world because of the groundbreaking research taking place at BU every day.
The MSW at BU is for those who are serious about taking their social work education to the next level to help make an impact in the lives of others. This dynamic, hands-on MSW draws on the school’s social justice roots and commitment to innovative, integrated research and practice in the field.
The two MSW degrees are:
You also have the option of continuing your studies at Boston University through their Social Work Doctorate program.
Founded by the Catholic bishops of the United States, with a charter from then Pope Leo XIII, the Catholic University of America is a national research university in the heart of Washington, D.C.
The MSW at The National Catholic School of Social Service is designed for advanced practitioners who act as agents of change to promote individual and societal well-being consistent with their chosen concentration.
The available concentrations for the Master of Social Work (MSW) are:
- Clinical Social Work
- Social Change
- Combined (Clinical and Social Change)
As Chicago’s Jesuit, Catholic university, Loyola University of Chicago has faculty, staff, and students from all faiths and backgrounds striving toward the same goal: of being men and women for and with others.
Students in the MSW program at Loyola can take one of two tracks:
- Clinical: which includes concentrations in health, children and families, school social work, and mental health.
- Leadership and development: which emphasizes skills in administration, nonprofit management, grant-writing, staff supervision, and program development.
Some of the CSWE accredited MSW programs at Loyola are:
- Social Work, MA
- M.S.W. Advanced Standing Option
- Divinity MSW / MDiv Dual Degree
- Social Justice MSW / MA Dual Degree
Founded in 1885 by the Congregation of Divine Providence, our Lady of the Lake University is a coeducational comprehensive institution with a main campus in San Antonio, Texas.
One of the 14 master’s programs offered at OLLU is the:
Offered through the Worden School of Social Service, the MSW program prepares students to change the lives of children and families in need. Whether you’re already in the field, or looking to enter it, MSW at OLLU can help you achieve your goal of helping society and fighting for justice.
Located in Southern New England, Quinnipiac University is a private, coeducational university where students receive an educational experience that’s both personal and challenging.
The MSW at Quinnipiac prepares you for licensure and gives you the tools to provide patients with counseling, crisis intervention, and access to social welfare and community resources.
Whether your career goals include private clinical practice or working in a community-based setting, the Master of Social Work (MSW) at Quinnipiac strives to teach you how to be a true leader in the field.
As one of the nation’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been developing the minds, hearts, and spirits of students since 1856. With a main campus located only 14 miles from Manhattan, and online programs that serve the whole world, SHU has a graduate enrollment of more than 4,300.
Accredited by the CSWE, the Master of Social Work (MSW) at Seton Hall is designed for students without a bachelor’s degree in social work looking to enter the field, or an advanced standing option for those with a degree in social work.
Designed with a curriculum centered around both fieldwork and theoretical components, the MSW prepares students to make a difference working with individuals, families, or groups in a variety of advanced-practice settings.
A public, comprehensive higher education institution, Winthrop University is committed to be among the very best schools of their kind in the nation through an educational experience that blends liberal arts, professional programs, global awareness, and civic engagement.
Fully accredited by the CSWE, Winthrop offers students five different options for earning a Master of Social Work (MSW) which are:
- Full-time traditional MSW
- Full-time Advanced Standing MSW
- Weekend traditional MSW
- Weekend Advanced Standing MSW
- Online MSW
All of these options have a similar design created to match your education, experience, and schedule.
What Is the CSWE?
The Council on Social Work Education, or CSWE, was founded in 1952 and is the national association representing social work education in the United States. CSWE supports quality social work education and provides opportunities for leadership and professional development through initiatives, activities, and centers.
Designed to make sure that social work education programs enhance the quality of the professional practice, CSWE pursues this mission through national accreditation standards, by promoting faculty development, and by advocating for social work education and research.
CSWE Accreditation Process
The Commission on Accreditation (COA) of CSWE is responsible for developing the accreditation standards that define competent preparation and ensuring that social work programs meet these standards.
Recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), CSWE administers a multistep accreditation process that involves program self-studies, site visits, and COA reviews.
CSWE Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards
The educational policy of CSWE accredited MSW programs is to address the profession’s purpose, grounded in core professional values, and are informed by program context. The key values of the social work profession, and by extension, the key values the CSWE looks for in master’s programs, are:
- Social justice
- Dignity and worth of every person
- Importance of human relationships
- Human rights
- Scientific inquiry
These values underpin the curriculum of MSW programs and frame the profession’s commitment for all people.
The accreditation standard includes every program sharing and explaining:
- Mission statement
- Generalist practice
- Field education
- Specialized practice
- Student development
- Administrative structure
In addition, every program is subject to ongoing assessment to make sure that the school and the program continues to meet these standards of teaching the next generation of social workers.
Number of Master’s Degrees in Social Work
In 2015, there were 26,590 social work master’s degrees conferred.
Common Admissions Requirements for CSWE Accredited MSW Programs
Though every school and every program has unique admissions requirements, some of the most common for CSWE accredited MSW programs include:
- Complete application
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- Personal statement
- Letters of recommendation (exact numbers vary from school to school)
Many MSW programs do not require the GRE. However, it’s important to check with each school before applying to make sure that you meet the specific requirements, as every school has a unique design.
Types of MSW Programs
Find the perfect program for you! Check out some of the different types of MSW programs:
- Affordable MSW Programs
- Advanced Standing MSW Programs
- Online MSW No GRE Requirements
- Online MSW Programs
- On-Campus MSW Programs
Also, check out the different social worker career paths to help you find the perfect MSW program for you.
Apply to an MSW Program Today!
Interested in earning your MSW? Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page for more information, such as how to apply, when the next start date is, and common courses.
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