Walden is proud to be the first institution to offer an online Master of Social Work (MSW) program designed to help you expand your career opportunities in the growing field of social work.

As a social worker, you can help marginalized and oppressed populations achieve social equity and improve their quality of life. With an emphasis on advanced clinical practice, the MSW online program is designed to build skills that prepare students to critically apply social work theory and methods to assess and intervene in situations involving individuals, families, and groups. Take advantage of our online MSW program to apply your knowledge and skills in settings that include schools, hospitals, private practice, social service agencies, and mental health clinics.

Online MSW program courses are taught by faculty members who are scholar-practitioners with diverse experience working in the field. The MSW online coursework features:

  • Customized video and written case studies, giving you the opportunity to apply current research and best practices to cases that social workers face every day, as well as build the foundational skills needed to excel in the field.
  • Two 4-day, in-person residencies* to give you real-world experience and an opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty members and classmates.
  • Six optional elective clusters, allowing you to enhance your knowledge about the needs of specific populations.
  • Three degree tracks so that you can complete the program on a schedule that works for you:
  • Four convenient start times throughout the year so you can begin the program when your schedule allows.

*The Advanced Standing track requires only one in-person residency.

Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

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  • Video Case Study Approach

    Master of Social Work students are preparing for real-world situations through video case studies that bring social work theory to life. Learn how.

  • "Graduates of Walden's Master of Social Work program will be prepared to design culturally and contextually relevant social services in their practice. They also will be able to provide mentoring and supervision, advocacy, and collaboration activities within their varied client populations."

    Dr. Sally Brocksen
    Program Director, Social Work Programs

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In Walden’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program, you can take the General Program or choose one of six elective clusters to help you meet your personal and professional goals.

MSW Accreditation Disclosure:
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the accrediting body for academic social work programs in the United States. Graduation from a CSWE-accredited program is required for licensure as a social worker in most states.

New Master of Social Work (MSW) programs applying for CSWE accreditation must undergo an application development process consisting of “pre-candidacy,” and “candidacy,” before achieving accreditation. Normally, it takes approximately three years to receive accreditation.

The Walden MSW program has applied for CSWE accreditation and was granted candidacy status by CSWE in October of 2013.

CSWE supports the acceptance of students into new MSW programs at any time during the academic year (September through June) that a program receives candidacy. The 2008 EPAS (Educational Policies and Accreditation Standards) Handbook, p. 44, states that once a program is granted accreditation, “…students admitted during or after the academic year in which the program is granted candidacy will be recognized as having graduated from an accredited program.” Because the Walden MSW program achieved CSWE candidacy status during the 2013-2014 academic year, if it goes on to achieve accreditation according to the CSWE timeline, then students admitted into the MSW program in September 2013 or later would graduate from a CSWE accredited program.

Note on Licensure:
Licensure for MSW prepared social workers varies greatly from state to state.  Each state board responsible for regulating the practice of social work has its own academic, licensure, and certification requirements and issues its own license to practice as a social worker.

In most states, the academic credential required for licensure to practice as a social worker is an MSW degree from a social work program which has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).  The Walden MSW program is not CSWE accredited, but it has applied for accreditation and was granted candidacy status by CSWE in October of 2013.

Because no program can guarantee licensure upon graduation, we encourage students to consult the appropriate social work licensing agency in the state in which they plan to practice to determine the specific academic requirements for licensure. Walden enrollment advisors can provide information relating to the state-by-state MSW degree requirements for MSW licensure. However, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all licensing requirements for the state in which he or she intends to practice. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of its coursework or programs will permit an individual to achieve state licensure, authorization, endorsement, or other state credential as a social worker.

 

Find out more about the MSW program now.  Request Information

General Program

Completion Requirements

  • 92 total quarter credits
  • 8 days of residency (two 4-day residencies)

Note that this program requires students to have a web cam for their first course of the program and for various assignments throughout the program. Please refer to our standard program technology requirements.

This program can be completed in as little as 30 months, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Two-year full-time and Advanced Standing track students can finish earlier. For a personalized course listing and estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Elective Courses

Choose two elective courses below.

Addiction

Addiction can affect individuals from all walks of life—celebrities, public officials, or people you see each day in your community. The common thread is that addiction can severely impair an individual’s ability to function in society. In this elective cluster, you can learn how addiction impacts individuals, families, and communities. You will explore the most current theories around treatment of various types of addictions, from substance abuse to gambling or binge eating. Students in this elective cluster focus on supporting communities where addiction plays a major role in social problems.

Completion Requirements

  • 97 total quarter credits
  • 8 days of residency (two 4-day residencies)

Note that this program requires students to have a web cam for their first course of the program and for various assignments throughout the program. Please refer to our standard program technology requirements.

This program can be completed in as little as 33 months, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Two-year full-time and Advanced Standing track students can finish earlier. For a personalized course listing and estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Children, Families, and Couples

Recent studies indicate that social workers provide the majority of mental health services in the United States.* The Children, Families, and Couples elective cluster prepares you to address the diverse needs of children and families who are struggling with depression, anxiety, sexual trauma, behavioral disorders, relationship issues, and the emotional impact of social injustices. Courses in topics ranging from human sexuality to child and adolescent counseling help you develop a set of skills and strategies that can prepare you for a career as a clinical social worker.

Completion Requirements

  • 97 total quarter credits
  • 8 days of residency (two 4-day residencies)

Note that this program requires students to have a web cam for their first course of the program and for various assignments throughout the program. Please refer to our standard program technology requirements.

This program can be completed in as little as 33 months, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Two-year full-time and Advanced Standing track students can finish earlier. For a personalized course listing and estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

*National Association of Social Workers, www.naswdc.org/pressroom/features/issue/mental.asp (viewed online January 22, 2013).

Crisis and Trauma

For those who experience a large-scale crisis or trauma, the path to recovery can be difficult. The coursework in this elective cluster prepares you to assist individuals, families, and entire communities in the wake of a crisis or emergency such as a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or other traumatic event. The curriculum is designed to help you understand stress, coping, and adjustment difficulties, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder. You will also have an opportunity to study disaster planning to prepare for future emergencies.

Completion Requirements

  • 97 total quarter credits
  • 8 days of residency (two 4-day residencies)

Note that this program requires students to have a web cam for their first course of the program and for various assignments throughout the program. Please refer to our standard program technology requirements.

This program can be completed in as little as 33 months, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Two-year full-time and Advanced Standing track students can finish earlier. For a personalized course listing and estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Forensic Populations and Settings

Criminal defendants, divorcing couples, families dealing with custody issues, and victims of spousal or child abuse face a unique set of challenges as they navigate the legal system. If your career goals involve clinical social work in settings such as family courts, drug courts, prisons, juvenile courts, or similar agencies, this elective cluster can help you build the necessary skills. You will have the opportunity to study criminal behavior and the treatment of forensic populations. With this knowledge, you can focus your social work practice on helping populations whose lives are affected by the law and legal institutions.

Completion Requirements

  • 97 total quarter credits
  • 8 days of residency (two 4-day residencies)

Note that this program requires students to have a web cam for their first course of the program and for various assignments throughout the program. Please refer to our standard program technology requirements.

This program can be completed in as little as 36 months, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Two-year full-time and Advanced Standing track students can finish earlier. For a personalized course listing and estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Medical Social Work

For individuals facing chronic illness, disability, or advanced age, the prospect of managing their own well-being can be daunting. This elective cluster prepares you to work within a hospital, nursing home, hospice, or similar setting to assist vulnerable populations and their families as they face the challenges associated with health issues. You will gain knowledge about the specific role of a medical social worker, how to address the needs of clients and their families, and how to collaborate with other medical professionals as part of a care team.

Completion Requirements

  • 97 total quarter credits
  • 8 days of residency (two 4-day residencies)

Note that this program requires students to have a web cam for their first course of the program and for various assignments throughout the program. Please refer to our standard program technology requirements.

This program can be completed in as little as 36 months, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Two-year full-time and Advanced Standing track students can finish earlier. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

 

 

Military Families and Culture

Active military personnel and combat veterans face a variety of emotional challenges brought on by frequent relocations, separation from family, and experiences at war. In some instances, the strain of combat-related stress can lead to substance abuse, homelessness, or other social issues. The courses in this elective cluster help you develop an understanding of military culture and the short- and long-term effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. You also will have an opportunity to explore how family members are affected by a loved one’s combat-related experiences. With this cluster, you can better prepare to address the various needs of armed forces personnel and veterans.

Completion Requirements

  • 97 total quarter credits
  • 8 days of residency (two 4-day residencies)

Note that this program requires students to have a web cam for their first course of the program and for various assignments throughout the program. Please refer to our standard program technology requirements.

This program can be completed in as little as 33 months, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Two-year full-time and Advanced Standing track students can finish earlier. For a personalized course listing and estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Advanced Standing Track

The Advanced Standing track is for students who already hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)–accredited institution and have a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

Completion Requirements

  • 56 total quarter credits (61 if optional elective cluster is chosen) 
    • Core courses (40 cr.)
    • Elective courses (10 cr.) (15 if optional elective cluster is chosen)
    • Field Experience (6 cr.)
  • 4 days of residency (one 4-day residency)

Note that this program requires students to have a web cam for their first course of the program and for various assignments throughout the program. Please refer to our standard program technology requirements.

This program can be completed in approximately 18 months, depending on individual progress. For a personalized course listing and estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Core Courses

 

 

Credits cannot be transferred from other institutions into the Advanced Standing track.

*Students in this track complete Residency 2. Residencies 1 and 2 are completed in the Part Time and 2 Year Full Time tracks.

Curriculum Component Requirements  Cost  Total* 
Tuition 92 total quarter credit hours  $510 per quarter hour $46,920
Books and Materials Estimated costs Included in tuition $0
Residency Fee Two 6-day residencies $1,160 (travel, lodging, and other expenses are additional) $2,320
Technology Fee  Per quarter $120 $1,440
    Total $50,680
    Transfer up to 20 credits  $10,517
    Total with Maximum Transfer Credits $40,163

*Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Maximum transfer credit total includes reduction in technology fee as related to reduced number of courses over time.

*Tuition and fees are subject to change.

20% off if you reside outside the U.S. Click here to find out more!

Call 1-866-492-5336 for information about a full range of options for:

*The Advanced Standing track requires only one in-person residency.

Note that this program requires students to have a web cam for their first course of the program and for various assignments throughout the program. Please refer to our standard program technology requirements.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment within the social work field is expected to grow 25% from 2010 to 2020.*

With a Master of Social Work from Walden, you can advance your career in a variety of clinical settings, in roles such as:

  • Licensed clinical social worker
  • Mental health social worker
  • Case worker
  • Direct-service social worker
  • Clinical social worker
  • Child or family social worker
  • School social worker
  • Healthcare social worker
  • Private or public agency leader or director
  • Policy analyst
  • Supervisor in social work field or agency
  • Program director
  • Social work opportunities within the medical and public health fields

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, www.bls.gov/ooh/Community-and-Social-Service/Social-workers.htm (viewed online March 13, 2013). National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this program.

Walden’s online Master of Social Work (MSW) program is based upon 40 years of experience providing quality distance learning to working professionals in a wide variety of helping professions who want to advance their careers. Walden is the first fully online institution to offer an online MSW program. This program, features two 4-day in-person residencies* and customized case studies interwoven throughout the program that provide you with real-world experience and help prepare you for a career in social work. Four start times throughout the year provide maximum flexibility and convenience.

You can choose to complete your degree on a time frame that works with your schedule. Choose from one of three degree pathways:

  • A part-time track is available for students who need to make their program work with other life commitments.
  • The two-year full-time track requires a more focused time commitment, but can allow you to earn your degree sooner.
  • The Advanced Standing track is for students who already hold a Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE-accredited institution and have a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Advanced Standing students begin their program with the advanced-level courses.

Learn how Walden’s MSW program can give you practical experience:

As a student in Walden’s MSW program, you can choose when, where, and how you learn, thanks to our online format and MobileLearn®. Through this education technology, you can listen to coursework on your MP3 player, access your classroom from your iPhone, download coursework to your laptop, and more.

We provide our students—a diverse community of working professionals—with the opportunity to become more than just scholars; we give them the knowledge and skills to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to the real world and make a difference in their lives and their communities. Discover some of the ways the Walden community is focused on making a greater difference.

*The Advanced Standing track requires only one in-person residency.

Learning Through Case Sudy Videos

Video case studies bring social work theory to life in our Master of Social Work program and prepare students for real-world situations.

In our MSW program, you will work with expert faculty members who are scholars and leaders in their fields. Some of the esteemed faculty members and academic leaders in this program include:

Pablo Arriaza Pablo Arriaza, Ph.D., LICSW Donna McElveen, DSW, LISW 
Dr. Sally Brocksen Sally Brocksen, Ph.D.  Peter Meagher Peter Meagher, Ph.D., LCSW
Dawn Higgins Dawn Higgins, Ph.D., LCSW-C Sara Beth Plummer Sara Plummer, Ph.D.
Sebrena Jackson Sebrena Jackson, Ph.D., LCSW Gilbert Singletary Gilbert Singletary, Ph.D., LCSW

Discover our School of Social Work and Human Services faculty.

Hear from Dr. Sally Brocksen, MSW Program Director, about her thoughts on the social work profession.
Click here.

Graduates of Walden’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program will be prepared to:

  1. Develop a professional orientation and identity as a social worker.
  2. Apply legal and ethical standards in the administration of social work.
  3. Apply principles of advocacy that promote cultural understanding and positive social change in individuals, communities, and society.
  4. Utilize evidence-based research and critical thinking skills to inform practice in meeting the needs of diverse clientele.
  5. Synthesize and apply theories of human growth and development to develop culturally responsive social work practices.
  6. Apply knowledge and skills in the areas of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

For assistance in deciding which degree program fits your goals, request information or speak with an enrollment advisor by calling 1-866-492-5336. A list of international toll-free phone numbers is available for students outside the United States.