Why Choose Walden's Master of Social Work (MSW)

  • A program designed to prepare you for licensure.1
  • Award-winning case study videos to facilitate your learning experience.
  • Four concentration options focused with in-demand jobs.
  • Three degree completion options to fit your schedule and maximize savings.
CSWE logo

Walden University’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CSWE's Commission on Accreditation is responsible for developing accreditation standards that define competent preparation for professional social workers and ensuring that social work programs meet these standards.1

You've Got Options

Choose from three degree completion options (Standard, Accelerated, and Advanced Standing) to align with your schedule, as well as four start dates throughout the year.

  • The Standard option helps you balance your online MSW degree program with other life commitments by limiting your workload to one or two courses per term.
  • The Accelerated option is an ideal choice if you can dedicate yourself to full-time studies. This option requires a strong time commitment, as you’ll take three courses in most terms.
  • The Advanced Standing option is for students who already hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a CSWE-accredited program and graduated with a minimum GPA of 3.0—you’ll begin your program with advanced-level courses.


Advanced Clinical Practice

Social worker with woman and child

Develop the therapeutic skills to engage clients in defining issues, setting and prioritizing goals, and committing to the change process.

Learn More

Mission Statement

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program prepares scholar-practitioners who demonstrate culturally responsive ethical, evidence-based practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. The curriculum emphasizes cultural humility within a strengths-based, generalist intervention model and provides advanced clinical skills needed for specialized practice. The program prepares students to be change agents within and beyond their local communities and to advocate for social justice on behalf of diverse populations, with particular attention to people who are vulnerable and/or oppressed.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of Walden’s online Master of Social Work (MSW) degree 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.

What’s the Career Impact of earning a Master of Social Work Online?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment within the social work field is expected to grow 25% from 2010 to 2020.2

With a master’s in social work from Walden, you can advance your career in a variety of clinical settings, in roles such as:3

  • Licensed clinical social worker
  • Mental health social worker
  • Case worker
  • Direct-service social worker
  • Clinical social worker
  • Child or family 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

Learn more about the career outlook for graduates with a Master of Social Work.

Find detailed information for this program including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt. This information will vary depending on whether you (1) hold a BSW or (2) do not hold a BSW.

Read our Master of Social Work Program Outcome Report.

Meet Our Students and Faculty

A Social Worker’s Charge

Adrien Green
PhD in Social Work student Adrian Green shares her insight on struggles and opportunities within child protective services.

Practicing with Purpose

Renata Hedrington-Jones
Social work is often described as challenging and frustrating, but it's also rewarding to see the difference social workers make in people's lives and communities.

A Passion for Special Needs Kids

Kailee Bauman
MSW student Kailee Bauman hopes to advocate for and raise awareness of special-needs kids.

Advance Your Career

Develop In-Demand Skills

Master of Social Work Highlights
Build a foundation of skills that can position you for success in the field of social work. Change the way you change lives.

Career Outlook

Master of Social Work Career Outlook
Social work professionals are sought after by employers nationwide. Learn more about the many benefits of pursuing your MSW.

Walden's MSW Skills Lab

MSW Skills Lab
By combining online training and face-to-face interaction with field professionals, our MSW Skills Lab helps prepare you to excel as a social worker.

1Note on Licensure:
The minimum academic credential required to obtain licensure to practice as a social worker in most states is a Master of Social Work (MSW) from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Walden University’s MSW program is accredited by CSWE.

State licensing boards are responsible for regulating the practice of social work, and each state has its own academic, licensure, and certification requirements.

Additionally, Walden’s MSW program is not designed or intended to prepare graduates for licensure as a school social worker, however, graduates might be eligible for licensure as a school social worker in their particular state of residence.

Walden recommends that students consult the appropriate social work licensing board 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 requirements for 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 resides. 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. Learn more about professional licensure.

2Bureau 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.

3Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this program.

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Questions about our Master of Social Work (MSW)?
Questions about our Master of Social Work (MSW)?
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