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Choose an Online Master of Social Work Program Grounded in Experiential Learning

Do you have a calling to help shape a more inclusive and equitable world? Start your journey as a social change-maker at Walden. Our online Master of Social Work program is designed to turn your passion into the knowledge, skills, and confidence you need to be an effective social worker.

You’ll be guided through your program journey with support at every stage. Start with foundational knowledge and build on it through a variety of hands-on learning experiences. Gain fresh perspectives working closely with Walden’s diverse faculty and fellow students from a variety of backgrounds. You’ll also prepare for state licensure in our robust licensure module.

Finally, you’ll emerge from your online social work program feeling inspired, knowing you can make a real difference for people who need help the most.

A CSWE-Accredited Program

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.

Why Choose Walden?

Build Your Experience

Interactive online scenarios, simulations, and skills labs let you practice what you learn in a safe and supportive environment.

Expand Your Perspective

Work with Walden’s truly diverse faculty and student body to see clients and society in a whole new way.

Prepare for Licensure

If you choose to, you can engage in an optional licensure preparation experience that includes helpful resources and a practice exam.

Customize Your Program

Choose your program focus and pace with electives, focus areas and certificates, and degree completion options to fit your unique needs.

Program Savings

Receive up to a $2,000 Walden Leading Social Change Grant if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on February 28, 2022. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Program Details

Online MSW Program Degree Completion Options

Choose from three Master of Social Work online completion options as well as 12 start dates throughout the year.

  • The Traditional option is designed for working professionals who want to balance their studies with multiple life commitments. You determine how many courses you take each term based upon your situation at the time.
  • The Traditional Fast Track option is for students who want a more intensive workload and have more time to dedicate to their studies. Students who choose this option may be able to complete their program faster by taking more courses at a time on a consistent basis.
  • The Advanced Standing option is for MSW students who already hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a CSWE-accredited program and graduated with a minimum GPA of 3.0. If eligible, choosing this option skips foundational courses and allows you to start your degree with advanced-level courses.

Our MSW program is built for the working professional, and we know situations and commitments can change. No matter which option you choose, you have the flexibility to adjust your workload as needed. Talk to your Enrollment Specialist about which option is right for you .


Focus Areas and Embedded Certificates

Focus Areas

Walden’s online Master of Social Work program allows you to customize your studies by filling the two open elective slots with courses from various relevant focus areas. Choose courses from different areas—or focus your electives by choosing both courses from a single area. Our five MSW focus areas are:

  • Addictions
  • Child and Family
  • Healthcare
  • Military
  • Trauma

Embedded Certificates

If you want to take your studies a step further, you can add a third course (5 credits) from a single focus area and earn an optional embedded certificate along with your MSW degree.

Learn Through Hands-On Experience

Walden’s online Master of Social Work program combines practical and relevant curriculum with engaging classroom tools and experiences. Build valuable skills and instincts in a safe—yet highly authentic—environment and prepare for real encounters in the field. Engage in interactive online scenarios and other simulations that reflect actual situations social workers face.

You’ll also hone your skills in two immersive Skills Labs (available virtually) that give you the opportunity to meet faculty and peers and prepare for your field placement.

Lastly, you’ll put what you’ve learned into action through field practice experiences, where you’ll work with real clients under the supervision of a professional social worker. Enter the field with confidence, knowing you’ve practiced doing what social workers do every day.

Be Immersed in Diversity

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the heart of our online social work program. Engaging with a diverse community of faculty and classmates—all with varied experiences, voices, and worldviews—will help you broaden your cultural and social perspectives. You'll gain the insights and empathy to be a more effective social work practitioner and make a meaningful impact in people’s lives.

Admission Requirements

Program Admission Considerations: A bachelor's degree or higher. For the Advanced Standing option, students must have a BSW from a CSWE-accredited program with a GPA of at least 3.0.

General Admission Requirements: Completed online application, transcripts, and Acknowledgement Statement. Speak to an Enrollment Specialist who will guide you through the application process. More information for international applicants.


The online 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.

Tuition and Fees


Many Walden degree-seeking students—67%—receive some form of financial aid.* Create a customized plan that makes sense for you.

*Source: Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid. Data reports as of 2018.

Find Ways to Save

Program Savings

Receive up to a $2,000 Walden Leading Social Change Grant if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on February 28, 2022. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Program Outcomes

What’s the Career Impact of Earning an MSW Online?

Pursue your passion for helping others live better lives while you build a career for yourself. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for social work professionals is expected to increase 13% by 2029—faster than the national average for all occupations.2

Earning your master’s degree in social work can give you the knowledge and skills you need to increase your impact and expand your career options. Social work professionals are sought by employers nationwide, especially in industries such as healthcare, substance abuse treatment, and mental health care.2

An online MSW degree can help prepare you to pursue career options such as:2

  • Child, family, and school social workers
  • Healthcare social workers
  • Mental health and substance abuse social workers
  • Social workers, other
The demand for social work professionals is expected to increase


by 2029, faster than the national average.3
An additional


additional social work jobs are expected to be available through 2029.3

An online MSW degree can prepare you to work in a variety of settings, including:

  • General medical and surgical hospitals
  • Offices of other healthcare practitioners
  • Individual and family services
  • Insurance companies

Career options may require additional experience, training, licensure or other factors beyond the successful completion of this online Master of Social Work program.

Read our Master of Social Work Program Outcome Report.

Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of Walden’s Master of Social Work program, you will be prepared to:

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


Meet Your Academic Team

  • Dr. Emmett Roberts

    Emmett Roberts

    Core Faculty

    Dr. Roberts’ professional background includes working with foster youth—primarily young men of color—for 30 years. He also briefly worked in an agency that specialized in substance abuse treatment with adults participating in a drug court program.

  • Dr. Rocio Terry

    Rocio Terry

    Core Faculty

    Dr. Terry is an experienced and tenured professor, change agent, and leader. She has held key operational and tactical leadership and management roles with local and national nonprofit organizations, helping to change the life trajectory of thousands of people across the country.

  • Chenobia Webster-Hill

    Core Faculty

    Dr. Webster-Hill has almost 20 years combined as an educator, licensed clinical supervisor, and clinical practitioner. She brings the art of storytelling to difficult conversations surrounding the social work role in acknowledging, understanding, and actively engaging to confront societal inequities.

  • Dr. Chris Cotten

    Chris Cotten

    Core Faculty

    Dr. Cotten is an experienced clinical consultant and trainer. He was a research associate at Chicago’s Howard Brown Health Center, an LGBTQ health center in the Midwest. In 2014, the Florida state chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) named him Social Work Educator of the Year.


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FAQ About Walden’s Online MSW Program


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