Part-Time Social Work Schools 2022

Earning a master's in social work can lead to new career opportunities. Here, we list the top programs available.

Updated September 13, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Part-Time Social Work Schools 2022

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to find your fit?

Social workers help individuals, families, and communities address issues such as poverty, substance abuse, and mental health. This challenging yet rewarding field enables professionals to work in settings like community organizations, schools, and social services agencies.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that social workers earn an annual median salary of $51,760. The BLS projects careers in the field to grow 13% from 2019-2029, a rate much higher than the national average. A master's in social work serves as the minimum education requirement for many careers in the field.

This guide ranks the best part-time MSW programs. It also introduces common courses and scholarship opportunities for social work degree students.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Master's in Social Work Q and A


How much money can you make with a MSW?

The BLS reports that social workers earn an annual median salary of $51,760. However, an MSW may enable graduates to pursue higher-paying positions in management or clinical practice.

How many years does it take to earn a master's in social work degree?

Part-time students may take 30 months or more to complete a master's in social work. Colleges typically give candidates up to seven years to complete a part-time program, though most students graduate faster.

What kinds of jobs can you get with a social work degree?

A social work master's degree prepares graduates for jobs such as licensed clinical social worker, social and community service manager, rehabilitation counselor, and family therapist.

How do I start a career in social work?

A bachelor's degree prepares candidates for entry-level careers in social work, though most clinical positions require a master's degree at minimum.

Why Get a Degree in Social Work?

A master's in social work prepares candidates for diverse roles helping individuals and communities. A social work master's degree also prepares graduates for various advanced certifications, which can lead to increased job opportunities and higher salaries.

Many colleges offer part-time MSW degrees online. These programs often enable students to maintain full-time employment while earning an advanced degree. Additionally, many schools offer tuition discounts to online students.

How Much Does a Social Work Degree Cost?

On average, students pay around $30,000-$40,000 for a master's degree. However, graduate tuition rates vary widely by factors such as enrollment status, delivery format, and type of school. Private schools generally charge higher tuition rates than public schools, and online programs often charge lower tuition rates than on-campus programs.

Enrollment status can also affect overall tuition expenses. While a part-time master's in social work gives students the flexibility to maintain full-time employment while pursuing a degree, students spend more semesters enrolled in school, potentially accumulating larger tuition expenses.

However, earning an MSW degree online may save students money. For instance, online students often save on many of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as housing and commuting costs. Additionally, many schools offer tuition discounts to online students.

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do Social Work Majors Make?

The BLS reports that social workers earn an annual median salary of $51,760. However, master's graduates can move into management positions that pay higher salaries, such as social and community services manager. These professionals earn an annual median salary of $69,600.

MSW degree-holders who obtain proper licensure can pursue specialized counseling career paths. School and career counselors, for example, earn an annual median salary of $58,120, while marriage and family counselors earn an annual median salary of $51,340.

Courses in Social Work

A master's in social work builds advanced knowledge and skills in areas including mental health counseling, social work practice, program assessment, and social work policy. Many MSW programs also offer concentrations in areas such as clinical mental health practice, human service management, and children and families.

Social work students typically complete a major culminating project, such as a thesis or capstone. These projects allow students to demonstrate knowledge and skills gained throughout the program.

While course offerings vary among programs, this list outlines courses commonly found in social work master's degrees.

Certifications and Licensure for Social Work

Social workers can pursue licenses and certifications to demonstrate professional competencies and eligibility to work with various client populations. This list highlights three popular credentials for social workers.

One of the most popular social work credentials, the LCSW authorizes social workers to provide mental health counseling and other clinical therapy services. Licensure requirements vary by state, but all applicants must hold an MSW degree, complete clinical hours, and pass a licensure exam. The CSW-G credential demonstrates expertise in clinical work with older populations. Certification candidates must hold an MSW degree and a current state social work license. Applicants also need at least 30 hours of post-graduate continuing education and two years of social work experience with elderly populations. The C-SSWS credential demonstrates social work proficiency in education settings, including public and private schools, preschools, and special education environments. Applicants must possess an MSW degree, social work licensure, and at least two years of post-graduate work experience in a school setting.

Scholarships for Social Work

Social work students can pursue financial aid to help finance their education, including loans, grants, fellowships, and scholarships. Unlike loans, scholarships do not require repayment, making them ideal forms of financial aid. This list highlights three popular scholarships for master's in social work candidates.

Scholarships for Social Work
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Consuelo W. Gosnell Memorial Scholarship

$2,000-$4,000 The National Association of Social Workers Foundation (NASW) offers the scholarship to MSW degree candidates who demonstrate a commitment to working with Hispanic/Latino American or Indian/Alaska Native populations.

Verne LaMarr Lyons Scholarship

Up to $5,500 The NASW offers the scholarship to graduate students who demonstrate an interest in mental health social work practice and a commitment to working with African American communities.

Carl A. Scott Memorial Fund

$500 The Council on Social Work Education awards the scholarship to undergraduate or graduate students in social work. Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to economic, racial, and environmental justice in their work.

Part-Time MSW Programs 2022

#1

University of South Florida

School Information
Location Tampa, Florida
Admission Rate 48%
Graduation Rate 75%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

With a main campus in Tampa, the University of South Florida delivers graduate programs in various fields. The public institution delivers an online master of social work. Social work professionals often maintain employment while enrolled in the flexible program.

Graduate students can discuss the social work field and plan their academic track with experienced faculty advisors. Enrollees pursuing the master's degree complete a rigorous curriculum that fosters field-specific knowledge and transferable skills. While completing program coursework, master's students hone analytical and leadership skills they can apply to social work careers.

Online learners at the school pay affordable tuition rates. Financial aid counselors help degree-seekers understand funding options, such as scholarships and fellowships. The school charges online learners affordable tuition rates, making graduate studies more accessible.

University of South Florida Fast Facts:

Online Master's Programs: 103

Total Online Programs: 34

Number of Online Students: 24,241

Tuition Per Credit: $907

Graduate Tuition In-State: $8,350

Graduate Tuition Out-of-State: $19,048

Transfer Credits Permitted: No

Visit Site
#2

University of Central Florida

School Information
Location Orlando, Florida
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Central Florida offers an online MSW program for distance learners. The institution enrolls 30,024 students in its online courses. Degree-seekers can earn their master of social work remotely from the institution. The accredited curriculum ensures that students receive a rigorous education, which employers value. The program's advanced training prepares graduates for the workforce.

The university maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 30-to-1, which gives learners one-on-one attention from faculty. Students can learn more about online support services on the school's website. The institution offers affordable tuition rates and financial aid opportunities. This helps graduate students complete a master's degree with less debt. Students can expect a graduation rate of 72% for this program.

University of Central Florida Fast Facts:

Total Online Enrollment: 41,097

Number of Online Master’s Programs: 26

Graduate Tuition: $6,916/year in-state; $25,759/year out-of-state

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $9,728

Average Net Price: $11,617

The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Visit Site
#3

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

School Information
Location Edinburg, Texas
Admission Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 46%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley delivers undergraduate and graduate programs from its Edinburg campus. In addition to studying in person, learners can pursue the school's graduate degrees online. The institution's online master's in social work benefits distance students seeking career advancement in social work.

The rigorous graduate-level curriculum prepares enrollees to succeed in social work careers. Busy learners balancing work and school can benefit from the online social work program's scheduling flexibility. The master's program generally takes full-time degree-seekers 1-2 years to complete.

Students with financial need can submit the FAFSA to apply for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. To pay for school, 36% of the enrollees take out loans. In addition, financial aid helps 90% of the institution's learners fund their studies.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley at a Glance:

Total Programs: 130

Number of Online Programs: 19

Online Master's Programs: 55

Number of Online Students: 14,840

Religious Affiliation: Non-affiliated

Transfer Credits Accepted: No

Visit Site
#4

New Mexico State University

School Information
Location Las Cruces, New Mexico
Admission Rate 55%
Graduation Rate 48%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Based in Las Cruces, New Mexico State University offers undergraduate and graduate programs. Distance learners can earn a master's in social work from the public institution in an online format. Ideal for working professionals, the flexible program qualifies graduates for advanced social work positions.

Faculty advisors support social work students during the course of their master's studies. Enrollees pursuing the master's degree complete a rigorous curriculum that fosters field-specific knowledge and transferable skills. Master's students develop industry-specific analytical and leadership skills.

Learners at the school access affordable tuition rates and institutional funding, which can reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Degree-seekers can discuss funding options with financial aid counselors. Affordable tuition rates and institutional funding make pursuing graduate studies easier for many learners.

New Mexico State University Facts:

Online Master's Programs: 60

Total Online Programs: 40

Number of Online Students: 6,244

Graduate Tuition In-State: $4,844

Graduate Tuition Out-of-State: $16,834

Grants Transfer Credits: No

Visit Site
#5

California State University, San Bernardino

School Information
Location San Bernardino, California
Admission Rate 69%
Graduation Rate 55%
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

California State University, San Bernardino provides graduate programs for online and on-campus degree-seekers. Learners throughout the country can pursue an online master of social work from the public institution. After earning the master's degree in social work, graduates can apply for positions in the field or advance their current career.

Graduate students work with faculty advisors during the course of their social work studies. The program's rigorous curriculum features core and specialized classes that foster field-specific and transferable skills. In addition to social work knowledge, coursework emphasizes industry-specific analytical and leadership skills.

The school charges online learners affordable tuition rates. Financial aid counseling can help degree-seekers reduce the financial burden of obtaining a graduate-level education. Online learners at the school pay affordable tuition rates and can apply for institutional funding to further reduce the financial burden of earning a master's degree.

California State University, San Bernardino Numbers:

Online Master's Programs: 36

Total Online Programs: 6

Number of Online Students: 6,901

Graduate Tuition In-State: $7,176

Graduate Tuition Out-of-State: $16,680

Transfer Credits Counted: No

Visit Site
#6

Eastern Washington University

School Information
Location Cheney, Washington
Admission Rate 96%
Graduation Rate 54%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A public school located in Cheney, Eastern Washington University offers some of the best online courses in the country. The accredited advanced standing MSW program offers a rigorous curriculum taught by experts. The school may consider college entrance scores in the application process. Online learners work with advisors, IT support professionals, and other support staff at the school. In online courses, learners interact with faculty and peers in a virtual classroom setting.

The affordable education draws students to the school. Since the school holds accreditation, it can disburse federal financial aid. In addition to this online social work program, Eastern Washington University offers 15 other master's degrees.

Eastern Washington University Numbers:

Total Online Student Enrollment: 3,825

Online Master's Program Count: 16

Tuition for Grad Students: $11,721 in-state; $27,214 out-of-state

Amount of Aid Awarded Per Learner: $7,216

Average Price After Aid: $12,764

Eastern Washington University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, an independent accrediting agency.

Visit Site
#7

Arizona State University

School Information
Location Scottsdale, Arizona
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 4%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 98% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Arizona State University offers a variety of top-ranked graduate programs, including an online social work program. A public institution located in Scottsdale, the university enrolls 44,167 students in its distance learning programs. Online programs typically feature flexible scheduling options, which are ideal for busy learners.

The master of social work features a rigorous curriculum, helping degree-seekers develop foundational knowledge in the field. Graduate students can receive career and curriculum advice from faculty mentors. Learners in the online program benefit from flexible scheduling options, making earning a master's degree more convenient. Graduates often secure high-level social work positions. Master's students can benefit from the institution's career services as they prepare to enter the workforce.

The school delivers support services including career advising and financial aid counseling for graduate learners. Affordable tuition rates and institutional funding make pursuing graduate studies easier for many students. Learners often apply for scholarships and fellowships to reduce the financial burden of earning a master's degree.

Visit Site
#8

Texas State University

School Information
Location San Marcos, Texas
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 54%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

From its campus in San Marcos, Texas State University offers in-person and online graduate programs. Distance learners can earn online master's degrees from the public institution. The flexible MSW program allows students to continue working while earning their social work degree.

Students in the online master's program complete core social work coursework to develop foundational knowledge. In addition to taking advanced social work courses, degree-seekers can customize the program through electives. Faculty members provide mentorship, and students can participate in experiential learning activities.

Graduates with a master of social work often qualify for higher salaries than bachelor's degree-holders in the field. Faculty advisors and career counselors work closely with master's students and alumni to identify career growth opportunities and job placements.

Degree-seekers at the accredited institution can qualify for federal financial aid programs. Distance learners pursuing a master's degree can apply for funding options including scholarships and fellowships. The school reports that 76% of students receive financial aid.

Visit Site
#9

Ohio State University

School Information
Location Columbus, Ohio
Admission Rate 54%
Graduation Rate 86%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Ohio State University delivers graduate-level programs for online learners throughout the country. Students can pursue 17 online programs from the public institution, along with in-person academic offerings in Columbus. Degree-seekers at the school choose from master's programs in many fields, including social work. Working professionals can benefit from the online MSW program's flexible enrollment options.

Learners in the program take core courses and advanced social work classes. Students who plan to pursue specialized careers can complete practical learning experiences aligning with their professional goals. Degree-seekers enrolled full time typically need 1-2 years to graduate with a master of social work. Admissions advisors provide prospective learners with program-specific application details.

Online learners benefit from affordable tuition rates and can apply for institutional funding to further reduce their financial burden. Graduate tuition rates at the institution average $11,560 for in-state students and $35,144 for graduate students residing outside of Ohio. Enrollees with financial need can fund their education through federal grants and loans. According to the school, 79% of students receive financial aid.

Visit Site
#10

Virginia Commonwealth University

School Information
Location Richmond, Virginia
Admission Rate 87%
Graduation Rate 67%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Based in Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University offers undergraduate and graduate programs. In addition to in-person options, the school offers multiple online graduate programs. Students can enroll in the convenient online MSW program to gain advanced knowledge in social work.

Enrollees can receive academic advising from social work faculty members. Working professionals who enroll in the online social work program can complete academic requirements around their schedule. While most master's programs require 1-2 years, part-time degree-seekers may take longer to graduate.

The institution holds accreditation, which means students can submit the FAFSA and determine whether they qualify for federal financial aid. Of enrollees, 48% fund their degree through student loans, according to the school's data. Learners can also pay for school using various forms of financial aid, which 81% of the institution's learners obtain.

Virginia Commonwealth University Fast Facts:

Total Programs: 227

Number of Online Programs: 29

Online Master's Programs: 73

Number of Online Students: 9,276

Religious Affiliation: Non-affiliated

Grants Transfer Credits: No

Visit Site
#11

Louisiana State University

School Information
Location Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 68%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University offers undergraduate and graduate programs. Distance learners can pursue three bachelor's programs online, along with 10 online master's programs.

Online degree-seekers can enroll in the convenient MSW program to gain advanced knowledge in social work. The program prepares learners to enter the job market or advance their current social work career. Master's students can access support services such as academic advising, career-planning resources, and faculty mentorship.

The school charges online enrollees affordable tuition rates and offers institutional funding for eligible applicants. The institution holds accreditation, which means students can qualify for federal financial aid programs. Additional financial aid options to help learners fund their master's studies include private scholarships and fellowships.

Louisiana State University Fast Facts:

Students Receiving Aid: 96%

Students Receiving Loans: 32%

Total Master's Programs: 77

Total Online Master's Programs: 77

Transfer Credits Allowed: No

Visit Site
#12

University of Louisville

School Information
Location Louisville, Kentucky
Admission Rate 69%
Graduation Rate 59%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Louisville delivers undergraduate and graduate programs on campus and online. The school offers nine bachelor's programs and 12 master's programs for online learners.

Online degree-seekers can enroll in the master of social work program from the institution. Learners who are new to the field and those with established social work careers can benefit from the graduate program. To help students succeed academically and professionally, the school provides a variety of support services, including academic advising and career counseling.

Online enrollees at the school pay affordable tuition rates and can apply for institutional funding to further reduce the financial burden of earning a master's degree. Students with financial need can fund their education through federal grants and loans. Learners often apply for scholarships and fellowships to reduce the financial burden of earning a master's degree.

University of Louisville Facts:

Average Per-Credit Tuition: $553

Students Receiving Aid: 98%

Students Receiving Loans: 38%

Total Master's Programs: 78

Total Online Master's Programs: 78

Accepts Transfer Credits: No

Visit Site
#13

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

School Information
Location Knoxville, Tennessee
Admission Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville offers undergraduate and graduate programs. The public institution's offerings include an online master's in social work, which distance learners can pursue from any location. Designed with working students in mind, the affordable, accessible program prepares graduates for decision-making roles in the social work field.

Graduate students can work with faculty advisors to explore complex issues related to social work. The program features a rigorous curriculum, helping enrollees develop foundational knowledge in the field. Coursework emphasizes industry-specific analytical and leadership skills.

Affordable tuition rates and institutional funding make pursuing graduate studies easier for many learners. Degree-seekers can consult with financial aid counselors to explore funding options, such as scholarships and grants. Graduate learners can also qualify for federal student loan programs.

University of Tennessee, Knoxville Facts:

Online Master's Programs: 82

Total Online Programs: 24

Number of Online Students: 10,526

Average Fee Per Credit: $1,313

Graduate Tuition In-State: $11,468

Graduate Tuition Out-of-State: $29,656

Transfer Credits Accepted: No

Visit Site
#14

Austin Peay State University

School Information
Location Clarksville, Tennessee
Admission Rate 95%
Graduation Rate 43%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Based in Clarksville, Tennessee, Austin Peay State University educates degree-seekers through in-person and flexible online programs. Distance learners can pursue 17 bachelor's programs online, along with 12 online master's programs.

The institution delivers an online MSW program that is ideal for busy degree-seekers interested in advancing their skills. Learners who are new to the social work field and those with established careers can benefit from the graduate program. The school offers students access to faculty mentorship and career counseling.

Enrollees pursuing online graduate programs benefit from the school's affordable tuition rates. Students with financial need can apply for federal grants and loans. Scholarships and fellowships can also help learners fund their master's studies.

Austin Peay State University Fast Facts:

Students Receiving Aid: 99%

Students Receiving Loans: 48%

Total Master's Programs: 20

Total Online Master's Programs: 20

Permits Transfer Credits: No

Visit Site
#15

Azusa Pacific University

School Information
Location Azusa, California
Admission Rate 67%
Graduation Rate 68%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

From its California campus, Azusa Pacific University enrolls degree-seekers in undergraduate and graduate programs. Learners attending the school can study on campus or in an online format. The institution offers an online master of social work program for busy students who want to earn their degree while maintaining employment.

Enrollees complete rigorous coursework and receive access to support services including career advising. The online MSW program features flexible scheduling and enrollment options, which can make earning a degree easier for busy learners balancing academics with personal obligations. Full-time master's degree-seekers typically require 1-2 years to complete their program.

Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs. Of the student population, 44% take out loans. In addition, 98% of students receive some form of financial aid to cover degree costs.

Azusa Pacific University Fast Facts:

Total Programs: 88

Number of Online Programs: 18

Online Master's Programs: 27

Number of Online Students: 2,750

Religious Affiliation: Christian

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

Visit Site

Related articles that may interest you

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Do this for you

Explore your possibilities- find schools with programs you’re interested in and clear a path for your future.