This is a ranking of the top 20 accelerated online master of social work degrees for 2017. Social work is a broad field that includes counselors, clinicians, medical social workers, child welfare social workers, and much more. Most organizations meeting the needs of the poor, disenfranchised, at-risk population involve or interact with social workers. Social workers often have a prominent role in advocating for progressive change to improve the lot of the most disenfranchised populations in the United States and the world. Social work is a demanding but rewarding field. Graduate degrees in the field are also demanding and rewarding.

Those seeking a master’s in social work without a bachelor’s degree in the field have no way to avoid the extensive 60 credit, double field experience requirements of an MSW. But for those working in the field with a bachelor’s degree in social work, there are many online advanced-standing programs that nearly halve the credit requirements. These accelerated online master of social work programs can often be completed in 12-18 months. However not many schools currently offer advanced-standing online social work degrees, and that’s where this ranking comes into play. All of these programs are CSWE-accredited advanced-standing online master’s in social work degree programs. You can find more information on the sources used for this article at the bottom of the page.

The ranking methodology used here is simple. All degrees included can be completed at a faster than average pace, and they are ranked according to their affordability.

#20. Boston University

Online Master of Social Work

Boston University accelerated online master of social work

Boston University’s School of Social Work has been training students to help their communities for almost a century.

Website

Students in the CSWE-accredited online MSW program can choose between concentrations in clinical social work and macro social work. The advanced-standing program involves a 1,000-hour field internship. Students will take courses like community organizing, human services management, organizational behavior and culture, clinical practice with individuals, and alcoholism and drug abuse.

Tuition: $47,422

#19. Case Western Reserve University

Online Master of Science in Social Work

Case Western Reserve University accelerated online master of social work

Case Western Reserve is ranked #9 in the nation and #1 in Ohio among top graduate social work schools by U.S. News and World Report.

Website

This CSWE-accredited online MSSA program offers concentrations in community practice for social change, direct practice: children, youth and families, and direct practice: mental health with adults. Case Western Reserve offers all students the chance to study abroad over a winter semester in nations across Europe and Central America.

Tuition: $41,137

#18. Fordham University

Online Master of Social Work

Fordham University accelerated online master of social work

Online MSW courses at Fordham are eight weeks long, and all online courses are taught by the same faculty as on-campus courses.

Website

Students who start the online advanced-standing MSW program in the fall can complete it in one year, while those who start in spring follow an 18 month plan. Fordham offers a clinical concentration and a concentration in leadership and macro practice: community-based practice and leadership. Students will take courses like children, youth and families, policy practice and human rights advocacy, and advanced clinical assessment and diagnosis.

Tuition: $31,248

#17. University of Alabama

Online Master of Social Work

University of Alabama accelerated online master of social work

The University of Alabama has been preparing students to serve their communities since 1965.

Website

This 42-credit (advanced-standing) online MSW degree can be completed in just three semesters of full-time study. Students will take classes like models and methods of social work practice with adults in mental health, advanced social welfare policy analysis, chemical dependency, models and methods of social work practice with children and adolescents in mental health, and family preservation.

Tuition: $15,414 (information provided by the University)

#16. University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Online Master of Science in Social Work

University at Tennessee at Knoxville accelerated online master of social work

This online MSSW program recently won the “Innovative Credit Programming Award” by the Tennessee Alliance of Continuing Higher Education.

Website

This accelerated online master of social work advanced-standing program can be completed in just one year of full time study or 18 months of part time study. The program offers concentrations in evidence-based interpersonal practice and organizational leadership. Students can also earn certificates in gerontology, school social work licensure, trauma certificate, and veterinary social work.

Tuition: $28,806

#15. University of Louisville

Online Master of Science in Social Work

University of Louisville accelerated online master of social work

The University of Louisville established its social work program in 1936.

Website

The advanced-standing track at the University of Louisville consists of 30 credit hours and can be completed 100% online in just one year. Students must have a minimum 3.25 GPA in undergraduate social work courses to qualify for advanced-standing. The social work program at the University of Louisville is among the top 30 graduate social work degrees in the United States according to U.S. News and World Report.

Tuition: $24,274

#14. University of Maine

Online Master of Social Work

University of Maine accelerated online master of social work

Students who completed their bachelor’s degree in social work within the past six years are eligible for advanced-standing.

Website

The advanced-standing accelerated online MSW program offered by the University of Maine can be completed in less than two years depending on each student’s schedule. Students will take courses like social welfare policy and issues for generalist practitioners, advanced social policy, human behavior and the social environment, and program planning and grant writing.

Tuition: $23,940

#13. Indiana University

Online Master of Social Work

Indiana State University accelerated online master of social work

Indiana University’s online MSW program offers unique electives like eSocial Work and Telebehavioral Health Practice, and Military Social Work.

Website

This CSWE-accredited accelerated online master of social work program’s advanced-standing track consists of 39 credit hours and can be completed in 18 months. Students will take courses like social policy and services, practice research integrative seminar, practice with individuals, families, and groups, assessment in mental health and addictions, and executive leadership practice.

Tuition: $22,985

#12. Colorado State University

Online Master of Social Work

Colorado State University accelerated online master of social work

The advanced-standing online MSW track is 45 credits and can be completed within 2 years.

Website

This CSWE-accredited social work program offers students the opportunity to earn a certificate in either advanced clinical behavioral health or pre-K-12 school social worker. Students will take courses like social welfare policy analysis, macro-level social work practice research, advanced generalist practice with communities, and theoretical foundations for social work.

Tuition: $22,916

#11. University of New England

Online Master’s in Social Work

University of New England accelerated online master of social work

The MSW program from University of New England is 100% online and does not require any on-campus intensives.

Website

This CSWE-accredited accelerated online master’s in social work offers advanced-standing students the opportunity to complete the program in under one year. The three concentrations offered by this online MSW degree are clinical, community, and integrated practice. The program is 100% online and does not require any on-campus intensives. Students will take courses like advanced psychological assessment, program development and community practice, and administration and supervision.

Tuition: $22,449

#10. Metropolitan State University–Denver

Online Master of Social Work

Metropolitan State University of Denver accelerated online master of social work

The macro practice concentration offered by MSU-Denver is great for students who want to become agency directors, grant writers, legislative advocates, and community leaders.

Website

The advanced-standing accelerated online master of social work program at Metropolitan State offers concentrations in macro practice and individuals and families. The individuals and families concentration breaks down further into four categories: adults track, children/youth/families track, older adults track, and child welfare track. Advanced-standing can be completed in just one year.

Tuition: $16,002

#9. Valdosta State University

Online Master of Social Work

Valdosta State University accelerated online master of social work

Graduates from the Valdosta State online MSW program have become case managers, child welfare workers, crisis counselors, and medical social workers.

Website

Advanced-standing online MSW students complete the degree in one year while simultaneously engaged in a one-year practicum placement. Students in this CSWE-accredited accelerated online master of social work program will acquire a broad range of skills enabling them to work in many settings, including hospice, mental health facilities, hospitals, and schools.

Tuition: $15,750

#8. Humboldt State University

Master of Social Work Online

Humboldt State University accelerated online master of social work

This accelerated online MSW program is designed to help students overcome the challenges presented by rural areas and indigenous communities.

Website

The CSWE-accredited one-year advanced-standing program at Humboldt State University is available to students with a CSWE-accredited BSW degree. Students in the advanced-standing program will take courses like child and family welfare, wellness and sustainability, communities and organizations, clinical social work practice, and advanced practice in indigenous and rural communities.

Tuition: $15,666

#7. Our Lady of the Lake University

Online Master of Social Work

Our Lady of the Lake University accelerated online master of social work

Our Lady of the Lake University’s online MSW program is designed to train students to work with the Hispanic population specifically.

Website

The 30-credit advanced-standing program offered by OLLU can be completed in under two years. Students will take classes like social work practice with Hispanic youth, social work practice with Hispanic families, theories and perspectives: Hispanic children and families, Hispanics in the US: policies and perspectives, and psychopathology.

Tuition: $14,796

#6. Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

Online Master of Social Work

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania accelerated online master of social work

Advanced-standing social work students do one internship, and students enrolled in the regular online MSW do two internships.

Website

Students in the one-year advanced-standing accelerated online master of social work program will complete a single 500 hour internship over the course of two semesters. Classes students will take include social work practice with families, trauma: theory and treatment, mental health, cognitive-behavioral treatment, and social work administration.

Tuition: $12,690

#5. Missouri State University

Online Master of Social Work

Missouri State University accelerated online master of social work

Missouri State offers full-time and part-time options for both advanced-standing and regular master of social work tracks.

Website

The CSWE-accredited online advanced-standing MSW degree from Missouri State requires students to have a CSWE-accredited undergraduate degree in social work. The advanced-standing program can be completed in one year full-time. Students will take classes like family health policy, family health social work practice, and human behavior and family systems.

Tuition: $9,198

#4. Saint Leo University

Online Master of Social Work

Saint Leo University accelerated online master of social work

All students in Saint Leo’s accelerated online MSW program must be available for weekly evening synchronous classes with a webcam.

Website

To qualify for advanced-standing at Saint Leo students must have a bachelor’s in social work from a CSWE-accredited program. Advanced-standing can be completed in one year of full time study. While offered fully online, students must live in Florida, Georgia, or Virginia to take this program. Students will take classes like psychopathology, evidence-based social work research methods, and ethical foundations in social work practice.

Tuition: $8,730

#3. Louisiana State University

Online Master of Social Work

Louisiana State University accelerated online master of social work

LSU’s accelerated online MSW features six start-dates per year, so new students are never too far away from being able to begin their studies.

Website

Full-time advanced-standing students can complete this CSWE-accredited accelerated online master’s in social work degree in just one year. Foundation students can complete the program in two years. Students will take courses like diversity and oppression, differential diagnosis, advanced direct practice, community and agency contexts in direct practice, and social work ethics.

Tuition: $8,813

#2. Western New Mexico University

Online Master of Social Work

Western New Mexico University accelerated online master of social work

This program requires students to have a 3.0 minimum undergraduate GPA and does not require a GRE.

Website

Western New Mexico University’s accelerated online master of social work degree features a 45-credit advanced-standing track that can be completed in as little as one year. The 66-credit track takes two years because it features four field experiences to make up for the lack of a BSW. Students will take classes like advanced social work practice with the military, social work in the school setting, child welfare, and grant writing.

Tuition: $8,730

#1. Campbellsville University

Online Master of Social Work

Campbellsville University accelerated online master of social work

Graduates from Campbellsville’s online MSW work for a variety of organizations including state and local government, family resource centers, adoption agencies, health departments, and religious organizations.

Website

Campbellsville offers a 30-credit advanced-standing program that takes less than a year, and a 60-credit program that can be completed in just 21 months. Students in this program will take courses like clinical diagnosis and behavioral psychopharmacology, community development and grant writing, advanced practice with children and families, and cultural competency.

Tuition: $7,983

Sources

All information in this article was drawn either directly from each school’s website or from the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator database.

CVO Staff
April 2017

This has been a ranking of the top 20 accelerated online master of social work degrees for 2017 for those with advanced-standing status.