Online Master’s Degrees in Social Work

An online master’s degree in social work may equip individuals with the training needed to diagnose and treat behavioral and emotional issues while also advocating on their behalf. In this one to two-year program, students may learn how to provide individual or group therapy, develop treatment plans, and evaluate a client’s progress. Program coursework may include specialized electives alongside major-specific classes including social welfare policy, mental health policy, and introduction to clinical social work.

Upon completion of the program, students may either seek employment or enroll in a doctoral degree program. Master’s level graduates may find employment in community wellness programs, schools, hospitals, mental health facilities, and in elder care programs.

Program Overview

  • Prerequisite: Bachelor’s Degree
  • Program Length: One to two years to complete
  • Post-Grad Options: Employment or Doctoral Program
  • Projected Employment Growth: 25% (2010-2020)*

Program Coursework

The curriculum for social work master’s degree programs may include core coursework alongside electives within the student’s chosen specialty. These classes may teach students how to understand mental health policies, assess individuals to determine their needs, and create empathetic relationships with individuals. Core coursework may include the following:

  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • Introduction to Clinical Social Work
  • Communities and Organizations
  • Cognitive and Behavioral Treatment
  • Mental Health and Social Work Policy
  • Social Work Ethics

Career Options

Master’s level graduates may seek career opportunities in hospitals, schools, mental health facilities, nursing homes, and government agencies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities in social work are projected to increase by 25% from 2010-2020.*

Possible careers include:

  • Clinical Social Worker
  • Child and Family Social Worker
  • School Social Worker
  • Mental Health Social Worker
  • Palliative Care Social Worker

Continuing Education

Those who successfully complete a master’s degree may have the opportunity to further their studies by enrolling in a doctoral degree program. A doctoral degree in social work may enhance the student’s critical thinking skills and integrate knowledge with research-based experience.

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

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