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Real-world training that prepares you for state licensure

Walden’s accredited MSW program blends the flexibility of online learning with hands-on experiences to prepare you to become a licensed social worker. Earning an MSW from a CSWE-accredited program is required to obtain licensure in most states and begin serving—and empowering—those in need.

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.

Licensure Preparation

Learn from curriculum that prepares you to pursue licensure in your state.

Award Winning Case Studies

Delve into award-winning, custom case studies to enrich your learning.

Virtual Reality Simulations

Experience virtual reality (VR) scenarios that simulate actual situations you may face as a social worker.

MSW Skills Lab

Participate in two MSW Skills Labs to build practical skills and readiness for your licensing exam.

Four ConcentrationS

Choose from four concentration options that align with today’s in-demand social work jobs.

A degree on your terms

Earn your degree your way with three degree completion options to accommodate your lifestyle and goals.

Program Savings

Speak with an Enrollment Specialist to learn about our current tuition savings.

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MSW Degree Completion Options

Choose from three degree completion options that match your goals and schedule, as well as four start dates throughout the year.

  • The Standard option helps you balance your online master’s in social work 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. If eligible, you can reduce your completion time by skipping intro-level classes and starting your degree with advanced-level courses.


Advanced Clinical Practice

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

Standard Accelerated Advanced Standing Option

Military Social Work

Address the needs of military personnel, veterans, and their families, including before, during, and after deployment.

Standard Accelerated Advanced Standing Option

Social Work in Healthcare

Prepare for practice in the complex healthcare environment, as you learn to support clients and families facing a variety of medical challenges.

Standard Accelerated Advanced Standing Option

Social Work With Children and Families

Promote child, youth, and family success in the face of challenging environments and social conditions.

Standard Accelerated Advanced Standing Option

Elective Courses

You can further customize your learning by adding elective courses.

Admission Requirements

Program Admission Considerations: A bachelor's degree or higher.

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.

Change the Way You Change Lives With an Online MSW

Accredited by CSWE, our master’s in social work program combines practical curriculum with groundbreaking classroom tools and experiences. Two Skills Labs give you the unique opportunity to meet faculty and peers, hone your skills, and prepare for your field practicum. In Walden’s VR experience, you’ll hone your instincts and skills to better prepare for difficult scenarios you may face in the field.

Learn Through Simulated VR Field Scenarios

Walden’s online MSW program features cutting-edge virtual reality experiences that simulate challenging situations you might face as a social worker. Innovative and intuitive, this tool allows you to build valuable skills and instincts in a safe—yet highly authentic—environment. Being well prepared for stressful encounters in the field can improve your ability to help people in need.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of Walden’s online master’s in social work program 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.

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.

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

Social Work Professionals Are in Demand

Now is the time to pursue your passion for helping others. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for social work professionals is expected to increase 16% by 2026—much faster than the national average for all occupations.1 This is particularly true for clinical social workers.

An estimated 109,700 social work jobs will be available through 2026, with the areas of healthcare, mental health, and substance abuse experiencing the most growth.1

Take Your Career to New Places

Open exciting new doors in your professional journey with a master’s in social work degree from Walden. Social work professionals with graduate degrees are sought by employers nationwide in industries such as healthcare, education, and human services.

In 2018, the social work job titles with the greatest employer demand included:2

  • Medical social worker
  • Clinical social worker
  • School social worker
  • Licensed clinical social worker (LCSW)
  • Mental health counselor
  • Social service assistant

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

Increase Your Earning Potential

A Walden master’s in social work degree can potentially lead to higher earnings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work professionals in healthcare, mental health, child and family services, education, and other services earn median salaries between $43,000 and $61,000 per year.1

  • Mental health and substance abuse workers $43,250
  • Child, family, and school social workers $44,380
  • Healthcare social workers $54,870
  • All other social workers $61,980

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

Read our Master of Social Work Program Outcome Report.


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FAQ About Walden’s Online MSW Program


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