Florida State University

Online MSW Degree Program for California Residents

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  • part-time iconPart-time to balance your busy life
  • CSWE accreditedOnline MSW program accredited by CSWE
  • clinical focus iconClinically-focused curriculum
SOW 5105: Human Behavior and the Social Environment

This course focuses on reciprocal relationships between human behavior and social environments. Content includes empirically based theories and knowledge that focus on the interactions between and among systems of all sizes, including individuals, groups, societies, and economic systems. Theories and knowledge of biological, psychological, sociological, cultural, and spiritual development across the lifespan are critiqued, especially as they relate to at-risk populations. In addition, theories and knowledge about the range of social systems (individual, family, group, organizational, and community) in which people live are examined, including the ways social systems promote or deter people in maintaining or achieving health and well-being.

SOW 5659: Mental Health and Child Welfare

This course provides students with knowledge and skills related to the theory, research, and implications of child and adolescent maltreatment for child development and psychopathology. Course content is presented within the context of child welfare practice and social work with children and adolescents in public agencies and programs. Particular attention will be given to common psychological disorders that result from maltreatment and accompanying treatment issues. Issues related to individuals, families, groups, and communities are covered and attention is given to working with ethnic minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and persons with disabilities.

SOW 5807: Clinical Social Work Practice

This advanced practice course emphasizes development of clinical skills. Students will refine their clinical skills, building on the research-based, nonspecific (common factors) components of therapeutic work (i.e., therapeutic alliance, empathy, goal consensus/collaboration, positive regard/affirmation, and genuineness) and specific factors (validated treatments). The course provides in-depth coverage of three empirically based models; Solution Focused, Motivational Interviewing, and Interpersonal Therapy. Learning applications of techniques informed by these models provides opportunities to enhance professional use of self. The course examines similarities and differences among models and allows students to discern appropriate use of techniques, client populations, settings, and problem interactions. Students will develop competency in the ethical and strength-based use of these models.

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Social Work Career Outlook

 

By 2030, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects social work job growth will increase nationally by 12%.1 This translates to approximately 89,200 new job openings for social workers to make a difference. It’s estimated that nearly 75% of social worker positions require an MSW or higher qualification.2 Earning an MSW could elevate your impact, employability and earning potential by over $13,000 more than those with a BSW alone—based on various factors such as industry, title and location.3

Career-Stats

Social Work in California

  • ​​​California employs more social workers than any other state—the Los Angeles metropolitan area employs the most significant number of social workers.4
  • Having the largest population of veterans, there are more opportunities to work with the largest employer of MSW graduates: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • The industries that employ the most social workers in California are local government (38.6%), followed by individual and family services (29.6%).6
  • The California Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers denotes the following causes for state-level advocacy7:
    • California Budget and Policy Project
    • California Council of Community Mental Health
    • National Immigration Law Center
    • Western Center on Law and Poverty

How to Become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in California

 

Those wishing to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in California must meet the following requirements:

  • Graduate from a master’s program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). (Those who have completed their degree outside of the state of California are also required to demonstrate that the credits in the degree cover several specific fields.)
  • Apply to become an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ACSW) with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.
  • Fulfill fingerprint and criminal background check requirements.
  • Pass the California Law & Ethics Exam.
  • Fulfill at least 3,000 hours of work experience in a clinical setting over at least 104 weeks.
  • Complete Licensing and Examination Packet.
  • Earn a passing score on the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Clinical exam.

Requirements for licensure may change so be sure to frequently check California state requirements to ensure you are on the correct path to licensure.

Curriculum Snapshot

Our clinically-focused curriculum qualifies you to pursue a license in clinical social work in California. This is a sample list of courses you will take while enrolled in our MSW programs. For the complete Traditional and Advanced MSW program course list, please download your guide.

Next Application Deadline:

  • October 1, 2024

Next Start Date:

  • January 2025

Access Your Guide

A Preeminent University

Our devoted faculty and commitment to research help put us in the top 12% of social work graduate schools ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

 

Hear From Our Students

Top Institution for Diversity

Join the vibrant FSU community consistently recognized by INSIGHT Into Diversity for its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

CSWE Accredited

As one of the first online MSW accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, we rigorously adhere to CSWE accreditation standards.

Frederico Bravo
The weekend intensive was great.  It's been awesome to meet some of the students that I've doing the course with, and I've learned a tremendous amount just in the two days I've been here.

Frederico Bravo

MSW Graduate
Dana Pina
We have all the support that you'd need in this program. I really don't think I can encounter any situation where I wouldn't have the support of my faculty and fellow classmates.

Dana Pina

MSW Graduate
Michelle O'Neill
I chose FSU because I did a lot of research online, and I really felt like this was the best program.  You do have to come a couple of times to the campus, but I really think that enhances the experience.  The quality of the education so far has been top notch.

Michelle O'Neill

MSW Graduate
Jennifer Bell
Anyone who's considering it should do it.  Every month that goes by could be a semester.  Make your life bigger, better, and more exciting.

Jennifer Bell

MSW Graduate

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why study social work at Florida State?

For more than 100 years, FSU has offered classes on social welfare—establishing us as a center of social work practice and policy. 

We are renowned for our research contributions and quality of education. U.S. News & World Report ranks us in the top 12% of social work graduate schools.

Are FSU MSW Programs 100% online?

Yes, all coursework is completed online except for field placements that develop practical competence and confidence through hands-on experience.

What’s the difference between the Advanced Standing and Traditional MSW?

The difference between our programs is dependent on your undergraduate experience.

The Advanced Standing MSW is available to students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited institution. 

The Traditional MSW is for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in any concentration other than social work.

How much does the online MSW cost?

The Traditional MSW program is 61 credit hours, the Advanced Standing MSW is 39 credit hours. Tuition varies based on your location:

  • In-state (Florida): $444 per credit hour
  • Out-of-state: $625 per credit hour

Costs are subject to change. Additional course fees may apply.

What can I do with an MSW?

An online Master of Social Work equips you to achieve and lead greater outcomes in schools, communities, government, healthcare, and public and private organizations. Possible roles could include:

  • Case management supervisor 
  • Clinical social worker
  • Crisis manager 
  • Licensed mental health therapist 
  • Private practitioner
When do field placements occur?

All field placements are completed in person, generally during regular business hours. Traditional MSW students complete two field placements, Advanced Standing MSW students must complete one field placement.

Can I take more than two courses at a time?

For this online program, there is currently only a part-time option. You can take a maximum of two courses at a time.

Does FSU require a GRE?

No, the College of Social Work does not require a GRE at this time.