Florida State University

Online MSW Degree Program for Virginia Residents

  • 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.

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


Social Work in Virginia

  • Virginia employs more than 17,400 social workers.4
  • Ora Brown Stokes Perry was a civic leader and social reformer who advocated for many causes facing Virginians. In 1912, she founded the Richmond Neighborhood Association—a social service organization that helped young African American women by offering services such as childcare, food distribution and employment training.5
  • 54% of social workers in Virginia hold an MSW or higher qualification.6
  • Virginia has advocated for public welfare for centuries. In the mid-1600s, colonial Virginia established a child welfare program including care and vocational education.7
  • The Virginia Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) denotes the following causes for state-level advocacy8:
    • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Virginia
    • Equality Virginia
    • National Association of Mental Illness
    • Voices for Virginia’s Children
How to Become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Virginia


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

  • Earn an MSW degree with a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
  • Submit an application for approval of the selected supervisor and clinic location.
  • Fulfill 3,000 additional supervised hours in clinical practice during a 24-48 month period.
  • Apply for LCSW licensure through the Virginia Board of Social Work.
  • Pass the Association of Social Workers Board’s (ASWB) Clinical exam.

Requirements for licensure may change so be sure to frequently check Virginia 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 Virginia. 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.