Florida State University

Online Master of Social
Work (MSW) Degree

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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

Make a Difference with an MSW

Whether you are changing careers or seeking new ways to change lives, Florida State University’s online Traditional Master of Social Work (MSW) empowers you to make a difference. In just three years, gain the knowledge and practical experience you need to unlock more opportunities and pursue licensure as a clinical social worker.

Learn to lead the future of social work with one of the leading schools in the nation.
For more than 100 years, Florida State has offered classes on social welfare—establishing us as a center of social work practice, policy, and research. Our online MSW gives you access to our experienced educators and skilled practitioners from anywhere in the country.* 

*Some exceptions for Florida residents

Online MSW Program Details

Overview
  • Online and part-time
  • Graduate in 3 years
  • 61 credit hours, 2 field placements required
  • (2) Intensive Weekends in Tallahassee, FL
  • Available to residents in all 50 states* 

*Some exceptions in Florida

Career Outcomes

In healthcare, education, the private sector, and more—social workers are in demand. It is estimated that 74,700 new social workers are needed each year until 2031.

According to the Council on Social Work Education, an MSW prepares social workers to:

  • Advance to management-level positions
  • Participate in policy development
  • Implement new approaches and systems

Our curriculum qualifies you to pursue licensure so that you can provide clinical services to clients independent of supervision. Some job titles may include case management supervisor, clinical social worker, crisis manager, licensed mental health therapist, private practitioner… and more.

Admission Requirements
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited university
  • Transcripts with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on upper-division courses
  • Statement of purpose and resume
  • No GRE required
  • $30 application fee

Already have a bachelor’s degree in social work? Learn more about our Advanced Standing Online MSW program.

Curriculum Snapshot

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

Program Tuition
  • In-state tuition
    • $444 per credit hour 
    • $27,084 total tuition
  • Out-of-state tuition
    • $625 per credit hour
    • $38,125 total tuition
Accreditation
  • Florida State University is one of the first universities in the U.S. to offer a Master of Social Work online that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • FSU has offered courses on social welfare for over 100 years
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as one of the top social work programs

Next Application Deadline:

  • March 1, 2024

Next Start Date:

  • May 13, 2024

Access Your Guide

A Preeminent University

Our devoted faculty and commitment to research help put us in the top 15% of social work graduate schools ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

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.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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 15% of social work graduate schools.

Is this Traditional MSW 100% online?

All coursework is completed online except for two Intensive Weekends at Florida State’s main campus in Tallahassee and two 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. 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.

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.

Are there any state authorization exceptions for this program?

This program is available to residents in all 50 states, with exceptions for counties that border FSU’s Tallahassee and Panama City campuses:

  • If you live in Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun and Gulf counties, you must apply to our Panama City location. More information is available here.
  • If you live in Leon, Gadsden, Wakulla and Jefferson counties, you must apply to the Tallahassee location. More information is available here.

 

Hear From Our Students

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 the goes by could be a semester.  Make your life bigger, better, and more exciting.

Jennifer Bell

MSW Graduate