How do I get an Online Master's Degree in Social Work?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2018
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Years ago, the only way to earn a master's degree in social work was to attend an in-classroom master's degree program. Today, however, people also have the option of enrolling in advanced-degree programs online. Essentially, a person who wants to earn an online master's degree in social work has to find an online university that offers master's degrees in this field and gain admission. Application usually involves submitting official transcripts and may require the applicant to submit the scores from an assessment exam. Once enrolled, a person may complete his master's degree in the traditional two to three years that are usually required for earning this degree or spread his courses out over a longer period to suit his schedule.

In order to earn an online master's degree in social work, a person must first graduate high school or earn an equivalent credential. The next step is usually earning a bachelor's degree in a related major, though a person may be admitted to a master's degree program with an unrelated major as well. Usually, a person who wants to enroll in an online master's degree program will have to submit official college transcripts to the school he wants to attend. He may have to take graduate exams and submit letters of recommendations as well.


When looking for an online school from which to earn a master's degree in social work, it's usually important for a person to check on the reputation of the school he hopes to attend. For example, it is important to choose a college that is accredited, so that the master's degree a person receives is accepted as legitimate. An individual may encounter some diploma mills that claim to offer master's degrees based on life experience. A person may have the best chance of earning a master's degree that is respected, however, by enrolling in a program that requires him to learn.

An individual who is pursuing an online master's degree in social work usually has to complete core classes that focus on the fundamentals of social work. In addition to those courses, he may also take online classes in subjects that are related to the field on which he'd like to concentrate. For example, he may choose to concentrate on subjects that are related to children, or he may choose to focus on clinical practice if that would best match his career goals. An individual may also be required to complete some field work in the process of earning this degree. Finally, the online master's degree in social work candidate may be required to complete an ending project, such as a thesis, or pass comprehensive exams.



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