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LSU’s online Master of Social Work (MSW) degree prepares students to tackle social problems and help those in need to improve their lives. Covering child welfare, substance abuse treatment, and dozens of other issues affecting our society, the program ensures graduates are confident their holistic, multifaceted education will help them make a difference in their local communities and beyond. LSU students get the benefit of a top-tier online education with a degree that will help them excel in the field; LSU’s online MSW program is accredited by the CSWE and ranked No. 6 among the best online programs in the nation by BestColleges.com.
The first half of LSU’s online MSW is known as the “generalist year,” covering key concepts and theories in the field and even offering an internship component where students can gain real-world experience. The second half, known as the “specialist year,” includes courses covering topics in theory and treatment, as well as electives, internships, and a thesis or non-thesis exit requirement. Students who successfully complete the online MSW program leave LSU knowing they have the skills and tools to make a difference.
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Classes are seven weeks long and can be completed anywhere, while place-based internships allow students to get valuable experience in the field.
Not only is LSU’s online MSW top-ranked among other on-campus degree programs, but BestColleges.com ranked the school as having the sixth-best online program in the nation overall.
The MSW degree typically takes 2 years to complete. However, highly motivated students without a Bachelor of Social Work can finish in less than two years. Those with a BSW, who qualify for our advanced-standing program, can finish in 9-12 months.
Ranked #10 on Learn.org's Best Master's in Social Work Online Programs based on academic and career resources, the quality of education, and faculty.
Join more than 250,000 alumni worldwide from the flagship institution of Louisiana.
Master of Social Work student Dawn Duplantis talks about why earning her degree is important to her personally and professionally.
Assistant Professor Brandi Conrad talks about the online Master of Social Work program.
You may be able to find savings and earn credit from previous work or training, or as demonstrated by your industry certifications, through Prior Learning Assessment. Learn more.
Total credit hours per program: 60
Cost per credit hour: $539
Total cost with fees: $32,340
Cost per credit hour and fees are subject to change. Please consult an Enrollment Concierge for final program cost.
Four elective courses (12 credit hours)
How to Apply
Application to the School of Social Work is the same for all campus and online programs. Applicants must submit the following:
Applicants with missing application materials by the School of Social Work deadline will not be considered. A completed application is the LSU Graduate School application, fee payment, letter of intent, three letters of recommendation, resume, and official transcripts. Note: Meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission.
For further information about Advanced Standing and the Field Education Requirement please check out LSU School of Social Work.
School of Social Work admission requirements for ALL programs are the same. The following requirements must be completed prior to admission to the Full time, Part-time, Advanced Standing and MSW Online programs:
The MSW degree blends the flexibility of an online education with the real-world benefit of LSU’s professional network. Students study advanced social work topics on their own time while still completing internships in the field. With a GRE waiver available and 60 credit hours required to complete the program (30, if students have a BSW), students receive a quality education while being able to pursue their other personal and professional interests. Plus, the program’s foundation in social work theory and advanced social work subjects provides graduates with a comprehensive understanding of how to make positive change in their communities.
The primary goal, drive, and initiative that a social worker has is to help. Social workers help individuals, support families and people in relationships, and initiate programs and oversee facilities that serve struggling groups and communities. A Bachelor of Social Work degree can provide a strong foundation in the necessary theories and concepts of being a social worker, but an MSW degree is often required for individuals to perform certain functions in the field, attain the most in-demand roles, and be trusted in the community as experts capable of changing lives and doing good.
It’s more than just learning to treat someone suffering from a certain problem, such as abuse or addiction; it’s also recognizing the underlying causes of how these social dilemmas and crises arise in the first place. An MSW degree pushes students to develop expertise in analysis and empathy and to realize that social work is a science that requires a human touch to master.
The passion and excellence that LSU stands for have earned the university a coveted "Tier One" spot in U.S. News & World Report's “Best Colleges.” As the state’s flagship university, LSU has been preparing students for rewarding careers for nearly 150 years. Today, LSU is equally proud of its strides to make education more accessible through innovative online degree programs that are every bit as rigorous as its on-campus programs.
Boasting an exceptional faculty and staff, LSU is one of only 30 universities in the United States designated as a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant institution. In addition, LSU is the only public top-tier university—and the only university in Louisiana—to receive the honor of being placed in the "very high research activity" category by the Carnegie Foundation.
The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges to disclose a variety of information for any financial aid eligible program that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation. The disclosure for the Master of Social Work can be found here.
The LSU School of Social Work’s MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the only body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to accredit social work education programs in the United States. Our MSW program meets CSWE’s curriculum and field education standards for the MSW degree. However, the following states have entry-level professional licensure requirements that differ from these standards in the following ways:
The School of Social Work may assist students with meeting their state’s licensure requirements. Applicants and students are encouraged to refer to their state licensing board for more information about current licensure requirements. State licensing boards can be found by visiting the Association of Social Work Boards. Students living in states whose licensing requirements differ from the School’s curriculum and field education standards must notify the Field Education Office immediately.
LSU Online & Continuing Education uses data from Burning Glass Technologies to pull real-time labor market information. The company's artificial intelligence technology analyzes hundreds of millions of job postings and real-life career transitions to provide insight into labor market patterns. This real-time strategic intelligence offers crucial insights, such as which jobs are most in-demand, the specific skills employers need, and the career directions that offer the highest potential for workers. Please note that your career opportunities are not limited to these options.