Are you considering getting your Master of Social Work (MSW) degree online? Louisiana State University (LSU) offers an accredited online MSW program that may be the perfect fit. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the details you need to know about LSU’s online MSW program, including admissions requirements, curriculum, career outcomes, and more.
LSU’s School of Social Work has offered an online Master of Social Work degree since 2008. The program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and allows students to earn their MSW without having to commute to campus.
LSU’s online MSW program follows the same curriculum and uphold the same standards as their on-campus program. Students complete 60 credit hours of coursework over the standard two year period. Courses are delivered entirely online through LSU’s learning management system. This allows students to complete coursework and earn their degree from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
The program is designed for working professionals and offers flexibility through its asynchronous online format. There are no set class meeting times – students can complete readings, assignments, and exams on their own schedule. This makes it possible to balance school, work, family, and other commitments.
To be considered for admission to LSU’s online MSW program, applicants must meet the following minimum criteria:
- Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
- Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
- Complete online application and pay application fee
- Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
- Three letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
- Resume showing relevant experience
- Criminal background check upon admission
The application process is competitive. For the most updated information on admissions requirements and deadlines, check the LSU School of Social Work website. International students seeking an F-1 student visa must meet additional requirements.
Concentrations & Specializations
LSU’s online MSW program offers two concentrations:
Advanced Generalist Concentration – For students seeking broad-based social work skills applicable in a variety of settings. This option is recommended for those new to the field of social work or those wanting career flexibility.
Clinical Concentration – For students pursuing clinical social work roles requiring specialized clinical knowledge and skills in areas like mental health, health/medical social work, and private practice.
Within each concentration, students can personalize their degree by choosing electives in specialized tracks like child welfare, aging, disaster management, military social work, and more. This allows students to gain in-depth knowledge in high need practice areas.
The curriculum’s generalist foundation ensures students gain core competencies across the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of social work practice. Advanced coursework then builds on this foundation within each concentration’s specialized focus.
A few key courses in the LSU MSW online program include:
- Human Behavior & the Social Environment
- Social Welfare Policy & Services
- Social Work Research Methods
- Generalist Social Work Practice I & II
- Clinical Assessment & Intervention
- Psychopathology & Diagnosis
- Practice with Communities & Organizations
- Field Practicum I & II (480 total hours)
Field practicums provide real-world experience working directly with clients and communities under the supervision of an LSW or LCSW. Placements can often be arranged locally for online students.
The curriculum is designed to be completed full-time in four semesters or part-time in six semesters. Course schedules are pre-set to ensure timely degree progression.
Graduates of LSU’s online MSW program are prepared for a variety of advanced social work roles based on their chosen concentration and field practicum experiences. Common career paths include:
- Clinical social work in private practice, non-profits, hospitals, schools
- Mental health/substance abuse counseling
- Community organization & grant writing
- Child welfare & family services case management
- Medical social work in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice
- School social work & clinical therapy
- Policy advocacy & administration in government & non-profits
The MSW also opens doors to opportunities in management, program development, policymaking, and teaching/research with further experience or education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of social workers is projected to grow 16% from 2020 to 2030—much faster than average for all occupations.
An online MSW from LSU will equip graduates with the knowledge, skills, and qualification needed to thrive in the field of social work. Since the program is CSWE accredited, graduates also meet the educational requirements for state social work licensure.
Costs & Financial Aid
For Louisiana residents, full tuition for LSU’s online MSW program is around $9,000 per year. Out-of-state students pay around $20,000 per year. Additional fees apply.
Various forms of financial aid can help finance your education:
- Federal student loans & work-study programs
- State-specific grants & scholarships
- LSU Graduate School fellowships & assistantships
- Employer tuition reimbursement
- Private student loans
The LSU School of Social Work also awards a limited number of MSW scholarships yearly based on merit, need, and underserved areas of study. It’s recommended to complete the FAFSA and explore all funding options early in the admission process.
Many online MSW students qualify for in-state tuition after establishing residency. Discuss residency requirements with an LSU admissions counselor. And remember – all private, federal, and state aid options remain available to online students.
Accreditation & Licensure
LSU’s online MSW program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This is the highest standard for social work education in the United States.
Graduates meet the educational requirements to sit for social work licensure exams in all 50 U.S. states upon completing their degree and required post-graduate supervised experience hours. Louisiana offers LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) licensure.
Accreditation ensures the program adheres to national standards for curriculum, field placement quality, faculty credentials, and more. It shows prospective employers the credential you earned is nationally recognized.
Student & Alumni Support
Even as a fully online program, LSU works hard to ensure students have support resources comparable to on-campus learners. This includes:
- Dedicated academic advisors
- Online tutoring & writing resources
- Access to disability support services
- Career counseling & guidance on licensure
- Alumni networking opportunities
- 24/7 online library services
- Active student social work association
The tight-knit social work community and strong alumni network helps provide a sense of belonging for remote learners. What you gain in flexibility, you don’t lose in support and connection to LSU.
If you’re interested in advancing your career in social work with an accessible, affordable, and accredited online master’s program, LSU’s MSW degree may be an excellent choice.
With more than a decade of experience educating social workers entirely online, LSU has a proven system for ensuring remote students receive the same high-quality education as campus learners.
Connect with an enrollment counselor today to discuss how the LSU online MSW fits your goals and to start the admission process. Take the first step towards making a real difference in people’s lives through the empowering profession of social work.