Turn limited resources into unlimited potential.

You work hard to improve lives. The support and guidance you offer as a social worker helps vulnerable individuals cope with and overcome life’s challenges. Now you have the chance to expand your reach in rural communities and gain skills that are appropriate for multiple contexts and settings.

Earn your Master of Social Work online from Ohio University’s esteemed College of Health Sciences and Professions. Our CSWE-accredited MSW program prepares you to serve those with limited access to vital clinical support. This is your chance to find solutions, fill resource gaps, and bring much-needed specialty services to underserved populations.

Study on your schedule, not ours

No GMAT

No GRE/GMAT required

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Graduate in as few as 24 months

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Choose from 3 start dates per year

Why Choose OHIO’s Online Master of Social Work?

The U.S. Census classifies more than 95% of the nation’s land area as rural. Yet these rural areas only contain 20% of the country’s population. It’s a gap that presents multiple challenges and rare opportunities for your social work practice.

That’s because many rural communities lack the resources to provide comprehensive care. Barriers include everything from the lack of medical insurance to a shortage of care providers to health systems that are unresponsive to those in poverty. In other words, some of America’s most vulnerable citizens lack access to critical social services. But you can change that. 

Choose Ohio University for your online MSW and gain the skills to assist traditionally underserved communities. These specialized skills are focused on rural areas, but also appropriate across contexts and communities to empower those most vulnerable.

Study social work online with Ohio University and learn from faculty actively making an impact in the field. Meet Dr. Terry Cluse-Tolar, the program director of our online Master of Social Work program.

Dr. Cluse-Tolar brings more than two decades of experience in both the practice and teaching of social work. She enjoys challenging students and inspiring the future of the profession. You can learn from Dr. Cluse-Tolar and other passionate faculty members at Ohio University.

The Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This esteemed designation means the program meets national standards in curriculum. CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation is recognized as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the United States and its territories. Ohio University is also regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional accreditors in the United States.


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Join a university that U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks among the “Best Social Work Programs” and “Best National Universities.”


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Ohio University is praised for professor accessibility by The Princeton Review, and we’re recognized by Peterson’s Competitive Colleges for academic quality and value.

What Can You Do with a Master’s in Social Work?

Social workers are needed everywhere — from schools and hospitals to prisons and nonprofits. New programs and job opportunities continue to expand as awareness for mental health grows, especially in rural communities.

The health care industry also remains in a constant state of transformation. Social issues like poverty and the opioid epidemic impact individuals across demographic groups. It’s why the job outlook for social work is expected to grow by 16% from 2016 to 2026.*

Your expertise is needed now more than ever. Complete the Advanced Track of OHIO’s online MSW, and gain the graduate-level skills to maximize your impact in a wide range of roles.

*Based on data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Adult Mental Health


  • Substance abuse counselor
  • Marriage and family therapist
  • Geriatric social worker
  • LGBTQ and gender identity therapist
  • Crisis counselor

Child, Family, and School


  • Child protective services case worker
  • School guidance counselor
  • Foster care social worker
  • Eating disorder therapist
  • Group therapist

Social Policy


  • Director of corporate social responsibility
  • Nonprofit executive director
  • Community outreach specialist
  • Human resources specialist
  • Grant writer

Master of Social Work Curriculum

Ohio’s online Master of Social Work degree focuses on learning and exploring the unique logistics of helping those in a rural environment access social services. You can learn to assist others while maneuvering around various limitations like financial shortfalls and accessibility restrictions. This unique focus will teach you how to provide the following benefits:

  • Create innovative solutions for clients with limited resources.
  • Engage with clients traditionally underserved by social workers.
  • Build rapport and relate with a diverse client base.
  • Utilize different methods of practice to effectively communicate with clientele.
  • Learn how social work functions at multiple levels and roles.
SW 5101Social Work Orientation Seminar3 Credits
SW 5702Human Behavior in the Social Environment 2: Social Work Theory and Applications3 Credits
SW 6101Rural Social Agency3 Credits
SW 6941Social Work Research & Program Evaluation 13 Credits
SW 6942Social Work Research & Program Evaluation 23 Credits
SW 6921Advanced Field Practicum 16 Credits
SW 6922Advanced Field Practicum 26 Credits
SW 6811Direct with Practice Children, Adolescents & Groups3 Credits
SW 6812Direct with Practice Adults, Families & Communities6 Credits
SW 6102Integrative Seminar3 Credits

Not Yet Qualified for the Advanced Standing MSW?

Consider our online Foundation MSW program. We plan to accept applications for this track in Fall 2019. This 62-credit track is intended for career changers who earned a bachelor’s in social work from an accredited institution or those who earned a BSW more than five years ago. It can be completed in as few as 36 months.