Online Master of Social Work

Get Program Details

This will only take a moment
. Do you have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree?
Do you have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree?

Why Choose OHIO’s 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.

Dr. Cluse

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.

Council on Social Work Education logo

Ohio University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

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 accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Peterson's logo

The Princeton Review logo

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
  • 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

Foundation Plan

OHIO’s online Foundation MSW program is intended for those looking to refocus or pivot their careers, this 62-credit track is open to all eligible students with a recent bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and can be completed in as few as 10 semesters.

Curriculum Highlights

Our program uses a strengths-based problem-solving model that incorporates an awareness of the impact of social work values and ethics. This unique focus and instructional design will help you learn to:

  • Facilitate outreach to those facing accessibility needs and other adverse circumstances
  • Support individuals, families, and communities in overcoming adversity
  • Diagnose, assess, and offer treatment for mental illnesses and addictions
  • Understand how populations are affected by social needs and policy
  • Prepare to obtain state licensure as a social worker

Upon graduation, you will have the skills to offer support and guidance to help individuals cope with and overcome life’s biggest challenges, particularly for individuals from rural and marginalized communities.

SW 5101 Social Work Orientation Seminar 3 Credits
SW 5601 Social Welfare Policy & Services 1 3 Credits
SW 5602 Social Welfare Policy & Services 2 3 Credits
SW 5701 Human Behavior in the Social Environment 1 3 Credits
SW 5801 Foundations of Social Work Practice 4 Credits
SW 5921 Foundation Field 1 4 Credits
SW 5802 Social Work Practice with Groups & Communities 3 Credits
SW 5922 Foundation Field 2 6 Credits
SW 5702 Human Behavior in the Social Environment 2: Social Work Theory and Applications 3 Credits
SW 6101 Rural Social Agency 3 Credits
SW 6941 Social Work Research & Program Evaluation 1 3 Credits
SW 6942 Social Work Research & Program Evaluation 2 3 Credits
SW 6921 Advanced Field Practicum 1 6 Credits
SW 6922 Advanced Field Practicum 2 6 Credits
SW 6811 Direct with Practice Children, Adolescents & Groups 3 Credits
SW 6812 Direct with Practice Adults, Families & Communities 3 Credits
SW 6810 Advanced Social Work Assessment 3 Credits

Ready to Go Further? You May Qualify for the Advanced Standing MSW.

Current BSW holders can apply for OHIO’s online MSW Advanced Standing curriculum. This ten course, 36-credit hour program can be completed in as little as 2 years (6 semesters) and offers an accelerated pathway where students explore strategies to help rural and marginalized communities gain better access to social services. Eligibility requirements include:

  • A recent BSW from a CSWE accredited institution
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • B or above in all required social work courses

If you meet these minimum qualifications, we invite you to learn more about the Advanced Standing MSW program.