Disclaimers and Sources of Information

MasterofSocialWork.com contains a comprehensive directory of Master of Social Work (MSW), Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW), and Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) programs. All programs listed on the site are either fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or in the candidacy phase of accreditation. Accreditation status of programs on the site is updated with every CSWE Commission on Accreditation (COA) Notice of Accreditation Actions release. The COA currently meets three times a year.

All schools obtained from the CSWE’s Directory of Accredited Programs were reviewed to populate the site’s program information database. Information in the database is audited and reviewed on a continual basis in an effort to keep the site current and up-to-date. We collect and review all data by hand, and at no point in the process is data collection outsourced. This ensures consistent and accurate data collection methods.


  • Licensing Requirements: Every state’s Social Work Licensing Board has its own licensing requirements for licensed clinical social workers. As a result, not all MSW programs may qualify students for licensure in their state of residence. While this is important for students who wish to earn their MSW online, it is also important for students who pursue their degree through a campus-based program as specializations and field education are important for licensure. Students should speak with an admissions advisor at each of their programs of interest to confirm whether these programs qualify them for social work licensure in their state of residence. In addition, students should check with their state’s Social Work Licensing Board to learn the specific requirements to become a LCSW in their state.
  • Admissions Policies: MSW programs are selective in their admission of students and typically do not accept all applicants. Therefore, students who meet the minimum admissions criteria for a given MSW program may not be guaranteed admittance. For some programs, the academic and professional credentials of students who are admitted may be significantly higher than the posted minimums to apply.
  • Tuition Costs: The estimated overall cost of each program listed in our databases is calculated by multiplying the total number of credit hours required with the cost per credit hour. Programs typically re-evaluate their tuition costs on an annual basis, and while we update our databases regularly, we cannot guarantee that the tuition rates on our website reflect the most recent tuition for a program at a given point in time. Furthermore, the tuition rates displayed on our site do not include university fees and other expenses. Students should always check with admissions advisors at their programs of interest for the most up-to-date tuition costs and fees.
  • Tuition Costs for Online Programs: While many online programs charge the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state online students, some do charge non-residents a higher tuition rate. In addition, for out-of-state students of hybrid-online and online MSW programs that require campus visits, there may be additional travel expenses that are not accounted for in tuition estimates.
  • Information About Advanced Standing MSW Programs: Advanced standing MSW programs typically have more rigorous admissions requirements relative to traditional MSW programs. These requirements vary by school, and can include minimum GPA thresholds in all BSW-level coursework and confirmation of strong performance in one’s undergraduate-level field education. In addition, advanced standing MSW programs may differ in terms of the amount of course credit that students are able to transfer from their CSWE-accredited BSW program. Prospective students should check with the programs that interest them to determine exact admissions requirements and transfer policies.
  • Online MSW Programs: In order to be classified as an online program in our database, a program may not require more than two campus visits per year. Programs that require approximately three to five visits are classified as hybrid-online programs, and programs that require more than five visits per year are classified as hybrid and campus programs.
  • Campus and Online MSW Programs: Online and campus programs are classified separately in our database. Therefore, schools that offer their program on-campus and online are listed twice across the site.
  • MSW Specializations: Programs across the site are categorized into specializations by hand. In order to categorize programs, both program name and actual curriculum are considered. Therefore, it is possible for a program to be categorized under more than one specialization.
  • Clinical Social Work: Students interested in clinical social work can attend programs that offer specific specializations in clinical social work. However, other specializations, like advanced generalist MSW programs or MSW programs that train students to work in a clinical capacity with certain populations such as psychiatric patients or children and families, can prepare students for careers in clinical social work. The Social Work Licensing Board of a student’s state of residence is the final authority on which MSW program curricula and field education experience qualify the student for social work licensure.
  • Advanced Generalist MSW Programs: Many advanced generalist MSW programs can prepare students for careers in clinical social work. However, to make a clear distinction between these programs and programs that specialize in clinical social work, advanced generalist programs are not currently categorized on clinical social work pages.
  • New Hampshire Residents: Students in New Hampshire should bear in mind that the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice requires students to have earned their MSW from a campus-based or hybrid program that has at least one year of in-person class instruction in order to qualify for licensure as an LCSW in New Hampshire.

MasterofSocialWork.com is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date data on all MSW programs available in the United States. While we meticulously fact-check our data, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of all data on the site at any given point in time. Information featured in our databases and in our informational articles and guides should therefore be used as a guide for researching MSW programs. Students should always contact schools of social work directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding curriculum structure, admissions requirements, tuition rates and fees, program outcomes, and geographic restrictions.

Geographic Restrictions and State Authorizations for Online MSW Programs

Students who are interested in online MSW programs should know that not all online MSW programs accept students from all 50 states due to state authorizations or specific licensing requirements (see information about New Hampshire above). In addition, some schools that also offer their programs on campus, may only accept online students who live a minimum distance away from their campus location, as they prefer local students to attend their campus program. Conversely, there are also programs that only accept students who live within a certain distance from their campus, so they can better support and monitor students during their field placements.

MasterofSocialWork.com designates which online programs have geographic restrictions in our directory. However, because state authorizations can change at any time, we cannot guarantee that our information on restricted states is accurate. . Therefore, prospective students to out-of-state online programs should consult with an admissions advisor at their programs of interest to confirm their eligibility for admission before applying.

If you have any questions about this page, our disclaimers, and/or how we source our data, please use our contact us form and we will follow-up with you shortly.