Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs in Arkansas - Campus and Online

Three state-funded, public universities in the state of Arkansas currently offer Master of Social Work (MSW) degree programs. These programs are offered by Arkansas State University and by two schools in the University of Arkansas System (Fayetteville and Little Rock). Students who are interested in earning an MSW from a school located in Arkansas can choose from programs that are offered in a campus-based format with in-person, site-based classes, as well as from programs that are offered using distance-based, online instruction.

All three of the universities offering MSW programs in Arkansas have traditional or full-length, campus-based options, while one school also offers a traditional program that can be completed online. Graduates from Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) programs that are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) may be eligible for an advanced standing MSW track, an option that is offered by all three schools in Arkansas, both in campus-based (three schools) and online (two schools) formats.

The following Arkansas schools offer MSW programs. All three schools, as noted below, are fully accredited by the CSWE.

  • Arkansas State University (Accredited)
  • University of Arkansas (Accredited)
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock (Accredited)

Details about the MSW programs offered by these schools are provided in the sections below. Programs are grouped into the following categories:

Traditional MSW Programs in Arkansas

All three of the schools in Arkansas that offer MSW programs have traditional tracks that are designed for students who have completed a bachelor’s program in a field or discipline other than social work. A traditional MSW program generally takes two years to complete for full-time students and three years or more for students who enroll part time. Students who would prefer a fully campus-based program can choose from three programs that offer specializations in direct clinical practice and in community or macro practice social work. Only one school in Arkansas, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, currently offers a traditional MSW program in a fully online format.

Campus

Traditional Campus-Based MSW Programs in Arkansas

Arkansas State University’s Social Work Department offers a campus-based, clinical practice MSW program with curriculum that focuses on direct practice social work in rural communities. The program can be completed in two years of full-time enrollment or four years of part-time enrollment. In addition to didactic coursework, the 63-credit standard program requires students to complete a 400-hour foundational field placement and a 600-hour rural clinical practice field placement for a total of 1000 hours of site-based field education. Students in the program have the option of a pursuing a certificate in Addictions Study through elective coursework.

The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville offers a traditional, campus-based MSW program through its School of Social Work. The 63-credit program has a Multi-System Life Course (MSLC) specialization that focuses on social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. The program has a full-time track that can be completed in two years and a part-time track that takes three years to complete. Students enrolled in the program are required to engage in 990 hours of field education over three semesters. In the final year of the program, students apply what they have learned in the program to a capstone research project or, with the approval of the program’s curriculum committee, a master’s thesis.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s School of Social Work offers a campus-based, full-length MSW program that gives students a choice of pursuing an Advanced Direct Practice (ADP) clinical concentration, or a Management and Community Practice (MCP) macro concentration. In addition to foundational social work courses and courses within one of the program’s two concentrations, students are required to complete 1200 practice hours of field education prior to graduation. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s School of Social work has a two-year, full-time MSW track and an extended track that allows students to enroll part-time and complete the program in three years.

Online

Traditional Online MSW Programs in Arkansas

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is currently the only school in Arkansas that has a fully online, CSWE-accredited MSW program for students who do not hold a BSW degree from an undergraduate program accredited by the CSWE. The program, which is offered through the university’s School of Social Work, has an Advanced Direct Practice (ADP) clinical social work curriculum. Students in the program complete all of their didactic courses online and are also required to engage in 1200 hours of field education at a site approved by the program. Full-time students can graduate from the program in two years, while part-time students are afforded three years to complete the program. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s online MSW program is currently only available to students who reside in Arkansas.

Advanced Standing MSW Programs in Arkansas

The three schools in Arkansas that offer MSW programs in a traditional, full-length format also offer advanced standing MSW programs for qualifying students who hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. Advanced standing MSW programs credit students for the foundational social work coursework and field education that is part of a BSW program and thus provide a shorter pathway to earning an MSW degree. Advanced standing students can typically earn their degree in one year of full-time enrollment or two years of part-time enrollment. BSW graduates should note that these programs often have rigorous admissions requirements and selective admissions, which means they do not accept all BSW graduates who apply.

Campus

Advanced Standing Campus-Based MSW Programs in Arkansas

Arkansas State University has an advanced standing MSW program that is offered on campus in Jonesboro by the university’s Social Work Department. The program has a Rural Based Clinical Social Work Practice specialization and requires students to complete 33 credits of coursework, including 600 hours of field education. The program’s full-time enrollment option allows students to earn their degree in three semesters spread out over 12 months. Part-time students can complete the program in six semesters or two years. Advanced standing students have the option of dedicating elective coursework toward earning a certificate in Addictions Study as part of the Arkansas State University program.

The University of Arkansas’ School of Social Work offers an advanced standing MSW program at the university’s main campus in Fayetteville. The program has a Multi-System Life Course (MSLC) specialization with coursework and field education that provides training in clinical social work with individuals, families, and groups, as well as social work at the organizational and community levels. The 39-credit program is designed for students whose BSW degree was earned within the last six years from an undergraduate program accredited by the CSWE. Applicants whose BSW degree was conferred more than six years ago can petition for a waiver if they have a significant history of post-baccalaureate work experience or continuing education in social work. Students in the program, which can be completed in 12 months of full-time enrollment, are required to engage in 900 hours of field education over the program’s three semesters.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock offers an advanced standing campus-based MSW program that is designed for students whose BSW degree was conferred by a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program within the past five years. The program, which is offered by the university’s School of Social Work, has two concentration options: Advanced Direct Practice (ADP) clinical social work; and Management and Community Practice (MCP) macro social work. The program requires students to complete 720 hours of field education and can be completed in 12 months of full-time enrollment or 21 months of part-time enrollment.

Online

Advanced Standing Online MSW Programs in Arkansas

The University of Arkansas’ MSW program with a Multi-System Life Course (MSLC) specialization is offered online in an advanced standing format for students who qualify by holding a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program that was conferred within the past six years. The 39-credit program, which does not require any campus visits, is designed to be completed in three semesters of continuous enrollment over a 12-month period. As part of the program, students are required to engage in 900 hours of field education. The program’s MSLC curriculum prepares students for social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock offers its Advanced Direct Practice (ADP) clinical social work MSW program in an online, advanced standing format for qualified students who hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program, so long as the degree was conferred within the past five years. Offered by the university’s School of Social Work, the program gives students the option of completing their degree in 12 months of full-time enrollment or 21 months of part-time enrollment. As part of the program, students are required to engage in 720 hours of field education at one or more sites that are approved by the program. The online program offered by UA Little Rock is currently only available to residents of Arkansas.

All Master of Social Work Programs in Arkansas

The following icons are used to help students easily identify program types and delivery methods. Traditional programs are indicated with a T, while Advanced Standing programs have an . Campus programs are defined as programs that predominantly use face-to-face instruction, while Hybrid programs combine campus and online instruction. Hybrid-Online programs are mainly online programs but require 3 to ~6 campus visits per year. Online programs are defined as programs that are either fully online or only require 1-2 campus visits per year.
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