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

In the state of Indiana, there are six accredited public and private universities that currently offer Master of Social Work (MSW) programs: Ball State University (BSU); Indiana State University (ISU); Indiana University (IU); Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU); the University of Indianapolis (UIndy); and the University of Southern Indiana (USI). All six of these schools have campus-based and/or hybrid programs that combine site-based classroom instruction with distance learning. Two Indiana universities – IU and IWU – offer fully online MSW programs that do not require campus visits.

Students who are interested in earning an MSW degree from a school located in Indiana can choose from programs that provide training and instruction in clinical social work practice and/or macro/community social work practice, as well as from programs that offer specializations in addiction and substance abuse counseling; behavioral health; children, youth, and families; organizational leadership; and rural social work practice. All six of the schools that have MSW programs in Indiana offer traditional pathways for students who have completed a a bachelor’s degree, provided they meet other admissions requirements, as well as advanced standing tracks for eligible applicants who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an undergraduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

As the list below indicates, five of the Indiana universities that offer MSW programs are fully accredited by the CSWE, while one – BSU – has been granted candidacy and is in the process of pursuing CSWE accreditation.

  • Ball State University (Candidacy Phase)
  • Indiana State University (Accredited)
  • Indiana University (Accredited)
  • Indiana Wesleyan University (Accredited)
  • University of Indianapolis (Accredited)
  • University of Southern Indiana (Accredited)

Details on each of the programs offered by the above schools are provided in the sections below.

Traditional MSW Programs in Indiana

There are six universities in Indiana that offer traditional MSW programs. Like master’s programs in many other fields and disciplines, these are full-length graduate programs that are designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and who fulfill other admissions requirements, such as a meeting or exceeding a specific cumulative grade point average (GPA). However, traditional MSW programs do not require applicants to have completed a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) and are typically open to students regardless of their undergraduate major (although some programs may prefer applicants who majored in a social science or related field).

A traditional MSW program typically consists of roughly 60 credits of coursework and field education, a signature pedagogy of social work education that involves engaging in supervised internships at social work agencies, human services organizations, and other places that employ social workers. Full-time students can generally complete a traditional MSW program in four semesters, or two academic years. Students who enroll part-time in a traditional MSW program commonly complete their degree in three or four years. During this time, traditional MSW students are required to engage in a minimum of 900 hours of field education.

While all six of the schools in Indiana that have MSW programs offer a campus-based and/or a hybrid online option, only two schools in the state, Indiana University (IU) and Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU), have fully online traditional MSW programs.

Campus

Traditional Campus-Based MSW Programs in Indiana

Ball State University (BSU) offers a traditional MSW program in a campus-based and hybrid format that allows students to attend a mix of campus-based and online classes. The program has an advanced generalist curriculum that provides training and instruction in clinical and macro practice social work. The program can prepare graduates to pursue licensure in clinical social work in Indiana. This is a 57-credit master’s program that includes three 350-hour field practicums, ensuring that students graduate with a minimum of 1050 hours of field education.

Full-time students can complete the program in six semesters (two years, including summer terms), while part-time students generally take nine semesters (three or four years) to earn their degree. BSU’s social work program is in the candidacy phase of CSWE accreditation, which means it is currently undergoing a review and assessment process that most likely will lead to full accreditation.

Indiana State University (ISU) offers a traditional, campus-based MSW program through its College of Health and Human Services. The program’s curriculum focuses on clinical social work practice in rural areas and with rural populations. Students can complete the 60-credit program, which includes 943 hours of field education, in two years of full-time enrollment. ISU’s College of Health and Human Services also allows students to enroll in the program on a part-time basis and take up to four years to complete the degree requirements.

Indiana University (IU) is a large, public university with campuses located throughout the state. Many of these campuses offer traditional MSW programs. Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), which is IU’s main campus, has a campus-based MSW program with a Clinical and Community Practice curriculum and five focus area options: Children, Youth & Families; Health; Community & Organizational Leadership; Mental Health & Addictions; and School Social Work. It takes full-time students two years and part-time students three years to complete the program, which includes 960 hours of field education.

IU offers its Clinical and Community Practice MSW program with the Mental Health & Addictions focus on five additional campuses: IU Bloomington; IU Fort Wayne; IU Northwest (in Gary); IU Southeast (in New Albany); and IU South Bend. The IU Northwest program also offers the School Social Work option. In addition, IU East in Richmond offers the Clinical and Community Practice MSW program with a Special Practice Areas in Social Work, and IU Northwest offers the School Social Work option. These programs are all campus based, although the IU Bloomington program incorporates some online instruction, and they all require 960 hours of field education.

IU Bloomington has two-, three-, and four-year completion plans for traditional students. The IU Fort Wayne and IU Southeast programs have three-year, part-time enrollment plans with classes offered in the evenings. IU East has two-year and three-year completion plans, as does IU South Bend.

Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) has a hybrid MSW program for traditional students. The program combines campus-based classes at IWU’s main campus in Marion with online instruction. This is a 60-credit master’s program that is offered through IWU’s School of Service and Leadership. It has a clinical social work curriculum that requires traditional students to complete 900 hours of field education. Full-time students can complete their degree in two years of full-time enrollment; part-time students take 33 months to earn their degree.

The University of Indianapolis (UIndy) offers a traditional MSW program on-campus that is comprised of 60 course credits, and which features three concentration options in Health and Behavioral Health; Children, Family, and Community; and Mental Health and Addictions. This program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study or approximately three years of part-time study. All students are required to fulfill 900 hours of field education, divided between one foundational practicum in their first year and one advanced, specialized practicum in their second year.

The University of Southern Indiana (USI) offers a Clinical Social Work Practice MSW program for traditional students that is designed to be completed in two years of full-time enrollment. The program includes a 13-week field education practicum that traditional students complete in their first year (425 hours), and 600 hours of specialization field placements that take place in the second year of the program. Traditional students thus graduate with a minimum of 1025 hours of field education and are prepared to apply for Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) certification in Indiana.

Online

Traditional Online MSW Programs in Indiana

Indiana University (IU) is one of the two Indiana schools that offers a fully online traditional MSW program. IU’s MSW Direct Online Program has a Clinical and Community Practice curriculum that provides training and instruction in direct clinical practice and in macro community practice social work. Students in the program can choose to further specialize through Special Practice Areas in Social Work with electives in military social work, telebehavioral health social work, mental health and addictions, and other courses. The program gives students three enrollment options: a two-year full-time plan, and three-year and four-year part-time plans. In order to graduate, students in this traditional online program must complete 960 hours of site-based field education.

Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) offers its Advanced Social Work Practice MSW program in a fully online format that does not require any campus visits but that does require 900 hours of site-based field education. The 60-credit traditional program has a clinical social work focus and two enrollment options. Full-time students can complete the degree in 24 months, while part-time students take 33 months to earn their degree. This program is offered through IWU’s School of Service and Leadership.

Advanced Standing MSW Programs in Indiana

Advanced standing MSW programs are master’s programs in social work that are designed specifically for students who majored in social work and successfully earned a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. The primary advantage of advanced standing programs is that they credit students for foundational generalist practice social work courses and field placements completed at the undergraduate level and thus allow those students to begin their graduate studies in what would otherwise be the second year of a two-year, full-time traditional MSW program. Thus, advanced standing students are able to complete their MSW studies in roughly half the time it takes traditional students to do so, which means they typically graduate with their MSW degree in one year of full-time enrollment or two years of part-time enrollment.

All six of the schools in Indiana that offer MSW programs have at least one advanced standing program track for qualified students, and two in-state schools have fully online advanced standing programs as well.

It is important to note that admission to advanced standing MSW programs is selective and commonly requires applicants to have earned their BSW within the last five, six, or seven years, and to have earned a B or better in all social work major courses. BSW graduates who are not eligible for an advanced standing program can still earn their MSW degree by enrolling in a traditional program.

Campus

Advanced Standing Campus-Based MSW Programs in Indiana

Ball State University (BSU) offers an advanced standing MSW program track for qualified students who hold a BSW from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. The program has an advanced generalist focus, which means students learn about clinical and macro practice social work and train for a broad range of careers in the field. That training includes 700 hours of required field education and is designed to prepare graduates to become Licensed Social Workers (LSWs), Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs), and/or Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselors (LCACs) in Indiana. Advanced standing students in BSU’s MSW program can complete their degree in three semesters of full-time enrollment or one calendar year inclusive of a summer session. Students who opt for part-time enrollment can graduate from the advanced standing program in six semesters, or two to three years. The social work program at BSU is currently in the candidacy phase for CSWE accreditation.

Indiana State University (ISU) and its College of Health and Human Services has a campus-based MSW program with an advanced standing track for applicants who hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program that was conferred within the last five years. In addition, advanced standing applicants must have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale. Upon entering the program, advanced standing students are given credit for 23 of the 60 credits required of students in the school’s traditional MSW program. They can then complete the program’s advanced level coursework, which has a clinical rural practice focus, in one year of full-time study or in two years of part-time enrollment. Advanced standing students in the ISU program are required to engage in 700 hours of field education.

Indiana University (IU) offers several MSW programs at various campuses throughout the state, all of which have advanced standing options for qualified applicants who hold a BSW from a CSWE-accredited bachelor’s program. Candidates whose undergraduate degree in social work was conferred within the last five years are eligible to apply for advanced standing status, as are candidates whose BSW degree was conferred within the last ten years provided they have been working in the field of social work since earning their degree. Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), which is IU’s main campus, has an advanced standing Clinical and Community Practice MSW program with one-year and two-year enrollment options and five focus areas: Children, Youth & Families; Health; Community & Organizational Leadership; Mental Health & Addictions; and School Social Work.

Indiana University also offers advanced standing MSW tracks through IU Bloomington, IU East (in Richmond), IU Fort Wayne, IU Northwest (in Gary), IU Southeast (in New Albany), and IU South Bend, although focus areas are more limited at these locations. For example, the Mental Health & Addictions focus area is the only option at the Bloomington, Fort Wayne, Gary, New Albany, and South Bend campuses. IU East in Richmond has a Special Practice Areas in Social Work focus, and IU Northwest offers the School Social Work option in addition to the Mental Health & Addictions focus area.

While all of these programs are campus-based, Bloomington uses a hybrid model of course delivery that incorporates some online instruction. Full-time, one-year completion plans are offered via IU Bloomington and IU South Bend. The other programs are part-time and have two-year and three-year cohort options. All of IU’s advanced standing MSW programs require students to complete 640 hours of field education.

Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) has a hybrid MSW program with an advanced standing track for qualified students who hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. Applicants must have earned their BSW within the last seven years and have graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale. Students in the program attend campus-based classes at IWU’s main campus in Marion and take online courses as well. The program has a clinical social work focus and an Advanced Social Work Practice curriculum. It requires advanced standing students to complete 500 hours of site-based field education. The time to completion for advanced standing students in the IWU program is 16 months.

The University of Indianapolis (UIndy) has an advanced standing MSW program that is offered in a hybrid format that mixes campus-based and online coursework. The program, which is offered through The College of Applied Behavioral Sciences’ Phylis Lan Lin Department of Social Work, gives students three concentration options: Health and Behavioral Health; Children, Family, and Community; and Mental Health and Addictions. The Mental Health and Addictions concentration is affiliated with the Community Health Network for the Community Behavioral Health Academy. It prepares students for dual licensure in Indiana: Licensed Clinical Social Work (LCSW); and Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor (LCAC). The program has a one-year completion plan for advanced standing students, who are required to complete 620 hours of field education. To be eligible for UIndy’s advanced standing track, applicants must hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program conferred within the last five years.

The University of Southern Indiana (USI) has an MSW program with a Clinical Social Work Practice Specialization that is offered in an advanced standing format for students who hold a BSW from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. The Clinical Social Work Practice specialization is designed to prepare students to apply for Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) certification in Indiana. Advanced standing students in the USI program are required to complete 600 hours of supervised field education in clinical social work settings. The advanced standing program at USI has a full-time, one-year completion plan and a part-time enrollment plan that takes two years to complete.

Online

Advanced Standing Online MSW Programs in Indiana

Indiana University (IU) has an MSW Direct Online Program with a Clinical and Community Practice curriculum and a Special Practice Areas in Social Work concentration that allows students to take elective courses in military social work, mental health and addictions, and other areas of social work practice. To be eligible for the advanced standing program, applicants must hold a BSW degree from an undergraduate program accredited by the CSWE conferred within the last five years. Applicants for advanced standing status whose BSW degree was conferred up to ten years prior to the program’s start date are eligible if they have a minimum of five years of post-BSW social work practice experience. Students in the program take all of their courses online and can choose from a one-year, full-time enrollment plan, or a two-year part-time enrollment plan. The advanced standing program requires 640 hours of site-based field education.

Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) currently offers an advanced standing online MSW program through its School of Service and Leadership. The IWU program has a clinical Advanced Social Work Practice curriculum and is offered fully online with no required on-campus sessions. To be eligible for advanced standing status, applicants are required to have graduated from a CSWE-accredited BSW program within the last seven years with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale. Advanced standing students can earn their MSW degree online in 16 months of full-time enrollment, which includes 500 hours of site-based field education.

All Master of Social Work Programs in Indiana

T Traditional programs, Advanced Standing programs, Campus programs, Hybrid programs (campus and online instruction), Hybrid-Online programs (3 to ~6 campus visits per year), Online programs (fully online to 2 campus visits per year)
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Ball State University

(Muncie)
Department: Department of Social Work
CSWE Accreditation Status: Granted Candidacy
Programs:

Indiana State University

(Terre Haute)
Department: Department of Social Work
CSWE Accreditation Status: Fully Accredited
Programs:

Indiana University

(Indianapolis, Bloomington, Fort Wayne, Gary, New Albany, Richmond, South Bend)
Department: School of Social Work
CSWE Accreditation Status: Fully Accredited
Programs:

University of Southern Indiana

(Evansville)
Department: Social Work Department
CSWE Accreditation Status: Fully Accredited
Programs: