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

The state of Louisiana is home to five universities that currently offer Master of Social Work (MSW) degree programs: Grambling State University; Louisiana Christian University; Louisiana State University (LSU); Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO); and Tulane University. Two of these universities, LSU and Tulane, have fully online MSW programs as well as campus-based programs. All five schools offer traditional MSW programs that do not require a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) for admission, and all five also offer advanced standing programs for students who hold a BSW degree from an undergraduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Students who are interested in earning an MSW degree from a school located in Louisiana can choose from a number of social work specializations, including direct/clinical practice social work, advanced generalist practice (clinical and macro social work), children & youth services, gerontology, and school social work. All of the MSW programs offered by colleges and universities in Louisiana are fully accredited by the CSWE, as noted in the list below.

  • Grambling State University (Accredited)
  • Louisiana Christian University (Accredited)
  • Louisiana State University (Accredited)
  • Southern University at New Orleans (Accredited)
  • Tulane University (Accredited)

The various MSW program options offered by the above schools are detailed in the sections below.

Traditional MSW Programs in Louisiana

Traditional MSW programs are full-length master’s programs that provide training and instruction in advanced clinical and/or macro practice social work to students who hold a bachelor’s degree in any field or discipline. These programs do not require applicants to have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW). (Some MSW programs may give preference to or prefer applicants who have earned an undergraduate degree in a social sciences or related field.)

Full-time students in a traditional MSW program generally commit to at least two years (four semesters) of graduate school. Part-time enrollment typically adds one or two years to the time it takes to earn an MSW degree (e.g., three to four years total for traditional standing students). All students in CSWE-accredited traditional MSW programs are required to engage in a minimum of 900 hours of field education, a signature pedagogy in social work that involves site-based training under the guidance of professional practitioners.

There are five Louisiana universities that offer traditional MSW programs, two of which have fully online programs. All five of these schools have fully campus-based and/or hybrid MSW programs that provide a mix of online and campus-based instruction.

Campus

Traditional Campus-Based MSW Programs in Louisiana

Grambling State University is an historically black public university located in the northern part of the state. The School of Social Work at Grambling State offers an MSW program with a traditional track for students who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. This is a campus-based program with a Direct Practice in Social Work specialization that requires students to complete a minimum of 900 hours of field instruction. For full-time students, this translates to two days per week of site-based training when school is in session. Full-time students can earn their MSW degree in four semesters (two years) of full-time enrollment at Grambling State, while part-time students generally graduate in four years.

Louisiana Christian University (formerly Louisiana College) offers a 60-credit, full-length campus-based MSW program for traditional standing students. The program has two concentration options, an Advanced Generalist Practice concentration and a Healthcare/Behavioral Health concentration, both of which prepare students for careers in clinical and/or macro practice social work. Traditional students are required to complete four 233-hour field practicums for a total of 932 hours of field education. The Louisiana Christian University MSW program is designed to be completed by full-time students in two years and by part-time students in three to four years.

Louisiana State University (LSU) offers a traditional MSW program through the LSU School of Social Work at the university’s Baton Rouge campus. This is a 60-credit, fully campus-based program that incorporate 960 hours of field education and that takes two years of full-time enrollment for traditional students to complete. Part-time students are allotted up to four-years to earn their degree. LSU’s MSW program has an Advanced Generalist Practice curriculum and specializations in Children & Youth Services, Gerontology, Social Work Practice in Schools, and Policy & Macro Practice. The program is designed for college graduates who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate program and who have passed a college-level statistics course with a grade of C or better.

Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) has a traditional MSW program that is offered through its School of Social work. The program is primarily campus based, with classes offered during the day, in the evenings, and on Saturdays, as well as through online instruction. Students in the program can specialize in Children, Youth, and Families (CYF) or Health/Mental Health (H/MH). SUNO’s traditional MSW program is designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and who have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher on a four-point scale. Full-time traditional students can complete the program in four semesters (two years), inclusive of four 225-hour field placements for a minimum of 900 hours of field education. The program can be completed on a part-time basis in three years (six semesters).

Tulane University offers an on-campus MSW program for traditional students who hold a bachelor’s degree in any field or discipline. The program has an Advanced Integrated Clinical and Community Practice curriculum that is designed to prepare students for relationship-centered practice with individuals, families, and communities. Students in the program can opt to further specialize by completing a certificate in Disaster and Collective Trauma or Mental Health, Addiction, and the Family. This is a 60-credit traditional MSW program that includes 900 hours of required field education. Full-time students can earn their degree in 16 months (four consecutive semesters); the program also has an eight semester (32-month) part-time completion plan.

Online

Traditional Online MSW Programs in Louisiana

Louisiana State University (LSU) offers its 60-credit Advanced Generalist Practice MSW program in a fully online format that does not require campus visits. Traditional students in the online program must complete 960 hours of site-based field internships and can graduate in two years of full-time enrollment or three and a half to four-years of part-time study. The program’s Advanced Generalist Practice curriculum prepares students for both advanced clinical/direct practice and macro/community practice. Courses in the online program are offered in seven-week modules, with full-time students taking two courses per term and part-time students taking one course per term.

Tulane University has a 60-credit online MSW program that is designed for traditional students who hold a bachelor’s degree in any field or discipline. Students in the online program do not have to attend any campus-based classes but are required to complete 900 hours of site-based field education. The program’s curriculum has an Advanced Integrated Clinical and Community Practice specialization that provides training and instruction in clinical and macro practice social work and gives students the option of earning a certificate in Disaster and Collective Trauma or Mental Health, Addiction, and the Family. Completing Tulane’s traditional online MSW program takes four semesters (16 months) for full-time students and eight semesters (32 months) for students who enroll part time.

Advanced Standing MSW Programs in Louisiana

An advanced standing MSW program is a graduate program in social work that confers a master’s degree, the same as a traditional standing MSW program; however, these programs are designed specifically for students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an undergraduate program that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). In addition to holding a BSW degree, applicants to many advanced standing programs are required to meet other eligibility requirements. It is common, for example, for MSW programs to require advanced standing applicants to have earned their BSW within the last five, six, seven, or ten years and to have demonstrated academic excellence by achieving a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a four-point scale in all of their college coursework or in courses within their BSW program’s social work major.

Advanced standing programs are structured to allow qualified students to begin their MSW studies with the upper-division graduate coursework and field placements that are typically offered in the second year of a traditional program. Thus, advanced standing students can earn their MSW degree in roughly half the time it takes for traditional students. This equates to one year for full-time students and two for part-time students in most programs. Students with advanced standing status are still required to engage in a minimum of 900 hours of field education prior to receiving their degree. However, BSW graduates are credited with some or most of their undergraduate field education hours, which can significantly reduce the number of hours required at the graduate level.

All five Louisiana universities that have MSW programs offer an advanced standing track, and two have fully online advanced standing programs.

Campus

Advanced Standing Campus-Based MSW Programs in Louisiana

Grambling State University offers a campus-based, advanced standing MSW program with a Direct Practice in Social Work specialization. Graduates of CSWE-accredited BSW programs who earned their degree within the last six years and achieved a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.3 or higher on a four-point scale are eligible to apply for advanced standing status at Grambling State. The advanced standing track is offered to full-time students and takes two semesters (one year) to complete. Advanced standing students are required to engage in 480 hours of supervised field education while earning their degree.

Louisiana Christian University (formerly Louisiana College) has a 30-credit advanced standing MSW program track that is offered on campus and that takes one year of full-time enrollment to complete. Part-time students can graduate in two years. The program has an Advanced Generalist Practice and a Healthcare/Behavioral Health concentration that students can choose to complete. Advanced standing students in the program are required to engage in two 233-hour field practicums for a total of 466 hours of field education. To be eligible for advanced standing status at Louisiana Christian University applicants must hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program and have earned a grade of B or better in all undergraduate core social work courses.

Louisiana State University (LSU) has an advanced standing MSW program track that is offered through LSU’s School of Social Work in a fully campus-based format. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have a BSW degree conferred within the last five years by a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. Advanced standing students are given credit for all undergraduate social work courses in which they earned a grade of B or better and must thus complete at least 33 credits of MSW coursework, including 480 hours of field education, at the master’s level. The advanced standing program at LSU is designed for one year of full-time enrollment or two years of part-time enrollment and it has an Advanced Generalist Practice concentration that gives students four specialization options: Children & Youth Services; Gerontology; Social Work Practice in Schools; and Policy & Macro Practice.

Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) offers its traditional MSW program in an advanced standing format that requires applicants to have earned a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program within the last five years and to have attained a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale. This is a primarily campus-based program that provides some online instruction and holds classes during the days, in the evenings, and on Saturdays. The advanced standing track has a one-year, full-time completion plan and a two-year, part-time completion plan. Students in the program can choose to specialize in Children, Youth, and Families (CYF) or Health/Mental Health (H/MH).

Tulane University’s School of Social Work offers its campus-based MSW program in an advanced standing format for graduates of CSWE-accredited BSW programs whose degree was conferred within the last five years and who earned a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.3 on a four-point scale. Advanced standing students are required to complete a 48-credit curriculum, including 900 hours of field education. The Tulane program has an Advanced Integrated Clinical and Community Practice concentration with a focus on relationship-centered practice with individuals, families, and communities. Additionally, students can choose to complete a certificate in Disaster and Collective Trauma or Mental Health, Addiction, and the Family while earning their degree. Advanced standing students can complete Tulane’s MSW program in 12 months (three semesters) of full-time enrollment or extend their time to completion by an additional 12 months and graduate in two years of part-time study.

Online

Advanced Standing Online MSW Programs in Louisiana

Louisiana State University (LSU) is one of two schools in Louisiana that has an online MSW program with an advanced standing track. Applicants to LSU’s advanced standing program must hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program that was conferred within the last five years. In addition, advanced standing students are required to have earned a grade of B or better in their undergraduate social work major courses. The 33-credit advanced standing track has an Advanced Generalist Practice curriculum. Advanced standing students who enroll on a full-time basis can complete the program, including 480 hours of required field education, in one year; part-time students generally take two years to graduate from LSU’s advanced standing MSW program.

Tulane University offers its online MSW program in a fully online format for advanced standing students who hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. In order to qualify for advanced standing status at Tulane, BSW graduates must have earned their degree within the last five years and achieved a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.3 or higher on a four-point scale. The advanced standing track consists of 48 credits, including 900 hours of site-based field education. The curriculum has an Advanced Integrated Clinical and Community Practice focus with two specialization certificate options: Disaster and Collective Trauma; and Mental Health, Addiction, and the Family. Full-time students can complete the advanced standing online program offered by Tulane in 12 months, while part-time students take 24 months to earn their degree.

Directory of All Master of Social Work Programs in Louisiana

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Grambling State University

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