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

Concord University, Marshall University, and West Virginia University (WVU) are the three universities located in the state of West Virginia that currently have Master of Social Work (MSW) degree programs. Concord University’s program is offered online; Marshall University has a campus-based program; and WVU has both a campus-based and an online MSW program. All three schools have two distinct tracks for incoming students: a traditional track that is designed for graduates who hold a bachelor’s degree in any field or discipline; and an advanced standing track for students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an undergraduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

As noted in the list below, all three of the universities in West Virginia that offer MSW programs are fully accredited by the CSWE.

  • Concord University (Accredited)
  • Marshall University (Accredited)
  • West Virginia University (Accredited)

Traditional programs and advanced standing programs are classified separately due to their differing admissions requirements and, within each of those sections, programs are grouped according to their instruction method (online or campus-based). Hybrid programs that combine online instruction with in-person classes are grouped with campus-based programs if they require more than two campus visits per year. Programs with two or fewer required campus visits are classified as online programs.

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

Traditional MSW Programs in West Virginia

There are three CSWE-accredited schools in West Virginia that offer traditional MSW programs: Concord University; Marshall University; and West Virginia University (WVU). Marshall University and WVU have campus-based programs and Concord University and WVU have programs that are offered online.

A traditional MSW program is a full-length master’s degree program in which students receive generalist and advanced instruction in clinical and/or macro practice social work. These programs typically take two years of full-time enrollment to complete and require a minimum of 900 hours of site-based field education. Traditional programs that have part-time enrollment options generally take three or four years to complete.

The baseline admission requirement for a traditional MSW program is a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, and most programs will consider applicants with an undergraduate degree in any field or discipline. However, some programs may require or give preference to applicants who earned a bachelor’s degree in the social sciences or a related field.

Campus

Traditional Campus-Based MSW Programs in West Virginia

Marshall University’s Department of Social Work offers a traditional, campus-based MSW program with a curriculum that provides training and instruction in clinical practice social work. The 66-credit program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time enrollment. Included in the curriculum are 18 credits of field education for a total of 900 hours of field work. The program’s area of specialization is Integrated Behavioral Health and students can opt to further specialize in Military Veterans/Military Families. The Integrated Behavioral Health coursework includes training in assessing, treating, and evaluating mental health, substance abuse, and physical health among rural and underserved populations.

Students who would prefer to complete Marshall University’s traditional MSW program on a part-time basis can earn their degree in three to four years. In addition, for students who cannot attend classes at Marshall’s main campus in Huntington, Marshall’s MSW classes are broadcast live to classrooms at the university’s satellite campuses in South Charleston and Point Pleasant.

West Virginia University (WVU) offers a traditional, campus-based MSW program through its School of Social Work. The 60-credit program requires students to complete 300 hours of field education in their first year of full-time enrollment and 600 hours in their second year, for a total of 900 hours. Students who opt for part-time enrollment do not begin their first field placement until the summer of their first year and follow a track that leads to graduating in three years. The WVU program has an Advanced Integrated Practice specialization and a curriculum that combines training in clinical and macro practice social work.

Online

Traditional Online MSW Programs in West Virginia

Concord University offers a traditional online MSW program with an advanced generalist specialization that prepares students for careers in clinical and macro practice social work among rural populations. The program does not require any campus visits, but it does require students to complete two practicums for a total of 925 hours of site-based field education at social work/human services agencies approved by the program. Full-time students can complete the program in two years while part time students are granted up to four years to finish their degree.

West Virginia University (WVU) offers its traditional MSW program in a fully online format that is designed for part-time students and can be complete in three years. The 60-credit program has an Advanced Integrated Practice curriculum that includes training and instruction in both clinical and macro practice social work. While students in the program do not attend any in-person classes on WVU’s Morgantown campus, they are required to complete 900 hours of site-based field education at social work agencies approved by the program.

Advanced Standing MSW Programs in West Virginia

Advanced standing MSW programs are designed for students who have graduated from a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program. Most programs require students to have earned their BSW degree within the last five to seven years to be eligible for admission. All three universities in West Virginia that offer accredited MSW programs have advanced standing tracks. Students can pursue programs offered on-campus through Marshall University and West Virginia University (WVU), and online through Concord University and WVU.

Students who qualify for an advanced standing program track are credited with the foundational coursework and field training they completed as part of their undergraduate program. Therefore, advanced standing students begin their master’s-level studies in what would typically be the second year of a two-year, full-time, traditional MSW program. This allows students who enroll full-time in an advanced standing program to graduate in one year, while part-time students typically take two years to earn their degree.

Finally, because advanced standing applicants completed field education hours during their BSW program, most advanced standing MSW programs require 500 to 600 hours of field education, as opposed to the 900-1200 hours that traditional MSW programs require.

Campus

Advanced Standing Campus-Based MSW Programs in West Virginia

Marshall University’s MSW program, which is offered through the university’s Department of Social Work, has a 36-credit advanced standing track that can be completed in one calendar year, including a summer session. The program requires 9 credits of field education for a minimum of 450 hours of site-based field training. Applicants to Marshall’s advanced standing program track are required to have earned their BSW degree within the last seven years and to have maintained a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher in all of their coursework with a 3.25 or higher cumulative GPA in their social work courses. The program has an Integrated Behavioral Health specialization that provides training and instruction in clinical social work among rural and underserved populations. Additionally, students in the program can opt to further specialize in military social work.

West Virginia University (WVU) has an Advanced Integrated Practice MSW program with an advanced standing track that accepts applications from BSW program graduates who earned their degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program within the last eight years and achieved a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75 on a four-point scale. The Advanced Integrated Practice curriculum provides training and instruction in both clinical and macro practice social work and requires advanced standing students to complete 600 hours of field education. Students who enroll full-time in the program can graduate in one year, while part-time students earn their degree in two years.

Online

Advanced Standing Online MSW Programs in West Virginia

Concord University has an advanced standing online MSW program that is designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree from a CSWE-accredited BSW program conferred within the last seven years. In addition, applicants must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher on a four-point scale and a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all undergraduate social work courses. Advanced standing students are required to complete 525 hours of site-based field education and can graduate in one year of full-time enrollment or two years of part-time enrollment.

West Virginia University (WVU) has an online MSW program that it offers in an advanced standing format with a two-year, part-time completion plan. To be eligible for the advanced standing online track, applicants must hold a BSW degree conferred by a CSWE-accredited program within the last eight years, as well as a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher. The WVU program has an Advanced Integrated Practice specialization with a curriculum designed to prepare graduates for clinical and macro practice social work.

All Master of Social Work Programs in West Virginia

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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