We found 12 Master of Social Work programs in North Carolina. Licensure for Social Workers in North Carolina is administered by the Social Work Certification and Licensure Board, and the National Social Workers is run by the NASW North Carolina Chapter.

North Carolina Popular Online Master of Social Work Programs

North Carolina MSW Programs

Number of Accredited MSW Programs in North Carolina Schools with MSW Programs
12 MSW programs in North Carolina
North Carolina Social Work Licensure Social Work Licensure
LCSW, LMSW and LSW licensure in North Carolina is overseen by the Social Work Certification and Licensure Board.
North Carolina Social Work Organizations Social Work Careers
The National Association of Social Workers chapter in North Carolina is the NASW North Carolina Chapter.

If you’re based in North Carolina and want to take next steps toward becoming a social worker, good news: there are numerous options of excellent Master in Social Work programs in your state that can set you on the right path.

A Master of Social Work (MSW) is the degree required to qualify for licensure in the state of North Carolina. For anyone that already holds a bachelor’s degree, it is your next step toward your social work career. (If you don’t yet hold a bachelor’s degree but are certain that the social work profession calls to you, the best option for you is a BSW program.

The MSW program offerings in North Carolina are high-quality institutions that will leave you prepared for the great responsibilities of being a social worker.

North Carolina is known to be a beautiful and tranquil place to call home. Within this incredible state, social work prospects may find opportunities that can assist them in becoming educated and licensed professionals within their field.

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Through online MSW programs, students can dive deeper into the social issues that are presented to residents, as well as the many different options for changing lives. If you live in NC and are looking for online MSW programs to engage in, read more in the guide below.

In the state of North Carolina, the most popular city for online MSW programs is Chapel Hill. This city provides the most preferred online MSW program through the University of North Carolina, as well as one of the most well-known universities.

UNC has CSWE-accreditation for their program, which means its quality has been thoroughly reviewed and accepted by the accreditation agency. Residents from all over the state can apply for this program, making it a great option for you regardless of where you currently reside.

Overview of MSW Social Work Degrees in North Carolina

While knowing where to obtain your degree is an important tidbit of information, students should also know which agency regulates the licensure for social workers within their state.

Through these agencies, you can learn more about the specific requirements for obtaining licensure, which schools are recommended and methods for licensure upkeep throughout your career.

In North Carolina, social workers are licensed through the North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board.

When selecting your MSW program, do your research to make sure it is properly accredited, as only degrees from these schools will qualify you for licensure.

North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board

The North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board (NCSWCLB) sets standards for the educational training, experience, qualifications for all social workers in the state of North Carolina.

Key Requirements for LCSWA and LCSW Licensure

LCSWA License

  • Initial licensure level for those engaging in clinical social work without full LCSW criteria.
  • Must practice under appropriate supervision.
  • The LCSWA license is valid for two years and is renewable.
  • Requirement of 3000 hours of supervised clinical practice over 2-6 years for LCSW eligibility.
  • Supervised by an LCSW with a Master's from a CSWE-accredited program and two years post-LCSW experience.
  • Documentation of two years of clinical practice is required for exam eligibility.

Continuing Education

  • Mandatory for LCSWA renewal and LCSW licensure application.
  • 40 clock hours of continuing education are required over two years.
  • Biannual reporting of practice and supervision to the Board.

Examination Requirements

  • Retake of licensure exam possible after 90 days and additional fee.
  • Waiver for a 90-day wait is possible under specific conditions.

Licensure by Substantial Equivalency

  • Credit for clinical supervision and practice from another state/jurisdiction based on equivalent licensure.

Application Process for LCSW

  • Submit the LCSW Short Form application upon fulfilling all requirements.
  • Include necessary documentation and fees.

The NCSWCLB is responsible for social work certification and licensure for certified social worker licensure and licensed clinical social worker licensure.

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Online MSW Programs in North Carolina

With the 100% online Master of Social Work at the University of Kentucky, you can earn a CSWE-accredited MSW that meets all the requirements for licensure in North Carolina through a school that’s been preparing social workers for more than 80 years.

Deciding to pursue your degree online can be an excellent choice for flexibility throughout your degree programs. Online degree programs can provide the same level of quality in their courses and assignments as standard programs, while allowing you to engage in your daily responsibilities without interference.

In North Carolina, students can take part in online MSW programs through reputable universities that have received accreditation through the CSWE. Depending on the type of program you enroll in, there may be some in-person requirements to be completed before the conclusion of your degree program.

If You Do Not Yet Have a Bachelors: View BSW programs in North Carolina(includes online).

North Carolina Social Worker Careers with an MSW Degree

Social workers can find careers working in local and state agencies, healthcare centers, and even within mental health organizations. Take a look at some of the career titles and salaries listed below.

  • Child, Family, and School Social Work: $51,060 median salary per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Child, Family, and School Social Workers may be responsible for working with families that have involvement in the social service system or with those that are struggling in terms of housing or employment. Assessments, treatment planning, and school/home visits are some of the major responsibilities of professionals in this field.
  • Healthcare Social Work: $62,540 median salary per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Healthcare Social Workers can work with clients to ensure that they have access to adequate medical care and understand their rights to fair medical treatment. Part of the role of the Social Worker in this field may be to conduct regular visits, accompany patients to doctor visits, and partner with client families when working to obtain needed medical services and health insurance.
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Work: $54,860 median salary per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers can work with mental health agencies or within rehabilitation facilities. Assistance from Social Workers can assist clients with finding support services to help make their treatment effective through a strong and positive environment.
  • Social Work, All Other: $62,450 median salary per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Alternative Social Work positions in North Carolina may also be available to interested professionals. Non-profit organizations and the court system are just a few of the alternative employers of Social Workers within this state.
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Social Worker Salaries in North Carolina’s Metropolitan Areas

  • Asheville: $67,340 median salary per year
  • Burlington: $44,610 median salary per year
  • Charlotte: $67,850 median salary per year
  • Chapel Hill: $71,870 median salary per year

2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and employment figures for Child, Family, and School Social Workers; Healthcare Social Workers; Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers; Social Workers, All other, reflect national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed March 2023. 

North Carolina Social Work Licensure

Upcoming social work professionals in North Carolina can look to The North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board for information on beginning their journey in this field.

The most popular licensing option for individuals in this state is the Certified Master Social Worker (CMSW) option, which first requires a CSWE-accredited master's program.

Graduates must also provide scores from the ASWB examination during the application process to be considered for licensing.

Spotlight on One Online MSW Program in North Carolina


Do I need to attend an MSW program in order to become a licensed social worker in North Carolina?

Yes. A Master of Social Work degree is the baseline requirement for all social workers not only in North Carolina but across the United States.

Will I automatically receive my North Carolina social work license after completing an MSW program in the state?

Once you have completed an MSW program in North Carolina, you will be eligible for certification as a Certified Master Social Worker (CSMW). This means you will be a competitive candidate for many social work jobs. However, if you would like to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, there are several additional steps, including board exams and extensive work experience in order to qualify.

How long does a full-time MSW take?

Typically, full-time MSW programs take two years to complete.