MSW Programs for those without a BSW Degree

Consider a Featured CSWE Accredited Online MSW Program

Programs Currently Accepting Applicants

The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program is a preferred option for students with the drive to obtain direct service positions after graduation. Universities that provide this degree option to students often have various expectations for admissions, most of which consist of course prerequisites, grades and performance, and undergraduate accreditation.

Some MSW programs (such as an Advanced Standing MSW) require a BSW degree (Bachelor of Social Work) as a pre-requisite for entry to their program.

However, there are a number of MSW programs that do not require a BSW for admissions: they are commonly called a Traditional MSW program.

Consider a Featured Online Social Work Program

Click the university name for information on admissions, courses, status of accreditation, and more.
School / Program Online Program? Advanced Standing Availability Course Information
Fordham University
Online Master of Social Work
check CSWE Accredited
cast_connected Online check_circle Advanced Standing Program Available class Accelerated, full-time, and part-time options. Advanced standing for qualified students with a BSW.
Baylor University
Master of Social Work
check CSWE Accredited
cast_connected Online
No GRE Scores Required
check_circle Advanced Standing Program Available class 2 Specializations: Clinical Practice or Community Practice. Standard MSW and Advanced Standing MSW.
Case Western Reserve University
Online Master of Science in Social Administration
check CSWE Accredited
cast_connected Online
No GRE Required
check_circle Advanced Standing available. class CSWE-accredited Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences—ranked No. 9 in 2019 for social work by U.S. News & World Report. MSSA degree is equivalent to an MSW, and can be completed in two and a half years.
University of Denver
Online Master of Social Work (MSW)
check CSWE Accredited
cast_connected Online
No GRE Required
check_circle Advanced Standing Program Available class Two online graduate programs: a traditional MSW and an advanced standing MSW.
University of Southern California
Online Master of Social Work | Online Doctor of Social Work
check CSWE Accredited
cast_connected Online check_circle Ask Representative class Earn a Master of Social Work online in as few as 12 months if you have a Bachelor of Social Work. Doctor of Social Work online can be completed through an accelerated 24 month track (master’s req.).
Ohio University
Online Master of Social Work
check CSWE Accredited
cast_connected Online check_circle No GRE or GMAT class Complete in as few as 24 months. Adult Mental Health, Child, Family, and School, and Social Policy.

Why Consider a MSW Program?

The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program is a preferred option for students with the drive to obtain direct service positions after graduation. Universities that provide this degree option to students often have various expectations for admissions, most of which consist of course prerequisites, grades and performance, and undergraduate accreditation.

If you are the type of person that idealizes a career that can influence the lives of people for the better, this could be a degree program to enroll in. The MSW can prepare you for careers in the booming healthcare field, social services, education, or even private practice.

MSW Specialization Tracks

Most MSW programs also consist of mental health and counseling oriented course work to provide you with a solid foundation for future one-on-one work with clients in need. Completion of the MSW can be followed by a supervised clinical experience that can be your first big step towards licensure designations such as the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

Depending on which college you choose for your program, the courses required for graduation may hold different names or even include focus into different specializations. The requirements for acceptance into these programs may also be just as diverse.

Finding MSW Programs with No BSW Requirements

Students that have already completed a bachelor's degree program may be curious about whether or not their degree program can lead them into a MSW program at the university of their choice.

Since MSW programs do not require students to hold a Bachelor's of Social Work for acceptance, there may be several different bachelor's level programs that can lead you into the MSW.

Programs Currently Accepting Applicants

Fordham's CSWE-accredited online Master of Social Work program offers a future-focused curriculum, preparing students with advanced integrated competencies that cut across populations and contexts.
Click for admissions information.

The Master of Social Work online program from Baylor University is now accepting applications. Learn how to ethically integrate faith and social work practice in as few as 12 months. No GRE required. CSWE Accredited.
Click for admissions information.

At Case Western Reserve University's CSWE-accredited Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences—ranked No. 9 in 2019 for social work by U.S. News & World Report—students can earn their Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) online. The degree is equivalent to an MSW, and can be completed in two and a half years. GRE scores are not required to apply. 
Click for admissions information.

Online MSW Degree Options

Students entering into the MSW without a BSW can find a multitude of online programs to choose from for smooth transitioning into this specialized degree area.

Most universities offering online MSW programs do not have entry restrictions for students outside of the social work major. In most cases, the available programs outline social work or related fields as acceptable degree programs - which would include disciplines such as Human Services, Psychology, Sociology, or even Criminology.

If you choose an online degree program for your education, you can enjoy the benefits of flexible learning to the maximum potential. Online students can continue working a full schedule at their current jobs and possibly even better manage time at home with their families.

Online courses can also provide students with the opportunity of scheduling homework and assignments at times that do not interfere with other daily responsibilities. Some students currently enrolled in online MSW programs complete their work on the weekends, early morning, or even late at night.

Online MSW Degree Options

Students entering into the MSW without a BSW can find a multitude of online programs to choose from for smooth transitioning into this specialized degree area. Online degree programs can provide learners with the opportunity for independent learning, as well as strengthening their self-discipline with completing assignments in the online course room.

Most universities offering online MSW programs do not have entry restrictions for students outside of the social work major. In most cases, the available programs outline social work or related fields as acceptable degree programs - which would include disciplines such as Human Services, Psychology, Sociology, or even Criminology.

If you choose an online degree program for your education, you can enjoy the benefits of flexible learning to the maximum potential. Online students can continue working a full schedule at their current jobs and possibly even better manage time at home with their families.

Online courses can also provide students with the opportunity of scheduling homework and assignments at times that do not interfere with other daily responsibilities. Some students currently enrolled in online MSW programs complete their work on the weekends, early morning, or even late at night.

Social Work Licensure

If you have enrolled in a MSW program without the completion of a BSW, your licensure process will be similar to the path the BSW learners take. In the field of social work bachelor’s level social workers can often become licensed after the completion of their degree program.

As you work through a master’s program, you may have opportunities to engage in supervised practica and independent field work under a supervisor to contribute to your licensure requirements. Having licensure at lower degree tiers does not put professionals at a huge advantage in the field.

In order to be considered for social work licensure, your master’s program should be accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). You can verify your degree’s accreditation either through your university or through the CSWE website. Confirming this accreditation can help you rest assured that your program meets your state’s licensing standard.

The reliability of your degree program is not the only component considered during the licensure process. Most states require that you also engage in fieldwork requirements, which are usually embedded within your degree program.

A test of your abilities in the field of social work can be your final step towards working with clients in the field. This examination can consists of topics learned during the courses within your program, as well as practical knowledge gained while in the field. Successful completion of this test can help you fast-track the licensure process in your state.

MSW Career Outlook

The social work field can essentially be a mixing bowl of opportunity for graduates of the MSW program. Social work positions can be found in some of the most popular career fields, such as healthcare and social services.

As a social worker, you can have the skills needed to assess the needs of your clients, develop a client-centered plan, and help people get in touch with services that can improve their quality of life.

Some of the most prominent employers of social workers are hospitals, social service organizations, the court system, and mental health facilities. In any environment in which people are served, social workers can be helpful professionals to help guide individuals along the way.

One interesting component about the MSW program is that it can allow graduates to provide mental health counseling to individuals while under the supervision of a LCSW. This can be an interesting career option for professionals that are intrigued by helping others in a higher dimension that just general social work.

With more supervised clinical experience and additional certifications, MSW holders can move forward into higher tier licensure brackets. The LCSW is a designation given to professionals that can provide mental health counseling to clients, as well as advanced practice clinical social workers.

Overall, the field of social work can be an incredibly diverse career field for professionals interested in pursuing a wide range of goals throughout their experience. If you are the type of person that can maintain multiple responsibilities, work with diverse clients with different needs, and provide unique care depending on your client’s needs, the MSW may be the right choice for you.