The online Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) degree program is a CSWE-accredited degree option for learners interested in licensure in the field of social work. Comparable to the popular Master of Social Work (MSW) distinction, students may choose the MSSA as a reliable alternative to the MSW.

Online Master of Science in Social Administration Programs

The MSSA seeks to educate future providers, leaders, and researchers within the fields of social science. Whether you are interested in pursuing a career in case management or seeking management positions for social service agencies, the MSSA can provide you with a foundation of knowledge suitable for each of these areas.

Throughout your MSSA program, you may have access to knowledge regarding the care of individuals, groups, or even communities through collaborating agencies within society. Your experience in this program can help you to become a successful social advocate for the social groups that are most important to you.

Our team of educational experts has researched the online MSSA in order to provide you with in-depth information about what is included in this program, as well as where the degree can take you after graduating. Follow along in the guide below to read more about what this programs means for your future career.

What is the Online MSSA?

The online MSSA is a reliable and accredited degree program that can prepare you for a diverse career in the field of social work. The curriculum for this program consists of in-depth knowledge pertaining to the social welfare system, individual assessments, and treatment methods for a wide variety of clients in need.

This program typically requires around 2 years of involvement from enrolled students, with some universities even offering quicker completion time frames for students with the drive and determination to complete their program faster. A large number of online MSSA programs do not require that students complete any post-bachelor's testing, such as the GRE, for entry.

During your experience in the online MSSA program, you may also have the opportunity to pursue a specialty to better focus your learning experience on a sector of social work that means the most to you. Some students may choose direct practice paths that entail working with children, youth, and families, while others may be more focused on the treatment of clients with varying mental health diagnoses.

At the macro level, you can also pursue specializations such as Community Social Work if you have the desire to create change for larger groups during your career. Regardless of which population you prefer to work with, your education at the master's level can help you find careers that fit your future goals.

Studying the MSSA Online

Whether you are considering online degree programs for the first time or you have experience learning in the online setting, moving into a new program can bring new experiences as your move forward in your educational path. Different colleges may bring different experiences, with most following the same basic guidelines for the overall learner engagement.

Learning in the online classroom can involve logging in to your class each week to gain information about reading assignments, due dates, and required discussions. Online discussions can provide you with the opportunity to engage with other learners about different topics in your course, as well as provide a resource for measuring student attendance.

Courses can be found most commonly in asynchronous format, which provides you with the flexibility to learn at your own pace - complying with previously outline due dates throughout your course. Synchronous courses may also be available, which consist of virtual lectures and guided learning throughout your course.

One thing that is prevalent in online MSSA programs is the ability to engage in self-discipline and self-motivation during your learning experience. These convenient programs were designed for working adults with the desire to better their careers, so the design fits the need of full-time workers.

Testing in the online environment can be conducted in a number of different ways. Some online programs require timed online tests that can be completed from home. In other programs, exams may be proctored at various nearby locations established at the onset of your program.

Entry Requirements for MSSA Programs

If you are considering the online MSSA program for your education, you should be prepared to meet the admissions requirements of the universities offering this program. Each institution may have specific expectations of their applicants, so be sure to review your college's requirements alongside the requirements of others before making your choice.

Most MSSA programs require that students hold at-minimum a Bachelor's in Social Work or other related field. Some alternative bachelor's programs that could lead you into social administration degree programs include the Bachelor's in Nursing, Public Health, Public Administration, or Health Administration.

Some applicants to MSSA programs may also come from Bachelor's of Psychology or Sociology degree programs. Each of these bachelor's programs can provide extra specialized knowledge for upcoming social administration professionals. You are encouraged to completed a bachelor's program that could partner well with your MSSA degree.

Colleges may also require that applicants to their program have a minimum GPA of 2.5-3.0 to be considered for acceptance into the program. Your chosen institution may outline this specific expectation on its website, as well as more information regarding enrollment specifications.

The GRE is a common test required for entry into master's level degree programs in various fields. There are a number of universities that utilize the GPA requirement in lieu of the GRE, so this can be an important considering for you as you search for the right program.

In addition to the requirements listed above, there may be some schools that prefer applicants with professional experience in the field of social work. The average requirement is around 2 years, with colleges accepting various levels of employment towards the overall requirement.

Sample MSSA Courses from Case Western University Online MSSA

One of the most well-known online MSSA programs can be found at Case Western University. This online MSSA can provide you with the fundamental knowledge needed to pursue a fulfilling career in the social administration/social work field.

The curriculum of this degree program is available in a standard, 2.5 year track, and an advanced standing, 2 year track. If you currently hold a Bachelor’s in Social Work, you may qualify for the advanced track and complete your program at a quicker rate than the standard track.

At the beginning of your program, you can take courses such as Research Methods to help form a solid understanding of the development and implementation of research projects in this field. Since research may be included in your degree requirements, this can be a great first step in establishing the skills you need to graduate.

Courses such as Human Development and Direct Practice can allow you to learn more about normal and abnormal development of people, as well as the methods for working directly with diverse groups within society. Social work careers can include regular interactions with people from extremely diverse backgrounds, making it necessary for you to remain unbias and educated within these varying lifestyles.

Social Policy is another course that may be required regardless of which track you choose for your online MSSA program. In order to be an ethical and providing social work professional, it is vital to be knowledgeable of the policies that guide your profession. This course can enlighten you to the historical development of certain policies, as well as allow you to further research current case studies that have shaped the field as it stands today.

Find Schools
Sponsored Content

Additional courses in Social Justice, Child Welfare, and Community Social Work may also be included in your curriculum dependent on which concentration option you choose. Each course can help you gain the knowledge you need to assess your client base and provide assistance that is policy-based and change oriented.

Career Options with a MSSA

The MSSA is a CSWE-accredited degree program that can prepare you for a wide range of potential career options after your degree completion. The field of social work and administration is widespread and consists of many different specialty areas for you to consider along the way.

At the macro level, MSSA graduates could pursue careers in Social Research or even Social Work positions at the government level. Macro positions may be involved in community planning, policy change and development, and even consultation for future social change.

Mezzo social work positions can include Community Service Management, family educational resource worker, or even Group Counselor. In some communities, you may even qualify for positions as Social Service Managers for state organizations focused on reuniting families separated by abuse and neglect.

The micro level is one of the most popular levels for MSSA graduates entering the field. At this level, you can work one-on-one with clients in case management positions, in school systems, and even in mental health care.

Find Schools
Sponsored Content

Social work is one of the most diverse degree areas for future professionals due to the fact that graduates can choose from a large number of different career options in the field. Social work professionals can work in counseling agencies, non-profit agencies, schools, hospitals, or even for the state and local government.