ASU MSW Online is Arizona State University’s online Master of Social Work (MSW) program, providing students with the opportunity to earn a highly valued graduate degree completely online. As interest in online education continues to grow, the ASU MSW Online program stands out as a top-ranked, nationally accredited option for those seeking a career in the social work field. In this in-depth guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about the ASU MSW Online program, from admission requirements and curriculum to career outcomes and financial aid options.
The ASU MSW Online program is a 60-credit hour Master of Social Work degree offered entirely online. Students can choose between two concentrations:
- Advanced Generalist Concentration – For those seeking broad-based social work practice skills applicable in a variety of settings. This concentration focuses on direct practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
- Leadership and Management Concentration – For those interested in developing advanced macro-level practice skills in areas like program development, administration, community organization, and policy practice.
Both concentrations are fully online and include foundation and advanced coursework, as well as hundreds of hours of internship experience. The asynchronous program is designed to be completed full-time in two years or part-time in three to four years.
The ASU MSW Online curriculum is grounded in the core competencies and practice behaviors defined by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Students learn evidence-based theories, skills, and techniques applicable across client populations and settings. Integration of field experiences further enhances learning.
The ASU MSW Online program holds full accreditation from the CSWE, considered the gold standard for social work education programs. CSWE accreditation ensures the program’s curriculum and quality are regularly evaluated against national standards.
Rankings also recognize the strength of the ASU MSW Online program. It ranks among the top 30% of all social work programs nationwide in U.S. News & World Report rankings. Additional top rankings include:
- #2 Online MSW Program (SocialWorkGuide.org, 2022)
- Best Online MSW Programs (OnlineU.org, 2022)
- Top 50 Online MSW Programs (SocialWorkDegreeNews.com, 2021)
These rankings reflect ASU’s dedication to providing a high-quality yet flexible online education experience for future social workers. Prospective students can feel confident in pursuing their degree through this nationally recognized program.
Admission to the ASU MSW Online program is competitive. Important factors considered in the application review include:
- Bachelor’s degree in any field from a regionally accredited university
- Minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credits of undergraduate study
- Relevant volunteer or work experience
- Personal statement discussing interests and career goals
- Three letters of recommendation
- Interviews may be required for applicants with lower GPAs
International applicants must also meet additional requirements including English proficiency. The priority application deadline is January 15th each year for fall admission, though later applications may be considered if space allows.
The ASU MSW Online curriculum is designed to develop the practice and leadership skills necessary to impact individuals and communities. Key elements include:
Foundation Courses (30 credits)
Introduce students to social work values, ethics, diversity, social and economic justice, human behavior, policy, research, practice, and field experience.
Concentration Courses (18 credits)
Build on foundation knowledge with concentration-specific advanced coursework in areas like direct practice skills, program development and administration, or community practice and policy advocacy depending on the chosen concentration.
Electives (6 credits)
Tailor the program further with electives on topics like trauma-informed care, child welfare, aging, substance abuse treatment, and more.
Field Practicum (6 credits)
Complete two supervised field placements totaling 900 hours where theory intersects with real-world practice. Placements are arranged locally or in the student’s home community.
The sequencing of online coursework supports application of knowledge in subsequent courses and practicum experiences. Self-paced study allows flexibility while maintaining structure through timelines and milestones.
Careers in Social Work
Graduates of the ASU MSW Online program are prepared for diverse careers serving individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities across multiple settings:
- Medical/clinical social work in hospitals, private practices, hospices
- Schools and educational settings as school social workers
- Public child welfare as case managers or supervisors
- Mental health facilities as therapists, counselors, or program directors
- Non-profits focused on poverty, incarceration, disabilities, aging
- Government agencies as policy analysts, program planners, advocates
- Corporate employee assistance programs
An MSW also opens doors to macro-level roles like management, community organizing, program development, consultation, policy practice, and more. Social workers tackle complex issues facing society with clinical expertise, leadership skills, and compassion.
Financing Your Degree
Recognizing the financial commitment of an MSW degree, ASU provides assistance through multiple avenues:
- Scholarships based on merit, need, and diversity are awarded annually through a competitive application process.
- Federal financial aid like loans, grants, and work-study may be available contingent on eligibility.
- Graduate assistantship and stipend opportunities can offset costs through on-campus or community-based work.
- Employer tuition reimbursement benefits may apply for working professionals continuing their education.
Comprehensive cost of attendance estimates factoring tuition, fees, living expenses, and books put the two-year ASU MSW Online program within reach of $50,000-$70,000 depending on residency status and enrollment intensity. Speaking to an enrollment advisor can help create a customized financial plan.
Steps to Enrollment
If the ASU MSW Online program aligns with your career goals and circumstances, here are the next steps to enrollment:
- Research program requirements, curriculum, concentrations on the ASU social work website
- Complete graduate school applications and write a compelling personal statement
- Request transcripts and letters of recommendation be sent
- Check application deadlines and apply early for priority consideration
- Prepare for a possible interview if your application profile warrants further discussion
- Receive decision notification and enroll upon acceptance to your program of choice
- Set up financial plan and apply for scholarships, loans, and other funding
- Attend online orientation and start your courses!
The ASU enrollment team provides guidance throughout the process. Be sure to take advantage of information sessions, webinars, and individual advising to ensure a smooth transition into the program.
ASU’s online MSW program is an outstanding choice for working professionals, parents, military members, and others seeking flexible yet rigorous social work education. Nationally accredited, highly ranked, and taught by expert faculty, the ASU MSW Online can open doors to diverse and meaningful careers across the social services sector. From admission requirements to career outcomes to financial aid assistance, this in-depth guide has covered everything prospective students need to know. For those ready to advance their skills and make a positive impact through the social work profession, ASU MSW Online may be the ideal next step.