The University of Alabama and Samford University have an accredited online Master of Social Work. Many professionals in the state work in the field of youth and family services.

Schools in Alabama with online MSW programs include:

  • University of Alabama : Online Master of Social Work

Alabama CSWE Accredited MSW Program

In the state of Alabama, there are two institutions that offer an online version of their Master's degree in social work that has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). These programs offer flexibility for students that have busy schedules, and there is an additional option at Samford University that allows students to complete both an undergraduate and graduate program in a span of five years. Looking across the state, there are eight total states that have graduate programs in social work.

Finding a Campus Based Alabama MSW Program

Birmingham is the lone city with two Master's programs - both the online opportunity at Samford University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Two of the more popular public institutions in the state, the University of Alabama and Auburn University, have graduate programs in Tuscaloosa and Auburn respectively, with the former having the other online opportunity in the state. Through the University of Alabama and select other institutions, there is an opportunity to specialize working with children and their families or adults and their families.

University of Alabama's Online Master of Social Work

The Tuscaloosa campus hosts an MSW with primary coursework available online. One aspect of the degree requirements is the completion of face-to-face skill labs, which is offered in various locations across Alabama and in Atlanta, Georgia, and Jackson, Mississippi. In addition to the skills lab, an orientation and at least 500 hours of practicum is needed.

Curriculum Requirements

42 to 60 credit hours are needed to complete the program depending on if the student is accepted for advanced standing. This is open to those who have completed a Bachelor's degree from an accredited CSWE program, which eliminates some foundational courses in the Master's program. Bridge courses span 12 credit hours and is completed in the spring or summer semester before entering the main program in the fall, with 15 credits spread out in the next two semesters each for full-time students.

Program Tracks and Electives

There are two different concentrations that emphasizes a children's relationship with their families and adults with their families. These have different needs in terms of identifying problematic behaviors and with the development of a treatment plan. Elective opportunities that are offered each year include Psychopathology, Spirituality and Social work Practice, and Crisis Intervention.

Samford University's Online MSW

The School of Public Health at Samford University can be completed at the Birmingham campus or conveniently online. Students can pursue the degree on a part-time or full-time basis, and many courses are offered at night for those that are looking to maintain employment. In addition to gaining a degree that aims to improve human growth through evidence-based treatments, courses may include religious aspects in social work practice.

Program Formats

Students generally take one to four years to complete the program depending on enrollment speed and if they are accepted for advanced standing. Full-time students without advanced standing can complete the program in two years, which requires 15 credit hours in the first two semesters each, then the second half is spread out among three semesters, including summer. To complete it in less than two years, advanced standing is required.

Advanced Clinical Practice Concentration

An option for students to consider is pursuing the Advanced Clinical Practice concentration. This provides direct treatment procedures when working at various health care facilities or institutions. Examples of courses that students will complete in this program include Models and Theories of Social Work Practice, Social Welfare Policy, and Diversity and Multicultural Social Work Practice.

Admission Requirements

It is recommended to have at least a Bachelor's degree in social work for this program, but those that do not have a background must hold a degree from an accredited university. At least a 3.0 cumulative GPA, or a 3.2 GPA over their last 60 hours of undergraduate work, is needed. Those with at least a 2.8 GPA can still submit an application with the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores.

Social Work Careers, Licensure, and Salaries in Alabama

Alabama sees more employment in social work involving the specialties of children and family, and health care. Over 3,500 positions are dedicated to working in the evaluation of families, where children may be in danger of abuse, or they can help families overcome adversity in their current situation. Employment opportunity is balanced across the state, with a higher concentration in the Birmingham metropolitan area.

Average Salary of an Alabama Social Worker

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, average salaries for health care social workers is at $47,190 annually. This jumps to just over $63,000 for those in the top 10 percentile, and higher pay is generally found in the southeastern portion of the state. Positions in this field can be found at Fresenius Medical Care North America and AltaPointe Health Systems.

Alabama Social Work Licensure Requirements

Completion of a MSW in the state of Alabama can prepare students to become a Licensed Master Social Worker or Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). There is an ability to practice in social work for up to one year prior to receiving an official license. In addition to the education experience, becoming a LICSW requires 24 months of supervision experience with a licensed professional.

Renewal Requirements

All licensures in the state require the passing of the Association of Social Work Boards exam. Renewal requires 30 continuing education credit hours every two years, and three of these credit hours must involve topics in ethics. Alabama does accept licensure from other states assuming it passes standard criteria set in the state.

Online MSW Programs in Alabama That Are CSWE Accredited

University of Alabama

  • Program: Online Master of Social Work CSWE Accredited
  • Specialized Area:
  • Availability: Full Time and Part Time Options
  • Advanced Standing Option? Advanced Standing
  • Admissions: Open to students anywhere in the United States; however students will be required to participate in face-to-face skills labs held on selected Saturdays at regionally convenient locations across the state of Alabama and field placements will be within a 200-mile radius of Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Status: Online with Campus Visit

Campus-Based Alabama MSW Programs

Alabama A & M University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Normal

Alabama State University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Montgomery

Samford University

  • Program: Master of Social Work
  • Campus: Birmingham

The University of Alabama

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Tuscaloosa

Troy State University

  • Program: Master of Social Work
  • Campus: Troy

University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • Program: Master of Social Work
  • Campus: Birmingham