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:
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.
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.
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.
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.