Illinois is one of the top-paying states in the nation for social workers, and there are many opportunities available in Chicago, Champaign, and more. They also have numerous opportunities for accredited education at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Schools in Illinois with online MSW programs include:
Illinois CSWE Accredited MSW Programs
The state of Illinois has many opportunities to pursue a Master's degree in social work with accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
This includes some of the top universities by enrollment, including the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and Chicago, DePaul University, and Illinois State University. Having this designation means that the program has gone through review and offers high-quality graduate programs for various social work careers.
Finding a Campus Based Illinois MSW Program
Chicago has an abundance of accredited programs available for graduate social work education, which can be pursued at Loyola University at Chicago, the University of Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University. Specializations available at some of these institutions include direct clinical practice, mental health, and working with children and families. Other locations to consider include Aurora, Normal, and River Forest.
Loyola University in Chicago's Online MSW
The School of Social Work offers the Master of Social Work that is available in various formats, including students that are eligible for advanced standing or those looking for more convenient evening courses. There is also an opportunity to pursue courses online or in a blended hybrid format of on-campus and online coursework. Two different tracks are available: Clinical, and Leadership and Development.
Students pursuing the evening format will be enrolled part-time with a cohort and is finished in three years. This curriculum is geared toward students aiming for a career in mental health social work. In order to be eligible for advanced standing, students must have a CSWE-accredited Bachelor's degree within the last five years and hold a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher.
60 credit hours are needed to fulfill curriculum requirements, which includes foundational material and specializations. For the latter, students have an opportunity to specialize in working with family members, mental health, and general health. Examples of advanced courses include Human Sexuality and Sexual Dysfunction, Crisis Intervention, and Psychotherapy with Adults.
Two internships with 1,200 clock hours are required for the full program, and this is divided up into 480 hours for the first year and 720 hours for the second year. Students with advanced standing will have the first internship requirement waived. There are over 300 organizations available near the campus to consider field education, and three days of work each week are generally needed for the second year.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Hybrid MSW
Prospective students can choose from undergraduate and graduate programs that are CSWE-accredited through the School of Social Work. Formats include the full on-campus program for full-time and part-time enrollment, and the hybrid version that requires some course education on-campus with the majority of work completed online.
Physical meetings for courses take place over four weekends or less at either the Urbana campus or Illini Center based in Chicago. Advanced standing is available for students that have a background in social work education. Students can opt for the specialization in Leadership and Social Change, which does not require any completion of courses on campus.
In order to get into the program, students should have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA or higher over their last 60 credit hours. Academics do not need to be directly in social work, but educational background should have some social sciences and humanities courses completed. There should be some volunteer or research completed in human services.
Submissions prospective students should send in include an updated resume, unofficial transcripts, personal statement describing goals for the program, and three letters of recommendation. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are not required in the admission process. The online version of the program administers students in the spring and summer semesters.
Aurora University's Online Master of Social Work
Another online opportunity based in the state of Illinois is the Master of Social Work at Aurora University. Students will gain further skills in working with individuals or families dealing with relationship problems and addiction. For additional studies, students may consider combining this degree with a Master of Divinity, Master of Business Administration, or Master of Public Administration.
There are five concentrations that students can choose from when pursuing the online MSW program. Additional specializations are available in the on-campus format.
- Faith-Based Social Work
- Health Care
- Leadership Administration
- School Social Work
60 credit hours are needed to complete the full program, and these are equally divided between the foundational and specialization years. Foundational courses include topics in social welfare, human behavior, and practice theory. Further practice and policy is looked at during the final year, and there are four total semesters of field instruction.
Prospective students must submit a transcript that shows the completion of a Bachelor's degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, professional resume, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. The personal statement must include why the student has chosen to study at Aurora University and how they will use the education to succeed in their social work career.