Four institutions, including the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky, have online, accredited education for the Master of Social Work. One of the largest specializations in social work throughout the state is in youth and family services.

Schools in Kentucky with online MSW programs include:

  • Campbellsville University : Online MSW: Advanced Generalist
  • University of Kentucky: Online MSW
  • University of Louisville : Online MSW: Military Social Work (MIL); Alcohol and Drug Counseling (ADCS); Gerontology (GER); Mental Health Counseling (MH); and Psychology Oncology (ONC)
  • Western Kentucky University : Online MSW: Rural Advanced Generalist

Kentucky CSWE Accredited MSW Programs

The state of Kentucky has over 20 different undergraduate and graduate programs that have been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Of the seven Master's degrees in social work that are offered by institutions in the state, four of them have online opportunities. All of the online programs also have an undergraduate opportunity in order to complete the full experience in five years.

Finding a Campus Based Kentucky MSW Program

Louisville is one of the top cities to gain an education in social work at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Both institutions in this location are the popular University of Louisville and Spalding University, the latter being exclusive on campus.

Many of the most recognized universities in the state have opportunities to specialize in mental health and as an advanced generalist.

University of Kentucky's Online MSW

The College of Social Work offers the Master's degree in social work in a physical, online, or hybrid format of the first two options. The online program is 100 percent available online and helps students become specialized as a clinical worker or helping children and family. The latter will have an emphasis on school and environments and psychological issues within development.

Eventual graduates will be prepared for their licensing exam with passing rates over 12 points above the national average. Unique processes that help students in the program include having workshops that focus on licensing and various activities that also help them prepare. While different rules and regulations are in each state, this program will help customize these activities to help specific students and their needs.

Advanced Standing Format

In order to qualify for the advanced standing, students must have completed a Bachelor's degree in social work in the last seven years and graduate with a 3.5 GPA. This is a 30 credit hour program, which is exactly half of the regular program at 60 credit hours. Examples of courses that students will take regardless of standing include Applied Research Methods in Social Work, Assessment and Treatment Planning in Social Work, and Psychopathology for Social Work Practice.

Part-time students that enter the advanced standing program have the benefit to complete a year's worth of academics and field experience in a two-year span while maintaining other work and life obligations.

Admission Requirements

Application submissions include a four-page personal statement describing career goals and how UK can help in this process, two letters of recommendation, and writing sample detailing an ethical dilemma.

University of Louisville's Online Master of Social Work

The Kent School of Social Work offers a Master of Science in Social Work that emphasizes analysis and treatment plans that are geared toward quality health in clients and thinking critically about their decisions. There is a large variety of specializations that students can choose from when pursuing this degree, including Mental Health, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Alcohol and Drug Counseling.

Program Formats

Students can opt for a curriculum that is either 60 credit hours or 30 credit hours, the latter being open to those eligible for advanced standing. Most of the specializations will not begin until the second year for students taking the full program.

This begins immediately for those in advanced study, and dual degree opportunities are only available in the 60-credit hour program. For the 60-credit hour program, full-time enrollment can complete the degree in either two or three years. This requires a full three years for all part-time enrollment and starts in the spring or summer semesters.

Field Requirements and Electives

Various elective options available are Substance Use and Substance Use Disorders, Psychopathology, and Forensic Interviewing and Assessment. Options for dual degrees include the MSSW with a Master of Divinity, Healthcare Ethics, Pan African Studies, Women and Gender Studies, or Doctor of Jurisprudence. Up to six credit hours are accepted in the transfer process.

At least 950 clock hours are needed in field practice, and this is set at 500 clock hours for those with advanced admittance.

Campbellsville University's Online Master of Social Work

The Master of Social Work is available online, with courses distributed in eight-week portions, allowing the program to be completed in a two-year span. This curriculum will provide specialization in a variety of categories, such as mental health, children and youth development, and criminal justice. There are multiple versions of the program available, including a full degree and advanced standing for those that have completed a Bachelor's degree in social work.

Curriculum Structure

The curriculum is divided into academic credit hours and work completed in the clinical practicum. The normal program requires 60 credit hours, with each semester having 24 credit hours and 6 practicum hours. Those that qualify for advanced standing are able to waive foundational courses and only focus on their specific practice curriculum.

Transfer Information

Transfer credit is accepted toward the MSW, but this is limited to six credit hours and it is for the foundational portion only. All clinical work must be completed with the CSWE-accredited program to maintain consistency with practicum work. Students have an ability to gain a transfer scholarship worth $1,500 for an easier move into the new program.

Degree Requirements

Examples of courses in the program include Cultural Competency, Community Development and Grant Writing, and Clinical Diagnosis and Psychopharmacology. Prospective students must have transcripts that show the completion of an undergraduate degree from an accredited program and three letters of recommendation. In order to gain advanced standing, students must have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA in their prior degree and received a C- or above in all courses.

Western Kentucky University's Online Master of Social Work

Prospective students in Kentucky and surrounding states are eligible to pursue the Master of Social Work at Western Kentucky University. Their online program offers preparation in working with individuals, families, and groups within social work, including clinical practice sessions. In addition to the online courses, there are opportunities to pursue the degree in Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, Glasgow, and Owensboro in the state.

Curriculum Structure

Students are able to pursue the curriculum as a generalist or advanced generalist. While there is preparation for many types of groups and cultures, students will have primary preparation in working with nonurban communities. Employment potential includes working on mental health issues, alcohol and substance abuse, and working with individuals in correctional systems.

Examples of courses that students can take in the program include Rural Community Organization and Development, Foundations of Social Work Research Methods, Grief/Loss Issues Intervention, and Assessment and Case Management of Child Sexual Abuse. There are a few scholarship opportunities available for minority students that are entering the program.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements include having a Bachelor's degree from an accredited university, GMAT or GRE scores if needed, and letters of recommendation. GRE or GMAT scores should be recent, and high academic merit may allow this requirement to be waived.

Social Work Careers, Licensure, and Salaries in Kentucky

The state of Kentucky sees a lot of employment in social work for children, family, and school-based topics. These experts may aid in working with youth or family to determine stability or to improve academic performance. Any attitude behaviors that show worrying signs in the future are identified and a treatment process is developed.

Average Salary of a Kentucky Social Worker

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 7,500 professionals are employed in youth, family, and school social work. This state has the second-highest concentration when compared to the rest of the country, accounting for nearly four workers per 1,000. Average salary in the state is around $42,570, with that figure being near the $60,000 mark in the top 10 percentile.

Kentucky Social Work Licensure Requirements

Kentucky’s designations for social work licensure are the following once a student completes their Master of Social Work education: Certified Social Worker and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). The former license gives the ability for a professional to independently work as a social worker, but with clinical restrictions. This is removed once they gain appropriate supervision while working in a clinical setting, which is 30 hours per week over a two-year timespan or 20 hours per week over a three-year period.

This state does not allow other social workers to become licensed and professionals must go through the entire process as first-time applicants. Supervision must come from a professional that has held the LCSW licensure for at least three years. Renewing the license takes place every three years with a 40-credit hour requirement and at least six hours being reserved for topics on suicide management and prevention.

Online MSW Programs in Kentucky That Are CSWE Accredited

Campbellsville University

  • Program: Online MSW: Advanced Generalist CSWE Accredited
  • Specialized Area: Advanced Generalist
  • Availability: Full Time and Part Time Options
  • Advanced Standing Option? Advanced Standing
  • Admissions: Open to residents of Kentucky and surrounding states
  • Status: Fully Online

University of Louisville

  • Program: Online MSW: Military Social Work (MIL); Alcohol and Drug Counseling (ADCS); Gerontology (GER); Mental Health Counseling (MH); and Psychology Oncology (ONC) CSWE Accredited
  • Specialized Area: Military Social Work (MIL); Alcohol and Drug Counseling (ADCS); Gerontology (GER); Mental Health Counseling (MH); and Psychology Oncology (ONC)
  • Availability: Full Time and Part Time Options
  • Advanced Standing Option? Advanced Standing
  • Admissions: Open to students anywhere in the United States
  • Status: Fully Online

Western Kentucky University

  • Program: Online MSW: Rural Advanced Generalist CSWE Accredited
  • Specialized Area: Rural Advanced Generalist
  • Availability: Part Time
  • Advanced Standing Option? Advanced Standing
  • Admissions:
  • Status: Online with Campus Visit

University of Kentucky

  • Program: Online MSW CSWE Accredited
  • Specialized Area:
  • Availability:
  • Advanced Standing Option?
  • Admissions:
  • Status:

Campus-Based Kentucky MSW Programs

Asbury University

  • Program: Master of Social Work
  • Campus: Wilmore

Brescia University

  • Program: Master of Social Work
  • Campus: Owensboro

Campbellsville University

  • Program: Masters of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Campbellsville

Northern Kentucky University

  • Program: Master in Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Highland Heights

Spalding University

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

University of Kentucky

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

University of Louisville

  • Program: Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW)
  • Campus: Louisville

Western Kentucky University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Bowling Green