The largest institution in the state of Massachusetts, Boston University, has an online Master of Social Work. There are three other schools that have at least a hybrid format in the discipline.
Schools in Massachusetts with online MSW programs include:
Boston University: Online MSW: Clinical Social Work Practice Simmons College : Online MSW: Clinical Social Work specialized areas in Mental Health and Substance Abuse; Child and Family Welfare; Trauma and Interpersonal Violence; and Health and Aging Massachusetts CSWE Accredited MSW Programs
There are 10 different institutions in the state of Massachusetts that offer Master's degrees in social work and hold accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Of these options, there are three institutions that offer programs online, and Westfield State University has a hybrid opportunity.
Many of these colleges have both undergraduate and graduate programs available for students to complete, which can give them a full education in social work in a five-year span.
Finding a Campus and Online Based Massachusetts MSW Program
Boston has two of the universities with both options available and online opportunities for students that need additional flexibility in their education. Both Boston University and Simmons College is available nationally with no campus visit requirements. While some courses require live attendance for lectures, coursework can be completed in the asynchronous format.
Boston University's Online Master of Social Work
The School of Social Work has an online Master of Social Work program with three different formats available. The traditional program has 65 credit hours that can be completed over nine semesters and includes two field placements with 1,200 clock hours. The advanced standing track is geared toward those that have an undergraduate degree in social work, and this requires 43 credit hours over six semesters.
One of the unique tracks is pursuing the full program that is centered around human service experience. Students are not able to switch to different tracks once enrolled since they offer unique experiences and different requirements. Both the standard and human service experience take about three years to complete, whereas the advanced standing version can be finished in two years.
Students may be able to further lower their credit requirement in advanced standing by passing a proficiency exam to waive the first-level research course. There are live courses that will need to be attended at a specific time. Students should have a modern Windows or Mac operating system on their computer that is compatible with the Blackboard Learn online management system.
Those that are looking at the traditional format with less than a 3.0 GPA can still apply and be accepted into the program. There are no Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores needed to submit either, and prospective students can explain their lower grades in the personal statement. The personal statement for the application should be three to four pages that clearly describes academic background and why Boston University's program was chosen.
Simmons College's Online MSW
Anywhere from 37 to 65 credit hours will be needed for the online Master of Social Work available at Simmons College. This includes two different field practicum experiences, which students will earn at least 1,000 clock hours. There are four different formats that students can consider to graduate with the degree based on their availability.
This program can be completed in just 16 months through the advanced standing or accelerated format. Students are eligible for advanced standing if they have completed a Bachelor of Social Work from an accredited institution with high academic merit. The accelerated format is for students that are able to take on extra work and fully dedicate themselves to the program.
The traditional format takes just under two years to complete and has a reasonable amount of coursework throughout the program. Full-time enrollment is still required for this format, and part-time students can pursue the extended track that is completed in 32 months or longer if necessary. In any format, students can specialize their program in trauma, mental health, and family and group client systems.
Field Requirements and Online Benefits
Field placement is completed in a generalist and specialized experience, the latter giving the student an opportunity for hands-on training before entering the field. The online portion has many interactive features to work with faculty members and students on various projects. Additional features include viewing lectures on demand, live chat sessions, and sharing videos and documents with others.
Regis College's Online MSW
The Regis College School of Health Sciences has an online Master of Social Work program that is completed in either four or eight semesters depending on the traditional or advanced standing route. There are three different start times during the year where students are administered into the program. This program does meet certain state licensure exam requirements, but students should review their specific state for compatibility.
30 or 60 credit hours are needed within the curriculum, with foundational courses potentially being waived for those already completing a Bachelor's degree in social work from an accredited university. Examples of courses in the program include Advanced Clinical Practice with Individuals, Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis, and Social Work Practice with Families and Groups.
Field education and seminar courses will have requirements for live attendance, but many courses will have optional opportunity to view lectures live. 480 clock hours are needed in the first internship, and 600 clock hours are required for the second internship. The second internship, which focuses on the student's specialization, is only needed within advanced standing.
Benefits to pursuing the degree at Regis College includes working with faculty members that have clinical practice experience and are licensed. Smaller class sizes offer a more intimate learning experience when working with other faculty members and peers. Students with lower than a 3.0 GPA can still gain entry into the program, but must further explain how they will succeed in the program on the personal statement.
The state of Massachusetts has relatively strong employment in the youth, school, and health care sectors of social work. Over 21,000 are employed combined according to the
US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Specifically in health care, the state sees the fourth-highest employment level, and annual salaries are estimated at $61,650.
In terms of concentration, there is no higher state than Massachusetts, and four different metropolitan areas are recognized for heavy employment in this profession (New Bedford, Springfield, Pittsfield, and Leominster-Gardner). Health care professionals see a higher average salary than those working with youth or school services, as the average salary in Massachusetts is around $50,770. That is lower than many nearby states such as Connecticut, New York, and New Hampshire.
Professionals that have obtained a Master’s degree in social work can pursue licensure as a certified social worker or independent clinical social worker. Gaining the Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) designation allows for clinical work to be completed under a supervisor that holds the Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) designation.
In order to gain the needed experience for the LICSW, professionals must complete 3,500 hours in at least two years. Respective exams from the Association of Social Work Boards (Master or Clinical) must be completed and passed prior to receiving the specific licensure. 20 hours of continuing education is needed to renew the LCSW, and 30 hours for the LICSW, every two years.