North Carolina MSW Programs

Numerous colleges have an opportunity for accredited social work education in the state of North Carolina, and there is significant variation on large, recognizable universities to smaller institutions. Regardless of opportunity, many classes remain small for an intimate educational experience to build the faculty and student foundation.

Schools in North Carolina with online MSW programs include:

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill : Online MSW: Direct Practice (DP) and Community, Management, and Policy Practice (CMPP)

School Level Program Admissions
University of Kentucky Master Online Master of Social Work (CSWE Accredited) Website
George Mason University Master Master of Social Work (MSW) Online (CSWE Accredited) Website
Our Lady of the Lake University Master Online MSW (CSWE Accredited) Website
University of West Florida Master Online Master of Social Work (CSWE Accredited) Website
Campbellsville University Master Master of Social Work (CSWE Accredited) Website
Aurora University Master Online MSW (CSWE Accredited) Website
Sacred Heart University Master Master of Social Work (CSWE Accredited) Website

Click to view all online MSW programs that are currently accepting applications.

North Carolina CSWE Accredited MSW Programs

A dozen institutions across the state of North Carolina offer Master's degrees in social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This includes many popular schools in the state, such as East Carolina University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University.

Finding a Campus Based North Carolina MSW Program

Cities that prospective students can consider to gain graduate-level education in social work include Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Wilmington. Examples of specializations that can be pursued include children and youth or criminal justice at North Carolina Central University, direct practice at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, or community development or management at UNC at Chapel Hill.

Appalachian State University's Hybrid MSW

The Department of Social Work offers the Master of Social Work with two concentrations: Individuals and Families, and Community and Organizational Practice. In addition to the opportunity of specializing the program, students can choose between full-time and part-time enrollment and may be eligible to waive foundational courses with advanced standing. This latter opportunity can also be pursued in a hybrid format.

60 total credit hours are needed for the traditional program regardless of concentration, but this lowers to 33 total credits with advanced standing. The Individuals and Families concentration emphasizes preparation for analyzing problems in a variety of settings, such as schools and hospitals. Organizational practice focuses more on advocating for policy change at human services agencies.

Hybrid Format

Students opting for the hybrid format will complete the program at the ASU Center at Hickory over a two-year time frame. This includes courses taken in the summer, which are typically electives regardless of concentration selected. Examples of courses include Advanced Social Work Practice with Adults, Leadership in Health and Human Service, and Advanced Community Social Work Practice.

Application Criteria

Admission requirements include holding a Bachelor's degree with some liberal arts courses completed, 3.0 cumulative GPA, and Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. In order to be administered into the advanced standing program, students should have earned the Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE-accredited program. They should have earned the degree in the last seven years and hold a 3.2 cumulative GPA.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's MSW

The School of Social Work provides a full Master of Social Work program that can be completed in a variety of ways to convenience students. This includes a three-year program that is geared toward students with professional experience, but cannot enroll full-time to the program. Getting an MSW is available at the Chapel Hill campus and the Forsyth County Department of Social Services at Winston-Salem.

Curriculum Structure

Students will complete courses on social welfare policy, human behavior, and social research in the first half of the program. This foundational portion can be split into two years for the three-year program. The specialization curriculum adds direct skills for students in the field they are going into, and this can further be explored with 10.5 credit hours worth of electives.

Field Education

UNC is linked to numerous organizations and agencies across 50 counties in the state of North Carolina. The generalist internship will focus on working with individuals and families with basic social practice. The second internship emphasizes the specialization selected, such as community, management, or policy practice.

  • First internship: 16 hours each week is required on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • Second internship: 24 hours each week is required on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Careers, Licensures, and Salaries in North Carolina

Social workers specializing in mental health and substance abuse in North Carolina typically see higher salaries when compared to categories according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Pursuing this type of career means that social workers analyze clients that are dealing with addiction issues and help develop treatment plans either directly or within an agency.

Average Salary of a North Carolina Social Worker

Average salary estimates across the state is at $52,600 annually, which is on par or higher than many states in the southeastern portion of the United States. Wilmington is one of the top metropolitan areas with over $56,000 as the average salary locally. Across the state, North Carolina has over 2,400 workers represented in mental health social work.

North Carolina Social Work Licensure Requirements

After obtaining a CSWE-accredited Master’s degree, the state of North Carolina allows for application toward various licensures in the field of social work. There are separate licensures for gaining a certified license for administrative and policy purposes, and the clinical licensure to directly work with clients. Those wanting the LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) must have the associate licensure prior to the application process.

Hours of Experience Requirements

For either clinical or administrative, at least 3,000 hours of post-graduate work is needed in those categories. Clinical work must be done under an approved supervisor in a time span between two to six years. Administrative work must be done under an official social work administrator, and either option must have passable scores for the proper exams offered by the Association of Social Work Boards.

Online MSW Programs in North Carolina That Are CSWE Accredited

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Program: Online MSW: Direct Practice (DP) and Community, Management, and Policy Practice (CMPP) CSWE Accredited
  • Specialized Area: Direct Practice (DP) and Community, Management, and Policy Practice (CMPP)
  • Availability: Full Time
  • Advanced Standing Option?
  • Admissions: Open to studnets anywhere in the United States
  • Status: Online with Campus Visit

Campus-Based North Carolina MSW Programs

Appalachian State University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Boone
  • Concentrations available through community practice and working with individuals and families. Examples of community practice courses includes advanced advocacy and program development. Students also choose individuals, groups, or families. Advanced standing studies offered on-campus or in hybrid program. 480 total hours of field placement needed in each semester.

East Carolina University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Greenville
  • 60 total credit hours needed to complete the full program with three field sessions. 42 total credits needed for advanced standing with two field sessions. Course examples include various practice sessions and improving the clinical and community relationship. Comprehensive assessments given during the third designated field experience. Prepares individuals to be counselors, probation officers, and marriage and family therapists.

Fayetteville State University

  • Program: Masters of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Fayetteville
  • Offers full-time program or part-time option with course distribution on weekends. Students take courses during Friday night and throughout Saturday. Application process requires GPA above 2.5, liberal arts studies, and personal statement. Personal statement should detail career goals and various work experiences. GRE scores are not needed for submission. Also offers specific certifications in substance abuse and military behavior and health.

Johnson C. Smith University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Charlotte
  • Two-year program offers exploration in different cultures and research methods. Advanced generalist practice available with individuals and groups. Field experience includes seminar sessions preparing students for the work place assigned. 900 total clock hours assigned for field experience, with 500 hours in second year. Advanced standing begins in summer semester and follows second-year curriculum.

North Carolina A & T State University

  • Program: Joint Master of Social Work (JMSW)
  • Campus: Greensboro
  • MSW and PhD program combined with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Courses offered through both campus locations. Requires 60 credit hours or limited 42 credit hours with advanced standing. General topics in foundational year include practice theory, social justice, and welfare policy. Advanced research methods and clinical practice offered in the specialization year.

North Carolina Central University

  • Program: MSW
  • Campus: Durham
  • Traditional two-year format with full-time study in advanced generalist practice. Students should maintain a 3.0 GPA in studies with no more than one C grade. Practicum and research projects must hold B grade or higher. Admission requires transcripts, resume with supplemental work, and writing sample. Advanced standing must complete summer courses with 3.0 GPA or higher to continue.

North Carolina State University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Raleigh
  • Offers generalist practice with individuals and family members. Elective options include addiction recovery, child welfare, homelessness, and school social work. Admittance requires 3.0 GPA and prior coursework in biology and statistics. Incoming students must have a higher 3.5 GPA for advanced standing eligibility. GRE scores are not required, but are still reviewed if submitted.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Chapel Hill
  • Various program options include the two or three-year traditional program. Part-time enrollment available at the Chapel Hill and Winston-Salem campus locations. Advanced standing offered in a 12 or 20-month curriculum. Concentrations offered in direct practice or policy management community practice. 16 to 24 hours for field practice needed per week on Wednesday through Friday. Interview required between student and field instructor for appropriate designation.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Charlotte
  • 60 total credit hours needed in the full program with 12 dedicated to field experience. Advanced standing offered for one traditional year with extended summer courses. Three-year plan offers an online education with live courses and on-demand lectures. The advanced curriculum spreads across the two final years. Immersion experiences provide a way for students and faculty members to meet together.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

  • Program: Joint Master of Social Work (JMSW)
  • Campus: Greensboro
  • Joint effort with North Carolina A&T State University. Admission requirements include official transcripts and recommendation letters. Advanced standing needs 3.5 GPA or higher and BSW degree received in the last 10 years. Prior academic experience should hold credit in behavioral sciences, humanities, and statistics. May complete school social work licensure with admittance to Teacher Education Program. Also requires Advanced School Social Work course and school field experience.

University of North Carolina at Pembroke

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Pembroke
  • Courses offered both online and on-campus in a hybrid format. Program length one to three years depending on type of enrollment. Advanced standing requires students holding an accredited BSW degree. Specialization focuses on generalist practice in rural settings. This is also applied to direct practice with indigenous populations. Other courses include mental health assessment and substance abuse counseling.

University of North Carolina Wilmington

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Wilmington
  • Goals include advancing human rights and competency in practice with individual and groups. At least 900 total hours of field experience needed in the program. These internships spread over three semesters and three days of the week. Advanced standing requires 600 total hours over the two traditional semesters. Admission requires a 3.0 GPA and at least 20 credit hours in humanities and social sciences.

Western Carolina University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Cullowhee
  • Requires 54 to 60 credit hours depending on prior education experience. Courses in human behavior and research methods are eligible for waiver. 960 total field experience hours needed over the traditional two-year program. Advanced standing requires summer preparation course. No part-time opportunities for advanced standing. Offered through the Asheville and Cullowhee campus locations. Admission process does not need the submission of GRE scores.