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)

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

East Carolina University

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

Fayetteville State University

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

Johnson C. Smith University

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

North Carolina A & T State University

  • Program: Joint Master of Social Work (JMSW)
  • Campus: Greensboro

North Carolina Central University

  • Program: MSW
  • Campus: Durham

North Carolina State University

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

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

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

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

  • Program: Joint Master of Social Work (JMSW)
  • Campus: Greensboro

University of North Carolina at Pembroke

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

University of North Carolina Wilmington

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

Western Carolina University

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