Pennsylvania MSW Programs

There are multiple opportunities to study the Master of Social Work in the state of Pennsylvania, but three of them offer an online option. These institutions are Temple University, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and Widener University.

Schools in Pennsylvania with online MSW programs include:

  • Edinboro University of Pennsylvania : Online MSW: Family Social Work Practice
  • Temple University : Online MSW: Areas of Specialist Practice: Trauma, Health/Mental Health, Children and Families, Humanitarian Social Work, and Military Social Work
  • Widener University : Online MSW: Advanced Clinical with focus on trauma and its impact on mental health

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.

Pennsylvania CSWE Accredited MSW Programs

There are 13 institutions that offer a Master's degree in social work that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This designates that the program has gone through a rigorous process to have the education necessary for many state licensures across the country. Of those programs, three of them provide online opportunities for students.

Finding an Online Based California MSW Program

Temple University is one of the more popular institutions with this opportunity. They offer a variety of course formats and require a three-day campus visit for field placement preparation. Other programs such as the one offered by Widener University has no on-campus requirements and zero restrictions for prospective students across the country.

Temple University's Online MSW

Students are able to pursue their Master of Social Work online at Temple University, which is offered as a part-time opportunity that is completed in three to four years. There are both synchronous and asynchronous aspects of this program, featuring live lectures and meetings with assignments and class discussion boards that can be completed on the student's own time. If desired, online students can also pursue a dual degree with the Master of Public Health.

On-Campus Residency

Orientation is completed in an online format for students to gain familiarity with the Canvas learning management system. There is also a three-day residency at the Philadelphia campus between the first and second year for students to prepare for their field practicum and complete specific coursework that is not done online.

Program Tracks

Two areas of specialization are available when pursuing the degree: working with children and families, and improving health and mental health for various clients. The specialization chosen is emphasized in the second internship, which is needed to complete the field practice requirement. Examples of courses that students will pursue include Foundations in Social Work Research, Foundation for Transformative Social Work in Social Justice, and Dynamics of Health, Health Care, and Health Systems.

Online Information

Technical requirements include a modern desktop or laptop computer webcam and microphone for virtual interaction with faculty and students. Broadband internet connection is recommended, along with a CD-ROM and printer for courses that require them. It is recommended that students use a Windows or Mac-based operating system with various web browsers, Adobe Reader, Java plug-in, and 2013 Microsoft Office Suite.

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania's Online/Hybrid MSW

The School of Graduate Studies offer the Master of Social Work in an online or hybrid format with traditional or advanced standing placement. Four different terms are spread out in the various seasons, with summer and winter semesters offered exclusively in online and hybrid formats. Students will be prepared to work in various locations, such as rehabilitation centers, schools, and foster homes.

There are various mandatory start times depending on what format is selected. Students that are pursuing the standard program can start in the fall or spring semester, and those in the hybrid format can only begin in the fall. Regardless of format, those with advanced standing must begin their courses in the summer.

Admission Requirements

Prospective students must include the completion of an application with fee, submitting official transcripts, two letters of reference, and professional resume. In addition, a personal statement of up to four pages is needed, describing accomplishments in social work and goals in this program.

Transcripts should verify the completion of a Bachelor's degree with coursework in liberal arts (humanities, social sciences, fine arts, etc.) and a cumulative 2.8 GPA. Students unable to meet this GPA will need to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Those looking at advanced standing must have a 3.0 GPA or higher with a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work.

Widener University's Online Master of Social Work

Students have an ability to complete variations of the MSW at Widener University in an online format. There is regular and advanced standing for the curriculum, which requires 64 credit hours or 41 credit hours to complete, respectively. Students do not have to meet at the campus for residency requirements, and it is open to anyone in the United States.

Program Formats

It takes approximately three years to complete the full MSW program, while that is truncated to approximately two years with advanced standing. Field placement is accomplished with help by the school, and must be approved by faculty. At least 1,100 hours of field work is required in this program.

There is a unique opportunity to pursue a hybrid dual degree that combines the MSW with a Master of Education (MEd) with a concentration in Human Sexuality Studies. This offers social work specialization in working with clients on sensitive topics in human sexuality and developing treatment plans or diagnosing issues. While the core MSW program is completed online, the MEd is completed on-campus during the weekend.

Students can pursue an MSW that is focused on clinical treatment of trauma, and the curriculum can be customized with an advisor in those scenarios. Application requirements include the completion of a Bachelor's degree (CSWE-accredited social work for advanced standing) with a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher. Additional submissions include a statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, and official transcripts.

Social Work Careers, Licensure, and Salaries in Pennsylvania

The highest-employed specialization in social work for the state of Pennsylvania is within child, family, and school services. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 21,000 professionals are recognized in this sector, and that carries an average annual salary of $44,870 across the state.

By comparison, the state has over 7,000 employed in health care and mental health, with the latter sector being the third-highest state – only lower than the neighboring state of New York and California. Much of this concentration in mental health services can be found in Altoona, which is the highest nationally when compared to other metropolitan areas.

Pennsylvania Social Work Licensure Requirements

There are licensed social workers and licensed clinical social workers designated in the state of Pennsylvania for professionals that have completed a CSWE-accredited Master’s degree. Clinical status requires 3,000 postgraduate work hours in at least two years, with half of this requirement going toward specializations such as group therapy and psychotherapy. They must also meet with an LCSW supervisor for two hours out of every 40 work hours recorded.

Endorsements and Renewal Requirements

Pennsylvania does not recognize other state licensures, so professionals must submit a new application that shows verification of the licensure and that no violations have been recorded. Renewal of the licensures take place every two years and they must complete 30 credit hours of continuing education. 20 credit hours are eligible to be completed online, and 3 credit hours must be reserved for professional ethics.

Online MSW Programs in Pennsylvania That Are CSWE Accredited

Widener University

  • Program: Online MSW: Advanced Clinical with focus on trauma and its impact on mental health CSWE Accredited
  • Specialized Area: Advanced Clinical with focus on trauma and its impact on mental health
  • Availability: Part Time
  • Advanced Standing Option?
  • Admissions: Open to students anywhere in the United States, as well as service members stationed around the world
  • Status: Fully Online

Temple University

  • Program: Online MSW: Areas of Specialist Practice: Trauma, Health/Mental Health, Children and Families, Humanitarian Social Work, and Military Social Work CSWE Accredited
  • Specialized Area: Areas of Specialist Practice: Trauma, Health/Mental Health, Children and Families, Humanitarian Social Work, and Military Social Work
  • Availability: Part Time
  • Advanced Standing Option?
  • Admissions: Open to students in most states
  • Status: Online with Campus Visit

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

  • Program: Online MSW: Family Social Work Practice CSWE Accredited
  • Specialized Area: Family Social Work Practice
  • Availability: Full Time
  • Advanced Standing Option? Advanced Standing
  • Admissions: Open to students anywhere in the United States
  • Status: Fully Online

Campus-Based Pennsylvania MSW Programs

Bryn Mawr College

  • Program: Master of Social Service (MSS)
  • Campus: Bryn Mawr
  • Master of Social Service focuses toward removing social injustice and strengthening ethical principles. Students gain skills in clinical assessment and critical thinking. Concentrations include clinical practice or policy development and advocacy. Courses generally offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In the summer, classes meet on Mondays and Thursdays in the evening. Admission requires official transcripts, recommendation letters, and faculty interview.

Bryn Mawr College

  • Program: Master of Social Service (MSS)
  • Campus: Bryn Mawr
  • Offers traditional and advanced standing within Master's degree program. Electives include mental health policy in school, family therapy, and global social welfare. Field experience meets other times with availability needed during the day. Certificates available in organizational management, law, and family wellbeing. GRE test scores are not required in the application process.

Bryn Mawr College

  • Program: Master of Social Service (MSS)
  • Campus: Bryn Mawr
  • Students may consider a dual degree with the MSS program and public health studies. Average completion time set at three years with fall admittance. Social work education distributed in the first and third academic years. Must apply to Thomas Jefferson University by February of first academic year. Program culminates with a public health-focused capstone project.

California University of Pennsylvania

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: California
  • Offered at the main campus with some opportunities for online coursework. May study abroad and observe social services in different parts of the world. Emphasizes social work in a rural setting and improving community quality of life. Other topics explored in administration duties, data analytics, and evaluation methods. Application requires three reference letters, official transcripts, and updated resume.

California University of Pennsylvania

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: California
  • Available in a two or three-year program depending on enrollment choice. Elective options include mental health, gerontology, and children and youth. Many elective choices have an emphasis on rural settings and communities. At least a 3.25 GPA needed for advanced standing consideration. Accredited BSW degree also earned within the last six years.

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Kutztown
  • Completed in one to four years based on enrollment pathway and academic standing. Advanced standing requires summer start to complete within one or two academic years. Program begins in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Opportunity to specialize in child and family work, substance abuse, and school counseling. 960 total clock hours needed for field experience during the program.

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Kutztown
  • Specializations available include criminal justice, and medical rehabilitation and home care. At least six credit hours needed in the specialization selected. Executive schedule offers courses on Tuesday nights and Saturday. Some courses are available online, but the program is only available on campus. Application must have personal essay, official transcripts, and recommendation letters. Essays waived for those completing a BSW at the university.

Marywood University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Scranton
  • Elective options include victim trauma studies, substance abuse, disabilities, and gerontology. Also offers independent study or thesis with approved topic by a faculty member. 920 total field experience hours needed over four semesters. Program also available at the Lehigh Valley and Pocono locations at different universities. Opportunity to dual degree in health services, divinity studies, and public administration.

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

  • Program: Master of Social Work (BSW)
  • Campus: Shippensburg
  • 60 total credit hours needed for the traditional program. Many courses are available in the evening to convenience those with professional work. Can study advanced generalist in various specialties, including substance abuse and disability. Advanced standing available for students with 3.25 GPA or higher in social work studies. Features a student research club and annual conference that focuses on social justice.

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

  • Program: Master of Social Work (BSW)
  • Campus: Shippensburg
  • Offered along with Millersville University with accreditation from the CSWE. Provides an opportunity for on-campus and/or online course options with hybrid education. Some elective options offered completely online. Prior academic work should include liberal arts education for the traditional format. Advanced standing requires an accredited BSW degree. This format requires one year of studies to complete.

Temple University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Philadelphia
  • Traditional format available both on-campus or online with full or part-time enrollment. Advanced standing only offered at the Philadelphia campus. Offers focus on individualized or family clinical practice. Alternative studies offered at the macro level with communities and policy. Over 500 organizations available for field work in the Philadelphia location. Combine with public health degree with emphasis on social sciences or health policy.

University of Pennsylvania

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Philadelphia
  • Offers traditional program in two or three years depending on enrollment. Employed practitioners option available for working professionals at an agency. Opportunity must hold approval from faculty or similar part-time option taken. Students complete their education in smaller settings with 15 to 25 other peers. Combinable with 13 other graduate-level programs, including social policy and nonprofit leadership. Part of the Child Welfare Education for Leadership program.

University of Pittsburgh

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Pittsburgh
  • Required generalist courses include social welfare, human behavior, and working with diverse populations. Students focus on direct practice with various clients or community and organization needs. Certificates available within the concentration, including mental health, gerontology, and integrated health care. Health care focus prepares social workers for abuse evaluation, treatment plans, and more. 1,080 total hours needed for field placement experience.

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: West Chester
  • Provides advanced generalist practice with individuals and group clients. Students complete the program in two to four years depending on enrollment. Two-year full-time program generally has daytime courses. Most formats need three recommendation letters, official transcripts, and resume for admission. An interview could take place with faculty members in the process. Program available at the West Chester and Philadelphia campus locations.

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: West Chester
  • Various on-campus, online, and hybrid versions of the degree are available. Three-year program has evening courses at the West Chester location. Online opportunities vary on course and all required courses have daytime options. Students should have some liberal arts academics from undergraduate work. Advanced standing requires accredited BSW within the last seven years and 3.0 GPA. GRE scores are not required to send with the application.

Widener University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Chester
  • Available on-campus in Chester or online for convenient study around the country. Students complete the program in a span of one to three years depending on enrollment. Certification available in gerontology, substance abuse, trauma, and international work. Advanced standing requires accredited BSW with 3.3 GPA in social work courses. Letter of recommendation also needed from field instructor during undergraduate studies. Also available 100 percent online with the human sexuality graduate degree.