Providence and Newport are popular locations in the state of Rhode Island to find both social work education and career opportunities. On average, social workers specializing for children and family services make an annual salary of $61,080 in the Providence metropolitan area.

Rhode Island CSWE Accredited MSW Programs

Providence College, Rhode Island College, and Salve Regina University are institutions that provide social work programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Of these schools, Rhode Island College in Providence is the only place to earn a Master's degree in this field.

Finding a Campus Based Rhode Island MSW Program

Both Providence College and Rhode Island College offer opportunities in Providence, with Salve Regina University located in Newport with the city's lone accredited Bachelor's program in social work. Specializations to consider at Rhode Island College includes direct clinical practice, program evaluation, and developing social policy.

Rhode Island College's Master of Social Work

The School of Social Work offers a full MSW program with CSWE accreditation that can be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis. 62 credit hours are needed to complete the curriculum, and students choose between clinical or macro practice for their advanced studies. This program takes approximately two to four years to complete based on enrollment and if summer courses are scheduled.

Curriculum Structure

Foundational courses will consist of topics in direct practice, policy development, and research and data analysis. With the concentration selected, students will have advanced practice studies and will choose three electives to customize the program. Throughout the program, there will be internships that take place in each semester, which total 1,080 clock hours.

Full-Time and Part-Time Enrollment

In order to be considered for full-time enrollment, students must choose the proper field experience course and three additional courses each semester. To complete the program in a two-year time frame as scheduled, this requires between 14 to 17.5 credit hours in each semester. Prior to the third semester, which would require 17.5 credit hours, students have the option to pursue summer courses.

Part-time work is ideal for students that may not have the capability to study on a full-time basis with other life obligations or continuing their professional work. There is an option to switch from part-time to full-time study between the foundational and concentration studies if desired and at the approval of the program director. At least 11 credit hours are needed prior to the first field experience.

Advanced Standing Format

Students that have completed a Bachelor of Social Work from an institution accredited by the CSWE may be eligible for advanced standing. This waives the first internships and foundational courses to leave a 33-credit hour curriculum to complete. 600 hours are needed in the concentration field study.

Careers, Licensures, and Salaries in Rhode Island

Social work professionals for youth and school services typically see the highest salaries in the state of Rhode Island according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. On average, annual salaries in this specialization are at $63,310, which jumps up to over $90,000 for the top 10 percent in the workforce.

Those pursuing social work for youth and families will conduct assessment with individuals and/or groups to determine successful strategies to implement. This many include how to get government benefits to families that qualify for them, or repairing relationships with other family members that may not be consistently present.

School social workers specialize more in student performance, relationships with classmates and teachers, and policies developed by the institution.

Rhode Island Social Work Licensure Requirements

A Master’s degree in social work is required to receive the following certifications: Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). The difference between the two licenses is the professional’s ability to practice clinical work on their own versus supervision. Renewals for these licensures take place every two years with 30 credit hours of continuous education.

Hours of Experience Requirements

At least 3,000 hours of clinical practice is needed after graduation, which must be completed in a 72-month span. 1,500 hours must feature direct clinical contact, and 75 percent of supervision must be done on a one-on-one basis. This work cannot be done before a two-year timeframe, and the supervision must be done with an officially licensed LICSW.

Online MSW Programs in Rhode Island That Are CSWE Accredited


Campus-Based Rhode Island MSW Programs

Rhode Island College

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