There are seven institutions that offer an online education for their Master of Social Work program in the state of Texas. A variation of these schools are available nationally or on a regional basis and all provide state licensure.
Schools in Texas with online MSW programs include:
- Our Lady of the Lake University : Online MSW: Direct practice with Hispanic Children and Families
- Texas State University : Online Master of Social Work
- University of Houston : Online MSW: Clinical with optional emphasis in Health and Behavioral Health
- University of Texas at Arlington : Online MSW: Direct Practice with Children & Families and Direct Practice in Mental Health & Substance Abuse
- University of Texas of the Rio Grande Valley : Online MSW: Direct Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups and Community and Administrative Practice
Texas CSWE Accredited MSW Programs
The state of Texas has 18 different institutions that provide a Master's degree in social work and have been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). A blend of popular institutions are mixed with others that have smaller student sizes and a religious emphasis in their education.
Of these schools, there are at least seven that offer online programs or a hybrid combination of online coursework and on-campus meetings.
Finding a Campus Based Texas MSW Program
Opportunities are well spread out across the state for those looking to learn at a physical location. Institutions have different availability for students, such as the University of Houston allowing all students across the nation to enroll while Texas A&M University in Commerce allows all potential students within a 500-mile radius. Specializations students can consider when reviewing schools include behavioral health, practice with individuals and groups, and administrative practice.
University of Texas-Arlington's Online/Hybrid MSW
The School of Social Work provides an online Master of Social Work program in addition to an offering on campus and at their Fort Worth location. The online format is offered for full-time and part-time enrollment. Some students may be eligible for advanced standing with the ability for the program to be completed in just one year.
Students have the ability to specialize in services for children and families, mental health and substance abuse, and gerontology. These are available both online and on-campus, which additionally provides the ability for students to pursue a hybrid format with a blend of both types of courses. While there is plenty of flexibility for students, note that the online program is only available to residents of Texas (with exception to service members) at this time.
Admission requirements include submitting official transcripts that should verify completion of an undergraduate program with at least a 2.7 GPA in the last 60 credit hours. Additional needs are Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores and three letters of recommendation for the traditional program. Advanced standing applicants are exempt from those requirements, but still need to submit a narrative explaining micro and macro social practice and how these are essential.
University of Houston's Online/Hybrid MSW
The Graduate College of Social Work provides separate MSW programs that are available online and in a hybrid format. The online program is available in a part-time format for all students across the country. Those enrolled will be part of a cohort and follow assignment deadlines and examinations, but the majority of the program can be studied on the student's own time.
The hybrid program is available to students that are working full time and are eligible for advanced standing. Roughly 75 percent of the program is completed online with a few meetings on Saturday at the Houston or Sugar Land campus. This program is open to students that also reside in Louisiana and Oklahoma in addition to the entire state of Texas.
Students should be proficient in working with computers and be able to use Zoom teleconferencing software, which requires a webcam and microphone. Online education is distributed through the Blackboard learning management system. Regardless of program, at least 900 clock hours must be recorded in field work, which is split between foundational and specialization internships.
In the curriculum format, a method of practice (clinical or macro) is chosen after completing foundational work. Specializations are available in Health and Behavioral Health, Social Work Practice with Latinos, Political Social Work, or an advanced generalist. There are various unique experiences offered, such as the Child Welfare Education Project and Global Leaders of Behavioral Health Education.
Texas A&M University-Commerce's Online MSW
The School of Social Work provides an on-campus and online version of their Master of Social Work, which is offered in Foundations and Advanced Generalist Practice formats. The goals of these degrees are to provide students with general education in the field of social work for preparation to evaluate clients, improve policies, and promote social justice. The online program is available to students in a 500-mile radius of Commerce.
At least 48 credit hours are needed to complete the Foundations format, which takes approximately two years for full-time students and four years for part-time enrollees. Advanced Generalist Practice eliminates some of the foundational content and can be completed in one to two years based on enrollment. This format is only available for those that have a Bachelor's degree in social work.
Admission requirements for the Foundations format include a Bachelor's degree in at least a related field to social work and a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Applicants that do not have at least a 3.0 GPA over their last 60 credit hours must submit GRE scores for review. Additional submissions include three letters of recommendation, updated resume, and narrative statement on various topics in social work.
Texas State University's Online Master of Social Work
Like other institutions in the state of Texas, the School of Social Work through TSU provides many options for prospective students interested in higher education for social work. This program can prepare students for direct clinical practice or perform social work in a macro setting, or more commonly known as administrative work. There are two tracks to consider - Foundation and Advanced Standing.
The Foundation track is ideal for students that do not have a specific background in social work. This requires 62 credit hours and has both foundational courses and an emphasis on the chosen specialization. The Advanced Standing track only requires 36 credit hours and is reserved for those that have obtained a CSWE-accredited BSW degree in the last 10 years.
Both of these tracks are available on campus or online and can be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis. Those pursuing the Advanced Standing track on a full-time basis could complete the program in as little as one year. Examples of courses that students can pursue are Human Behavior in Individual and Family Social Environments, Social Welfare Policy and Services, and Advanced Program Planning and Grant-Based Resource Development.
University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley's Online Master of Science in Social Work
The School of Social Work at UTRGV offers a BSW and MSSW for prospective students, and the latter has an accelerated online program for those eligible for academic standing. There is an ability to specialize in Administration and Community Practice or Direct Practice with Latino Individuals, Families, and Groups. Online opportunity is available in states that have association with UTRGV.
Curriculum Structure and Field Requirements
The MSSW in Administration and Community Practice requires 33 credit hours to complete, with each course being seven weeks in length. This entire program can be pursued in just a year, which includes a 500-hour field placement. Students receiving this degree will be prepared for exams in the process of becoming a Licensed Master Social Worker in the state of Texas.
Field work is divided up into multiple semesters throughout the foundational and concentration portion of the program and combines for a total of 900 clock hours. Admission requirements include official transcripts that show the completion of a Bachelor's degree in social work that was accredited by the CSWE, having a 3.0 cumulative GPA, and three letters of references from professionals or academics in the field of social work.
Stephen F. Austin State University's Online Advanced Standing MSW
The College of Liberal and Applied Arts offers a Mater of Social Work that prepares students for licensure in the state of Texas and can apply to many other states as it receives accreditation from the CSWE. This program can be completed in one to three years based on enrollment and achieving advanced standing. An advanced generalist specialization offers skills that can be transferred to other areas.
At the moment, there is no full online option, but an online advanced standing option begins in fall 2020. Some courses are available online when pursuing the program at the Nacogdoches campus or at select sites across the state of Texas when available. Students have the ability to customize their program with an emphasis in rural social work.
Admission requirements include the completion of an undergraduate degree, which must be in the social work discipline and accredited by the CSWE for advanced standing, and at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA. Prospective students should submit official transcripts, personal statement, resume or description of volunteer work, and three letters of recommendation.
Our Lady of the Lake University's Online Master of Social Work
The Worden School of Social Service offers an online Master of Social Work that has a foundation-based program and potential for advanced standing and a quicker education for prospective students that qualify. A unique specialization offered by the school is direct practice with the Hispanic population, which is in high demand in the field of social work.
Students will interact frequently with faculty members and other students in the program online, and it is up to the instructor to determine how the course is structured. There may be requirements to view lectures at certain times, and there is generally assignment deadlines and examinations that must be completed in a specific time frame. Technical requirements include having a modern computer with a Windows or Mac operating system and access to broadband internet.
57 credit hours are needed for the completion of the foundational format, and that is shortened to 30 credit hours for advanced standing. Online education does not require any on-campus requirements and is available in 49 of the United States. There is exemption for residents in Delaware, military bases, and territories.
The school will not provide help in obtaining field work for the practicum requirement, but they will approve the agency selected by the student and set up the process. Advanced standing requires at least a 3.0 GPA in the completion of a BSW accredited by the CSWE. 450 clock hours are required for the foundational field placement and 500 clock hours for the advanced field placement.