Texas MSW Programs

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 A&M University - Commerce: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • 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.

Program Tracks

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.

Application Criteria

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.

Hybrid Format

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.

Online Requirements

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.

Curriculum Structure

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.

Foundations Format

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.

Application Criteria

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.

Program Tracks

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.

Hybrid Format

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.

Application Criteria

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.

Program Formats

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.

Curriculum Requirements

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.

Social Work Careers, Licensure, and Salaries in Texas

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state of Texas has high employment in all phases of social work specializations with over 37,000 workers in the popular sectors of child and family services, school systems, health care, mental health, and substance abuse. The biggest specialization is through youth and school services, where annual average salaries are estimated at $49,060 across the state.

The cities of Dallas and Houston employ the most social workers when compared to the rest of the state in all sectors. These are also locations where payment is slightly higher, but remain in proximity. Health care is the higher-paying sector when compared to others in the state with an annual mean wage of $58,430, which is equivalent to the national average.

Texas Social Work Licensure Requirements

Many variations exist with licensures in the state of Texas. For those that have completed a Master’s degree, they are eligible to become a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) or Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). The difference is the ability to practice in a clinical or non-clinical setting, and there is additional licensure to become an Advanced Practitioner and hold Independent Practice Recognition (IPR).

Hours of Experience Requirements

The LMSW requires the completion of the jurisprudence exam, Association of Social Work Board (ASWB) Master’s exam, and various paperwork required by the Texas state board. Those looking to become an LMSW-AP will need to complete 3,000 hours of postgraduate supervised work and the associated ASWB exam. This is similar to obtaining the LCSW, but the difference is supervised clinical practice and completing the clinical ASWB exam.

Professionals with licensures in other states may be able to waive certain requirements if they passed the ASWB examination in their process and complete the application allowing verification of licensure in other areas. Renewal takes place every two years and requires 30 continuing education credit hours – six credit hours must go toward ethical topics.

Online MSW Programs in Texas That Are CSWE Accredited

University of Houston

  • Program: Online MSW: Clinical with optional emphasis in Health and Behavioral Health CSWE Accredited
  • Specialized Area: Clinical with optional emphasis in Health and Behavioral Health
  • Availability: Part Time
  • Advanced Standing Option? Advanced Standing
  • Admissions: Eligible to residents of Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma who are able to travel to campus as needed
  • Status: Online with Campus Visit

University of Texas at Arlington

  • Program: Online MSW: Direct Practice with Children & Families and Direct Practice in Mental Health & Substance Abuse CSWE Accredited
  • Specialized Area: Direct Practice with Children & Families and Direct Practice in Mental Health & Substance Abuse
  • Availability: Full Time and Part Time Options
  • Advanced Standing Option? Advanced Standing
  • Admissions: Open to Texas residents
  • Status:

Our Lady of the Lake University

  • Program: Online MSW: Direct practice with Hispanic Children and Families CSWE Accredited
  • Specialized Area: Direct practice with Hispanic Children and Families
  • Availability: Full Time and Part Time Options
  • Advanced Standing Option? Advanced Standing
  • Admissions: Open to students from all US States except Delaware, all US territories, and all US military bases overseas
  • Status: Fully Online

University of Texas of the Rio Grande Valley

  • Program: Online MSW: Direct Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups and Community and Administrative Practice CSWE Accredited
  • Specialized Area: Direct Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups and Community and Administrative Practice
  • Availability: Full Time and Part Time Options
  • Advanced Standing Option? Advanced Standing
  • Admissions: Open to residents of Texas and other states with which UTRGV has agreements
  • Status:

Texas State University

  • Program: Online Master of Social Work CSWE Accredited
  • Specialized Area:
  • Availability: Full Time
  • Advanced Standing Option? Advanced Standing
  • Admissions: Priority given to applicants who reside more than 50 miles from an accredited MSW program
  • Status: Online with Campus Visit

Campus-Based Texas MSW Programs

Abilene Christian University

  • Program: Master of Science in Social Work (M.S.S.W.)
  • Campus: Abilene
  • Foundational topics in social welfare, evidence-based practice, and policy analysis. Incoming students should hold a Bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Advanced social work electives must be at the 700-course level. May combine with a Master's degree in Christian ministry. No prior education in social work needed unless considering advanced placement.

Baylor University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Waco
  • An on-campus and online format of the MSW program is available at Baylor. Online features opportunity to pursue original or advanced standing with on-demand coursework. Field practicums completed from an approved local organization. Concentrations available in community practice and clinical work. Curriculum offers traditional social work education with spirituality and faith in communities.

Our Lady of the Lake University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley, Online
  • Undergraduate and graduate programs available 100 percent online for students to pursue. Master's degree emphasizes social work practice and research within Hispanic culture. Advanced standing for students that have an accredited BSW degree. Average program completion time between 12 to 20 months for advanced standing. Traditional format requires up to 38 months of study with a part-time schedule. Application does not need GRE or GMAT scores for review.

Stephen F Austin State University

  • Program: Masters of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Nacogdoches
  • 64 total credit hours needed for the entire program with foundational content. Available through full-time study in two years. Part-time study is available for students able to complete the degree in a four-year time span. Prerequisites required in statistics, multicultural studies, and biology. Specialized topics prepare students for advanced generalist roles in a rural setting.

Tarleton State University

  • Program: M.S.W.
  • Campus: Stephenville, Waco, and Fort Worth
  • Concentrations available in direct practice and leadership concepts. Students gain competence in working with individuals and groups through various industries. Administration skills, policy change, and social strategy earned through the alternative focus. Program prepares individuals for taking license exams in many states. Graduates have gone on to become medical workers, counselors, and advocates for policy.

Texas A&M University - Commerce

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Commerce
  • Students may study toward advanced generalist practice in this program. Requires a 3.0 cumulative GPA with at least a B grade in field experience. Option to complete comprehensive examination or thesis for further education. Preparation may go toward the state licensure exam in Texas. Online experience available for students that live in a 500-mile radius.

Texas A&M University - Kingsville

  • Program: Clinical/Activist Masters of Social Work (MSA)
  • Campus: Kingsville
  • Five semesters, with one summer session, needed to complete program with full-time enrollment. Foundational content emphasizes clinical work in a rural setting. Also features clinical and activist practice in diagnosis and working with various patients. To gain advanced standing, students must hold a 3.2 GPA with their accredited BSW degree. 900 total hours needed in field experience over two years.

Texas Christian University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Fort Worth
  • Traditional program offered over two fall and spring semesters. Advanced standing program completed in as little as nine months. Specializations in mental health, and youth and families. Offers dual-degree opportunity with divinity studies. Graduates have a 100 percent pass rate for the state licensure exam.

Texas State University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: San Marcos, Online
  • 36 or 62 credit hours needed for the MSW depending on prior academic background. Incoming students with an accredited BSW can complete their degree without foundational courses. Either the traditional or advanced standing format is available on-campus or online. Cohorts separated depending on enrollment and format selected. Advanced topics in social work research, diagnosis, and intervention practice.

Texas Tech University

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Lubbock
  • Requires two to four years depending on full-time or part-time enrollment. Many courses available at night for part-time students but options change each semester. Elective options generally pursued over the summer terms. Practice opportunities with individuals, families, organizations, and more. Graduates eligible for national examination and licensed clinical practice in most states.

The University of Texas at Arlington

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Arlington, Fort Worth, Online
  • Online program available with full-time and part-time opportunities. Concentrations available in practice with families, mental health, and gerontology. Completed in as little as 16 months or 26-month option for part-time students. Students have over 800 organizations to consider for field experience near campus. Dual degrees available with business administration, public health, criminal justice, and more. Cohort option also available in at the Forth Worth location.

The University of Texas at Austin

  • Program: Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW)
  • Campus: Austin
  • Concentrations available in clinical work and administration needs. The clinical focus provides experience in assessment methods and interviewing various patients. Administration courses prepare for different positions in program evaluation and leadership roles. Completed in 4 to 10 semesters depending on enrollment with fall starts. Advanced standing begins in summer term. Provides certification options in school work, health care, and military consultation.

The University of Texas at El Paso

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: El Paso
  • 60 total credits needed for the full program and 30 credit hours for advanced standing. Advanced standing requires an accredited BSW with 3.5 GPA or higher. Topics include social work along the border region, organizational theory, and social policy. Upper-level elective options and a research project completed in the later year. Possible to waive social work overview and policy courses with accredited BSW degree.

The University of Texas at San Antonio

  • Program: Masters of Social Work (M.S.W.)
  • Campus: San Antonio
  • Program is available at the San Antonio downtown campus. Most course availability is in the evening during all three seasonal terms. 900 total clock hours needed for the field experience, divided between both years. Incoming students should hold a Bachelor's degree. Advanced standing requires an accredited discipline in social work. Resumes and GRE or GMAT test scores are not required in the admission process.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

  • Program: Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW)
  • Campus: Edinburg
  • 63 total credit hours needed when combining foundational and concentration courses. Available on-campus and online with accelerated curriculum for student convenience. Online program offers concentrations in direct practice and administration. Curriculum provides focused social work opportunities with the Latino community. 900 hours needed for the field experience, with 500 reserved for the second year.

University of Houston

  • Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Campus: Houston
  • Available on-campus, online, or a hybrid of both formats when available. Part-time enrollment spreads education across three academic years with online or hybrid option. Goals include understanding research methods and injustice when working within the community. Concentration studies in clinical or macro practice. Macro practice gives preparation to lead or impact progressive social change. Course topics include community development strategy and theory of social policy advocacy.

West Texas A & M University

  • Program: Master of Science in Social Work (M.S.S.W.)
  • Campus: Canyon
  • Program distributed at the Amarillo campus location. There is some course availability at night and online for student convenience. Offers an advanced generalist focus in rural communities. Advanced standing requires completing a CSWE-accredited BSW degree in the last 6 years. Incoming students should have a 3.0 GPA or higher in their social work courses. Field education can take place in more than one organization for further experiences.