Two institutions provide accredited social work educational programs in a convenient online format and are based in West Virginia. Employment in the social work specializations of family and health care services, is lower than the national average throughout the state.

Schools in West Virginia with online MSW programs include:

  • West Virginia University: Master of Social Work (MSW)

West Virginia CSWE Accredited MSW Programs

Seven different institutions provide higher education in social work from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Three universities within those accredited offer a Master of Social Work, and programs from West Virginia University and Concord University have online convenience. The other option is through Marshall University, which is located in Huntington.

Finding a Campus Based West Virginia MSW Program

Morgantown is home to one of the largest institutions in the state to receive social work education, West Virginia University. Other cities to consider undergraduate or graduate education in this field is in Athens, Shepherdstown, and West Liberty. Students have the opportunity to pursue specialization as an advanced generalist and receive direct clinical practice.

Concord University's Online Master of Social Work

Students are able to pursue a fully online MSW degree with a specialization in rural work as an advanced generalist. Critical thinking and evaluation skills will be gained with working with individuals or families in a rural setting. This also includes improving rural communities on a macro level with better policies and services being offered.

Formats available include the traditional two-year program and advanced standing. Students are able to get entry into the traditional program with an accredited Bachelor's degree with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. As an alternative, students that maintain a 2.75 GPA or higher in the last 60 hours of coursework will also be considered.

Advanced Standing Format

Having the advanced standing designation means that the student can waive foundational courses and the first internship experience as this has already been accomplished in undergraduate work. This format requires the completion of a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work and maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher in social work courses.

Application Requirements

Additional submissions needed for either program include three letters of recommendation and personal statement that is four to six pages in length. This personal statement should include topics such as life experiences that led to social work desire, what social issues are impacting the local community, and volunteer work. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are not required, and a resume is optional.

West Virginia University's Online MSW

The School of Social Work offers both an online and on-campus program in Morgantown for the Master of Social Work. When a pathway is selected by the student, they are unable to switch to a different format. There is a potential to dual-degree the MSW with a Master of Public Administration, but that is only available on campus with regular or advanced standing.

Curriculum Format

60 credit hours are needed for the traditional program, including two internships (generalist and advanced). 36 credit hours are needed for those pursuing advanced standing with the waiver of one internship and foundational coursework.

Both formats require the advanced internship, where students will work 16 to 20 hours per week to earn 600 total clock hours (300 clock hours needed in generalist internship).

Online Format

Students in the regular program or advanced standing are able to take the program online, and requires two to three years to complete. Advanced standing requires the completion of a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work that was earned in the last eight years. Only part-time enrollment in the fall is available for the online program as it is geared toward students with busy schedules.

Courses are distributed asynchronously, meaning students can learn on their own time while meeting assignment deadlines. There is no on-campus residency required for the MSW program, meaning students can study completely online. Specializations are not available in the online program, instead having the ability to pursue advanced generalist skills.

Careers, Licensures, and Salaries in West Virginia

Overall, the state of West Virginia has lower than national average employment for social workers specializing in youth, school services, and health care. This is also true for salaries, as the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that social workers within the field of youth and families are making $41,140 as the state’s annual mean wage. Higher salaries exist within the Morgantown metropolitan area.

West Virginia Social Work Licensure Requirements

Graduates will need to get a proper licensure for clinical and non-clinical social work in the state of West Virginia. This requires the completion of a Master’s degree and 3,000 additional field hours under supervision from a licensed professional. Depending on the type of licensure, either the clinical or advanced generalist exam is needed through the Association of School Work Boards.

Endorsement and Renewal Requirements

There is no endorsement of other state licensures in West Virginia, meaning that professionals must reapply in this particular state. Renewal takes place every two years, and 40 credit hours of continuing education is required. Within these studies, a certain amount of hours must be reserved for veteran mental health and ethical topics.

Online MSW Programs in West Virginia That Are CSWE Accredited

Campus-Based West Virginia MSW Programs

Bethany College

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

Concord University

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

West Virginia University

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