One Year MSW Programs Online

Last updated August 8, 2023
One Year MSW Programs Online By Alyssa Middleton
Alyssa Middleton
Ph.D. in Social Work, focus Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care (University of Louisville) MSW (Washington University in St. Louis).
School Program Admissions
Our Lady of the Lake University Online Master of Social Work
No GRE Required, CSWE Accredited, 12 month program for BSW holders.
Our Lady of the Lake University CSWE Accredited MSW Program
Baylor University Master of Social Work
No GRE required, complete the MSW online program in as few as 12 months.
Baylor University CSWE Accredited MSW Program
Campbellsville University Online Master of Social Work
No GRE or GMAT required. Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks available. Program can be completed in less than a year.
CSWE Accredited
Simmons University Online Master of Social Work
Accredited by the CSWE. Online Master of Social Work program can be completed in as few as 9 months and GRE scores are not required.
CSWE Accredited
i sponsored programs

Click to view accredited online MSW programs that are taking applications right now and for 2023.

One year MSW programs are highly desirable for those entering the field of social work. Not only do these programs allow students with BSW degrees to complete the program in half the time as traditional MSW programs, it saves money and lets graduates enter the field sooner. The field of social work is fast-paced and requires extensive experience, regardless of the area of concentration selected.

One-year MSW programs are often referred to as Advanced Standing MSW Programs and have slightly different requirements than traditional MSW programs.

What Is The One Year MSW?

1 year MSW programs are often the programs of choice for upcoming social work professionals, especially those that already have their BSW degree.

A one year MSW program has the distinct advantage of a shorter timeframe for completion compared to a traditional MSW program. Those who have already earned their BSW have this great option to complete an Advanced Standing MSW or a one-year MSW degree.

Requirements for Admission Vary But Usually Require a BSW

The stricter requirements that are included within 1 year MSW programs usually include the completion of a BSW from a CSWE-accredited program and also may include previous work experience in the field. Prerequisites for admission do vary so be sure to check with each program to understand the differences.

Are there online 1 year MSW programs with no BSW for entry?

The short answer is no. But there are other options: many traditional MSW programs can be completed in two years or less!

Online 1 Year MSW Programs, Overview

Students have the option to attend fully online one year MSW programs. These programs provide flexibility around the student's work requirements and personal responsibilities, and many universities have the option of offering 1 year programs to students. Some example schools are listed below.

Review of One Year MSW Programs Updated for 2023

We have researched some universities in order to provide you with a list of universities that offer traditional MSW programs that can be completed in as little as 1 year. Check out the schools below.

Texas State University - San Marcos One Year MSW

Students that have completed their BSWs can take advantage of several different options at this university. TSU - San Marcos has options for traditional and online learners to earn their MSW in as little as 1 year. Both traditional and online learners are required to completed 36 credit hours in order to graduate from this advanced program.

The University of Missouri Advanced Standing MSW

The University of Missouri has different options for students that have already completed their Bachelor's in Social Work. The school offers both traditional (in-person) and online learning formats for part-time or full-time students. Missouri's 1 year program is designed specifically for BSW earners that are enrolled at a full-time rate. There is a 39 credit hour requirement for this program.

The University of New England 1 year MSW

The one-year MSW program at the University of New England can be completed in around 16 months with full-time enrollment. Students must have completed their BSW prior to being enrolled.

The University of Alaska - Anchorage One Year MSW

The University of Alaska's AP MSW program has a slightly different layout than other MSW programs across the country. Students must still have a minimum of a BSW prior to being admitted, instead of classes just during the fall and spring, the program requires students to take 3-6 credit hours in the summer semester and 15-16 during both the fall and spring semesters.

Florida State University Advanced Standing 1 year MSW

FSU offers an Advanced Standing MSW program to students that have already obtained their BSW. Students enrolled in this program must complete 39 credit hours in order to graduate with their MSW.

School Program Admissions
Our Lady of the Lake University Online Master of Social Work
CSWE Accredited
University of Kentucky Online Master of Social Work
CSWE Accredited
University of West Florida Online Master of Social Work
CSWE Accredited
Adelphi University Online Master of Social Work
CSWE Accredited
University of Southern California Online Master of Social Work
CSWE Accredited
i sponsored programs

Click to view all online MSW programs that are currently accepting applications.

Typical Requirements for Admission into a One Year MSW Program

One of the stipulations to be admitted as an advance standing student in a 1 year MSW program is that the applicant has already earned their Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited program. This is because throughout the undergraduate BSW program, students are taught the foundational topics and skills of social work. For those without the BSW degree, they need to learn these skills and topics, and so study these during the first year of the traditional 2-year MSW program. Since BSW graduates already have this knowledge and have begun developing these skills, these students are able to skip over the first year of the curriculum and jump right into the advanced level learning.

Some programs require applicants to have experience working in social work beyond undergraduate practicum placements. Other application requirements for One Year MSW programs vary by school, so be sure to check with each program that is being considered to understand the differences.

If you are interested in taking advantage of Advanced Standing degree programs, you should prepare yourself from the beginning of your college experience. The BSW program typically takes anywhere from 3-4 years to complete. Paired with a 1 year MSW program, you could potentially completed your Master’s in Social Work in around the same time it would take you to complete a standard bachelor’s degree.

1. A Bachelors of Social Work

If you are interested in taking advantage of Advanced Standing degree programs, you should prepare yourself from the beginning of your college experience, and enroll in a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work Program. The BSW program typically takes 3-4 years to complete and is an absolute necessity for being accepted into an Advanced Standing program.

2. GRE Test Scores

In addition to having the right type of degree, you may also find schools that require you to take the Graduate Level Examination (GRE) prior to applying. The GRE is a tool for testing your abilities in critical thinking, quantitative analysis, and verbal reasoning. While there are a number of social work program that still have this requirement, this is becoming less common. There are online MSW programs that do not require you to take the GRE.

3. Minimum GPA

Students applying to advanced standing programs typically need to have a minimum 3.0 GPA from their undergraduate studies. Sometimes a program will require a specific (often higher) GPA from just social work classes as well.

4. Field Work Experience

Some 1 year MSW programs encourage their applicants to have some work experience in the field of social work prior to applying. Experience in the field can sometimes promote a better understanding of the curriculum as well as the job itself. Experience can be gained through an undergraduate practicum placement, volunteering, and/or a part or full-time job in social work while you are completing your undergraduate degree.

5. Recommendation Letters

Applicants should be prepared to provide up to 3 letters of recommendation from previous instructors and/or employers. Some programs may also require an interview (either in person or online) to learn more about you, your career goals, and evaluate if they are a good fit for the program.

6. Personal Statement/Essay

At least one personal statement or essay will be required as part of the application process. This is so the program can evaluate writing skills and learn more about the applicant and why the applicant believes the online one year MSW program will help them reach their career goals. The essay is an excellent space to highlight work and life experiences that will help the applicant become a dedicated social worker.

1 Year vs 2 Year MSW Programs

1 year MSW programsare a great way for students to quickly enter professional social work practice. The opportunity to complete an MSW degree quickly, is hard to turn down. There are many advantages to pursuing your degree through Advanced Standing programs, some of which cannot be obtained through traditional 2 year programs.

Skipping foundation level courses

Since students have essentially completed the foundation courses of a traditional 2-year MSW program while earning their BSW degree, they are able to skip these courses and move straight into advanced level courses. This saves time and avoids duplicating classes, which is great, because who wants to pay to take the same class twice?

Financial benefits to less time in school

Graduate school is expensive, regardless if the program is in-person or online. Completing the MSW degree in one year will save an entire year’s worth of tuition, fees and books. Advanced standing students are done in about a year, and can earn a year’s worth of income working as a social worker in the time that it takes traditional students to complete their degree in two years.

Curriculum and classes tend to be the same

The curriculum and instruction for both programs are similar. Both traditional and online programs must be CSWE-accredited, so quality is not an issue between the two types of programs. Often, the same instructors teach in both programs at the same university, so students are getting the same experience regardless of if they are advanced standing or traditional students.

Advanced Standing MSW degree programs were designed for students that have already completed the BSW. This allows for lower credit hour requirements, which are typically between 30-40 for 1 year programs. 2 year programs can have credit hour requirements that range from 45-65 hours depending on the university. 2 year programs are also the best and only option for students that are coming from unrelated bachelor’s programs.