Real-world training that prepares you for state licensure.

CSWE logo

Walden’s accredited MSW program blends the flexibility of online learning with hands-on experiences to prepare you to become a licensed social worker. Earning an MSW from a CSWE-accredited program is required to obtain licensure in most states and begin serving—and empowering—those in need.

Why Choose Walden Online MSW?

  • Learn from curriculum that prepares you to pursue licensure in your state.
  • Delve into award-winning, custom case studies to enrich your learning.
  • Experience virtual reality (VR) scenarios that simulate actual situations you may face as a social worker.
  • Participate in two MSW Skills Labs to build practical skills and readiness for your licensing exam.
  • Choose from four concentration options that align with today’s in-demand social work jobs.
  • Earn your degree your way with three degree completion options to accommodate your lifestyle and goals.

A CSWE-Accredited Program

Walden University’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CSWE's Commission on Accreditation is responsible for developing accreditation standards that define competent preparation for professional social workers and ensuring that social work programs meet these standards.

MSW Degree Completion Options

Choose from three degree completion options that match your goals and schedule, as well as four start dates throughout the year.

  • The Standard option helps you balance your online master’s in social work program with other life commitments by limiting your workload to one or two courses per term.
  • The Accelerated option is an ideal choice if you can dedicate yourself to full-time studies. This option requires a strong time commitment, as you’ll take three courses in most terms.
  • The Advanced Standing option is for students who already hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a CSWE-accredited program and graduated with a minimum GPA of 3.0. If eligible, you can reduce your completion time by skipping intro-level classes and starting your degree with advanced-level courses.


Advanced Clinical Practice

Social worker with woman and child

Develop the therapeutic skills to engage clients in defining issues, setting and prioritizing goals, and committing to the change process.

Learn More

Two Walden students experiencing virtual reality.Learn Through Simulated VR Field Scenarios at Skills Lab

Walden’s online MSW program features cutting-edge virtual reality experiences that simulate challenging situations you might face as a social worker. Innovative and intuitive, this tool allows you to build valuable skills and instincts in a safe—yet highly authentic—environment. Being well prepared for stressful encounters in the field can improve your ability to help people in need.

Change the Way You Change Lives With an Online MSW

Accredited by CSWE, our master’s in social work program combines practical curriculum with groundbreaking classroom tools and experiences. Two Skills Labs give you the unique opportunity to meet faculty and peers, hone your skills, and prepare for your field practicum. In Walden’s VR experience, you’ll hone your instincts and skills to better prepare for difficult scenarios you may face in the field.

Mission Statement

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program prepares scholar-practitioners who demonstrate culturally responsive ethical, evidence-based practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. The curriculum emphasizes cultural humility within a strengths-based, generalist intervention model and provides advanced clinical skills needed for specialized practice. The program prepares students to be change agents within and beyond their local communities and to advocate for social justice on behalf of diverse populations, with particular attention to people who are vulnerable and/or oppressed.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of Walden’s online master’s in social work program will be prepared to:

  • Develop a professional orientation and identity as a social worker.
  • Apply legal and ethical standards in the administration of social work.
  • Apply principles of advocacy that promote cultural understanding and positive social change in individuals, communities, and society.
  • Utilize evidence-based research and critical thinking skills to inform practice in meeting the needs of diverse clientele.
  • Synthesize and apply theories of human growth and development to develop culturally responsive social work practices.
  • Apply knowledge and skills in the areas of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

What’s the Career Impact of Earning an MSW Online?

Social Work Professionals Are in Demand

Now is the time to pursue your passion for helping others. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for social work professionals is expected to increase 16% by 2026—much faster than the national average for all occupations.1 This is particularly true for clinical social workers.

An estimated 109,700 social work jobs will be available through 2026, with the areas of healthcare, mental health, and substance abuse experiencing the most growth.1

Take Your Career to New Places

Open exciting new doors in your professional journey with a master’s in social work degree from Walden. Social work professionals with graduate degrees are sought by employers nationwide in industries such as healthcare, education, and human services.

In 2018, the social work job titles with the greatest employer demand included:2

  • Medical social worker
  • Clinical social worker
  • School social worker
  • Licensed clinical social worker (LCSW)
  • Mental health counselor
  • Social service assistant

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this online MSW degree program.

Increase Your Earning Potential

A Walden master’s in social work degree can potentially lead to higher earnings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work professionals in healthcare, mental health, child and family services, education, and other services earn median salaries between $43,000 and $61,000 per year.1

  • Mental health and substance abuse workers $43,250
  • Child, family, and school social workers $44,380
  • Healthcare social workers $54,870
  • All other social workers $61,980

Learn more about the career outlook for graduates with a Master of Social Work.

Read our Master of Social Work Program Outcome Report.

Job Growth Predictions from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


An estimated 109,700 social work jobs will be available through 2026.1


Demand for social work professionals is expected to increase 16% by 2026—faster than the national average for all occupations.1


Elizabeth Wallmann-Filley

Elizabeth Wallmann-Filley

MSW Student
The theory I’m learning in my Walden classes is fascinating. It helps me really understand my world and the culture I grew up in.
Obtaining a doctoral degree in counselor education and supervision is one of my proudest moments, followed by securing a faculty position at Montreat College’s counseling graduate program.
Walden’s mission of positive social change aligns directly with social work standards. So to be able to have that support, not just in the program that you’re in, but in the university itself is remarkable.
Jessica Christensen MSW Student
Lotes Nelson PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision Graduate
Lotes Nelson
Maria Ponzi MSW Graduate
Maria Ponzi

Meet Our Students and Faculty

A Social Worker’s Charge

Adrien Green
PhD in Social Work student Adrian Green shares her insight on struggles and opportunities within child protective services.

Practicing with Purpose

Renata Hedrington-Jones
Social work is often described as challenging and frustrating, but it's also rewarding to see the difference social workers make in people's lives and communities.

A Passion for Special Needs Kids

Kailee Bauman
MSW student Kailee Bauman hopes to advocate for and raise awareness of special-needs kids.

Advance Your Career

Develop In-Demand Skills

Master of Social Work Highlights
Build a foundation of skills that can position you for success in the field of social work. Change the way you change lives.

Career Outlook

Master of Social Work Career Outlook
Social work professionals are sought after by employers nationwide. Learn more about the many benefits of pursuing your MSW.

Walden's MSW Skills Lab

MSW Skills Lab
By combining online training and face-to-face interaction with field professionals, our MSW Skills Lab helps prepare you to excel as a social worker.

1Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social Workers. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

2Source: Data for this analysis of job postings for professionals with a master’s degree in social work from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, was retrieved using Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insight™. Results for industry sectors and job titles are at the national level and may not reflect local and/or short-term job conditions and are subject to change.

Note on Licensure:
The minimum academic credential required to obtain licensure to practice as a social worker in most states is a Master of Social Work (MSW) from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Walden University’s MSW program is accredited by CSWE.

State licensing boards are responsible for regulating the practice of social work, and each state has its own academic, licensure, and certification requirements.

Walden recommends that students consult the appropriate social work licensing board in the state in which they plan to practice to determine the specific academic requirements for licensure. Walden enrollment advisors can provide information relating to the state-by-state requirements for licensure. However, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all licensing requirements for the state in which he or she intends to practice. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of its coursework or programs will permit an individual to achieve state licensure, authorization, endorsement, or other state credential as a social worker.

Man sitting at latop
Questions about our Master of Social Work (MSW)?
Questions about our Master of Social Work (MSW)?
We're here to help. Talk to your personal enrollment advisor for more information today. Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.
We're here to help. Talk to your personal enrollment advisor for more information today. Please use our Domestic Form if you live in the U.S.
*Required Field
Academic Interests
Contact Information
Invalid email address
Please provide a valid phone number
Please provide a valid zipcode
Additional Information
Get Started

By submitting this form, I understand and agree that Walden University may contact me via email, text, telephone, and prerecorded message regarding furthering my education and that calls may be generated using automated technology. You may opt out at any time. Please view our privacy policy or contact us for more details.


By checking this box, I agree that Walden University may contact me by email, text message, autodialed telephone call, and prerecorded message at the contact information provided above regarding opportunities and offers to further my education. I understand that I may withdraw my consent at any time and that my consent is not a condition of any purchase. I have received the Walden University Privacy Policy