Online Master of Social Work

Program time to completion: 2 YEARS - ADVANCED STANDING PROGRAM 


Discover Your Future through an Empowerment-Focused Curriculum

Winthrop University’s online Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) program offers a curriculum focused on empowerment practice that is grounded in excellence and prepares you to be a specialized social worker. Empowerment practice assesses the influence of personal, structural and societal systems of power on vulnerable and oppressed populations. It uses assessment, intervention and evaluation methods with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations. Through empowerment practice, you can promote well-being while affirming the strengths and capabilities of people, valuing human diversity and promoting social justice.

Program Fast Facts

  • 100% online courses*
  • Dedicated field placement assistance
  • Advanced Standing program for those who qualify
  • Graduates are eligible to apply for social work licensure at the master’s level
  • Licensure exam pass rates have exceeded the national average the past 2 years

CSWE AccreditationStudy in a program that is CSWE-accredited and has been nationally recognized for quality of instruction, career advising, student diversity and networking opportunities.

Why Choose Winthrop’s Master of Social Work Program?

  • Two program options: The program offers a 60-credit hour Traditional program for those without an undergraduate social work degree and a 39-credit hour Advanced Standing program available for those who have earned an undergraduate degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program.
  • Focused: Study a unique specialization in empowerment practice.
  • Accredited: Earn your degree from a program that satisfies rigorous CSWE accreditation standards and is grounded in the NASW Code of Ethics.
  • Dedicated: Get the dedicated faculty assistance you need throughout the program.
  • Field placement: Receive dedicated assistance finding field work for your practicum experience.

Visit our events page for upcoming webinars and information sessions to learn more about the program and Winthrop University.

Traditional Program Option

Winthrop offers a Traditional M.S.W. program option, which is designed for students who do not possess an undergraduate degree in social work. This 60-credit-hour program can be completed in as few as 3 years to prepare you for a new career as a specialized social worker.

Advanced Standing Program Option

Winthrop offers a 39-credit hour Advanced Standing M.S.W. program for applicants who possess an undergraduate degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program. This option enables you to accelerate your career advancement by graduating in as few as 2 years.**


    The licensure exam pass rates for Winthrop MSW graduates have exceeded the national average for the last two consecutive years!

      "I loved that Winthrop’s MSW program focused on empowerment practice across a variety of levels instead of making me choose micro vs macro at the start of my program like other schools did." - Tara H., Winthrop M.S.W. Program Alum

      Licensure Preparation

      Graduates from the Winthrop online M.S.W. program are eligible to apply for state social work licensure at the master’s level. State licensure requirements, including specific coursework and supervison expectations, vary from state to state.

      Field Experience

      Winthrop offers a dedicated field placement specialist who will assist you in finding field placements that support your career goals. As part of your experience, you will learn how to work within an agency structure to interpret and implement policies, programs, and services. You will also apply practice knowledge and skills for engaging, assessing, intervening and evaluating in a field practice setting.

      As part of your online M.S.W. program, you will have the opportunity to complete field instruction courses that build your real-world skills in a professional practice setting.

      • Traditional students will complete a Generalist and a Specialized field placement.
      • Advanced Standing students will complete a Specialized field placement.
      • You will allocate the following hours weekly during your field courses:
        • Generalist Field Placement: Approximately 12 hours per week for 21 weeks.***
        • Specialized Field Placement: Approximately 12 hours per week for 56 weeks.***

      Program Learning Outcomes

      Upon completion of the M.S.W. program, graduates will be ready to:

      • Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior
      • Engage diversity and difference in practice
      • Advance human rights and social, economic and environmental justice
      • Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice
      • Engage in policy practice
      • Engage, assess, intervene and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities

      Graduates of Winthrop's M.S.W. program are prepared to:

      • Engage in specialized practice that is constructed from a professional foundation of social work knowledge, skills and values.
      • Use empowerment practice principles including affirming strengths and capacities and thinking critically about multiple influences of power
      • Use empowerment practice principles as a guiding framework for selecting, applying and evaluating evidence-based advanced theories and methods in ways that promote human and social well-being.
      • Provide leadership in influencing societal systems of power to become more responsive and culturally relevant toward helping people and groups improve their current situations and quality of life.

      For more information on the programs learning outcomes visit our curriculum page.

      A Career That Matters

      Social workers help people, communities and organizations address and affirm strengths and capacities and identify, address and overcome challenges. The online M.S.W. program will prepare you for social work positions where you can make a real difference in diverse practice areas such as:

      • Aging
      • Child Welfare
      • Healthcare Social Work
      • Justice and Corrections
      • Mental Health
      • Policy Planning
      • Community Organizing
      • International Social Work

      Get Started Today!

      To learn more about how the online M.S.W. program at Winthrop University can give you the skills to empower people, communities and organizations as a specialized social worker, please contact a program manager toll-free at 833/257-1704 or request more information today!

      * Except field internship courses

      ** An undergraduate degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program makes you eligible to apply for the Advanced Standing program option, but does not guarantee acceptance.

      *** Field Placement time commitment subject to change.