Masters of Social Work

Take your commitment to supporting individuals, families, and communities up a degree in our fully online Masters of Social Work program (MSW). This high-quality program at North Alabama is accredited by CSWE and offers a one-year fast-track option for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW).

Gain the professional skills and hands-on experience you need to prepare for an advanced position in social work. With an MSW degree, you’ll be prepared to work in all social work settings, including micro, mezzo, and macro practice for advanced generalist social work. Drive your career in the direction you want to go through professional internships built to support your career goals as well as personalized mentorship from experienced professors with a team mentality.


Time to Complete
12 Months one-year Advanced Standing for students with a BSW from a CSWE accredited program
24 Months two-year MSW


Mode Offered
Fully online



Why North Alabama?

North Alabama’s Masters in Social Work online program fits into your busy life. The program also has a one-year accelerated option for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in social work.

North Alabama’s Masters in Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).


Gain a wide spectrum of training built to support your advanced generalist social work practice. The online MSW program combines a strong understanding of human behavior, research methods, and direct practice to ensure your professional success.

The following course requirements can be used by social work students who are under the Fall 2023-24 CATALOG/BULLETIN (or later, subject to future revision). 

Requirements for a Masters of Social Work Degree

Major Core Requirements - Advanced Standing:


Advanced Social Welfare Policy Analysis: Development and Evaluation (SW 605)


Advanced Generalist Practice with Children, Adolescents, and Families (SW 661)


Field Internship and Seminar for Social Work Practice (SW 630, 631, 632, 633)


Clinical Assessment and Diagnostic Psychopathology (SW 610)


Advanced Generalist Practice with Groups (SW 665)


Advanced Generalist Practice with Communities and Organizations (SW 662)


Social Service Program Evaluation: Practice Implications (SW 670)


Non-Profit Management and Agency Administration (SW 680)


Social Work Licensure for Workforce Readiness (SW 600)


Elective (see below) 



Get hands-on experience with your MSW online that will translate directly into your professional aspirations.

  • Advanced Standing students, who already have a BSW, complete one internship for 6 hours per semester
  • Traditional MSW students, with no BSW, complete two internships for 12 hours per semester


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What can I do with an MSW?

By earning your master’s in social work, you gain professional skills and experience essential for advancing your career in private practice or agency positions. Fields of practice can include mental health, medical, schools, children and families, substance abuse, and gerontology.

Admissions Requirements

  1. Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.85 for the two-year program and 3.25 for the advanced standing.  If a student is below these criteria, the GPA for the last 60 hours of their undergraduate work may be considered.
  2. Undergraduate transcript
  3. Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  4. Essay related to advanced social work studies (see below for details)
  5. Please provide two letters of recommendation that speak to your character, integrity, maturity, and readiness for graduate Social Work training.
    1. At least one letter must be from an academic source such as a current or previous professor
    2. The other letter can be from an academic or professional contact
  6. No GRE or other test required

Personal Narrative Essay Outline:

Limit your essay to 2,000 words with Times New Roman 12-point font, double-spaced, and number your responses to correlate with the questions below. Be sure to abide by the word limit and the above stated guidelines. 

  1. Describe your long-term goals upon completion of the MSW program. 
  1. What are your reasons for pursuing an MSW? Please describe your professional experience, other work-related or volunteer experience that contributed to your choice of social work as a profession. 
  1. The NASW Code of Ethics identifies six core values of the social work profession, describing them as “the foundation of social work's unique purpose and perspective.” How are your personal and professional values compatible with these six core values? (give specific examples) 
  1. It is imperative that social workers become culturally competent and exemplify sensitivity to ethnicities, religions, beliefs, and lifestyles that may differ from their own. Briefly describe your definition of diversity in our society. Describe any experiences you have had that will strengthen your ability to work proficiently with diverse clients. 
  1. Identify one social problem that interests you, and briefly explain how you think social workers might address this issue. 
  1. The admissions committee is seeking a diverse group of students who can enrich the overall classroom learning experience. What special attributes or personal characteristics do you have that you believe will advance the scholarship and professional experience of your peers in the social work program? 
  1. Signature and date _________________________________


  •  Use one-inch margins, 12-point type with Times or New Times Roman font.
  • Personal data: Name, address, phone number, email address
  • Educational experience: Institutions and the dates you attended; Academic degrees awarded, including majors and minors
  • Work experience: A list of all positions listed in chronological order, beginning with the most recent, with a 2-3 line job description for each
  • All beginning and ending dates for each position
  • Indication of whether the position was full-time or part-time
  • Volunteer experience: A list of all positions listed in chronological order, beginning with the most recent, with a 2-3 line job description for each
  • All beginning and ending dates for each position
  • Professional affiliations and honors from your school, profession, or community:
  • List of any memberships in professional organizations and service groups
  • List of honors or special awards received.

Tuition and Aid

Earn a high-quality MSW degree online that reflects the rigorous standards required to earn CSWE-accreditation for $495 per credit hour. Further savings may be available through your employer - find out here:

Find more information about Tuition and aid here>>

2023-2024 Tuition Cost

  • $495 per credit
  • Only $16,650 for Advanced Standing
  • Only $33,300 for Traditional MSW

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