Looking to grow as a professional social worker? Interested in the social work field professionally, but don’t have much money to spend or the ability to pack up and move away for school?

Look no further than College Choice’s easy to understand rankings lists, where we scour the academy and the Internet for information on the most affordable online MSW programs. We also have a ranking dedicated to the Most Affordable Online Master’s Programs.

Our rankings are made using data from extensive studies published from the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA where students rated their college experiences in a variety of areas including tuition expenses, financial aid coverage, academic reputation, and after-college job placement. In addition, we’ve compared that data to other public sources like U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, and PayScale.com.

Recommended Master's in Social Work

What are the most affordable online master’s in social work?

If you’re looking for a cheap online Master’s in Social Work, then you already know the professional path to take. Let College Choice help make that decision a bit easier by rooting through the data to find you a cheap online MSW that you can afford and get excited to attend. Take a look below for some options!

1

Campbellsville University

Tuition: $7,983

Program Website

Campbellsville University has a few cheap online social work degrees, but none more popular than the MSW. This program marries Christian ideals to passionate social work service and provides students with a solid foundation in clinical work. This university is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.

This degree requires traditional students to complete 60 credit hours of coursework while Advanced Standing students need only 30 credit hours of coursework. All students must finish a 1,000 fieldwork practicum.

As the fourth most affordable Christian university in the nation, Campbellsville believes in keeping the cost of education down and within everyone’s reach. That’s why this online MSW costs just $559 per credit hour, including online distance and technology fees. Other lab fees for elective courses may apply. Military members and family get a discount at Campbellsville and other financial aid is available.

2

Western New Mexico University

Tuition: $10,068

Program Website

Western New Mexico University confers a cheap online MSW option for students who want to learn at the university but don’t live in the area. This program is perfect for students who want to become LCSWs and need a pathway forward. The university is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC, and the MSW program holds special accreditation from the CSWE.

This degree requires 64 credit hours of coursework as well as 1,000 hours of fieldwork experience. Advanced Standing students will find that they only have to fulfill 34 credit hours of coursework. After graduation, students will be eligible to sit for state licensure.

WNMU offers two tuition rates at the graduate level. In-state students pay $895.02 per three credit hours. Out-of-state students pay $1,021.11 per three credit hours. This includes online and technology fees. Financial aid is available for students who qualify.

3

Walden University

Tuition: $12,572

Program Website

Walden University is a great online destination for all students, but particularly those interested in social work. This school confers a cheap online MSW that comes with four concentrations and specializations. This university is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC. The program has further accreditation by the CSWE.

This program requires 92 total quarter credits, 70 of which come from the social work major, and 1,000 clock hours of a fieldwork practicum. While this is an online degree, two residencies are also required. Graduates will be eligible to sit for state licensure exams if they so choose; however, students are advised that requirements for licensure vary by state, so research will be necessary.

Walden has one tuition rate for all students, regardless of residency. It amounts to $540 per quarter hour. There is also a residency and technology fee that are included in the total tuition rate. Students do have access to financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants.

4

Washburn University

Tuition: $12,926

Program Website

Washburn University confers an affordable online MSW that gives students the opportunity to either earn a dual degree or focus on clinical practice. The program was designed for students who may want to go into law with a social work background or who would like to become LCSWs. This university is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC. The program is independently accredited by the CSWE.

The MSW from Washburn has different requirements, depending on if a student is Traditional or Advanced Standing and if they are taking the foundational courses, concentrating on clinical practicums, or getting a dual JD-MSW degree. However, this program generally requires 63 credit hours 1,120 hours of fieldwork practicum. All graduates will be eligible to sit for state licensure.

Students, regardless of residency, all pay one flat rate of $478 per credit hour. This amount excludes most fees and does not account for lab and professional fees for individual courses. Financial aid and military discounts are available for students who qualify. Students are advised to speak with a financial aid advisor for more information.

5

University of Texas at Arlington

Tuition: $15,250

Program Website

The University of Texas at Arlington confers an online MSW that is affordable for everyone. The program is fully online and taught in a cohort model. This university is regionally accredited by the SACS COC. It is independently accredited by the CSWE.

The program comes with two concentrations and a variety of requirements for both Advanced Standing and Traditional students. Traditional students currently must take 64 credit hours of coursework and 1,000 clock hours of fieldwork. Advanced Standing students have roughly half those requirements.

This program is incredibly cheap. Students pay $425 per credit hour, not including fees. That’s the same rate for all students, regardless of residency. On top of the online education and technology fee, there may be some lab and professional fees for different courses.

UTA Online is known for having a great range of financial aid options available for students. The school offers a military discount as well as access to social work-related scholarships. Work study and employer-assisted tuition are also available from the university.

6

Boston University

Tuition: $15,817

Program Website

Boston University offers a cheap online MSW through the Boston University of Social Work. This degree has two specializations, clinical and macro social work, and is ideal for students who are interested in becoming LCSWs in their state. This university is regionally accredited by the NEASC. The program has separate accreditation by the CSWE.

The BU MSW degree requires 65 credit hours for graduation and 1,000 clock hours of a field internship. Advancing Standing students will only have to fulfill 43 credit hours of coursework and 1,000 clock hours of field work. Students who graduate from this program will be prepared to sit for state licensure.

The university doesn’t like to play games with students, especially where tuition is concerned. BU believes that being transparent is key, which is why it lists the tuition rate for the degree right within the program overview. This degree costs $750 per credit. An additional student service and technology fee of $120 per credit is also mandatory. Financial aid is available.

7

Texas State University

Tuition: $17,264

Program Website

Texas State University offers an affordable online MSW for social work students. This program was created for students in the South who want to make a difference as an LCSW or a generalist practitioner. This university is regionally accredited by the SACS COC. The program is independently accredited by the CSWE.

This program requires 62 credits of coursework, all available online, as well as 1,100 clock hours of fieldwork experience. Advanced standing students will have half of these requirements.

TSUSM has very affordable rates for online graduate students. In-state students pay $301 per credit hour and out-of-state students pay $691 per credit hour. These do not include online distance education or technology fees. Other fees may apply depending on the course and will be included in the course description.

Students will find that TSUSM will do everything it can to help them pay for their education. There are a variety of discounts for veterans and family members as well as scholarships and grants. Work-study is also available at this school.

8

University of North Dakota

Tuition: $17,794

Program Website

The University of North Dakota confers an online MSW for students who are interested in becoming clinical social workers. The program was recently ranked in the Top Most Affordable Colleges for Online Social Work Degrees by OnlineEu.org. The university is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC.

This degree was designed specifically for non-BSW students. No Advanced Standing students will be admitted into the program. The MSW requires 60 credit hours of coursework and 1,050 clock hours of field work in order for a student to apply for graduation. This degree is not accredited by the CSWE and so students may have to earn a certificate in order to sit for the state licensure exam.

Students will be interested to hear that all graduate students at UND, online or on-campus, pay the same fee of $5345.12 per credit hour. This includes nearly all fees with the exception of lab and/or professional fees for electives taken during the course of the degree.

UND knows that education should always be affordable, so they’ve endeavored to give all students a chance to finish their degree. Currently, the school offers financial aid, military discounts, scholarships, and employer-provided tuition assistance, which is a program where a student’s employer pays part of the tuition to get a more highly skilled employee.

9

Colorado State University Online

Tuition: $19,189

Program Website

Colorado State University Online offers students a cheap online MSW that comes with the ability to get specialization certificates. This is a strong program that is CSWE-accredited and will prepare students to sit for licensure. The university is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC.

The MSW program has the same requirements as most social work graduate programs. For traditional standing students, the requirements include 60 credit hours of coursework and at least 900 clock hours of fieldwork. Advanced standing students can cut those requirements in half.

This degree has one flat tuition rate. All students pay $619 per credit hour, with most fees being included in that amount. There are some electives, however, that may require lab or professional fees. These will be listed along with the course description in the graduate catalog.

CSU Online offers military discounts and veterans’ benefits, as well as provides access to a variety of scholarships and grants that may help fund a student’s degree. However, this school does not allow for the College Opportunity Fund to be used for online courses.

10

Indiana University

Tuition: $19,470

Program Website

At Indiana University, students will find a suite of cheap online social work degrees, including the MSW Direct. This program has been updated to reflect the changing world of social work and to be in accordance with the CSWE, which independently accredits this program. The university is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC.

The MSW program requires 60 credit hours and a total of 1,000 field practicum clock hours for graduation. Students in advanced standing will only have to fulfill 30 credit hours of coursework and 450 clock hours of field work. This degree will prepare students to sit for the licensure exam.

This is a cheap online MSW. Students will find that the graduate degrees are competitive. Currently, in-state students pay $276.98 per credit hour and out-of-state students will pay $409.16 per credit hour. There is also an additional $50 per credit hour online education fee.

Indiana University does offer reduced tuition rates for military members and veterans. There are also scholarships, grants, and work-study options available through the school. Students are encouraged to speak with a financial aid advisor at the university to learn more.

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