Most Affordable Online Masters In Social Work Degrees

Updated January 13, 2023

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A ranking of the most affordable online master's in social work programs. Programs ranked by affordability, flexibility, and academic quality.

CollegeChoice.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

social worker visit Credit: sturti | E+ | Getty Images

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.

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How much money can you make with an Online Master's in Social Work?

Social workers are the unsung heroes of society. Sometimes the profession gets saddled with unfairly low compensation for high-stress work. But you can actually find quite a bit of work out there that pays well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social workers typically make anywhere from $48k to $79k per year.

It's no surprise that there is a steady demand for the work. And it looks as though that demand will increase by over 16 percent over the next eight year. The largest demand is for healthcare social workers and substance abuse social workers.

What can you do with an Online Master's in Social Work?

Our communities are in dire need of healthy, constructive ways to relate to one another. Social workers are working hard to be the leaders in this change. We need social workers in virtually all sectors of society. Here are a few areas in which you could use your degree:

  • Child and Family Social Workers
  • Healthcare Social Workers
  • Mental Health Social Workers
  • School Social Workers
  • Substance Abuse Social Workers

What are the requirements for an Online Master's in Social Work?

While all of these program share in their ultimate focus of an affordable online Master's in Social Work, they all have slight differences. Being aware of what you're looking for can help you select the program that's perfect for you.

Most of the programs will cover 50 to 70 credit hours in total. Curricula will vary between them. Some put emphasis on a specific area of social work—like clinical social work or school social work. Others require a hands-on practicum to prepare you for licensing. The best thing you can do is thoroughly research the top three programs on your short-list and see what fits your schedule and budget.

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.

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.

Take a look below for some options!

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

#1 Most Affordable Online Masters In Social Work Degrees

Campbellsville University

  • Campbellsville, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Campbellsville University’s academic catalog includes rigorous graduate education available online. One of these options is the master of social work for degree-holders with a bachelor’s in social work or a related field. This program successfully combines the rigor of graduate coursework with the flexibility of the online format.

Enrollees enjoy many benefits with the 14-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio, including individualized attention, more room to collaborate, and faculty mentorship opportunities. The program features a rigorous curriculum that provides extensive social work training administered by scholars and experts. It prepares graduates with the academic training necessary to succeed in a competitive workforce or a doctoral program.

Tuition costs an average of $12,240 per year. Qualifying students can apply for grants and scholarships to help fund their master’s. Learners can also explore student loans, which about 49% of enrollees use at this institution.

Average Tuition
In-state
$24,900
Out-of-state
$24,900
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
70%
Students Enrolled
12,381
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
77% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Most Affordable Online Masters In Social Work Degrees

Western New Mexico University

  • Silver City, NM
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

At Western New Mexico University, degree-seekers can choose from a variety of online graduate programs. The master of social work program features many of the qualities bachelor's degree-holders need to advance their education in this field. Enrollees complete an accredited curriculum with little need to relocate or give up their full-time jobs.

A 13-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio facilitates faculty mentorship opportunities and collaboration. The program features a rigorous curriculum that provides extensive social work training administered by scholars and experts. This higher-level academic preparation is a prerequisite for career advancement or a doctoral program in this field and related ones.

New Mexico students pay a yearly average of $3,356 in tuition while those living elsewhere pay $8,730. The scholarships and grants available to many degree-seekers help them reduce the price of tuition. At this institution, about 39% of enrollees use student loans to finance all or part of their degree.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,167
Out-of-state
$11,400
Retention Rate
59%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,193
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Most Affordable Online Masters In Social Work Degrees

Walden University

  • Minneapolis, MN
  • 4 years
  • Online

Many students attend schools such as Walden University to earn degrees from a distance, and the private school develops programs with them in mind. The institution’s 39 master's degrees available from a distance help make the college a leader in online graduate education. The master of social work is a good option for social work learners who want advanced degrees.

Graduate students can use online education such as this program to accomplish a goal that may otherwise seem unachievable because of logistical issues. They can do so by using video recordings often available and completing coursework in the evenings, weekends, and at other convenient times. A hallmark of this institution is abundant experience providing rigorous degrees that emphasize both rigor and flexible learning.

Master's degree-seekers usually need a bachelor's degree in the same or a similar field in order to receive consideration. The program department can provide more application information, such as what documents to submit and how to provide them.

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,428
Out-of-state
$10,428
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
48,420
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Most Affordable Online Masters In Social Work Degrees

Washburn University

  • Topeka, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Washburn University is a public college in Topeka, Kansas. The institution’s four online master's degrees appeal to learners who want to attend graduate school online. Social work students can pursue a master of social work among the options.

The program lets enrollees earn an advanced degree without sacrificing rigor or other obligations. Caretakers, professionals, and other busy students may immediately see how they can balance work, family, and their education. The program provides a rigorous education that does not sacrifice strong preparation for career advancement.

Master's degree-seekers usually need a bachelor's degree in the major or a related one to receive consideration. They may also need to submit official transcripts and recommendation letters, which the department outlines in its admissions policy.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,594
Out-of-state
$19,346
Retention Rate
69%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,285
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Most Affordable Online Masters In Social Work Degrees

The University of Texas at Arlington

  • Arlington, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Texas at Arlington, a public college, develops programs that provide a unique learning experience requiring little to no in-person attendance. The institution’s 13 online master's degrees appeal to students who want to attend graduate school online. The master of social work is one such option for learners interested in the social work field.

Logistics is no barrier to earning this degree, which was designed with adaptability and flexibility in mind. Degree candidates can view video recordings and complete coursework in the evenings, weekends, and at other convenient times. A key feature of online learning here is a blend of academic rigor and flexibility that strongly prepares students for advanced positions in their field.

Although some variations exist, the rate of acceptance is 83% of applicants on average per year. For consideration, degree-seekers usually need the requisite background like a bachelor’s in the major or a related field. Applicants may also need to participate in an interview or submit official transcripts and recommendation letters.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,624
Out-of-state
$25,713
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
48,635
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Most Affordable Online Masters In Social Work Degrees

Boston University

  • Boston, MA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A Massachusetts-based private institution, Boston University administers a comprehensive catalog of degrees. The institution’s 24 online master's degrees appeal to many learners who want to study from wherever they live. The master of social work is one such option for degree-seekers interested in the social work field.

Graduate students can appreciate online education's flexibility and adaptability. Degree candidates can watch video recordings and complete coursework when convenient. This online format allows faculty to seamlessly integrate academic rigor, advanced career preparation, and flexible scheduling.

Applicants receive acceptance letters at a rate of 19% each year, with variations expected across programs. In order to receive consideration, master's degree-seekers need a bachelor's degree unless otherwise stated. Consult with the program to find out more about entrance and application requirements like transcripts, interviews, and recommendation letters.

Average Tuition
In-state
$54,720
Out-of-state
$54,720
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
19%
Students Enrolled
33,720
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#7 Most Affordable Online Masters In Social Work Degrees

Texas State University

  • San Marcos, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Degree-seekers can choose from a variety of online graduate degrees at Texas State University. The master of social work program is an excellent choice for learners with a bachelor’s in social work who want to advance their education. Enrollees can complete the graduate curriculum remotely, ensuring they get more control over their schedules.

More individualized attention and opportunities to collaborate with peers are key benefits of the program's 21-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. Learners receive strong preparation using a curriculum that emphasizes advanced theoretical concepts and practices in social work. Obtaining this degree prepares graduates for more advanced career opportunities than a bachelor's degree typically allows.

Texas students pay a yearly average of $6,751 in tuition while those living elsewhere pay $15,191. The scholarships and grants available to many degree-seekers help them reduce the price of tuition. Degree-seekers can also take out student loans, which about 51% of enrollees use to finance all or part of their degree.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,052
Out-of-state
$19,868
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
38,187
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#8 Most Affordable Online Masters In Social Work Degrees

University of North Dakota

  • Grand Forks, ND
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of North Dakota’s academic catalog includes rigorous graduate education available online. Learners with a bachelor's degree in social work may find the master of social work of particular interest. The graduate program provides advanced training in a format friendly to those who work or must tend to other obligations.

Degree candidates benefit from the program's 17-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. Learners receive strong preparation using a curriculum that emphasizes advanced theoretical concepts and practices in social work. Graduates leave the program well-prepared for careers in academia, business and industry, or a doctoral program in some cases.

North Dakota students pay a yearly average of $10,534 in tuition, while those elsewhere pay $18,434. Many degree-seekers qualify for financial aid such as grants and scholarships from the school and third parties. Student loans are also available, with 45% of enrollees using them to finance all or part of their degree.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,212
Out-of-state
$14,371
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
13,581
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 Most Affordable Online Masters In Social Work Degrees

Colorado State University-Global Campus

  • Aurora, CO
  • 4 years
  • Online

Colorado State University-Global Campus is a public college in Aurora. Students interested in graduate programs they can pursue from a distance can choose from 12 master's degrees available online. The master of social work program is ideal for learners interested in the field.

Logistics is no barrier to earning this degree, which offers graduate students the freedom to learn at their convenience. Professionals, caretakers, and other busy enrollees can attend virtual sessions and complete assignments at convenient times. Strong career preparation is a key feature of the program, which does not sacrifice rigor for convenience.

Though this number can vary between programs, applicants get admitted at a rate of 99% each year. Degree-seekers usually need a bachelor’s degree in the major or a related field for entry into a master’s program. Contact the program website for all of the application details such as how to submit transcripts and recommendation letters.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,400
Out-of-state
$8,400
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
99%
Students Enrolled
12,670
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 Most Affordable Online Masters In Social Work Degrees

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

  • Indianapolis, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis is a public college with graduate programs in different fields. Students who need flexibility are drawn to the institution because of 14 master's degrees available online. Among the options is the master of social work program.

Logistics is no barrier to earning this degree, which was designed with adaptability and flexibility in mind. Caretakers, workers, and other busy enrollees may find it easy to work this master’s degree into their schedules. Strong career preparation is a key feature of the program, which does not sacrifice rigor for convenience.

Applicants can expect an admissions rate of 81% each year on average, though this number can vary between programs. Degree-seekers need a bachelor’s degree for admission to most master’s programs. The best way to find out more is to contact the program to explore entrance and application requirements like transcripts and recommendation letters.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,580
Out-of-state
$29,589
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
29,537
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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