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Master of Social Work Online

This online master's program is designed to help you address the needs of vulnerable populations as well as influence public policy and the well-being of your community.

01/04/21 Next Application Due Date
01/11/21 Start Classes

Program Overview

$40,140 Total Tuition
As few as 24 months Program Duration
60 Credit Hours

Demonstrate leadership and social work values in your profession and community with the Master of Social Work from Northern Kentucky University. In this clinical online program, you will be empowered to advance social and economic justice and graduate ready to improve the quality of life for all people. With an emphasis on clinical behavioral health and community practice, you will learn to engage in professional practice at multiple levels with a wide variety of evidence-informed interventions. The program is CSWE accredited.

This flexible master's program is for individuals who have earned an undergraduate degree in a field other than social work. Our online MSW provides the path to help you transition into this sector and take on leadership roles in a clinical setting. Curricula provide the option to add micro-credentials to your expertise by exploring trauma-informed care through a perspective that combines psychology and therapy. Our courses, taught by the same distinguished faculty who teach on campus, will provide you with opportunities to develop, understand, and apply assessment models and treatments in settings such as community mental health centers, psychiatric hospitals, residential and day treatment facilities, child welfare agencies, and advocacy organizations.

To further prepare you for success, you will complete 900 hours of supervised clinical practice in a field agency that suits your interests and goals. Completing the Master of Social Work online program qualifies you to sit for LISW/LCSW licensure in any state. Earning this credential grants you the authority to diagnose and treat clients in clinical settings.

In this online program, you will:

  • Study the DSM-5, focusing on the diagnostic criteria required to accurately assess psychiatric disorders, as well as critically examine the DSM from a social justice perspective
  • Analyze how social policy affects human rights and social and economic justice, and the marginalization of vulnerable populations
  • Develop your understanding of the biological, psychological, and sociological variables that influence human behavioral development
  • Explore advanced clinical practice decision-making and learn to be a critical thinker in the use of research, knowledge, and theory for assessment, intervention, and evaluation
CSWE

The Master of Social Work program at Northern Kentucky University is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Have questions or need more information about our online programs?

Tuition

The Master of Social Work online program offers the same affordable, pay-by-the-course tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Tuition breakdown:

$653 Per Credit Hour
$40,140 Program Tuition

View full tuition breakdown

Program Per Credit Hour Required Fees Total With Fees
Master of Social Work $653 $960 $40,140
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NKU has been ranked among “America’s Top Colleges” by Forbes magazine for 11 years in a row (2019).

Calendar

With six start dates a year, the Master of Social Work online program is flexible and convenient. View the calendar to find the best start date for you, along with corresponding deadlines.

Now Enrolling:

01/04/21 Apply By
01/11/21 Start Classes

View full calendar

First Starts Program Start Date Application Deadline Document Deadline Registration Deadline Tuition Deadline Last Class Day
Fall 2 10/14/20 10/01/20 10/06/20 10/09/20 10/14/20 12/04/20
Spring 1 01/11/21 01/04/21 01/06/21 01/08/21 01/11/21 02/26/21
Spring 2 03/15/21 03/03/21 03/08/21 03/11/21 03/15/21 04/30/21

Ready to take the next step toward earning your degree online from Northern Kentucky University?

Admissions

The admission process is the first step toward earning your degree online. Requirements for the Master of Social Work online program include:

Official transcripts of all coursework from regionally accredited institutions
Resume that lists three references
3.0 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale

View full admission requirements

Master of Social Work Online Admission Requirements

  • Complete online application for admission
  • Pay $40 non-refundable application fee
    • If you are an NKU alumni or active/veteran military member, your application fee will be waived
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) coursework from regionally accredited institutions
  • Undergraduate foundation courses, completed with a C or higher, in psychology, sociology, and statistics
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • A professional resume tailored to your educational goals, including educational background, employment history, awards, and accomplishments. Resume must list three references from people (former instructors, supervisors, colleagues, etc.) who are qualified to evaluate academic and professional potential in the field of social work

Official documents may be mailed or emailed to:

NKU Office of Graduate Education
302 Lucas Administrative Center
Highland Heights, KY 41099

[email protected]

Have a question? Call us at 800-985-7215.

Courses

In order to earn the Master of Social Work online, you must complete 20 courses, which include three clinical field experiences, for a total of 60 credit hours.

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Students must take the following courses:

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

The value and ethical dimensions of social work practice, and the responsibilities of individual professional practitioners must be viewed within the context of society’s responsibility for the well-being of all its members. This course pays particular attention to situations in which social workers face ethical dilemmas in promoting client and family well-being, and decision-making. Through the activities and assignments of this course, students are prepared to take a leadership role with peers and colleagues, in professional organizations and in contributing to the development of public policy.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

A multiculturalism model is presented that advocates culturally sensitive social work practice based on the premise of a social and cultural subsystem of the larger American experience. This multisystem approach to family and children practice, and social policy enables the social work practitioner and policy maker to systematize and implement treatment plans at the nuclear and extended families level and policies at the family and systems levels.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

The Social Work Practice I course prepares social work students for generalist work in the profession. The course allows students to become familiar with the mission and knowledge base of social work. The course familiarizes students with major theories, skills and the phases of the helping process including assessment, intervention, and evaluation. The course also ad-dresses the use of research evidence to inform practice, facilitation of appropriate professional working relationships, identification of client resources and assets, the collection and assessment of information, and planning for service delivery.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Students will learn to respond to the contexts that shape our practice. Social workers are informed, resourceful, and proactive in responding to evolving organizational, community, and societal contexts at all levels of practice. Social workers recognize that the context of practice is dynamic, and use knowledge, skill, and evidence-based practices to respond proactively.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This practice course familiarizes students with direct engagement techniques, applicable to social work settings. Students will learn how to complete evidence-based assessments and corresponding documentation skills applicable to the field of social work. Finally, students will explore self-of-the-social worker awareness and its application to practice behaviors.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Clinical Behavioral Health is an advanced social work practice course. The primary goal is to prepare students for effective and ethical practice with diverse clients. This course uses a biopsychosocial perspective to explore clinical practice decision-making. Clinical interventions and treatment modalities related to clinical behavioral health practice will be reviewed.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

The focus of this course is on the development of groups, use of relationships in group work, leadership skills, and group membership skills in working in groups. Students will become familiar with planning a group, clarifying group purpose, and assessing process and outcome.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course covers social welfare policy and services content that includes the history, mission, and philosophy of the social work profession. This content covers the role of social policy in helping people in maintaining or achieving optimal health and well-being; and the effect of policy on social work practice. This course will help students understand how policy affects human rights and social and economic justice; and global connectedness of oppression and marginalization of people of color and other vulnerable populations. Students will analyze current social policy within the contemporary factors like globalization that shape policy.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course is part of a sequence that follows SWK 670. It provides a comprehensive evaluation of the remaining ten sections of the DSM-5, emphasizing the diagnostic criteria required to accurately assess for psychiatric disorders. More in depth focus on evidence-based treatment options and conditions for further study is included.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

The dynamics of human behavior and its relationship with the social environment prepares a foundation of knowledge on which to build clinical practice skills. Through a study of systems theory and the identification of the biological, psychological, and sociological variable influencing development, students gain a theoretical base for application to the assessment in client systems. Special emphasis in this course is on the important factors of human diversity as they affect the dynamics of human behavior.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course introduces students to concepts and skills underlying a scientific and systematic approach to social work practice. These include critical thinking, empirical evidence, and the use of research in one’s own practice. Emphasis is placed on understanding the reciprocal relationship between research and practice. Students are taught to become critical consumers of research and are provided with the foundational knowledge to move to-ward becoming researchers themselves. Also considered are the value and ethical issues in the scientific approach to social work practice with special attention to issues related to race, ethnicity, culture, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, physical or mental ability, age, and national origin. This course covers the use of both quantitative and qualitative data and lays the foundation for concentration-level evaluation courses.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Students design a research proposal to implement in Applied Research II. Students’ research studies, focused on clinical behavioral health and community practice, may involve program evaluation or needs assessment. A major focus is to develop knowledge and skills to be objective evaluators, as well as active participants social work practice.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Social work students conduct original research using specialized knowledge within the areas of social work, clinical behavioral health and community practice. Faculty and students work jointly in the research design, instrumentation, data analysis, interpretations and conclusions from the analysis. Students prepare and present their formal research in a public forum.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This introductory field-based course under faculty direction requires that students apply and integrate generalist social work knowledge from the foundation curriculum. Students will continue to apply knowledge from prerequisite and concurrent courses in experiences, which utilize social work practice skills with individuals, families, small groups, and with organizations and communities, toward the goals of prevention, restoration, and enhancement of social functioning. Students will examine many social work roles in the delivery of social services with specific attention paid to the NASW Code of Ethics. Experiential learning of 300 hours includes weekly two-hour seminar.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course allows students to apply theory and evidence-informed practice of Clinical Behavioral Health and Community Practice, in a community agency under professional social work supervision. Students complete 300 hours within the semester to demonstrate advanced social work practice competencies. A three-hour seminar is taken with the student’s field placement.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Following SWK 651, students continue to apply theory and evidence-informed practice of Clinical Behavioral Health and Community Practice, in the same community agency under professional social work supervision. Students complete 300 hours within the semester to demonstrate advanced social work practice competencies, in addition to a three-hour class seminar.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course provides the history of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and its purpose/application in the field of social work. This course provides a comprehensive evaluation of the first 9 sections of DSM-5, emphasizing the diagnostic criteria required to accurately assess psychiatric disorders.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Shifting from a “what’s wrong with you?” to a “what’s happened to you?” paradigm includes connecting presenting behaviors to an individual’s trauma history. This course covers the trauma-informed care model, reviewing the neuroscience of trauma with associated outcomes, and exploring trauma’s impact on individual lives.

Students must take the following elective courses:

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course examines a broad range of theories and contemporary issues in aging that relate to social work practice with older adults and their families. Domains of inquiry include biological, psychological, and sociological perspectives of aging. Students apply the evidence-based practice to the theories and issues that impact aging.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Trauma-informed professionals provide individual work and also work with agencies/schools/programs through a trauma-responsive lens. This course moves from understanding “what trauma is” to “what to do with it” by: identifying appropriate assessment and intervention strategies/skills, examining best-practice models and other resources; and analyzing treatment implications across multiple levels of care.

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