From just down the street in Lexington, to as south as Florida, as east as Massachusetts, and as far away as Alaska and Germany, students are pursuing the College of Social Work’s (CoSW) online Master of Social Work (MSW) program this summer.
The CoSW is now delivering a high-quality social work education to practitioners who otherwise would not be able to access it because of their location. Providing the MSW in an online format allows CoSW to truly manifest the land grant mission of the University of Kentucky.
Now, students have yet another option for entering that program.
Earlier this spring, CoSW announced that the online program would accept its first summer cohort with students from coast to coast, from California to North Carolina. Though widely accessible, CoSW remains committed to the Commonwealth, with 41% of the incoming summer cohort hailing from the Commonwealth.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with job growth projected at a rate of 16% through 2026—about double the national average—social workers are in high demand to provide support across educational settings, family services, health care settings, and policymaking, to name a few. And, with the majority of mental health services in the U.S. provided by social workers, the need to expand the MSW program into an online format was crucial.
“It is imperative that future practitioners have access to a quality social work education, delivered by world-class faculty,” explained Kalea Benner, Director of Graduate Programs. “The CoSW, through the new online program, is now able to deliver this opportunity to students, no matter where students call home.”
The accredited, online MSW is available in both advanced and regular standing program options. Advanced standing, for those with a 3.5 social work GPA in their Bachelor of Social Work program within the past seven years, is a 30-credit hour program that can be completed in an accelerated model in two semesters, one short academic year. The regular standing option is a 60-credit hour program for students who have an undergraduate degree in any discipline that can be completed in four semesters, just two academic years. The MSW program options feature quality, practice-focused instruction from social work leaders at the forefront of innovation in the field.
Additionally, students in the online MSW program can specialize their educational experience by attaining a graduate certificate during the course of the MSW program. Certificate options including Child Welfare Practice, Clinical Social Work, or Military Behavioral Health, School Social Work and Substance Use Disorder are available to students in the online MSW program.
“We have made substantive investments to ensure that the student experience in our online program is second to none,” said CoSW Dean Jay Miller. “From the outset, we want our students to know that they are receiving adept instruction, rooted in best-practices associated with online education delivery. At the end of the day, we are preparing them to deal with the complex practice realities facing individuals, groups, and communities. That is not something we take lightly.”