The top accredited online Masters In Social Work degree programs prepare social workers for advanced practice roles in many areas. Read on to find out how you can earn your MSW online and enhance your career in two years or less!

The analytics team at Social Work Degree Center wants aspiring social workers and career-focused professionals to get the most out of their degrees. That’s why we focused our research on fully accredited, reputable social work programs offering excellent online options. Programs are ranked by:

Our editors first ranked accredited online MSW programs in October 2022. This ranking was updated in November 2023.

1. University at Buffalo (SUNY)

The University at Buffalo’s School of Social Work offers an online Master of Social Work degree program (MSW) that is one of the Empire State’s best online MSW programs available. The University at Buffalo’s MSW program has CSWE accreditation. Additionally, the university offers two online MSW options.

First, there is a 60-credit traditional track. However, there is also a 35-credit advanced-standing MSW degree program. Both MSW programs integrate human rights with trauma-informed perspectives. Students must have a bachelor’s degree before the program.

The University at Buffalo (UB) is a member school of the state’s university system. Established by Milliard Fillmore in 1846, the University at Buffalo has grown from a small medical school to a comprehensive research school with more than 32,300 students. 

Highlight: The University at Buffalo holds the distinction of having the largest endowment and student enrollment of all SUNY schools.

Degree: MSW


2. Columbia University

Columbia University’s School of Social Work offers an online Master of Social Work degree program that ranks first among the best online MSW programs. In addition, Columbia’s program is also the only Ivy League school to make the top five MSW online programs.

Furthermore, online MSW students enrolled in Columbia University’s MSW degree have three online concentrations from which to choose. Students can focus on social enterprise administration, policy practice, or advanced clinical practice.

Columbia University is one of the oldest schools in the nation. It started as King’s College in the mid-18th century. Additionally, Columbia University now operates as an Ivy League school with more than 33,400 online MSW students attending classes each year. 

Highlight: Columbia University started to compete with nearby Princeton University by King George II.

Degree: MSW


3. Rutgers University

The Social Work School at Rutgers University offers an online Master of Social Work degree (MSW) Program that includes an additional Violence Against Women and Children certificate. This program is among New Jersey’s best online MSW programs.

The Rutgers MSW program offers a traditional track. However, it also has an advanced standing path for those with a baccalaureate-level social work degree from a CSWE-accredited school. Advanced standing students complete this Master of Social Work degree in only four semesters.

Rutgers University is officially a land-grant school that is the state’s flagship institution of higher education. Established as a private school in 176, it became a public school in 1825. Rutgers is the largest school in New Jersey. 

Highlight: Rutgers also operates as a sea and space-grant higher learning institution with more than 68,700 students studying only across its NJ campuses.

Degree: MSW – add Violence Against Women and Children Certificate


4. University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas’s School of Social Work, in combination with the Fulbright Arts/Sciences College (UArk Online), offers an advanced standing MSW Program. Furthermore, the UArk program is among the best online master of social work programs in Arkansas.

Applicants to the University of Arkansas must already possess a Bachelor of Social Work degree and enroll as full-time students. Degree candidates can complete this MSW program with the completion of 39 graduate semester credits- in only one year.

The University of Arkansas started in the early 1870s under the Morrill Act. So, it was the first university in the state. Additionally, the University of Arkansas is also the state’s flagship campus, with more than 500 acres on its Fayetteville campus. More than 27,550 students attend classes each year. 

Highlight: The University of Arkansas is also a space-grant school with an endowment that exceeds $1.2 billion as of 2020.

Degree: Advanced Standing MSW


5. Indiana University

Indiana University offers an online Master of Social Work degree (MSW) Program that is among the most innovative programs. These CSWE accredited best MSW programs online from Indiana University in core coursework of:

  • diversity
  • human rights & social justice
  • social policy analysis
  • adult mental health
  • social work research
  • generalist theory & practice

Students can opt for concentrations that include addictions, military social work, foundations of e-social work, and tele-behavioral health, to name a few.

Indiana University opened in 1820. Today, the school operates a variety of campuses and regional learning centers across the Hoosier state. Across the entire university, IU has a student enrollment that exceeds 100,000 students each year. 

Highlight: Famous alumni of Indiana University include Suzanne Collins, Mark Cubin, Kevin Kline, Isiah Thomas, and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Ernie Pyle, to name a few.  

Degree: MSW


6. Florida State University

Florida State University’s College of Social Work offers a Master of Social Work degree (MSW) Program that is among the Sunshine State’s best online MSW programs. This online master of social work from FSU offers two academic tracks to the degree’s completion.

FSU’s best MSW programs online have received accreditation by the CSWE and are ranked as a best-value education by Kiplinger. BSW degree holders can complete the program in two years, while non-BSW holders need three years to earn the MSW from Florida State.

Florida State University is a research school that opened in the early 1850s. Florida State University is a senior member school of the Sunshine State’s state university system. FSU is also a sea and space-grant school with a student enrollment that exceeds 41,450 students. 

Highlight: US News & World Report recognizes Florida State University among the top twenty universities in the national category.

Degree: MSW 2-year or 3 year


7. University of South Florida

The University of South Florida’s College of Behavioral & Community Science offers a Master of Social Work degree (MSW) Program for advanced-standing social workers. The University of South Florida’s best MSW programs online are available to both full and part-time MSW students.

Additionally, the University of South Florida’s best online MSW programs have received accreditation from the CSWE. Applicants to USF’s MSW online degree program must hold a Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSW) to be eligible for admission.

The University of South Florida is a multiple-campus university that opened in the mid-1850s. The multiple campuses are home to more than 50,750 undergraduate and graduate students each year. 

Highlight: The University of South Florida has fourteen colleges and schools that offer more than 175 academic and certificate programs online and on-campus.

Degree: MSW – Advanced Standing

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