The MSW online is an intensive 7-week module format, not the traditional semester format, giving students six start dates while still completing the program in approximately 2 years of full time study or 3-1/2- 4 years of part time study. The online program is asynchronous meaning coursework is done at your own pace with guided dates and deadlines. This program is year-round with 1-2 week breaks between modules. Students will enroll in 1 (part time) or 2 (full time) courses each module in a prescribed order set forth by the faculty.
The program is open to all US residents living in the United States. No international students can be accepted. International placements are not permitted, except if approved on US military bases.
Those with a BSW who are eligible for advanced standing may enter twice a year (see deadline dates on our online webpage and the advanced standing eligibility criteria). It should be noted that enrolling in two online courses is the equivalent of a full-time campus course load. Those who are working 40 hours a week need to keep this in mind when scheduling. Students should plan to spend a minimum of 15 hours per week per class on coursework. Internships are completed in social service agencies in home areas (not online) during these 7-week modules in block placements (40 hours/week) or over four modules (16-18 hours/week). There are no night or weekend placements. Students who work full time will make arrangements to complete the internship while working. See the online link for more detailed information as well as the internship video on the field internship link that explains the two options available to complete the internship.
Cost is $539 per credit hour for in or out of state. Admission and program requirements are the same for the MSW Online and the Baton Rouge campus. The LSU School of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and has been offering graduate education since 1937. No academic credit is granted for work or life experiences.
Criminal Background: If a student has a criminal background, it is in the student’s best interest to disclose this information prior to beginning the program and prior to the field internship placement process. A criminal background may pose difficulties in securing a field placement for the student and/or may result in the inability to place the student. Students who have a criminal background should understand that some agencies may be precluded by law from accepting them in field placement. Additionally, some agencies are unwilling to supervise students having certain criminal charges. The field education team will make every effort possible to assist students in securing a field placement. However, if a placement cannot be accomplished for any reason, the student may not be able to complete the degree program. Students should also be aware that even if field placements are secured and a degree is awarded, certain criminal offenses may preclude them from obtaining employment as a social worker and that some states may refuse to license the applicant as a professional social worker. Students should seek counseling from the School of Social Work if questions arise regarding such matters.
School of Social Work admission requirements for ALL programs are the same. The following requirements must be completed prior to admission to the Full time, Part time, Advanced Standing and MSW Online programs:
- A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university;
- Demonstration of a liberal arts undergraduate preparation through completion of at least 12 credit hours in the social and behavioral sciences (psychology, sociology, anthropology, human geography, economics, political science, curriculum & instruction, etc.), and at least 9 hours in the humanities (literature, languages, history, women’s studies, art or music history, philosophy, cultural and comparative studies, communication studies, etc.);
- “C” or better in an introductory statistics course in any undergraduate department; this course cannot be taken concurrently with MSW courses;
- A 3.0 cumulative grade point average on undergraduate or graduate course work for regular admission; Minimum of 2.55 cumulative or last 60 hours gpa for probationary admission in certain cases;
- Evidence that the applicant possesses the personal qualities and aptitudes essential for the social work profession;
- A genuine interest in people and emotional stability;
- Meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission.
How to Apply
Application to the School of Social Work is the same for all campus and online programs. Applicants must submit the following:
- Graduate School Application and Fee
- Letter of Intent (instructions located within the application)
- Three letters of recommendation
- A total of three (3) recommendation forms are required for your admission file to be complete. A letter of support is optional.
- Two (2) recommendations must be Academic (college instructors, internship supervisors) and the remaining one (1) recommendation must be a Professional (Work/Volunteer) Reference. Family friends, clergy, therapist and high school teachers are not appropriate.
- Applicants who have been out of school for 2 or more years and cannot ascertain academic references may substitute other professional recommendations for academic.
- For any applicant, if two are not academic recommendations and one is not professional, please include a statement with your application explaining the reason for the substitution.
- It is strongly recommended that if an internship was part of the degree program and the internship has been completed at the time of application, a recommendation from the internship supervisor be included as the professional recommendation.
- Current resume or vita.
- One official copy of all transcripts from all universities attended. Transcripts may be mailed in sealed envelopes to Graduate School, 114 David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 or sent electronically from a university (all transcripts are required, whether or not credit was earned or is desired). Official transcripts of work taken at LSU are not required.
- For international applicants whose native language is not English, scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Applicants with missing application materials by the School of Social Work deadline will not be considered. A completed application is the LSU Graduate School application, fee payment, letter of intent, three letters of recommendations, resume, and official transcripts. Note: Meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission.
MSW Online Deadlines
Sept 2 Priority Deadline
Sept 13 Final Deadline--All SW materials and GS must be received (no grace period)
Oct 1 All professional documents and SW acceptance forms due from student
Oct 16 Required Online Orientation for all October module students 10 am or 1 pm CST
Oct 28 Module Begins
Oct 28 Priority Deadline
Nov 8 Final Deadline--All SW materials and GS must be received (no grace period)
Dec 11 All professional documents and SW acceptance forms due from student
Dec 18 Required Online Orientation for all January 2020 module students 10 am or 1 pm CST
Jan 13 Module Begins
Jan 13 Priority Deadline
Jan 24 Final Deadline--All SW materials and GS must be received (no grace period)
Feb 27 All professional documents and SW acceptance forms due from student
Mar 2 Required Online Orientation for March 2020 60 hour students 10 am or 1 pm CST
Mar 3 Required Online Orientation for March 2020 Advanced Standing students 10 am or 1 pm CST
Mar 9 Module Begins
Mar 9 Priority Deadline
Mar 20 Final Deadline--All SW materials and GS must be received (no grace period)
April 20 All professional documents and SW acceptance forms due from student
April 29 Required Online Orientation for all May 2020 module students 10 am or 1 pm CST
May 11 Module Begins
May 11 Priority Deadline
May 22 Final Deadline--All SW materials and GS must be received (no grace period)
June 22 All professional documents and SW acceptance forms due from student
June 24 Required Online Orientation for all July 2020 module students 10 am or 1 pm CST
July 6 Module Begins
July 6 Priority Deadline
July 17 Final Deadline--All SW materials and GS must be received (no grace period)
Aug 10 All professional documents and SW acceptance forms due from student
Aug 12 Required Online Orientation for all July 2020 module students 10 am or 1 pm CST
Aug 31 Module Begins
Aug 31 Priority Deadline
Sept 11 Final Deadline--All SW materials and GS must be received (no grace period)
Oct 12 All professional documents and SW acceptance forms due from student
Oct 14 Required Online Orientation for October 2020 60 hour students 10 am or 1 pm CST
Oct 15 Required Online Orientation for October 2020 Advanced Standing students 10 am or 1 pm CST
Oct 26 Module Begins
How to Obtain the MSW Degree
To obtain the MSW degree, students must:
- successfully complete 60 hours of study, following the prescribed course sequence including passing internship courses
- maintain an overall grade point average of 3.00, with no grade less than “C” in any course offered for the degree
- cannot be on probation
- no more than two C’s toward the MSW degree
Thesis Option: Students are encouraged to undertake a thesis, yet it is not required to graduate. Students choosing to write a thesis must submit a thesis proposal to a prospective thesis committee chair by the last day of class in the fall semester, generalist year or the last day of class of the second module. Six total credit hours of SW 8000 are required for the thesis, and no more than six credit hours can be used toward the MSW degree.