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Master of Social Work (MSW)

A CSWE-accredited online MSW that prepares you to make a lasting impact

  • Advanced standing option available — earn your online MSW in 20 months
  • Pick from 2 specializations — Direct Clinical Practice or Direct Community Practice
  • Growing field — 11% project job growth by 20281
  • Prior coursework counts — transfer up to 15 credit hours to save time and money.

Defend the dignity and well-being of others. Sacred Heart’s CSWE-accredited online Master of Social Work prepares you to support and assist vulnerable populations. Gain a deeper understanding of modern social work theory and practice models, all from a perspective of truth and justice. You’ll be prepared to address challenges in your community and equipped to develop solutions for a better quality of life.

What Makes Us Unique?

Field Experience Model. Sacred Heart’s unique Field Experience model is designed for students to practice their social work skills in a hands-on work environment. Field Experience Liaisons work directly with you one year before you even go into the field, with a level of support unmatched by other schools.

Focused Curriculum. The SHU MSW curriculum is created with today’s community and global issues in mind. Students will study topics spanning trauma, anti-racism and LGBTQ+ subject areas.

Learn More Today

Complete the form to learn more about this program.

Regular Standing MSW

FORMAT 100% Online




Advanced Standing MSW

FORMAT 100% Online




Accredited Excellence, Online Flexibility, Human Touch

As a social worker, you’ve got to be ready for anything—and ready to work with people of all ages and backgrounds. Having the advanced skill set of a master’s-educated professional can make all the difference to your career and the success of your clients.

Sacred Heart University’s Master of Social Work offers specializations in either clinical or community practice, allowing you to serve wherever your passion lives. Whichever you choose, you’ll receive components of both tracks, ensuring you graduate with comprehensive knowledge. The program focuses on serving diverse populations preparing students for the challenges of today.

This program is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) and founded on SHU’s values of social justice, diverse viewpoints and the educational enrichment of mind, body and soul.

Career Outlook: The Revolution is Only Expanding

Born only a century ago from the fight against poverty, social work has come to play a vital role in improving quality of life for people from all backgrounds. The profession has waged a “revolution of mercy,” based on justice and dignity for all.

That revolution is only expanding. The profession as a whole is projected to grow 11 percent over the next 10 years in areas helping children and families — and growth in some advanced practice areas, like a criminal justice social worker or forensic social worker, is expected to be even higher.1 Healthcare social workers, for instance, are expected to see a 17 percent growth in opportunities over the next decade.2 Wherever you’re career takes you, you’ll be prepared to meet your clients’ needs.


Curriculum: Advanced Capabilities Through Active Learning

Our master’s of social work program is built on the tenets of social work, the Catholic intellectual tradition and a belief in experiential learning. Students with a bachelor’s degree in social work could be eligible for Advanced Standing status, with an accelerated version of the program to graduate in 20 months. Graduate with an understanding of advanced topics, such as:

  • Social welfare and the impact of socioeconomic and political trends
  • Human identity formation and how it’s affected by diversity and our environment
  • Addressing inequities in social services due to institutionalized racism and sexism
  • Social policy is formulation, implementation and analysis
  • Coursework experience in substance abuse and addiction, aging and gerontology, grief, and working with children and families

Program Outcomes: Expanded Impact in Service to Others

You’ll complete this program ready to:

*Students are responsible for understanding the licensing requirements in the state in which they plan to practice.

Specialize Your Degree in Clinical or Community Practice

Focus your education with one of two MSW online specializations, featuring practicum-related coursework relevant to either a clinical or a community practice setting. Specific courses cover a wide range of current topics including LGBTQ+, anti-racism and trauma.

MSW: Direct Clinical Practice

Learn to assess and treat mental, emotional and behavioral disorders, chemical dependency, youth counseling, chronic illnesses and domestic conflicts.

MSW: Direct Community Practice

Explore social welfare, human behavior, social justice and research methods, and gain an understanding of how policy impacts social work.

Admission Requirements

To apply for the Master of Social Work from Sacred Heart University, you’ll need:

Advanced standing applicants must meet additional requirements, which can be found on the admissions page.


Tuition Details

The standard 60-credit-hour program costs $825 per credit hour. The Advanced Standing program is 30 credit hours and costs $825 per credit hour. Affordability and transparency are priorities at SHU. We want you to have everything you need in order to make a decision about investing in a high-quality education.


Faculty: Leaders in the Field

Our award-winning faculty come from diverse backgrounds, having worked in areas such as social and economic justice, social policy, child welfare, trauma, grief, parenting, addiction, adoption, homelessness and hospice care.

Read more about Sacred Heart University’s online MSW program in CT Faculty:

Interview with Jill Manit, Ph.D., MSW

Interview with Janelle K. Bryan, Ph.D., MSW

Why Learn Online?

Accommodate your busy schedule and learn when and where it’s convenient for you. As an online student, you’ll work with the same accomplished faculty, receive one-on-one support and benefit from the same opportunities as our on-campus students.


Financial Aid

At Sacred Heart University, we strive to keep our programs affordable and encourage you to explore all of your financial aid options, including federal aid, military benefits and available scholarships.


Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question we don’t cover here, request more information or call 877-791-7181.

There are 500-1,000 field hours required for four courses, and hours can be completed in your community. All clinical hours start the last semester of the first year of the program.

The MSW does prepare you for licensure. License requirements vary by state. Though students are responsible for verifying license requirements in the state in which they plan to practice, our friendly admissions team is ready to answer questions and guide you through this process. Reach out to them at 877-791-7181 or

Yes, the curriculum for the online MSW includes a specialization. Choose from:

If you have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work with a 3.0 GPA within the past six years, you’re eligible for our Advanced Standing program and can graduate within 20 months. If your undergraduate degree is focused in a field other than social work, you can complete the online MSW at Sacred Heart within 3.5 years.

You may take up to six years to complete the program.

Visit our FAQ page


  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019 September 4). Social Workers. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved October 1, 2019, from
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019 September 4). Social Workers: Job Outlook. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved October 31, 2019, from