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Master of Social Work (MSW)

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

Total Credits 60

Cost per Credit $825

  • 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. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of modern social work theory and practice models, all from a perspective of truth and justice.

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. We pair you with trained Field Experience Liaisons. These social work experts work directly with you one year before you even go into the field, with a level of support unmatched by other schools.

Have More Questions? Find Answers Fast.

Visit our Prospective Student FAQ Experience to get the online MSW answers you need fast.

Learn more about the Sacred Heart Master of Social Work program at our Virtual Open House on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at 7:00 pm. Register here.

Learn More Today

Complete the form to learn more about this program.

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.

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: Evolving Norms Mean Increased Need

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 — and growth in some advanced practice areas 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.

two social workers that earned their MSW online help to clean up a park

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. 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

Learn online, remain in your current role and begin applying the most in-demand skills right away. Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work with a 3.0 GPA within the past six years are eligible for our advanced standing program—an accelerated version of the program that takes just 20 months.


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.

Available Specializations

Focus your education with one of two MSW specializations, featuring practicum-related coursework relevant to either a clinical or a community practice setting.

Master of Social Work (MSW): Direct Clinical Practice

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

Master of Social Work (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

This 60-credit-hour program 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 MSW 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 1,100 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