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Online MSW Program

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

  • Advanced standing option available — earn your online MSW in 20 months
  • Growing field — 9% project job growth by 20311
  • Pick from 2 specializations
  • 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.

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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.

The MSW program is also offered on campus.

Learn More Today

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Regular Standing MSW

FORMAT 100% Online




Advanced Standing MSW

FORMAT 100% Online




The Gold Standard of MSW Degree Programs

The Sacred Heart MSW is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) which ensures the highest quality program available. Select from two specializations to gain the knowledge needed for licensure preparation with our convenient MSW online. Develop unique skills for your career with a choice of Direct Community Practice in which you can explore the counseling realm, social welfare, human behavior and societal issues, or the Direct Clinical Practice specialization, providing treatment options for clients after completing a research study and clinical practicum.

Our Advanced Standing option takes you straight into coursework aligned to your level. Graduate ready to achieve your goal of making a difference in the lives of others.

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

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 9 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 11 percent growth in opportunities over the next decade.2 Wherever you’re career takes you, you’ll be prepared to meet your clients’ needs.


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:

  • Completed application
  • 3.0 minimum undergraduate GPA (students with 2.7 and up may be considered)
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (BA, BS, BSW), CSWE-accreditation required for Advanced Standing
  • Résumé
  • Personal statement outlining why you are pursuing the MSW at SHU
  • Two letters of recommendation, no older than 2 years
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions

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


Tuition Details

The standard 60-credit-hour program costs $840 per credit hour. The Advanced Standing program is 30 credit hours and costs $840 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.

Leslie Slade
“My first week in the MSW graduate program has been wonderful. The classes are truly designed for working professionals and the course information provided by instructors is thought-provoking and engages student perspective in meaningful ways. For people like myself, who prefer asynchronous learning the program affords students the opportunity to learn on their own time in their own way while still making students feel like their professors are easily accessible in times of need.”
– Leslie Slade

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