Online MSW Programs in Texas

Texas features 19 accredited universities that offer a Master of Social Work (MSW) program. Each of these are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The universities have a variety of options for students, with many offering options such as online, on-campus, and hybrid attendance, and an advanced standing format or accelerated curriculum. Below is a list of the CSWE-accredited MSW programs in Texas. 

  • Abilene Christian University
  • Angelo State University
  • Baylor University
  • Our Lady of the Lake University 
  • Prairie View A&M University
  • Stephen F. Austin State University
  • Tarleton State University
  • Texas A&M University – Kingsville, Texarkana, Commerce
  • Texas Christian University 
  • Texas State University
  • Texas Tech University 
  • Texas Woman’s University & University of North Texas Collaborative 
  • University of Houston
  • University of Texas at Arlington
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Texas at El Paso
  • University of Texas at San Antonio
  • University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley 
  • West Texas A&M University

Why Should You Get an Online Masters of Social Work in Texas? 

The MSW online programs in Texas will provide you with an excellent education that will prepare you for your future career. These programs have proven their high quality by obtaining accreditation from the CSWE, which works to ensure that institutions provide students with the best education. By enrolling in a Texas MSW program, you will be prepared to take the appropriate social work exam that will demonstrate your knowledge of clinical or non-clinical social work. Those who go through an online MSW program in Texas may also qualify to go into careers and fields outside of social work or enter a doctoral program. 

Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs in Texas 

Texas has a lot to offer students, from its culture and famous cities, to the many options of universities that feature social work programs. Many universities may offer an advanced standing program, which allows students who qualify to complete the MSW program at a faster rate. Enrollment in this program typically requires that the applicant has earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited institution with a GPA of at least 3.0. Other requirements are usually outlined in the individual application of the university, but may include factors such as having work or volunteer history in a relevant field, such as social services. 

Although there may be some slight differences, the application for each university’s MSW program is generally very similar. The requirements typically include: 

  • Obtaining a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. (The advanced study program requires that one must have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work.) 
  • Transcripts that show a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the applicant’s undergraduate work.
  • Three letters of recommendation from references. The application usually requests one to obtain these from their previous educational institution or employer. 
  • A resume that shows work or volunteer experience. 
  • A statement of purpose (prompt given by the university)
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE). This is only required by some institutions. 

Below is an overview of several MSW programs in Texas. 

Stephen F. Austin University 

The School of Social Work at Stephan F. Austin University offers three areas of study: a Bachelors in Social Work, a Master’s in Social Work, and a Doctoral in Social Work. The MSW program involves the completion of 64 credit hours that can be completed in two years. There is also a part-time program available that must be completed within four years. In order to enroll, certain prerequisite work is required, including classes that cover topics such as social statistics, multicultural studies, and human biology. Students will complete a generalist curriculum in their first year, and a specialized practice in their second. The specialized practice is content surrounding working with a rural population. Qualified students can apply for the advanced standing program, which is also available online.

Texas A&M University, Kingsville 

Texas A&M University offers a Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work degree program. In each program, students will take part in field education. The BSW program requires the completion of 120 semester credit hours that involves 12 semester credit hours of field education. The MSW program requires 900 practicum hours to be completed as well as a seminar class, and there are two track options: the regular track, and the advanced standing track. The regular track takes five semesters to complete, and the advanced standing track takes three semesters to complete. 

University of Texas at Austin 

The Steve Hicks School of Social Work offers a Bachelor of Social Work, Master of Science in Social Work, PhD in Social Work, and Post-Doctoral training. The MSW program has been ranked by the US News and World Report in the top 10 best social work programs in the nation since 2003. The MSW program offers the option of a two year, three year, or advanced study program. In this program, students will complete 60 credit hours of coursework as well as a supervised field internship that is 1,020 hours. There are two concentrations: Clinical Social Work and Administration and Policy Practice. The School of Social Work also provides the opportunity to earn various certificates in subjects such as military social work, school-based social work, and healthcare social work. Additionally, students can enroll in a dual degree program. 

University of Texas at San Antonio 

The Department of Social Work at UTSA offers a Social Work Master’s Degree that is ranked in the top 100 social work programs in the United States by the US News and World Report. There are two curriculums in which students can enroll: a 36-hour curriculum and a 60-hour curriculum, and classes take place primarily in the evening, although there are some day classes. Students can enroll in the part-time or full-time curriculum. The Department requires MSW students to also complete two field practicae of 450 hours each. The University also offers the opportunity for students to apply for scholarships to help fund their education. 

Online MSW Programs in Texas

There are several online MSW programs in Texas that give students the opportunity to take part in a more flexible and unique learning experience than the traditional, in-person format. Online courses allow students to work around other obligations they may have, such as a full-time job. Below is an overview of the universities in Texas that offer an online option through which students can complete their MSW program. 

Texas A&M University, Commerce 

The masters in social work program at Texas A&M University is offered in a 100% online format other than the required internship. It is also offered in-person, where classes take place primarily in the evening. There are two tracks available: the Foundation Track, which is 60 credit-hours, and the Advanced Generalist Practice Track, which is 36 credit-hours. Students in the Foundation Track can be completed in about two to four years depending on if they take the full-time or part-time program. The Advanced Generalist Practice Track can be completed in about one year. Students applying for the Advanced track must have earned their BSW within the last six years to complete the program without possibly being required to take on additional coursework. 

Texas State University 

The MSW program at Texas State University is offered online and on-campus. Both formats have the same textbooks and curriculum. The MSW degree features a major in Advanced Practice Leadership, where students are prepared to become leaders in their future careers. The Foundation Degree Track at TSU requires the completion of 62 credit hours. The Advanced Standing Track is 36 credit hours, and requires that an applicant has completed their BSW within the last 10 years. Each program’s curriculum prioritizes emphasizing social justice and ethical practice. 

University of Houston 

The University of Houston offers their Master of Social Work program in an online, face-to-face, and hybrid format. Students can choose to take the Clinical Practice or Macro Practice track. Each of these options are 63 units. The Cinical Practice track is for individuals who want to help treat the mental health of their clients via evidence-based interventions. The Macro Practice track educates students on best social work practices in a rural setting where they will contribute to the growth of organizations and communities. Students must also complete a practicum education, and the University is partnered with more than 200 agencies in Texas to help students complete this requirement. 

University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley 

The MSW program at the University of Houson is offered online and on-campus. The traditional format of the program is 63 credit hours, and the advanced format is 33 credit hours. Students who are in the advanced-standing format have the opportunity to apply for a Sustainable Community Health Promotion in Social Work certificate program. There are two concentrations available to choose from: Administration and Community Practice, and Direct Practice with Latino Individuals, Families, and Groups. 

CSWE Accredited MSW Programs in Texas

When you are looking at where you want to earn your degree, prioritizing CSWE-accredited master of social work programs in Texas can be beneficial. The CSWE is the sole accrediting institution in the United States for social work programs. The role of the organization is to develop and maintain high-quality standards for institutions that provide education in social work. Accreditation ensures that social work students are receiving education that is preparing them for their future exams and careers. It also ensures that the social work programs are teaching up-to-date and accurate information.

There are 19 CSWE-accredited universities in Texas that have social work programs. Several of these programs are reviewed below. 

Abilene Christian University 

The Master of Science in Social Work at Aibelene Christian University is a CSWE-accredited program that takes two years to complete. The program requires students to complete 64 credit-hours. The University also provides the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Social Work that allows students to qualify for the Advanced Standing MSW program. The Advanced Standing program takes 12 months to complete and is 38 credit-hours. ACU also offers the opportunity for social work students to apply for scholarships to help pay for their education. 

Angelo State University 

Angelo State University’s CSWE-accredited MSW program offers two concentrations students can choose from: the Advanced Generalist concentration or the Clinical concentration. Each concentration has the traditional or advanced standing track available, and there is also a part-time or full-time curriculum option for attendance. The full-time Advanced Standing track involves completing 36 credit hours in one year, while the part-time track takes two years to complete the 36 credit hours. The full-time traditional track involves completing 66 credit hours in two years, while the part-time track takes four years to complete the 66 credit hours. 

Prairie View A&M University 

The Master of Social Work program at Prairie View A&M University offers a traditional program that is 56 credit-hours and an advanced standing program that is 33 semester hours. The Department of Social Work as a whole features undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as minors students can participate in. The MSW program is offered in an online format. Students at Prairie View A&M University will receive education from facult that are esteemed across social work agencies and human service sectors worldwide. Students will experience close guidance due to low faculty-to-student ratios. 

Texas Christian University 

Texas Christian University’s Department of Social Work has undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs. They also offer certificates in Women & Gender Studies and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies. There are two specialization options in the MSW program: Health & Mental Health, and Children & Families. Students will take elecctives related to these topics. Upon the end of the program, prospective graduates will have learned skills such as how to intervene with clients in using problem-focused and research-based strategies. They will also be prepared to address social issues from a macro practice perspective, such as evaluating and advocating in matters of national policy analysis. 

Advanced Standing MSW Programs in Texas

The Advanced Standing MSW program is a great way for you to finish your MSW program early. To qualify, the social work masters programs in Texas require that someone has earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from an accredited institution. This degree must have been earned within the last 6-10 years depending on the individual requirements of the institution. Other application requirements usually involve submitting three letters of recommendation, a transcript of undergraduate work, a statement of purpose, and potentially other materials. Below is an overview of some of the universities that offer an Advanced Standing MSW program in Texas. 

Tarleton State University 

TSU’s MSW program offers face-to-face courses as well as an online and hybrid option. Due to their advanced standing program, the MSW degree can be earned in as little as eight months (two semesters). The requirements involve completing 30 credit hours. There are two specialization options: Administration and Leadership Practice, or Advanced Direct Practice. Students will take courses that cover social welfare policies, globalization, sociology, research methods, and more. The university has locations in Stephenville, Fort Worth, and Waco. 

University of Texas at El Paso

The Department of Social Work at UTEP features an undergraduate degree program as well as a Master of Social Work program that has a capacity of 70-80 students.  The MSW program offers a concentration of Social Work in the Border Region. Students enrolled in the advanced standing track will complete 30 credits and 480 hours of field education. This takes approximately one year of full-time study to complete. There is also a part-time option that takes two years to complete. UTEP also offers a standard, 60 credit program that takes two full-time years or four part-time years to complete. 

Texas Tech University 

The Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Texas Tech University offers an advanced standing MSW program at Texas Tech University that is campus-based. The Advanced Generalist curriculum requires students to complete a 500 hour practicum as well as 33 credits of coursework. The program can be completed in one year. Students will learn macro and clinical social work. The Department also offers a Child Welfare Training Project that may help fund some students’ education through one stipend per semester for an agreement to work for a Texas DFPS for 8 months per stipend. 

West Texas A&M University 

The Department of Psychology, Sociology, and Social Work at WTAMU offers a campus-based MSW program with an Advanced Generalist Practice curriculum. This curriculum teaches students the skills and knowledge needed to work with clients in rural communities. The advanced standing program can be completed in one year. The program prepares students to do clinical social work that involves potentially higher pay and more responsibilities due to the role of providing mental health care to clients. To qualify for the Advanced Standing program, a student should have earned their bachelor’s in social work within the past five years from when they apply. 

How to Become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Texas 

Having a career as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker can be rewarding, but there are several steps to complete in order to fulfill the Texas LCSW licensure requirements. Those who earn their license in social work can take on more responsibility than those who are non-licensed. As an LCSW, you may be able to take on leadership in a social service organization or become a therapist to help individuals who are experiencing mental health conditions. 

Below are the steps to become an LCSW in Texas.

  1. Complete a bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution. 

This step allows LCSW candidates to learn the fundamentals of social work as well as other important skills and knowledge in their general education courses. To be qualified for the advanced standing program that allows one to complete their master’s degree at a faster rate, you should earn this bachelor’s degree in social work. Otherwise, courses in sociology, human behavior, and others are helpful to prepare for the graduate program. 

  1. Complete a CSWE-accredited Master of Social Work program. 

It can take one to four years to complete a MSW program, with the standard program taking two years. This timeline includes completing a supervised internship as part of the curriculum to begin to apply knowledge to real life situations. Many individuals complete this requirement by becoming employed or doing volunteer work for a social services organization. 

  1. After graduation, complete supervised clinical experience hours. 

The state of Texas requires that students complete 3,000 hours of clinical work under the supervision of a LCSW. This allows you to get help and feedback from their experienced supervisor. You and their supervisor must also meet for 100 hours at minimum. The clinical hours must be completed within two to four years. 

  1. Take and pass the Association of Social Work Board (ASWB) licensing exam. 

It costs $260 as of 2023 to take the ASWB licensing exam. The ASWB website has exam preparation information such as an exam guidebook, as well as a practice test. The exam contains 170 multiple-choice questions. You should take the exam within two years of earning your degree.

  1. Apply for licensure. 

Once you have passed the exam, you will need to submit an application for your license to the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council (BHEC). The application and BHEC website outlines what is needed for the exam. This may include college transcripts, clinical supervision documentation forms, results of a background check, and more. Once the Council has approved your application, you will be granted your license within a few weeks and will be able to begin your practice. 

Does Texas have Social Work License Reciprocity? 

Social work reciprocity means that a social worker with a license in another state will qualify to practice social work in that state. Texas does not have social work reciprocity with other states. However, the state may allow social workers in good standing to skip repeating certain steps that they have already completed, such as taking the licensing exam or earning the clinical supervision hours. 

How Long Does it Take to Earn a MSW in Texas? 

It can take 7-12 years to earn a social work license, as becoming an LCSW requires that candidates earn a master’s degree and complete 3,000 hours of clinical work. The timeline is contingent on multiple factors, such as how long it takes a student to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degree and the length of time it takes for one to complete their clinical supervision hours. For example, if a student takes seven years to earn their license, this would potentially mean that they earned their bachelor’s degree in four years, their master’s degree in one year through the advanced standing program, and two years to finish their clinical hourly requirement post-graduation. 

MSW Salary in Texas 

If you want to earn a master’s degree in social work, you might be wondering what salary you might earn in your career. Each state has a different salary for MSWs. The salary can differ even within the same state. Below is a review of what you might generally expect for a Texas MSW salary. 

Average Salary for Social Workers in Texas 

According to O*Net Online, the average salary for social workers with unspecified titles is about $61,420 annually, or $29,53 hourly. Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers make about $51,240 annually. Healthcare Social Workers make about $60,280 annually. These salaries may differ throughout the state depending on various factors. 

How Much Does an MSW Make in Texas? 

A social worker with a master’s degree makes approximately $61,676-$74,629 per year on average. A MSW may be qualified to take on roles in management or other leadership due to their extra knowledge and skills that they obtained in their master’s program, as compared to social workers with a bachelor’s degree. 

Tips for Increasing Salary Potential 

To increase your salary in your social work career, there are several strategies you might employ. These include

  • Education. Earning a higher degree like a master’s or PhD in social work is one way to increase your salary potential. Having an advanced degree might mean that you may qualify for certain jobs with higher salaries. Additionally, certain social workers, such as LCSW’s, have the opportunity to open a private practice or become a supervisor. 
  • Experience. Your potential salary may increase the more experience that you have. You might earn a promotion from working at certain organizations. You can also earn additional certifications to increase your skills which may help increase your salary due to having more skills and knowledge. 
  • Location in Texas. Some areas in Texas may pay social workers higher than other areas. For example, cities like Temple, Dallas, McKinney, and Houston are known for paying their social workers higher than other cities or towns in the state. 
  • Area of Practice. Not every social work career is the same. Certain areas of practice may pay a higher salary on average than others. Some of the highest paying social work careers are therapists, social policy analyists, and nonprofit administrators. 

Social Work Job Outlook in Texas 

The job outlook for social workers in Texas depends on the specific practice. According to O*Net Online, the projected job growth for Healthcare Social Workers and Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker is 11% or higher over the next decade, which is much faster than other occupations. Child, Family, and School Social Worker careers are projected to grow 8-10%. Other social worker’s career growth may be about 2-3%. In general, there is high projected growth for social workers in Texas. 

What is the Typical Cost of a MSW in Texas

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average tuition of a CSWE-accredited MSW program in Texas is about $9,687 for in-state students. The average tuition is about $21,404 annually. Below is an example of the tuition of some universities.

  • Texas A&M University, Kingsville: $9,892 for in-state and $25,746 for out-of-state.
  • Texas State University: $11,135 for in-state and $22,559 for out-of-state.
  • University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley: $9,538 for in-state and $19,333 for out-of-state.
  • Angelo State University: $8,186 for in-state and $17,978 for out-of-state 

MSW Scholarships and Grants 

There are several options to explore when it comes to funding your education. Individual universities in Texas  may offer grants, scholarships, or other financial aid options to their students. You can explore these options by visiting the website of the university you are interested in, or emailing or visiting the school and talking to the appropriate department. 

Another good option is scholarships that are available online. Some websites include: 

Another way to fund your education might be through the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This application must be filled out every year that you are in school to make the most out of the financial aid you may be eligible for. The FAFSA determines what loans and grants you may be eligible for based on multiple factors such as your family size and income. 

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