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Online MSW Degree

The challenge of instituting a solid online MSW program is managing the field work placement for distance learning students. Internships in agencies and institutions are a critical part of the MSW learning process; field placement from a distance can be difficult. Some schools have developed mechanisms to meet that challenge and the best of them are listed here. There are two issues to consider when searching for an online social work degree. The first is whether or not the school is recognized by the state licensing agency where you wish to practice. In addition, for the MSW and for similar degrees, school accreditation is important to licensing agencies and to prospective employers.

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    • University of Southern California School of Social Work has launched the MSW@USC which is a fully accredited online Master of Social Work degree available from one of the nation's premier universities. The academic tracks include Families & Children, Mental Health, Community Organization Planning & Administration (COPA) and Military Social Work. USC staff travel the nation to ensure their online MSW students have quality field work placements. US News and World Report, 2009

    • Capella University offers several online programs in the social work field. Their Master's in Career Counseling includes residencies and clinical experience along with the distance learning class work. There are also Master of Science degrees in Addiction Counseling, Mental Health Counseling and General School Counseling.

    • Abilene Christian University has an online Masters in Conflict Resolution & Reconciliation degree that is designed for students who want to pursue a career in counseling, working with families and youth. This thirty six credit hour program covers the intricacies of working with conflicted individuals and groups, with additional focus organizational behavior and cultural conflict.

    • Creighton University offers a Master of Dispute Resolution and Negotiation which is a degree that is equally applicable in business or in a social work setting. Creighton is a respected Jesuit institution that offers masters degree granting institution in the Midwest.

    • California Southern University has an interesting online program that leads to a Master of Psychology degree which meets the academic requirements for a Marriage and Family Therapist license in California. Many MFT graduates who opt not to open personal practices find counseling careers in social work to be a rewarding option.

    • Bellevue University has developed an online Master of Clinical Counseling degree that meets the academic requirements for a counseling career in social work. The program meets the requirements for Licensed Mental Health Practitioner in the State of Nebraska; check on the requirements for a counseling license in your state.

    • Northeastern University includes the online Master of Human Services degree in its distance learning program. This degree provides much of the same academic training as a MSW, including field-based training. Specialization options include Leadership and Organizational Communication. There is also a Global Studies academic track.

    • Champlain College has an online Master of Mediation & Applied Conflict Studies structured much like the traditional social work degree. This 42 credit hour program has three residency requirements, supervised practice in the student's community, and offers specializations in Environmental & Public Policy. Family Mediation, and Organizational Conflict/Development.

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