If you are thinking about making a change in your profession or you have always had a passion and desire to help others, the field of social work is a smart career choice. The world needs helpers like you who want to make a difference in someone’s life; someone who truly cares and wants the best for others.

As Nelson Mandela famously stated, “We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” There are few fields where you can make as lasting a difference in an individual’s life than that of social work.

Urgent job openings abound in Mississippi for qualified social workers. In fact, the entire profession of social work is in a shortage across the United States.

You can choose your passion - do you prefer advising family caregivers, providing patient counseling and education and guiding people to the assistance they need? Would you rather work with individuals who have mental, emotional or substance abuse problems? Or maybe your calling is making a difference in the life of a child through helping them with their social and psychological functioning and working to help strengthen their family unit?

Whichever way you choose to go, you will need to know about MSW programs in Mississippi so that you can successfully obtain your license in social work. There are four accredited MSW programs in Mississippi, including an MSW program near Jackson, and a multitude of accredited online programs that you can complete to get your MSW.

Why enroll in an accredited MSW program in Mississippi?

As of May 2017, the Bureau of State and Labor Statistics reported that healthcare social workers in Mississippi comprised 167,730 of the employment positions in the state, with a projected rise of 2%. The mean annual wage of social workers in this state was $56,810 or $27.31 per hour.

The umbrella of social work encompasses many smaller fields, and some of those fields pay higher than the annual mean. As of 2017, those fields included social work in the areas of Insurance and Employee Benefit Funds ($69,860 per year), Other Professional, Scientific and Technical Services ($65,720 per year), Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Services ($65,600 per year), Scientific Research and Development Services ($62,740 per year) and General Medical and Surgical Hospitals ($62,510 per year).

Your Master’s in Social Work opens the door to a plethora of positions like these and many more.

Overview of accredited MSW programs in Mississippi

If you have decided to return to school to obtain your MSW in Mississippi, and you prefer to take the traditional route of campus courses, there are four accredited campuses in the state for you to choose from.

These accredited campus are:

Jackson State University is located in Jackson, MS. This university was initially accredited in 1997 and then most recently in February 2011, and is due for the next accreditation in February 2019. Jackson offers its master’s through the School of Social Work and graduate courses are $462 per credit hour.

Mississippi Valley State University is located in Itta Bena, MS. Mississippi Valley State University was initially accredited in 1978 and then again most recently in June 2013. It is not due for further accreditation until June 2021. As of 2018, the graduate tuition was $408 per credit hour.

University of Mississippi is located in Oxford, MS. The University of Mississippi was initially accredited in 2008 and most currently in February 2018.Tuition for resident graduate students enrolled full time is $8,550 for the year, with varying costs for those attending less than full time.

University of Southern Mississippi is located in Hattiesburg, MS. This university was initially accredited in 1974 and most recently in June 2014, with the next accreditation review will be in June 2022. Students who are residents and attend courses full time can expect to pay $8,218 for tuition for the year as of 2018.

Overview of accredited online MSW programs approved to operate in Mississippi

If campus learning is not your style, or if you need a more flexible schedule to be able to attend classes and continue your education, there are many accredited online MSW programs in Mississippi that will give you an excellent education and foundation for your career in social work.

Arizona State University (AZ). This university offers full and part-time options for students looking to specialize in the Advanced Generalist field of social work. Their classes are fully online with no campus visits required and are available to students located anywhere in the United States and even potentially internationally with the right field placement opportunities. Graduate courses are $522 - $1,397 per credit hour with no out of state tuition fees.

Boise State University (ID). Boise State University offers full-time, part-time and advanced standing options for those who are planning on specializing in the Individuals and Families practice of social work. These courses are mostly asynchronous aside from the practice and field seminar courses, and they are fully online with no campus visits required. This university opens its education to students anywhere in the United States with the exceptions of Florida, Kentucky, and the District of Columbia. Tuition for the year is $9,588.

Boston University (MA). This accredited university offers a part-time program with three options, including advanced standing, that are fully online with no campus visits required. The content is delivered to students through weekly live classroom sessions and asynchronous content and their programs are open to students across the United States, but not in US territories or US military bases overseas. Boston University’s social work programs specialize in Clinical Social Work Practice and Macro Social Work Practice. Tuition is $825 per credit hour.

California State University, Northridge (CA). California State University’s Northridge campus offers students on the path to their Master’s in Social Work a full-time online program specializing in urban family studies that utilizes asynchronous instruction with access to classes on demand 24/7. This course is open to students anywhere in the United States, as well as some international students if there is the right field availability and they have appropriate TOEFL scores. Tuition is $622 per unit.

Capella University (MN). This accredited university offers full-time, part-time and advanced standing options for Master's in Social Work in an online program open to students throughout the world. Capella University’s social work program specializes in the practice of Advanced Generalist. Students in cohorts must travel to pre-established destinations located in the continental United States, where they will participate in five-day residencies as a coursework completion. This is required once for advanced standing students and twice for other students. Tuition is $505 per credit hour.

Case Western Reserve University (OH). Case Western Reserve University specializes in Community Practice & Social Change and Direct Practice (Child, Youth, & Families or Mental Health/Adults) in its full-time, part-time and advanced standing options courses offered online. These courses are open to students in the United States with no exceptions. For information on tuition, you can request further information from the site.

Catholic University of America (DC). This university’s Master’s in Social Work is available through a part-time online program that educates through asynchronous instruction with on demand access to support. There is no requirement for students to meet on campus and the program specializes in the Clinical Practice of Social Work. For information on tuition, you can request further information from the site.

Colorado State University (CO). Colorado State University’s Master’s in Social Work is offered in part-time and advanced standing options for the specialization of Advanced Generalist. Their program is a hybrid mix of 80% online and 20% in-person, where you and your cohort will meet at either the Colorado Springs or Denver location for part of the coursework. There is also a campus visit required in the last semester for research defense. These programs are open to students anywhere in the world if the student is able to attend the required on-campus meetings. Tuition is $619 per credit hour.

Columbia University (NY). Columbia University offers a Master’s in Social Work with a specialization in Advanced Clinical Practice or Social Enterprise Administration. These programs are available in full-time, part-time and advanced standing options and all courses are online with live synchronous virtual classroom delivery. Asynchronous content is available 24/7. These courses are offered to students throughout the United States. Tuition for online courses is $1,564 per credit hour.

Delaware State University (DE). This university has Master’s in Social Work programs available full-time, part-time and for advanced standing options for students anywhere in the United States. Their courses are fully online with no campus visits required and are geared towards the specialization of Advanced Generalist. Tuition is $515 per credit hour.

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (PA). Full-time and advanced standing options for those seeking a Master’s Degree in Social Work are available through the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in their online programs. These programs are open to students throughout the United States and specialize in Family Social Work Practice. Tuition is $500 per credit hour for residents, $750 for non-residents.

Indiana University (IN). Indiana University offers students the opportunity to obtain their Master’s in Social Work through advanced standing programs. Open enrollment is offered with starting dates three times per year. Their programs are online and open to students anywhere in the United States, and offer a specialization in Advanced Generalist. Tuition is as follows: In-state resident: $557 per credit hour, out-of-state resident: $695.25 per credit hour.

Louisiana State University (LA). Asynchronous 7-week modules to receive a Master’s in Social Work are offered to students with six choices of start dates throughout the year. Two start dates are available for advanced standing students. No campus visit is required for their online courses, which are open to students anywhere in the United States with the exceptions of Delaware, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, North Carolina, New York and Kentucky. Tuition is $4,748.30 full-time total for residents, $14,898 total for non-residents.

Our Lady of the Lake University (TX). Our Lady of the Lake is one of the oldest accredited universities, offering online programs to obtain a Master’s in Social work with no campus visits required. These programs specialize in Direct Practice with Hispanic Children and Families and are offered in full-time, part-time and advanced standing options. Students from anywhere in the United States except Delaware, US territories and overseas military bases are accepted. Tuition is $907 per credit hour.

Portland State University (OR). This university offers a fully online MSW program in a three-year cohort model consisting of synchronous and asynchronous delivery modules. There are three-day requirements inclusive of on-campus intensives before the beginning of each academic year, but students nationwide are welcome to apply. This Master’s in Social Work specializes in Practice and Leadership in Communities and Organization. Tuition is a graduated step depending on courses, beginning at $414 per credit hour for residents and $630 for non-residents.

Rutgers University (NJ). Rutgers University offers students nationwide a part-time program in which they can attend classes fully online and receive their Master’s in Social Work in the specialized practice of Clinical Social Work. For information on tuition, you can request further information from the site.

Simmons College (MA). This college program is comprised of weekly 90-minute synchronous sessions as well as asynchronous course work in its online program. Students from anywhere in the United States may attend, with full-time and advanced standing options. This Master’s in Social Work has specializations in Mental Health and Substance Abuse; Child and Family Welfare; Trauma and Interpersonal Violence; and Health and Aging. Tuition is $1,060 per credit hour.

Tulane University (LA). Tulane University’s online Master’s in Social Work program is open to students throughout the country. Thes;e full-time programs offer specialization in Disaster Mental Health and Trauma Studies, Family Practice, and Advanced Standing. Tuition is $1,018 per credit hour.

University at Buffalo (State University of New York) (NY). The University of Buffalo’s Master’s in Social Work program is fully online with delivery of courses synchronously and asynchronously. There are both part-time and advanced standing options available to students anywhere in the United States and Canada with a specialization in Trauma-Informed and Human Rights Perspective. Tuition is set at a full-time rate of $7,796.75 for NY Residents and $12,361.75 for non-residents.

University of Alabama (AL). This university offers full-time, part-time and advanced standing options in a program that is primarily online but does require participation in face-to-face skills labs on predetermined Saturdays. These labs will be held at strategically selected locations within 200 miles of Tuscaloosa, AL, but students anywhere in the United States can apply for this program. Tuition for online learning is $375 per credit hour.

University of Arkansas (AR). This is an advanced standing only program in which online asynchronous delivery is augmented with pre-scheduled webcastings for students anywhere in the United States. There is no campus visit required and the specialization is in multi-system life course. Tuition is $420.19 per credit hour.

University of Central Florida (FL). The University of Central Florida offers programs delivered mostly asynchronously with some components that are synchronous in both part-time and part-time advanced standing options. No campus attendance is required and students from anywhere in the United States may apply. Tuition is $288.16 per credit hour.

University of Denver (CO) - Online Program. This university offers live classrooms delivered online in full and part-time options to students anywhere in the United States with no required campus visits. The Master’s in Social Work specializes in Mental Health and Trauma. Tuition is $947 per credit hour.

University of Houston (TX) - Online Program. Open to students nationwide, the University of Houston offers fully online programs without a necessary campus visit in both part-time and advanced standing options. The specialization is in Clinical with an optional emphasis in Health and Behavioral Health. For information on tuition, you can request further information from the site.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (IL). This university offers full and part-time and advanced standing options to macro practice students anywhere in the United States. The program is fully online for the macro practice and mostly online for the clinical practice, with participation required in some face-to-face skills on certain Saturdays. Specialized practices are in Leadership and Social Change; Mental Health; Health Care; Children, Youth, and Family Services; and Schools. Tuition fees are $12,266 for the year for residents and $26,502 for the year for non-residents.

University of Louisville (KY). This university’s Master’s in Social Work is offered in full-time, part-time and advanced standing options both online or hybrid, with no campus visit required. It is open to students anywhere in the United States and specializes in Military Social Work, Alcohol and Drug Counseling, Gerontology, Mental Health Counseling, and Psychology Oncology. Tuition is $714 per credit hour.

University of Nevada, Reno (NV). Full-time, part-time and advanced standing options are offered by this university with mostly asynchronous courses with synchronous options for practice and field classes. There is a three-day residency requirement for students anywhere in the United States and a specialization in Advanced Generalist. For information on tuition, you can request further information from the site.

University of New England (ME). The University of New England offers asynchronous learning with no campus visits in its full-time and advanced standing options that are open to students both in the United States and internationally. There is a specialization in the areas of Individual, Family, & Group Practice (clinical-based) and Organizational and Community Practice (policy-based). For information on tuition, you can request further information from the site.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (NC). This university offers a three-year distance education program with advanced standing options in the form of a hybrid model that consists of in-person and online classes. These classes are available to students anywhere in the United States, but a campus visit is required at one of the distance education sites in Triangle or Winston-Salem. This course offers a specialization in Direct Practice and Community, Management, and Policy Practice.

University of Southern California (CA). The courses in this university are delivered online through live classes and are open to students throughout the United States. Tuition is a flat $26,724 per year for full-time students.

University of Tennessee at Knoxville (TN). Offering full-time, part-time and advanced standing options, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville specializes in clinical or macro (management, leadership, and community service) and is open to students anywhere in the United States. Certificates are available to online MSW students in Gerontology, Veterinary Social Work, and School Social Work. Their program is fully online with no campus visits required. Tuition per year for full-time students is $13,084 for residents and $31,502 for non-residents.

Walden University (MN). Walden University offers programs in standard, accelerated and advanced standing options that are available year-round to students in the United States and internationally-based. The online courses are delivered through asynchronous, custom video case studies and two 4-day in-person residencies. Specialized practices are in the areas of Advanced Clinical Practice, Military Social Work, Social Work in Health Care, and Social Work with Children and Families. For information on tuition, you can request further information from the site.

Western New Mexico University (NM). This university offers courses both online and via Polycom, which is similar to Skype, in part-time, full-time and advanced standing options to students anywhere in the United States. Tuition is a graduated amount, beginning with 3 credit hours for $992.31.

Widener University (PA). Widener University’s Master’s in Social Work is a part-time online program delivered through mostly asynchronous content with no requirement for an on-campus presence. Students anywhere in the United States and service members stationed throughout the world are welcome to apply. There is a specialization in advanced clinical with focus on trauma and its impact on mental health. Tuition is $1,004 per credit hour.

Mississippi needs excellent social workers like you

With all of the available options for you to obtain your Master’s in Social Work in Mississippi, you can be on the road to success in no time. As Mandela said, the opportunity to change the world is in your hands. To start making that change you simply need to click and apply to one of these accredited programs to put the process in motion for you to begin making a difference.

Works cited

Council on Social Work Education. Directory of Accredited Programs. (n.d.) Retrieved June 13, 2018 from https://www.cswe.org/Accreditation/Directory-of-Accredited-Programs.aspx.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017. (n.d.) Retrieved June 13, 2018 from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211022.htm.

Jackson State University, MSW in Social Work. (n.d.) Retrieved June 14, 2018 from http://www.jsums.edu/.

Mississippi Valley State University, MSW in Social Work. (n.d.) Retrieved June 14, 2018 from http://www.mvsu.edu.

University of Mississippi, MSW in Social Work. (n.d.) Retrieved June 14, 2018 from http://www.olemiss.edu.

University of Southern Mississippi, MSW in Social Work. (n.d.) Retrieved June 14, 2018 from http://www.usm.edu.

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