MSW Programs in Texas

It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child, and while that may be true, it is a sad fact of life that there are still going to be children and adults who end up neglected or abused. Those villagers need someone to turn to for advice on helping those people who are in need, and that is where social workers come in.

Unfortunately, the field of social work itself has been in a severe shortage over the last decade, with little improvement on the horizon. If you are considering putting your passion for helping those in need into an education, there is a critical shortage of social workers in the state of Texas.

Why should you choose to be a social worker in Texas?

Texas is an extremely large, diverse state, boasting the title of second most populous state in the U.S. (after California) and second in size as well (after Alaska). With this population and geographical size statistic, it is obvious that there are many different needs of the people that live there, and an enormous need for qualified people to help fill those needs.

Because of its geographical location, Texas is central to both Americans and Mexicans, and close to the islands of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic, which naturally brings an influx of immigrants to the state every year. These immigrants, and their children, require multiple different services to help them be successful in their new lives in America, and social workers can help this transition be successful.

The government of Texas understands this need, and projects even more need in the future. The US Census Bureau has predicted the population of Texas to grow at twice the national average over the coming years, with the Latino population more than doubling the national average percentage, and the percentage of those living in poverty to be higher than average.

These high statistics coincide hand in hand with higher substance abuse rates, crime and violence rates, and dropout rates. This is where you can help by taking those first steps to get your masters of social work in Texas.

Types of social workers

Social workers play a vital part in everyday society, helping people socially and economically in almost every aspect of their lives in some cases. There are different areas that you can specialize in when determining your future in social work. However, each of these fields require the same basic elements and skills of their professionals, such as empathy, respect for others, tolerance, patience and flexibility.

Regardless of which area you choose to specialize in, it is likely that you will be called upon to help those who are in need due to trauma, family problems, mental or emotional abuse, addictions, disabilities, chronic illnesses, or even terminal situations. You can narrow your focus by specializing in one of the following fields:

Family, child or school social work

This specialized area allows you to help children and their families with their social and psychological needs. You can expect to aid children to reach their fullest potential academically, help their families assist in this goal, and guide families in their overall well-being. You may work in schools, homes, foster homes, or courts. In this area, you may get to assist in locating foster homes, adoptive families, or rehabilitation centers. You will likely deal with issues ranging from normal teenage rebellion to pregnancy and drug use. As a social worker, you will be expected to be the go-between and give advice and information to teachers, parents, courts, schools, child protective services, and others as individually needed.

Public health social workers

If your passion for helping lies more towards elderly or the sick and needy, this may be the area for you. Public health social workers are who people with chronic or terminal diseases turn to for help. You will be their aid in learning how to find resources to help them understand their illness and help them and their families cope with their new needs. You may be asked to find plans to help them with their medical or financial needs, and help them through the process that could otherwise be stressful and trying. You will be able to help ease this difficult process, and give advice to caregivers, family, and the ill through education counseling, support groups, referrals, case management and doctor and hospital needs. You will likely work in assisted living homes, hospitals, hospice areas and other health care centers.

Addictions and mental health social workers

Another area you may choose to specialize in is that of those with addictions or mental health concerns. In this field, you will need to give support and consistency to people who have struggles that are more psychological than physical. You may need to be their liaison to finding facilities that can help them with their unhealthy behaviors and walk their path with them until they are back on a healthy ground. Because so much of this field is helping mentally, you will need to be able to provide services in the form of individual or group counseling, crisis intervention, prevention of use, education of addictions and healthy alternatives, and case management. You will also likely be called on to help the families of your clients to understand what their loved one is going through and how to help them.

All of these areas will give you the opportunity to help someone in need and make an impact on a person’s life, but you need to find the master’s degree in social work (MSW) in Texas that works for you so that you can get to those who need you.

Scholarships abound in Texas social work

Because there is such a major shortage in social workers, particularly in Texas, you can easily find scholarships to help you study in this field and get your MSW. Each scholarship is individualized, so you can find one that fits your particular skills.

For instance, the Bethesda Lutheran Communities Service Scholarship awards up to $10,000 to students who are Lutheran and wish to pursue an education in the field of helping those with developmental disabilities, and all you need to provide is your passion and your letters of recommendation.

If that does not seem like you, there are many other scholarships available. The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund, for one, is a great scholarship for those with financial need who have “shown dedication to such progressive issues as civil rights and economic injustice. Applicants should use the required personal statement and letters of support to show their political and social activism. Final awards are based on financial need, and may be as much as $10,000.” All you need here is the need for financial assistance and a passion for injustice and civil rights.

The point is, the scholarships are there. Whatever your race, gender, ethnicity or background, with a little digging, you can find a scholarship to suit your needs. Financial assistance is available, so don’t let the economic aspect be the reason you don’t step up and apply for one of the many social work master’s programs in Texas.

Why enroll in an accredited masters of social work program in Texas?

It is easy to scan sites like glassdoor, indeed.com and other job boards and see that, with a masters from one of the accredited MSW programs in Texas, you have plenty of job opportunities. In fact, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics lists Texas as fourth in the top five states with the highest employment level in child, family and school and healthcare social workers as of May 2016, and the projected statistics are not fluctuating much from there.

The BLS also reports that the majority of the social workers in Texas work as child, family and school social workers, but mental health and substance abuse social workers and healthcare social workers are also high in demand.

The median annual salary for social workers in Texas varies depending on where you work. Salary.com states, “However, the salary for someone with the title Social Worker (BSW) may vary depending on a number of factors including industry, company size, location, years of experience and level of education.” As of January 30, 2018, salaries reported in cities across Texas were in the range from $46,373 to $55,736, not including bonuses and benefits like insurance and retirement.

Making sure you have a degree in one of the accredited MSW programs in Texas can help you get your foot in the door to the job positions with higher salaries and better benefits.

Why accreditation is important?

There are a large number of schools to choose from to earn your master’s degree in social work in Texas. Ensuring your school is accredited is extremely important when you are deciding where to go, because it can mean the difference between getting that highly desired job you applied for or getting stuck with a lower paid position with less benefits.

What it means to be accredited is that the college or university has undergone a process where it has met or exceeded what are considered to be the minimum standards of quality for the educational programs it offers. When you have a degree from an accredited program, potential employers know that you have been taught the skills that are necessary for the position that they are offering to you, and they have an automatic confidence that you know what you are doing and are going to be a valuable employee.

Accredited universities that offer social worker education programs in Texas for residential discounts

The Council on Social Work Education has twelve universities accredited and listed on its Directory of Accredited Programs page, including the following:

Baylor University

Baylor University was initially accredited in 2001, and most recently accredited in June 2013.
Tuition: Current tuition as of Fall 2017/Spring 2018 is as follows: Regular Flat Rate (12 hours or more) $19,805 or Per Credit Hour (11 hours or less) $1,650; General Student Fee, Regular Flat Rate (12 hours or more) $2,090 or Per Credit Hour (11 hours or less) $174; Lab Fee (Varies per course) $50. Baylor also offers an online option beginning fall of 2018 for a full-time virtual Advanced Standing Master of Social Work program.

Our Lady of the Lake University

Our Lady of the Lake has the honor of being the oldest school offering social work to be initially accredited. This occurred in 1945, and the university was most recently accredited in June 2012.
Tuition: Current tuition as of 2016 - 2017 is as follows: For a full or part time master’s program, $855 Per Credit Hour. General fees for full-time students were $79 and $58 for part-time students. Other fees, such as technology fees, lab fees, and Residence Hall activity fees may be incurred as applicable.

Stephen F. Austin State University

Stephen F. Austin State University was initially accredited in 1998 and most recently in June 2012.
Tuition: Tuition fees are based on a designated tuition rate with an extra $30/per credit hour for graduate students. At this rate, and with all fees and services incorporated, the rate for a Spring 2018 graduate level 12 credit hour semester for Texas residents is $4,218.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce was first accredited in 2001 and most recently in June 2017.
Tuition: Incoming graduate students can expect to pay $3,137 per semester for 9 credit hours as Texas residents on their (in)tuition plan. This includes the statutory tuition, designated tuition, graduate differential tuition, and mandatory student fees, but does not cover non-resident tuition, lab fees, program fees, parking, room and board, books and other academic costs.

Texas Christian University

Texas Christian University was first accredited in 2001 and last accredited in June 2017.
Tuition: Tuition fees as of Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 were $1,555 per credit hour with a $60 application fee.

Texas State University

Texas State University was first accredited in in 1997 and most recently accredited in October 2012.
Tuition: Tuition fees for graduate courses have a basic tuition plus a $50 additional fee per credit hour. An average semester at 12 credit hours is $3,834.96 for the Fall 2017/Spring 2018 term.

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University was first accredited in 2015 and last accredited in February 2017.
Tuition: The cost to attend this university for the 2017-2018 school year as a resident is $8,486 for 10 graduate hours per semester, plus books and supplies, room and board, transportation and other miscellaneous academic costs.

University of Houston

University of Houston was first accredited in 1970 and last accredited in February 2010.
Tuition: As a resident attending the social work college at a graduate level, you can expect to pay somewhere between $5,003 to $5,519 for a 12 hour semester. This includes tuition and consolidated fees and other mandatory fees, but does not include college fees, course fees, parking, books and other academic requirements.

University of Texas at Arlington

University of Texas at Arlington was first accredited in 1970 and most recently accredited in June 2016.
Tuition: Tuition costs for Spring 2018 for a resident of Texas for a 12 hour semester are approximately $4,700 for tuition and $1,100 for fees.

University of Texas at San Antonio

University of Texas at San Antonio was first accredited in 2004 and last accredited in June 2012.
Tuition: Tuition expenses for the Fall 2017/Spring 2018 semester for graduate students are budgeted based on 9 semester hour terms and average $8,083 for tuition and fees. This 9 hour semester is considered full time, and this cost does not include any other costs of attendance.

University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley

University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley was first accredited in 2002 and last accredited in February 2015.
Tuition: For the Fall 2017/Spring 2018 graduate program residents, a 12 hour semester is $3,659.60. With all of the mandatory fees, including student services, recreation fees, and other mandatory fees, the semester cost is $4,393.76. This does not include parking, books, program fees, lab fees, and other academic needs.

West Texas A&M University

West Texas A&M University was first accredited in 2010 and last accredited in February 2017.
Tuition: The cost of attending this university is based on residency status, but many counties in Oklahoma and New Mexico are considered “border counties” and qualify for a discounted rate of tuition. Graduation rates for the Fall 2017/Spring 2018 residents for 9 semester hours are $3227.73 for tuition and fees. This does not include books, parking, lab and program fees, or other applicable academic requirements. Residents of border states have a slight increase in tuition, non-border states have a small jump from there, and international students pay slightly over double the resident tuition and fee rate.

If any of these colleges pique your interest, you can search their website for further information on their masters in social work programs in Texas, but if you are not a Texas resident and are interested in working as a social worker in Texas in the future, you can read further for information on universities that are accredited and approved to operate in Texas.

Universities with social worker programs that are accredited and approved to operate in Texas for non-residents

Although most universities will not turn away students just because they are not residents of the state it is operating in, the increase in tuition and fees can make it difficult for many people to attend if they are non-residential.

However, there are many universities who get around this mandatory hike in tuition rates by becoming able to legally operate in a non-home state, and this helps significantly reduce the cost of attendance for students while increasing student percentages for the university. The most common way for this to occur is for the university to offer online courses, making their programs accessible to students across the country. With technology easily available just about everywhere, this makes distance a non-issue.

The Council on Social Work Education lists many of these universities that offer MSW online programs in Texas in its Master’s Level section, but here is an overview:

Arizona State University (AZ)

Their programs are open to anyone in the United States and are fully online, with no campus visits required. Their programs are specialized in the field of Advanced Generalist.
Tuition: Tuition for graduate students are $512 to $1,312 per credit hour, depending on the course.

Asbury University (KY)

The programs at this university are open to anyone in the United States, with the exception of Massachusetts and New Jersey. An annual residency of one week is required.
Tuition: Tuition fees as of the Fall and Spring 2016-2017 semesters for 12 credit hours are about $12,710 per semester, not including fees and other academic misc.

Boise State University (ID)

Boise State’s programs are open to anyone in the United States, with the District of Columbia, Kentucky and Florida being the exceptions. They offer fully online programs with no campus visits required, and have programs specialized in Individuals and Families.
Tuition: Tuition for graduate courses for 9-15 classes is about $4377 per semester, not including other fees.

Boston University (MA)

Boston University’s social worker programs specialize in Clinical Social Work Practice and Macro Social Work Practice and is open to students anywhere in the United States except the U.S. territories and any U.S. military bases overseas. Tuition: Their programs are fully online with no campus visits required, and tuition for online students is $785 per credit hour. Student Services Fees are $60 per semester, and Technology Fees are $60 per credit hour.

California State University, Northridge (CA)

Their full time programs are online and are open to anyone in the United States.
Tuition: They specialize in Urban Family Studies, and tuition ranges from $612 per credit hour to $847 per credit hour, depending on the program.

Case Western Reserve University (OH)

Open to students anywhere in the United States, Case University’s social worker programs specialize in Community Practice & Social Change and Direct Practice (Child, Youths, & Families or Mental Health/Adults).
Tuition: Their tuition rates vary and to find out what they are, you can request information individualized for your needs.

Catholic University of America (CD)

Catholic University of America provides social worker programs specializing in Clinical Practice, and they are open to students anywhere in the United States and service members stationed around the world.
Tuition: Graduate students off campus can expect to pay a base allowance of $44,400 for full time attendance, plus fees.

Colorado State University (CO)

This university offers its programs to students anywhere in the world. Their specialized practice is in the field of Advanced Generalist, and their programs are a unique hybrid model of 80% online and 20% in person at their locations in Denver or Colorado Springs. There is a campus visit required for research defense in the last semester.
Tuition: The resident rate, which applies to Colorado residents as well as those in multiple other states, is $559 per credit hour plus a $20 technology fee per semester, making a 60 hour program total $33,720 plus books and other academic needs.

Columbia University (NY)

Columbia University’s social worker programs specialize in Advanced Clinical Practice or Social Enterprise Administration and are fully online with no campus visit required. They are open to students anywhere in the United States, with no exceptions.
Tuition: The online campus tuition cost is $1,504 per credit hour, not including fees.

Delaware State University (DE)

Fully online with no campus visit required, Delaware State University’s programs in social work are open to students anywhere in the United States. Their specialized practice is Advanced Generalist.
Tuition: The MSW degree costs include a $438/per credit hour rate, $55 Technology Fee, $60 Registration Fee and $60 Student Activity Fee.

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (PA)

This program is offered fully online, with a specialization in Family Social Work and Practice.
Tuition: It is open to students anywhere in the United States, and tuition rates are different for non-residents, at $550/per credit hour versus $500/per credit hour for Pennsylvania residents. With fees, online courses for non-residents can expect to pay $707.35/per credit hour.

Indiana University (IN)

Indiana University offers fully online programs in social work open to anyone in the United States. They have a specialized practice in Advanced Generalist.
Tuition: In state residents pay $541/per credit hour, while out of state residents pay $675/per credit hour. General fees are not included, but can total $400 per semester, depending on how many credit hours you are taking.

Louisiana State University (LA)

Open to students anywhere in the United States except Delaware, Washington, DC, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, and North Carolina, Louisiana State University’s social worker programs are asynchronous 7-week modules with six start dates per year.
Tuition: 2017 - 2018 graduate rates for non-residents for a basic 12 hour semester total $14,697 including fees.

Our Lady of the Lake University (TX)

This university offers a fully online program with no campus visits required and is open to students from all U.S. states except Delaware, all US territories, and all US military bases overseas. Their social worker programs have specialized practices in Direct Practice with Hispanic Children and Families.
Tuition: Tuition rates for their online course are $889 per credit hour, not including additional fees and basic academic necessities.

Portland State University (OR)

Portland State University offers a three-year cohort model in which it delivers its programs online to students nationwide. Prior to each academic year, a mandatory 3-day on-campus visit is required. Social worker programs specialize in Practice and Leadership in Communities and Organizations.
Tuition: For the full academic year, estimated tuition and cost of attendance is $23,160 including fees, but not including personal expenses, books and supplies, and other necessary academic requirements.

Rutgers University (NJ)

Rutgers University is open to students nationwide and offers fully online programs with no campus visits necessary. They specialize in Clinical Social Work.
Tuition: Per their website in regards to tuition, “To receive detailed information about your program, visit the program details page or call a senior enrollment coach.”

Simmons College (MA)

This college offers online programs with weekly 90-minute synchronous sessions and asynchronous course work. The programs are offered to students from all states and the District of Columbia. Practices are specialized in Clinical Social Work, with specialized areas in mental health and substance abuse; Child and Family Welfare; Trauma and Interpersonal Violence; and Health and Aging.
Tuition: Tuition for social worker graduate degrees for the 2017-2018 academic year is $1,030 per credit year plus fees, books and other academic needs.

Temple University (PA)

Offered to students in most states, this university requires a 3-day campus visit in August of the second year for placement discussion. The areas of specialization in social work are in Trauma, Health/Mental Health, Children and Families, Humanitarian Social Work, and Military Social Work.
Tuition: For an out of state resident taking 12 online semester hours, tuition for 2017-2018 is about $15,217, with a University Service Fee.

Texas State University (TX)

Texas State University offers an online program that also contains webcasting and periodic face-to-face skills institutes.
Tuition: Students attending this university for graduate studies in Fall 2017/Spring 2018 pay $4,850.84 for twelve credit hours, including fees but not including parking, books and supplies or other academic needs.

University at Buffalo (State University of New York) (NY)

This university offers its programs to students anywhere in the United States and Canada. Courses are online with no campus visits necessary. Social work programs specialize in Trauma-Informed and Human Rights Perspectives.
Tuition: Non-resident tuition is $12,361.75 for the 2017-2018 academic year, not including fees or books.

University of Arkansas (AR)

No campus visits are required, and this university offers its programs to anyone in the United States. Social worker degrees specialize in Multi-System Life Courses.
Tuition: Tuition for graduate level courses is $420.19 per credit hour.

University of Denver (CO)

University of Denver’s online programs are open to students anywhere in the United States, with no campus visit required. Their social worker programs specialize in Mental Health and Trauma.
Tuition: Their tuition costs are $911 per credit hour, not including fees, books, parking and other academic necessities.

University of Houston (TX)

MSW programs in Texas are open to students nationwide and are fully online with no campus visits required. The social worker specialized practice is in the area of Clinical with optional emphasis in health and behavioral health.
Tuition: Tuition for residents of Texas for 12 semester hours of graduate courses ranges from $5003.00 - $5519.00, not including fees.

University of Louisville (KY)

Online or hybrid options are open to students anywhere in the United States, with no campus visit required. Specialized practices are in Military Social Work, Alcohol and Drug Counseling, Gerontology, Mental Health Counseling, and Psychology Oncology.
Tuition: Graduate online courses are $714/ per credit hour, with discounts for active-duty service members.

University of Nevada, Reno (NV)

A 2-day residency is required for University of Nevada’s programs, but they are open to students anywhere in the United States. There is a specialized practice in the field of Advanced Generalist. Tuition: tuition rates vary depending on the course.

University of New England (ME)

Asynchronous learning courses are available to students anywhere in the United States or internationally, with no campus visits required. Specialized practices are in the fields of Individual, Family, & Group Practice (clinical-based) and Organizational and Community Practice (policy-based).
Tuition: Certain degrees can be completed in as little as 16 months, and tuition varies based on the program chosen and the courses.

University of Southern California (CA)

Courses are live classrooms that are facilitated online and are open to students anywhere in the United States.
Tuition: Tuition for the 2017-2018 academic year is $1,800 per credit hour for students enrolled in 1-14 credit hours.

University of Tennessee at Knoxville (TN)

This university offers fully online programs with no campus visits required. They are open to students anywhere in the United States and their practices are specialized in Clinical or Macro (Management, Leadership, and Community Practice), and certificates are available to online MSW students in Gerontology, Veterinary Social Work, and School Social Work. Tuition: Tuition for out of state graduate students is $15,751 per semester, not including fees, books and supplies, and other academic needs.

Walden University (MN)

This program is open to students in the United States and internationally and is delivered mostly online, with two 4-day in person residencies. Walden University’s social worker specialization is in Advanced Clinical Practice, Military Social Work, Social Work in Health Care, and Social Work with Children and Families.
Tuition: The Advanced Standing degree requires 55 total quarter credit hours at $560 per quarter hour, plus fees, for a total of $30,800.

Western New Mexico University (NM

Courses are taught online and through Poly-com (which is similar to Skype) and are open to anyone in the United States. Tuition: Online out-of-state rates for their graduate courses as of Spring 2018 include tuition and fees for 9 credit hours is $5527.08.

Widener University (PA)

Widener University’s programs are delivered completely online and are open to any student in the United States and service members stationed around the world. There is no on-campus requirement. Their social worker program specializes in Advanced Clinical with focus on trauma and its impact on mental health.
Tuition: Online tuition for the MSW is $826 per credit hour, with a total of 64 credit hours required.

MSW programs in Texas abound

You have many programs to choose from so that you can tailor your choice to fit your needs. The field of social work in Texas is rewarding and challenging, and very in-need of people with the heart and dedication to help others.

If this is you, getting your masters in social work online or in Texas could be just a click of one of these sites away. Even though it does take a village to raise a child, that village needs someone to turn to for help for those in need. Let that person be you!

Sources:

30 Great Scholarships for Social Work Students. (n.d.) Retrieved February 10, 2018 from https://www.socialworkdegreeguide.com/scholarships/ https://www.cswe.org/Accreditation/Directory-of-Accredited-Programs/Online-and-Distance-Education.

Directory of Accredited Programs. (n.d.) Retrieved February 11, 2018 from https://www.cswe.org/Accreditation/Directory-of-Accredited-Programs.aspx.

Occupational Employment Statistics. (5/2016). Retrieved February 11, 2018 from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211021.htm.

Texas Social Worker (BSW) Salaries. (n.d.) Retrieved February 11, 2018 from https://www1.salary.com/TX/Social-Worker-BSW-Salary.html.

Nedda
Nedda Gilbert

Ms. Gilbert is a certified social worker and 30 year educational consultant with an interest in helping college-bound and graduate school students manage the process and stress of admissions effectively. She is one of the senior founding managers of the Princeton Review Test Preparation Company, and the author of The Princeton Review Guide to the Best Business Schools and another book, Business School Essays that Made a Difference (Random House). She is a guest contributor to Forbes Magazine on college and college life. Ms. Gilbert is also certified as a collaborative family law professional in New Jersey. She received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and MS from Columbia University.