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Skilled social workers play an essential role in our society: helping vulnerable people overcome challenges. The online CSWE-accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program from Capella University can develop your expertise toward an advanced generalist practice, and help people get access to the vital services they need for a happier life.
In addition to being accredited by the CSWE, this program is aligned to national standards and designed around advanced generalist practice licensing standards.
If you already have a CSWE-accredited BSW, our MSW–Advanced Standing program may be a better fit for you.
Use the code SPRING to waive the $50 application fee.
Enroll in a qualified program and apply for a $2.5K Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship to help fund your master’s degree. Eligibility rules and exclusions apply. Connect with us for details.
Human Behavior and the Social Environment 1
The focus of this course is on the systems approach used to analyze the impact of various social forces on individual and family dynamics. Throughout the course, learners employ theory, social work best practices, and research findings to understand and assess the functioning of individuals and families in their social environments. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): SWK5001, completion of or concurrent registration in SWK5002. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer except by coursework from a CSWE-accredited program.
|4 quarter credits|
Mental Health Practice and Advanced Interventions: Theory and Practice
This course prepares learners for advanced mental health best practice. Learners use multiple theoretical frameworks and technology to engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities within the mental health field. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): SWK5007; completion of or concurrent registration in SWK5008. Learners in the MSW—Advanced Standing degree program are exempt from these prerequisites. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer except by coursework from a CSWE-accredited program.
|4 quarter credits|
Integrative Technology in Advanced Social Work Practice
This course is an introduction to transformative and innovative methods of client interviewing, follow up, documentation, evaluation, professional development, and communication through the use of technology, with particular emphasis on 21st-century social work practice skills used to serve diverse clients. Learners engage in interactive roleplay activities and create a technology-based initiative that promotes social justice and best practices. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in SWK5015. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.
|4 quarter credits|
Clinical Supervision and Leadership in Social Work Practice
This course is an introduction to leadership theories and skills, ethical decision-making, self-care efficacy, strategic planning, and administrative roles in social work organizations. Throughout the course, learners investigate technology integration; administrative, educational, and supportive supervision; supervision procedures; conduct of supervision; and legal and regulatory guidelines. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in SWK5016. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer except by coursework from a CSWE-accredited program.
|4 quarter credits|
Systems Analysis of Social Work Practice: Theories, Skills, Values, and Professional Practice
This course provides a synthesis of all social work practice systems. Learners apply critical-thinking skills as they delve into the identification of social work values and ethics; the assessment of professional behaviors and skills; the engagement of cultural competence; the integration of research, knowledge, human behavior, and theory; and the application and analysis of social work best practice, social justice, policy, technology, and leadership. For MSW and MSW—Advanced Standing learners only. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in SWK5528. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.
|4 quarter credits|
*Course has prerequisite(s). See catalog for details.
The Master of Social Work (MSW) builds a theoretical and practical foundation for professional advancement in the field of social work. The curriculum is designed to equip you with a comprehensive understanding of the field, based on Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). After you finish the MSW foundational courses, you’ll focus your expertise by choosing electives in the areas of clinical practice, leadership and supervision, or human services.
On successful completion of this program, you should be able to:
Review the Capella career exploration guide to learn more about this program and career paths to explore.
The mission of Capella University’s Master of Social Work program fits with the purpose of social work, which is to promote human and community well-being. Through strengths-based and ecological perspectives, learners are trained to identify strengths and challenges by assessing the person-in-the-environment construct to build individual, family, and community resiliency.
Guided by the profession’s ethics and values, advanced generalist practitioners commit to respecting difference, promoting human and social well-being, and advocating for the social, economic, an environmental justice of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Finally, 21st-century advanced generalist practitioners fulfill their work using traditional and emerging interventions, including the incorporation of new technologies to enhance the quality of life for all persons.
The total cost of your degree will depend on academic performance, transfer credits, scholarships and other factors. See GuidedPath cost information below.
A structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines.
$540 per credit, 88 total quarter credits, 20 max transfer credits
8 max non-CSWE accredited transfer credits, 12 CSWE accredited MSW credits.
*This is only an estimate, effective July 10, 2023, and is subject to change. Your price will vary depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. Books, supplies, and other fees are not included in this estimate. GuidedPath prices show the tuition you would pay if you brought in an average number of transfer credits or the maximum allowed transfer credits. New or recently revised program estimates are based on comparable programs.
Capella is committed to transparency in its tuition and pricing. In addition to tuition, you will be responsible for additional costs, which may include an application fee, travel expenses, and practicum costs. A resource kit fee of $50-$175, charged quarterly or per billing session, covers the cost of required books, software, and other course materials. Click here to review program-specific fee amounts in our University Catalog.
Find out more about financing and payment options to help you complete your program. Federal aid also is available to help manage the costs of higher education. Learn more about financing your education.
Questions about cost?
Contact an enrollment counselor.
*Alumni Outcomes Survey, 2021–2022
Capella University’s Master of Social Work programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation. For information about social work accreditation, visit: https://www.cswe.org/.
Accreditation and recognitions provide evidence that we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability.
It is important to understand all educational and individual requirements for licensing. Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, certification, or endorsement. State regulations vary regarding professional licensure. It is your responsibility to understand and comply with requirements for your state.
Applicants to the MSW program must provide the following information for admission:
GRE and GMAT are not required for admission.
All admissions decisions are final.
International student requirements
If you completed your most recent academic coursework, degree, or credential at an institution outside the United States, regardless of your citizenship or where you currently live, you are considered an international applicant.
In addition to the above admission requirements, you will need to submit these materials:
Learn more about international student admissions.
Our programs are designed to meet the unique needs of a master’s student. We’ve structured the experience in manageable pieces to help you earn your degree with support from faculty, staff and online resources.
Expand your perspective on academic and career topics with articles and resources from Capella University.
As with all graduate level students, individuals in a Doctor of Social Work (DSW) program focus on acquiring the skills and practical knowledge required for successful completion.
We can help you understand education financing, review your options, and explore ways to save on your degree.
Your education can help you reach your professional and personal goals. While Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific career outcome, such as a job title, promotion, or salary increase, we encourage you to explore potential jobs and employment settings. Here are some ideas and examples for a graduate with a master’s in social work (MSW) specialization.
Job titles to explore
Employment settings to explore
*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.