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Are online MSW programs respected?

Few higher education programs are as conducive to the online format as a master’s degree in social work.

With the field-based requirements to earn a degree, the flexibility of an online program creates more opportunities for students to work hands-on in their communities.

Boise State University’s Master of Social Work Online (MSW) is committed to allowing students to complete their field work in their local communities, strengthening their connections and providing insights into challenges and needs. This often leads to employment after graduation, as well.

But are online Master of Social Work programs respected? With accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Board of Accreditation, which Boise State’s social work programs have had since 1992, you are assured of receiving the same quality education online as you would in person.

CSWE accreditation ensures that a program has sufficient resources to meet its mission and goals and the Board of Accreditation has verified that it demonstrates compliance with all sections of the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards.

In December 2023, Boise State’s Master of Social Work Online celebrated its 1,000th graduate, solidifying its legacy of preparing skilled and compassionate social workers to positively impact the communities they serve.

Advantages of Online Learning

In addition to the flexibility, Boise State’s MSW Online program provides you with relevant learning with an ethical, professional, justice-inspired approach. The program is also nationally recognized for its excellence by, and Best Value Schools.

There are several other advantages to earning a master’s degree in social work online. They include:

  • Greater Accessibility: Students who do not live within commuting distance of a CSWE-accredited program have the same access to online MSW programs without having to relocate. This also applies to students whose personal obligations are a barrier to earning a graduate degree.
  • Greater Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: The affordability of online education opens the door to people who might not otherwise have easy access to graduate-level education, such as people with disabilities that prevent them from attending in-person classes.
  • Increased Specialization Options: Online MSW programs open up a greater number of specialization options for students who live in rural areas without regional access to graduate social work programs in their desired area of practice.
  • Geographical Flexibility While Enrolled in the Program: Online MSW students do not have to pause or quit their education if they have to move to a different state for work or family obligations. This is particularly beneficial to military families.
  • Greater Student Body Diversity: With online MSW students from across the nation and even internationally, students benefit by meeting and interacting with a diverse range of people with widely different cultural and geographical experiences. This is especially beneficial to social workers because of the importance of diversity and inclusion in the field. Students can discuss course concepts with individuals outside of their normal experience to help them further their mission.
  • Broader Networking Opportunities: Because of the increased student body diversity, online MSW programs also offer broader professional networking opportunities. Online MSW students are not limited by financial or geographical circumstances.

For current Boise State MSW student Lisa Hayden-Gray, the experience of earning an online degree is rewarding in ways she did not expect.

“I love it,” she said. “My worry was not having that classroom interaction, but the way they have it formatted with the discussion boards worked great.

“You see your classmates’ faces over and over again when you’re doing group projects or synchronous sessions with the entire class. You get to know them. I’ve made friends.”

Want to Learn More About Social Work?

Want to learn more about Boise State’s online Master of Social Work? Join us for an online information session or connect with a student success coach.

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