The Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education* (CSWE). Cleveland State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the largest regional accreditor in the U.S.
*In 2019, the Master of Social Work and Baccalaureate Social Work programs were reaffirmed for accreditation for the next eight years by the Council on Social Work Education Commission on Accreditation.
CSWE: 333 John Carlyle Street, Suite 400, Alexandria, VA 22314, 703-683-8080
Concurrent coursework and field experiences connect theory with practice. Field placement provides hundreds of hours of real-world, hands-on social work experience. Your field placement coordinator helps identify quality placement sites within your local community so you can focus on your coursework and build your skills.
No. Support to find field placement sites in your community that align with your career goals is integrated into the program cost.
Your field placement coordinator will guide you through the entire process. They will give you a realistic idea of the field experience to ensure you are ready to work independently in a fast-paced environment.
No, although students are strongly encouraged to list agency referrals on the field intake form for the field placement coordinator to arrange. The MSW program is required to review and approve the agency before the start of any field work.
Completing the field placement intake form initiates the field placement search process. Upon completion of the form, you will be required to complete all field clearance requirements (by the University and agency) prior to the start of your first field experience. Most agencies have additional requirements for the University and/or interviews that students must complete prior to starting field hours. As active participants in the placement process and to help focus the placement team’s search, students are encouraged to provide any local sites where they would prefer to complete their field hours.
Typically, students complete their field hours at:
- Community centers/organizations
- Human service agencies
- Counseling and therapy centers
- Addiction and mental health treatment facilities
- Adoption agencies
- Senior care facilities, such as nursing homes
- Correctional facilities
You will receive a notification from your dedicated field placement coordinator prior to each field experience start date.
No. Due to the educational nature of the fieldwork, sites do not pay students. You are responsible for your transportation and travel expenses.
If you currently work in a social service setting and have a licensed social worker who supervises you, then yes. As of 2022, the Council on Social Work Accreditation now supports the use of employment hours as fieldwork hours, though there are field placement learning contracts and related follow-up required to make sure that CSWE education competencies are incorporated and part of the employment.
Your dedicated CSU field placement team collaborates with you to secure quality experiential learning sites that reflect your educational goals and desired practice specialty. They ensure all experiences meet CSWE accreditation standards and that the agencies and field instructors are approved before you start your fieldwork.
Field placement is the required experiential learning component of Cleveland State University’s online MSW program. Whether you follow the Traditional or Advanced Standing track, you will apply what you learn in the classroom to real-world situations to prepare you for your future in social work.
Students from a number of states are welcome to apply to Cleveland State University’s online MSW program. Please see our State Authorization page for more detailed information.
The online MSW program costs $602.20* per credit hour for in-state students and $603.20* for out-of-state students. Total program costs are as follows:
- MSW Advanced Standing: $18,066.00 total* + fees (in-state) and $18,096.00 total* + fees (out-of-state)
- MSW Traditional Track: $36,132.00 total* + fees (in-state) and $36,192.00 total* + fees (out-of-state)
Financial aid may be available to our online students.
*Tuition rates as of 07/01/2023. Rates are subject to change. Visit csuohio.edu/bursar/tuition-and-fees for current rates.
The MSW Advanced Standing program can be completed part-time in 1 year and 3 months to 1 year and 7 months (4 to 5 semesters) or full-time in 7 months to 1 year and 3 months (2 to 4 semesters). The Traditional Track can be completed part-time in 1 year and 7 months to 2 years (5 to 6 semesters) or full-time in 2 years and 7 months to 3 years and 3 months (8 to 10 semesters).
Cleveland State University intakes its online MSW students three times per year in the Spring, Summer and Fall.
The Advanced Standing MSW requires 30 credit hours of didactic coursework and 500 field practicum hours to graduate. The Traditional Track requires 60 credit hours of didactic coursework and 900 field practicum hours.
The didactic coursework is delivered asynchronously 100% online. You are also required to complete practicum hours of experiential learning in the field to practice what you learn in theory in the virtual classroom.
Whether you’re enrolled in the Traditional Track or Advanced Standing MSW, you can choose between clinical social work practice or advanced generalist practice.
Clinical social work focuses on the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illness and emotional and other behavioral disturbances. Advanced generalist social work has a range of applications within organizations, initiatives, agencies, advocacy groups, community organizations, health care and more.
Students within the clinical social work specialization may earn certificates in Chemical Dependency, Gerontology, or School Social Work. Those enrolled in the Advanced Generalist specialization are eligible to earn a certificate in Gerontology.
Yes. CSU’s social work faculty are highly productive educators and researchers who have published books and numerous articles. You will gain insight and inspiration from educators at the cutting edge of social research and emerging theories of practice.
- Bachelor’s degree
- 2.75 GPA
- Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework
- 2 letters of recommendation
- No GRE required
- Bachelor of Social Work (from a CSWE-accredited program within the last 7 years)
- 3.0 cumulative GPA
- Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework
- 2 letters of recommendation
- Copies of BSW field evaluations
Where can I find more information about applying to Cleveland State University?
You can find more information on our application page.