How does the online MSW program differ from the traditional, on-campus MSW program at UWM? 

The chart below highlights some of the differences between the online MSW program and the traditional, on-campus MSW program.

Online MSW Program Traditional, On-Campus MSW Program 
Part time only Full time or part time  
No choice in electives Student choice in electives 
All classes are online and delivered asynchronously Majority of classes are only offered in person. Some class sections are offered online.  
Meets the base educational requirements for the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) credential in the state of Wisconsin. Will meet the base educational requirements for the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) credential in the state of Wisconsin if the required electives are chosen (must work with an advisor to ensure the correct classes are selected). 
$675 per credit Traditional tuition structure 
Not eligible to apply for YOSAT Eligible to apply for YOSAT  
I have a bachelors degree in human services, psychology, sociology, etc. Is this close enough to social work to be an advanced-standing student?

No. To qualify for the advanced standing version of the program you would need to have a bachelor’s degree in social work earned within seven years of starting the online MSW from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Do I have to complete an internship in the online MSW program?

Yes. Field placement (internship) is a critical aspect of MSW education. You will be involved in field placement across either three or four semesters of the online MSW program. We will collaborate with you to find your field placement and follow you through the learning experience; you do not find your own field placement. We will help you find a field placement as close to your home community as possible. If you live outside of the Milwaukee area, we will discuss the social service landscape in your area and create a plan with you for finding a placement.  

Please note that the field practicum starts in the second year of the online MSW program.  

I’m out of state. Can I still do the online MSW through UW-Milwaukee?

At this time, we are only accepting applications from students living in Wisconsin and bordering areas to include northern Illinois, eastern Minnesota, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  

What is the cost of the online program, and does the cost differ for in-state versus out-of-state students? 

The cost is currently $675 per credit for both in-state and out-of-state students. The advanced-standing program will require 36 credits and the foundation program will require 60 credits. Please note that tuition is subject to university increases.  

Can I enroll full time in the online MSW?

No, unfortunately, our online MSW program does not currently have a full-time enrollment option. Our traditional, on-campus program offers a full-time MSW program.

Is there a way to do school social work as part of the online MSW program?

No, the curriculum that meets the Wisconsin DPI School Social Work license requirements are not a part of the online MSW program.

How long does the online MSW take to complete?

The online MSW program is a part-time program. For students who have a BSW earned within seven years of starting the MSW (advanced-standing students), the program will take two years. For students with a bachelor’s degree that is not in social work (foundation students), the program will take three years, plus one semester to complete. 

My BSW was earned more than seven years ago. Can I still enroll in the advanced-standing program?

Possibly. If you have a BSW earned more than seven years prior to starting the MSW program, but have recent work experience in social work, you may qualify for advanced standing. Please contact Michelle Jurvelin at if this applies to you. 

Can I choose any courses I’d like as electives in the online MSW program?

No, the online program does not have all of the same course options that our traditional, on-campus program does. The online program contains a pre-selected set of courses. Beyond our foundation and the advanced curriculum core of direct practice, leadership, policy and evaluation, the courses of the online program taken by all students to satisfy “electives” are the following:

  • Psychopathology
  • Development of Family Over the Lifespan
  • Practice Skills and Concepts for Aging and Health
  • Trauma I: Theory and Research
  • Trauma II: Diagnosis and Treatment
Will the online MSW program meet the educational requirements that qualify me to take the Wisconsin DSPS (Department of Safety and Professional Services) LCSW Exam? 

Yes. Our online MSW program includes the courses required by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) to take the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) exam. If you plan to practice social work outside of Wisconsin, please check with your state’s licensing department for their examination and licensing criteria. Each state will have different rules and regulations pertaining to certification and licensure.