Best Online Master’s in Social Work (MSW) in California

An online master’s degree in social work provides you with the knowledge base and educational requirements to pursue or advance your career in social work. Earning an online degree is an affordable and convenient way for busy students to advance their career goals.

Finding an online master’s degree in social work in California helps Californians find the most affordable programs at colleges and universities they and employers know and trust.

A master’s degree in social work prepares students to work as social workers in a variety of settings. Most MSW programs include specialization options, so students may tailor their education to their desired area of practice. Such options include clinical social work, family and children, substance abuse, mental health and disabilities, and cultural diversity. MSW courses cover topics including clinical practice, racism and social work, child and family, organizational leadership, professional ethics, policy practice, and human behavior in the social environment. Students generally also must complete some form of experiential learning, such as a practicum, and typically are required to complete a thesis or culminating project.

Nationally, the median salary for healthcare social workers is $56,750, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median salary in California is $59,551. The average salary is $66,415, with experienced professionals earning $91,001. The projected job growth rate for healthcare social workers in California is 16.3%, according to the State of California Employment Development Department.

Healthcare Social Workers Career Prospects in California
Job Growth by 20264.5%
Job Growth by 202116.3%
Average Wage (Mean):
$66,415
Entry Annual Wage:
$41,021
Median Annual Wage:
$59,551
Experienced Annual Wage:
$91,001
Sources: the State of California Employment Development Department’s 2019 First Quarter Employment Projections and the State of California Employment Development Department’s 2020 First Quarter Employment and Wage Information

Find your online master’s in social work (MSW) in CA

Study confidently at a quality institution in California where you know you will receive training relevant to California laws and regulations, and with attention to current affairs in California.

Finding an online degree at a regionally accredited college or university will help ensure not only the acceptance of your degree by hiring professionals, but it will enable you to pursue an advanced degree should you someday want to take your education to the next level.

Here’s our list of online master degrees in social work (MSW) offered by regionally accredited colleges and universities in California. Sort to find the best, most affordable, and best value online colleges for social work degrees.

California Online Master’s Degree in Social Work Frequently Asked Questions+

Why should I earn a master’s degree in social work in California?

Clinical positions require a master’s degree (MSW).

How long are most master’s degree programs in social work?

Most master’s degree programs take two years.

What is the average salary for this profession?

The average salary for a healthcare social worker in California is $66,415.

What are the job growth prospects?

Healthcare social workers in California are projected to have a job growth rate of 16.3%.

What licensing/certifications do I need?

Social workers in clinical practice must hold licensure.

Sort Schools By:
    1. University of Southern California

      Los Angeles, CA

      Program Score

      99

      CA Relative Cost

      Key FactsAnswers
      Total Enrollment48,321 (14% fully online)
      Public or PrivatePrivate
      Number of Online Programs119
      AccreditationRegional: WASC Senior College and University Commission
      Average In-State Undergraduate Tuition$58,195 per year
      Net Cost by Income
      Source: National Center for Educational Statistics

      CAOnlineColleges.com Awards

      Experienced Online School
      Diverse Student BodyFirst-Generation Student Friendly School

      DegreeCredits NeededCompletion Time1
      MSW - Social Work603-4 years
      See USC’s full list of online degrees!
    2. California State University-Northridge

      Northridge, CA

      Program Score

      92

      CA Relative Cost

      Key FactsAnswers
      Total Enrollment39,910 (4% fully online)
      Public or PrivatePublic
      USDE Special Government StatusAsian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution, Hispanic-Serving Institution
      Number of Online Programs20
      AccreditationRegional: WASC Senior College and University Commission
      Average In-State Undergraduate Tuition$6,977 per year
      Net Cost by Income
      Source: National Center for Educational Statistics

      CAOnlineColleges.com Awards

      Diverse Student BodyDisability Friendly SchoolFirst-Generation Student Friendly SchoolAsian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving InstitutionHispanic-Serving Institution

      DegreeCredits NeededCompletion Time1
      MSW - Social Work603-4 years
      See CSUN’s full list of online degrees!
    3. California State University-San Bernardino

      San Bernardino, CA

      Program Score

      88

      CA Relative Cost

      Key FactsAnswers
      Total Enrollment20,638 (4% fully online)
      Public or PrivatePublic
      USDE Special Government StatusHispanic-Serving Institution
      Number of Online Programs12
      AccreditationRegional: WASC Senior College and University Commission
      Average In-State Undergraduate Tuition$6,886 per year
      Net Cost by Income
      Source: National Center for Educational Statistics

      CAOnlineColleges.com Awards

      Diverse Student BodyFirst-Generation Student Friendly SchoolHispanic-Serving Institution

      DegreeCredits NeededCompletion Time1
      MSW - Social Work603-4 years
      See CSUSB’s full list of online degrees!
    4. California State University-Stanislaus

      Turlock, CA

      Program Score

      86

      CA Relative Cost

      Key FactsAnswers
      Total Enrollment10,974 (2% fully online)
      Public or PrivatePublic
      USDE Special Government StatusAsian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution, Hispanic-Serving Institution
      Number of Online Programs8
      AccreditationRegional: WASC Senior College and University Commission
      Average In-State Undergraduate Tuition$7,542 per year
      Net Cost by Income
      Source: National Center for Educational Statistics

      CAOnlineColleges.com Awards

      Top California Online College #6 Most Affordable California Online College#7 Best Value California Online CollegeDiverse Student BodyFirst-Generation Student Friendly SchoolAsian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving InstitutionHispanic-Serving Institution

      DegreeCredits NeededCompletion Time1
      MSW - Social Work603-4 years
      See CSUS’s full list of online degrees!
    5. Humboldt State University

      Arcata, CA

      Program Score

      76

      CA Relative Cost

      Key FactsAnswers
      Total Enrollment7,180 (4% fully online)
      Public or PrivatePublic
      USDE Special Government StatusHispanic-Serving Institution
      Number of Online Programs8
      AccreditationRegional: WASC Senior College and University Commission
      Average In-State Undergraduate Tuition$7,864 per year
      Net Cost by Income
      Source: National Center for Educational Statistics

      CAOnlineColleges.com Awards

      Diverse Student BodyDisability Friendly SchoolFirst-Generation Student Friendly SchoolHispanic-Serving Institution

      DegreeCredits NeededCompletion Time1
      MSW - Social Work302-3 years
      See HSU’s full list of online degrees!

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