Master of Social Work (MSW) programs in Texas (TX) – online and on-campus

Do you want to provide support to communities and people in need? Social workers help people overcome challenges in their lives, deal with trauma or drastic life changes, and improve their quality of life through mental and emotional guidance.

To obtain any of the three social work licenses offered by the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council, applicants must have at least a Bachelor’s of Social Work (BSW). However, gaining licensure as a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) or Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) requires a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree.

With your MSW, you can find work in education, healthcare, substance abuse, child and family services, or the clinical sector. Ready to start or advance your social work career? This guide highlights both online and in-person MSW programs in Texas that can help you prepare to start or advance your social work career.

Master of Social Work (MSW) programs in Texas 

Attending an MSW program in Texas can help students fulfill the educational requirements associated with social work licensure. Schools that offer in-person instruction include:

The program cards/tables featured on this page were last updated in November 2022. For the most current program information, please refer to the official website of the respective school.

Online MSW programs in Texas

Looking for a more flexible MSW option? Online master’s in social work programs allow students to learn from anywhere. Some programs may offer advanced standing MSW tracks, which are designed for individuals who have obtained their bachelor of social work (BSW) degree. You can also explore MSW programs with no GRE requirement.

Deciding on the right online MSW program will depend on your current experience and professional goals. For instance, students interested in becoming an LCSW and working in a mental health setting can attend an LCSW program that meets the educational requirements for licensure.

Schools offering online MSW programs in Texas include: 

Sponsored online social work programs

University of Denver


Master of Social Work (MSW)

The University of Denver’s Online MSW Program is delivered by its top-ranked school of social work and offers two programs. Students can earn their degree in as few as 12 months for the Online Advanced-Standing MSW or 27 months for the Online MSW.

  • Complete the Online Advanced-Standing MSW in as few as 12 months if you have a BSW; if you do not have a BSW, the Online MSW Program may be completed in as few as 27 months.
  • No GRE Required
  • Customizable pathway options include Mental Health and Trauma or Health, Equity and Wellness concentrations

Fordham University


Master of Social Work (MSW)

Fordham’s skills-based, online MSW program integrates advanced relevant social work competencies, preparing students to serve individuals and communities while moving the profession forward. This program includes advanced standing and traditional MSW options.

  •  Traditional and advanced standing online MSW options are available.
  • There are four areas of focus: Individuals and Families, Organizations and Community, Evaluation, and Policy Practice and Advocacy.
  • Pursue the degree on a full-time or part-time track.

Hawaii Pacific University


Master of Social Work

The online Master of Social Work prepares aspiring social work leaders to develop a multicultural social work practice, advocate for social and economic justice, and empower diverse communities affected by systemic inequities within civilian and military-focused areas. 

  • Learn how to develop a multicultural social work practice.  
  • Pending accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
  • Complete in 18 months full time, or in 36 months part time on the traditional track.
  • Complete in 12 months full time or 24 months part time on the Advanced Standing Track. 

Simmons University


Master of Social Work (MSW)

Aspiring direct practitioners can earn their MSW online from Simmons University in as few as 9 months. GRE scores are not required, and the program offers full-time, part-time, accelerated, and advanced standing tracks.

  • Prepares students to pursue licensure, including LCSW 
  • Full-time, part-time, and accelerated tracks 
  • Minimum completion time: 9 months

Howard University


Master of Social Work (MSW)

The online Master of Social Work program from Howard University School of Social Work prepares students for advanced direct or macro practice in culturally diverse communities. Two concentrations available: Direct Practice and Community, Administration, and Policy Practice. No GRE. Complete in as few as 12 months.

  • Concentrations: Direct Practice and Community, Administration, and Policy Practice
  • Complete at least 777-1,000 hours of agency-based field education
  • Earn your degree in as few as 12 months

Syracuse University


Master of Social Work (MSW)

Syracuse University’s online Master of Social Work program does not require GRE scores to apply and is focused on preparing social workers who embrace technology as an important part of the future of the profession. Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks are available.

  • Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks
  • No GRE required
  • Concentrate your degree in integrated practice or clinical practice

Case Western Reserve University


Master of Social Work (MSW)

In as few as a year and a half, you can prepare for social work leadership by earning your Master of Social Work online from Case Western Reserve University’s school of social work.

  • CSWE-accredited
  • No GRE requirement
  • Complete in as few as one and a half years


Social work degree programs in Texas

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the national accrediting body for on-campus and online social work programs. This includes both social work bachelor’s degree programs, as well as more advanced options for students interested in social work master’s degrees.

During undergraduate social work studies, students may explore research strategies, social welfare policy, and general social work practices. From there, they can expand on their knowledge in an MSW program, which may offer classes on leadership, child welfare, organizational theory, and social influences. These advanced programs may also provide opportunities for specialization in various social work topics.

Obtaining social work licensure in Texas may involve completing a set number of clinical hours, where you can demonstrate your knowledge in a real-world setting. A social work master’s degree program may build these opportunities into their curricula. Be sure to check with the programs you’re interested in to understand the requirements.

Educational requirements

Before you pursue your Master of Social Work and become a social worker in Texas, you’ll need to complete an undergraduate degree. While many MSW programs accept applicants with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline, students with their Bachelor of Social Work may be eligible for advanced standing master’s programs, which allows them to earn their degree more quickly.


MSW programs may offer both generalist and specialist options. The track that you choose will dictate the full curriculum you can expect, however, foundational courses may cover:

  • Human behavior and the social environment
  • Clinical social work practice
  • Community organizing and development
  • Trauma-informed care
  • Leadership in social work organizations

MSW programs might also require students to complete a considerable number of field work hours. Field work gives students the opportunity to bridge the gap between knowledge and experience and put what they have learned into practice.

What can I do with an MSW degree in TX?

The social work career opportunities available to those with an MSW are vast, with several specializations to choose from. As of May 2022, Texas has been one of the top employers of health care social workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In that year, the median annual wage for social workers was $55,350.

While your day-to-day duties will vary depending on your role and industry, many social work careers blend office and field work. Some common social work roles include:

By becoming a social worker, you’ll be entering a field poised for growth. Between 2022 and 2032, the BLS projects that social work employment will increase by 7%. This growth will vary between specializations:

  • Child, family, and school social workers: 5%
  • Healthcare social workers: 10% 
  • Mental health and substance abuse social workers: 11%


Which school has the best MSW program in Texas (TX)?

Deciding on the best program for you depends on your goals and needs as a student. Consider factors such as whether you want to learn in-person or online, how much time you have to commit to a program, and your existing undergraduate degree. Once you know your criteria, you can narrow down your options and choose a program that meets your needs.

What is the typical cost of an MSW program in TX?

The cost of an MST program in Texas will vary depending on the program length, modality, and institution. Students seeking financial assistance can explore online resources or visit their program’s website to learn more about social work scholarships and payment plan options.

Is a career in social work worth it?

You may find that becoming a social worker after obtaining an MSW is worth it if you have an interest in helping others through challenging circumstances. There are many social work career paths to choose from, including clinical, administrative, and leadership roles.

How long does it take to become a social worker in Texas?

To become a social worker in Texas, you will need to first obtain an undergraduate degree, such as your bachelor’s in social work (BSW). This can take between two and four years to complete, however, timelines can vary. While it is possible to be hired as a social worker with your BSW, you can expand your professional options by earning your MSW. Completing your program and required clinical hours, obtaining work experience, and earning state licensure may take eight years or longer.

Last updated: January 2024