Put Your Compassion to Work

Learn how to become a licensed social worker and change lives for the better with UMass Global's CSWE-accredited online programs.

What does a social worker do?

Social workers are compassionate problem-solvers who help others cope in difficult situations in their lives. They create solutions for their clients through advocacy, assistance, therapy, crisis intervention and more.

As a social worker, you can make a tangible difference in the lives of many people. You’ll serve a diverse range of individuals and build meaningful one-on-one relationships. Active listening, emotional intelligence and effective conflict resolution skills all play key roles in being a successful and effective social worker.

Social Work icon

People in Social Work 

Social workers are involved in every aspect of community life, including:

  • Child protective services agencies
  • Criminal justice, legal service and military organizations
  • Local, state and federal agencies
  • Home- and school-based programs
  • Hospitals and other healthcare settings
  • Mental health and substance abuse treatment programs
  • Nonprofit, human rights and advocacy organizations


There are several social worker requirements you must meet to practice in your state, including California. These requirements range from education to experience, depending on which type of social work career you’d like to go into.


Social Work  

Make a Lasting Impact in Your Community

Take the next step in helping others with an education that makes a difference.

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

For the social work career starter.

Set your social work career in motion in our online BSW program. You’ll build your knowledge of social, political and cultural change, as well as your skills in organizational dynamics and technological processes to help you best serve diverse communities. Plus, gain real-world, on-site experience.


Master of Social Work (MSW)

For the career changer or advancer.

Take your social work career to the next level. Our flexible online MSW program fits your busy schedule. Plus, you’ll apply what you learn to make a positive impact in your community while completing two field placements in conveniently located services agencies near you.* No GRE or BSW required.
*Subject to approval.

UMass Global is designed for students like you.

At University of Massachusetts Global, we invest in your success. Our expert faculty specifically design virtual coursework to ensure you receive the best training and experience possible.

Our online CSWE-accredited social work programs are created to fit your busy life. Choose to study part-time or full-time to fit your needs. The built-in flexibility allows you to continue working while completing your degree.

Find out more about how to become an online student with our ultimate guide for adult learners.


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of students work while completing a program
flexible start dates per year
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of alumni would recommend UMass Global to friends, family, or colleagues

Choose your courses. Customize your degree.

  •  CJCU 416

     Domestic Violence

     CJCU 418

     Victim Advocacy 

     SOWK 391

     Youth at Risk 

     SOWK 393

     Child Abuse

     SOWK 405

     Military Social Work 

     SOWK 408

     International Social Work 

     SOWK 445

     Drug and Alcohol Treatment in Social Work

     SOWK 482 

     Social Work with Older Adults

  •  SOWK 630 

     Child Welfare

     SOWK 631

     Social Work Practice with Adolescents

     SOWK 632

     Prevention and Intervention in Child Abuse and Neglect

     SOWK 633

     Children and Adolescent Policy • SOWK 634 Family Policy

     SOWK 650

     Crisis Intervention and Trauma Response

     SOWK 651

     Social Work Response to Disasters

     SOWK 652

     Military/Veteran (SMVF) Social Work

     SOWK 653

     Social Work Practice with SMVF populations

     SOWK 654

     Death, Loss & Grief

     SOWK 655

     Substance Abuse

     SOWK 656

     Sexual Abuse

     SOWK 657

     Mental Health and Mental Illness

     SOWK 658

     Healthcare Social Work I: Integrated Health Care Policy and Services

     SOWK 659

     Healthcare Social Work II: Social Work Practice in Integrated Health

Education is a treasure waiting for people to partake. There’s nothing more effective than getting a degree in a field you’re interested in and passionate about.
Bill K.
Master in Social Work

Frequently Asked Questions

Browse through frequently asked questions about the social work profession.

How long does it take to become a social worker?

It usually takes between four to six years to become a social worker. Aspiring social workers must earn their bachelor’s degree, and many continue on to earn a master’s degree as well.

What degree do you need to be a licensed social worker?

In the United States and Canada, the requirements to become a licensed social worker vary by state, province, and territory. However, a common prerequisite is obtaining a degree in social work from an accredited institution. Typically, a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) is the minimum requirement for entry-level positions, while a Master of Social Work (MSW) is often necessary for advanced clinical roles.

According to the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), licensure requirements can differ significantly depending on your location. You can find specific licensing requirements by state or province on their website: ASWB Licensing Requirements.

For further insight into the requirements and pathways to becoming a social worker, you can refer to the article: Social Worker Requirements: What You Will Need. This article may provide additional details and considerations for individuals pursuing a career in social work.

How do I become a licensed social worker?

Social worker licensure requirements vary by state. Typically, obtaining your licensure includes achieving a minimum level of education, reaching a required amount of supervised practice time and completing an application. There are also optional and advanced licensures for specific social worker careers. You can learn more about requirements here.

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