MSW Online Curriculum

Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work offers an online MSW curriculum that prepares professional social workers who are passionate about inspiring meaningful change in the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

Our holistic curriculum incorporates the ethical integration of faith and social work practice, fostering a fulfilling, mission-driven career. MSW@Baylor graduates are prepared to serve as social work clinicians, counselors, program planners, administrators, and community developers within diverse public and private sectors.

Program Tracks

There are two program tracks available to online students: standard MSW and advanced standing MSW.

Students are not required to take the GRE or have a bachelor’s in social work. Baylor welcomes anyone with an undergraduate degree to apply.

Standard MSW

A 60-credit program for students with a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. You have three options to complete the standard MSW program:

Part time — 32 months
Full time — 24 months
Accelerated — as few as 16 months

Advanced Standing MSW

A 32-credit program for students with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited college or university within the last five years. You have two options to complete the advanced standing MSW program:

Full time – as few as 12 months
Part time – 20 months

View our admissions requirements.

The Generalist Phase and the Specialist Phase

The MSW@Baylor curriculum accommodates all levels of social work students featuring generalist and specialist phases. Standard MSW students begin their coursework during the generalist phase, while advanced standing MSW students begin their coursework during the specialist phase.

Generalist Phase:

As a standard MSW student, you will begin the program building a foundation in direct practice, administration, and community development before proceeding to the specialist phase.

Specialist Phase:

As a standard or advanced standing MSW student, you will choose a specialization in Clinical Practice or Community Practice to be the focus of your studies on advanced social work practice.

  • Clinical Practice – Physical and Mental Health – prepares students for advanced, direct practice with individuals, families, and groups in a variety of clinical settings. Students learn to apply evidence-based practice theories and methods of intervention that reflect a person-environment orientation and a strengths perspective.

    At Baylor, students who pursue the clinical specialization will explore clinical practice in physical and mental health as well as clinical practice with children and families. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of settings including hospitals and primary care clinics, mental health facilities, health education programs, child welfare agencies, family service agencies, juvenile justice systems, marriage and family counseling centers, congregations, and more.
  • Community Practice – Macro – prepares students for advanced practice with public and/or nonprofit organizations, neighborhoods, communities, congregations, and religiously affiliated agencies. Students learn a variety of professional community practice models that serve to strengthen and enrich communities in local and global settings.

    Communities can be defined as both geographic (e.g., neighborhoods) and relational (e.g., ethnic communities). The Community Practice curriculum focus on concepts such as community development, community organizing, and community planning. Students will also learn skills such as asset-based community development, consensual organizing rooted in consensus building, and negotiation facilitation. The community practice specialization prepares students to be flexible and quickly adapt when working in diverse contexts.

Visit the course descriptions page to learn more about the courses you will complete while enrolled in MSW@Baylor.

Field Placement

Field placement is a crucial aspect of the MSW program because it provides you with practical tools and experience that teach you to think and act like a professional social worker.

Our team provides you with personalized, full-service support for locating field placement partners.

Your field instructor will offer constructive and ongoing feedback while you complete your field hours. As a full-time standard MSW student, you will complete a total of 1,030 field hours over four terms. As a full-time advanced standing MSW student, you will complete a total of 550 field hours over two terms.

Baylor’s placement sites include private and public agencies, religiously affiliated organizations and nonsectarian settings, generalist and advanced practice settings, and local and distant sites. Upon graduation, you will be a competent, evidence-based practitioner, well prepared to work in any area of social work.

Gain the skills you need to provide quality care for your community

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Pursuing Licensure

As an MSW@Baylor graduate, you will be prepared to pursue licensure and enter the workforce as a social work professional. The licensing process ensures that all social workers in the field are qualified to administer care and counsel to vulnerable populations in need.

The licensing process and requirements vary by state but commonly include a period of practice under board-approved supervision, a licensing exam, professional fitness requirements, and other optional certifications. Be sure to contact your state’s social work licensing board to verify requirements.

Ethical Integration of Faith in Social Work

Baylor strives to educate the next generation of social workers to approach their practice with an inclusive mindset. We prepare graduates to work for justice and empowerment of people who are vulnerable and oppressed.

The MSW@Baylor program uniquely qualifies graduates to make an impact on people and communities by highlighting the role of faith in social work practice. Our mission is to prepare students to practice social work with an inclusive and holistic mindset. We recognize that faith, in whatever form, plays an important role in the lives of people and communities we serve. 

Conversations of faith are weaved into our course discussions to ensure our students are well versed and comfortable engaging in faith based dialogue with their clients.

Through the ethical integration of faith and social work, the MSW@Baylor prepares students to serve in a variety of settings and communities, including faith-based organizations.

MSW@Baylor’s Online Classroom

As an MSW@Baylor student, you are supported and connected through our online campus. In this virtual hub, you will  participate in weekly live classes with professors and classmates and choose the live class times that work best with your schedule.

Contact your admissions counselor to schedule a virtual tour of the online classroom and experience the benefits of earning your MSW on our platform.

While accessing the online platform, you can complete self-paced coursework and connect with your network of classmates and professors. Regardless of distance, you will become a member of our supportive and engaging community from enrollment to graduation and beyond.