Online MSW Program


The Online MSW Program at Boston University School of Social Work offers an innovative part-time format with majors in Clinical Practice or Macro Practice and 3 track options, ensuring that each student’s graduate program is tailored to their academic and professional experience. Clinical Practice majors may also choose to minor in Macro Practice.

Students fulfill the requirements for the MSW degree by:

  • Taking required and elective courses in a convenient online format, that includes both self-paced learning and a live component.
  • Attending weekly required Live Classroom sessions.
  • Completing 1 or 2 field internships (depending upon track) within or near their geographic areas.

The curriculum at BUSSW emphasizes diversity, ethics, populations-at-risk, and social and economic justice, which is integrated throughout foundation and advanced MSW courses.

Visit the BU Bulletin for more detailed information on courses and requirements. 

Student Experience

Hear from Atlanta-based Carmetra Johnson (SSW’18) in the video below as shares her experience as a student in the Boston University School of Social Work’s Online MSW Program.


Online Program Structure

The part-time Online MSW Program can typically be completed in 6–9 consecutive semesters, depending on the track. Courses are taken sequentially, most lasting for 7 weeks.

First Year: Coursework with weekly required Live Classroom sessions
1 course at a time for 7 weeks; 2 courses per semester
Second/Third Year: 2 courses a semester; plus field internship(s)

3 Options To Complete The MSW Degree:
  • Traditional Track: Consists of 65 credits which can be completed in 3 years over 9 semesters (fall, spring, and summer). Students take foundation and advanced courses online, attend weekly required Live Classroom sessions held Sunday or Monday nights, and complete 2 field internships for a total of 1,200 hours in the field.
  • Human Service Experience Track (HSE): Open to applicants with a minimum of 2 years of full-time supervised human services experience. Consists of 65 credits which can be completed in 3 years over the course of 9 semesters (fall, spring, and summer). Students take foundation and advanced courses online, attend weekly required Live Classroom sessions held Sunday or Monday nights, and complete a single 1,000-hour field internship.
  • Advanced Standing Track: Open to applicants with an undergraduate social work degree from an institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The undergraduate social work degree must have been earned within 6 years of entry into the program. Consists of 43 credits (or 40 credits if the student passes the Research 1 Waiver Exam) which can be completed over 6 consecutive semesters (no additional transfer credits will be accepted toward the MSW degree). Students enroll in courses online, attend weekly required Live Classroom sessions held Sunday or Monday nights, and complete a single advanced 1,000-hour field internship.

Please note: If a student would like to change tracks, this must be done during the application phase and prior to the application deadline. Unfortunately, students cannot transfer to another campus (ex: Charles River Campus to Online Campus) to change tracks once they are enrolled in the program.

Field Education

Our Field Education team has extensive experience placing students in the geographic areas in which they live, throughout the U.S.

Field internship support for online students is done through a collaborative effort that ensures each student’s learning needs are met. Those who are currently working in the social work field may be able to complete one of their two internships at their place of employment, however, the internship must differ significantly from the student’s current position, with supervision provided by a different, qualified supervisor. Once a student is enrolled, our dedicated team works individually with each student to evaluate the most appropriate field placement options.

Learn more about field education at BU School of Social Work.

Please note that students are expected to complete the majority of their field internships during weekday business hours.  Some agencies require or are able to offer limited evening and/or weekend hours.

Traditional Track: Students complete 2 field internships: 14 credits
480 hours in the Foundation placement; 720 hours in Advanced Placement
Human Services Experience Track: Students complete a single, 1,000-hour field internship (12 credits) and a 2-credit field education capstone project
Advanced Standing: Students complete a single, 1,000-hour (10 credits) field internship


As a student enrolled in the Online MSW Program, you’ll receive the same support available to students in the On-Campus Program. Our online classes are small, with no more than 15 students per group. BU faculty members interact with their students using a user-friendly web-based learning portal. Class content incorporates online lectures, simulations, videos, audio, interactive animations, discussion boards, and weekly Live Classroom sessions.

Members of BUSSW are readily available and committed to providing our online students with a high-quality educational experience.


Online students at BUSSW access their courses through the Boston University Online Campus portal. Coursework can be accessed online anytime, day or night. Students also enroll in weekly, required Live Classroom sessions that are held for 1 to 1.5 hours a week on Sunday and Monday evenings. Students register for these sessions in advance. You can view an online course demo here.

You can view the support offered for online students by visiting the following web pages:


Applicants living within the 50 states at the time the program begins are eligible to enroll in the Online MSW Program. Those living in U.S. Territories, countries outside of the U.S., and military bases outside of the 50 states are ineligible.

Boston University allows students to enroll in online programs regardless of immigration status. However, online students are not eligible for F-1 immigration sponsorship through Boston University, and the ISSO does not require an admissions file for online students.


Boston University School of Social Work is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Social Work Licensing Requirements

Social work licensing requirements do vary from state to state. Please be sure to check specific regulations for your state of residence available through the following resources:

Master of Social Work Licensing Disclosure

Have more questions about our online program?

Visit our frequently asked questions page to learn more.