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Online Master of Social Work FAQs

How long will it take to earn the online Master of Social Work degree?

The online MSW from Our Lady of the Lake University is designed to accommodate students with a bachelor's degree in any field or a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited program. Your undergraduate experience will dictate which track of the MSW you pursue, and how long it will take to complete the program.

  • Those with a BSW can apply to the Advanced Standing program and graduate in 12–20 months.
  • Students with a bachelor's degree in another field will apply to the Foundation program and can graduate in 24–38 months.

How do I attend online classes? Do I have to be at my computer at a certain time each day?

As an online student at Our Lady of the Lake University, you’ll be given access to our online learning system. You’ll log on to each virtual class and complete assignments and exams just like a traditional college course. You’ll also interact frequently with professors and your fellow students through lively discussion forums. Coursework can be accessed online anytime, day or night, but assignments must be completed by the due dates set up by each professor.

How much time should I set aside for my online studies?

In the online Master of Social Work program, classes are taken one at a time, and most students spend about 15-20 hours per week on each class. The study time required per week and the total time it takes to earn the degree will vary based on your individual study habits and how closely you follow the recommended course schedule. Fortunately, a dedicated team of faculty and staff is committed to helping you each step of the way.

What kind of support is available? Will I get less attention because I’m studying online?

Our Lady of the Lake University is built on the principle of intense interaction between students and faculty/staff and the individual support and development of each learner. That applies to online students just as it does to traditional, on-campus learners, so the very same support that is available on campus is ready for you as an online student as well. Professors are accessible via telephone and email, the Student Services team can assist with all non-academic matters, and program managers work with each online OLLU student to help with application and transition. Also, technical support for all online services is available 24/7.

Do I have the right computer equipment and software for online learning?

Please see our Online Learning Details page for more information and complete system requirements. Online programs are accessible to both Windows and Mac OS X users.

Is the online Master of Social Work program accredited?

Yes. The Worden School of Social Service at Our Lady of the Lake University has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1942. The degree you earn online is identical to the social work master’s degree offered on campus.

How much does it cost? Is financial aid available?

Financial aid is available to those who qualify through a variety of financial aid programs. For all the details about tuition and financial assistance, please see our Tuition and Financial Aid page, OLLU's MSW program is designed for working professionals, tuition reimbursement from employers may be available to help offset the cost.

I see the MSW requires a fieldwork practicum. I already have a job in social work. Can I meet the fieldwork requirement at my current employer?

Yes, with conditions. The fieldwork practicum is designed to expand your professional social work perspective beyond your current experience, so fieldwork at a present employer is allowed, but it must be in addition to and completely separate from your existing responsibilities, serving a different set of clients, under a different supervisor, and without additional pay.

Will you help me find an agency in my area to perform my fieldwork?

We can’t help you find an agency, but we will help set up and facilitate your fieldwork there. You know your local community much better than we do, so it is your responsibility to find an agency that fits your interests and professional goals. Once you identify the agency, however, we will make contact and confirm their eligibility as a fieldwork provider, coach you on approaching the organization, and help facilitate your work to ensure maximum learning and a positive experience.

Social work training is an exciting time to grow and put what you’ve learned in class into practice. Listen as Jessica and Patricia discuss the tools necessary to succeed in your field placement process.


What are the admissions requirements and application procedures for this online graduate degree?

Visit the Admissions Overview page to learn more about the admissions requirements.

How do I get started?

Call us at 855-275-1082 to speak with an admissions advisor right away to begin your journey to greater service and more career opportunity. You can also apply online, or request more information and we’ll reach out to you.