Online Master of Social Work

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Offered through the acclaimed Worden School of Social Service at Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU), the online Master of Social Work degree program will prepare you to change the lives of children and families in need, while building the foundation for your own career in social service leadership and advanced direct practice. Whether you are already working in the field or have the desire to join it, OLLU’s online MSW can help you achieve your goals of helping society and fighting for justice.

Discover how OLLU has taken their long historied and well respected Master of Social Work into an online format.



“A university experience isn’t just about academics. It’s about your growth as a human being.”

— Dr. Rebecca Gomez, program chair

The very first school of social work in the state of Texas, OLLU’s Worden School of Social Service has been educating social work leaders since 1942. It is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), which is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting body for social work programs in the USA. In 2009, the school earned the Presidential Award for Excellence from the CSWE, an honor reserved for only one of the nearly 500 social work degree programs in America. This premier social work education from Our Lady of the Lake University is now available entirely online in a program designed specifically for the busy schedules of working adults.

Whether you have a bachelor’s in social work or have a calling to work in this important field, but graduated with a bachelor’s degree in another subject, OLLU’s online Master of Social Work has a program to fit your needs:

  • Advanced Standing Program - This program is designed for those with their Bachelor of Social Work and can be completed in just under two years.
  • Foundation Program – For those with a bachelor’s degree in something other than social work, this program provides the foundational knowledge needed and can be completed in a little more than three years.

What Does a Social Worker Do?

In their day-to-day job description, social workers interact with clients. Social work is very hands-on and often involves counseling an individual or a group with the goal of helping the client(s) learn more about themselves and make decisions that will lead to a happier, better lifestyle. Many social workers find their clients’ growth and education to be the most fulfilling and rewarding aspect of their professional endeavors.

While social workers are also expected to complete an array of administrative work as a component of their job, the majority of their time is spent interacting with clients or creating plans that will be used in client meetings.

For example, a social worker specializing in health might develop a health and wellness plan for the family with whom they are working to implement. If the family lived in a large city, and felt they had limited access to fresh food, then the social worker’s plan might involve strategies to help the family see how they can access healthier options in their area and within their means.

This scenario is only one example of situations needing the mediation of social work that is highly prevalent in large cities where families of varying incomes and backgrounds often experience similar difficulties. This is also why community social workers –social workers that work with groups of individuals—are in higher demand in urban areas.

Graduates who specialize in social work and relocate to a different area to pursue gainful employment can look to the various nationally recognized professional social work organizations to help them in their professional endeavors. Examples of organizations with whom students and professionals can affiliate are:

  • National Association of Social Workers
  • Clinical Social Work Association
  • National Organization of Forensic Social Work
  • Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care
  • Society for Social Work and Research
  • Latino Social Workers Organization
  • American Case Management Association

Today's Challenges. Tomorrow's Opportunities.

OLLU’s online Master of Social Work (MSW) is one of only three social work master’s degree programs in the country with an emphasis on service to Hispanic families and children. The Hispanic population is the fastest-growing demographic community nationwide, meaning social workers all over America can benefit from particular expertise and understanding of the issues facing the Hispanic community. Such an advantage can help them provide not only the very best service but also to position themselves for maximum success and leadership in their social work careers.

The MSW from Our Lady of the Lake University also focuses on social work across the life span, including service to elderly adults, who currently represent the largest single community of social service recipients.

A master’s degree in social work is a requirement for leadership positions in most government-funded, non-profit social service organizations. Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the online MSW from Our Lady of the Lake University is a degree designed for versatility. Graduates of the program enter a robust job market, in which social workers with a Master of Social Work degree are highly sought to take leadership roles in social service and governmental agencies.

See our Career Outlook page for more information.

Degree Options to Fit Your Needs

Our Lady of the Lake University offers two program options for students from a variety of academic backgrounds. For those with bachelor’s degrees in social work from an accredited program, we offer an Advanced Standing program that can be completed online in as little as two years or less. The Foundation program, which can be completed online in a little over three years, is designed for students who hold other undergraduate degrees but share in the desire to help improve society and fight for social justice and human rights.

For more information, see our Course Descriptions page.

Your capacity to care is what led you to a career in social work. The online Master of Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University is the credential you need to succeed at the intersection of service and opportunity.

To learn more about the online Master of Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University, call 855-275-1082 to speak with an admissions advisor right away, or you can request more information.

NOTE: Applicants seeking licensure are encouraged to review all applicable eligibility requirements related to the respective occupational license per the Texas occupations code HB 1508.