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MSW Master of Social Work

School of Public Service Leadership

Fulfill Your Passion for Helping Others

Being a social worker provides one of the most essential services in our society—helping vulnerable people overcome challenges. With our CSWE-accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) degree you can be ready to give people the help they need. Our program is aligned to national standards and designed around advanced generalist practice licensing standards. Taken on a full-time basis without quarters off, this program can be completed in two years. It can also be completed over a longer period of time if you take classes on a part-time basis. There’s a need for skilled social work professionals, and this program can help prepare you for advanced generalist practice.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-2017. Many factors affect career advancement, and Capella does not guarantee a job placement or other career outcome.

What to Expect

  • Online & In Person 
  • 15 Core Courses 
  • 2 Elective Courses 
  • Internship

Classes Start July 9th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

Admission Requirements » | $50 Application Fee (waived w/promo SPRING)

What You’ll Learn

Connect with Clients

Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Apply Critical Thinking

Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.

Forge Policy That Helps

Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.

Put Your Knowledge To Work

Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.

Lead Professionally

Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.

Uphold Your Ethics

Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.

Incorporate Diversity

Engage diversity and difference in practice.

Work For Human Rights

Advance human rights and social and economic justice.

Connect Research With Practice

Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research. 

Maintain Professional Resilience

Respond to contexts that shape practice.

Faculty & Support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Dr. Brian Christenson, LMSW, LGSW, CAP

MSW Program Director and DSW Chair

Dr. Lisa Jennings, LICSW, LCSW

MSW Field Education Director

Dr. Zulema Suárez, LMSW

 MSW Core Faculty

Program Features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

Relevant Skills

Prepare to serve as an advanced generalist practitioner, integrating leadership skills that are valued in this field. 

Technology-Enhanced Impact

Learn to use technology to help expand the reach and effectiveness of social service programs and enhance the services you provide. 

Scholar-Practitioner Faculty

The expertise, diversity, and real-world experience of our scholar-practitioner faculty can guide you in your practice and career. 

Cost & Learning Format

Online education isn’t one size fits all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

Our original learning format offers extra structure for those who want it.  We'll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$505 per credit, 88 total quarter credits, 16 max transfer credits

Get the Details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

*This is only an estimate, using general program pricing, and it does not include fees (including application and resource kit fees).  Your price may be higher or lower depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. If transfer credits are allowed in this offering, the prices above show what you would pay if you brought in the average number of transfer credits and the price if you brought in the maximum allowed transfer credits.  

Ways to Save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

Employer & Association Discounts

Many employers and organizations partner with Capella to offer tuition discounts. Talk to an enrollment counselor to learn more. 

10% Military Discount

Military service members and their spouses could be eligible for a discount.

Transfer Credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools. 

Faculty Interview

“Students have the opportunity to learn from people all over the country. The coursework is rigorous, and right on target to prepare graduates to excel in the field.”

Kateri Ray, PhD, MSW
Social Work Faculty

Professionally credible, professionally aligned*
Our MSW is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Commission on Accreditation, the professional standard in social worker education and a minimum requirement for licensure eligibility in all states. 

*Some states require graduation from a fully accredited CSWE program to be eligible for a social work license or to participate in post-graduate supervision hours necessary for licensure. Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, certification, other professional credentials or salary advancement. It is each student’s responsibility to understand and comply with these requirements. For more information on licensure, see the Licensure section on the School’s website.

Convenience and flexibility of online learning
Access your engaging, online learning environment anytime, anywhere, with any device, and set your own schedule while meeting deadlines.

Accredited & Respected

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Sample Courses

The curriculum for our MSW degree blends coursework, face-to-face residencies, and field education. Add depth of knowledge with electives in clinical practice, leadership and supervision, or human services.

Some of the courses you will take:

Course Number Course Title
SWK5003 Human Behavior and the Social Environment 1
SWK-R5004 Micro Social Work Practice
SWK5006 Social Policy and Planning in Human Services
SWK5007 Mezzo Social Work Practice
SWK5016 Integrative Technology in Advanced Social Work Practice

Prepare for Licensure

Our program features a rigorous combination of online coursework and face-to-face experiences that helps you expand on what you’re learning in the courseroom, so you can hit the ground running in the real world.


Enhance the skills you develop in your program coursework through these intensive, onsite experiences with students and faculty.  

Dedicated Support

Our licensure team supports you through the license application process, and is here for you even beyond graduation.

Practicum / Internship

Apply your skills and knowledge in the field with direct-client contact and supervision.

Relevant Blog Posts

Whether you’re considering a return to school, exploring new career paths, or seeking ways to improve your job performance, the Capella Blog has relevant articles to support your goals.

Career Paths to Explore with a Master of Social Work Degree

Check out five career paths that relate to a MSW.

What Is Social Work?

Learn about potential careers and skills needed to be successful in the field.

The Growing Use of Technology in Social Work

Learn how technology is impacting client issues and changing how social workers provide treatment.

Move Forward in Your Career

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our online MSW degree.


Related Job Titles to Explore*

  • Mental health/substance abuse social worker
  • Medical/public health social worker
  • Child, family, or school social worker
  • Community social worker
  • Social work administrator/leader
  • Case manager/supervisor
  • Human services manager/supervisor
  • Clinical manager/supervisor
  • Program manager/supervisor
  • Researcher
  • Social policy analyst/advocate
  • Adjunct, part-time or full-time faculty

Related Employment Settings to Explore

  • Hospital, primary care setting, and clinic
  • Veterans’ hospital and clinic
  • Nursing home
  • Hospice
  • Community mental health clinic
  • Private practice
  • Government - local, state, federal
  • P-12 public/private school
  • Correctional facility
  • Child welfare agency
  • Nonprofit/For-profit organization
  • Land-based or online college or university

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

You May Also Be Interested In

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals. 

Ready for the Next Step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.