In the United States, most programs for pursuing a Master of Social Work (MSW) do not require applicants to have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). As you research programs take a look at their requirements and how you can fit your background to meet them, especially if you don’t have a strong background in social work already. No matter your undergraduate degree, it is important to have the necessary social work skills.
While there are many similar expectations across the board for social workers, look at what each program emphasizes. Further, an MSW is where you specialize in the micro, mezzo, or macro levels of social work. Consider what each program offers for specialization – do they offer an option to focus on any level or do they emphasize one or two?
Another important factor to consider in pursuing an MSW: time. Thankfully with the rise of online education, more programs are allowing flexibility in where you earn your degree. They also provide the possibility of earning your degree part-time or full-time. Many people pursuing advanced degrees have to continue working and/or have families to consider as well.
In addition to coursework, many MSW programs require some kind of internship, field practicum or experience that puts their education into practice. As you research online programs, look into their specific requirements and what resources they provide in helping secure any necessary internships or outside experiences.
Finally, in the United States it is a requirement that any students with an MSW who wish to pursue further licensure need to have graduated from a school approved by the Council on Social Work Education.
As you research programs, take full advantage of all of the resources you can. Talk to as many people as possible, including alumni of the program. You are taking a big step – make sure you have all of the information you need.