Online Social Work Programs in Louisiana

Social workers provide aid to communities and individuals who are often overlooked, underserved, or in need. According to the Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners (LABSWE), Louisiana currently employs over 8,500 licensed social workers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) studied four categories of social workers: healthcare social workers; mental health and substance abuse social workers; general social workers; and child, family, and school social workers to find the average annual salary of each. In 2018, these careers respectively earned $53,460, $40,960, $57,380, and $50,690 in Louisiana.

Each category of social worker requires a different level of education, expertise, and experience. People interested in social work as a career should always research the qualification requirements before choosing a degree program or applying for licensure.

Social Work Programs by Degree Level


Online Bachelor's in Social Work Programs

Online Master's in Social Work Programs

Online Doctorate in Social Work Programs


Education and Licensure Requirements for Social Workers in Louisiana

LABSWE issues all social work licenses in the state of Louisiana. The organization offers four types of licensure: registered social worker (RSW), certified social worker/licensed master social worker (CSW/LMSW), licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), and licensed clinical social worker-BACS (LCSW-BACS).

Education Requirements

Candidates applying for an RSW license need a bachelor's or master's in social work from a Council on Social Work Education-accredited program (CSWE). The CSW/LMSW and LCSW licenses both require master's in social work from a CSWE-accredited program.

The LCSW-BACS license does not require an advanced degree. Candidates need to complete a six-hour supervision workshop, provide two letters of recommendation, and show documentation of completing a board orientation workshop.

Exam Application Process and Requirements

The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) oversees all examinations and testing for licensure candidates. Before registering with the ASWB, applicants must receive approval from LABSWE. They may only do this after meeting the requirements for the LABSWE application, including completing all degrees and clinical hours.

ASWB charges $230 for the associate, bachelor's, and master's exams. The advanced generalist or clinical exam costs $260. LABSWE charges application fees based on the type of license: $53 for an RSW license, $78 for a CSW/LMSW, and $103 for a LCSW. There is also a $39.25 fee associated with the LABSWE background check for all applicants.

Once candidates earn approval from LABSWE, they should register for the appropriate exam through the ASWB website. 

Continuing Education and Licensure Renewal

LABSWE requires social workers to renew their licenses every year by August 31, with renewal fees varying depending on the level of licensure and when the renewal is postmarked. The state board also requires 20 hours of continuing education annually. In some cases, depending on the month candidates receive their license, the number of continuing education hours may be pro-rated. Of the 20 hours, candidates need three hours in social work ethics every two years and 10 hours each year in clinical content (including diagnosis and treatment).


Why Choose an Online Social Work Program in Louisiana

Online degrees offer flexibility, affordability, and convenience to all students, especially those with jobs. Degree programs have varying requirements, prices, and outcomes based on the school. Prospective students should always research the online programs in which they are interested before applying. Most social work degrees require a number of field hours. Online students complete these hours through internships in their local area.

Ranking Methodology

Here is our list of online social work degree programs in Louisiana as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics. We cover online bachelor's in social work, online master's in social work, and online doctorate in social work programs. All programs are regionally and CSWE accredited, and all are available entirely online.


Online Social Work Programs in Louisiana

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Located in Natchitoches, Louisiana, Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSU) takes pride in its robust online offerings, with 40 degree programs available entirely online. NSU's Social Work Department offers a CSWE-accredited bachelor of social work, which prepares students to work in many diverse areas, including child welfare, substance abuse, mental health, corrections and criminal justice, schools, and community work. Faculty collaborate enthusiastically with students, advising them academically, providing career guidance, and preparing them to excel in the field through active classroom engagement. In addition to its bachelor's degree program, NSU offers an in-person master's degree in social work.


NSU's Online Bachelor of Social Work

  • Credits and Courses: Graduates complete 120 credits overall, with 54 credits focused on social work curriculum. NSU offers some fast-track courses designed for adult learners, which take place over eight weeks rather than the full 16 weeks. The school offers most online courses asynchronously, but students should check their syllabi for individual course expectations.
  • Completion Time: Full-time students can complete the program in four years.
  • Field Education: 432 hours. Students work with faculty advisors and the director of field instruction to coordinate placement interviews.
  • Transfer Policies: NSU accepts transfer credits from regionally and CSWE-accredited programs, dependent upon faculty approval.
  • Online Student Support: NSU provides resources specifically designed for online learners, including a student help desk, library services, and tutoring.
  • Cost: Flat-rate tuition for online undergraduate students is $375/credit up to 12 credits, and $100/credit for additional credits.
  • Admission Requirements: ACT or SAT scores are required. There is no minimum GPA requirement.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Northwestern State University of Louisiana's online social work programs are CSWE-accredited.

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Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

Located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College (LSU) officially opened in January 1860. LSU's 80-year-old School of Social Work offers an online master of social work, in addition to a range of in-person bachelor's programs, two master's degrees, and a Ph.D. LSU's well-published faculty specializes in a diverse range of social-work topics including life course and aging, children and youth, immigrant and refugee communities, childhood trauma, and parenting practices in early childhood.


LSU's Online Master of Social Work

  • Credits and Courses: 60 credits are required to graduate. Students who enter the program with a bachelor's degree in social work may need as few as 30 credits. LSU's courses run asynchronously over the course of seven weeks.
  • Completion Time: Full-time students who enter the program without a bachelor's degree in social work can complete the program in two years. Those who enter with a bachelor's in social work and qualify for the advanced-standing track may finish in 9-12 months. Part-time students can complete the program in 3-4 years.
  • Field Education: 960 hours. Students can complete fieldwork in one of two ways. Single format allows students to work two days a week for 16-18 hours. This option takes four course modules of seven weeks each. In block format, students work 40 hours per week for 12 weeks. Students can complete this option in two course modules of seven weeks each.
  • Other Requirements: Students can complete either a thesis paper or a capstone project that consists of a comprehensive exam, a reflective paper, and an integrative seminar.
  • Online Student Support: LSU provides specialized resources for online learners, including enrollment concierges to assist with the admissions process and learner concierges to serve as a non-academic contact throughout the student's program.
  • Cost: $539/credit
  • Admission Requirements: A minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants need bachelor's-level prerequisites of 12 credits in the social and behavioral sciences and nine credits in the humanities. GRE and GMAT scores are not required.

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College's online social work programs are CSWE-accredited.

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Tulane University of Louisiana

Located in New Orleans, Louisiana, Tulane University of Louisiana (Tulane) takes pride in its commitment to community service, as well as academic excellence. Tulane's 100-year-old School of Social Work offers an online master's degree in social work as well as an online doctor of social work degree. Tulane's faculty are experts in many areas of social work, including substance abuse, clinical supervision, counselor training, inpatient mental health, racism-based stress, and youth violence. The program emphasizes social justice, and though it is conducted entirely online, the program draws heavily from New Orleans influences, preparing students to assist diverse communities in the face of disaster.


Tulane's Master of Social Work

  • Concentrations: Certificates in disaster and collective trauma or mental health, addictions, and the family may be added to the master of science degree.
  • Credits and Courses: Students in the traditional track need 60 credits to graduate. Those in the advanced-standing track need 44 credits. Courses run synchronously, with weekly meetings through the Canvas course platform. The program encourages students to form a community by encouraging collaboration and assigning frequent group work.
  • Completion Time: Full-time students can complete the program in four semesters, or 16 months. Part-time students can complete the program in eight semesters, or 32 months. Students who enter the program with a recent bachelor's degree in social work and a cumulative minimum 3.0 GPA may qualify for advanced standing. Advanced-standing students complete an accelerated program format and may complete their requirements in 12 months of full-time study.
  • Field Education: 948 hours. Students work with local organizations for hands-on social work experience.
  • Other Requirements: To graduate, students complete a capstone course which is designed to synthesize what they have learned and demonstrate it through practical application.
  • Transfer Policies: Credits earned within the last five years may be eligible for transfer. Students should submit transcripts along with course descriptions and syllabi for faculty review.
  • Online Student Support: Tulane's School of Social Work offers several resources for online learners, including virtual faculty office hours, technical support, and career services.
  • Cost: $1,098/credit
  • Admission Requirements: A minimum 3.0 GPA and a bachelor's degree in the liberal arts. Students applying for advanced standing must hold a bachelor's in social work with a minimum 3.3 cumulative GPA and a minimum 3.0 GPA in major courses. The GRE and GMAT are not required.

Tulane's Doctor of Social Work

  • Credits and Courses: A minimum of 54 credits are required to graduate. Courses run synchronously, with weekly meetings through the Canvas course platform. The program encourages students to form a community by encouraging collaboration and assigning frequent group work.
  • Completion Time: Students can complete the program in three years of full-time study.
  • Field Education: Tulane's doctor of social work students must attend an immersion weekend orientation in New Orleans.
  • Other Requirements: Students must complete an applied practice portfolio to graduate.
  • Online Student Support: Tulane's School of Social Work offers many resources for online learners, including virtual faculty office hours, technical support, and career services.
  • Cost: $1,098/credit
  • Admission Requirements: Applicants must hold a master's degree from a CSWE-accredited institution. A minimum 3.3 GPA is required in both undergraduate and graduate studies. The GRE and GMAT are not required.

Tulane University of Louisiana is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Tulane's online social work programs are CSWE-accredited.

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