Online Social Work Programs in South Carolina

Professionals seeking social work jobs in South Carolina enjoy many opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects social work jobs to increase 16% between 2016-2026. BLS data indicates that over 8,000 professionals worked as social workers in South Carolina in May 2017, and BLS projections indicate there may be 1,000 new social work jobs in South Carolina by 2026.

This guide covers online social work programs in South Carolina as well as requirements for social work licensure in the state.

Social Work Programs by Degree Level


Online Bachelor's in Social Work Programs


Education and Licensure Requirements for Social Workers in South Carolina

The South Carolina Board of Social Work Examiners sets the educational and licensure requirements for social workers in the state. Professionals can apply for four different types of licensure: licensed baccalaureate social worker (LBSW), licensed master social worker (LMSW), licensed independent social worker - clinical practice (LISW - CP), and licensed independent social worker - advanced practice (LISW - AP).

Education Requirements

LBSW candidates need a bachelor's degree in social work while LMSW licensure requires candidates to be graduates from master's in social work programs in South Carolina. For both certifications, applicants need degrees accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

For advanced and clinical practice LISW licensure, candidates need a master's or doctoral degree accredited by CSWE. LISW candidates at both the clinical and advanced levels need 15 academic credits or 20 continuing education credits in professional ethics. LISW - AP applicants also need 90 academic credits in advanced social work practice with community groups.

Exam Application Process and Requirements

In South Carolina, the social work licensure process involves passing examinations. The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) administers these exams. LBSW candidates take the bachelor's ASWB exam while LMSW applicants take the master's level. Candidates for LISW-CP licensure take the clinical examination and LISW-AP applicants take the advanced generalist exam.

Typically, candidates take these exams after they complete their degrees. However, the South Carolina board allows candidates to take the exams in their last semester if they provide a letter from the dean of their academic program. LISW-CP applicants need 3,000 hours of supervised social work practice and LISW-AP applicants need 4,000 hours to qualify to sit for the exam. South Carolina allows candidates to complete half of these hours through group supervision.

Continuing Education and Licensure Renewal

Social workers in South Carolina must renew their licenses every two years. Licensure renewal requires 40 continuing education credits within that two-year period. Half of those hours must include instruction from a trained social worker with a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in social work.

Social work professionals can earn continuing education credits through higher education courses or training approved by the state board. Social workers can also carry over up to 12 continuing education credits from their last renewal cycle. As of June 2019, social workers must pay $90 to renew their licenses. South Carolina requires a $50 late fee for social workers who miss the deadline.


Why Choose an Online Social Work Program in South Carolina?

Web-based programs allow students to log on, watch lectures, and complete assignments at their convenience. Distance learners must still complete onsite clinical or supervised hours, but they can typically do so at approved locations near them. This flexibility allows online students to balance school with work and family obligations. Online learners also typically save on expenses that on-campus students attending colleges in South Carolina for social work incur, such as housing and commuting costs.

Ranking Methodology

Here is our list of online social work degree programs in South Carolina 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 South Carolina

Limestone College

Founded in 1845 as South Carolina's first women's college, Limestone College hosts a main campus in Gaffney and evening programs at six additional locations. A Christian institution and one of the top schools in South Carolina for social work, Limestone offers an online bachelor of social work and a hybrid social work degree.

Students can pick from 25 other online degrees at Limestone, including associate degrees. Distance learning programs at Limestone run on an accelerated format, allowing students to earn as many as 36 credits in one year. Classes consist of eight-week terms with six terms offered every year.


Limestone College's Online Master of Social Work

  • Credits and Courses: Students need 123 credit hours to graduate. The program requires 15 major courses, including a practicum. Classes run on eight-week terms, with students typically taking two classes per term.
  • Completion Time: Full-time students can complete the bachelor of social work in less than four years.
  • Field Education: Students must complete 400 supervised hours as an intern at a social service agency.
  • Exam Preparation: This program prepares students for the CSWE licensing exam.
  • Transfer Policies: Students can transfer up to 90 credits from an accredited four-year college and 66 credits from a two-year college toward their bachelor's degree.
  • Online Student Support: Online students can use the A.J. Eastwood Library's online resources to find journal articles and ebooks. The college also offers the Online Writing Lab (OWL), where students can get assistance with writing papers.
  • Cost: $1,323/per course
  • Admission Requirements: Transfer students need a minimum of a 2.0 GPA, and freshman applicants must submit SAT or ACT scores and plus transcripts.

Limestone College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Limestone College's online social work programs are CSWE-accredited.

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