Online Social Work Programs in Texas

In a state-by-state comparison, Texas is among the top employers of social workers in every discipline, including healthcare; family, child, and school; and mental health and substance abuse. Nationwide, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects social work jobs to increase 16% through 2026. Social workers enjoy many job opportunities depending on their specialization. For example, healthcare social workers may help meet the demands of the aging baby boomer population, while substance abuse social workers can assist people struggling with addiction.

Social work jobs in Texas tend to offer strong benefits and salaries. Family, child, and school social workers earn an average of $43,980 annually. Mental health and substance abuse social workers earn an average of $41,470, while healthcare social workers earn an average of $57,980. The average income for all other social workers in Texas is $69,860.

Social Work Programs by Degree Level


Online Master's in Social Work Programs


Education and Licensure Requirements for Social Workers in Texas

The Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners (TSBSWE) regulates social work licensure, renewal, and practice throughout the state. TSBSWE currently issues three different social work licenses according to applicants' experience and training: licensed baccalaureate social worker (LBSW), licensed master social worker (LMSW), and licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).

Education Requirements

Education requirements for social work licensure in Texas vary by license. An LBSW candidate needs a bachelor of social work, while an LMSW candidate must earn a master of social work. All aspiring social workers need degrees accredited by the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE). Candidates seeking recognition for advanced practice (MSW-AP) must verify 3,000 hours of board-approved, supervised nonclinical experience. Each LCSW candidate needs a master of social work degree and 3,000 hours of board-approved supervised clinical experience.

Exam Application Process and Requirements

All Texas social work licensure applicants must pass an Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) examination in accordance with their level of licensure. LBSW candidates must complete the bachelor's exam, LMSW candidates take the master's exam, and LCSW candidates can complete the clinical exam.

To gain TSBSWE approval to take the ASWB exam, candidates must submit official college transcripts showing completion of education requirements, verification of supervised experience (if applicable), and proof of completion of the board's jurisprudence examination. A current college student can receive exam approval in their final semester by supplying a letter from their college or university dean along with their official transcript.

After obtaining approval, test takers must register for their exam with ASWB and pay a $230-$260 fee. Upon passing the test, candidates must pay an initial licensure fee of $91-$111 to TSBSWE.

Continuing Education and Licensure Renewal

Texas social work licenses expire every two years. To qualify for renewal, licensed professionals must complete at least 30 hours of continuing education during each two-year period. Acceptable continuing education activities include participating in seminars, workshops, independent study programs, training programs, or continuing education college courses; publishing or presenting relevant written work; and serving as an instructor or supervisor to social work interns or licensure candidates.

Each professional must complete renewal requirements, submit their license renewal notice in the mail, and pay a $36-$106 renewal fee to TSBSWE.


Why Choose an Online Social Work Program in Texas?

Earning an online social work degree in Texas offers many benefits, including flexibility, convenience, and affordability. Online learning allows students to consider all Texas universities, regardless of geographic location. Once enrolled, students can often complete assignments and coursework according to their own schedules, typically saving money on traditional campus expenses along the way. Online tuition for the best social work programs in Texas typically costs between $330-$900 per credit, depending on the school.

Graduates can pursue a variety of high-demand social work jobs in Texas, with salaries averaging between $44,000-$70,000, depending on experience and specialization.

Ranking Methodology

Here is our list of online social work degree programs in Texas 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 Texas

Our Lady of the Lake University

OLLU, a small Catholic college based in San Antonio, serves around 3,200 students annually. Founded in 1942, the college's Worden School of Social Service is the oldest social work school in Texas and a recipient of the 2009 CSWE Presidential Award for Excellence. The school prepares students for direct social work practice and leadership, offering an online master of social work that ranks among the best social work programs in Texas.


Our Lady of the Lake University's Online Master of Social Work

  • Credits and Courses: The master of social work program requires 57 credits total (30 credits for advanced standing students). Courses use a mix of synchronous and asynchronous elements.
  • Completion Time: General enrollees can complete the program in three years. Advanced standing students can complete their master's degree in two years.
  • Field Education: 950 hours
  • Exam Preparation: The program prepares graduates for Texas state social worker licensure.
  • Transfer Policies: Students may transfer up to six credits from other CSWE-accredited programs.
  • Online Student Support: The OLLU Student Services office provides support in all non-academic matters, while program managers assist with academic matters.
  • Cost: $907/credit
  • Admission Requirements: Each student must earn a minimum GPA of 3.0. The GRE is not required.

Our Lady of the Lake University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Our Lady of the Lake University's online social work programs are CSWE-accredited.

[ Back to Top ]



Tarleton State University

Located in Stephenville, TSU's Department of Social Work focuses on the diverse needs of communities in North and Central Texas, with an emphasis on serving rural, Hispanic, and military populations. The school's social work programs, which include an online master of social work, base their curriculum around principles of social and economic justice, individual worth and dignity, service, and human relationships. The social work department boasts a nationally recognized faculty with a combined total of 70 years of professional experience in the social work field.


Tarleton State University's Online Master of Social Work

  • Concentrations: The program's two concentrations are community organization, research, and advocacy; and multicultural practice with children and families.
  • Credits and Courses: General students must earn 64 credits to graduate, while advanced standing students need 32 credits. Courses use a primarily asynchronous format.
  • Completion Time: Full-time students can graduate in about two years, while full-time advanced standing students can graduate in about a year.
  • Field Education: 900 hours
  • Exam Preparation: The program prepares graduates for Texas state social worker licensure.
  • Transfer Policies: Student can transfer up to six credits from a CSWE-accredited MSW program or a non-MSW graduate program.
  • Online Student Support: Students receive access to advising services, career counseling, tutoring, and library resources.
  • Cost: $6,820/year in-state; $14,290/year out-of-state
  • Admission Requirements: Each candidate must provide evidence of a minimum GPA of 2.5. GRE scores are not required.

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

[ Back to Top ]



Texas State University

A major public research college located about 30 miles south of Austin in San Marcos, Texas State hosts some of the best social work programs in Texas, including a fully online master of social work. The school emphasizes social work practice, research, and advocacy, training students to meet client needs throughout their lifespan. Texas State's School of Social Work maintains close relationships with agencies around Texas that serve both rural and urban populations, offering a wide assortment of field placement opportunities for students.


Texas State University's Online Master of Social Work

  • Concentrations: The program offers a concentration in advanced practice leadership.
  • Credits and Courses: Texas State's online MSW program requires general students to earn 62 credits and advanced standing students to earn 36 credits. Courses use a mix of synchronous and asynchronous elements.
  • Completion Time: The full format requires three years to complete, while the advanced standing format requires two years.
  • Field Education: 900 hours
  • Exam Preparation: The program prepares graduates for social work licensure in Texas and many other states.
  • Online Student Support: Online students have access to resources, including library services, career counseling, and academic advising.
  • Cost: $338/credit in-state; $759/credit out-of-state
  • Admission Requirements: Applicants need a minimum GPA of 3.0. The GRE is not required.

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

[ Back to Top ]



The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Located near the Texas-Mexico border in Brownsville, UTRGV ranks as the second-largest Hispanic-serving institution of higher learning in the country, and the college's School of Social Work emphasizes the unique needs of Latino populations. The social work curriculum focuses on improving community conditions and increasing access to social services for Latino clients. Learners analyze the effectiveness of social programs in the context of diverse populations. UTRGV offers a master's in social work that prepares graduates for positions in both management and direct client service.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley's Online Master of Social Work

  • Concentrations: The program offers concentrations in administration and community practice or direct practice with Latino individuals, families, and groups.
  • Credits and Courses: The MSSW requires 64 credits for its full program and a minimum of 33 credits for advanced standing students.
  • Completion Time: The full program takes about two years, while the accelerated program takes approximately 12 months to complete.
  • Field Education: 500 hours
  • Other Requirements: Applicants must hold a bachelor of social work from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program.
  • Exam Preparation: This program prepares students for the ASWB exam.
  • Online Student Support: Students receive access to services, including advising, tutoring, and library resources.
  • Cost: $444/credit
  • Admission Requirements: Each applicant must provide proof of a minimum 3.0 GPA. GRE scores are not required.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley's online social work programs are CSWE-accredited.

[ Back to Top ]



University of Houston

UH, a major public college located near downtown Houston, enrolls more than 46,000 students, making it the third-largest college in the state. Typically ranked among the top social work schools in Texas, UH offers a fully online master of social work that serves students around the country. The Graduate College of Social Work trains students to serve as leaders in both research and practice, and stresses the achievement of economic, social, racial, and political justice.


University of Houston's Online Master of Social Work

  • Concentrations: The program offers a concentration in health and behavioral health.
  • Credits and Courses: The program requires 38 credits for advanced standing students and 63 credits for general students. Courses use a mix of synchronous and asynchronous content.
  • Completion Time: The full program requires three years to complete, while the advanced standing program requires 2.5 years.
  • Field Education: 900 hours
  • Exam Preparation: This program prepares students for the ASWB exam.
  • Transfer Policies: Students may transfer credits from a CSWE-accredited program with department approval.
  • Online Student Support: UH offers online support, including tutoring, graduate academic advising, testing services, and career counseling.
  • Cost: $449/credit in-state; $971/credit out-of-state
  • Admission Requirements: Each candidate must earn a minimum GPA of 3.0. GRE results are not required.

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

[ Back to Top ]



West Texas A&M University

Located just south of Amarillo in the city of Canyon, WTAMU serves more than 10,000 students annually and offers one of the top social work degree programs in Texas. The school's master of science in social work trains generalist practitioners to serve in a variety of social service environments. Learners build professional values, a deep knowledge base, and an assortment of advanced skills. All students in the Department of Psychology, Sociology, and Social Work gain research and service-learning experience, performing field work at agencies around the state and country.


West Texas A&M University's Online Master of Science in Social Work

  • Credits and Courses: WTAMU requires a minimum of 62 credits for its full program and 36 credits for advanced standing students. Courses use a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous elements. The curriculum also includes some hybrid courses that require on-campus sessions.
  • Completion Time: The advanced standing track requires four semesters to complete, while the general standing track requires six semesters to complete.
  • Field Education: 900 hours
  • Other Requirements: Students must visit campus for some hybrid courses.
  • Exam Preparation: This program prepares students for the ASWB exam.
  • Transfer Policies: Students may transfer credits from other CSWE-accredited graduate programs.
  • Online Student Support: Students receive access to advising, tech support, tutoring, and library and bookstore services.
  • Cost: $3,440/year in-state; $3,863/year out-of-state
  • Admission Requirements: Each candidate must earn a minimum 3.0 GPA. GRE scores are not required.

West Texas A&M University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). West Texas A&M University's online social work programs are CSWE-accredited.

[ Back to Top ]

FIND A PROGRAM
SocialWorkLicensure.org is an advertising-supported site. Clicking in this box will show you programs related to your search from schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.
fordam msw