Online Social Work Programs in Utah
Professionals looking for social work jobs in Utah enjoy many opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Utah hosted around 5,000 social work jobs in 2017. About half of those jobs fell under the category of child, family, and school social workers. Other job titles include healthcare, mental health, and substance abuse social workers.
Utah social workers also enjoy comfortable salaries. St. George, Utah, which is less than an hour from Zion National Park, offers the second-highest mean annual wage, nearly $71,000, for child, family, and school social workers out of all metropolitan areas across the nation.
Social Work Programs by Degree Level
Online Bachelor's in Social Work Programs
Online Master's in Social Work Programs
Education and Licensure Requirements for Social Workers in Utah
To obtain social work jobs in Utah, professionals must meet the education and licensure requirements put forth by the Utah Department of Commerce Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL). The DOPL awards four types of licenses: social service worker (SSW), certified social worker (CSW), certified social worker intern (CSWI), and licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).
There are four educational paths to earning social service worker licensure, the initial social worker certification in Utah:
- Students may earn a bachelor's degree in social work. The DOPL website does not specify that this degree must hold CSWE accreditation.
- Students may earn a master's degree in mental health counseling, psychology, or marriage and family therapy.
- Students may earn a non social work bachelor's degree; complete 2,000 fieldwork hours certified by a supervisor; and complete coursework in social work methods, human growth and development, and social welfare policy.
- Students may complete the first semester of a CSWE-accredited social work master's program.
To earn CSWI, CSW, and LCSW credentials, candidates need a CSWE-accredited master's or doctoral degree.
Exam Application Process and Requirements
To gain initial licensure (SSW) for social work jobs in Utah, professionals must pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) bachelor's examination. To qualify to take the exam, candidates must pass a criminal background check and submit their transcripts.
CSW and LCSW candidates must pass the master's or clinical ASWB exam to gain licensure. Candidates need a CSWE-accredited master's or doctoral degree to sit for the exam. They must also pass a criminal background check and submit transcripts.
Students can register for the exams through the ASWB website. Students must pay a $230 fee. Each exam consists of 170 multiple-choice questions. Graders score 150 of those questions.
Continuing Education and Licensure Renewal
All Utah social workers must renew their license every two years. LCSW professionals must complete 40 continuing education hours within each renewal period, including three hours of professional ethics and two hours of suicide prevention. SSWs must complete 20 hours, including three hours of professional ethics and two hours of suicide prevention. CSWs and CSWIs do not need to complete any continuing education hours to renew their license.
Why Choose an Online Social Work Program in Utah?
Online learning offers several benefits. Online programs generally provide the flexibility to balance school with work and family obligations. These programs also typically allow students to complete practicum and clinical hours at approved placement sites in their communities.
Online Utah social work programs also provide affordability, charging around $400-$700 per credit. Online students can save on many of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as housing and commuting costs.
Here is our list of online social work degree programs in Utah 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 Utah
University of Utah
The University of Utah ranks among the top 100 colleges in the world. The U offers an online BSW to train social workers who work on behalf of marginalized groups, including refugees and immigrants, indigenous and aboriginal people, LGBTQ communities, people of color, and rural communities. In addition to delivering traditional social work programs, the College of Social Work engages in social research, such as mindfulness for opioid abuse and other addictions, interdisciplinary research in criminal and juvenile justice, and developing dementia care technology.
The University of Utah's Bachelor of Social Work
- Concentrations: While the program does not officially offer a concentration, students may pursue the Child Welfare Title IV-E Career Path to work with children and families. The path is a grant program offered by the Utah State Division of Child and Family Services. Students can receive full in-state tuition for up to 48 BSW core credits and a $1,100 stipend during BSW field experiences.
- Credits and Courses: The University of Utah social work program requires 48 credits of social work courses and successful completion of an internship (practicum). Faculty deliver all BSW core courses and prerequisite courses in a fully online cohort format, but students may request a hybrid option. Enrollees take courses in sequence to abide by accreditation standards.
- Completion Time: By taking 12-15 courses per term, students can complete the BSW major and internship requirements in 3-4 semesters. They typically complete the BSW in four years, including all university general education requirements.
- Field Education: In the final term, students can complete 12 credits of practicum experience and a companion seminar, applying their knowledge and skills in multiple agency settings.
- Transfer Policies: The department will make assessments on transferable credits from other accredited BSW programs on a case-by-case basis.
- Online Student Support: Students receive access to UOnline's academic advisors, free e-tutoring in various subjects, student success advocates, and library resources.
- Cost: $881/credit in-state; $3,284/credit out-of-state
- Admission Requirements: A minimum 2.35 cumulative GPA. Students must complete all general education requirements at the time of their BSW application. They must also complete pre-major coursework with a minimum "C" grade in subjects such as psychology and sociology.
The University of Utah is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The University of Utah's social work programs are CSWE-accredited.
Southern Utah University
Southern Utah University works with the University of Utah's College of Social Work to offer a master of social work that emphasizes social justice and social change. The MSW enrolls students in the Cedar City area every three years. The MSW accepts applications in 2020 for the next cohort, which begins in 2021.
The program primarily serves employees at the Utah Department of Human Services Division of Child and Family Services. SUU students benefit from the University of Utah College of Social Work's extensive experience working with marginalized communities, including refugees, the LGBTQ community, people of color, and those with mental health challenges.
Southern Utah University's Master of Social Work
- Concentrations: The MSW offers a six-credit child welfare in social work concentration.
- Credits and Courses: The program requires 60 credits. Faculty members use a combination of on-campus and distance education classes through the Utah Education Network to deliver the MSW at SUU on Friday nights and Saturdays in the daytime.
- Completion Time: Students can complete the MSW in three years on a part-time basis.
- Field Education: 1050 hours. Students can participate in field education during the second and third years of study, completing 450 hours and 600 hours, respectively. Students in the child welfare in social work concentration can complete their practicums at schools, mental health programs, foster care programs, and adoption services.
- Transfer Policies: The program will accept a maximum of six credits with a minimum "B" grade.
- Admission Requirements: Students must have a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA and MSW prerequisites.
Southern Utah University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Southern Utah University's master of social work is CSWE-accredited.
Utah Valley University
Utah Valley University's Department of Behavioral Science is one of the college's largest departments. The department's catalog includes programs in psychology, sociology, and substance use disorder counseling. The department also offers one of the best social work master's programs in Utah. Students in the hybrid MSW learn to promote social justice and enhance the quality of life of individuals in the community, especially those of color. The MSW's electives focus on the state's projected growth areas in social work: addictions, mental health, and diverse populations — the Latino/a, refugee, and Polynesian communities, in particular.
Utah Valley University's Hybrid Master of Social Work
- Concentrations: The program offers an advanced standing generalist option.
- Credits and Courses: 60 credits for the full program. Advanced standing students with an accredited BSW can complete a 10-credit bridge program during the summer and join MSW students for the fall and spring terms. Students take each MSW class on Fridays with a significant online component embedded in the program.
- Completion Time: Students with a BSW can complete the advanced standing option in one year on a full-time basis, while the full-time program commonly takes two academic years to complete.
- Field Education: The field experience component requires 15-16 hours per week for two years.
- Exam Preparation: The program prepares students for the licensed clinical social worker exam.
- Cost: $1,083/three credits in-state; $2,853/three credits out-of-state
- Admission Requirements: The MSW requires a minimum 3.0 GPA for both the Advanced Standing and full programs. Regular admission students must also complete three prerequisite courses with a minimum "B-" grade.
Utah Valley University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Utah Valley University's master of social work is "currently in "candidacy" with CSWE.