Online Social Work Programs in Wisconsin

While Concordia University - Wisconsin (CUW) provides the sole online social work degree in Wisconsin, local students can find plenty of job opportunities after they graduate. According to a data set from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Wisconsin had nearly 11,000 social work jobs in 2017, with child, family, and school social workers and mental health/substance abuse social workers each accounting for about one-third of those positions.

Wisconsin does not house any notable metropolitan or nonmetropolitan hotbeds for social workers, but students can opt to move to the nearby Twin Cities, which offer some of the highest employment figures for social workers out of all of the nation's major cities.

Social Work Programs by Degree Level


Online Master's in Social Work Programs


Education and Licensure Requirements for Social Workers in Wisconsin

Wisconsin's Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) oversees all matters related to entry-level social work jobs in Wisconsin, including licensure. As of June 2019, DSPS offered five types of social work licensure: licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), certified independent social worker (CISW), certified advanced practice social worker (CAPSW), certified social worker (CSW), and social worker training certificate (SWTC).

Education Requirements

CSW licensure is as the basic professional social worker credential in Wisconsin. To apply for CSW licensure, applicants need a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program. They can also establish equivalency for that education requirement through an SWTC certification.

To qualify for clinical work through LCSW licensure, applicants must earn a master's in social work in Wisconsin from a CSWE-accredited program.

Exam Application Process and Requirements

An applicant hoping to earn CSW licensure — the basic professional social worker certification in Wisconsin — must submit an application form, which includes $165 in application fees. They must also pass an open-book Wisconsin law exam and the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) bachelor's exam, which costs $235 and consists of 170 multiple choice questions, 150 of which are scored. CSW applicants do not need supervised experience.

Social workers hoping to pursue LCSW licensure must complete 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience within two calendar years.

CSW applicants need bachelor's degrees in social work from CSWE-accredited programs, while LCSW candidates need master's or doctoral degrees.

Continuing Education and Licensure Renewal

Wisconsin social worker licenses expire in February of odd-numbered years. During each renewal period, social workers must complete 30 hours of continuing education courses, including four hours in professional boundaries and ethics. Social workers must complete these hours regardless of the type of licensure they hold.

Each time a social worker renews their licensure in Wisconsin, they must pay an $85 fee. Professionals can renew licenses online through the DSPS website.


Why Choose an Online Social Work Program in Wisconsin?

Earning an online social work degree in Wisconsin makes more sense than earning an on-campus degree for several types of students. The flexibility and convenience of asynchronous online programs allow professionals or parents to continue earning income or raising their families while pursuing degrees.

In most cases, online social work programs allow students to complete clinical/supervised hours at approved placement sites in their communities. The online social work program in Wisconsin at CUW offers affordable tuition for online students. After graduating, social workers are poised to take advantage of Wisconsin's high concentration of child, family, and school and substance abuse/mental health social work positions.

Ranking Methodology

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

Concordia University - Wisconsin

Rooted in Lutheran values, Concordia University-Wisconsin opened its doors in 1881. Based out of a 200-acre main campus beside Lake Michigan, CUW's social work school offers more than 70 programs. The college also offers online learning and off-campus sites in Milwaukee, Madison, Mequon, Milwaukee midtown, Kenosha, Waukesha, Appleton, Beloit, and Green Bay.

Earning this master's in social work in Wisconsin allows graduates to work as family social workers, mental health managers, and community service managers. Learners can attend school on a full- or part-time basis. The program provides the option to earn an interprofessional educational training certificate or gain specialized skills with an advanced generalist specialization.


Concordia's Online's Master of Social Work:

  • Concentrations: The program offers an advanced generalist specialization. The well-rounded curriculum benefits students interested in social work leadership positions, especially in rural areas.
  • Credits and Courses: Regular standing students who do not hold a bachelor of social work degree from a CSWE-accredited program must take 66 credits to graduate. Advanced standing students must complete 39 credits.
  • Completion Time: When students attend class on a full-time basis, they can expect to graduate in two years. Students with advanced standing status can graduate by earning 39 credits in one year. Part-time advanced standing students may only take two years to graduate, and regular standing part-time students may take up to four years to earn a master's in social work.
  • Field Education: The program requires 900 field hours. Students complete 450 hours in their first year and 450 hours in the specialization year of the program.
  • Exam Preparation: Program graduates can become a certified advanced practice social worker (CAPSW), a certified independent social worker (CISW), or a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).
  • Transfer Policies: Students may transfer up to six credits toward their online social work master’s degree.
  • Online Student Support: Learners can submit their papers digitally to the CUW's Online Writing Lab to receive writing assistance.
  • Cost: $652/credit
  • Admission Requirements: Candidates should have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants with less than a 3.0 GPA may receive conditional admittance. CUW does not require GRE scores. Learners must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college. Students with a bachelor's degree in social work (earned no more than seven years prior) from a CSWE-accredited program and at least a 3.5 GPA may apply to receive advanced standing status.

Concordia University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Commission on Accreditation (COA) provides accreditation for Concordia's master of social work degree.

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