Compare MSW Degrees Key

Searching for the right online master’s in social work program can be difficult when there are any factors, features, and offers to consider. Some universities may offer offline accessibilities to your coursework while others may provide their online students with field placement team support. has created a list of factors that can help students choose the right online MSW program that best fits their needs.

The table was developed to compare different online MSW programs on several factors that can be important to online students: live classes, offline mobile application accessibility, field placement team support, and class size. These factors can be crucial for online student success when choosing your master’s degree program for social work.

Live Classes

When instructors teach lessons during a specified time where all of the students meet, class is described as “live”. Otherwise known as synchronous, these classes offer students the chance to directly interact with their classmates and instructor in real time. A program with a “not live” designation provides only asynchronous courses where students log in and complete their assignments without live interactions. Some synchronous programs provide asynchronous content that complements live class sessions.

Mobile App (Offline Capable)

Some online programs have mobile applications with offline options to allow their students complete access to coursework wherever they may be or travel to. Online MSW programs that do not offer this, require an internet connection for coursework accessibility.

Field Placement Services

Social work students may be afforded assistance in securing placement sites for internships. A field placement team specifically tailored to the needs of online students can become a crucial aspect of online MSW programs because of the wide range of location and residencies of the social workers-in-training.

Class Size Under 15

Benefits for students have been seen in lower class sizes. From the NEA Higher Education Journal, Martin Saez states that larger class sizes can be associated with lower grades and overall less academic achievement. Smaller and more intimate class sizes ensure that students are receiving vital attention needed in clinical programs such as social work.


U of Southern California (USC)

Online MSW From a Top-Ranked School of Social Work

Traditional and advanced standing programs
Face-to-face online class sessions
Dedicated field placement team

Learn More About Online MSW from USC

Simmons University

Clinically Focused Program From the Nation's Oldest School of Social Work

Field education at local clinical sites
A progressive, inclusive community
Four clinical specializations

Learn More about Online MSW from Simmons

University of Denver

A Social Justice–Focused Online MSW

High-quality mentoring by accessible faculty
Concentration in mental health and trauma
Focus on preparing students to fight for social justice

Learn More About MSW@Denver

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Featured Program: Doctor of Social Work at USC