Social Work Master’s Degree: Online

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 9.38.15 AMThe 100% convenient online format of our Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA, equivalent to an MSW) makes it possible for you to earn your degree from a  top-10 social work school while simultaneously balancing career and family obligations. Accessible and CSWE-accredited, the Online MSSA has the same academic standards and distinguished faculty as our prestigious on-campus MSSA program in Cleveland.

The Mandel School awards an MSSA degree – a Master of Science in Social Administration – which is equivalent to an MSW and is recognized as such by employers, state licensing boards, other universities, and the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Our social work master’s degree program is designed to be comprehensive, interdisciplinary, and academically rigorous – combining practice, policy, advocacy, research, theory, and experiential learning. We believe – and our 7,800 alumni confirm – that an MSSA translates into social workers who have received top-ranked academic training, who are better prepared for leadership, and who have more options in their future careers.

When our school was first chartered by Western Reserve University back in 1915, social work was not considered to be a profession. Consequently, the MSW was not considered to be a professional degree program at that time. Our founders created the Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA), which was designated as the first professional degree program in social work at a university in the United States in 1915 and was accredited in 1919 (the first year social work accreditation was given).

For the past 100 years, the Mandel School and our MSSA have been at the forefront in professional social work education and training, and we continue that legacy today.

The Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA, equivalent to an MSW) at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). In fact, we have been accredited since 1919, the first year graduate social work education was available. We will be undergoing Reaffirmation of Accreditation in 2017.

Case Western Reserve University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

The MSSA degree fulfills many of the requirements of social work licensure in all 50 states in the United States. To become licensed in any state, you must also complete the licensure exam and complete supervised hours (post-masters). For an explanation of the various licensing requirements for social workers, please visit the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).

Complaint Resolution

State Specific Disclosures

Case Western Reserve University is approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education.

Case Western Reserve University – which includes the Online MSSA program at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences – is currently authorized to offer postsecondary distance education under the terms of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (or is exempt*) in:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California*, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island , South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, US Virgin Islands, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

We will continue to monitor developments in laws in each state in which we enroll students and, if authorization or licensure is or becomes necessary, will obtain such additional approvals.

How is the Mandel School at Case Western Reserve ranked among its peers? Highly.

We are ranked #9 in the nation and #1 in Ohio for top Graduate Social Work Schools by U.S. News & World Report (March, 2012).

The Best Schools also ranked the Mandel School #8 among social work programs.

And Case Western Reserve University is considered one of the best universities in the United States.

Choose from two distinct concentrations:

  1. Community Practice for Social Change

Develop the practical skills and values needed to lead and organize comprehensive social change on a broad scale. The concentration also addresses a range of issues including globalization, poverty, inequality and oppression, cultural diversity, women’s issues, human rights, and more.

  1. Direct Practice

Learn to engage individuals, families and groups, assess client needs and strengths, provide or help arrange needed services and support, weigh intervention alternatives, implement change strategies, and evaluate results.

With the Direct Practice Concentration, you will select one of two specializations:

Children, Youth and Families (CYF): Focus on theory and practice directly relating to the identification and assessment of problems that affect young people and families, including adoption, drugs, child and adolescent mental health, and physical abuse and violence. Course work may be applied toward educational requirements for membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAAMFT).

Mental Health with Adults (MHA): Focus on creating sustainable living by transforming communities and developing and disseminating effective theory and practice for community-based mental health practice with adults. Examine public health, drug treatment, and mental health policies, practices, and services.

As with ALL accredited social work master’s programs, we require a field study as part of the Online MSSA. It’s your chance to put what you’re learning into practice, offers a unique opportunity to work with senior-level social work leaders, and helps you develop a professional identity that can help you be successful in your future career.

What differentiates our Online MSSA program is that we require your field placement be secured fairly early on in the program. We do so because we have found that in the long-term, having students secure this placement earlier helps ensure their success. A Field Education Proposal (which includes the Field Education Application and Signed Agency Agreement Form) must be submitted and approved as a condition of admission.

For more information about admission and field education requirements, contact an Online MSSA Enrollment Adviser at admissions@onlinesocialwork.case.edu or Mandel School Admissions at MandelSchool@case.edu.

Applicants with a Bachelor’s of Social Work (BSW) are automatically considered for Advanced Standing. Advanced Standing students receive up to 24 credits toward the MSSA degree and can complete the MSSA program in just 36 credit hours. Your BSW must have been earned within the last seven years from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited institution with grades of B or better in all social-work-related courses. As an Advanced Standing applicant, you will be asked in the essay portion of the application to provide a description of your field education, including roles, responsibilities, and key learning objectives.
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