Online MSWs in Florida
In Florida, there are three institutions that offer highly-regarded online master’s of social work degree (MSW) programs – Florida State University, the University of South Florida, and the University of Central Florida.
By earning an online master’s from one of the three universities with accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education, graduates can work as social workers in a variety of social work settings, including local and state government, communities, hospitals and clinics, and other organizations. There are also two social work certifications that master’s degree recipients may pursue in Florida: Certified Master Social Worker (CMSW) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).
A master’s degree is required for those seeking licensure as a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) or Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).
While bachelor’s degree recipients in social work can obtain a Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW) license, a master’s degree is required for those seeking licensure as a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) or Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Upon earning their graduate degree, students must pass the respective licensure exam from the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) and apply with Florida’s Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling. Lastly, individuals seeking certification beyond the LBSW level are required to complete a set number of practicum hours and over 1,500 hours of supervised work in social work.
In this guide to online MSW programs in Florida, we provide essential information to help you make your decision as to whether or not an online MSW meets your professional ambitions. Additionally, you’ll find OnlineU’s rankings of Florida MSW degree programs.
Can You Get an MSW Online in Florida?
Yes, there are three Florida institutions offering online master’s degree programs in social work: Florida State University, the University of Central Florida, and the University of South Florida.
Enrolling in an online degree program provides students with a number of benefits, including flexibility in terms of the number of credit hours students can take each term. It also allows working professionals to effectively balance professional and personal commitments while attending school.
CSWE-Accredited Online MSW Programs by State
How Do I Prepare for an MSW Program?
Succeeding in an MSW program begins with thoroughly researching which college or university hosts the online master’s program that best aligns with your professional goals in terms of your career in social work, program tuition, the length of time to degree completion, and which program provides you with the best personal and professional life balance that fits your individual needs.
Here are some basic steps to help you prepare for an MSW program in Florida:
Research online master’s degree programs in social work.
Spend time reviewing your undergraduate social work coursework.
Once admitted, find out about any orientation programs.
Commit to getting the very most out of the experience.
Never miss a lecture, quiz, exam, assignment, or anything else.
Each institution is unique in terms of its admissions requirements. However, most of Florida’s online MSW programs require that applicants have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work, or a related field, and an undergraduate GPA between 2.5 and 3.0. Admissions tests, such as the GRE, are usually only required in cases where a student’s GPA falls below the minimum requirements.
MSW Careers in Florida
Florida offers many career opportunities for MSW degree recipients, including careers working in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings; mental health services; elementary and secondary schools; communities; nonprofit organizations; and more. The type of social work master’s degree that a student chooses to pursue will help steer their career options.
Licensure in Florida
A student in their last term of an online master’s degree program may begin their desired licensure exam application with the ASWB, as mentioned above. Upon earning a master’s degree in social work, completing the required hours of experience and successfully passing a licensure exam, a student may begin the licensure application through the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling.
Before sitting for the exam, Florida master’s of social work graduates looking to become an LCSWs must complete a separate Laws & Rules Course and HIV/AIDS Course. In addition, within six months of certification, an applicant must complete a two-hour domestic violence course from a board-approved provider.
Social Work License Reciprocity in Florida
To transfer a social work license from another state, licensees can apply for a license by endorsement. Applicants must verify their current license and provide the supplemental documentation requirements for either the CMSW or LCSW license, including their certification exam scores and transcripts.
When applying for the LCSW license, applicants also need to complete required courses on Laws and Rules, HIV/AIDS and an approved two-hour domestic violence course. However, the domestic violence course may be completed within six months of certification.
The resource links below can provide prospective master’s students with expert insights and information on different professional organizations as well as additional information from the Florida Board of Clinical Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling:
National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)