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Online MSW Programs in Kansas

By Michael McCarthy | Updated 2/21/2023

A Master of Social Work (MSW) is an advanced credential for social workers who want to help solve problems for people in need. Although your online MSW options are limited in Kansas, you can use the information from this page to help you search for programs elsewhere.

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There are currently no CSWE-accredited online MSW programs in Kansas.

MSW Programs in Kansas

MSW administrators hope to forge knowledgeable, caring, and ethical social workers. Program faculty cover human social behavior, public policy, cultural diversity, and intervention and treatment practices over the course of 40-65 credit hours. Some programs have optional concentrations allowing you to specialize in a particular area of social work, such as healthcare, clinical, or macro social work (i.e., policy creation). 

Whether you choose a general or specialized path, your coursework will culminate in an internship or field practicum lasting at least 1,000 hours. This field placement grants valuable real-world experience and is required for licensure in this state — see How to Become a Social Worker in Kansas for details.

The Council for Social Work Education (CSWE) accredits MSWs, and their stamp of approval is crucial for social work students. It would be very difficult to practice as a social worker anywhere in the country if they lack a CSWE-accredited MSW or Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). 

To learn about online MSW programs and social worker requirements in other states, explore our list of CSWE-accredited online MSW programs by state below:

CSWE-Accredited Online MSW Programs by State

Admission Requirements

There are two main types of MSWs, each with its own admissions criteria:

Traditional MSWs are for students without previous social work education. However, since you would still need a bachelor's degree of some kind to apply, you must submit official transcripts from your undergraduate institution. You usually also need to include a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and a resume with your application. Some schools require official GRE or GMAT test scores, though competitive scores vary by program.

You can pursue an advanced-standing MSW if you earned a CSWE-approved BSW within the last five years. This lets you skip the introductory classes and finish the degree sooner. You'll submit the same items as traditional applicants, but your transcripts must demonstrate that you earned a BSW. Most schools prefer to see a GPA of 3.0-3.25 on your major courses.

Program Length

Full-time traditional MSWs are designed to last two years. Advanced-standing students may be able to cut up to a year off that time if all of their credits transfer successfully.

Most colleges offer a part-time MSW path for students who want or need to work while going to school. These enrollees take fewer courses each term, so traditional students may finish in 3-4 years, while advanced-standing students may need as little as two years. 

MSW Costs

Each school charges different rates for tuition and mandatory fees. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), one year of graduate school in the U.S. averages $19,749. You may be able to offset some costs using financial aid. Depending on your aid eligibility, you might be able to lower the total price of a degree and save on student loan debt down the line.

Online MSW Programs in Kansas

There are no CSWE-accredited online MSW programs in Kansas. The state does host some accredited MSWs, but none of them feature fully online coursework. 

This may change in the future. The University of Kansas offers online options for both traditional and advanced-standing students, but the CSWE directory only accredits the university's on-campus programs at the time of writing. In addition, MSW programs from Fort Hays State University and the University of St. Mary are undergoing review as of fall 2022.

How To Become a Social Worker in Kansas

All social workers in Kansas need to receive a license from the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (KBSRB). There are three types of licenses that grant different levels of duties and responsibility, as detailed below:

License Type Degree Needed Other Requirements Scope of Duties
Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW) BSW (accredited by CSWE)
  • Any variety of social work practice defined in Kansas Statute 65-6302 except private practice, including helping people find services and counseling clients
Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) MSW (accredited by CSWE)
  • Passing score on ASWB's master's-level exam
  • Three references from licensed social workers
  • $280-330 in fees
  • Any variety of social work practice defined in Kansas Statute 65-6302 except private practice, including helping people find services and counseling clients
Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker (LSCSW) MSW (accredited by CSWE)
  • Passing score on ASWB's clinical exam
  • Three references from licensed clinical social workers
  • 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience
  • $330-380 in fees
  • Any social work duties, including assessment and treatment of behavioral and mental disorders
  • May practice privately

Active licensees from another state may get a reciprocal license in Kansas as long as their state has similar requirements.

Continuing Education and License Renewal

You need to renew your Kansas social work license every two years to continue practicing. This requires completing 40 units of continuing education in that time, including three units on professional ethics and six units about assessing mental disorders. Continuing education can be in-person or online classes, including those offered by the Kansas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Social Work Jobs in Kansas

As of this writing, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) counts 6,080 social workers of various specialties in Kansas.

Social Work Salaries in Kansas

We list the median annual salaries for each type of social worker in Kansas. To calculate these salaries, we extrapolated each field's median hourly wages to a 40-hour workweek.

Child, family, and school social workers: $46,633

Healthcare social workers: $49,571

Mental health and substance abuse social workers: $46,904

Social workers, all other: $76,190

The analytics company, Lightcast, notes that in the last 12 months, job posts for master's-level positions in Kansas showed salaries that were an average of $17,000 higher than those for bachelor's-level roles.

Social Work Outlook in Kansas

The BLS expects 9% growth in the social work field nationwide during the 2021-2031 period. This is a better outlook than the combined average growth rate for U.S. jobs, which is less than 5%. 

Although the BLS doesn't release state-level projections, ProjectionsCentral predicts growth rates of 5-10% for most of the main social worker categories by 2030. The exception is the general group Social Workers, All Other, which is expected to remain the same size. 

FAQs About Online MSW Programs in Kansas

Are Online MSW Programs Respected?

Online MSWs are respected if they have the CSWE's stamp of approval. The council accredits 181 MSW programs that are either entirely online or provide a choice between online and on-campus learning. Each of these programs has passed a rigorous quality assessment, and each requires that supervised internships take place in person, even if all coursework is virtual.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Social Worker in Kansas?

You can become an LBSW in a little over four years. You need a BSW, which is designed for four years (though it can take students longer to finish). You then need to pass the ASWB's bachelor's-level exam and submit all required documentation to the KBSRB. It could take several months for the board to issue your license once you've applied.

How Do I Get My LMSW in Kansas?

You must take the following steps to become an LMSW in Kansas:

  1. Submit transcripts proving that you earned a CSWE-accredited MSW degree.
  2. Pass the AWSB's master's-level exam and submit the scores to the KBSRB.
  3. Submit documentation of your supervised work record from at least two LMSWs and one supervisor (who can also be a social worker).
  4. Pay the required fees, which can total up to $330.

Can an LMSW Practice Independently in Kansas?

Only LSCSWs can set up independent private practices in Kansas because this work requires a great deal of trust. You can earn the state's trust by undergoing the LSCSW licensure process, which includes 4,000 hours of clinical experience under an experienced supervisor's eye.

Kansas Social Work Resources

We've listed resources below that may prove useful if you're interested in a social work master's degree. Some links are specific to Kansas, and others are more broadly applicable.

OnlineU Resource Pages

Professional Associations

Regulatory and Standards Agencies

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