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Online MSW Programs in Texas

By Seph Anderson | Updated 10/31/2022

Texas social work is overseen by the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners, a governing body that is appointed by the state’s governor and which is part of the Texas Department of State Health Services. Social workers in the state of Texas work in a variety of communities and settings to provide critical social services. Texas social work is carried out in many different sectors, including schools, hospitals, community centers, municipal buildings, and private homes.

There are three levels of licensure that applicants can pursue in the state of Texas: Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW), Licensed Master Social Worker (BSW), and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Independent Practice Recognition (IPR) is available to LMSWs and LBSWs.

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CSWE Accredited Online MSW Programs in Texas

School Annual Tuition Locations
# Angelo State University $14,455 San Angelo
# Baylor University $35,514 Waco
# Our Lady of the Lake University $17,166 San Antonio
# Texas State University $17,104 San Marcos
# University of Houston $18,748 Houston
# The University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley $14,724 Edinburg

Online MSWs Texas

In the State of Texas, there are several highly-regarded online master’s degrees in social work (MSWs). Colleges and universities offering online MSWs include the following: 

  • Our Lady of the Lake University
  • Stephen F. Austin University
  • Texas State University
  • The University of Houston 
  • The University of Texas at Arlington 
  • The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Students with a master’s degree in social work enjoy career opportunities across a variety of areas, including local and state government, communities, hospitals, private organizations, and more.

Overseen by the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners, there are three types of social work licenses available to students based upon their completed level of education – Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW), Licensed Master Social Worker (BSW), and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). 

In this guide to online MSW programs in Texas, we provide essential information to help guide you in considering which program is best for your social work career. Additionally, you’ll find OnlineU’s rankings of the best MSW programs in Texas.



A master’s degree is required for those seeking licensure as a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) or Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

Each institution is unique in terms of its admissions requirements. However, most MSW programs require applicants to have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work, or a related field, and a minimum undergraduate GPA between 2.5 and 3.0, with a GRE score only necessary to help evaluate a student not meeting minimum GPA requirements. 

While bachelor’s degree recipients in social work or a related field 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 completing their degree, students must pass the respective licensure exam from the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) and apply with the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners. Individuals seeking certification beyond the LBSW level are also required to obtain a set number of documented practice hours.

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.

Can You Get an MSW Online in Texas?

Yes, you can get an MSW online in Texas. These programs are available at six different colleges and universities in Texas: Our Lady of the Lake University, Stephen F. Austin University, Texas State University, the University of Houston, the University of Texas at Arlington, and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. 

Pursuing a degree online provides students with a number of benefits — including flexibility in terms of the number of credit hours taken each term, the ability for working professionals to effectively balance professional and personal commitments, and tuition that is typically equal to or less than courses on campus.

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

After earning a bachelor’s degree in social work — which typically takes four years — a student must complete their desired master’s program in social work. Depending on the number of courses a student takes each term, a master’s degree program can take anywhere from two to four years to complete. Once a student has earned a master’s degree in social work, they must complete up to 3,000 hours of clinical experience to earn certification. 

Altogether, it takes anywhere from seven to eight years to become a licensed social worker in Texas when seeking a master’s degree-level certification.

How Do I Prepare for an MSW Program?

Succeeding in an MSW program begins with thoroughly researching which college or university online master’s program aligns best with your goals, including professional goals in social work, tuition, length of time to complete the degree, and personal and professional life balance. To prepare, we recommend following these steps:

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree in social work or a related field.
  • Research online master’s degree programs in social work.
  • Apply to the programs you would like to attend.
  • Spend time reviewing your undergraduate social work coursework.
  • Be sure and connect with professors even though courses are online.
  • Strive to never miss a lecture, quiz, exam, or assignment.

MSW Careers in Texas

Texas offers a number of social work career opportunities for MSW degree recipients, including careers 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 a student chooses to pursue will help steer their career options.

How Much Does a Licensed Social Worker Make in Texas?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean salary for a social worker in Texas as of May 2021 was $32.44 per hour or $67,470 per year.

Social work is a growing field, too, with the BLS predicting the field of social work to grow by 12% between 2020 and 2030, creating a number of opportunities for both new and experienced social work professionals. 

How Do I Become a Social Worker in Texas?

A student in their last term of an online master’s degree program in Texas may start their desired licensure exam application with the ASWB. 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 on the online licensing system

Licensed social workers in Texas must also pass the Jurisprudence Exam, which tests a social worker’s knowledge of the Social Work Practice Act, Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council rules, and other laws specific to the field of social work.

Resources

The resource links below can provide prospective master’s students with expert insights, a list of different professional organizations to consider joining, and information from the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners: 

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