Human Services Guide
Kentucky

MSW in KY | Master of Social Work in Kentucky

Kentucky is a state with a rich history and tremendous opportunity for the well-trained social worker. In our current marketplace it is critical to make your resume stand out to prospective employers. As the workforce has become increasingly well-educated it has become very important that you maintain pace and earn an advanced degree. For those who are considering becoming social workers in Kentucky, you will want to really take a close look at getting your Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from a school like the University of Kentucky. A MSW is a degree that is very sought after by employers in the human services field such as the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and is one that offers a tremendous diversity of potential careers to those who have one. 

Earning your MSW will give you many potential career paths you can take, such as: social work administrator with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, a school social worker helping troubled youth or creating your own independent practice as a licensed clinical social worker. There is a whole raft of career options available once you’ve attained your MSW. 

Earn a Master of Social Work degree online from the top-ranked USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. This CSWE-accredited program features live, online classes and hands-on field experiences near your community. GRE scores are not required to apply, and you can complete your degree in two years or less. Bachelor's degree required. Learn more and request information!

Simmons School of Social Work is CSWE accredited. The school features a flexible online structure with live, online classes. The SSW offers clinical social work curriculum that prepares students for a career is social work. Request Information Here.

There are a variety of requirements to become licensed as a social worker in Kentucky, among them is that you must hold a Master of Social Work degree. Once you have obtained your MSW you can begin the process of licensure to earn the titles: Licensed Social Worker (LSW), Certified Social Worker (CSW) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). As you research licensure it is useful to visit the Kentucky Board of Social Work.

Kentucky has a variety of different agencies in need of highly skilled Human Services professionals in possession of advanced degrees. There are opportunities to become a School Social Worker helping children navigate their emotions and succeed at their school in Lexington. For those who feel drawn to help people attain government assistance in the form of Medicare or Medicaid, there are job possibilities at hospitals in Louisville as a Medical Social Worker. Some will find themselves drawn to helping adults with disabilities to acquire or maintain government assistance, and for these Social Workers finding a job as an Aging and Disability Case Manager in Bowling Green or a similar town can provide deep career satisfaction. There are wide variety organizations that are looking to employ Social Workers who have their Master of Social Work degree (MSW) at mid-level as well as advanced or leadership positions. From Non-profits, to government agencies and private practices operated by Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) there are a tremendous array of career opportunities in Kentucky for Human Services professionals who have their Master of Social Work degree (MSW).

Finding the Right School for MSW in Kentucky

After you have seen the wisdom of obtaining a MSW in Kentucky you will want to turn your attention to the selection of an excellent school and MSW program. Finding a MSW program that closely matches your employment goals is nearly as important as earning the degree itself such as a degree concentration in Mental Health from the University of Kentucky which prepares you to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (More on becoming an LCSW here:). It is a great idea to thoroughly compare and contrast several schools and programs to find the ideal fit for you. Evaluating several schools will really help you to understand what kinds of programs are available. It can also help you to refine your search as you will have a better idea of what it is you are looking for.

Taking the time to research several occupations in order to determine what career you want to have after graduation can really help to bring clarity to your decision making process. There will be many different occupations you will have available to you once you have your MSW in Kentucky for example you could become a Medical Social Worker working at Norton Suburban Hospital Care in Louisville. You will want to be cognizant of the fact that the curriculum and skills taught at each program may differ greatly. You may wish to find a program that is tailored to your career specialty or in some cases you will want to find a more generalized MSW program to keep your options open. 

Career Options in Kentucky with an MSW

There are so many different careers you will be eligible for once you have your MSW that it is well worth your time to consider exactly which career is the best fit for you. For example, you might resonate with being a Field Medical Social Worker (MSW) working for Walgreens in Louisville. Here at humanservicesedu.org we have built a resource that can help you research this exact question. Below you will find a fairly short list of some of the many positions you will qualified for with an MSW in Kentucky. For more in-depth research consult our section on job descriptions:

  • School Social Worker
  • Social Work Administrator
  • Social Service Permanency Worker
  • Child Welfare Case Manager
  • Social and Community Service Manager
  • Licensed Clinical Social Work
  • Social Service Screener
  • Marriage and Family Therapist

MSW Programs in KY

Finding the Right Program for You

There are many elements you will wish to evaluate as you go through the process of finding the ideal program for you. One of the first decisions you can make is whether you prefer an online program (see more on this below) or a traditional physical campus such as the University of Kentucky in Lexington (Pop. 301,000) . There are advantages and drawbacks to each. If you are someone who wants to have a traditional college campus experience you will be able to quickly narrow your field by eliminating schools in areas you do not wish to live as there are large differences between different cities and towns that host various universities. Once you’ve decided on physical vs. online campus, you will want to turn your attention to the following elements of the programs you are considering:

  • The curriculum
  • Program accreditation (CSWE etc.)
  • Admissions requirements
  • The financial costs of the program
  • Program prestige

By far the most important element of any program to research is the curriculum. You will want to find a program where the curriculum is a very close match, in terms of skills and knowledge taught, for your desired career in KY. While many MSW programs are designed to teach general principles for advanced social work and will have universal elements with all programs, some Kentucky MSW programs are custom designed to train students to have skill sets for specific careers. Western Kentucky University offers a unique program Advanced Direct Practice in Rural Settings as a degree concentration to give you an idea of the incredible diversity of potential programs at various schools. Only you can determine if you prefer to have a tailored program or a more generalized MSW experience.

Financial considerations will of course be a key to making a decision on what school and program is ideally suited for you. For example, Western Kentucky University has tuition of $445 per credit for residents, $489 for domestic non-residents and $962 per credit hour for non-resident (international) students. These rates are not inclusive of room and board, fees or book costs. This gives you a sense of one school’s costs but you will want to compare several in order to make an informed choice. You will also need to meet the admissions requirements of any program you are considering so you will need to familiarize yourself with the application process of any program you are considering. While not a critical consideration you may want to research and see if the program you are considering is part of a school that is considered to be excellent or above average in the Kentucky social work community. 

Online MSW Programs in Kentucky

There are many advantages to online programs that make them worthy of serious consideration. An appealing aspect of many online programs is that they often have far lower tuitions than their traditional counterparts. Many online programs offer much greater flexibility in terms of class schedules and program completion rates. This kind of flexibility can be a compelling reason to join an online program as opposed to a traditional “brick and mortar campus”. Another aspect of online programs that can make them very appealing to some students is the ability to take classes from the comfort of your home or office. This can be very helpful for people with certain learning styles. There are pros and cons to both traditional campuses and online programs you will have to discover for yourself which method of education is better for you.

Kentucky Colleges with MSW Prerequisite and Preparation Degree Programs

Alice Lloyd College
100 Purpose Rd
Pippa Passes, KY 41844
www.alc.edu/

Asbury College
1 Macklem Dr
Wilmore, KY 40390-1198
(859) 858-3511
www.asbury.edu

Bellarmine University
2001 Newburg Rd
Louisville, KY 40205-0671
(502) 452-8000
www.bellarmine.edu

Berea College
101 Chestnut Street
Berea, KY 40404-2182
(859) 985-3000
www.berea.edu

Bluegrass Community and Technical College
470 Cooper Drive
Lexington, KY 40506
www.bluegrass.kctcs.edu/

Brescia University
717 Frederica St
Owensboro, KY 42301-3023
(270) 685-3131
www.brescia.edu

Eastern Kentucky University
521 Lancaster Ave
Richmond, KY 40475-3102
(859) 622-1000
www.eku.edu

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
600 College Street Rd
Elizabethtown, KY 42701-3081
(270) 769-2371

Georgetown College
400 East College Street
Georgetown, KY 40324
(502) 863-8000
www.georgetowncollege.edu

Hopkinsville Community College
720 North Dr
Hopkinsville, KY 42241-2100
www.hopkinsville.kctcs.edu/

Jefferson Community and Technical College
109 E Broadway
Louisville, KY 40202-2005
www.jefferson.kctcs.edu/

Kentucky Christian University
100 Academic Pky
Grayson, KY 41143-1199
www.kcu.edu/

Kentucky Wesleyan College
3000 Frederica Street
Owensboro, KY 42301
(270) 926-3111

Lindsey Wilson College
210 Lindsey Wilson St
Columbia, KY 42728-1223
(270) 384-2126

Midway College
512 E. Stephens St
Midway, KY 40347-1120
(859) 846-4421

Morehead State University
University Blvd
Morehead, KY 40351
(606) 783-2221

Murray State University
218 Wells Hall
Murray, KY 42071-3318
(270) 809-3011
www.murraystate.edu

Northern Kentucky University
Nunn Drive
Highland Heights, KY 41099
(859) 572-5100
www.nku.edu

Somerset Community College
808 Monticello Street
Somerset, KY 42501-2973
(877) 629-9722
www.somerset.kctcs.edu

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College
700 College Rd
Cumberland, KY 40823
(606) 589-2145
www.southeast.kctcs.edu

Thomas More College
333 Thomas More Parkway
Crestview Hills, KY 41017-3495
(859) 341-5800
www.thomasmore.edu

Transylvania University
300 N Broadway
Lexington, KY 40508-1797
www.transy.edu/

Union College-Barbourville
310 College St
Barbourville, KY 40906-1499
(606) 546-4151
www.unionky.edu

University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0032
(859) 257-9000
www.uky.edu

University of Louisville
2301 S 3rd St
Louisville, KY 40292-0001
(502) 852-5555
louisville.edu/

University of the Cumberlands
6191 College Station Drive
Williamsburg, KY 40769
(606) 549-2200
www.ucumberlands.edu

Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1000
(270) 745-0111
www.wku.edu/

MSW@USC
University of Southern California