Human Services Guide
Mississippi

MSW in MS | Master of Social Work in Mississippi

Mississippi has a long and rich history to go along with its unique brand of Southern culture. The state of Mississippi is known for the unique music and culture that grew up around the Mississippi delta. Just as Mississippi has a unique and vibrant culture it also has tremendous opportunity for social workers who have spent the time to get a top shelf education. Over the past decade the American economy has changed tremendously. In response to this many workers went back to schools like Mississippi University or stayed in school longer to become more competitive in the marketplace. If you wish to be competitive in today’s economy you will need to have an excellent educational background. As these changes have swept through the economy, many employers have seen that they now have the luxury of requiring or at least greatly preferring those applicants who have Master’s degrees in their field. For a social worker who is looking to make their application really stand out to a prospective employer, while simultaneously increasing their career options, the best educational option is to attain a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree.

There are three levels of social work licensure in Mississippi and you will be eligible for all of them once you have your Master of Social Worker (MSW) degree. They include: Licensed Social Worker (LSW), Licensed Master Social Worker and Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW). There are benchmarks that must be met to attain each level of Mississippi Social Work licensure and you can learn about them in our article. You may also wish to see the swmft.ms.gov.

Mississippi is a state that has some of the worst poverty of any state in the union in its rural areas. This has created an intense demand for Social Workers who are properly equipped to help impoverished families work towards self-sufficiency. One of the single best ways you can give service to your fellow Mississippians is by earning your Master of Social Work degree (MSW) and finding the perfect niche for you in the Human Services field. For those who want to help provide a safety net for those families who are hurting the most, a career as an Eligibility Worker at the Department of Human Services agency that serves rural towns like Petal. For those who wish to work in an urban area like Jackson might wish to consider a career helping people resolve their mental and emotional issues by earning their Master of Social Work degree (MSW) as part of the path towards earning licensure and becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). If you find that your heart calls you to help disabled people connect with their benefits and ensure their basic needs are met, you might want to consider a career as an Aging and Disability Services Case manager in a city like Biloxi. If you want to give back to your community there is plenty of need for the help of Human Services professionals in Mississippi who have earned their Master of Social Work (MSW) degree.

Finding the Right School for MSW in Mississippi

Earning your MSW will be of great help to you in terms of both increasing the types of careers you are eligible for and also making your application standout. By comparing and contrasting several schools you will eventually be able to sift through the candidates and find one that meets your specific needs. If you take a moment to envision your end goal in the form of the career of your dreams you can then start to look at various programs through the lens of your final goals. For example, if want to eventually find yourself in clinical practice you will want to look for a program that emphasizes Licensed Social Work in its curriculum as is the case with the Clinical Practice concentration at the University of Mississippi. Whatever career you find that resonates with you will help to bring clarity to your decision making process as you compare and contrast schools and programs in Mississippi.

Career Options with a MSW in Mississippi

Once you have earned your MSW you will find that a whole plethora of potential occupations in social services have become available for you to choose from. You will be able to select from the most advanced social work occupations or just be highly competitive for jobs that require less education. One example career you could pursue is as a Medical Social Worker (MSW) with Gentiva in Magee or a similar job in another city. 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. For more in-depth research consult our section on job descriptions:

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

MSW Programs in Mississippi

Finding the Right Program for You

It is very important to take the time to evaluate a number of elements of potential schools you are researching and the individual MSW programs themselves. To begin with, you will want to make a decision as to whether a “brick and mortar” physical campus or an online program is a better fit for you considering your personal needs for elements such as: flexibility, living situation, learning style and finances. If you are someone to whom a traditional “brick and mortar” campus like the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg (Pop. 51,993), then you will be able to quickly determine schools that are appealing based on the area you wish to live. After choosing a campus type, you can shift your focus to comparing and contrasting the key elements of the schools and programs you are considering:

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

Remember, as you research various programs you will want to keep your end employment goals in mind. It is very important that the curriculum of the program you choose closely matches your desired career. One thing you will want to consider is that while most Mississippi MSW programs will have aspects of their curriculum that are common amongst all programs, there are some programs that have been tailor made to prepare one for certain specialties such as the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology offered by the University of Southern Mississippi. You will want to review the curriculum of any potential program closely to make sure it matches your desired employment goals. 

If pursuing a career as a licensed clinical social worker in Mississippi sounds appealing to you, then you will want to look for programs that have been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Choosing a program that is CSWE accredited is an excellent choice as it will help move you towards licensure in Mississippi. As an additional reason to choose a CSWE accredited school, it is good to keep in mind that a program with this accreditation will meet the requirements not only for licensure in Mississippi but also most other states. For more information on Licensure in Mississippi click here:

Financial considerations will of course be a key to making a decision on what school and program is ideally suited for you. As an example case, consider the tuition offered at University of Mississippi with residents paying $349.00 per credit hour exclusive of books, fees and room and board and non-residents paying tuition of $903.50 per credit hour. You will want to compare and contrast the tuitions, fees, book costs and room and board of several schools before you make a final choice on what school to attend.

Online MSW Degre Programs in Mississippi

You will want to take the time to compare and contrast the ways in which online campuses and traditional ones differ in order to find the better fit for you. There are several advantages to online programs that make them well worth the time to consider. Often online programs have far lower tuitions than their traditional counterparts for a variety of reasons. For many students the most appealing feature of online schools is that they offer greater flexibility. Often online programs have much greater flexibility in terms of class times and the rate at which you complete the program This kind of flexibility can be very appealing to non-traditional students such as: students who are working full time for financial reasons, adults who are returning to education after an extended break, busy parents or others for whom flexibility is critical. For some students, being able to attend class in the comfort of their own living space is another great reason to consider online programs. 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.

Salary Increase with a MSW in Mississippi

Per the National Study of Licensed Social Workers conducted by Workforce on behalf of the National Association of Social Workers you will see a marked increase in earning potential with a MSW vs. a BSW.1

With just 15% of BSW holder earning more than $39,000 vs. a full 50% of those who hold MSW the difference is clear. You are 3 times more likely to earn $40,000+ if you have your MSW vs. only having your BSW. The vast majority (83%) of BSW holders earns $39,000 or less while only 49% of MSW holders earn that amount. It is clear that your odds of having a higher salary improve dramatically with a MSW.2

Alcorn State University
1000 ASU Dr Ste 359
Alcorn State, MS 39096-7500
(601) 877-6100
www.alcorn.edu

Blue Mountain College
201 W Main St
Blue Mountain, MS 38610-9509
(662) 685-4771
www.bmc.edu

Coahoma Community College
3240 Friars Point Rd
Clarksdale, MS 38614
(662) 627-2571
www.coahomacc.edu/

Copiah-Lincoln Community College
1001 Co-Lin Lane
Wesson, MS 39191
(601) 643-8306
www.colin.edu

Delta State University
Hwy 8 West
Cleveland, MS 38733
(662) 846-3000
www.deltastate.edu

East Mississippi Community College
1512 Kemper Street
Scooba, MS 39358-0158
(662) 476-5000

Hinds Community College
501 East Main Street
Raymond, MS 39154
(601) 857-5261

Itawamba Community College
602 W Hill St
Fulton, MS 38843-1099
(601) 862-8000
www.iccms.edu

Jackson State University
1440 J R Lynch St
Jackson, MS 39217
(601) 979-2121
oim.jsums.edu

Mississippi College
200 South Capitol Street
Clinton, MS 39058
(601) 925-3000
www.mc.edu

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
51 Main Street
Perkinston, MS 39573
(601) 928-5211

Mississippi State University
Mississippi State, MS 39762
(662) 325-2323
www.admissions.msstate.edu/

Mississippi University for Women
1100 College Street
Columbus, MS 39701
(662) 329-4750

Mississippi Valley State University
14000 Highway 82 West
Itta Bena, MS 38941-1400
(662) 254-9041

Northeast Mississippi Community College
Cunningham Blvd
Booneville, MS 38829
(662) 728-7751

Northwest Mississippi Community College
4975 Hwy 51 N
Senatobia, MS 38668-1714
(662) 562-3200
www.northwestms.edu

Rust College (Holly Springs, MS)
150 Rust Ave
Holly Springs, MS 38635
(601) 252-8000
www.rustcollege.edu

University of Mississippi Main Campus
Oxford Mississippi
University, MS 38677-1848
(662) 915-7211
www.olemiss.edu

University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive # 0001
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
(601) 266-1000
www.usm.edu

William Carey University
498 Tuscan Ave
Hattiesburg, MS 39401-5499
(601) 318-5051
www.wmcarey.edu

MSW@USC
University of Southern California