MSW in FL | Master of Social Work Degree, Florida

Florida is famous for its incredible beaches and natural beauty. It is home to Disney world and a few other man made wonders. Florida is also a state that has excellent opportunities for the well-trained and educated social worker. With baby boomers on the east coast looking to retire to Florida in the next few years, the opportunities for human services workers will rise tremendously. Another demographic shift to be aware of is how workers responded to the economic down turn of the past 5 years. Many workers went back to school at universities like the University of South Florida to attain higher educational degrees such as a Master of Social Work so they could be competitive in the job market. This means that employers can be more selective in new hires and look for those with Master’s degrees from strong Social Work programs like those offered at Florida Atlantic University. With the labor pool being more educated in general it is very important to make sure you keep abreast of these changes and get an education that will make you competitive. For those interested in pursuing virtually any career in social work in Florida it is highly advisable to consider earning your Master of Social Work (MSW) degree.

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One of the requirements to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Florida is to have a Master of Social Work degree. You can learn about other steps required in our article on licensure in Florida which you can find here. If you want to learn more about specifics of state laws you can check out the Florida Department of Health.

Living in Florida presents one with one of the most unique cultural and climate options of anywhere in the United States. It also gives one an opportunity to work with a variety of different demographics as a Social Worker. Human Services professionals who have attained a Master of Social Work degree (MSW) will find that the full array of potential career paths in Human Services become open to them in Florida where need for Social Workers with advanced degrees is great. With an ever burgeoning retiree population that is only expected to increase with the baby boom generation entering into retirement, a particularly in demand sub-specialty is that of Geriatric Social Work as well as Aging and Disability Case Workers. For example, you could work for HCR Manor Care in Palm Beach Gardens, as a Geriatric Social Worker. This is true all across Florida where there are similar opportunities in cities like Tampa Bay, to Orlando and Miami. There are also unique populations who are impoverished who will benefit from people becoming Eligibility Workers helping their family have access to government assistance programs such as Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps) benefits. Under any circumstances, having your MSW degree will be of great benefit to you if you wish to have a fulfilling career as a Human Services professional in Florida.

Finding the Right MSW School in Florida

After you have decided that earning your MSW is an extremely wise decision in today’s job market, you can begin the process of finding the right school and MSW program for you. The best way to analyze potential schools and programs is by finding a career that resonates with you and then using that as the standard for evaluating potential schools and MSW programs to find one that will give you the skillset you need for your job. Certain elements of MSW programs will be universal, however in some cases the curriculum and skills taught at different schools and various programs may differ, in some cases in dramatic ways. For example, the MSW program concentration at University of South Florida is tailored to help prepare graduates for work as Licensed Clinical Social Workers with a focus on individual, family and group work. Closely examining the curriculum through the lens of your career goals will help you to be discerning in selecting the right school for you. If you want a specialized program you will need to find a school that has a program that will give you the outcome you want and if you are unsure of your career goals a more generalized Social Work Master’s program such as the one offered at Florida Atlantic University will give you the broad over view and skillset you need.

Career Options with a MSW

With an MSW you will be able to hold almost any career in social work from licensed clinical social work to school social workers. It is well worth your time to carefully research a variety of careers such as working as a Counselor IV / Social Worker IV at the Non-profit Children’s Home Society in Orlando or similar jobs in other cities. 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:

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

MSW Programs in Florida

Finding the Right Program for You

You will want to review and evaluate several elements of potential programs in order to come to an informed decision. One of the first choices you can make which will help you to narrow the field is on whether you prefer a traditional physical campus or an online program. There are advantages and disadvantages to both depending on your personal tastes, learning style and desired living situation. If you find that a physical college campus such as the Florida Atlantic University campus at Fort Lauderdale (Pop. 165,521) is more appealing to you, then you can simply look for a program that is in a city that you wish to live in. Once you have made a decision on whether you prefer an online or traditional campus, you can start evaluating some of the aspects of schools and programs you are considering:

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

Among the aspects of each program you will want to compare and contrast, the most important is certainly the curriculums of the programs you are considering. While there will be a lot of crossover between different Florida MSW programs some have been crafted to help students achieve specific career outcomes. For example, there are some programs that are designed to prepare students to become Child Welfare workers as is the case with the Florida Atlantic University Child Welfare degree concentration. There are others that have an emphasis on training child welfare workers. If you are unsure of your career path or wish to have flexibility in your career you may wish to find a generalized program. However, if you have a specific career in mind it may be ideal to find a program in Florida that is tailor made for the career of your choice.

If becoming a licensed clinical social worker in Florida is your career goal, then you will want to find a school and program that has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Admissions requirements and financial costs will need to be taken into consideration as you will need to be able to meet both requirements. While admissions requirements will vary from program to program they generally require the following components:

  • Graduation with a Bachelor’s in Social Work or highly related field
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher in last 60 credit hours (varies)
  • Qualifying score on GRE if required by school (Many schools do not require GRE check with your school for more information)
  • Completion of certain pre-requisite classes which will vary from school to school

Financial costs are a big part of your decision and you will want to examine different schools to see how affordable one program is compared to another. For example, the University of Central Florida’s MSW program has a tuition rate of $367.35 per credit hour for residents, and $1,191.75 per credit hour for non-residents. Of course different schools will have different rates and this will be part of your evaluation process. These can be lynch pin decisions for you, but are also very personal to your situation.

Online MSW Degree Programs in Florida

With the 100% online Master of Social Work at the University of Kentucky, you can earn a CSWE-accredited MSW that meets all the requirements for licensure in Florida through a school that’s been preparing social workers for more than 80 years.

There are a few key differences between online programs and more traditional physical campuses that make both worth considering. In most cases, online programs will offer considerable financial savings when compared to their traditional campus peers. This can be extremely important for many students as higher education is an expensive proposition. Another feature that is perhaps the biggest selling point for certain students is that online programs will usually provide more flexibility. This is seen in flexible class schedules and also program completion rates. Some online programs in Florida will offer fast tracked programs to shorten the turnaround time between starting school and entering the workforce. For many “non-traditional students”, the greater flexibility of online programs is very appealing. Another feature of online programs that is very compelling for some is the ability to take classes from the comfort of one’s home or office cutting down on commuting times. You will need to evaluate both types of campuses to find out which one is a better fit for your personal lifestyle and educational needs.

Florida Colleges with MSW Prerequisite and Preparation Degree Programs

Barry University
11300 NE 2nd Ave
Miami, Florida 33161-6695

Bethune-Cookman University
640 Dr Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd
Daytona Beach, Florida 32114-3099
(386) 481-2000

Brevard Community College
1519 Clearlake Rd
Cocoa, Florida 32922
(321) 632-1111

Carlos Albizu University-Miami Campus
2173 N.W. 99th Avenue
Miami, Florida 33172-2209
(305) 593-1223

Central Florida Community College
3001 SW College Rd
Ocala, Florida 34474
(352) 873-5800

Chipola College
3094 Indian Circle
Marianna, Florida 32446-2053
(850) 526-2761

Flagler College
74 King Street
Saint Augustine, Florida 32084

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Tallahassee, Florida 32307

Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, Florida 33431-0991
(561) 297-3000

Florida Institute of Technology
150 West University Boulevard
Melbourne, Florida 32901-6975

Florida International University
11200 S. W. 8 Street
Miami, Florida 33199
(305) 348-2000

Florida Memorial University
15800 NW 42 Ave
Miami Gardens, Florida 33054-6199

Florida Southern College
111 Lake Hollingsworth Dr
Lakeland, Florida 33801-5698
(863) 680-4111

Florida State University
211 Westcott Bldg
Tallahassee, Florida 32306-1037
(850) 644-2525

Gulf Coast Community College
5230 West Highway 98
Panama City, Florida 32401
(850) 769-1551

Hobe Sound Bible College
11298 SE Gomez
Hobe Sound, Florida 33455-1065
(772) 546-5534

Indian River State College
3209 Virginia Ave
Fort Pierce, Florida 34981-5596

Jacksonville University
2800 University Blvd N
Jacksonville, Florida 32211-3394

Manatee Community College
5840 26th St W
Bradenton, Florida 34207

Miami Dade College
300 NE 2nd Ave.
Miami, Florida 33132-2297
(305) 237-8888

Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Ave
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796
(954) 262-7300

Palm Beach Atlantic University-West Palm Beach
901 S. Flagler Drive
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
(561) 803-2000

Palm Beach Community College
4200 Congress Ave
Lake Worth, Florida 33461-4796
(561) 967-7222

Pensacola Junior College
1000 College Blvd
Pensacola, Florida 32504-8998
(850) 484-1000

Ridge Career Center
7700 State Rd 544
Winter Haven, Florida 33881-9518
(863) 419-3060

Saint Thomas University
16401 NW 37th Ave
Miami Gardens, Florida 33054-6459
(305) 625-6000

South Florida Community College
600 W College Dr
Avon Park, Florida 33825-9356

Southeastern University-Lakeland
1000 Longfellow Blvd
Lakeland, Florida 33801-6034
(863) 667-5000

St Petersburg College
14025 58th Street North
Clearwater, Florida 33760
(727) 341-4772

Stetson University
421 N Woodland Blvd
DeLand, Florida 32723
(386) 822-7000

The Baptist College of Florida
5400 College Dr
Graceville, Florida 32440
(850) 263-3261

The University of Tampa
401 W Kennedy Blvd
Tampa, Florida 33606-1490
(813) 253-3333

The University of West Florida
11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, Florida 32514-5750
(850) 474-2000

Traviss Career Center
3225 Winter Lake Rd
Lakeland, Florida 33803
(863) 499-2700

University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd
Orlando, Florida 32816
(407) 823-2000

University of Florida
355 Tigert Hall
Gainesville, Florida 32611-3115
(352) 392-3261

University of Miami
Coral Gables, Florida 33124
(305) 284-2211
University of North Florida
1 UNF Drive
Jacksonville, Florida 32224-2645
(904) 620-1000
University of South Florida
4202 East Fowler Ave
Tampa, Florida 33620-9951
(813) 974-2011
Warner University 13895 Hwy 27
Lake Wales, Florida 33859-8797