Human Services Guide
South Carolina

MSW in SC | Master of Social Work in South Carolina

South Carolina is a great state to live in and a great state to become a social worker in. For those who are interested in becoming a social worker in South Carolina, you will want to consider getting your Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. There are very few degrees in human services that offer such a tremendous flexibility in choice of careers as the MSW. After you have earned your MSW you will find that many career options have opened for you. You will have many routes you can take for your career such as: setting up a private practice as a licensed clinical social worker in Columbia, becoming a case manager with the South Carolina Department of Social Services in Charleston, helping children in Child Welfare in Mount Pleasant, or working at a non-profit in Rock Hill that has a cause you resonate with, there are diversity of career paths one can take once you’ve earned your MSW. As the workforce has gone back to schools such as Winthrop University to become better trained and educated in response to the economic downturn, employers have the luxury of hiring only the most qualified of candidates.

There are a variety of social worker licensure levels and with a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree you will be academically eligible for all of them. They include: the Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW), Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), Licensed Independent Social Worker – Clinical Practice (LISW-CP) and the Licensed Independent Social Worker – Advanced Practice (LISW-AP). We have a step-by-step guide on how to attain each level of South Carolina licensure page here. You may also wish to view the state’s regulatory page which you can find by following the link to the South Carolina Department of Labor.

By taking the time to achieve academic excellence and earn your Master of Social Work (MSW) degree you will be showing employers that you have a high degree of organizational skills, depth of knowledge and professionalism that makes you ready for advanced careers in Social Work. The first action you will need to perform in order get your Master of Social Work (MSW) degree is to take the time to deeply research and analyze several MSW schools in South Carolina or neighboring states in order to find a program and school that fits your academic and career needs. Once you have completed your MSW program you will find that a vast field of Social Work job possibilities has become available to you. For example, if you find that you are interested in helping children find loving and supportive adoptive and foster homes so they can have a second chance at life, you may wish to evaluate a career as a Permanency Worker in Child Welfare. For those who feel drawn towards management you may wish to consider joining the Department of Human Services as a Social Services Administrator in Charleston or a similar city. A whole host of potential Social Work careers in South Carolina are readily available to those who hold a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree.

Finding the Right School for MSW in South Carolina

You will tremendously broaden your employment horizons and also make your resume stand out to employers by earning your MSW in South Carolina. When this is understood you will see how critical it is in today’s competitive marketplace to earn your MSW. Almost as important as earning the degree itself, is finding a school and program whose curriculum closely matches your employment goals. In order to bring clarity to your decision making process you will want to envision what career you wish to have after graduation. For example, if you feel called to enter into leadership in a Human Services organization, you will want to find a program that gives you the appropriate knowledge and skill set to take advantage of your natural leadership abilities such as the Advanced Practices with Organizations and Communities degree concentration offered at the Columbia campus of the University of South Carolina. You may wish to spend some time researching in our job description section as we have covered many potential occupations in some depth. Once you have decided on a career path you will want to evaluate the individual elements of the different programs. Some South Carolina MSW programs have specialized curriculum to help train specific specialty careers. If you are uncertain of what kind of occupation in Human Services you might want to fill, you will want to find a generalist program similar to the “Empowerment Practice across Systems” degree concentration offered at Winthrop University. Finding a curriculum that matches your career goals will help ensure that you have an excellent outcome from your education.

Career Options with a MSW

After earning your MSW you will find that a great many options for career paths become available to you. Regardless of your end career goals, an MSW will help you be eligible for almost any career in social work. You will want to explore and research a few career options, for example you might find it appealing to work for Roper St. Francis Healthcare in Charleston, as a MSW Hospice Social Worker helping people transition and supporting their families in the grieving process. Alternately, you might be interested in a job similar to working for Springs Memorial Hospital in Lancaster as part of a Social Work Rehab team helping patients to recover from injury and illness. Below you will find a short list of a few career options available to you once you have earned an MSW, for a more comprehensive list look in our job descriptions section:

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

MSW Programs in South Carolina

Finding the Right Program for You

There are a number of decision points as you evaluate different programs to find an ideal fit for you. Each aspect of the program is worth evaluating for its own reasons. The first decision you will want to make is to determine whether an online or physical campus is better suited for you. To make this decision you will want to consider which fits better for your particular learning style, living situation and finances. If you find that the traditional “brick and mortar” campus such as the University of South Carolina campus at Greenville (Pop. 637,000 metro) is more appealing to you, this will help you to quickly determine schools that are acceptable to you based on areas you wish to live in South Carolina. There are substantial differences in quality of life and life style between the Winthrop University Rock Hill (Pop. 66,000) campus and the University of South Carolina campus at Greenville (Pop. 637,000 metro) After you have made a decision in regards to physical vs. online campus, you can then turn your focus on the following elements of the programs you are be considering:

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

Once you have cut down your list of prospective schools to a manageable handful, you will want to turn your attention to evaluating their MSW program in detail. You will always want to do your evaluation through the lens of your career goals. If you are interested in pursuing a career as a licensed clinical social worker in South Carolina (more information on licensure can be found here:) , you will want to look for programs that have been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Looking for programs that have been CSWE accredited is wise as it will get you started on the road to licensure in South Carolina. As an additional reason to look for CSWE accredited programs, keep in mind that most states require CSWE accreditation to become licensed as a clinical social worker.

You will want to make certain that the curriculum of the program you choose closely matches your desired occupation as described above. A careful review of the curriculum and direct communication with the school is highly recommended before making a decision. Of course it is also very important to evaluate your personal financial situation against the costs of any school. To help get you started on researching tuition the University of South Carolina has a tuition rate of $5,636 for 10 credit hours in the case of residents of South Carolina and $12,098 for 10 credit hours in the case of non-residents. You will also need to tabulate the additional costs of text books, student fees, room and board as well as various school supplies. It is always wise to research several schools as part of your evaluation process in order to make the best decision possible.

Online MSW Degree Programs from South Carolina

There are several advantages to online programs. For example, some online programs have far lower tuitions than their traditional “brick and mortar” counterparts. A big selling point for some students is the greater flexibility of online programs in regards to class times and program completion rates. This can be a key consideration for adults who are returning to education after a break, students who need to work fulltime, busy parents or others for whom flexibility is at a premium. In addition, some online institutions offer fast tracked programs that have a faster turnaround between entering school and joining the workforce. 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.