Skip to content

Earning Your Accredited Online Social Work Degree


If you’re passionate about helping others and looking to enter a new fulfilling career, consider social work! With a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from MVNU Online, you can enter this field and start making a difference. Learn how to earn your BSW through a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) nationally accredited online program and why you should explore a career in social work. 

Keep scrolling to read "Earning Your Accredited Online Social Work Degree" or complete the form to download a PDF version! 


Chapter 1

Why You Should Consider a Career in Social Work

Whether you’re nearing the end of high school and want to prepare for your future, you’re decades into a career and ready for a change, or anything in between, social work is a field well worth considering. There are several valuable reasons to pursue a career in social work:

Join an in-demand career.

The job outlook for social workers is positive, with this career expected to grow 12 percent from 2020-2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Social work is a critically important way to serve a variety of vulnerable populations, so the need for qualified, compassionate social workers is constant. 

Earn a good salary.

Those who pursue social work usually do so for reasons that run deeper than financial rewards. However, social workers can earn a good salary. The median pay for social workers is $50,390 per year, and social workers in certain industries—such as health care and local government—earn median salaries over $60,000

Gain a versatile skill set.

An online bachelor’s degree in social work sets you up with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue various roles within the field. This means that even if you’re unsure what you want to do, becoming a social worker gives you the freedom to pursue numerous career paths and switch from one role to another if you’re ready for a change. 

At MVNU, we’ve never heard of a student regretting getting a CSWE-accredited online social work degree, in part due to how exceptionally marketable this degree is. 

Delve into an issue you’re passionate about.

There are many different areas and populations social workers can concentrate on, including:

  • Aging and end-of-life care
  • Child welfare
  • Mental health
  • Substance abuse
  • Criminal justice
  • Disabilities

Many of our learners in the BSW program at MVNU Online pursue social work because they’re interested in one of these areas or populations. If you’re not sure which area is the best fit for your passions and skills, that’s fine! The online BSW degree is a generalist degree that prepares you for various social work roles, so you can discover where you want to work as you gain experience.

Make a real difference in people’s lives.

Social work is an excellent field to consider if you’re dissatisfied with a career that feels like a job rather than a true vocation. Perhaps the biggest reason to consider pursuing social work is that it empowers you to make a real difference in the lives of individuals and your community, helping some of the most vulnerable populations at difficult times.

Many learners who come to the BSW program at MVNU (especially working professionals who choose to pursue a career change) have personal experience with social work that inspires them to join this fulfilling career and give back.

Chapter 2

What You Can Do with a BSW Degree

Any degree program involves an investment of time and money, so you want to know what doors an online social work degree could open. 

First, it’s important to note that although some students use a BSW as a stepping stone to a Master of Social Work (MSW) program, the bachelor’s degree alone is an excellent launchpad to a career in social work.

Here are some things you can do with a BSW: 

Become a Licensed Social Worker.

With a BSW, you can submit an application and sit for your licensure examination to become a Licensed Social Worker (LSW). LSWs are well-respected professionals in the field who can work in various capacities.

As an LSW, you’re qualified to work in numerous settings, such as:

  • Schools
  • Government agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Rehab centers
  • Detention centers
  • And more!

Communities are finding innovative ways to bring social services to people who need them. For example, some libraries are hiring social workers to make these services more accessible in a location that already serves as a gathering place for communities. 

Take on many potential roles.

There are many positions you can hold with a BSW. Rather than committing to a narrow career path, you open up a range of career possibilities. As a licensed social worker with a BSW, you can help people in many ways, such as:

  • Helping clients understand their situation and work toward solutions.
  • Advocating for community resources to assist those in need.
  • Checking in with clients to provide support.
  • Providing behavior health services to address personal and mental health challenges.

(Note that licensed social workers with a BSW cannot independently practice as counselors, but these professionals can provide behavior health services services in an agency setting.) 

The variability of social work is also helpful because burnout can be high in such an emotionally demanding career. If you ever feel you need a change from your current role, you can use your existing qualifications to start serving a different population or working in a different capacity.

Chapter 3

Choosing an Online Social Work Degree Program

If you’re interested in studying social work and becoming an LSW, it’s time to compare social work undergraduate programs.

A traditional on-campus program is always an option, but these programs are better suited to full-time students who are not juggling other responsibilities. If you’re a busy working professional, parent, or anyone looking for a more flexible schooling option, you can take advantage of an online degree program.

An online social work degree program can accommodate what works best for your schedule and help you make real progress toward a career you’re passionate about. 

As you compare programs, there are a few key things to pay attention to:

  • Accreditation: Be sure to choose an accredited program, preferably by a national accrediting body rather than a regional one. Your BSW degree must be accredited to qualify for your LSW, so this is an essential requirement. An accredited online social work degree is just as valuable as one earned in an on-campus program.
  • Program structure: It’s also smart to look at the program’s structure. What courses do you need to take? Does the institution allow you to transfer credits? What’s included in the course list? All of these are important tidbits of information to gather.
  • Placement: As part of the BSW program, MVNU helps students find placement in their local area to complete their required 400 hours of supervised field experience.
  • Class sizes: One factor that can make a real difference in your experience is class size. Smaller classes can be beneficial because they allow for more interaction with professors and lend themselves to a deeper sense of community.
  • Faculty: Do a little research to learn about the faculty in the social work department at a school you’re considering. Remember that faculty at research institutions typically split their focus between teaching and research, whereas teaching institutions like MVNU Online allow professors to concentrate on educating students.

Chapter 4

The BSW Program from MVNU Online

MVNU offers our online BSW program to serve eager learners ready to pursue a career in social work, no matter where they’re located. Students complete courses online and take part in a social work practicum in their local community, where they get to put their knowledge to use and further prepare for their professional careers.

MVNU Online’s BSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), a national accreditation association for social work education. A CSWE-accredited BSW degree from MVNU Online is a true asset on your resume and will qualify you to become a Licensed Social Worker.

Social Work Curriculum

Though this is a bachelor’s degree program, there are some prerequisites students must complete before starting the program, including 12 credit hours of foundational courses and 13 hours of cognate courses. These courses can be taken through MVNU Online or elsewhere. 

The social work program consists of 36 credit hours of coursework and a field work practicum worth 10 credit hours, for a total of 46 credit hours. MVNU’s curriculum is informed by a faith-based worldview and founded on six core values we believe are essential to social work:

  • Service
  • Competence
  • Integrity
  • Social justice
  • The importance and centrality of human relationships
  • The dignity and worth of the person

MVNU’s curriculum equips learners for success. This is evident in the fact that MVNU students perform exceptionally well on the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) social work licensing exam. In 2021, 88.2 percent of first-time test takers from MVNU passed the exam. That’s more than 12 percentage points higher than the impressive state average for Ohio and nearly 20 percentage points higher than the average for all first-time test takers in the U.S. and Canada!

A Supportive, Thriving Community

BSW program participants at MVNU Online benefit from small class sizes and passionate, engaged professors—many of whom are actively working in the field. Learners also get to be a part of a thriving learning community. In the online program, this often includes a diverse group of professionals who are brought together by a common calling to help others.

In addition to the support of professors and peers, online social work learners also receive support through tutoring and career services. At MVNU Online, we ensure our learners never feel like they’re on their own—we’re here to support them and provide the resources needed to succeed.


Begin a Fulfilling Career in Social Work with MVNU Online

The National Association of Social Workers explains the “why” behind a social work career like this: “Social workers are people who care about people, who want to make things better, who want to relieve suffering, and who want their work to make a difference.”

If that describes you, then it’s time to take steps toward achieving your dream. That starts with applying to the BSW program at MVNU Online. You can earn your accredited online social work degree and start making a difference in countless lives.

Not ready to apply? Speak with an enrollment specialist to learn whether this program is right for you!

Subscribe to the MVNU Blog

close chapters modal

Complete the form to download "Earning Your Accredited Online Social Work Degree!"