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Eastern Kentucky University is adding a Master of Social Work (MSW) program in Fall 2020. Courses will be taught 100 percent online, and now come with a customizable component. Students can personalize their degree by adding a certificate in an area of interest at no additional cost. Post-graduate students can also enroll in a certificate program for an accelerated path to enhance their credentials.

Social work is an in-demand field, and new social workers are needed across the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that social work employment will increase by 11 percent through 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Jobs are expected to be available in healthcare, mental health, government, social services, education and numerous other sectors.

“When we considered the growing need for social workers, the reputation of our BSW program and the strength of our faculty, it was clear that offering this degree was a meaningful way to continue EKU’s mission in Kentucky and beyond,” said Dr. Sara Zeigler, dean of EKU’s College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences.

The EKU Online MSW program will train social workers to engage in integrative advanced generalist social work practice. Each certificate program informs this “integrative” approach and makes a unique contribution to social work education. Education in integrative advanced generalist practice will ultimately enable students to seek social work licensure, pursue jobs in a variety of settings and add value to interdisciplinary partnerships.

“Students will have access to unique courses across essential disciplines associated with each certificate program. Each certificate program is embedded in the standard social work curriculum, so students do not have to complete additional hours to obtain a certificate in the process of earning their MSW degree,” explained Dr. Ann Callahan, LCSW, director of the EKU Online Master of Social Work program.

Individuals who have a baccalaureate degree in social work from an accredited institution can apply now for advanced standing to graduate in half the time. Those with a bachelor’s degree in disciplines other than social work can apply to the regular standing program in Fall 2021. Individuals looking for the quickest way to boost their earning potential can earn a certificate. Each MSW student will customize their coursework by choosing a certificate in: addictions intervention, mental health, child and family services, leadership and management or social advocacy and justice.

EKU Online social work students will not be required to visit campus, and classes will not have set meeting times. Courses are just 8 weeks long with the addition of mentored social work practice to gain experience. Online students will receive personalized advising from the moment they apply until the day they graduate. EKU’s undergraduate social work program has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) since 1977 with the MSW program on track for initial candidacy before classes start in Fall 2020.

Applications are now being accepted and application fees have been waived for Fall 2020 starts. To learn more about the EKU Online Social Work Program, visit