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What is social work.

Social workers help to enhance the well-being of individuals and communities. The social work profession advocates for social and economic justice and works directly with communities, families, and individuals to empower them to overcome obstacles to their health, safety, and success. Social workers can devote their careers to addressing a variety of issues including homelessness, poverty, child welfare, mental health, addiction, veterans’ health, domestic violence, and much more. Their work shines the light on the needs of the most vulnerable communities, pushing those with power to create better systems that meet the needs of all individuals. 

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Stand out in your field, learn at your own pace, earn a valuable credential, why learn social work.

Social work involves a combination of social welfare, social justice, and human services. Programs designed to raise living standards can be challenging for people to access. Social workers can make navigating those programs easier. Social workers typically learn about case management, public health challenges, and human behavior so they can provide the best solutions to the people they serve. By gaining a solid foundation of both technical and soft skills, you can join the ranks of individuals who are helping others live better lives.

Social work courses and certifications/curriculum

From foundational tutorials to advanced courses and degree programs, a variety of educational opportunities are available that can fit different learners’ needs. edX makes it easy to explore all available training and certificate options in social work.

To understand specific disciplines under the umbrella of social work, learners may pursue coursework in a variety of specialized topics including child protection, suicide prevention, conflict resolution, and economic development. Courses can cover the macro, mezzo and micro levels of social work. Due to licensing requirements, many professionals in the field earn bachelor’s degrees and move on to master’s programs to be able to perform their tasks. 

Careers in social work

Social work can offer a rewarding career for anyone who wants to help others in need. Social workers strive to provide better standards of living for communities and individuals. They work in schools, hospitals, community centers, government, and businesses. Whether you have a calling to work on child welfare, substance misuse, mental health, or senior care, the field of social work offers many opportunities to make a positive impact on communities around the world. Explore how online social work courses can help you achieve your personal and professional goals and begin your learning journey today with edX.

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Last updated December 2022

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Top 12 Free Online Courses With Certificates Social Work

This article is about the paid and free online courses with certificates in social work, if you are a person who derives joy by going out of your way to help others in the challenging part of their lives, then this article is surely for you.

Here, you will learn how you can enroll in certificate programs online and earn an accredited certificate or points in social work. Most of these online social work certificate programs are free to enroll in and will help you in your professional career development as a social worker, or help you go from beginner to professional.

Social work is one of the fastest-growing professions in the world right now, thus social workers are one of the on-demand professionals. Considering this development, a social work certificate is one of the most valuable certificates.

These social work programs are aimed at helping people improve their knowledge of mental health, substance abuse and addiction, disability, abuse, and other social work skills, it also empowers them with online certificates which they can obtain through a self-paced study.

All programs listed here are available in English unless specified, some of them are also available in other languages, including French, German, Russian, Italian, German, etc.

This list of social work certificate programs online includes ExpertTracks, MasterTracks, Specializations, and professional certificate programs in social work.

I recommend you check the advantages and disadvantages of online education before you go ahead to read this article.

Table of Contents

What is Social Work?

Social work is a terminology used to refer to a group of professions that involve giving service to people in need, in short, social work is a complementary system of values, theory, and practice.

Social work can also be defined as any type of work that encourages social change and development, and the empowerment of communities and individuals. It also involves the understanding of human behavior, interactions, culture, and development.

What Do Social Workers Do?

Social workers help individuals through the challenging part and circumstances of their lives: physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial problems, family crises, mental instability, addiction, substance abuse, etc.

Social workers can work in schools, private residences, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, etc, they can also work as chancellors or assistant nurses.

Are Social Work Certificate Programs Online Worth It?

There are many reasons why you should study social work certificate programs online: they teach you the real value of things, social workers are provided with great opportunities,  improves the day-to-day relationships with other people, you will meet like-minded people, and discover your abilities, etc.

Which Course is Best for Social Work?

The best course for social work is Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), it is the best because students who study the course have a great chance of getting employed. You can get a Bachelor’s degree in social in a traditional school, you can obtain it through any of the many available social work certificate programs online.

Do You Need A Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work to Get A Master’s Degree in Social Work?

No, you do not need a bachelor’s degree in social work before you can get a master’s degree in social work, if you want a master’s degree in social work, all you need is a valid bachelor’s degree in any course.

What Type of Social Workers Earn the Highest Salary?

  • Healthcare social workers: $63,140
  • Child, family, and school social worker: $46,270
  • Mental health and substance abuse social workers: $44,840

Highest Paying Social Work Jobs

  • Director of corporate social responsibility: $93,450
  • Professor of social work: $85,919
  • Veteran’s affairs social worker: $71,454
  • Employee assistance program counselor: $70,895
  • Executive director of a non-profit organization (NPO): $65,260
  • Social science researcher: $64,561
  • Director of development of an NPO: $62,879
  • Housing and community development director: $61,955
  • LCSW with Spanish language skills: $60,250
  • Medical discharge planner: $59,631

Top 12 Free Online Course With Certificates Social Work

  • Social Work: practice, policy, and research
  • Global leadership and human resource management
  • Social welfare policy for social services
  • Good with words: speaking and presenting
  • Computational social science
  • Strategy and finance for social business
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Sustainability and development
  • Behavioural Science: influencing behavior and designing decisions
  • Teacher social and emotional learning
  • Value-based care
  • Introduction to psychology

Social Work: Practice, Policy, and Research

Social Work: Practice, Policy, and Research is one of the social work certificate programs online. The is composed of six courses and is a MasterTrack certificate program with credits that can be used in the pursuance of a Master’s degree in Social Work.

This program is aimed at teaching people the social working skills needed for the empowerment of individuals, friends, families, organizations, etc.

This is the best social work certificate program online because it is fully online and was developed by the best university for social work studies in the world.

The following are some important details about the course:

  • Institution: University of Michigan
  • Learning platform: Coursera
  • Type of program: MasterTrack
  • Program duration: 4-6 months
  • Study schedule: estimated 3-5 hours per week
  • Program fee: $2,000, payable in four installments

Global Leadership and Human Resource Management

Global Leadership and Human Resource Management is one of the social work certificate programs online, They program is a four-course MasterTrack program with credits that count towards a master’s degree in social work.

This program is aimed at helping people become leaders who have the capabilities to face problems that surface in their workplace, it equips them with the necessary skills needed to survive in the ever-changing work environment.

Tutors of the program utilize live interaction webinars to teach students, the students are also required to solve real problems to test themselves. This is one of the in-demand social work certificate programs online.

  • Institution: Macquarie University
  • Program duration: four months
  • Study schedule: estimated 4-5 hours per week
  • Program fee: $4,900

Social Welfare Policy for Social Services

Social Welfare Policy for Social Services is one of the free social work certificate programs online, this program is made up of five courses and is ideal for social workers, health practitioners, educators, etc.

Social policymaking is of the most important aspects of every government; the success of any people or community depends greatly on their social policies. This program teaches people how policies are made for maximum chances of success.

In this program, you will learn how population affects social policies, family support, care of the elderly, etc, you will also learn how social policies affect healthcare workers, social workers, police, etc.

  • Institution: Columbia University
  • Type of program: Specialization
  • Program duration: six months
  • Study schedule: estimated three hours per week
  • Program fee: it’s free

Good with Words: Speaking and Presenting

Good with Words: Speaking and Presenting is also one of the social work certificate programs online, the program is made up of four courses and it is also free.

This program is aimed at teaching people how to effectively connect with their audience using speeches and presentations. This program also helps people to improve their relationships with others, on a personal level.

In this program, people will learn how to make engaging and compelling speeches and presentations. The skill of effective communication is an in-demand skill, thereby making this program one of the best free social work certificate programs online.

Through this program, students will learn how to people and to the public with unwavering confidence, and they will also learn how to deal with stage fright.

Computational Social Science

Computational Social Science is also on the list of free social work certificate programs online, you may express surprise coming across this program, but yes; computerization is taking over the world as everything is going digital.

This is a five-course specialization program.

Today, digital tools are used to better understand human behavior and learn how to influence them, numerous agencies, companies, and organizations make use of these tools. This program teaches how to use computer simulations to analyze business environments and make the best decisions.

In the program, people will also learn how to make use of big data, how to create, examine, and understand social network simulations using machine learning, and data scraped off the web.

Have you ever searched something on google and then found its ads on Facebook? Have you talked about shopping with your phone beside you only to go online and find ads about the items you mentioned? All of these features are made possible by the collection of digital data, hence it is important you enroll in this program among all other social work certificate programs online.

  • Institution: University of California, Davis

Strategy and Finance for Social Business

Strategy and Finance for Social Business is also on the list of free social work certificate programs online, it is a five-course certificate program aimed at giving people headstarts in their career social entrepreneurship careers.

People who enroll in this program will learn the best strategies involved in Social Entrepreneurship, they will also learn how successfully finance social businesses.

This program is meant for beginners, entrepreneurs, and professionals who own or manage social businesses. This program will provide this category of people with the resources needed to manage and grow social businesses.

If you are into social businesses, see Top 12 business management courses online .

  • Institution: Yunus Social Business Fund Bengaluru
  • Program duration: eight months
  • Study schedule: estimated figve hours per week

Social Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship is one of the free social work certificate programs online, this six-course program is aimed at teaching people how to identify opportunities in social problems and turn them into social businesses.

People who take this course should be able to identify opportunities in social problems, turn the opportunities into enterprises and successfully manage them to become big businesses.

In this certificate program, people will learn how to make an impact on their society using social businesses, they will also learn how to create sustainable and profitable social businesses.

The courses in the program include Identifying Social Entrepreneurship Opportunities, Social Business Model and Planning for Social Innovation, and Unleashing the Impact of your Social Enterprise, it is one of the popular social work certificate programs online.

  • Institution: Copenhagen Business School
  • Study schedule: estimated four hours per week

Sustainability and Development

Sustainability and Development is a six-course program and one of the social work certificate programs online. This program was created with the purpose of teaching people how to solve problems faced in the development of sustainable solutions to the problems in the world.

People who enroll in this program will learn how to solve the challenges facing the development of sustainable social businesses through the implementation of novel ideas.

In this program, people will also learn how the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and how they correlate with the current global problems.

  • Learning platform: Coursera.
  • Study schedule: estimated 6-8 hours per week
  • Program fee: $2,100, payable in four installments

Behavioural Science: Influencing Behaviour and Designing Decisions

Behavioural Science: Influencing Behaviour and Designing Decisions is one of the social work certificate programs online, it is a three-course program designed with the aim of teaching people the skills needed to initiate positive change in the behavior of colleagues, patients, employees, and customers.

People who take this program are expected to learn how to utilize professional behavioral research to make effective changes, they will also be able to understand human behavior.

In this program, you will get to learn the nine key concepts that can be applied to make a significant impact on the behavioral pattern of humans. This program will also provide you with the skills needed to calm and control aggressive people and even aggressive animals.

This program also contains topics in social psychology, it is one of the best social work certificate programs online in the area of behavioral science and social psychology.

  • Institution: Future Learn
  • Learning platform: Future Learn
  • Type of program: ExpertTrack
  • Program duration: ten weeks
  • Study schedule: estimated two hours per week
  • Program fee: $97.5

Teacher Social and Emotional Learning

Teacher Social and Emotional Learning is one of the free social work certificate programs online, this program was specifically created for teachers. But it is also relevant to social workers, especially those who care for mentally ill patients.

If you are a teacher, then read this article on online professional development courses for teachers . The Teacher Social and Emotional Learning program is made up of five courses and was developed with the aim of teaching teachers how they can effectively create emotional connections with their students.

Social and emotional learning programs have grown popular in recent years because of the importance of the skills they teach. The program ensures students’ and teachers’ well-being.

  • Institution: University of Colorado
  • Learning patform: Coursera
  • Study schedule: estimated the hours per week

Value-based Care

Value-based Care is one of the social work certificate programs online, it is made up of seven courses and is made for social workers in the healthcare sector.

If you are a social worker in the healthcare sector, then take a look at some online certificate courses for doctors which are relevant to you.

In this program, social workers will learn the basic principles of value-based care and how to implement them in the provision of quality care for patients. They will also learn many skills, including healthcare, population health, public health, patient care, and health education.

The program is self-paced and contains projects for students who enroll in it, it’s one of the free social work certificate programs online.

  • Institution: University of Houston

Introduction to Psychology

Introduction to Psychology is one of the free online courses with certificates in social work, it is a six-course program that aims at helping people understand psychology.

This program explains: how human behavior is affected by the human mind, the fundamentals of psychology, and the history and development of psychology.

In this program, you will learn the major differences between psychology and philosophy, you will also learn the scientific principles of philosophy and how you can put them into practice.

This program covers many topics, including Cognitive Psychology, Clinical Psychology, and Behavioral Psychology. The program was developed by one of the best universities in the world for Psychological studies: Monash University . This program is one of the best social work certificate programs online for psychological studies.

  • Institution: Monash University
  • Program duration: three months
  • Study schedule: estimated six hours per week
  • Program fee: $117

This article will be updated regularly to keep you up to date with online certificate programs in social work. Subscribe to our web push and or email notification to keep updated or add this site to your home screen.

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Francis Okpara

I am Okpara Chibuike Blessius Francis, writer at Certificate Programs Online — A student of Cyber Security at the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO). I love the Cyber World and I am a crypto enthusiast. With many years of experience with online certifications as a student myself. I joined this organization to help students find the best online certificate programs and courses.

I am working to make it easier for students all over the world to easily find online courses, programs, certifications, and schools that suit their needs. Tasks like this took me a lot of time to accomplish, so I am dedicating my time to make it easier for others.

There are many certifications and courses online, so this organization will help students find the ones that are relevant to them.

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Social Work Degree Center

Best Social Work Degrees & Career Options

10 Top Online Free Social Work Courses

free online certificate courses in social work

These top online free Social Work courses for majors and professionals cover a range of topics relevant to the social work profession. In years past, educators and professional organizations looked down on online social work courses.

Methodology to Determine the Best Free Classes Available Online for Social Work

Basing our rankings on several criteria helps give you a more complete picture of each class. So, not only can you evaluate courses based on their overall score, but on their individual metrics as well.

Not all free classes online for social work are made alike. Some free online trainings for social workers aren’t worth your time at all. But, others are worth their weight in gold! That’s where our rankings come in. To help narrow down the field of online free classes for social work you might take, we use our three-part methodology to rank courses. Let’s review each of these criteria our analytics team uses to make sure our data is accurate.

Flexibility

  • Highly flexible: 2 points
  • Moderate flexibility: 1 point
  • Low flexibility: 0 points

Accessibility

  • High accessibility: 3 points
  • Moderate accessibility: 2 points
  • Low accessibility: 1 point

Learning Level

  • Advanced: 3 points
  • Intermediate: 2 points
  • Beginner: 1 point

Free free online social work courses should offer you the flexibility to learn when you have the time. As a student or as a working professional, you already have a lot on your plate. So, taking the initiative to further your understanding of social work shouldn’t require adjusting your already busy schedule.

Some free classes online for social work are completely self-paced. This means you have the flexibility to learn whenever you like. Others offer a more directed approach and might have set times to “meet” online with your teacher or work with your classmates.

This factor is scored as such:

You might think that all online free classes for social work are highly accessible. This just isn’t the case. Some courses offer more accessible features than others.

For example, some free classes offer you downloadable assets so you can learn even if you are without an internet connection.

As another example, some online courses allow you to connect to the class on your computer, smartphone, or even your TV.

Furthermore, some courses offer more features and assets than others that make online learning an easier and more productive process.

The learning level of the online classes for social work is perhaps the most important feature. You need to take courses that meet you at your current skill level.

In our rankings, more advanced courses are ranked higher. This isn’t because lower-level courses don’t have value. Quite the opposite. However, advanced courses tend to be more in-depth on specific topics. This is in contrast to beginner courses that cover many different topics but not much in-depth.

Because of the increased rigor of advanced courses, we rank free classes according to the following scale:

Again, this isn’t to say that beginner courses don’t have a lot of value. They do! But advanced courses offer the chance to learn more job-ready skills. They also allow you to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the content than an introductory course. For this reason, advanced courses get the most points.

Our editors first ranked free online courses in October 2022. This ranking was updated November 2023.

10. Restorative Justice and Practice: Emergence of a Social Movement

Top Online Free Social Work Courses

An important part of a social worker’s job is advocacy. This is often done for people that have had interactions with law enforcement.

This online social work course is from edX. It was created by the Victoria University of Wellington. The free class focuses on the restorative justice movement. Specifically, you’ll learn how these initiatives have been used to create better criminal justice systems.

Additional learning topics include:

  • restorative justice began
  • How restorative justice is used in educational systems
  • restorative justice is used in welfare systems
  • social justice

You’ll also learn about restorative justice as a social movement, and how to provide child welfare services. This includes examining how it has spread worldwide and influences every part of society.

This is an introductory course. You can expect to work about two to five hours per week on class assignments.

Visit the course website .

Flexibility : Moderately flexible. This is an instructor-led course. However, it requires minimal work each week, which allows you some flexibility in terms of when you conduct your studies.

Accessibility : Highly accessible. This social work course is 100 percent online. You can easily access video transcripts of each lesson to further your learning as well.

Learning Level : Beginner

9. Psychology 104: Social Psychology

Top Online Free Social Work Courses

This free course is from Study.com. It is a common core course for undergraduate studies in social work. This course offers a detailed overview of social psychology. This includes a detailed look at the major perspectives in social psychology. You’ll also learn about the seven themes of social psychology.

Other topics of study include:

  • Research methods
  • Ethical practice
  • Attitudes and persuasion
  • Prejudice and discrimination

Additionally, you can expect to learn about the relationship between your self-concept and society at large. In other words, you’ll be able to see how social norms and social comparisons influence how you perceive yourself.

This online class for social work includes ten chapters of study. There are 100 lessons, each of which is about eight minutes in length. Each lesson includes an exam to test your knowledge.

Flexibility : Highly flexible. This is a self-paced course. You can complete as many lessons in one sitting as you like. Or you can take as long as you like.

Accessibility : Highly accessible. You can begin exploring the course materials without enrolling in the class. All course materials are available online for easy access.

8. An Introduction to Social Work

Top Online Free Social Work Courses

This beginner course for social work is from OpenLearn. Courses on OpenLearn are provided for free by The Open University.

This is a comprehensive course. It is designed specifically for students just beginning to learn about social work. You’ll explore critical topics that include:

  • Social work theory
  • Ethical social work practice
  • Advocating against oppressive practices and policies
  • Social Justice

Additionally, you’ll learn basic ways to make social work practice more individualized. This includes self-reflection and evaluating the kinds of people that benefit from social work services.

You’ll also learn what it means to do reflective practice. Engaging in self-reflection allows you to better understand the process of using social work theories. It also assists you in becoming more self-aware. This course requires about 15 hours of work to complete. The lessons are quite short. This makes it easier to quickly finish individual lessons.

Flexibility : Highly flexible. This is a completely self-paced course. Learn at your leisure or your availability to do so.

Accessibility : Highly accessible. You can access this course without enrolling. There are downloadable resources to help further your learning as well.

7. Social Services for Families, Seniors and Those with Disabilities

free online certificate courses in social work

This beginner course is offered by Columbia University. It is available on Coursera. Enrollment is free.

The free online social work class offers insights into the services provided for vulnerable populations. More specifically, you’ll look at the types of support services available to social work clients.

For example, you’ll learn about the process families must go through to become eligible for social welfare programs.

Additionally, you’ll explore topics related to:

  • The need for child care and family leave for poor families
  • The American Disabilities Act
  • Social services programs for seniors, like Medicare

You will also have the chance to develop your own policy proposals. These proposals will address common problems for at-risk populations. For example, you might draft a proposal outlining how to offer free childcare for single working mothers.

This course requires about 15 hours of work. It is self-paced, so you can complete the required assignments as you wish.

Flexibility : Highly flexible. Learn at your own pace. You can set and reset deadlines as needed to fit your schedule.

Accessibility : Highly accessible. Upon enrollment, all course materials are available online. Learn any time of day or night, 365 days a year.

6. Addiction Treatment: Clinical Skills for Healthcare Providers

free online certificate courses in social work

Many social workers specialize in addiction treatment. This beginner course from Yale University will help you begin to prepare to be an addictions therapist.

The course begins with an explanation of how you can screen clients for substance abuse risk. Likewise, you’ll gain insights into diagnosing clients’ substance abuse disorders.

Other topics of study in this class include:

  • manage treatment plans for clients with substance abuse disorders
  • prevent substance abuse disorders from developing
  • provide compassionate care to clients with substance abuse disorders

One of the interesting parts of this class is that you get to see model cases performed by actors. This helps you see substance abuse therapy play out.

This is a six-week course. Most students are able to finish it in about 14 hours of direct study time.

Upon finishing this online social work class, you can get a certificate of completion. A certificate requires you to pay a fee, though.

Flexibility : Highly flexible. This class allows you to work at your own pace. You can adjust the due dates in the class based on your schedule.

Accessibility : Highly accessible. This course is offered completely online. Upon enrollment, you have immediate access to the course so you can start learning right away.

5. Child Protection: Children’s Rights in Theory and P r actice

free online certificate courses in social work

This online social work course was developed by Harvard University and is offered for free on edX. It is a beginner course that focuses on the failures of child protection and the effects of those failures.

The class is taught by Jacqueline Bhabha, Research Director of the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights. Along with other Harvard faculty members and social work practitioners, she will present ideas to solve these systemic failures. Specifically, you’ll learn about:

  • Child protection laws around the globe
  • Strategies to prevent child abuse
  • The emotional effects of child abuse
  • Strategies for improving the child protection system
  • community services

You will also examine the relationship between children and the needs of law enforcement. This includes children that are in conflict with the law. It also includes migrant children that might come in contact with law enforcement.

Most students can complete this course in about 16 weeks. You can take as much or as little time as you need, though.

Flexibility : Highly flexible. Learn at your own pace. The course requires between two to six hours of work each week. With short lessons, you can easily finish individual lessons in a few minutes’ time.

Accessibility : Highly accessible. All course materials are readily available online. The class is open as soon as you enroll. There are also transcripts of the video lessons to help you learn.

4. Becoming a Critical Social Work Practitioner

free online certificate courses in social work

This is an advanced course from OpenLearn. It is designed for people who already have social work experience. Students should have a desire to learn more about critical social work practice.

This course has three parts.  Each part focuses on essential skills needed for critical care. This includes:

  • Understanding critical practice
  • Practicing constructive social work
  • How to use language to develop social work relationships

Once you finish this course, you will have the knowledge needed to practice professional discretion in a social work relationship. Likewise, you’ll have improved skills that will help you deliver social work services in a timely and caring fashion.

This online social work course will also help you understand the complex relationships that exist in social work environments. This includes ties between the social worker and their client. It also includes influences of justice, care, and control.

There are 15 lessons in this course. There are also downloadable resources for your benefit.

Flexibility : Highly flexible. You can learn as slowly or as quickly as you want in this self-paced course.

Accessibility : Highly accessible. All course materials are easily available online without registering for an account.

Learning Level : Advanced

3. The Social Context of Mental Health and Illness

free online certificate courses in social work

This mixed-level course was developed by the University of Toronto. It’s available on Coursera. It is a great option for learners that are interested in the social factors of mental health.

The course begins with a brief history of mental health. This includes discussions on how mental health is defined and the causes of mental illness. From there, you’ll explore topics related to the following:

  • The social context of diagnosis and treatment of mental illness
  • How one’s culture influences mental health
  • Family connections and how they can improve mental health recovery

Likewise, this course examines the social aspect of mental health. This includes a discussion of how to get communities to support improved mental health services for people of all ages.

This course requires about 16 hours of study time to complete. It’s broken into five units of study, each one week in length.

Flexibility : Highly flexible. This is a self-paced course. You can set and reset deadlines as needed throughout the class.

Accessibility : Highly accessible. This class is 100 percent online. You have immediate access to course files upon enrollment. You can view the course on a computer or other connected device.

Learning Level : Intermediate

2. Social Work: Research

free online certificate courses in social work

This advanced course was developed by the University of Michigan. It is offered by edX. Its focus is on conducting effective research in social work. Additionally, you’ll learn how to use evidence-based practice in providing services to clients.

There is a lot of research in the field of social work. Learning how to conduct research is critical. Learning how to be a good consumer of research is also important.

In this top free class for social work, you will learn how to:

  • quantitative research methods
  • qualitative research methods
  • Use proper search procedures to find existing research
  • provide community services

You will also learn how to apply current research to practice. This includes learning how to apply what research has found. It also includes how to better understand what research has not yet discovered.

This course is part of Michigan’s Social Work: Practice, Policy and Research MicroMasters program. This program is available on edX. This individual course is free. However, edX’s MicroMasters requires you to pay a fee.

Flexibility : Highly flexible. Each lesson is relatively short. This enables you to complete lessons quickly if needed. The course is self-paced, so you can take as much time as you need.

Accessibility : Highly accessible. Once you enroll, you get immediate access to the class. In addition to text-based lessons, there are also video lessons. The video lessons include transcripts too.

1. Social Welfare Policy and Services

This is an advanced course from the University of Michigan. The best online social work class is available on edX. This class is for practicing social workers that want to deepen their knowledge of social welfare policy.

This class is broken down into four areas of study:

  • The philosophy of social welfare policy
  • The history of social work
  • Current social welfare policies in the U.S.
  • Social work theory, trends, and debate
  • Community services

The knowledge and skills you learn in this course are applicable to the major fields of social work service. This includes child welfare, mental health, and health care, among others.

The curriculum was devised by the University of Michigan. This course is part of Michigan’s Social Work: Practice, Policy and Research MicroMasters program. The program is available on edX. This course is free. If you want to get the MicroMasters, there are fees involved.

Additionally, there is a certification available, but it requires a $199 fee.

Flexibility : Highly flexible. This course is self-paced. There is a lot to learn in the course. However, lessons are short and easily completed in one sitting.

Accessibility : Highly accessible. This course is available immediately upon enrollment. All course materials are available online. There are video transcripts to accompany each lesson as well.

Top 10 Free Classes Available Online For Social Work

What Free Classes are Available Online for Social Work ?

In the early days of online education, it was hard to blame the skeptics. Some websites that offered free classes were not at all reputable. In other cases, websites provided only certificates of completion. These certificates are worth little to no value for social workers.

However, times have changed. Even well-known universities offer free classes online for social work. Colleges like Harvard and the University of Southern California offer many paid online classes for social work. These courses are taught by some of the leading social workers in the country.

There are lots of free online courses for social work. Some people just want to take a couple of free classes to see if they like social work.  Others are social work professionals that need to fulfill continuing education credits. Either way, the courses listed below are excellent options for you to consider.

Some of the free classes on our list are for beginners. Others are for more advanced learners. Some of these online classes for social work require just a few hours of your time. Others are more time-intensive.

Do Online Course Certificates Have Value?

Some online course certifications have more value than others. For example, a completion certification has limited value. They are given to students for completing a course. It might help show your desire to learn more. But it does little more than that.

Completion certifications sometimes come with digital badges. You can add these badges to your LinkedIn profile or another professional page. Taking many different classes with certifications like this can show potential employers that you are a go-getter. But, as mentioned above, these completion certifications don’t offer many other benefits.

What are Other Social Work Certificates?

There are more valuable types of certificates. This includes educational or professional certificates. Some online free classes for social work offer certificates through a college or university. For example, many schools offer non-degree certificates for social workers. Florida State University is a good example. Their Department of Social Work offers three educational certificates for undergraduate and graduate students.

These certificates can be valuable for career advancement in social work. Often, these certifications focus on a very specific topic. Florida State’s Child Welfare Practice Certificate helps social workers enhance skills with coursework in the field. Likewise, FSU also offers a certificate in Gerontology and Aging Studies. When selecting educational certificates like these, be sure they apply to the type of social work in which you are interested.

What is a Social Work Professional Certification?

Another form of social work certification is a professional certification. These are credentials add to your social work license. For example, you might pursue a Certified Social Work Case Manager (C-SWCM) credential from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). The NASW is the largest association of social workers in the United States. It is also the most respected organization of social workers.

Educational and professional certifications differ from completion certifications. The former are guided by strict rules. So, rather than simply completing a course, you must complete various steps to get the certification.

Certified Social Work Case Manager

Below are the requirements to become a Certified Social Work Case Manager:

  • You must have a bachelor’s degree in social work. The degree must be from a graduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education
  • You must have at least three years (4,500 hours) of paid and supervised work experience. This experience must be after completion of a bachelor of social work degree. This experience must also be in an agency that provides case management services.
  • You must have a current state license. Alternatively, you can have a passing score on the ASWB BSW-level exam.
  • Also you must adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics. You must also abide by the NASW Standards for Continuing Professional Education.

So, you can see why this type of certification would be of greater value to you than a simple completion certificate. Professional certifications like this are extremely detailed and require a significant output of time to get.

What is the Best Major for Social Work?

If you want a career in social work, it is best to major in social work. For undergraduate studies, this means getting a bachelor’s of social work, or BSW. A bachelor’s of social work will prepare you for entry-level careers. For example, with a BSW, you could be a substance abuse counselor.

A BSW is appropriate for entry-level jobs. This is because it is an introductory degree. Bachelor’s degrees typically include about 120 semester credit hours of study. Of those 120 credit hour courses, about half are general education. This includes classes like math and science. The other half are courses related to social work.

What Do You Learn in a BSW Program?

Because undergraduate studies an introduction to a field of study, the courses tend to be fairly broad. In other words, many of the social work courses you take will cover a lot of different topics. These topics will not be covered in much depth though.

For example, it is common for BSW students to take courses like:

  • Introduction to Social Work
  • Human Behavior
  • Lifespan Development
  • Cultural Diversity

The courses listed above are broad in nature. They help students develop a better understanding of social work in general terms. BSW degrees include some higher-level courses that go into greater depth as well.

For example, many BSW degrees require students also take courses on ethics, research, and social work methods. These courses are much more in depth than the introductory courses.

What Do You Learn in an MSW Program?

But what if you want to expand your education and take courses that offer much greater depth of knowledge? In that case, a master’s of social work, or MSW, is a great option. A master’s degree in social work offers you the chance to take much more focused courses. For example, in a typical MSW program, you might take courses in the following:

  • Death and Dying
  • Couples and Family Therapy
  • Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Social Work for Geriatric Populations
  • Child welfare services

As you can see, these courses are narrower in scope. This allows master’s students to gain critical knowledge and skills that prepare them for practice as a social worker.

How Long Does it take to Earn an MSN?

Usually, an MSW takes about two years to complete. This is done after you finish a bachelor’s degree. It’s important to note that you can get an MSW without having a BSW first. Though it’s best to have a BSW, a degree in a related field like psychology is often fine for admission into most MSW programs.

Do You Need a Masters Degree in Social Work?

You do not need a master’s degree in social work for entry-level careers if you hold a bachelor’s degree in social work. However, the keyword here is “entry-level.” A master’s degree is needed for some social work jobs.

For example, you need a master’s degree if you want to specialize in working with a specific group. This includes providing counseling services to children in school. It also includes offering rehabilitation services to older adults. Another example is working in the healthcare field. Generally speaking, healthcare social workers are required to have a master’s in social work.

A master’s degree is needed if you want to go into private practice and provide counseling services to individuals. You are self-employed and your own boss. This means you have to bill clients and insurance. In many states, social workers must have a master’s degree if they want to be able to take insurance payments for services rendered.

A final situation in which a master’s degree is needed is to get certain credentials. For example, to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), you need a master’s degree (among many other requirements).

What is a Social Work Doctoral Program?

If you want to take it a step further, you can pursue a doctoral degree in social work. Usually, students that get a doctoral degree do so to focus on research. At the doctoral level, coursework is different from undergraduate and graduate studies. Instead of taking typical classes with other students and a professor, much of the time in a doctoral program is done conducting independent research.

What are the Types of Doctoral Programs?

There are two types of doctorates for social work. One, the Doctor of Social Work, or DSW, and two, a Ph.D. in social work. In both cases, a large amount of time is required to finish. Usually, doctoral programs take about five years to complete. This is after spending four years in undergraduate studies and about two years in graduate school.

Though a doctorate does not lead to a higher level of licensure in social work, it has its advantages. For example, if you want to conduct research, a doctorate is all but a must. Many colleges and universities also require faculty to have a doctorate in order to become a tenured professors.

What are Social Work Jobs with a BSW?

Below is a list of some common social work jobs for bachelor’s-level workers.

Caseworkers

The most common job for a social worker with a bachelor’s degree is caseworker. Caseworkers provide direct assistance to clients. This can take many forms. Caseworkers help clients get through conflicts. They provide advocacy services too. Caseworkers also help clients get information about services. For example, a caseworker might help a client get unemployment insurance or food stamps.

Social Science Research Assistants

With a bachelor’s degree in social work, you could find a job as a social science research assistant. These workers help social scientists conduct research. This includes interviewing subjects and conducting lab experiments. They also help review previous research on social science topics.

Medical Health Assistants

A medical health assistant helps provide care for patients. These patients may be mentally disabled. Or, they may be emotionally disturbed. Typically, this job involves assisting patients with activities of daily living. This includes things like brushing their teeth and getting dressed.

Residential Case Managers

This social work career involves managing patients in a facility. These facilities might include inpatient psychiatric wards or homeless shelters. It might also include group homes for troubled youth. Case managers work with individual patients to assess their needs. They also help patients establish and achieve goals. An example of a goal might be for a patient to learn how to cook for themselves.

Family Service Workers

This social work career focuses on helping families through tough times. Family service workers often provide educational services. For example, they might provide an abused spouse with resources that will help them leave the abusive relationship, such as temporary housing. As another example, they might offer a family resources after the death of a loved one.

Health Educator

Health educators work with people to improve their overall health. This includes developing programs to address health problems. For example, a health educator might create a program to help kids eat healthier. Additionally, these workers try to educate the public about health conditions. This might take the form of offering free classes for people to care for older adults with dementia. They also provide resources to people for managing health conditions, like diabetes.

What is Professional Development for Social Work?

Professional development is another term for education. It provides social workers with knowledge and skills that help them perform better in their career. Social workers must stay informed about new topics. This is because they need to be able to provide the best services to their clients. Professional development helps them do just that.

Why is Professional Development Important?

By taking part in education, social workers can learn new skills. For example, a social worker might take a class on a new type of therapy technique. They can then use this therapy technique with their clients to help their clients overcome mental health issues. As another example, you might take a class on a specific social work topic like death and dying. Doing so can help prepare you for working with older clients and their families.

Professional development is also important for understanding new laws. For example, a state might change the manner in which social workers are allowed to bill to insurance. Continuing education can help social workers stay on top of changes like this.

Another benefit of professional development is that it allows social workers to stay current on their credentials. Professional development is required to maintain a social work license. Likewise, professional development can help you advance your career. For example, by learning new skills, you might be able to switch to a new position. Let’s say you are currently an addiction treatment specialist. Through education, you could learn skills needed to work specifically with children that have an addiction. 

What are the Different Types of Social Work Professional Development?

There are different types of professional development for social work. Some free classes online count towards continuing education requirements. Professional conferences often have free classes you can take to earn credits. You can also take courses from colleges or universities to meet part of the social work education requirements.

What are Free Social Work Webinars? 

Free social work webinars are just one way that social workers can keep up to date on the latest research in their field. In some cases, social work webinars might count towards continuing education. For example, you might listen to a podcast that discusses the best ways of working with kids with a mental disturbance. As another example, you might join a live webinar to hear a prominent social worker speak about current events in the field.

Your Free Classes Online for Social Work

Taking free classes online for social work is a great idea. This is true whether you’re a student or a practicing social worker. One of the benefits of online free classes is that you can gain knowledge and skills at any time of day or night. Even if the free class isn’t for credit, you can use what you’ve learned to better your understanding of critical social work topics. This can be helpful to you in your for-credit courses.

The same can be said of social workers that need to brush up on their skills. Even if you’ve been practicing social work for decades, it never hurts to learn something new. Learning new skills can help you help your clients more effectively.

More Rankings of Interest:

  • The 50 Best Online Accredited Social Work Degree Programs
  • Best Resources for Preparing for the ASWB
  • The 15 Best International Social Work Degree Programs
  • 25 Best Online Human Services Degree Programs
  • 25 Best Online LCSW Programs

5 Best + Free Social Work Courses & Certification [2024 February]

After conducting in-depth research, our team of global experts compiled this list of  Best Five Social Work Courses, Classes, Tutorials, Training, Masters, and Certification programs available online for 2023 . This list includes both paid and free courses that will help individuals to earn certification in social work to change people’s lives and make a difference in society. Also, it is ideal for beginners, intermediates, as well as experts. You can also take a look at our curation of Best Happiness Courses .

7 Best Social Work Courses & Certification [2024 February]

Social work courses (includes free courses) (coursera).

People who want to help individuals facing difficulties in daily life either due to mental disorder or societal factors can do a lot by getting certified in Social Work. Coursera offers free and paid courses for students who want to contribute to the well-being of those in need. Be it children’s rights or gender and sexual inclusions or people suffering from disabilities, there are a wide range of courses offered by the top universities of the world along with certification. People who wish to pursue online education can enroll for the course of their choice and better their Possibilities of getting a job that satisfies the desire to work for the society. Have a look at our compilation of Best Stress Management Courses .

Highlights –

– Understand human psychology and how different people are wired in different ways to understand their challenges.

– Learn about social norms and policies to know how to help individuals.

– Learn community social well-being to advocate justice where needed.

– Know how to treat people with addictions through various proven methods.

– Help people facing domestic violence through policies governing the same.

Duration: Variable

Rating:  4.7 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

Courses for Mental Health Professionals (Social Work Courses Online)

This online education portal has curated a lot of courses to help social workers in getting certified for better work opportunities and in creating a huge impact. There are courses ranging from young adult therapies to treating trauma patients and a lot more. You can check the courses and select the one that you are interested in contributing to. Learners have to check about the licensing for practice with the respective state authorities once they have completed the course from this platform. If you are not looking to work as a social worker but want to educate yourself with self-care methods, you can opt for that too.

– Understand how to be mindful for self-care to avoid major mental health issues and get over past traumas.

– Learn suicide intervention methods and subsequent treatments as a clinician.

– Know about various disorders in children and young adults to help them overcome their mental barriers.

– Learn addiction treatment planning as a professional to help people get over their addictions and live a better life.

– Get certified in the respective course of your choice and apply for licensing to start your practice as a professional social worker.

Rating: 4.4 out of 5

Related: Online Vs. Classroom Learning

Free Online Lectures and Courses for Social Work (Academic Earth)

When your aim in life is to make other people’s lives better, being a social worker can give you a sense of fulfillment. Academic Earth offers several free online courses in social work to help people who want to impact the lives of communities as a whole and individuals at a micro-level. On this platform, you will find courses on social laws and policies along with past reforms that have changed the lives of various social sections internationally. You can work for the betterment of specific age groups or races or ethnicities that are facing injustice due to the prevailing global culture. Academic Earth has listed out several Internship programs too for students who enroll to get hands-on experience in work. You can also be a part of various students and professional organizations that act on the social front.

– Understand the problems of aging – both mental and physical to help people undergoing the changes and sufferings.

– Learn the past social movements and how they helped in bringing reforms to society.

– Know the social laws on the international landscape.

– Apply for grants and scholarships for your work in the search for the bringing about plausible solutions.

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Social Work & Human Services Degrees (Capella University)

Help people untangle their lives by pursuing education in social work. Capella University offers various individual courses, Master’s degrees, and Doctoral Degrees in social work that can help individuals who want to advance their careers in a field that creates mass impacts. When you choose to learn with Capella University, you get to interact with fellow enthusiasts, highly-learned experts, and support staff to guide you through your learning journey. Through personal instructor in each course and regular coursework, you will be able to learn and master social work thoroughly. Don’t forget to check out our list of Best Energy Healing Courses .

– Pursue social work certification or degree with the highly recognized Capella University.

– Learn through personal guidance and engaging course material.

– Develop the essential soft skills and clinical skills to help people and groups in need.

– Become eligible to treat trauma patients through therapies.

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Related: Disadvantages of Online Learning

MicroMasters® Program in Social Work: Practice, Policy and Research by The University of Michigan (edX)

This course has been discontinued

If you want to give back to society and you are looking for pursuing a professional degree in social work, edX has a perfect opportunity for you. The 6-course MicroMaster Program offered by the renowned University of Michigan on edX can be your calling. In this 11-month course, you will learn about the importance of research in social work and the policies that govern it. You will come across micro-, mezzo-, and macro-level of social work to know how to drive changes in individuals and masses. To earn the final certificate, students have to get a verified certificate in all the six courses within the MicroMaster Program.

– Understand the daily challenges of individuals and families who need help.

– Learn the policies for social welfare to bring about justice.

– Learn how to make and evaluate social policies for communities and organization.

– Bring a difference in the life of troubled individuals and families by providing them with a positive outlook.

– Understand the framework for social policies and social work to practice at various levels.

Duration: 11 Months

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

So these were the 5 Best Social Work Courses and Certification programs available online. Hope you found what you were looking for. Wish you Happy Learning!

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We help you find the best courses, certifications, and tutorials online. Hundreds of experts come together to handpick these recommendations based on decades of collective experience. So far we have served 4 Million+ satisfied learners and counting.

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Online MSW Program

Student voices, at a glance, how can an online msw help me and my community, access to top faculty, program overview, how do i apply, join our msw alumni, unc school of social work.

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free online certificate courses in social work

Applications Now Open! The new Online MSW program from the #7-ranked UNC School of Social Work is accepting applications through May 7 for the August 2024 session.

Applications Now Open! The new Online MSW program from the #7-ranked UNC School of Social Work is accepting applications through May 7 for the August 2024 session.

World-class reputation and reach. Hyper-local to you.

UNC School of Social Work’s mission is to advance equity, transform systems, and improve lives. Our innovative new Online MSW was created in response to demand from changemakers who want to strengthen their roles in the community while keeping their current jobs and commitments. This program seeks to address urgent workforce needs by tapping into talent from areas across North Carolina, the Southeast and the nation to help tackle the complex challenges in our communities. The Online MSW at UNC provides: 

Flexibility

Whether you are a busy working professional looking to further your impact, a recent graduate, or looking to pivot into the field of social work, our unique combination of asynchronous and synchronous 100% online courses allow students to set their own schedules while building relationships with our extensive network of researchers, industry leaders, and alumni.

Complete your MSW at a Top 10 school of social work with a global reputation. This online program was designed with a commitment to connection, offering a high-touch approach through our world-class faculty, carefully tailored practicum placements, cohort connections, and student success team.

Accessibility

Tailored to learners working from home — or from anywhere around the world, for that matter. This new offering provides wider access to a top-ranked MSW program and a pathway to social work careers. Like our on-campus MSW, this program does not require the GRE.

Preparedness

Our carefully curated Online MSW curriculum and individually tailored practicums prepare students to succeed as social workers. We prepare graduates for advanced practice with individuals, families and small groups (micro) and for careers in community practice, human services administration, and policy practice and advocacy (macro).

“What makes this program so different from others is how we are valued not only as students, but as humans as well. The faculty and staff work very hard to ensure our identities and experiences are included in our guide toward reflection, critical thinking and ethical social work.”

Carlton Johnson

Are you ready to advance equity, transform systems, and improve lives in your community?

  • 25% increase in salary for social workers with a master’s degree vs. a bachelor’s degree alone (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor)
  • 100% of courses taught by full-time, on-campus UNC faculty
  • 0 – No GRE requirements to apply
  • 62 Graduate-level credit hours
  • #1 value of UNC-Chapel Hill in American public higher ed (Kiplinger’s)
  • #7 Nationally-ranked best school for social work (US News & World Report)
  • 2 INTERNSHIPS IN
YOUR HOME COMMUNITY
  • 6,022 UNC SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK Alumni network

free online certificate courses in social work

Completing the Online MSW program provides wider access to expertise, experience, and connections that help create positive change in your community.

  • Industry Needs The nation has a shortage of social workers, with too many underserved areas. Over the next seven years, national shortages are predicted for the following Direct Practice positions: mental health and substance abuse social workers; health care social workers to assist aging populations; and child, family and school social workers.
  • Leadership Opportunities The state of North Carolina currently employs more than 15,000 licensed clinical social workers. The need for such professionally-trained social workers is projected to grow by 9–12% from 2021–2031.
  • Macro “Big Picture” Option Our Community, Management, and Policy Practice concentration prepares social workers to improve lives from the systems level.

“The Online MSW program is a good fit for learners who are balancing studies, work, family and other commitments. We have designed the program to welcome students at all levels. I look forward to meeting students who are recent graduates, career changers and practicing social workers.”

Tauchiana Williams

Degree requirements are the same as our campus-based full-time program.

The online MSW degree requires 62 credit hours of graduate study and is divided into two levels: Generalist and Specialization.

  • The Generalist Curriculum (29 credit hours) consists of courses related to the following areas: social welfare policy and services, human behavior in the social environment, social research, and social work practice. Students also complete several additional requirements as part of the Generalist Curriculum, including a practicum (@ 400 hours) of supervised practice in an agency setting in their home community and a practicum seminar.
  • The Specialization Curriculum (33 credit hours) includes courses that enable students to build on the foundation that they acquired during the Generalist Curriculum. Students choose a concentration — either Direct Practice (DP) or Community, Management, and Policy Practice (CMPP) — and build skills and knowledge in research methodology, policy, and evidence-informed practice. Students will complete courses and a second practicum (@ 600 hours) of supervised practice in an agency setting in their home community. Students complete 9 credit hours in elective courses as part of the specialization curriculum.

First semester class offerings:

SOWO500: Human Development in Context I: Infancy to Adolescence SOWO501: Oppression and Resistance in Social Work Practice SOWO540: Social Work Practice with Families, Individuals, and Groups

Second semester class offerings:

SOWO505: Human Development in Context II: Adulthood SOWO530: Social Welfare Systems and Policies SOWO570: Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities

Online students complete 400 Generalist and 600 Specialization practicum hours with an agency within their home communities. Through practicum assignments, our students put their classroom knowledge into practice through real-world experiences — exploring career paths, developing workplace skills and competencies, expanding their professional networks, and building confidence in working with clients and colleagues.

Our students have completed placements in social services, schools, hospitals, community nonprofits, research organizations, substance abuse treatment programs, child welfare agencies, transitional housing programs, and a variety of other organizations. We will work individually with students to identify practicum placements that are appropriate to the student’s needs and professional goals.

We are committed to ensuring that all students succeed, which is why our Online MSW program provides the same access to academic resources and support as the School’s campus-based programs. Academic advising is available for all degree-seeking students, providing educational planning assistance to fulfill academic requirements and standards and also further professional career goals. In addition, every online student is assigned a student success coach who advises on the MSW curriculum policies and procedures, helps design plans of study, and clears students for registration each semester. The student success coach and faculty advisor work together to guide academic and professional development.

Detailed information on tuition and fees are available on the  UNC Finance and Operations  website. For information on additional resources for funding, please visit our  UNC School of Social Work  website.

MSW students often use a combination of funding sources to finance their graduate studies. All applicants are automatically considered for program scholarships. No further action is required in order to be considered for these scholarship opportunities. We also recommend that prospective students submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) in order to be considered for federal aid. If you have questions regarding FAFSA award allocations, you may contact the  UNC Office Scholarships & Student Aid . Out-of-state students can  learn more about residency determination  here.

If the online program is not right for you, please consider one of our other program options for your MSW degree.

Applications for the Online MSW program session beginning August 26, 2024, are open through 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 7. To be considered for admission to UNC School of Social Work, you must provide documentation of the following in your UNC Graduate School application:

  • Bachelor’s degree in any discipline, earned from an accredited four-year college or university (or the international equivalent of a bachelor’s degree)
  • Academic background that encompasses knowledge and world views from a broad variety of disciplines
  • Unofficial transcripts from each college and university attended
  • Statement of Purpose (4–5 pages)
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Current resume or CV
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score within the past 2 years (international applicants only)

Social work experience is not required. However, social work-related coursework and volunteer or professional experience are preferred. For more information on required application materials, please visit the UNC Graduate School website .

“I was a non-traditional MSW student, intent on solving problems by combining my corporate background with my interest in social justice . UNC’s macro program was the perfect fit, supporting my journey to discover my best path, and helping me build the skills and confidence to launch an innovative nonprofit.”

Nora El-Khouri Spencer

Frequently Asked Questions

Your decision to pursue an MSW degree via our online program will likely be influenced by a number of factors, including a desire for more flexibility to complete course content. The target audience for our program includes working professionals who are eager to earn their MSW degree but because of life circumstances, such as job location and family obligations, are unable to shift busy schedules or responsibilities to complete graduate school. So, if having the option to choose where and when you learn, especially while managing a family and/or job is crucial for you, then an online MSW degree is likely a good fit!

  • Because earning a degree from a Top 10 School of Social Work that is rigorous and rewarding matters to you. As a Research 1 institution, UNC attracts world-class faculty and students. You’ll be challenged and inspired at UNC!
  • Course content for the online MSW mirrors our on-campus programs and is developed by and delivered by the School’s very own faculty – world-class scholars committed to preparing the next generation of social work practitioners, researchers, management and nonprofit leaders, and system-level changemakers.
  • UNC’s online MSW program offers students numerous activities and opportunities to engage with and build community with their peers as well as additional support to ensure student success.
  • Affordability – The best possible education should not come with a load of debt. UNC School of Social Work tuition and fees are significantly lower than many other top graduate schools across the country.
  • Students who complete the online MSW program will be able to enroll in the coursework needed to help them successfully complete the licensing exam for clinical social work practice and advanced macro practice.

Applicants to the UNC School of Social Work must submit their applications through The Graduate School. You must  complete the application process  through The Graduate School to be considered for admission to all of our degree programs. Requirements for the statement of purpose guidelines, letters of recommendation, and more application details can be found on the  UNC School of Social Work  and The Graduate School application site. The new Online MSW program is accepting applications through 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 7 for the program beginning August 26, 2024.

No, you do not need social work experience to apply. However, we do prefer applicants who have volunteer experience in a social work-related field.

Yes! Our School hosts general information sessions throughout the year for each of our MSW programs. In addition to meeting some of our faculty, staff and students, these sessions provide potential applicants with an overview of the application process. You’ll also learn about our coursework, practicum placements, financial aid, and more. Each information session includes a formal presentation and plenty of opportunities for Q&As.

Although applicants are not required to attend an info session, we strongly recommend that you do. We are currently offering the following virtual information sessions:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, 6 p.m.–7 p.m. (Online MSW Info)
  • Monday, Mar. 4, 2024, 5:30 p.m.–7 p.m. (General Info)
  • Friday, Mar. 8, 2024, 1 p.m.–3 p.m. (General Info)

At this time, an online advanced standing option is not available.

No. The online MSW program is specifically developed to meet the needs of students who are unable to attend graduate school on campus.

Absolutely! The online MSW is designed for students who need the flexibility to juggle work and family obligations. You complete weekly coursework when it is more convenient for you.

No. The only transferable credits for the Online MSW are approved graduate level courses.

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AATBS is approved for psychology continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists

Social Work CE Courses

Social Work

AATBS is an approved provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program.

AATBS is approved for MFT continuing education by the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to sponsor continuing education for therapists.

AATBS is an approved provider for counseling continuing education by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).

AATBS is a BACB approved continuing education (ACE) provider, OP-20-3284. All BCBA CEUs earned by attendees at AATBS events are Learning-type CEUs (Type II) and designed to support the professional development of Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts.

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School of Social Work

Professional development and continuing education.

Welcome to the professional development and continuing education program offered by the Howard University School of Social Work. Tailored for social workers, human service agents, and professionals in allied fields, our training and certificate programs are designed to equip you with the latest knowledge and essential skills crucial for excelling in your career and effecting positive change. Our mission is to address your professional development and career advancement aspirations through continuing education initiatives, enhancing your capacity to confront issues plaguing our society and to empower, uplift, and strengthen the communities in which we serve. 

Our Programs:

  • Continuing Education Workshops: We offer a variety of workshops through the year on topics such as cultural competence, trauma-informed care, ethics, health and wellness, gerontology, technological advancement and more.  
  • Certificate Programs: Our certificate program is tailored for emerging leaders and professionals seeking diverse perspectives and innovative strategies to leadership in the human service and non-profit sectors.  
  • Customized Training: We also work with organizations to develop customized training programs tailored to their specific needs and goals.
  • Expert Faculty: Learn from experienced faculty and professionals in the field of social work that are committed to your professional growth.  
  • Continuing Education Credit: Earn CE credit and maintain your professional licensure while enhancing your skills and knowledge.  
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with fellow professionals and expand your network through our professional development courses and/or certificate programs.

For more information contact:

Kathelon Toliver, Director of Community Engagement and Strategic Planning Email: [email protected] Phone: 202-250-5046 Office hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET

Professional Development Courses

Narrative healing: empowerment through storytelling.

Narrative Healing: Empowerment Through Storytelling , at the  Howard University School of Social Work (Virtual Session)  on  Thu Mar 21, 2024  at  10:00 AM .

Join us for a professional development course presented in collaboration with Presidential Consultants, the Danya Institute, and Howard University School of Social Work. Gain a holistic understanding of the lived experience narrative and learn to harness its transformative potential. Explore how stories drive community dynamics and develop the skills to connect deeply, promote mental well-being, and foster resilience in the communities we serve. Don't miss this opportunity to enhance your professional practice and create a meaningful impact through the personal narrative. (2 CE Credits)

FREE Event- in Celebration of Social Work Month $25 for CEU Certificates

Facilitator(s) :

Kami J. Anderson, Ph.D., Director of Learning Design and Senior Trainer, Presidential Consultants

Deborah Nixon Hughes, LCSW-C, Project Director, Central East Technology Transfer Center (PTTC), The Danya Institute

Behavioral Health in the Black Community: A Strength-Based Perspective

Behavioral Health in the Black Community: A Strengths Based Perspective , at the Howard University School of Social Work (Virtual Session) on Thu April 18, 2024 at 10:00 AM .

Join us for Behavioral Health in the Black Community: A Strengths-based Perspective, a comprehensive overview of the resilience of Black people against institutionalized racism and social constructs designed to upend their mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. We will explore the best practices and innovative approaches utilized by healthcare professionals who treat patients from black and other marginalized communities of color. We will examine the vital role of family & community in shaping racial identity. We will look at the historical role of the Black Church and its inherent strengths offered to the community it serves. Finally, we will explore ways in which the Black community is returning to its roots by integrating a holistic, Afro-centric health approach to self-care. (2 CE Credits)

Promo Code: COMMUNITY 25% off Registration 3/4-3/18

Facilitator: Toni Cole, DBH, LCSW, MSW CEO, Behavioral Health Solutions 360, Inc.

Certificate Programs

Fred taylor "roll away the stone" leadership certificate.

Are you ready to ignite your passion for change in the human service or non-profit sector? We invite you to enroll in the Fred Taylor "Roll Away the Stone" Leadership Certificate program to elevate your leadership style and lead with greater purpose! Our program, in partnership with Kusi Global Inc., goes beyond conventional leadership programs, providing you with a holistic understanding of leadership that integrates the pillars of the Black Perspective. Enroll now and gain insights and learn innovative approaches on how to better serve marginalized communities. Let's roll away the stone together and take the first step towards leadership transformation. 

Program Benefits:

  • Tailored for Emerging Leaders:  Whether you're a seasoned professional or just stepping into your new leadership role, our program is designed to meet you at your level and propel you toward success.   
  • Engaging and Interactive sessions: Say goodbye to passive learning! Dive into dynamic discussions, interactive exercises, and real-world case studies that will broaden your perspectives and inspire innovative solution.   
  • Personalized Coaching:  Receive one-on-one guidance from experienced coaches dedicated to unlocking your full potential. Harness the power of diversity and inclusivity to become a more effective and empathetic leaders.   
  • Global Perspectives :  Leadership knows no bounds: Engage with peers from diverse backgrounds and industries and gain access to a wealth of resources that will empower you to deepen your knowledge, broaden your perspective, and stay abreast of emerging trends and best practices. 

Professional Development Training Cost

Application for ce units and co-sponsorship.

Looking for a co-sponsor? The School of Social Work offers continuing education certificates and evaluations to programs that meet the eligibility standards established by the DC Board of Social Work. For more information, please contact [email protected] or submit application. 

Call for Presenters

We are actively seeking dynamic speakers to contribute their expertise and knowledge to our professional development course offerings. We offer courses through a strength-based lens and offer a range of topics in technology, environmental justice, ethics, political considerations, health and wellness, gun violence, gerontology, informed-trauma, and more to support the social work profession. If you are interested in leading and/or facilitating a training, please contact [email protected] or submit application to provide your credentials and interests. 

Join Our Mailing List

Join our mailing list to receive exclusive updates on our latest professional development course offerings. 

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CSU’s Online Programs

Cleveland State University (CSU) is nationally recognized by esteemed organizations. Our online programs provide the flexibility you need with curriculum rigor and ongoing support in tandem with dedicated faculty and experiential learning opportunities. Our online programs are offered primarily in asynchronous formats, so you don't have to put your personal and professional life on hold while developing your career to its fullest potential. With world-class partners in healthcare, the arts and other industries, CSU shares knowledge, research and resources to make a positive and meaningful difference.

Nursing Programs

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Make a Difference as an RN

Leverage your bachelor’s degree in any field and prepare to become a nurse through our affordable, fast-paced degree pathway.

  • 69 credit hours 
  • 778 clinical hours and 145 lab hours
  • Two residencies 
  • Two intakes per year (Spring & Fall) 
  • 16 months/four semesters (full-time) 
  • CCNE accredited 
  • Bachelor’s degree 
  • 2.50 cumulative GPA, 3.0 prerequisite GPA 
  • Prerequisite courses 
  • Two letters of recommendation  
  • Transcripts

Next application deadline: July 30, 2024 

Next start date: August 24, 2024 

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Provide Compassionate Primary Care

Prepare as an advanced practice registered nurse to provide care across the lifespan.

  • 47 credit hours 
  • 780 clinical hours 
  • One residency 
  • Three intakes per year (Fall, Spring, Summer) 
  • Two years/six semesters (full-time) 
  • BSN degree 
  • Statistics – Grade of C or better, undergraduate or graduate level 
  • Active RN license – unencumbered  
  • Personal essay 
  • Letter of recommendation (no personal references) 
  • Transcripts  

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Advocate for Populations in Need

Expand your nursing skills to specialize in the mental health care and well-being of patients of all ages.

  • 48 credit hours 
  • Personal essay  
  • Letter of recommendation (no personal references)
  • Transcripts 

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Influence Patient Outcomes

Become an effective leader in clinical settings and ensure patients benefit from the latest innovations in care delivery across the continuum.

  • 32 online credit hours
  • 500 practicum hours
  • Fall intake
  • 1 year and 7 months/5 semesters (part-time)
  • CCNE accredited
  • Undergraduate statistics course (C or better)
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Active RN license
  • Transcripts  

Next application deadline: July 30, 2024

Next start date: August 24, 2024

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Advocate in Medico-Legal Cases

Combine your nursing skills with forensic science to promote recovery, health and justice in a caring and compassionate way.

  • 38 online credit hours
  • 2 years/6 semesters (part-time)

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Lead Beyond the Bedside

Establish yourself as an accomplished educator and influence new generations of nurses through effective teaching methods.

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Care for Diverse Populations

Concentrate your career on the health needs of a defined population and use best practices and evidence-based research to improve outcomes.

  • 35 online credit hours

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Shortest Advanced Standing Pathway in Ohio

Balance your professional and personal life as you earn your degree part-time. Choose from clinical or advanced generalist specializations.

  • 30 online credit hours
  • 500 field practicum hours
  • 3 intakes per year
  • 4 to 5 semesters/1 year and 3 months to 1 year and 7 months (part-time)
  • 2 to 4 semesters/7 months to 1 year and 3 months (full-time)
  • CSWE accredited
  • Bachelor of Social Work (from a CSWE-accredited program within the last 7 years)
  • 2.75 cumulative GPA 
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework 
  • Copies of BSW field evaluations

Next application deadline: December 19, 2023

Next start date: January 13, 2024

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Serve Your Community

Start a rewarding new career in social work. Choose from clinical or advanced generalist specializations.

  • 60 online credit hours 
  • 900 field practicum hours
  • 5 to 6 semesters/1 year and 7 months to 2 years (full-time)
  • 8 to 10 semesters/2 years and 7 months to 3 years and 3 months (part-time)
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework 

Law Program

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Learn Law. Live Justice.

Expand your skill set as a lawyer or fulfill your goal of becoming an attorney to advocate for others with this affordable part-time program.

  • 90 online credit hours
  • Ample experiential learning opportunities
  • In as little as 3 years and 3 months/10 semesters (part-time)
  • ABA accredited
  • Final transcript showing degree conferral to the Law School Admissions Council’s Credential Assembly Service (LCAS)
  • LSAT or GRE score
  • Personal statement

Accepting applications for Fall 2024 Start date: August 16, 2024

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Dedicated student support.

A CSU enrollment advisor can answer your questions and guide you through the application process. Click the button below to fill out a form and start the conversation.

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Red Cross CNA & NAT Training Classes

After careful consideration, the American Red Cross has decided to discontinue its Nurse Assistant Training (NAT) program. No Red Cross NAT course will be scheduled after December 31, 2023. However, we still have helpful information to share, as well as other Red Cross training opportunities to offer, that will enhance your career in this growing healthcare field!

Read on to learn valuable information about different CNA certification programs and requirements, as well as helpful career information like common CNA tasks, salary, job outlook, and more.

What is a CNA?

A CNA, or Certified Nursing Assistant, works in a healthcare setting to provide basic care to patients. Sometimes referred to as a nursing assistant or nurse's aide, a CNA works under the direction of a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN) and is trained to help patients with daily tasks like bathing and dressing, as well as checking patient vital signs, and beyond.

How Do You Become a CNA?

To become a CNA, you will normally need to complete a state-approved training course and pass the state certification exam that includes both a written section, and a hands-on competency skills section. You can check training eligibility requirements, such as minimum age or education, with the agency regulating this training in your state. Note that individual training programs may have additional requirements. Once you’ve completed training and pass the CNA certification exam, you can then be placed on your state’s nurse aide registry.

Where Does a CNA Work?

CNAs can work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospices, and home care.

What Does a CNA Do?

While it depends on the healthcare setting you choose, CNAs provide comfort and care to patients who have an illness, injury, or disability—or who just need extra help caring for themselves. Some common responsibilities, depending on the setting, may include:

  • Dressing, bathing, grooming, feeding, and toileting
  • Taking vital signs
  • Infection control
  • Turning/repositioning in bed
  • Responding to patient calls
  • Assisting with range-of-motion exercises
  • Preparing rooms for new patients, and more

What's the Difference Between a CNA, Medical Assistant (MA), and LPN?

While CNAs, MAs, and LPNs all provide care and work in a healthcare setting, there are key differences in the tasks they can perform, as well as the training and level of expertise required:

  • CNAs. As mentioned above, CNAs work under LPNs and/or RNs to assist the nurses in providing care to a patient. The required training for CNAs can be completed in weeks.
  • LPNs/LVNs. Offering a higher level of care than CNAs, LPNs are the only ones in this group that can be called "nurses". They have more autonomy than CNAs, although they still work under the supervision of RNs and doctors. They help with tasks that go beyond basic care, including administering injections/first aid, assisting with minor surgeries, updating health records, and more. Because of this, LPNs require more education and training (1-2 years), and they also tend to have higher salaries.
  • Medical Assistants (MA). While CNAs work under the supervision of nurses, and LPNs under the direction of both doctors and nurses, MAs work solely under the supervision of a physician and mostly in outpatient settings, like private doctor's offices or outpatient care centers. They administer medications, take/record vital signs, give immunizations and breathing treatments and, in some cases, help with minor in-office procedures. Like LPNs, MAs require more training than CNAs (9 months-2 years).

Choosing a CNA Program

Be sure to do some research before you decide on the right CNA program for you. In most states there are many options for CNA training, including independent training schools and community colleges. Some facilities such as nursing homes, hospitals and home health agencies will offer training to staff or prospective employees. While federal requirements are the same, it's important to note that admission, curriculum, and certification requirements will differ depending on the state you live in. You can check with your state to learn about these requirements and to verify that a program is state-approved.

Many states have additional program information available, such as state certification exam pass rates or any regulatory action that has been taken. After you've done your initial research, your decision will come down to personal issues like cost, location, length of program, and whether the courses are offered at a convenient time.

CNA Salaries, Career Growth, and Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook is bright for CNAs. Overall employment is expected to grow four percent between now and 2032. That means there will be 210,000 openings each year over the next decade. While salaries will vary depending on where you live and the type of facility you work in, the median salary for CNAs in the U.S. is $35,760 (as of May 2022*).

Boost Your Skillset with BLS and CPR Training

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Basic Life Support (BLS) training gives you the skills you need to respond to emergencies in a healthcare setting, and it also looks good on a resume! Find your class and sign up today.

For more than a century, the Red Cross has prepared people to respond to emergencies of all sizes, from the everyday to the large disaster. Join the millions we train every year and learn the skills that can save a life.

*Source: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm

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    To become a CNA, you will normally need to complete a state-approved training course and pass the state certification exam that includes both a written section, and a hands-on competency skills section. You can check training eligibility requirements, such as minimum age or education, with the agency regulating this training in your state.

  27. Employee Training: What It Is and Why It's Important

    Development is more of a long-term, multi-layered approach. For example, getting a new tablet in the office and teaching your employees the basics of how to use it is employee training. Sending an employee to take an online course or earn a certification to enhance their current skills is more along the lines of employee development.