Arkansas boasts a diverse landscape of Master of Social Work (MSW) programs, each offering unique opportunities for aspiring social work professionals. From bustling urban centers to tranquil rural communities, the state’s MSW programs cater to a spectrum of interests and career paths within the field of social work. As Arkansas grapples with evolving social challenges, these programs stand as pillars of education, equipping students with the knowledge, skills, and empathy necessary to address the complex needs of individuals and communities across the state. Below, we explore the landscape of MSW programs in Arkansas, highlighting their distinguishing features, academic rigor, and what you can expect in the application process.

MSW Degree Program Requirements/Eligibility in Arkansas

Arkansas Traditional MSW Admissions Requirements

To complete an MSW in Arkansas, you must commit two years and complete an average of 60 credits to graduate. Most students entering a traditional MSW program don’t already have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). To be eligible to apply for this type of program, you’ll need:

  • Bachelor’s degree, typically in psychology or a related area, from a regionally accredited institution
  • Minimum GPA requirement (typically around 3.0)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement or essay
  • Resume or CV outlining relevant experience
  • Completion of prerequisite courses (such as psychology, sociology, or human services)
  • GRE scores (some programs may waive this requirement)
  • Interview (some programs may require an interview as part of the application process)
  • Background check and/or fingerprinting

Arkansas Advanced-Standing MSW Admissions Requirements

Advanced-standing MSW programs are geared towards students who already have a BSW, thus allowing them to complete their MSW in a shorter amount of time (typically one year). Apart from this requirement and the ones listed above, you’ll also need to maintain a GPA of at least 3.5.

The Advanced-Standing MSW degree typically requires around 38 credits and takes approximately one year to complete. Examples of Advanced-Standing MSW programs in Arkansas include:

RELATED: Learn more about Social Work Salaries

Arkansas MSW Program Tuition and Costs

As you can see below, the tuition costs for MSW programs in Arkansas greatly depend on whether you are a resident of Arkansas, another state, or an online student. On average, you’ll pay a total tuition cost of $32,820. Currently, these are the only two MSW programs available in the state:

SchoolTuition (per credit hour)Total CreditsTotal Tuition
Arkansas State University$340 (Online)63$21,420 (Online)
University of Arkansas$396 (Online)
$325 (Resident)
$737 (Nonresident)
60$23,760 (Online
$19,500 (Resident)
$44,220 (Nonresident)

Are Online MSW Programs in Arkansas as Good as Campus-Based?

An online MSW program won’t always be the right choice for everyone, but it does offer a lot of flexibility. Find out if an online MSW suits you by looking at the table below.

Traditional MSW vs. Online MSW Programs in Arkansas

Traditional MSW ProgramsOnline MSW Programs
FormatIn-person classesOnline classes with some in-person requirements
FlexibilityLimited scheduling optionsMore flexibility in scheduling, often part-time options
LocationGeographically limitedAccessible from anywhere with internet connectivity
Learning EnvironmentClassroom-basedVirtual classroom, discussion boards, and online resources
NetworkingLocal networking opportunitiesNetworking with students and professionals from diverse locations
CostTuition, commuting, and relocation expensesGenerally lower tuition and flexibility to continue working
Hands-on ExperienceField placements and internshipsVirtual or field placements and internships arranged in the student's local area

When researching MSW programs, ensure the programs you apply to are accredited by Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This ensures that you meet all of the necessary licensure requirements upon graduation.

Learn more about Social Work Degree Options:

Getting Your Arkansas Social Work License

Each state has different licensure requirements, but regardless of the requirements, you’ll need to apply for licensure once you graduate. Learn more about how to get your social worker license in Arkansas.

Popular Social Work Careers

Discover the specializations available to you within social work. These social work careers can help you work with diverse populations in a variety of environments.

Social worker talking to clients in their home.

School Social Worker

School social workers provide counseling, support, and advocacy for students facing social, emotional, or behavioral challenges. They collaborate with teachers, parents, and other professionals to develop student success strategies, provide crisis intervention, and facilitate support groups.

Healthcare Social Worker

Healthcare social workers assess patients' social, emotional, and practical needs. They provide counseling and support, coordinate care with healthcare providers, advocate for patients' rights, and connect patients and their families with community resources to ensure holistic and comprehensive care.

Court Social Worker

Court social workers assess the needs of individuals involved in court cases. They develop intervention plans, provide counseling and support, monitor progress in court-ordered programs, collaborate with legal professionals, and advocate for clients' best interests in legal proceedings.

List of MSW Degree Programs in Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR

Master's Programs
Administration Bldg 425
Fayetteville, AR 72701
(479) 575-2000

Jonesboro, AR

2105 E. Aggie Road
Jonesboro, AR 72401
(870) 972-2100

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

Tara Moretti, LMHC
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