As the demand for skilled professionals in social work continues to rise, advanced education becomes increasingly important. In the heart of the United States, Kentucky stands as a beacon for those aspiring to excel in the field of social work. With its diverse communities and unique social challenges, the Bluegrass State offers an array of Master of Social Work (MSW) programs tailored to meet the evolving needs of both students and the communities they serve. From renowned universities to specialized institutions, Kentucky’s MSW programs provide a rich educational landscape where aspiring social workers can cultivate their passion for advocacy and service while making a meaningful impact in their communities.

MSW Degree Program Requirements/Eligibility in Kentucky

Kentucky Traditional MSW Admissions Requirements

Students who do not have a bachelor’s degree in social work will need to enroll in a traditional MSW program. These programs take about two years to complete and have a courseload of 60 credits (give or take). Most typical graduate admissions requirements will apply, including:

  • 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

Kentucky Advanced-Standing MSW Admissions Requirements

If you already have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and a 3.5 GPA, you can apply for advanced-standing MSW programs. These programs allow students to obtain their MSW in as little as one year and have a typical 35-credit courseload. All of the admissions requirements listed above will apply. Below are a few advanced-standing MSW programs available in Kentucky.

RELATED: Learn more about Social Work Salaries

Kentucky MSW Program Tuition and Costs

How much you’ll end up paying for your Kentucky MSW tuition will depend entirely on whether you’re a Kentucky resident and decide to do an online or on-campus program. Take a look at a few examples below:

SchoolTuition (per credit hour)Total CreditsTotal Tuition
University of Kentucky$737 (Online)60$26,476 (Online)
Northern Kentucky University$634 (Online)60$38,045 (Online)
Eastern Kentucky University$41160$24,660

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

Online programs are a great option for MSW students who want flexibility; however, on-campus MSW programs might be ideal for some individuals who want a more intimate learning experience. Check out the full range of variables below.

Traditional MSW vs. Online MSW Programs in Kentucky

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

One of the most important factors to remember when applying for MSW programs in Kentucky is accreditation. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the accrediting body for all MSW programs leading to licensure. Look for the CSWE seal on MSW program websites when applying.

Learn more about Social Work Degree Options:

Getting Your Kentucky Social Work License

Almost all MSW students are undergoing their studies to become licensed. Learn about the Kentucky licensure process in our Guide to Social Work Licensing.

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.

Female social worker talking with elderly female woman

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 Kentucky

Bowling Green, KY

Master's Programs
1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1000
(270) 745-0111

Campbellsville, KY

Master's Programs
1 University Dr
Campbellsville, KY 42718-2799
(270) 789-5000 x5000

Louisville, KY

Master's Programs
901 S Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40203-2188
(502) 585-9911

Master's Programs
2301 S 3rd St
Louisville, KY 40292-0001
(502) 852-5555

Richmond, KY

Master's Programs
521 Lancaster Ave
Richmond, KY 40475-3102
(859) 622-1000

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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