As the demand for qualified professionals in social work continues to rise, prospective students are increasingly turning their attention to Master of Social Work (MSW) programs to equip themselves with the necessary skills and knowledge for a rewarding career in the field. In the picturesque state of Rhode Island, a cluster of esteemed universities offer comprehensive MSW programs tailored to meet the evolving needs of aspiring social workers and their communities.

From Providence to Newport, these programs provide rigorous academic training, foster hands-on experience, and deepen students’ understanding of the unique challenges facing individuals and families in the region. Whether students aim to specialize in clinical practice, community development, or policy advocacy, Rhode Island’s MSW programs stand ready to cultivate the next generation of compassionate and competent social work professionals.

MSW Degree Program Requirements/Eligibility in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Traditional MSW Admissions Requirements

Students without a social work background will need to enroll in a traditional MSW program. These types of programs take about two years and 60 credits to finish. Every school is different in terms of admissions requirements, but in general, you will 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

Rhode Island Advanced-Standing MSW Admissions Requirements

You’ll be eligible to apply for advanced-standing if you have already completed a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree with a GPA of 3.5 or above. Students enrolled in an advanced-standing MSW program can expect to graduate two times faster. To apply, you’ll need all of the documents listed above. Currently, the only advanced-standing MSW program available in Rhode Island is the one offered at Rhode Island College, but plenty more are available online or in neighboring states.

RELATED: Learn more about Social Work Salaries

Rhode Island MSW Program Tuition and Costs

If you’re set on graduating from a Rhode Island MSW program, calculating your costs will be pretty straightforward as there’s only one MSW program in the state–Rhode Island College. At 62 credits and $510 to $993 per credit, you can expect to pay anywhere between $31,620 and $61,566, depending on where you reside. If you’re based in Rhode Island already, you’ll pay on the lower end of the scale, but if you’re based in another state (other than a New England state), you’ll pay a bit more. If you are based in New England, you can enroll in Rhode Island College’s MSW program for $765 per credit.

Are Online MSW Programs in Rhodes Island as Good as Campus-Based?

Online MSW programs are great for students trying to balance their work and social lives, but there are still plenty of reasons why an MSW student may want to stick to on-campus programs. Both options will offer the same comprehensive coursework delivered by dedicated faculty and staff. Take a look at the comparisons below.

Traditional MSW vs. Online MSW Programs in Rhode Island

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

To make sure your MSW program is accredited, look for the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) seal on all program websites you apply to. This ensures that you’ll be ready for licensure after graduation.

Learn more about Social Work Degree options:

Getting Your Rhode Island Social Work License

To get licensed in Rhode Island, you’ll have to get familiar with the state-specific requirements set forth by the Board of Social Work. Each state has different requirements and procedures for obtaining a social work license, so it’s important to make sure you understand what will be needed in Rhode Island. Find out more in our Guide to Social Work Licensure.

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 Rhode Island

Providence, RI

Master's Programs
600 Mount Pleasant Ave
Providence, RI 02908
(401) 456-8000

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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