Master's Degrees in Social Work in Florida

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Updated January 4, 2023

Looking for the best Master's Degree in Social Work (MSW) in Florida? You should consider these top-tier institutions and jobs in the social work field.

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Master's Degrees in Social Work in Florida

Earning a Master's Degree in Social Work in Florida

The best degree in Florida for social work is the one that gives you the opportunity to use your skills and passions to the fullest extent possible. You can apply for diverse career opportunities with a master's degree. Graduates with a master's degree can move into advanced roles.

The rate of unemployment for those who graduate from a master's program is 2.6%, while those who hold a high school diploma is 6.2%.

Social Work Master's Programs For You

Working and Living in Florida in the Social Work Profession

A social work degree can provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to enter into a career helping others. Social work programs typically cover topics such as human behavior, social welfare policy, and research methods. Students in a social work program may also take courses in psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Graduates with a social work degree may find employment in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, schools, mental health clinics, and community organizations. Social workers may also find jobs in the government or private sector.

The state's average annual wage is $37,920, or $18.23 per hour. This number includes a total of 8,605,610 employees from the state. The BLS reports that the lowest 10% of earners in the state make around $22,720 annually, and the highest 10% of earners make around $96,380 annually. A comparison of the earnings for social workers in Florida is offered below.

Key

Social Workers in Florida
Social Workers Nationally
All Occupations in Florida
All Occupations Nationally

Social Work Careers and Salaries in Florida

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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MERIC's cost of living index ranks Florida number 31 out of 51 states (including Washington D.C.). Cost of living indexes measure the average cost of living in specific geographic areas of the country. The U.S. average is measured as 100, and all locations in the U.S. are either above (more expensive) or below (less expensive) that average. The cost of living index for Florida is 103, which is 3% higher than the national average. The following table shows the average cost of groceries, housing, utilities, etc. in Florida compared to the average cost in the rest of the country.

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Source: Missouri Research and Information Center
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The social worker profession is projected to grow at a rate of 5.8% over the next decade. There is a projected change from 71,400 in 2020 to 75,500 in 2030 for the BLS. Typically, a master's degree is required for these positions. The most common job titles are:

Master's Degrees in Social Work in Florida

#1 Master’s Degrees in Social Work in Florida

University of Central Florida

  • Orlando, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Graduate students interested in a master's in social work can earn their degree from the University of Central Florida, located in Orlando. The MSW program emphasizes advanced practice skills, training graduates for leadership roles and an increased earning potential. A master's degree can also prepare candidates for opportunities in new fields.

The master's curriculum explores theoretical and practical perspectives in the social work field. Learners prepare for focused career paths by choosing electives and concentrations. Applicants without a background in social work may need to complete prerequisite courses before enrolling in the master's program.

Online enrollees coordinate with the program to complete internships at approved sites in their local area. Those who attend on campus can enjoy the common amenities and facilities available at most institutions, such as a library and gym. Graduate students grow their professional connections through internships and virtual networking events.

University of Central Florida at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 44%

Total Online Master's Programs: 26

Program Name: Master of social work

Graduate Tuition In State: $6,916

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $25,759

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,478
Out-of-state
$19,810
Retention Rate
92%
Admission Rate
45%
Students Enrolled
71,881
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
96% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Master’s Degrees in Social Work in Florida

University of South Florida

  • Tampa, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of South Florida, located in Tampa, offers a flexible online master of social work. The MSW program helps graduates move into leadership roles and increase their earning potential. With a master's degree, candidates also pursue new career opportunities.

The master's curriculum explores advanced methodologies and research in social work. Learners focus their training by choosing electives based on their interests and career goals. Applicants with prior experience in social work or a related field often meet the admission requirements.

Online enrollees complete internships in their local community to gain real-world experience. Students who attend on campus can access the library and gym, as well as other amenities and facilities available at most institutions. Graduate students expand their professional connections by attending virtual networking events.

University of South Florida at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 48%

Total Online Master's Programs: 27

Program Name: Master of social work

Graduate Tuition In State: $8,350

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,048

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,559
Out-of-state
$15,473
Retention Rate
92%
Admission Rate
49%
Students Enrolled
50,626
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
90% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Master’s Degrees in Social Work in Florida

The University of West Florida

  • Pensacola, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online master of social work program, offered by The University of West Florida from its Pensacola campus, ranks as a top program. The MSW program helps graduates move into leadership roles and increase their earning potential. Earning a master's degree can also help candidates pursue new career opportunities.

The master's curriculum emphasizes current research in social work. Learners prepare for focused career paths by choosing electives and concentrations. The program recommends that applicants bring a background in social work or a related field.

Online enrollees add to their resume by pursuing internship opportunities at approved locations in their area. On-campus students have access to the library and gymnasium, as well as other equipment and facilities available at most institutions. The program encourages graduate students to expand their professional connections through internships and networking events.

The University of West Florida at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 31%

Total Online Master's Programs: 15

Program Name: Master of social work

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,088

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $22,166

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,735
Out-of-state
$16,004
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
13,061
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
97% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Master’s Degrees in Social Work in Florida

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in Miami, Florida International University offers an online master of social work. The MSW program emphasizes advanced practice skills, training graduates for leadership roles and an increased earning potential. After completing a master's degree, candidates pursue career advancement in their current field or a new one.

The master's curriculum emphasizes the best practices in social work. Learners focus the program with electives or a concentration. Applicants without a degree in social work or a related field may need to meet prerequisite requirements to enroll in the program.

Online enrollees gain real-world experience through internships offered in their local area. On-campus students have access to the library and gymnasium, as well as other equipment and facilities available at most institutions. Internships and other practicum activities also provide professional networking opportunities.

Florida International University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 58%

Total Online Master's Programs: 31

Program Name: Master of social work

Graduate Tuition In State: $8,912

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $21,393

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,721
Out-of-state
$16,529
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
58,836
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
86% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Master’s Degrees in Social Work in Florida

Southeastern University

  • Lakeland, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in Lakeland, Florida, Southeastern University hosts a top-ranked MSW program. The master of social work program builds specialized skills for leadership roles in the social work field and related industries. A master's degree helps candidates advance in their current field or pursue a new career path.

The master's curriculum incorporates theoretical and applied approaches to social work. Learners individualize the course of study by selecting electives and concentrations. The program encourages applicants to gain experience in social work before applying to the program.

Online enrollees complete internship requirements at approved sites in their own community. Students who attend on campus can access the library and gym, as well as other amenities and facilities available at most institutions. Graduate students expand their professional connections by attending virtual networking events.

Southeastern University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Admission Rate: 48%

Total Online Master's Programs: 4

Program Name: Master of social work

Graduate Tuition In State: $12,810

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $12,810

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,520
Out-of-state
$26,520
Retention Rate
66%
Admission Rate
43%
Students Enrolled
9,546
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Financing a Master's Degree in Social Work

Financial aid is available to assist with the cost of attending college. Financial aid comes in many forms, such as scholarships, grants, fellowships, and work-study programs. Students may also qualify for federal and private student loans. You should research the colleges you are interested in and find out what kinds of they offer to their students.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in Florida

Depending on the institution, tuition and other costs in Florida may vary, but public and private institutions share some similarities. You can determine whether attending a public institution is the right choice by reviewing the information listed below.

Public 4-Year School Tuition Rates: Florida vs. National Average

Key

Florida
National Average

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The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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Have you ever considered attending a private college or university? As a general rule, private schools charge more. In the graph below, we provide information about attending private colleges in the state of Florida.

Private 4-Year School Tuition Rates: Florida vs. National Average

Key

Florida
National Average

Chart

Bar chart with 5 bars.
The chart has 1 X axis displaying salary types.
The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
End of interactive chart.

Federal Student Loan Information

Do you plan to take out student loans to fund your degree? You should keep in mind a number of factors before committing to a loan.

You can determine what students typically borrow by looking at the data below:

Undergraduate Federal Loans
Demographic Percent who borrowed Amount borrowed
Total 66.6% $27,400
Female 69.6% $28,100
Male 62.5% $26,500
White, not Hispanic or Latino 66.1% $26,700
Black, not Hispanic or Latino 85.7% $34,800
Hispanic or Latino/a, of any race 67.7% $25,700
Asian, not Hispanic or Latino 43% $22,700
Other or Two or more races, not Hispanic or Latino 70.4% $28,300
Source: NCES

Online vs. On-Campus

Pros and Cons: Online Degrees

Pros

  • Cheaper tuition
  • Flexible, asynchronous classwork
  • No on-campus fees for parking, tech, etc.

Cons

  • Less structure
  • Minimal peer-to-peer interaction
  • Less facetime with professor
  • No access to on-campus amenities

Pros and Cons: On-Campus Degrees

Pros

  • Gym, library, etc. access
  • Smaller class options
  • Face time with peers and professors

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Transportation or housing costs
  • Rigid scheduling
The main differences between an online degree and a degree completed on campus are the class size and cost. The advantage of online degree programs is that they are flexible, affordable, and convenient. There is usually a higher cost associated with on-campus degrees, where student fees are optional. In spite of this, there are some benefits to attending classes on a regular basis.

Top Social Work Degree Options Available by State
State Degree Level
California Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Florida Bachelors, Doctorate
Georgia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Illinois Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
New York Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
North Carolina Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Pennsylvania Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Texas Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Virginia Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Washington Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate

Private vs. Public

There are a number of differences between public and private colleges. Generally, public colleges charge lower tuition fees than private universities. Students at public schools can also use grants and scholarships to lower their educational costs. At private schools, merit scholarships are often available to students with high academic performance.

Privately owned universities often have smaller class sizes. This benefits students who want more individualized attention from professors. There are several pros and cons to attending a private institution over a public institution.

Pros and Cons

Private

  • Unique program offerings
  • Cultural or religious options
  • Local prestige
  • Higher costs
  • Less regulatory oversight

Public

  • Government-issued tuition costs
  • Government funding, benefits, and regulation
  • Oftentimes large classrooms

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the mean salary for social workers in the state of Florida?

Social workers make a mean annual salary of $55,270 in-state.

Are social work majors in high demand or not?

The total number of social workers is expected to change by 5.8% from 2020 to 2030.

Can you earn a master's in social work online?

A master's degree in social work is a great way to prepare for the workforce. In today's environment, most schools offer a certain amount of online instruction as a matter of fact.

In order to complete a master's degree, how long does it take?

Students who wish to complete a master's degree within two years are typically able to do so. The completion time will be longer for part-time students.

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