Cleveland, Ohio, USA skyline on the Cuyahoga River in autumn.

Case Western Reserve University University Online Master of Social Work, Ohio

Why Case Western Reserve University?

Case Western Reserve University recruits students to its online Master of Social Work degree.  Case Western Reserve University,  a medium-sized private research university in Cleveland, Ohio, accepts applicants with an undergraduate degree in any subject.  

Standardized test scores are not required, and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.7  is expected.  

Program Snapshot

University Name Case Western Reserve University
Location Cleveland
State Ohio Grade A+
Name of Degree Online Social Work at CWRU
School or Department Administering Program Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences
Credits 60
Cost per credit $1,590.00
Tuition for Entire Program $95,400
Test Requirements No
Minimum GPA 2.7
Prerequisite Courses and Skills none
Campus Visit Required? No Visit Required
Typical Time to Complete 2.5 years
When Can Students Start the Program? Fall, Spring and Summer
Program Concentrations Children, Youth and Families; Mental Health with Adults; Community Practice for Social Change
Synchronous Classes Yes
Required Courses
  • Change Agent Intensive
  • Foundations of Social Policy and Service Delivery
  • Theories of Human Development and Human Diversity
  • Community Theory & Practice
  • Individual Theory & Practice
  • Group Theory & Practice
  • Family Theory & Practice
  • Evidence-Informed Practice
  • Field Education: Organizational Theory & Practice Seminar
  • Evaluating Programs and Practice
  • Assessing and Engaging Community for Social Change
  • Problem Identification, Screening & Assessment/Diagnosis
  • Theory/Practice Approaches in Direct Practice Social Work
Does the Program Include a Capstone? No
Does the Program Include a Practicum or Internship? Yes
Other Features that Make the Program Unique Change Agent Intensive (CHAI) visit to campus for immersion into program and profession, especially ethical aspects, within the context of the greater Clevaldn community
Program Objectives (quoted directly from the program) Identify as a reflective professional social worker; Advocate for social, economic and environmental justice; Apply social work practice methods; Uphold social work values and ethics; Integrate cultural, economic and global diversity in your work; Think critically about theory and research knowledge Communicate effectively; Develop as a social work leader
Program Description This 60-credit program prepares students to be reflective, community-based practitioners serving within a social justice framework. A capstone is not required but all students must complete a practicum and attend a week-long orientation and intensive learning session at the beginning of their program. 

What will I Learn?

Graduates of the CWRU program identify as reflective professional social workers who are equipped to advocate for social, economic and environmental justice. They learn to apply social work practice methods, uphold social work values and ethics, and integrate cultural, economic and global diversity in their work. The CWRU graduate can think critically about theory and research knowledge and communicate effectively while developing as a social work leader.

Following the week-long Change Agent Intensive course, students proceed to a required course in Foundations of Social Policy and Service Delivery and a course in Theories of Human Development and Human Diversity. They dig deeper into the day-to-day practice of social work in courses in Community Theory & Practice, Individual Theory & Practice,  Group Theory & Practice and Family Theory & Practice. The key role of research and evidence in the profession are taught in Evidence-Informed Practice, Evaluating Programs and Practice, and Assessing and Engaging Community for Social Change. The practicum experience is accompanied by required Field Education courses. Clinical skills are taught in Problem Identification, Screening & Assessment/Diagnosis, and Theory/Practice Approaches in Direct Practice Social Work.  

How much will the program cost?

Students finish their degree within 2.5 years and pay $1,590.00 per credit for a total of 60 credits, or $95,400 in total.

How does the program fit into my life?

Courses are synchronous, meaning that students attend “live” class sessions online each week at a scheduled time.  Students are required to visit campus at the beginning of the program for the Change Agent Intensive program, an in-person orientation learning experience for students to engage with faculty and their peers to examine ethics and social problems central to social work. CHAI introduces the values and ethics that guide the social work profession, and the dilemmas that social work professionals face. This course centers the learning experience within the context of greater Cleveland. Students can begin the program in Fall, Spring or Summer but they must spend the first week of their first Fall semester in Cleveland. Most students complete the program within 2.5 years.


Offering a distinctive Cleveland-based week-long orientation session at the beginning of the program, Case Western Reserve University’s online Master of Social Work degree emphasizes the importance of community integration and peer connections throughout the curriculum. Classes are offered synchronously to build relationships with instructors and classmates. The program is a higher-cost option, but the advantages of CWRU may outweigh the additional cost for many applicants. Additional funding may be available from this prestigious private university.