The setting sun illuminates Anchorage and reflects off Cook Inlet

University of Alaska-Anchorage Online Master of Social Work, Alaska

Why University of Alaska – Anchorage?

The online Master of Social Work at the University of Alaska-Anchorage provides social work training to aspiring social service workers throughout America’s largest state. Applicants to this large public research university in Anchorage, Alaska are expected to have completed undergraduate coursework in biology and statistics, but are not required to have completed any specific major.

Standardized test scores are not required, and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.00  is expected.  

Program Snapshot

University Name University of Alaska – Anchorage
Location Anchorage
State Alaska
Niche.com Grade C
Name of Degree Master of Social Work
School or Department Administering Program School of Social Work
Credits 62
Cost per credit $513.00
Tuition for Entire Program $31,806
Test Requirements No
Minimum GPA 3.00
Prerequisite Courses and Skills human biology; statistics
Campus Visit Required? One Visit Each Year
Typical Time to Complete 2-4 years
When Can Students Start the Program? Fall
Program Concentrations Advanced Generalist
Synchronous Classes Yes
Required Courses
  • Social Work Policy and Services
  • Foundation Research Methods
  • Practice I: Individuals
  • Introduction to Practice
  • Practice II: Families and Groups
  • Practice III: Organizations and Communities
  • Human Diversity in Social Work Practice
  • Social Work Practicum I and II
  • Social Policy for Advanced Generalist Practice
  • Program Evaluation
  • Advanced Generalist Practice I: Individuals
  • Advanced Generalist Practice II: Families and Groups
  • Transformational Leadership in Social Work Practice
  • Transformational Leadership Capstone
  • Advanced Generalist Practicum I and II
  • Advanced Generalist Practicum II
Does the Program Include a Capstone? Yes
Does the Program Include a Practicum or Internship? Yes
Other Features that Make the Program Unique emphasis on needs of Alaskan communities; Alaska Interprofessional Distance Learning Consortium; focus on training well-rounded social workers who are equipped to assume multiple roles and responsibilities
Program Objectives Graduates are : leaders who can assume multiple roles in practice; demonstrate values and ethics of the social work profession; demonstrate respect and sensitivity to people from diverse backgrounds; intervene on behalf of people who experience discrimination or who are at risk; conduct research to improve practice; develop and evaluate social policy to promote social justice; participate in planned change using theory and evidence; integrate knowledge into evaluation and assessment processes 
Program Description Training social workers who are equipped as generalist practitioners to serve the needs of Alaskan communities is the goal of the online MSW program at the University of Alaska-Anchorage. Through 62 credits of required coursework, a required internship, and a required Transformational Leadership capstone course, students learn to apply research-based methods and theory to problems of individuals, families, communities and organizations.  Cultural competence, particularly when working with indigenous and other residents of Alaska, is emphasized throughout. 

What will I Learn?

The overall objective of the program is to educate professionals who are equipped to act as independent, competent generalist practitioners. Skills of leadership, ethics, and values are emphasized, as are the particular health and social issues faced by residents of Alaska. Cultural competence is a core value of the program, preparing students to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds, particularly those who are at risk or who face discrimination and injustice. Students learn to conduct research to inform practice and policy, and engage in organizational change, and the development, implementation, and evaluation of social work services in Alaska.

Required courses include Social Work Policy and Services, Research Methods, Social Policy, and Program Evaluation. Students follow a core path of required Practice courses, focusing on services to individuals, families, communities and groups. They also must take a required courses in Transformational Leadership and finish the program with a Transformational Leadership Capstone to consolidate and cement their learning and prepare them for professional practice. Students take required Practicum courses throughout to accompany required workforce experience.

How much will the program cost?

Students finish their degree within 2-4 years and pay $513.00 per credit for a total of 62 credits, or just under $32,000.

How does the program fit into my life?

In comparison to some online master’s programs in social work, the degree offered by the University of Alaska-Anchorage requires more face-to-face learning than average. Classes are taught synchronously, meaning that students log in to the course space at a scheduled time each week for a “live” lecture. Students must visit the Anchorage campus once per year. Most students complete the program in 2-4 years. 

Summary

The University of Alaska-Anchorage online MSW program will likely be most attractive to residents of Alaska seeking the professional education to equip them to work in remote Alaskan communities. The program’s emphasis on serving indigenous and rural communities set it apart. It has less flexibility than some programs, but great opportunities for building community and creating a network of professional peers, through synchronous classes and required campus visits. The program is relatively low-cost. The program equips graduates with best practices to serve Alaska Natives, individuals in LGBTQ2+ communities, people living in poverty, and youth exposed to violence.