University of Louisville Online Master of Social Work, Kentucky

Why University of Louisville?

The online Master of Science in Social Work offered by theUniversity of Louisville invites applications from individuals with a well-rounded undergraduate education who are interested in pursuing a career in social work. The University of Louisville,  a large public research university in Louisville, Kentucky, expects applicants to have completed a minimum of 3 credit hours in natural sciences, 9 credit hours in humanities and 9 credit hours in social sciences.  

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

Program Snapshot

University Name University of Louisville
Location Louisville
State Kentucky Grade B+
Name of Degree Master of Science in Social Work
School or Department Administering Program Kent School of Social Work
Credits 60
Cost per credit $752.00
Tuition for Entire Program $45,120
Test Requirements No
Minimum GPA 3.00
Prerequisite Courses and Skills A minimum of 27 credit hours in the social sciences, i.e., communications (six (6) credit hours), natural sciences (three (3) credit hours), humanities (nine (9) credit hours), and social sciences (nine (9) credit hours)
Campus Visit Required? No Visit Required
Typical Time to Complete 2-3 years
When Can Students Start the Program? Spring, Fall
Program Concentrations Generalist with your choice of advanced topics: Alcohol and Drug Counseling, Gerontology, Mental Health, Military Social Work, Psycho-Social Oncology
Synchronous Classes N
Required Courses
  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment I and II
  • Social Welfare Institutions, Policies and Services
  • Macro Social Work Practice
  • Foundation/Generalist Social Work Practicum I and II
  • Research Methodology and Design
  • Social Justice and Injustice in Social Welfare Policies
  • Evidence-Based Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups
  • Psychopathology
  • Mezzo Practice and Integrated Social Work Practice with Complex Cases
  • Program Evaluation in Social Work
  • Advanced Social Work Practicum I and II 
Does the Program Include a Capstone? No
Does the Program Include a Practicum or Internship? Yes
Other Features that Make the Program Unique Students from a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) can take advantage of the Kent School’s HBCU Cardinal Express to Success initiative; can complete in as little as 4 semesters; Cognitive Flexibility Theory as developed by Spiro (1990) guides the underlying curriculum philosophy. The main premise of the curriculum is to provide students strategies to learn challenging materials, to encourage flexibility in the use of knowledge, and to change the underlying ways of thinking
Program Objectives  Apply critical thinking skills; understand and apply professional ethics and values; Practice without discrimination and with regard to difference; understand forms of oppression and discrimination; apply strategies for social change and advocacy to promote social justice; understand and interpret history of social work profession; Understand theoretical frameworks and apply these to social work practice across the lifespan; formulate policy based in research and evidence; Develop competency in communication and supervision; Function within existing structures and seek change when necessary 
Program Description Students who choose to attend the University of Louisville’s online Master of Social Work program pursue a comprehensive curriculum grounded in both theory and practical skills across the range of populations, services, and administrative approaches. Requiring 60 credits of coursework, including required courses in program evaluation and research methods, the program also required a practicum. Students are prepared to be generalist social workers with a social justice and research-based perspective. 

What will I Learn?

The learning objectives of the University of Louisville’s online MSW program are detailed and comprehensive. Students learn to apply critical thinking skills and ethical standards, and practice without discrimination and with respect, knowledge, and skills related to clients’ age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. They learn to understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and apply strategies of advocacy and social change that advance social and economic justice.

As professionals, their practice is grounded in an understanding of the history of the of the social work profession and its contemporary structures and issues, allowing them to shape policy and perform research. Using theoretical frameworks supported by empirical, they learn to intervene with individuals, groups, families, and communities. They learn to evaluate research studies, and evaluate their own work. Skills in communication, consultation, and organizational change are emphasized. 

The curriculum is based in Cognitive Flexibility Theory as developed by Spiro (1990). This theoretical framework guides instruction in helping students to learn challenging materials, encourage mental flexibility and change their underlying ways of thinking. Required courses include theoretical foundations in Human Behavior and the Social Environment and Social Justice and Injustice in Social Welfare Policies.  Social Welfare Institutions, Policies and Services, Program Evaluation in Social Work and Research Methodology and Design equip students with administrative tools. Practice skills are taught in Macro Social Work Practice, and Evidence-Based Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups, Psychopathology, and Mezzo Practice and Integrated Social Work Practice with Complex Cases. Students are also required to enroll in Practicum courses accompanying practicum work.

How much will the program cost?

Students finish their degree within 2-3 years and pay $752.00 per credit for a total of 60 credits, or just over $45,000.

How does the program fit into my life?

The online MSW at the University of Louisville takes most students 2-3 years to complete. Students may begin the program in either Spring or Fall.  All courses are taught asynchronously, meaning that students log in to the course space on their own schedule and complete discussions and/or view lectures, in addition to completing assignments. 


In the middle of the range in terms of overall costs, the University of Louisville’s online MSW program provides a flexible and well-rounded curriculum aimed at preparing highly competent professionals. The program’s detailed learning objectives speak to its cohesion and focus. The program may be particularly attractive to students with undergraduate degrees from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, who can take advantage of a special program allowing them to accelerate the pace of their graduate study.