Boise State University Online MSW

boise-state-university-online-mswBoise State University Online Master of Social Work

Program Options: Full-time, Part-time, Advanced standing

Tuition: $6,232

Acceptance Rate: 82%

GRE Required: No

1-year/Accelerated Option: Yes

Campus Visits Required: No

Field Hours: 600 to 1,000

CSWE Accredited: Yes (1992)

Application Deadline: March 15 for the fall semester


Boise State University, better known as BSU, is a public university and one of the largest in Idaho. Founded as the Boise Junior College in 1932, it had an affiliation with the Episcopal Church for a number of years before splitting off on its own. The school also served as a college and a state college before becoming BSU. The university now has an enrollment that includes more than 2,900 graduate and doctoral students who take classes on its campus in Boise and online. Its online Master of Social Work program ranks among the top in the nation in terms of both quality and price. BSU offers a low tuition rate for its online students and offers financial aid packages for those students too.


When designing its MSW program, Boise State looked for ways to incorporate different elements and subjects to ensure that online students gained the same level of education that they would in a more traditional program. It includes a clinical element that requires students do fieldwork to gain the practical experience they need on the job, but the program also teaches students better communication and organizational skills. The program is also available as a standard/traditional MSW program and as an advanced standing program. BSU has its own hooding ceremony that online students can participate in too. Those students can attend the ceremony on the campus once they complete their degrees.


Though BSU doesn’t offer any concentrations for social work students, it does have an advanced standing version of the program that is open to those with more experience. These students must have a BSW from an accredited college or university that they earned within the last five years. The university will accept students into this program who earned a degree up to 10 years ago as long as those students have substantial experience in the social work field. BSU does not offer concentrations because it designed an MSW program that gives students a broad overview of various topics within the social work field of study.

Related resource: Top 10 Affordable Master of Social Work Online (MSW) Degrees

Program Requirements

Getting an MSW from BSU requires two years of full-time study, but the advanced standing program requires only one year to complete. Students will earn 30 credits in their first year as they take foundation courses like the foundation of social welfare policy, foundation of social work practice and foundations of research. They’ll also take two practicum seminars and a course on ethnicity, gender, and class. The courses that students take in the second year are worth 61 credits and include electives that students can pick based on their career goals and general needs. Second-year classes can include program leadership and management, evaluation and treatment of mental disorders and advanced social work interventions. The program requires that students do fieldwork but does not require that they do a thesis.

Admission Requirements

The deadline for applications for the fall semester is March 15, but the university has a deadline of August 15 for those who want to start in the spring and January 15 for those who wish to start in the summer. Students must visit the graduate admissions page on the BSU website to find the online application and submit this application to apply to the graduate school. They will then need to apply to the social work program that they want to study. Application requirements include a personal essay and a resume. The essay must contain the student’s name on every page and include sections dedicated to things such as social work philosophy and personal strengths. BSU also asks for three letters of recommendation and a background check. Students will need to visit a website, use the university’s code when authorizing the check and pay a fee. BSU looks for candidates who have more volunteer or practical experience, a GPA of at least 3.0 and a strong essay with no mistakes.


BSU has a teacher to student ratio of one professor for every 17 students. The ratio in its online MSW program is even lower. Though the university accepts a large number of students each year, its online program is on the small side. This allows students to interact with their professors easily and allows them to form better connections with their classmates. Professors working in this department have years of experience in different areas of social work, including addictions and rehabilitation, mental health disorders and child abuse. They provide students with inside knowledge that they wouldn’t get elsewhere.

Online Courses

The courses that students take will vary based on whether they enroll in the traditional program or the advanced standing program. Advanced standing students only need to take 11 classes that include practicum work, though these students need to do less fieldwork than traditional students do. Comp theories is an advanced interventions course available to students that goes over some of the different intervention and treatment methods used by professionals. All students can also take a course in diagnosing, evaluating and treating patients with mental disorders.


Fieldwork is an important component of getting an MSW from BSU. Students will take courses beforehand that teach them how to complete this work. Students in the traditional MSW program earn 18 credits for the 1,000 hours of clinical fieldwork that they do. Advanced standing students earn 12 credits for doing 600 hours of fieldwork. Students do 400 hours in the first year, which requires that they work full-time in their placements two days out of the week. They will do the remaining 600 hours as they work three days at an agency in the second year. BSU can help students secure placements in government agencies as well as in private organizations and nonprofit groups.


BSU Online MSW

(208) 426-5921

Online MSW

Earning a graduate degree online is a good option for students who have less free time or want to continue working in their current jobs. Boise State University has one of the best and most affordable Online MSW programs available.

Related resource: Top 10 Affordable Master of Social Work Online (MSW) Degrees