Social Work (BSW) Online Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Frequently Asked Questions (Social Work Online)
- Are there prerequisites for the program? Is there anything I can take in advance to help prepare?
- Is your program accredited?
- Is the program 100% online?
- How much is tuition?
- How long will it take me to complete the whole program?
- How many credits is the program?
- Are there any certain times that I am required to be online?
- How much time per week should I set aside for each class?
- What exactly is a “cohort?” What do their names mean?
- How often do cohorts start?
- What are the Service Learning and Field Education requirements?
- What are the basic requirements I must fulfill to be considered for admission?
- When can I apply? How far in advance should I apply?
- Will I have to register for my courses?
- When can I expect to know what classes I will need to take? Will you evaluate my transcripts?
- What kind of structure are the learning modules offered in? How many modules should I expect there to be in each class?
- What sort of technology will I need to succeed in the online program?
- What kind of support will I receive during my time in the program?
- How will I be billed?
- What resources, like advising, tutoring, or technical support, will be available to me as a student?
- What kind of technical support will be available to me as a student?
- What are the major differences between the face-to-face program and the
- I’m already a part of the face-to-face Social Work Program at Millersville University. Can I still join the online program? Is there a cost to switch?
- If I start with the Social Work Online Program and decide I’d rather go with face-to-face, can I switch? Is there a cost to switch?
- I am interested in the MSW Program you offer. Is there any kind of “bridge” into the MSW?
Since the Social Work Online Program is a completion program, it is required that students have completed either an Associate’s degree OR at least 60 transferable college credits before starting. Students who have already completed another Bachelor's degree are not eligible for this program. Additionally, completion of the below prerequisite courses is required before beginning the program:
- SOWK 102 – Modern Social Welfare Dilemmas
- SOWK 203 – Human Behavior and the Social Environment
The following courses are recommended to have been completed before beginning the Social Work Online Program, but are not required (they can be taken online as a part of the program*):
- BIOL 204 – Human Biology
- PSYC 100 – General Psychology
- Any one of the following*:
- GOVT 112 – State & Local Government
- GOVT 111 – Intro to American Government
- Any one of the following:
- SOCY 210 – Sociology of the Family
- SOCY 101 – Intro to Sociology
- SOCY 211 – Social Problems
*At this time, there are no government courses offered online. This requirement is recommended to be completed at another school and transferred into the program. All other required courses will be available online.
There are also a number of other courses that you can take in advance that will help to meet your general education requirements. To find out if your previous coursework will help cover any requirements, take a look at the Transfer Equivalency Page.
Yes. Our Social Work programs are accredited through the Council in Social Work Education (CSWE). You may visit their website at: https://www.cswe.org/
Yes. Our Social Work Online Program is completed 100% online. All courses required for the program can be taken completely online. While our online students do have access to the same on-campus resources as traditional students, they will not be required to come to campus at any point during the program.
The field work and service learning hours are completed in person outside of class. These hours can be completed locally so students are not required to travel to Millersville to complete these requirements.
Tuition is calculated on a per-credit basis, with fully-online students paying $373.00 per credit (in-state rate, including fees, as of Fall 2018). For comparison, face-to-face students pay about $429.75 per credit (in-state rate, including fees, as of Fall 2018).
(Students with a residency out-of-state do pay a slightly higher rate; check the Tuition and Fees Chart for more details, and be sure to contact the Office of Online Programs with any questions.)
Most students can expect to complete the program in about two (2) years, part-time. Depending on your previous coursework, you may be able to complete the program in a shorter amount of time. Once you are accepted, you can contact your Program Advisor for more information on your academic plan and program length.
The Social Work Online Program consists of 120 total credits, which does include transfer credits. Credits in the program itself are as follows:
- 60 credits total, consisting of the following:
- 45 credits of Social Work major courses
- 15 credits of the following:
- Social Work electives
- Open electives
- General education courses
The total number of credits needed to complete the program will depend on each student’s specific amount of transfer credits.
Our Social Work Online Program is asynchronous; however many professors do have Zoom sessions (like Skype) in order to speak with the class as a whole. These Zoom sessions are typically held in the evenings (EST) in order to accommodate working students. If a course will hold Zoom sessions your professors will let you know. You will also follow a course syllabus for required due dates but outside of Zoom sessions are able to log into classes when best fits your schedule.
For each three credit course, it is recommended that you set aside at least 10-15 hours per week for study and assignments. For courses with more credits, it is recommended to budget additional time for study and assignments.
The MU Social Work Online Program is offered via a cohort model, which means that most students begin and end the program with the same group, or cohort, of students, proceeding together at the same pace.
Cohort names are based upon the starting semester, for example:
- Cohort Fall 2018 begins in Fall 2018
- Cohort Spring 2019 begins in Spring 2019
There are two starts throughout the year: Fall (August), and Spring (January).
Field Learning is the signature pedagogy in social work. It represents the central form of instruction and learning in which students are socialized to perform the role of the practitioner. This experiential component of the social work program begins with student observations of social agencies and continues with volunteer community service experiences and other experiential learning in subsequent courses and throughout the students’ academic career.
60 total hours of Service Learning will be required for the Social Work Online Program. 20 hours each will be completed in the SOWK 301 and 302 courses. An additional 20 hours of service learning will be completed during the program not attached to a specific course.
Field Education will be completed during the final semester of the program to provide students with social work practical experience directly in the field. SOWK 401 and SOWK 402 together will consist of 450 total hours of fieldwork experience to further integrate students into the profession of social work.
- You must have successfully completed an Associate’s Degree OR have at least 60 transferable college credits
- You must complete the pre-requisite courses, SOWK 102 and SOWK 203.
- After applying, you must send in copies of all transcripts from any higher education institutions previously attended.
Please note that since this is a degree completion program, students who have already completed another full Bachelor's degree are not eligible for this program.
The Social Work Online Program has rolling admissions, so you can apply at any time throughout the year. We highly recommend you apply as early as possible, as cohorts sometimes fill up several months in advance. If you do not see your preferred term listed on the application, please email OnlinePrograms@millersville.edu or give us a call at (717) 871-7200 letting us know what you prefer, and we will let you know if it would be possible to accommodate you.
The Office of Online Programs will always automatically register you for your Social Work courses throughout your time in the program, in order to ensure you remain with your cohort (or another advisement plan). However, you must consult with your academic advisor before registering for any general education courses (though the staff in the Office of Online Programs is happy to help with the actual registration once you have discussed it with your advisor).
Official Transfer Credit Evaluations are completed when a student has been offered a seat for acceptance. So if you are accepted, your evaluation will be included with your offer letter, which is mailed directly to you. After the evaluation has been done, you can contact your academic advisor for more information on what courses you will need to graduate.
What kind of structure are the learning modules offered in? How many modules should I expect there to be in each class?
Each course is offered for the full 14 week semester length. You should expect to complete readings, online videos, and other activities, along with approximately 2-3 assignments per week. The online courses are very structured, and have specific due dates for all assignments. After completing and submitting an assignment, you can expect feedback (and a grade) from your professor within 5-6 days. We understand our students are working adults, so we are very accommodating when students request additional time for assignments – just be sure to ask in advance!
At the very minimum, you will require a webcam, microphone, and (this is the most important part!) a reliable high-speed Broadband Internet connection. If you think you might need a new device or are wondering if your current device will be enough, just give us in Online Programs a call at (717) 871-7200 and we would be happy to help you out.
We are committed to ensuring that your time in the Social Work Online Program is successful and pleasant. Even after the admissions process is over, we in the Office of Online Programs will continue to be here to help you with any non-academic questions you may have. Questions on your bill? Trouble with accessing your courses? Need to modify your schedule due to life changes? Our Student Support Specialist will be your main point of contact for all of these things, and more.
For anything academic-related, the Social Work Department, and your assigned academic advisor, are always there for you. Not sure whether a particular general education course fits in your plan? Trying to decide between different electives? Your advisor can help sort out all of these kinds of questions.
Furthermore, you will be provided with a number of resources to assist you in getting started when you first begin classes. You will be enrolled in our Online Orientation, which will help get you situated in the online space. And you will receive a copy of our Roadmap to Enrollment, which helps address almost any other question you could think of! And as always, if you are still stumped, the Office of Online Programs, as well as the Social Work Department, are here to help you.
All bills are provided to the student in a strictly electronic format. You may view and pay your bills online through MAX. If you have any general questions on billing, feel free to let the Office of Online Programs know, though for questions relating to your own bill you may wish to contact the Office of Student Accounts at (717) 871-5101.
What resources, like advising, tutoring, or technical support, will be available to me as a student?
As a Millersville University student, you will have access to numerous resources to aid you during and even after your time as a student. This includes (but is certainly not limited to):
- Office of Online Programs
- The Office of Online Programs are always here to assist you, from your very first inquiry and beyond. Our Student Support Specialist will be available throughout your time in the Social Work Online Program to assist you with any non-academic questions or issues you may have.
- Social Work Department
- You can always contact the Social Work Department and your Advisor, with any questions you have. Whether academic, career planning or other professional issues, the social work faculty are here to help you!
- Writing Center
- The Writing Center offers both online and in-person tutoring for writing papers, and is a great resource for any writing-intensive courses you may take (keep in mind these services may not be available during the Summer terms).
- As a Social Work Online student, you will have full access to all Library resources, which includes a huge array of online references, periodicals, and much more. Millersville librarians are available for phone consults and live chats, and if you live nearby, you are also welcome to come visit and utilize the Library’s in-person resources. More information on accessing and utilizing library resources will be provided to you in the Online Orientation.
- IT Help Desk
- For any technical issues you may experience, the Help Desk is available with extended hours to assist you.
- Learning Services
- Learning Services offers many useful workshops (soon to be available online!), provides tutoring services, and coordinates academic accommodations for students with learning and physical disabilities.
- Career Services
- Career Services is available for all students to assist you in preparing for developing and advancing your career during and after your time at Millersville.
The IT Help Desk is available for almost any technical questions you may have. You are also welcome to contact us in Online Programs as well -- we are happy to help with many general questions, such as advice on purchasing a new computer or assistance in accessing your accounts. Local students are also welcome to bring their computer in directly to the Technical Assistance Center (TAC) for repairs, free of charge. If you’re not local, convenient remote assistance is also available from the Help Desk.
Overall, the online and face-to-face programs are fairly similar. That said, there are some differences:
- There is a small difference in cost between the 100% online program and the face-to-face program. (See our answer regarding tuition for more details.)
- Scheduling and pacing
- Online Social Work courses are mostly asynchronous. Besides the possibility of evening (EST) Zoom sessions, you will not be required to be online at any other specific time (which is great for working professionals).
- The Social Work Online Program follows a cohort model, meaning you will proceed through the program with the same group of students (though we are willing to be flexible if you have any specific scheduling needs).
- Delivery format
- The Social Work Online Program is 100% online, and you are never required to come to campus (though you are certainly welcome)! The face-to-face program requires in-person meetings at specific times each week.
I’m already a part of the face-to-face Social Work Program at Millersville University. Can I still join the online program? Is there a cost to switch?
If you have applied, been accepted to, or even started with the face-to-face Social Work Program at Millersville University, you can switch your delivery format. You will need to meet in person with your Academic Advisor in order to get their approval. You will then need to fill out a brief Change of Delivery Form (F2F to Online) with your advisor’s signature. Either way, you won’t be charged anything extra.
If I start with the Social Work Online Program and decide I’d rather go with face-to-face, can I switch? Is there a cost to switch?
Just as with students switching from face-to-face to online, if you have applied, been accepted to, or started with the BSW Online Program and you wish to switch your delivery format to face-to-face, you can. You will need to meet in person with your Academic Advisor in order to get their approval. You will also need to fill out a brief Change of Delivery Form (Online to F2F), and there are no additional charges.
Once you have completed your BSW (Bachelor’s in Social Work), you will be eligible to apply and gain acceptance into the MSW (Master’s) or dual MSW/MSEM programs. The Bachelor’s program does need to be completed prior to beginning the Master’s program. You can find more information on our MSW, MSW/MSEM, and DSW (Doctoral) program at https://www.millersville.edu/socialwork/.