Regardless of the degree they earn, students who enroll in Georgia State Online’s social work programs receive nationally-ranked, hands-on learning experiences from expert faculty with a passion for furthering social, environmental and economic justice.
The Georgia State University School of Social Work was already ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the No. 2 school of social work in the country without a Ph.D. program. Now, the online bachelor’s degree in social work has been named by Forbes as one of the “Best Online BSW Degree Options” for its high completion rate and low student-to-faculty ratio.
“We’re honored to see that GSU is being nationally recognized for our online BSW option,” said Kristie Seelman, director of the Bachelor of Social Work Program. “This degree option has allowed us to expand our reach to students outside of the Atlanta metro area who are interested in a career in social work and further reflects GSU’s commitment to offering accessible and affordable higher education to diverse populations from across the state of Georgia and beyond.”
Students who enroll in Georgia State Online’s social work programs complete the same projects and coursework as those who choose the on-campus option. As such, online students have the opportunity to work with faculty members with expertise in issues such as poverty, hunger, homelessness, housing and child welfare.
“In our programs, we really take to heart the values of social work and live those through our curriculum and what we offer our students,” said Nicholas Forge, director of the Master of Social Work Program.
Advanced Standing MSW Now Available
For those who have already completed a bachelor’s degree in social work, Georgia State Online now offers the Advanced Standing MSW Program. The program allows these students to complete an online master’s degree in social work in just one year, given that they have already taken the foundational courses needed for success in the profession.
A master’s degree in social work provides students with access to expanded professional opportunities and higher paying jobs. And in the State of Georgia, individuals must obtain a master’s degree to receive licensure in the field.
The coursework in the advanced standing program equips students with a specialization in community partnerships, the only program of its kind in the United States.
“Our sole specialization in community partnerships provides skills that encourage collaboration between communities and agencies that enable those communities to build capacity to address social issues that they face,” Forge said.
Community Capstone Opportunities
Students in both the MSW and Advanced Standing programs complete a hands-on capstone project for which they partner with a community agency to plan and execute an initiative that advances an issue of social justice. They work in groups of four or five and get to choose their projects from proposals submitted by community agencies.
“A lot of the planning is done in the fall semester, and then the execution of the project has to happen in the spring semester,” Forge said. “And some of the projects are quite significant.”
For one such project, students created the Fulton County Remembrance Coalition with the support of the Equal Justice Initiative. The goal of the project was to memorialize and honor the 35 victims of lynching in Fulton County before 1950 by collecting soil from each of the lynching sites and displaying it in jars alongside the victim’s stories.
The School of Social Work is housed within the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, which Forge notes is significant “because of Ambassador Young’s commitment to social justice, which is a core value of the social work profession.”
Fall admission applications for the online BSW Program are accepted from Jan. 1 through July 1. The application deadline for the Advanced Standing MSW Program is Feb. 1, and the first online cohort of students will start their coursework in June 2023.