Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) is now offering an online master’s degree in social work (MSW) that prepares students for advanced, leadership-oriented, social work positions. Open to graduates from any Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program, the new degree format is aimed at expanding options for social work graduates across the country who need a master’s degree in the field. With an MSW, graduates can pursue licensure, become an advanced social work practitioner, and hold leadership positions across the public or private sectors. USF is also keeping the price of the graduate degree program frozen for the third year in a row at $599 per credit hour. “USF already accepts graduates of social work programs from across the Chicago region for our on-campus MSW program, but this is an opportunity to support bachelor’s level social work graduates across the country,” said USF vice president for admissions Eric Wignall. The new online MSW program is designed to fill a gap for graduates of social work programs at any of the country’s accredited colleges or universities. “Social workers work with many different populations and types of people, particularly focusing on those who are vulnerable and living in poverty,” Wignall said. “USF has a long tradition of educating highly trained social workers, but we need more of them. Social workers are practitioners who help people and families in need. The MSW program provides advanced clinical skills required for specialized practice, while developing the confidence to address challenging, and constantly changing, situations in the field,” said USF provost Beth Roth, Ph.D. Roth, who leads USF’s academic program quality and development efforts, feels the online degree offers flexibility that BSW graduates need in order to take the next professional step. “As a Catholic, Franciscan university with a fully online master’s degree program in social work, the University of St. Francis can extend its mission to more students, reaching more communities if we make the program more affordable. With rising inflation and higher tuition rates, many master’s degree-seekers are looking for affordable MSW options,” Roth said. USF will continue to offer on-campus undergraduate and graduate degree programs in social work. “USF’s nationally-accredited MSW program focuses on advanced practitioner skills, leadership development, and evidence-based practice guidelines to improve and expand the effectiveness of social service programs. They also support clients and communities who are living with disabilities, substance abuse problems, or experience domestic conflicts,” Roth said. “Social workers are trained to address many different barriers to a given client’s overall wellbeing. Some of these barriers include poverty, unemployment, discrimination, or a lack of housing,” Wignall added. “USF will help graduate students continue their educational journeys by providing high quality, interactive online learning in the online MSW program. We are also being flexible in response to COVID-19 closures and disruptions. USF will accept GRE scores, but they are not required for admission,” Wignall said. Students can use the free online application to the USF online social work master’s degree program at and applications for classes beginning January 10th and next fall are still being accepted. Visit for more information. : : The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 52,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose. # # #