Do you have an interest in a career in social work but don't know what degree you need? Concordia offers a variety of degree paths for students to explore.

What degree do you need to be a social worker?

Education requirements for a career in social work differ depending on the area of work and your state’s licensing requirements. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredits Concordia University Wisconsin & Ann Arbor’s (CUWAA) program.

But, you need to graduate from a CSWE accredited school in order to take the licensing exam. Being a licensed social worker allows you to practice as a professional and gain Advanced Standing in future social work graduate programs. 

Do I need a bachelor’s or master’s degree?

bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) is the minimum requirement for most states to become a licensed social worker. A bachelor’s will give you general knowledge of the field. Individuals with a BSW work in direct service settings, such as individual and family services.

But, if you’re looking to advance your degree and/or broaden your career opportunities, you should look into a master’s degree in social work (MSW). An MSW provides graduates with the opportunity to specialize in mental health or child welfare, as well as clinical and administrative positions. Pursuing a clinical degree presents the opportunity to work as a private therapist and operate their own mental health business.

Deciding on what degree to pursue can be difficult. Therefore, it’s important to understand the different types of social work jobs and where your interests lie.

What degrees does CUWAA offer?

CUWAA offers a wide variety of accredited programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Our programs are provided in various formats and taught by highly qualified faculty with knowledge of the field. Students can work with community members very early in their educational experience.

Bachelor of Social Work

To better serve our students, we have two types of BSW program formats and admission processes.

Traditional Undergraduate Program

Our traditional BSW program is for students looking for an academic experience on campus and during the day. This program is for students coming out of high school or looking to transfer. Check out our BSW student handbook for more information on curriculum and field placement.

Accelerated Program

Our accelerated BSW program offers flexibility for students who are working or looking for a non-traditional format. Currently, this program format is 100% online or at our Accelerated Learn Centers in Milwaukee (Miller Park Way Center), Kenosha, and Green Bay. Check out our list of potential fieldwork placements for our BSW students. Read about CUW students that have found their passion through the program. 

Master of Social Work

Concordia University Wisconsin & Ann Arbor offers an advanced generalist and clinical concentration for students to choose. Students choosing the advanced generalist path, will possess the multi-faceted knowledge of client systems. The clinical concentration will prepare students for licensure as a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). For students with or without previous social work experience, the program offers a regular and advanced standing MSW format. Students in both formats will be placed in various locations to gain the field experience needed.

Regular MSW format

Our regular MSW format allows students with any accredited bachelor’s degree to complete their degree in two years while full-time.

Advanced standing MSW format

Advanced Standing is available to students who have earned a BSW from a CSWE accredited program when the degree was awarded. As a result, this allows students to complete an MSW in 1 year while full-time.

Ready to start?

If you’re interested in learning more about earning your online social work degree at Concordia, visit the link below.



— This story is written by Maddie Schueller, content marketing lead for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at

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