social work students in a group session

Pursuing an MSW Degree Online or In Person

Widener University's MSW degree program is offered both fully online and also in person on our Main Campus located just outside of Philadelphia. Learn how to determine which format is best for you.

Factors to Consider

Students in social work classroom

Learning Style 

Our on-campus MSW program would be better suited for students who thrive on face-to-face interactions with their professors and classmates. Being in person can help you stay engaged in what you are learning and provides a more distraction-free environment—a place where you can fully focus on your studies and ask questions on the spot. 

Our asynchronous online MSW program would be better suited for students who work well with written materials and who are more tech savvy in navigating an online learning management system. 

Student studying on laptop in historic-looking library

Course Schedule and Flexibility 

Pursuing our on-campus MSW program requires commuting to our campus location, which adds time and cost. In addition the class schedules need to work with your personal schedule. This consistency in schedule though can be a tremendous benefit in planning and setting aside time that is dedicated to completing your studies.

Our online MSW program enables you to log in and complete your coursework anywhere, anytime. As an online student, you can plan around other daily responsibilities, while still engaging in meaningful discussions with your professors and classmates on your own time. 

Adult student in class reading papers


The asynchronous online MSW program requires intentional self-discipline to ensure you complete your coursework in a timely fashion. This option is best suited for students who are highly motivated, organized, and do not tend to procrastinate. 

Attending class at a designated time on campus every week adds structure to the program. You have face-to-face access to your faculty and classmates before and after class time, giving you additional support for completing assignments and meeting deadlines.

Comparison of Widener's On Campus vs Online MSW

  On-Campus MSW Program Online MSW Program
Scheduling  Each class meets once a week at a set day and time

Asynchronous - no set class schedule

Location Widener's Main Campus in Chester, PA Anywhere - no commuting necessary
Format Full-time and part-time regular and advanced standing options No full time option; part-time only regular and advanced standing options - one course at a time in a continuous module format
Self Discipline Structured class meetings Work and learn at your own pace
Learning Style Real-time content discussions and opportunities for questions and discussions Independent, technology savvy 
Networking/Community Feel With peers and faculty during class meetings Dyad and group work enable online students to connect with peers from across the country
Academic Support Resources available on campus and online Resources available online
Fieldwork Experiences Must be done in person; numerous opportunities near Widener's campus or your location  Must be done in person and is arranged close to your location
Cost Lower per-credit tuition rate, with commuting costs; discounted tuition available for students employed at select agencies Slightly higher per-credit tuition rate, but no commuting costs


Choosing the Best MSW Program Option for You 

Our admissions counselors and program directors are happy to discuss the different program options. Making the decision between online or campus-based education is a personal decision based on your own learning style and academic and scheduling needs. 

Explore Widener's MSW Program

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