Online Social Work Programs in Maine

Social workers provide invaluable aid to individuals and communities across the country. Maine, in particular, hosts a high number of social workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2018, Maine had the fifth-highest concentration of jobs for general social workers and the third-highest concentration of mental health and substance abuse social workers.

The BLS also calculated the average annual salary for four categories of social workers: healthcare; mental health and substance abuse; general social workers; and child, family, and school social workers. Their respective salaries are: $52,830, $56,000, $52,360, and $52,130.

Specific areas of the state offer higher concentrations of jobs than others. The metropolitan area of Bangor hosts one of the highest mental health and substance abuse social worker concentrations in the nation, according to the BLS.

Social Work Programs by Degree Level

Online Bachelor’s in Social Work Programs

Online Master’s in Social Work Programs

Education and Licensure Requirements for Social Workers in Maine

Maine’s licensing board is the Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation (OPOR). This agency offers five social work licenses: licensed social worker (LS), licensed social worker, conditional (LSX), licensed master social worker (LM), licensed master social worker, conditional clinical (MC), and licensed clinical social worker (LC).

Education Requirements

OPOR requirements vary by type of license. LS applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). LM, MC, and LC candidates must hold a master’s in social work from a CSWE-accredited school or program. LSX applicants only need transcripts from a “sufficiently related earned bachelor’s degree” and evidence of social work employment to qualify.

Exam Application Process and Requirements

While OPOR oversees licensure in Maine, the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) manages and administers the exams that candidates must pass to earn their license. Candidates in Maine must receive permission from OPOR before they can take ASWB exams. OPOR only considers applications from candidates with completed degrees.

Once approved, candidates must register for the exam through the ASWB website. Associate, bachelor’s, and master’s exams cost $230, while advanced generalist and clinical exams cost $260. For all licensure applicants, OPOR also charges an application fee of $25, a license fee of $70, and a criminal history records check fee of $21.

Continuing Education and Licensure Renewal

Licensed social workers in Maine must renew their license every two years. All license renewals cost $70.

OPOR requires 25 hours of continuing education for all social worker license types every two years, including four hours of ethics. LSX licensees must complete six hours of ethics and six hours of psychosocial assessment for the first renewal only. Social workers can only complete up to 10 hours of the 25 through online learning.

Featured Online Programs

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Why Choose an Online Social Work Program in Maine?

Pursuing an online degree gives students the flexibility to balance their studies with work and family obligations. Social work programs often require students to complete field education or clinical hours, which they can typically complete at approved sites near their home. Online degrees differ in price by university, degree level, and residency. Online learners typically save on some of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as housing and commuting costs.

Ranking Methodology

Here is our list of online social work degree programs in Maine as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics. We cover online bachelor’s in social work, online master’s in social work, and online doctorate in social work programs. All programs are regionally and CSWE accredited, and all are available entirely online.

Online Social Work Programs in Maine

St. Joseph’s College of Maine

A Catholic, liberal arts college, SJC offers more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs. Located in Standish, Maine, St. Joseph’s 474-acre campus features views of the White Mountains and a nearby lake. Founded by the Portland Regional Community of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas in 1912, SJC offers several online programs, including a bachelor of social work degree.

This social work degree prepares students for professional social work licensure in most states. SJC’s social work degree follows a cohort model, in which a team of 10-15 students begin and end the program together on specific dates.

St. Joseph’s Bachelor of Social Work Degree

  • Concentrations: This social work degree offers a social service profession minor.
  • Credits and Courses: Learners must earn 128 credits to graduate with a bachelor’s degree, and the social work degree requires 54 major credits. The program provides flexible asynchronous classes, allowing students to study at any time.
  • Completion Time: Program length depends on several factors, including how many courses a student completes each period. This program involves cohort learning, in which a team of students completes assignments in 10-week periods.
  • Field Education: Degree candidates must complete a year-long seminar involving coursework, a field evaluation, a final paper, and two internships.
  • Other Requirements: This program also requires the completion of two courses: introduction to psychology and principles of sociology. To graduate, students must earn a minimum 2.5 GPA.
  • Transfer Policies: Degree candidates must earn at least 25% of required program credits at SJC and 18 credits within the major. Learners may transfer up to 95 credits from accredited colleges or universities.
  • Online Student Support: Special services provided to distance learners include personal advisement and online tutoring.
  • Cost: $345/credit.
  • Admission Requirements: Applicants without previous college experience must submit official high school transcripts demonstrating a minimum 2.0 GPA. Candidates with completed college coursework must send official transcripts and hold a cumulative minimum 2.0 undergraduate GPA.

St. Joseph’s College of Maine is regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE). St. Joseph’s College of Maine’s online social work programs are CSWE-accredited.

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University of Maine

Located in Orono, Maine along the banks of the Stillwater River, UMaine remains the flagship campus of the University of Maine System, a network of public state universities. A land and sea grant institution founded in 1865, this institution offers more than 100 programs, including undergraduate and graduate social work degrees. UMaine’s school of social work enrolls about 270 undergraduate and graduate students.

Over the past seven years, school of social work graduates earned higher overall pass rates than the national average in both the licensed clinical social worker and licensed master’s social worker exams.

UMaine’s Master of Social Work Degree

  • Concentrations: This program offers a concentration in advanced generalist social work practice.
  • Credits and Courses: This hybrid/online program requires 63 credits. Distance learners complete mostly asynchronous classes, but this master’s degree also requires synchronous, in-person classes. Learners must meet with other students two Saturdays per semester.
  • Completion Time: Degree candidates in the hybrid/online program can graduate in three years, while learners with advanced standing can complete the degree in just two years.
  • Field Education: Students enrolled in the master’s program complete two semesters of field experience, totaling 400 hours, 16 hours per week. As part of the specialization curriculum, learners complete at least 500 hours, 20 hours per week, of field experience.
  • Exam Preparation: The program prepares learners to qualify for social work licensure exams.
  • Transfer Policies: UMaine accepts transfer credits earned from other CSWE-accredited programs within the past 5 years. Students must receive written approval for more than six transfer credits, and they must demonstrate a “B” grade or higher in all transferable coursework.
  • Online Student Support: Distance learners receive access to online student support, including advising, library resources, and writing tutors.
  • Cost: $450/credit in-state; $1,466/credit out-of-state.
  • Admission Requirements: Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. They must have completed at least six social and behavioral sciences courses with a “C” grade or better in an introductory statistics or research methods course. They should hold experience related to social welfare or human services. UMaine does not require GRE test scores.

The University of Maine is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The University of Maine’s online social work programs are CSWE-accredited.

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University of New England

A private university founded in 1831, UNE ranks 159th among the best online graduate education programs and 137th among best schools for social work, according to U.S. News & World Report. The university operates from two campuses in Biddeford and Portland, Maine. UNE’s School of Social Work provides many pathways for a master’s in social work, including an online master of social work delivered through UNE Online.

This Maine social work institution promotes social inclusion and enhanced quality of life for individuals and communities, according to the school of social work’s mission.

UNE Online’s Master of Social Work Degree

  • Concentrations: This social work program offers concentrations in clinical, community, and integrated practice.
  • Credits and Courses: Students must earn 64 credits through asynchronous classes, including 32 credits in generalist coursework and 32 in their specialization. Learners with advanced standing may graduate with only 35 credits.
  • Completion Time: Distance learners may complete the degree in just over three years. Students may begin eight week courses at any of three enrollment periods per year.
  • Field Education: Learners must complete two field practicums, each totaling 560 hours. Advanced-standing degree candidates only need to fulfill one field practicum.
  • Transfer Policies: Students must earn a “C-” grade or higher in transferable courses.
  • Online Student Support: Distance learners receive many support services, including access to library services, academic and employment support, and 24-hour technical support.
  • Cost: $950/credit.
  • Admission Requirements: Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. Candidates must submit official transcripts, a resume, and two recommendation forms.

The University of New England is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The University of New England’s online social work programs are CSWE-accredited.

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