Top 17 Social Work Programs |Offline & Online

Do you want to become a Social worker? Are you in search of colleges to acquire the necessary social work degrees? Then, check out this list of 17 Social Work Programs 2022 compiled by our World Scholarship Forum team. This will include social work degrees like Bachelor of social work, master in social work, and colleges for social work.

After reading through this article, we hope you get answers to the following and a lot more:

  • social work colleges near me
  • best social work undergraduate programs
  • list of social work dual degree programs
  • types of social work degrees

More About The Social Work Program

If you want a career in demand that allows you to make a real difference in the world, then, this is the best time to become a social worker.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the positions of available social workers are expected to grow by 16% over the next decade, a rate of growth faster than that of most other occupations. Also, this increase will create about 110,000 new jobs.

Social workers have the distinction of examining different aspects of a problem, from the individual to the society, from the psychological to the political. Typical ways of serving clients include counseling, therapy, and education, as well as connecting clients with appropriate public or private resources.

Before we look at the various social work programs and top social work schools, it will be best we understand the following:

  • What is Social Work?
  • Types of Social worker
  • Where a social worker can work( Social Work environment)
  • Social Worker’s salary

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What is Social Work?

Social work is a profession in the broad sense that includes many types of professionals who serve people in need. According to the International Federation of Social Workers, social work is “an interrelated system of values, theory, and practice.”

Therefore, if you are interested in a career that aims to help people overcome the biggest challenges in life, such as poverty, addiction, mental illness, and family crises, going to a social work school may be your first option.

A lot of people are familiar with the common social work professions, such as social work for children, family, and school, or social work in hospitals. However, there are many more career paths available for those who choose to attend a school of social work.

Social workers do the following and many more:

  • play the role of key mental health professionals in many contexts,
  • lead large non-profit and small-scale organizations,
  • assume roles in government or politics, and
  • assume leadership roles in their work. Communities, working for social justice.

With such differences in roles and responsibilities at work, most social workers share a degree of social work from one of the many excellent social work programs in the country.

Types of Social Work

There are several types of social workers.

  • Child welfare workers, Families, and Schools Social Workers: help children, families, and elderly ones solve their problems. They help place children in foster care and help parents who wish to adopt. They connect parents with problems with resources to better care for and raise their children. Also, they work with students and teachers to combat bullying, learning disabilities, and other problems.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they are the most common type of social worker.

  • Social workers in the Medical and Public Health sectors: help people who are seriously ill and people with chronic health conditions find appropriate care, access public resources such as Medicare and Medicaid, and also, find services like nutrition and nursing classes. They often play a key role in helping clients navigate and coordinate the various health care and public service systems that provide joint care.

Also, they provide clients and their families with advice on how to deal with the effects of the disease.

  • Mental health and addictions Social workers help people with a wide variety of mental health problems and addictions. Therapy is a common way for social workers to help clients solve these problems. Also, they help people find long-term rehabilitation programs or long-term mental health care.

Social workers in the mental health and substance abuse sectors can also participate in prevention and awareness programs that seek to locate those in need and solve problems before they become disastrous, respectively.

Work Environment

Social workers work in a variety of settings, including mental health clinics, schools, child welfare, and social services agencies, hospitals, settlement centers, community development corporations, and private practices. They usually work full time and may need to work nights, weekends, and holidays.

Social Worker’s Salary

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the median annual wage for social workers was $49,470 in May 2018.

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Types of Social Work Degrees

Many aspiring social workers choose to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW). In most cases, you will need a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree to become a social worker.

Also, other students graduate from other fields and apply for postgraduate studies to obtain a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW). However, some students earn two degrees in social work by obtaining a BSW and then continue their higher education to obtain an MSW.

According to the SocialWorkGuide, there is more than 500 bachelor of social work accredited by the Council on Social Work (CSWE) in the country.

With more than 230 accredited MSW programs, many colleges and universities must be considered for undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work.

Many of these schools offer traditional BSW and MSW programs, as well as online and distance learning options.

Associate Degree in Social Work (ASW)

Associate degree programs prepare students for the roles of paraprofessionals in the field of social services.

Community college students interested in a career in social work may choose to obtain an associate’s degree in social work or a related field, such as human services.

Some states allow holders of associate degrees to obtain a license as registered social work assistants or similar support positions, but holders of associate degrees are rarely considered “social workers”.

However, getting an associate’s degree in social work can be a good start for students entering a community college or technical school.

Associate degree courses can help you determine if a career in social work is right for you before you get a social work undergraduate degree.

Common courses in an ASW program include:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Health and Human Service Organizations
  • Principles of Sociology
  • Introduction to Social Work
  • Social Issues in Diversity
  • Public Health Issues
  • Healthcare Information Systems
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Research and Writing for the Workplace
  • Internship/Capstone

Bachelor’s of Social Work (BSW) Program

Most social work positions require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. If you are interested in a career in social work, the first step is usually a four-year BSW degree. High school graduates applying to college should consider schools that offer accredited social work degree programs.

The BSW provides a good base for social work professionals who are considering entering the labor market directly after college and at the beginning of their careers as social workers.

BSW graduates also have the opportunity to apply for advanced graduate positions, which allows students to obtain a master’s degree in social work in just one year.

Most states require professional social workers to obtain a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work to obtain a social assistance license.

As a result, many professionals without BAC finally choose to obtain a master’s degree in social work.

Traditional BSW programs last four years and include classroom training and field training. Most BSW students take liberal arts courses in their first two years of study, then choose a specialization in social work.

Social work specialists attend compulsory social work courses, elective courses, and field training courses. Graduate students are prepared to work as professional social workers or to enter graduate school.


Some students may choose to obtain a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and then apply for an advanced degree in Graduate Studies to obtain a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW). This degree path is also known as BSW to MSW.

Many social workers with a bachelor’s degree can obtain high status when applying for a graduate program because they have already taken basic social work courses from their undergraduate program.

The advanced status allows students to skip basic social work courses and begin work at the graduate level at the concentration level. This allows them to complete their MSW in just one year.

Also, advanced standing students graduate with the same degree as traditional two-year students.

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Clinical social work stations require MSW and an appropriate license. If you are interested in a career in clinical social work, it will be necessary to obtain an MSW.

Whether the candidates have a degree in social work or another field, they can apply for postgraduate studies to obtain a master’s degree. Master’s degrees in social work are increasingly necessary and/or more preferred for any social work position beyond the entry level.

Professionals interested in supervisory roles, clinical positions, administration, and administration should consider obtaining a master’s degree in social work. In general, the MSW is considered the final degree for social work professionals.

Unlike other clinical careers (such as psychology) that require a Ph.D. to provide clinical services to clients, social workers are trained in clinical work at the master’s level. Master’s degrees open more professional doors and prepare graduates for leadership roles in the field.

The foundational areas of study for social work master’s programs include:

  • Social work research
  • Social work practice
  • Human behavior in the social environment
  • Social welfare policy
  • Multicultural theory and practice

The Foundation field placements are designed to provide students with a broad educational experience in a social work environment. Students often participate in field experiences that differ from their career plans.

These experiences encourage students to apply the general content of basic courses in an agency and to develop general social work skills. Placements in the field and courses prepare students for more specific areas of intervention during their second year of study.

More on MSW Programs

After completing the basic courses, second-year MSW students generally choose a concentration. While all accredited social work programs prepare students for a wide variety of social work jobs, many master’s programs specialize in specific areas of social work practice, research, and administration.

In addition, some MSW programs offer certificates in social work specialties such as:

  • marriage and family therapy,
  • addictions, and
  • non-profit administration.

Common concentrations include:

  • Addictions
  • Children and Youth
  • Clinical and Direct Practice
  • Community and Social Systems
  • Criminal Justice
  • Gerontology
  • Health
  • International Social Work
  • Program Evaluation
  • Research
  • School Social Work
  • Social Policy

DSW and PhD programs

Normally, an MSW is considered the final grade for social work professionals. That is, a master’s degree is the highest level required to work as a clinical social worker.

The Ph.D. and Doctor of Social work (DSW) prepare candidates for research in social work and teaching at the university level or in the practice of clinical social work.

In some states, a doctorate in social work or a DSW degree will allow you to obtain a clinical license with less graduate experience than an MSW.

However, in most states, obtaining a doctorate in social work is best for students interested in a career in the academic world. These programs prepare students for academic, teaching, and research positions at universities.

In some cases, having a Ph.D. or DSW degree can give professionals a benefit when applying for a promotion or administration position.

Do you want to study in the USA? Then, check out these Scholarships in the USA.

Colleges For Social Work Degree

Below are some of the top schools for the best social work undergraduate programs and MSW.

  1. University of California – Berkeley
  2. New York University
  3. Rutgers University
  4. Fordham University
  5. Adelphi University
  6. The University of Wisconsin
  7. University of Washington
  8. Syracuse University
  9. University of Texas – Austin
  10. The University of Georgia

University of California – Berkeley

University of California – Berkeley social work program

One of the top-ranked schools in the United States for Social Work is the University of California – Berkeley.

The University of California – Berkeley’s Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare program is grounded in the school’s 70-year history of excellence in social work and social welfare curriculum.

The degree focuses on the liberal arts and graduates are qualified to apply to Master of Social Work (MSW) programs as a bridge to social work licensure.

Berkeley also offers a Master of Social Work and combined MSW/Ph.D. programs. The Berkeley Graduate Social Work Program ranks 3rd in the US News and World Report’s Best Grad Schools – Social Work rankings.

Students who graduate from this program report average early career wages of $41,463 and mid-career wages of $72,087. Also, it has one of the largest student bodies in California.


New York University

New York University social work program

Since 1960, NYU has trained more than 14,000 social work professionals and leaders in all areas of practice.

The social work program of the University of New York, organized in the Silver School, trains approximately 125 undergraduate students for a BA in social work.

With more than 600 hours of field education in agencies throughout the metropolitan area of New York City, undergraduate students get the kind of social work experience that is usually found only at the academic level. higher.

Students have the opportunity to learn social work from a global perspective, including refugees, immigrant populations, and optional study trips abroad.


Rutgers University

Rutgers University social work

With a history that dates back to 1766, Rutgers is one of the few universities licensed before the American Revolution.

It has grown and changed significantly in more than 230 years. Rutgers now encompasses five separate campuses. The School of Social Work offers courses on the Camden and Newark campuses.

These spaces are diverse and allow students to experience student life in an urban environment.

Many Rutgers students travel daily or live in apartments near the campus, but there are undergraduate accommodations available for those seeking the bedroom experience. Students who wish to specialize in social work apply for a place in the BASW program during their second year.

This competitive program requires a GPA of 3.0, proof of having completed the prerequisite course, and letters of recommendation. Social work students gain valuable experience as apprentices in organizations in New Jersey, New York City, and Greater Philadelphia.


Fordham University

Fordham_University social work

The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) at Fordham University prepares graduates for the practice of general social work in an agency environment.

The program focuses on social justice, human rights, and the well-being of individuals and communities.

All students take a 600-hour field training course at a social services agency to gain experience and practical skills. With Fordham University located in the New York metropolitan area, students have a wide range of opportunities to complete their internships.

Extracurricular activities, such as conferences, conferences, and other events are offered throughout the school year.

BASW graduates are generally eligible for advanced degrees in master’s programs in social work at Fordham or other schools, allowing them to complete the master’s program in less time. Fordham’s social work programs are accredited by the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE).


Adelphi University

Adelphi University social work

The School of Social Work at Adelphi University offers a bachelor’s program in social work that adopts a career-based approach to social work education.

Students can take the BSW program at one of the four Adelphi campuses:

  • Garden City,
  • Manhattan Center,
  • Hauppauge Center, and
  • Hudson Valley Center.

The program focuses on a generalist perspective and prepares students for entry-level careers and post-graduate studies in social work.

The school boasts small classes and a supportive environment that promotes student success. In addition to practical experience in field placements, students are encouraged to participate in networking and community action through the Social Work Action Gateway (SWAG) undergraduate student club and the Philanthropic Action for Challenging Times (PACT) initiative.

Adelphi University also offers master’s programs in social work (MSW) and doctorates in social work, which have been consistently ranked among the best by organizations such as US News and World Report.


University of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin social work

University of Wisconsin – Madison is one of your best options if you plan to study social work. Social work graduates from the University of Wisconsin – Madison earn approximately 11.7% more income than typical social work graduates.

Located in Madison, Wisconsin, this university is a logical choice for students who enjoy the excitement of a great city.


University of Washington

University of Washington

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program at the University of Washington offers students three flexible ways to complete their graduate studies.

Applicants who have already obtained a university degree in social work or social protection approved by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) are eligible to obtain the advanced qualification to complete the training program after 10 months of full-time studies.

A full-time day program that can be completed in two years is open to students from all walks of life. A part-time course that can be completed in three years is also available. In all programs, during the advanced study program, students can choose a concentration camp that matches their career goals.

The School of Social Work at the University of Washington ranks first in terms of funding for research, research results, and teacher publication rates.

It provides students with competitive opportunities to participate in social work research projects and innovative approaches to the practice of social work. Also, the school offers a BSW program and a Ph.D. in social protection.


Syracuse University

Syracuse University social work

The Syracuse University School of Social Work embraces the profession’s commitment to the values of human diversity and the dignity and worth of all people, with particular attention to those who are oppressed, vulnerable, or living in poverty.

The bachelor of social work (BSSW) program prepares undergraduates to work at a generalist level across the scope of our field. Also, the innovative master of social work (MSW) program offers two license-eligible tracks of graduate study:

  • Advanced Clinical Practice, for those who wish to specialize in the direct provision of services to individuals, families, and groups; and
  • Advanced Integrated Practice, for those whose interests also encompass practice in interdisciplinary organizations, human service administration, community organizing, and public policy.


University of Texas – Austin

University of Texas – Austin

With nearly 40,000 undergraduate students, the University of Texas at Austin is one of the largest universities in the country. Social work is one of the 170 undergraduate fields of study the university offers.

Students at UT Austin School of Social Work can enjoy all the benefits of a major university – sports, clubs, cultural offerings, and community activities – while enjoying the personal attention of a small social work program.

With approximately 300 BSW students, the number of students per class is generally between 30 and 50. The School of Social Work student council organizes various school, social and service-related activities each year.

The BSW program at the University of Texas at Austin requires 125 semester hours, including 30 credits of courses in human behavior, practice, research, and policy, as well as 480 hours of fieldwork in a social service agency.

The city of Austin not only offers excellent fieldwork opportunities, but students also enjoy the city for its music, cuisine, and nightlife.


University of Georgia

University of Georgia

Found in 1785, the University of Georgia is a public university with its location in Athens. In 2016, it was ranked number 21 among the public universities of the South according to US News & World Report.

The BSW program accredited by the CSWE of the UGA School of Social Work prepares students for the practice of general social work in many areas and focuses on the informed practice of research and social justice.

The program curriculum has a pre-defined sequence, which helps the students to take introductory courses of social work from the first year to the general practice in the last year.

Students must also meet the basic liberal arts requirements, including the English language, psychology, and world culture, and study a foreign language at least until their third year of study. Also, it is possible to combine the major social work with another important or related minor, such as:

  • criminal justice,
  • public health
  • psychology.

During the last year of the program, students receive at least 560 hours of supervised training at a social services agency. The university also offers an MSW program accredited by CSWE and a doctorate in social work.


Washington University in St. Louis

The George Warren Brown School of Social Work at the University of Washington in St. Louis has a history that dates back to 1909. This Brown School has been recognized for years as one of the leading social work schools and attracts students from all over the country.

The mission of the Brown School is to prepare students for policy, practice, and research. MSW students can customize their program by choosing between various concentrations and specializations. More than 300 field teaching options are available locally, nationally, and internationally.

The joint and double degree programs allow students to obtain their master’s degree in social work, as well as a master’s degree in another field (education, urban development, law, or commerce). Students interested in a college degree may consider the Brown School’s doctoral program.


Social Work Programs 2022 |FAQs

Can I earn a bachelor’s degree in social work online?

Students who want to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work online should note that the program is not entirely online. … Washburn also offers a master’s in social work degree which can be completed online or on-campus. While Washburn’s BSW is a generalist program, its MSW is a clinical program.

Does online social work school accept students in all areas?

Most online social work schools only accept students in restricted geographic areas, and many offer limited specialties. … Most online MSW programs don’t require your bachelor’s to be in a related field. The master’s of social work you choose should also be accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

How many years does it take to complete bachelor of social work degree?

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) programs generally take four years to complete. If you attend a full-time Master of Social Work (MSW) program, it should take two years. Part-time programs are available for undergrads and graduate students.

What is social work program referred as?

It depends on the school, you might see social work programs referred to as Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW), or Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW).

What is the social worker employment rate?

Overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by increased demand for healthcare and social services but will vary by specialization.

Is counseling part of social work

Counseling is a facet of social work, but social workers can only provide it if they have achieved a certain level of education and licensure — usually a master’s degree, and a clinical license. Either way, counseling is simply one of the many tools at a social worker’s disposal to help them assist their clients.


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