Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Work Degree Programs

Best_Online_Bachelors_in_Social_Work_Degree_Programs

Do you have a desire to help others manage life’s challenges? Do you want to make a critical, distinct difference in the lives of countless people? Then a career in social work would be an excellent fit for you. This line of work allows you to help people cope with depression, homelessness, joblessness, abandonment, addictions, and more. Social and human service workers are often working with individuals across the lifespan. They typically focus their services on a particular patient population such as schools, children and families, or those experiencing substance abuse and/or mental health issues.

If you earn a degree in social work, you could work in many areas to help people, such as in a hospital as a case management aide, a county prison as a probation officer, or a school as a behavioral management aide. Nursing homes, academic institutions, and outpatient clinics also need help from people who have this degree.

A degree in Social Work can gain you employment in fields like mental health, policy practice, advanced clinical social work practice, social and economic development, and more. You will be able to provide diagnoses, psychotherapy services, and other mental health services.

Online social work degree programs will provide you a combination of social work theory and hands-on field training. A bachelor’s degree in social work will take about four years for you to complete, and will be well worth your time if any of the above responsibilities speak to you. You can earn your degree online and start working as a helper in this world.

When you are searching through your options, it is crucial to make sure the college’s online program is accredited. If it is accredited, employers will accept the degree. If it is not, search for another school. You can check any school’s status by searching the institution’s name on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation website at https://www.chea.org/ and the U.S. Department of Education Database at https://ope.ed.gov/dapip/#/home.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Work Degree Programs

Rankings

EDsmart assesses best online colleges in social work degree programs in the nation on data that covers four main areas:

  • Cost (average net price)
  • Academic quality (graduation rate)
  • Student satisfaction (retention rate)
  • Salary After Attending (the median earnings of former students who received federal financial aid, at 10 years after entering the school)

All data was gathered from the U.S. Department of Education websites College Scorecard and College Navigator.

This ranking aims to help students assess the affordability and value of colleges and universities in Minnesota so they can make informed decisions about which college to attend.

 

1. University of North Dakota

Score: 100.0

Average Net Price: $13,728
Retention Rate: 90%
Graduation Rate: 71%
Salary After Attending: $459,000

The University of North Dakota (UND) offers one of the best online bachelor’s in social work degree programs in the US. The school has had its CSWE (Council on Social Work Education) accreditation since 1974 and is continuously modernizing its curriculum to provide a top-of-the-line education in the social work field.

The school’s social work programs are featured in numerous “best of” lists for the school’s affordability, curriculum, and post-graduation career outcomes. UND is also recognized as the first university to offer a bachelor’s in social work online utilizing web-based videoconferencing technology.

The school also maintains several award-winning, nationally-recognized student clubs, and as social work majors, students can join Phi Alpha (the honor society for social work students), the Student Social Work Association, or any number of other great clubs. The university also offers a master’s degree program for social work for those who want to further their education.

2. Troy University

Score: 98.8

Average Net Price: $14,703
Retention Rate: 85%
Graduation Rate: 69%
Salary After Attending: $494,000

Founded in 1887, Troy University is the fourth-largest institution for higher education in the state of Alabama. Now known internationally as Troy University, the school was once known as Troy State Normal School and underwent three more name changes before finally settling on its current name in 2004.

The school offers over 260 internationally recognized programs, both virtually and on-campus, and at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. It is ranked #14 among the US News and World Report’s Most Innovative Colleges and #27 among Top Public Schools.

Although primarily thought of as a school for those who want to go into the field of business administration, psychology, or nursing, Troy also has an exceptional social work program. The school offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in this field, and the curricula for both are rigorous, adhering strictly to CSWE accreditation guidelines. In 2017, Troy was ranked #1 among Alabama colleges for its social work programs and has stayed within the top five ever since.

3. Eastern New Mexico University

Score: 96.3

Average Net Price: $7,977
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 65%
Salary After Attending: $483,000

Eastern New Mexico University (ENWU) is a relatively small school located in Portales, New Mexico. Establish in 1934, ENWU is the youngest of all the state’s universities. It boasts a low ratio of students to faculty with a little less than 4,500 undergraduate students in the fall semester of 2019. Essentially, this makes it the perfect choice for students looking for that personal, one-on-one experience.

The school maintains an exceptional online social work program. In addition to being CSWE-accredited for its bachelor of social work program, the school also upholds the principles of the National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics.

Overall, the school is highly affordable and boasts a student satisfaction rating of 97%. ENMU offers over 60 different undergrad and graduate degrees. Many of these are offered at night and/or online, so it’s also perfect for students with a busy schedule. Overall, ENMU ranks #72 among the US News and World Report’s Top Performers in Social Mobility.

4. Bemidji State University

Score: 96.0

Average Net Price: $11,566
Retention Rate: 76%
Graduation Rate: 60%
Salary After Attending: $513,000

Bemidji State University is a public state university that was founded in 1919. Today, it boasts a total undergrad enrollment of over 5,000 students. Though it’s located in a rural area of Minnesota, the university offers a wide variety of online degree programs for those unable to relocate to such a remote location.

Bemidji offers 65 undergraduate programs and 14 graduate programs. A few of its most popular majors include education, nursing, business, and criminal justice, but it is also well-known for maintaining some hard-to-find programs, such as Indian studies, exhibit design, and aquatic biology. According to the US News and World Report, it ranks #22 among Top Public Schools, making it an official “top-tier” school.

The university’s social work program has maintained its CSWE accreditation since 1974, receiving its most recent re-certification in 2008. The school offers both a bachelor’s and an accelerated master’s program in social work. Bachelor’s students are fully prepared to take the exam and receive their certifications to become LSWs (licensed social workers) by the time they’ve earned their BSW degrees. There are also options to receive specialized certifications for school social work and alcohol and drug counseling.

5. Spring Arbor University

Score: 94.5

Average Net Price: $16,314
Retention Rate: 80%
Graduation Rate: 69%
Salary After Attending: $448,000

Founded initially as an elementary and secondary school in 1873, Spring Arbor University went through several name changes and mission changes when it first opened. The school first began offering college-level courses in 1923 and graduated its first class of four-year graduates in 1965. It took on its current name, Spring Arbor University, in 2001.

At its core, Spring Arbor University is a private, Christian institution. With rarely more than 15 students per class, admissions are highly competitive. However, the school boasts a student employment success rate of 92% from its graduates, meaning those who do obtain admission have a high rate of success. SAU offers over 70 different degree programs, the most popular of which include both the nursing program and the social work program.

The social work program places a balanced focus on practical skill development, research, and theory. Some of the topics covered in key courses include research design, interviewing, social welfare policies, racial and cultural minorities, and practice with individuals, families, and groups. Students also have the option to attach a Child Welfare Endorsement to their degrees, further embellishing their resumes and upping employability.

6. Presentation College

Score: 93.0

Average Net Price: $18,700
Retention Rate: 84%
Graduation Rate: 68%
Salary After Attending: $402,000

Presentation College is a small, private Catholic institution located in Aberdeen, South Dakota. It is the perfect choice for those who prefer to collaborate with their instructors one-on-one with only about 450 undergraduate students in total and a student-to-faculty ratio of just 11 to 1. At 97%, the acceptance rate is exceptionally high, especially for a private college.

Presentation offers an online CSWE-accredited bachelor of social work degree that preps students for a career in general social work practice. The main goal of the BSW program is to prepare students to work within communities, organizations, groups, families, and individuals to teach people problem-solving skills, advocate for people who can’t advocate for themselves, and help where help is needed.

For this reason, the BSW program at Presentation College favors a broader, more general study of social work as opposed to other programs that require students to find a specific focus within the field. Popular minors with this major include criminal justice, health services administration, and religious studies.

7. Aurora University

Score: 91.8

Average Net Price: $9,988
Retention Rate: 76%
Graduation Rate: 34%
Salary After Attending: $539,000

Aurora University is a private university located in the state of Illinois that enrolls about 6,000 new students each year. It offers more than 50 different degree programs in the fields of education, nursing, liberal arts, business, criminal justice, and social work. The school provides both on-campus and online formats for many of its majors, including social work.

Aurora University is known for being one of the more affordable private schools in Illinois, and it offers several merit and talent-based scholarships to incoming freshmen and transfer students. Aurora has an entire School of Social Work and offers both a bachelor of social work and a master of social work online.

There are also additional, more specialized fields of study in which students can receive certification. These include CADC (Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor), CODP I (Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorder Professional) and PEL (Professional Educators License) certifications. The school also offers doctoral degrees in social work for students looking to pursue careers in those fields. Currently, however, this degree program is only available in an on-campus format.

8. Washington State University

Score: 91.3

Average Net Price: $19,335
Retention Rate: 86%
Graduation Rate: 69%
Salary After Attending: $313,000

Washington State University ranked #79 in Top Public Schools, #106 in Best Value Schools, and #166 in National Universities, according to the US News and World Report. It offers 98 different undergrad majors, 78 master’s programs, 65 doctoral degree programs, and over 500 study-abroad programs in 48 different countries. Total enrollment sits at over 30,000 students.

While WSU doesn’t offer a BSW, it does award a bachelor’s degree in the field of sociology, which translates easily into the fields of social science and social work. Graduates from the sociology program can expect to find work in any of the following fields: mental health advocacy, case management, juvenile corrections, human and/or social services, community development, or public health.

WSU graduates with a BA in sociology are also prepared to continue on at the master’s level in the field of social work. For those looking to pursue an MSW, the sociology program is a perfect choice. Pursuing a master’s of public health or master’s of public administration are also paths graduates can take.

9. Mercy College

Score: 91.0

Average Net Price: $18,792
Retention Rate: 84%
Graduation Rate: 68%
Salary After Attending: $319,000

Mercy College is a mid-sized, private college located in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Each year, it enrolls approximately 5,000 undergraduate students, who can pursue any of its 90+ majors. The acceptance rate is about 79%, so admissions are relatively competitive. The college has five schools of study: a School of Business, a School of Education, a School of Liberal Arts, a School of Health and Natural Sciences, and a School of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Within the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Mercy College offers one of the best online social work degree programs in the state. In addition to the business and health service majors, social work is one of the school’s most popular choices. The program prepares students to work in a variety of different fields, including hospitals, schools, nursing homes, substance abuse centers, and more.

Graduates of the program are also ready for a Master of Social Work program and can usually finish it in one year as an “advanced-standing student.” In addition to 120 hours of coursework, students must also complete a practicum in the field.

10. Campbellsville University

Score: 90.8

Average Net Price: $15,265
Retention Rate: 79%
Graduation Rate: 57%
Salary After Attending: $432,000

Campbellsville University was founded in 1906 as a non-profit 501(c)3, Christian-based institution located in Campbellsville, Kentucky. The school offers over 80 different degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, 52 of which are offered virtually. It enrolls over 5,000 undergrads at any given time and has a student-to-teacher ratio of 13 to 1.

The school offers both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in social work, and both can be completed in a 100% online format (with the exception of the mandatory field experience hours). These programs are CSWE-accredited, so they enable students to become licensed social workers.

Campbellsville also interweaves Christianity into its social work curriculum. According to the school’s website, the program places heavy emphasis on “scholarship, leadership, and Christian service.” The school’s mission is to bring about social change in families, communities in the context of Christianity.

Further Reading: Affordable Online Colleges

11. Washburn University

Score: 90.5

Average Net Price: $13,279
Retention Rate: 71%
Graduation Rate: 58%
Salary After Attending: $440,000

With a solid B-rating on Niche.com, Washburn University is considered to be a widely reputable institution for post-secondary education. It was founded in 1865 and operates as a relatively small public institution, enrolling less than 4,000 undergraduate students every year. It is located in Topeka, Kansas

Washburn maintains an open admissions policy, so the acceptance rate is 100%. It’s most well-known for its nursing and liberal arts programs. The student-to-teacher ratio is 22 to 1, and the school offers over 200 different courses of study. Nearly 71% of the faculty hold doctoral degrees in their fields, so the curricula and instruction are top-of-the-line.

The school offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the field of social work, with an option to complete most of the coursework online. The school’s social work programs balance on what the school calls the “three pillars of social work.” This means the programs are regulated by the Association of Social Work Boards, accredited by the Council of Social Work Education, and supported and approved by the National Association of Social Work.

12. California State University – Chico

Score: 90.3

Average Net Price: $13,056
Retention Rate: 80%
Graduation Rate: 52%
Salary After Attending: $378,000

The US News and World Report ranks California State University-Chico (CSU, Chico) at #9 in Top Public Schools, #18 in Best Undergraduate Teaching, #27 in Regional Universities West.

The school, which was founded in 1887, maintains the second oldest CSU campus in California. It operates eight different schools of study, including the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, which is where the School of Social Work can be found. The School of Social Work offers both a BSW and an MSW. CSU, Chico is particularly well-known for its Distributed Learning Program, which allows students to complete coursework in a conveniently online format.

The social work program places a heavy emphasis on practical skills, hands-on training, and field education. During their final two semesters, and thanks to the field education component, students can intern for government, non-profit, and private practices for up to 16 hours per week. This gives them the relevant hands-on experience they need to be able to leave school and enter the workforce immediately.

13. University of North Alabama

Score: 90.3

Average Net Price: $21,973
Retention Rate: 87%
Graduation Rate: 67%
Salary After Attending: $366,000

The University of North Alabama (UNA) is the state of Alabama’s oldest four-year university. It’s located in the city of Florence and is well-known for having two actual, live lions (the school’s mascots) on campus. The US News and World Report ranks it at #72 among Top Public Schools and College Factual currently places it at #4 among Best Alabama Schools for Social Work.

The school has awarded a bachelor’s of social work degree for several years. As of 2019, it also maintains a master’s of social work program that can be completed 100% online (excluding the field internship). The BSW degree program is a 120-hour program that incorporates a wide variety of topics relevant to the social work field. These include volunteer service and community engagement, social services, programs and policies, diversity and cultural competence, gerontology, human behavior at all stages of life, ethical decision-making, and more. By the end of the program, graduates are able to successfully enter the workforce in a variety of social services positions or continue on to graduate school.

14. Western New Mexico University

Score: 89.8

Average Net Price: $12,970
Retention Rate: 81%
Graduation Rate: 41%
Salary After Attending: $350,000

Located in beautiful Silver City, New Mexico, Western New Mexico University (WNMU) is a small institution that enrolls less than 1,500 undergrad students on average. It has an open admissions policy and is well-known for its nursing, liberal arts, and welding majors. The school offers over 70 different degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Many of these are offered 100% online.

WNMU offers several degree programs in the social work field, beginning with an associate’s of arts in human services. There is also a bachelor’s of social work program and two master’s of social work programs, one advanced and one not. The school’s social work programs have held accreditation since 1994, and today, those classes are offered in a 100% online format that run through every fall, spring, and summer semester.

Because social work programs are offered every semester, the class sizes are generally small. The curriculum is designed with a major emphasis on both the academic aspects of social work and the soft-skills aspect, which includes service, social justice, and integrity.

15. Viterbo University

Score: 88.8

Average Net Price: $11,090
Retention Rate: 70%
Graduation Rate: 43%
Salary After Attending: $450,000

With a solid B-rating on Niche.com, Viterbo University is a worthy choice when it comes to post-secondary education. The school was founded in 1890, and despite being a private university, the US News and World Report actually ranks it at #45 among Best Value Schools.

Viterbo is a Catholic, Franciscan institution that offers over 70 different degree programs both on-campus and online. These courses range from the bachelor’s level to the doctoral level. In addition to an exceptional transfer-credit policy, Viterbo also operates accelerated programs alongside many of its bachelor’s programs.

Although the university isn’t well-known for its online bachelor’s in social work degree programs, the school does offer a top-of-the-line social work program, which holds accreditation from the CSWE and constantly updates its core curriculum to reflect those high standards. Students can earn either a bachelor’s of arts or a bachelor’s of science in social work. The curriculum consists of 13 different “classroom” courses and an intensive 450-hour field education component. At the end of the program, students can take the exam to become licensed social workers (LSW).

16. Colorado State University-Fort Collins

Score: 88.5

Average Net Price: $14,789
Retention Rate: 76%
Graduation Rate: 58%
Salary After Attending: $292,000

Colorado State University ranks #77 and #79 among Most Innovative Schools and Best Value Schools, respectively. Its main campus is located in the city of Fort Collins, and stands as a land-grant institution. It operates eight different schools of study, a few of which include the College of Agricultural Sciences, the College of Liberal Arts, and more.

The School of Social Work falls under the College of Health and Human Sciences at CSU. The school offers a bachelor’s and a master’s of social work degree, a master’s of social work/master’s of public health dual degree, and a Ph.D. in social work. At the master’s level, there are several specializations on which can students can focus, including military and veteran culture, nonprofit administration, conflict resolution and mediation, and more.

The BSW program doesn’t have particular specializations, but the curriculum is equally as intense and rewarding. CSU has offered the BSW since 1974. The program prepares students for jobs in mental health counseling, medical/public health social work, child welfare social work, school social work, and others.

17. Brigham Young University-Idaho

Score: 88.0

Average Net Price: $19,333
Retention Rate: 80%
Graduation Rate: 67%
Salary After Attending: $300,000

No matter your religious affiliation or educational goals, chances are you’ve heard of Brigham Young University-Idaho (BYUI). It’s a highly rated and very prestigious private, Christian university located in Rexburg, Idaho, and is one of the few schools with an A+ rating on Niche.com, and the US News and World Report ranks it at #12 among Best Value Schools.

The university boasts an undergraduate enrollment rate of nearly 30,000 students per year. The school has an acceptance rate of 94.8%, meaning the school turns away very few individuals seeking high-quality postsecondary education.

BYUI has offered accredited social work programs since 1981, and continues to maintain those programs today. The school awards both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work. The BSW program requires students to earn 62 hours of credit (in addition to the original 60 hours required for the associate’s degree). Graduates’ licensure rate is an impressive 93%.

18. Union Institute & University

Score: 86.5

Average Net Price: $10,117
Retention Rate: 68%
Graduation Rate: 49%
Salary After Attending: $340,000

Union Institute & University is a private, non-profit school based in Cincinnati, Ohio, with additional campuses in California, Florida, and Vermont. It’s a four-year institution best known for offering the majority of its 50+ degree programs entirely online. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA) accredits its bachelor’s and graduate degree programs.

Although the social work major is not what the school is best known for, the Department of Social Work at Union Institute & University is top-of-the-line. The school offers a bachelor’s of science in social work that places a heavy emphasis on teaching via empirical practice and research.

With the exception of the field experience practicum, which is conducted in a location most convenient to the student, the program is conducted 100% online to accommodate even the busiest of students. The school also has a very generous transfer credit policy that allows students to transfer up to 64 hours of previously earned college credit.

19. Huntington University

Score: 85.5

Average Net Price: $15,855
Retention Rate: 78%
Graduation Rate: 57%
Salary After Attending: $226,000

Located in the great state of Indiana, Huntington University is a private, Christian institution that ranks very highly on both Niche.com and the US News and World Report. It sits at #8 among Best Colleges for Veterans, #10 among Best Value Schools, #11 for Best Undergraduate Teaching, #16 among Regional Colleges South, and more.

The Social Work Department at Huntington is accredited by the CSWE and offers a top-of-the-line BSW degree. Because Huntington is a primarily Christian university, its programs focus on academics while placing the practice of social work into a religious context. Popular topics for classes include social welfare, social justice, and service to others.

This program’s curriculum is a mixture of comprehensive class instruction, global networking, community service and involvement, and no less than 600 hours of field experience. Despite the relatively large time commitment, the hours spent shadowing and working in real-world social work environments are what prepare Huntington students for careers in social work, more so than any other program in the state.

20. Prairie View A&M University

Score: 84.5

Average Net Price: $17,220
Retention Rate: 71%
Graduation Rate: 65%
Salary After Attending: $269,000

Located in Prairie View, Texas, PV-A&M ranks #21 on the US News and World Report’s Best Historically Black Colleges and Universities list. Prairie View is only one of the many Agricultural and Mechanical HBCU’s distributed across the United States. It’s widely known for its engineering programs, as most A&M universities are, but it also has exceptional programs in the fields of business management, marketing, homeland security, and health professions.

Its social work department is also top-of-the-line. The school awards bachelor’s of social work degree programs that prepare students for entry-level careers or continued graduate-level education. These programs center on generalized social work, as opposed to narrowing students’ focuses to a single, specific area of social work.

The program has held accreditation from the CSWE since 1980, and its curriculum is constantly being updated to keep up with the ever-changing, innovative field of social work.

21. Salisbury University

Score: 84.3

Average Net Price: $16,644
Retention Rate: 81%
Graduation Rate: 57%
Salary After Attending: $160,000

Salisbury University opened its doors in 1925, and operates today as a relatively small public institution out of Salisbury, Maryland. It offers 62 different programs of study, 45 of which are undergraduate level, two at the doctoral level, and fifteen at the master’s level.

The university topped the “Best Colleges for Your Money” charts for six consecutive years, and is currently one of the most reasonably priced four-year universities in the state of Maryland. The school offers both bachelor’s degree and master’s degree programs in the field of social work.

The BSW program earned its accreditation in the 1970s, added a dual degree program in 1990, and earned accreditation for its master’s degree program in 2001. Because each program is CSWE-accredited, students who graduate can take the LSW examination to obtain their licenses. After graduation, most Salisbury graduates go on to work in the field of social work, holding jobs as patient advocates, adoption service counselors, probation officers, and more.

22. The University of Tennessee

Score: 84.0

Average Net Price: $18,317
Retention Rate: 69%
Graduation Rate: 71%
Salary After Attending: $219,000

The University of Tennessee was founded in the year 1794 under the name Blount College, acquiring its current name in 1879. It is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the state. Located in the city of Knoxville, this school boasts one of the largest student bodies of any university in the state. It operates 11 different schools of study and offers over 900 programs–360 undergratuate and 560 graduate level programs.

The U of T’s College of Social Work, which was established in 1942 in Nashville, is one of its most prestigious schools of study. Since its establishment, the department has offered CSWE-accredited degrees in social work to hundreds of thousands of aspiring social workers. The school offers a bachelor’s and a master’s of science in social work both on-campus and online. It also awards two different doctoral degrees in the field–a doctorate or a Ph.D. in social work.

In 2019, the School of Social Work ranked #25 in the field of social work among all public universities. It’s the perfect place to jumpstart your future and obtain the top-of-the-line, real-world education that you want.

23. California State University-East Bay

Score: 83.5

Average Net Price: $11,295
Retention Rate: 73%
Graduation Rate: 42%
Salary After Attending: $194,000

Ranked by AffordableColleges.org as the #1 school for online education in California, California State University-East Bay is located in Hayward, California. More commonly referred to as Cal State East Bay, the school is known for its dedication to providing affordable, high-quality online education to its students. It offers 100+ programs in various fields of study, at least 50 of which are offered entirely online.

Although the school doesn’t offer a BSW degree, it does offer a graduate-level program through which students can earn their master’s degrees in social work. Cal State East Bay takes a more modern approach to the field of social work. In addition to focusing on issues such as child psychology or welfare for veterans and the elderly, Cal State East Bay’s MSW program also focuses heavily on some of the more alternative social work issues of today.

For that reason, coursework covers topics such as homophobia, racism, ableism, classism, ageism, sexism, etc. Other topics covered are discrimination, urban, multicultural, and multiracial populations, poverty issues, and many other prevalent social issues of today.

24. Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Score: 83.3

Average Net Price: $13,341
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 44%
Salary After Attending: $231,000

Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSULA) opened its doors as Louisiana State Normal School in 1884 and added its first four-year degree program in 1921. Today, it operates out of four different campus locations in Louisiana and through its global online campus. NSULA is the biggest, most comprehensive online education provider in the state.

The school holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and it offers over 60 different programs, 40 of which can be completed virtually. In addition to the SACSCOC-accreditation, NSULA also runs a social work program accredited by the CSWE.

Like most of NSULA’s other degree programs, the BSW program can be taken entirely online. Of course, this does not include the mandatory field experience hours, which are scheduled during students’ final two semesters. The program consists of 120 credit hours and field experience in its entirety.

25. Metropolitan State University of Denver

Score: 82.8

Average Net Price: $19,421
Retention Rate: 75%
Graduation Rate: 58%
Salary After Attending: $257,000

The Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU) is a public institution that first opened in 1965. Today, it owns 16 different NCAA teams and enrolls over 20,000 students in total. The school offers 100+ different majors, eight graduate programs, and an additional 34 certificate programs. The US News and World Report ranks it at #5 among Most Innovative Schools.

MSU offers both bachelor’s of science in social work degrees and MSW degrees online, both of which hold accreditation from the CSWE. Bachelor’s degree courses are relatively generalized, but at the master’s level, students can choose from either an individuals and families concentration or a leadership and management concentration. Students in the master’s degree program can also choose to pursue either an advanced or traditional master’s degree.

The BS degree involves traditional classwork and 480 hours of field experience. Sample classes in the curriculum cover topics such as social work policy, contemporary gender and sexuality issues, human behavior and the social environment, privilege, oppression and power, and more. The school also offers stipends for social work students in need.

26. Limestone College

Score: 82.5

Average Net Price: $12,754
Retention Rate: 75%
Graduation Rate: 42%
Salary After Attending: $168,000

Limestone College in is a small private institution located in Gaffney, South Carolina. Generally, it enrolls less than 2,000 undergraduates each year. The US News and World Report ranks it #49 among Regional Colleges South and #82 among Top Performers on Social Mobility. It’s an exceptional school that offers numerous online programs, but its acceptance rates are relatively competitive at just over 40%.

Its most popular majors include law enforcement administration, business, and social work and youth services. Limestone’s virtual social work program is one of the only online social work degree programs in the entire state of South Carolina. It was also recently ranked among the top 20 programs in the nation.

The school offers a BSW degree that can be completed either 100% online (excluding fieldwork) or in a hybrid format that combines both online and on-campus classes. The program is CSWE certified, and students that complete it are fully prepared to become licensed social workers.

27. Utah State University

Score: 82.3

Average Net Price: $13,276
Retention Rate: 64%
Graduation Rate: 34%
Salary After Attending: $343,000

Founded in 1888 and officially renamed Utah State University (USU) in 1957, USU is a public land-grant college located in Logan, Utah. It boasts a high enrollment rate of over 27,000 students, offers 165 undergraduate degrees, 138 graduate degrees, and over 1,000 study abroad opportunities.

Many of its 300+ degree programs are available either 100% online or through a hybrid course format, designed to accommodate even the busiest of students. These are some of the most easily-accessible courses of any university in the state of Utah.

USU offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work. Although the school only used to award a bachelor’s of science or a bachelor’s of arts in social work, it now also offers a BSW degree. The BA and BS curricula is a general overview of the social work field, and there is only one notable difference between the two: students pursuing a BA in social work must take several credit hours in a foreign language class. The BSW degree program is more specialized. All degrees require 480 hours of field experience.

28. Brescia University

Score: 81.8

Average Net Price: $16,134
Retention Rate: 50%
Graduation Rate: 70%
Salary After Attending: $202,000

Located in rural Owensboro, Kentucky, Brescia University is a Catholic, liberal arts college that consistently shows up on the US News and World Report’s list of top-ranked schools. Currently, Brescia sits at #14 among Best Value Schools, #29 among Regional Colleges South and #60 for Top Performers on Social Mobility. The school offers over 50 different degree programs.

The school awards online BSW and MSW degrees through its Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The school holds accreditation from SACS, and the social work programs are accredited by the CSWE. In order to obtain their BSW degree, students are required to complete 128 hours of college credit. However, the school has a very generous transfer credit policy that allows them to transfer up to 86 credits from another school.

For both degrees, all coursework can be completed entirely online, but field experience is required for both. For the BSW degree, students must complete at least 350 hours of field experience; for the MSW, students must complete 500 hours.

29. University of Utah

Score: 81.3

Average Net Price: $13,349
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 30%
Salary After Attending: $267,000

Founded in 1850, the University of Utah–also known simply as “The U”–is a large, public university that serves over 31,000 students, approximately 19,000 of whom are undergraduates. It’s a highly ranked school, receiving an A-rating on Niche.com and showing up on numerous “Best of” lists on the US News and World Report, which ranks it #44 among Top Public Schools.

The U offers degrees in social work at the bachelor’s (BSW), master’s (MSW), and doctoral (Ph.D.) levels. The BSW degree program is accredited by the CSWE as being fit to provide an education to students interested in becoming general social workers. Because of this accreditation, students can also take the exam to become licensed social workers after graduation.

The degree program places heavy emphasis on working with marginalized groups of people–especially within the United States. This includes various minority groups, those suffering from mental illness, illegal immigrants, refugees, and LGBTQ individuals. The BSW program is a 51-credit-hour major (in addition to previously earned general education credits) and can be taken entirely online or in a hybrid format. Field experience is also required.

30. Wayne State University

Score: 81.3

Average Net Price: $21,892
Retention Rate: 81%
Graduation Rate: 62%
Salary After Attending: $44,800

Wayne State University is a public, postsecondary educational institution that serves over 27,000 students and is located in Detroit, Michigan. It operates 13 different schools of study, offering more than 350 degree and certificate programs to its students–many of which can be completed entirely online.

WSU’s most popular majors include organizational behavioral studies, nursing, and biology, but the social work program is also one of the best in the state. The Wayne State University School of Social Work was first accredited in 1935, and began offering online social work degrees in 2011. The specific program holds accreditation from the CSWE, while the school as a whole is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Social work degrees are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The BSW degree program can be taken on-campus or 100% online (excluding fieldwork). During students’ senior years, they must complete at least 460 hours of fieldwork over the course of a two-semester internship. Applicants into the program must already have 60 hours worth of college credit and at least a 2.5 GPA.

31. King University

Score: 80.8

Average Net Price: $16,685
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 43%
Salary After Attending: $257,000

King University was founded in 1867 as a private, Christian institution in Bristol, Tennessee. Today, it holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). King offers over 90 different degree programs, certificate programs, and more, including a CSWE-accredited bachelor’s of social work degree.

The school’s social work program operates within its School of Health and Professional Sciences. Students are expected to understand the importance of well-being and ethical decision-making, as well as the advantages of collaboration. The program not only meets CSWE standards; it actually exceeds those standards in many respects.

The program can be taken either on-campus, online, or in a hybrid format that incorporates both online and on-campus study. Students must complete a total of 52 degree-specific credit hours and a grand total of 120 credit hours. Because the online program appeals to many remote students, there isn’t a fixed number of field experience hours every student must complete. Rather, that number is determined by the student’s state of residence.

32. The University of Alabama

Score: 80.8

Average Net Price: $18,730
Retention Rate: 78%
Graduation Rate: 56%
Salary After Attending: $161,000

Widely known as Alabama’s flagship university, the University of Alabama (UA) was founded in 1831 as the state’s first public college. UA is the largest post-secondary educational institution in the state of Alabama, and for the past three years, it has broken its previous enrollment records. It currently enrolls over 38,000 students, and the student-to-teacher ratio in most classes is 23 to 1. The school offers 200+ degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The school is best known for its engineering, business, communications, and social work degree programs. UA actually has its very own School of Social Work, which was established in 1965. To this day, it’s still the only one of its kind in Alabama. It offers social work degrees at the bachelor’s, masters, and doctoral levels. According to CollegeFactual.com, UA is the best school for social work in the state.

The BSW degree program prepares students for a career as a general social worker. Common courses cover social welfare policy, human behavior, human development, oppression and social injustice, the history of social welfare in the United States, and much more. One of the coolest things about the social work program at UA is that students can choose to intern in Washington D.C. For those students in need of convenience more so than a unique experience, this internship isn’t required, however. If they so choose, students can complete required fieldwork locally.

33. University of Alaska Fairbanks

Score: 80.5

Average Net Price: $8,801
Retention Rate: 61%
Graduation Rate: 42%
Salary After Attending: $184,000

The University of Alaska, Fairbanks was founded in 1917. It usually has a little over 8,000 students for total enrollment between its undergraduate and graduate programs. The school maintains ten different schools of study. In total, the school awards 146 different degrees and 32 certificates.

The school’s social work department offers a CSWE-accredited bachelor’s of arts in social work program, which can be completed on-campus, online, or in a hybrid format. Students are required to complete 400 hours of field experience under the supervision of a licensed social worker.

The program aims to teach students how to work effectively within Alaska’s rural communities, so there is a heavy emphasis on Native Alaskan learning philosophies, behavioral sciences, and liberal arts. Because the social work major at UAF is so popular, there are also several student and professional organizations centered around social work. These include the Organization of Student Social Workers, the National Association of Social Workers Alaska Chapter, and the Alaska Native Social Worker Organization.

34. University of Nebraska at Kearney

Score: 80.3

Average Net Price: $15,464
Retention Rate: 70%
Graduation Rate: 50%
Salary After Attending: $202,000

The University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) is a small, public university that serves a little less than 4,000 undergraduates each year. A few of its most popular majors include elementary education, business, parks and recreation, and leisure studies. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and offers 166 different programs of study to its students.

The school’s Department of Social Work offers both a BSW degree program and an MSW degree program. These programs can be taken on-campus or through UNK’s eCampus learning program. Whichever way students choose to pursue the degree, they are required to complete fieldwork, and at the end of the program, students can take the licensure exam to become licensed social workers.

Most graduates either continue their education in the master’s program or enter directly into the workforce. Graduates often pursue careers within nursing homes, child welfare groups, residential treatment facilities, the department of family services, and other similar positions.

35. Thomas University

Score: 78.0

Average Net Price: $19,329
Retention Rate: 59%
Graduation Rate: 50%
Salary After Attending: $305,000

Founded in 1950 and located in Thomasville, Georgia, Thomas University is a small, private institution that offers degrees at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and graduate levels. It’s a competitive school with an acceptance rate of only about 48%, which keeps the undergraduate enrollment numbers small–usually around 500 students. The school offers 34 different degree programs, but it is most well-known for its law enforcement, criminal justice, and nursing majors.

The school offers a BSW in social work, widely known for its deeply comprehensive coursework. The program is fully accredited by the CSWE and the majority of coursework can be completed online, with the exception of fieldwork, which must total 400 hours to count toward the BSW degree.

The majority of students enjoy the program because it runs on a flexible schedule and the low ratio of students to teachers makes learning one-on-one easy and helpful. According to SocialWorkColleges.com, Thomas University’s social work program is ranked 4th in all of Georgia.

36. North Dakota State University-Main Campus

Score: 76.0

Average Net Price: $13,312
Retention Rate: 63%
Graduation Rate: 33%
Salary After Attending: $183,000

North Dakota State University (NDSU)’s main campus is located in Fargo, North Dakota, operating as a public, land-grant research university that prides itself on being extremely student-focused. Among public research institutions, NDSU ranks #94. The school offers programs for 100 different undergraduate degrees, 86 master’s degrees, and 50 doctoral degrees. Total enrollment usually sits between 13,000 and 13,500 students.

NDSU offers a dual degree in social work & human development and family science. Because the degree program is accredited by the CSWE, students are able to acquire all the knowledge they need to take the LSW exam and become licensed social workers upon completion of the program.

Students take the human development and family science (HDFS) portion of the degree through NDSU. They also take the social work component through a partner institution, Minot State University. Upon completion of the program, students have dual degrees – a BS in human development and family science and a BSW.

37. Missouri State University-Springfield

Score: 74.5

Average Net Price: $12,045
Retention Rate: 56%
Graduation Rate: 25%
Salary After Attending: $75,000

Missouri State University at Springfield was founded in 1905, and is Missouri’s second-largest university. It enrolls over 20,000 students annually and offers over 170 different majors and programs to its students. It has its very own School of Social Work that offers both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in social work.

The BSW program is accredited and supported by both the CSWE and the NASW. Because social work is such a popular major at the school, there is a social work club on campus for students. The program takes a generalist view of the social work field and puts a high premium on ethics, values, and diversity.

Coursework can be completed online, but the fieldwork component places students under the supervision of an actual licensed social worker. Popular course topics include social work within different groups (i.e. couples, veterans organizations, families, etc.), understanding and evaluating social policy, community practice, case management, advocacy, and more.

38. Northern Arizona University

Score: 73.3

Average Net Price: $24,073
Retention Rate: 51%
Graduation Rate: 50%
Salary After Attending: $232,000

Northern Arizona University (NAU) was founded in 1899 and is located in Flagstaff, Arizona. It’s a public university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission that offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees up to the doctoral level. The school offers over 140 undergraduate degrees and certificates and over 100 different graduate degrees and certificates. It’s a large school that usually enrolls over 30,000 students each year.

The school’s Department of Social Work offers both bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees in the field of social work. According to the most recent data, the BSW program hosts 584 students, and the MSW program hosts 52. The college has maintained its social work programs for the last 30 years.

Both the school itself and the social work program individually are highly ranked. Study.com lists NAU’s online bachelor degree programs as being #1 in flexibility for working adults. Intelligent.com also ranked the school’s social work at #11 in the Southwest for Best Online Social Work Programs. It’s also been called one of the nation’s best research universities by the National Science Foundation.

39. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Score: 72.5

Average Net Price: $22,566
Retention Rate: 66%
Graduation Rate: 52%
Salary After Attending: $64,200

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) is a public institution of postsecondary education located in Odessa, Texas. It maintains five different schools of study, offering 35 undergraduate programs and 18 graduate programs. It enrolls a little less than 6,000 students annually, approximately 4,750 of which are undergraduates. According to the US News and World Report, the school ranks at #29 among Top Performers on Social Mobility and #42 among Top Public Schools.

The school is most well-known for its nursing, psychology, and business administration majors, but it also runs an exceptional social work program. Common areas of study include client advocacy, case management, crisis intervention, interviewing and assessment, and much more. Students gain the skills they need to become effective social workers who can work in diverse communities.

40. Indiana Wesleyan University

Score: 69.5

Average Net Price: $19,568
Retention Rate: 64%
Graduation Rate: 39%
Salary After Attending: $12,400

Indiana Wesleyan University is a private, evangelical Christian institution located in Marion, Indiana. It’s a fairly prestigious university, boasting high rankings on both the US News and World Report and Niche.com.

The school offers over 80 different programs of study, one of which is social work. The school doesn’t offer a BSW, but it does offer a bachelor’s of science in social work. The program is fully accredited by the CSWE, preparing students for a variety of positions in the social work field.

Indiana Wesleyan students aim to help others to meet their fundamental human needs, and the social work program is centered on that aim. Courses focus on the impact of poverty, social interactions between families, groups and communities, and more. Coursework can be completed online or on-campus, but there’s also a mandatory fieldwork component that must be completed during students’ senior years.

41. Briar Cliff University

Score: 67.5

Average Net Price: $21,709
Retention Rate: 52%
Graduation Rate: 26%
Salary After Attending: $154,000

Founded in 1930 by the Sisters of Saint Francis of Dubuque, Briar Cliff is a private, Catholic university in Sioux, Iowa. Despite being a private institution, Briar Cliff has an open enrollment policy. Class sizes are generally small due to the minimal number of undergraduates each year, which is usually somewhere around 700-730 students. Briar Cliff is best known for its nursing, criminology, and business programs.

Its social work program, though less well-known, is truly exceptional. Because Briar Cliff’s social work program can be completed entirely online, it’s a popular option for students all over the country. It has held accreditation from the CSWE since 1974, and it ranks #4 among Most Affordable Online Bachelor of Social Work Programs, according to Optimal.

Despite being online, the program offers a very intensive and immersive social work curriculum. Common class topics include the history of social work, community organization, and several different independent study classes. Another of the program’s notable features is the opportunity to spend three weeks in Guatemala, gaining hands-on experience with the Asociaciòn Nuestros Ahijados.

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