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List of Top Colleges with Master of Social Work Degrees

Get the specifics of Master of Social Work degree programs at three top universities. Learn about school rankings, program options and internship opportunities at these schools.

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School Overviews

Master's degree programs in social work usually offer areas of concentration, such as children and families, seniors and mental health. This is the case for the top two schools for earning master's degrees in social work, the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor and Columbia University. These schools both have nationally-ranked social work programs that offer methods and practice concentration areas.

1. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

School Highlight: The University of Michigan's School of Social Work offers specialized scholarship programs in the fields of child welfare, pediatrics, urban social work, and more.

The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor was named the fourth best public university in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in 2015. In 2012, the publication also listed the university number one in its ranking of the top graduate social work programs. Students in the Master of Social Work program specialize in a particular practice method and area of concentration. Students who are unable to enroll fulltime may enroll in the MSW Extended Degree Program, which combines part- and full-time enrollment.

2. Columbia University in New York, NY

School Highlight: Graduate students in Columbia's Social Work Master's program can choose from four method areas and seven fields of practice while enrolled.

Columbia University is an Ivy League school and was ranked fourth in a 2015 ranking of top national universities by U.S. News and World Report. Additionally, U.S. News ranked Columbia the fifth best graduate school in the nation for social work in 2012. Columbia offers a Master of Science in Social Work, which may be completed in two years of full-time study or up to four years of part-time study. Students select a primary method of practice and area of practice. Practice areas include aging, family and youth, mental health and disabilities, and immigrant and refugee services. During the course of study, students are required to perform 1200 hours of fieldwork at social organizations and agencies.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Adult Development and Aging
  • Child Care Management
  • Child Care Services
  • Child Development
  • Community Organization and Advocacy
  • Family and Community Services
  • Family Systems
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Social Work
  • Youth Services

Top Social Work Master's Degree Programs

School Name Distinction Location
New York University The university's Silver School of Social Work has educated more than 14,000 social workers since 1960. New York, NY
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick The school offers both a 100% online and a blended online MSW program. New Brunswick, NJ
University of California - Berkeley UC Berkeley tied for seventh place on U.S. News & World Report's 2012 list of schools with best graduate social work programs. Berkeley, CA
University of California - Los Angeles UCLA offers a Leadership Initiative for students enrolled in its Luskin School of Public Affairs. Los Angeles, CA
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign MSW students can take place in the school's new international field placement option in South Africa. Champaign, IL
University of Southern California USC ranked at #25 on U.S. News & World Report's 2015 ranking of all national universities. Los Angeles, CA
University of Texas at Austin MSW students can conduct research through The Center for Social Work Research (CSWR). Austin, TX
University of Washington - Seattle In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university #3 on its list of best graduate social work programs. Seattle, WA
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