Case Worker Schools and Colleges with Program Summaries

Case workers, who are a type of social worker, typically need to earn a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) or Master of Social Work (MSW). When selecting a school to attend for case worker training, students may consider degree options, areas of specialization, service opportunities and program rankings.

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The minimum level of education for any case worker is a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). However, many case worker jobs - particularly those with government agencies - require employees to possess a Master of Social Work (MSW).

10 Schools with Social Work Programs

These schools have social work programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees 2015-2016*
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $20,966 in-state, $42,016 out-of-state
Washington University in St. Louis Saint Louis, MO 4-year, Private Master's, Doctoral $47,620
University of Chicago Chicago, IL 4-year, Private Master's, Doctoral $52,713
University of Washington Seattle, WA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $11,839 (in-state undergraduate), $16,278 (in-state graduate)
Columbia University New York, NY 4-year, Private Master's $44,176
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $11,074 in-state, $28,285 out-of-state
University of California--Berkeley Berkeley, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $13,431 (in-state undergraduate), $13,431 (in-state graduate)
University of Texas-Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $9,806 (in-state undergraduate), $10,934 (in-state graduate)
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH 4-year, Private Master's $41,169
Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA 4-year, Private Master's, Doctoral $26,262

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School and College Selection Criteria

Students should keep these things in mind when choosing a school:

  • Since not all schools offer all concentrations, prospective case workers should select a school that offers a specialization in their area of interest.
  • Students should determine what service programs are available at the schools they are interested in, as well as what partnerships the social work program has with advocacy groups, non-profit groups and government agencies.
  • Students may consider school accreditation and national rankings of social work programs.
  • Schools that offer a broad range of evening and weekend classes give students more flexibility in pursuing service or fieldwork opportunities during business hours.

Bachelor's Degree Program

A BSW degree is the most common degree necessary for an entry-level position as a case worker. These programs typically require around 125 hours of coursework, including general education requirements and about 400 or more hours of fieldwork. Typical coursework includes human behavior, social welfare programs and current issues, such as addiction, social work and legal issues or child abuse.

Master's Degree Program

Case workers often pursue a master's degree in social work, typically with a concentration in social services policy or administrative leadership. These concentrations can be helpful particularly if a case worker has an interest in pursuing a career with a government agency. Students typically study areas such as advocacy, program development and informatics, which is the affect of information on the policies and practices of social work. Master's programs in social work typically require around 60 hours of coursework and over 1,000 hours of fieldwork.

Prospective case workers should look for social work programs that offer the specialization they are interested in, and they may consider a school's accreditation and rankings. Other considerations may include the availability of service programs and schedule flexibility.

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