The social work field is diverse, allowing people to seek careers in the medical, mental health, education and government sectors to work with clients to improve issues, such as domestic, financial and mental problems, that may be detrimental to their quality of life.
10 Schools with Social Work Programs
The following 4-year institutions offer undergraduate and/or graduate programs in social work:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016, In-state)*|
|University of Michigan-Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, Public||Master's, Doctoral||$20,966 (Graduate)|
|Washington University in St. Louis||St. Louis, MO||4-year, Private||Master's, Doctoral||$47,620 (Graduate)|
|University of Chicago||Chicago, IL||4-year, Private||Master's||$52,713 (Graduate)|
|University of Washington||Seattle, WA||4-year, Public||Master's||$16,278 (Graduate)|
|Columbia University||New York, NY||4-year, Private||Master's, Doctoral||$44,176 (Graduate)|
|University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill, NC||4-year, Public||Master's, Doctoral||$11,074 (Graduate)|
|University of California--Berkeley||Berkeley, CA||4-year, Public||Master's, Doctoral||$13,431 (Graduate)|
|University of Texas-Austin||Austin, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$9,806 (Undergraduate) $10,934 (Graduate)|
|Case Western Reserve University||Cleveland, OH||4-year, Private||Master's, Doctoral||$41,169 (Graduate)|
|Boston College||Chestnut Hill, MA||4-year, Private||Master's, Doctoral||$26,262 (Graduate)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
College Selection Criteria
When choosing a social work school, the following considerations should be noted:
- In addition to state and federal accreditation agencies, programs or schools might be accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
- Prospective students who are evaluating colleges for social work also need to consider the types of degrees available, which can include bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees.
- Students frequently consider the specializations or concentrations a school offers, which may include aging, mental health and adolescent development.
- Some schools have relationships with social service agencies, or they're located in an area with a higher demand for social services, so students have a better chance of participating in practical experiences and internship opportunities.
Bachelor's Degree in Social Work
Undergraduate students commonly need to participate in fieldwork as they prepare for entry-level careers or advanced learning opportunities. After approximately four years, this program may lead to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Social Work; another option is the professional Bachelor of Social Work option.
Master's Degree in Social Work
At the master's degree level, schools award Master of Arts, Master of Science and professional Master of Social Work degrees. Individuals can choose to concentrate their studies in areas such as clinical social work practice, social administration or policy practice. Students receive hands-on field education in addition to completing both core and specialized courses.
Ph.D. in Social Work
Those who wish to pursue careers as social work educators or researchers can earn a doctoral degree in the social work field. A Ph.D. program typically involves completing coursework, creating an original dissertation and passing a qualifying exam on social work theory and methodology. Some programs also include research and teaching internships or assistantships. Coursework focuses on research and the social sciences.
Social work degree programs are available at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. Students should consider specialization options and internship opportunities when searching for the right school to attend.