We provide comprehensive, unbiased rankings of the best online undergraduate and graduate Social Work programs across the United States. Find the best online social work degrees and the top ranked social work programs online.
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The Best Online Social Work Degrees
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Social workers are employed in a variety of environments
Why a Degree in Social Work
Do you like to help people? Are you good at maneuvering through complex situations? If so, social work should be on your list of career options! According to the National Association of Social Workers, social work is “a profession devoted to helping people function the best they can in their environment” and the Bureau of Labor Statistics adds “Social workers help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives.” We can help you find top ranked social work programs online.
Social workers earn a median salary of $50,470 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Additionally, this rewarding career path offers strong job growth potential, with the BLS projecting the creation of just over 81,000 new social work jobs between 2018 and 2028. Graduates with an online bachelor’s of social work (BSW) or online master’s of social work (MSW) degree from a CSWE accredited program meet the educational requirements for most social work careers.
- A BSW is the most common requirement for entry-level administrative positions. However, some employers may hire workers who have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as psychology or sociology. . However, some employers may hire workers who have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as psychology or sociology.
- A BSW prepares students for direct-service positions such as caseworker or mental health assistant. These programs teach students about diverse populations, human behavior, social welfare policy, and ethics in social work. All programs require students to complete supervised fieldwork or an internship.
- Clinical positions require a MSW, which generally takes 2 years to complete. MSW programs prepare students for work in their chosen specialty by developing clinical assessment and management skills. All programs require students to complete a supervised practicum or an internship.
- A BSW is not required to enroll in a MSW program. Although a bachelor’s degree in almost any major is acceptable, courses in psychology, sociology, economics, and political science are recommended. Some programs allow graduates with a bachelor’s degree in social work to earn their master’s degree in 1 year
- All states require clinical social workers to be licensed, and most states require licensure or certification for nonclinical social workers. Becoming a licensed clinical social worker requires a MSW and a minimum of 2 years of supervised clinical experience after graduation. After completing their supervised experience, clinical social workers must pass a clinical exam to be licensed. Because licensing requirements vary by state, those interested should contact their state licensure board. For more information about regulatory licensure boards by state, visit the Association of Social Work Boards.
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Social Work Accreditation
Council on Social Work Education
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the national association representing social work education in the United States. Its members include over 800 accredited baccalaureate and master’s degree social work programs, as well as individual social work educators, practitioners, and agencies dedicated to advancing quality social work education. Through its many initiatives, activities, and centers, CSWE supports quality social work education and provides opportunities for leadership and professional development, so that social workers play a central role in achieving the profession’s goals of social and economic justice. CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the United States and its territories.
About CSWE Accreditation
CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation (COA) is responsible for developing accreditation standards that define competent preparation and ensuring that social work programs meet these standards. In accordance with the requirements of CSWE’s recognition body, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the CSWE Office of Social Work Accreditation administers a multistep accreditation process that involves program self-studies, site visits, and COA reviews.
Current Number of Social Work Programs
As of the June 2020 COA meeting, there are
- 533 accredited baccalaureate social work programs
- 288 accredited master’s social work programs
- 15 baccalaureate social work programs in candidacy
- 23 master’s social work programs in candidacy
Don't take the journey alone.....
There are currently over 4,000 degree-granting institutions from which to choose from to start your educational journey. You can find your pathway at any one of them, and we are here to help you with unbiased information while evaluating your college degree opportunity.
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BEST Online Bachelor's of Social Work Program for 2020
Western New Mexico University
Our graduates gain the knowledge, values, and skills to practice social work in a variety of settings with people young and old. From counseling to case management and advocacy to intervention, our graduates find fulfillment in applying their skills to improve the lives of the people they serve.
BEST Online Master's of Social Work Program for 2020
Delaware State University
Graduates of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program possess the competencies needed to engage, assess, intervene and evaluate individuals, families, treatment groups, organizations and communities.
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The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the national association representing social work education in the United States. Its members include over 800 accredited baccalaureate and master’s degree social work programs, as well as individual social work educators, practitioners, and agencies dedicated to advancing quality social work education. CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation (COA) is responsible for developing…