The latest employment trends indicate that the growing demand for professionals who have completed their accredited social work degree is a fast growing sector of today’s society. Since social work is increasingly one of the human services majors available online, it is not suprising that the U.S. News and World Report’s listed the occupation as the 73rd best job in America. And it seems that online classrooms are perfect for altruistic social justice advocates who seek to alleviate poor human conditions while juggling hectic work or family schedules. Online social work degrees can still teach you the organization, critical thinking, active listening, and communication skills nonprofit employers require of practitioners. The convenience of online education has made finishing your BSW or MSW for state licensure simpler than ever before though. According to The Learning House Inc., flexibility is why enrollment in America’s online colleges is expected to hit 5 million by 2020! To help you find the best program to suit your needs, we’ve created the ultimate guide to the United States’ 50 Best Accredited Online Social Work Degree Programs with minimal or no on-campus requirements.
To create our list of the 50 Best Online Accredited Social Work Degree Programs, we used the NCES College Navigator database to search for four-year colleges offering bachelor’s or advanced degrees via distance education in social work or clinical social work. Our search yielded 68 school results that we compared with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation directory. Next, we reviewed national and regional ranking systems to select the 50 most well-regarded options with affordability for less than $1,600 per credit. Our final ordering also weighed curriculum strength, faculty access, online technology, licensing eligibility, fieldwork opportunities, and competitiveness.
Without further introduction, we present our selections of the 50 Best Accredited Online Social Work Degree Programs:
1. Case Western Reserve University
Described as “Cleveland’s Big-Leaguer,” Case Western Reserve University is ranked America’s 37th best college by Times Higher Education and 48th top research institution by Forbes. For 36 credits costing $1,419 each, CWRU offers BSW graduates an Online Master of Science in Social Administration for Mental Health with Adults or Children, Youth & Family Services.
2. Rutgers University
Belonging to the AAU, Rutgers University is crowned America’s 22nd top public school by The Wall Street Journal and 19th best college ROI in Forbes. Featuring a Violence Against Women and Children Certificate, Rutgers’ MSW 100% Online Program in Clinical Social Work costs $8,100 per full-time semester for cohorts of 25 to pursue LCSW licensure.
3. Boston University
Affiliated with eight Nobel laureates, Boston University is named the United States’ 66th best private college by Forbes and globe’s 32nd top institution by the U.S. News. The BU School of Social Work confers two Online MSW majors for $750 per credit in Clinical Social Work or Macro Social Work with 1,200 field internship hours.
4. Fordham University
Upholding Jesuit values, Long Island’s Fordham University is nationally ranked the 60th best university by the U.S. News and 70th top research institution on Forbes. Priced at $907 per credit, Fordham’s Online Master of Social Work welcomes New York Tri-State residents for focused expertise in clinical or macro leadership practice with optional CASAC-T credentialing.
5. Louisiana State University
Led by President F. King Alexander, Louisiana State University is declared America’s 41st top public college by Forbes with the 59th best student life on Niche. Starting six times yearly, the MSW Online charges $509 per credit for LSU post-grads to become advanced generalist practitioners with modules like human oppression and 960 internship hours.
6. Saint Louis University
Founded in 1818 by Jesuits, Saint Louis University is placed the United States’ 109th best college by Times Higher Education and 56th top private value in Kiplinger’s. The SLU College for Public Health and Social Justice offers 10-week online blended courses for $950 per credit to finish the MSW in Clinical Social Work or Community and Organization.
7. University of Houston
Generating a $3 billion annual impact, the University of Houston is ranked 31st on the Social Mobility Index and 94th nationally by CWUR. Directed by Dr. Ginger Lucas, Houston’s Online MSW accepts applications until March 1st for Blackboard cohorts to enter the Clinical Concentration with costs at $4,262 in-state and $8,897 out-of-state per full-time semester.
8. Baylor University
Enrolling 16,787 Bears, Baylor University is distinguished as America’s 64th best private value in Kiplinger’s and 85th top research institute by Forbes. Located in Downtown Waco, Texas, the Diana R. Garland School launched the Online MSW in 2014 for Advanced Standing Baylor students to concentrate in Clinical or Community Practice for $1,515 per credit.
9. University of Alabama
Conferring 7,905 degrees yearly, the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa is named America’s 70th top public college by Forbes with the 17th happiest students on The Daily Beast. Featuring 1,000 field education hours, the Online Master of Social Work costs $375 per credit via Bama By Distance for studying on Blackboard with select Saturday sessions.
10. University of Denver
Noted for its Conflict Resolution Institute, the University of Denver is ranked America’s 86th best college on the USNWR and 19th top “Impact School” by The Princeton Review. With a Mental Health and Trauma concentration, the Online MSW@Denver is a full-time, 27-month program billing $47,520 annually before aid to produce licensed social justice advocates.
11. University of Tennessee
Within the SEC Academic Consortium, the University of Tennessee in Knoxville is crowned the 227th best global college by CWUR and 71st best big school on Niche. Offering integrated health stipends to afford $6,542 in-state and $15,751 out-of-state per semester, the Tennessee Online MSSW Program focuses on Macro Practice with synchronous courses and 1,024 practicum hours.
12. University of New Hampshire
Endowed for $336 million, the University of New Hampshire is applauded as Amercia’s 107th best university by the U.S. News and 52nd top public college on Forbes. Taking 28 months, the Online Master of Social Work delivers 20 all courses asynchronously for $770 per credit to advance practice in Mental Health, Addictions, Child Welfare, and Disability Services.
13. Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
Opened in 1969, Indiana University-Pursue University Indianapolis is the 124th best national university on Times Higher Education and 97th top big school on Niche. Charging Indianians $541 and non-residents $675 per credit, the IUPUI Social Work MSW Online includes 875 fieldwork hours for Youth & Families, Leadership, Health, Mental Health & Addictions, or School concentrations.
14. University at Buffalo
Leading the SUNY system with 29,806 enrolled, the University at Buffalo is designated the United States’ 69th top public school on Forbes and 138th best Common App university by Niche. Taking a trauma-informed and human rights perspective, Buffalo’s MSW Online Part-Time Program costs $540 in-state or $925 out-of-state with 900 practicum hours from Niagara to Nigeria.
15. University of Louisville
Considered Kentucky’s “Preeminent Metropolitan Research University,” the University of Louisville is ranked 172nd nationally in Washington Monthly and 73rd among Sierra’s coolest schools. Open for admission until May 30th, the Kent School’s Online MSSW builds knowledge in child welfare, mental health, healthcare, and international practice for $714 per credit.
16. University of Arkansas
Budgeting $485 million annually, the University of Arkansas is deemed America’s 76th top public institution on Forbes with the 47th best online graduate education by the USNWR. Authorized in 48 states except Colorado and North Carolina, Arkansas’ Online Advanced Standing MSW is a 12-month, GRE-exempt program charging $409 per credit with 22 hours of weekly internships.
17. The Catholic University of America
Boasting a 95 percent LGSW pass rate, The Catholic University of America is the 124th best national university on the U.S. News and 58th most conservative school on Niche. Offering Regular and Advanced Standing tracks, the Online Clinical MSW bills $1,000 per credit for courses from psychopathology to mental illness treatment with 20-hour weekly practicum.
18. Colorado State University
Headed by Chancellor Tony Frank, Colorado State University is named the 129th best college nationally on the USNWR and 300th global university by ARWU. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the CSU School of Social Work launches its MSW Online for $619-$669 per credit to complete advanced generalist courses and 1,000 fieldwork hours with optional certificates like Nonprofit Administration.
19. Virginia Commonwealth University
Classified with Carnegie RU/VH status, Virginia Commonwealth University is ranked the 89th best big college on Niche and 87th top public institution by the USNWR. Priced at $364 in-state and $644 out-of-state per credit, the Distance Education MSW is directed online by Kim Flournoy DiJoseph with Clinical or Social Work Administration emphases and DC Metro practicum.
20. Brescia University
Operated by the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph, Brescia University is honored within The Princeton Review’s “Best Southeastern” colleges and named the 24th top online school by Niche. Transfers with 45-90 credits can pursue Brescia’s BSW Degree Completion Online option for $415 per credit and unlock LBSW human services licensure.
21. University of Alaska – Fairbanks
Located in the “Land of the Midnight Sun,” the University of Alaska-Fairbanks is ranked the nation’s 110th top public institution on the USNWR and 168th best college by CWUR. The UAF Department of Social Work offers its Bachelor of Arts with online audio-conferences for undergrads across bush Alaska to finish the four-year degree for $192-$232 per credit.
22. Widener University
Featuring 59,018 living alumni, Widener University is declared the United States’ 183rd best university by the U.S. News and 10th most service-oriented institution in Washington Monthly. Charging $826 per credit, the Online Master of Social Work shapes Widener post-grads for trauma-informed practice with LCSW licensing after 1,060 field instruction hours with adults and children.
23. Brandman University
Affiliated with multiple PublicCEO Service Award winners, Brandman University is recognized for America’s 63rd best online bachelor’s degrees on USNWR and 2nd best for vets education by Military Press. Via Blackboard, Brandman’s Bachelor of Arts in Social Work is accessible 24/7 online for $500 per credit for California residents to sharpen service skills with 400+ supervised practicum hours.
24. University of Texas – Arlington
Attracting 39,714 Mavericks from 60+ countries, the University of Texas-Arlington is crowned America’s 92nd best college for adult learners in Washington Monthly and fifth most diverse school by the USNWR. Coordinated by Darlene Santee, the Fully Online MSW Cohort accepts Texas residents for $6,959 each Fall to specialize in Aging, Child Welfare, or Chemical Dependency.
25. Eastern New Mexico University
Belonging to the Lone Star Conference, Eastern New Mexico University is ranked the United States’ 56th best online college on Niche and fifth best bargain by USA Today. Priced affordably at $1,830 in-state and $4,717 out-of-state per semester, the ENMU Bachelor of Social Work Online uses Mediasite to record lectures and arrange 400 internship hours.
26. Briar Cliff University
Grounded in Franciscan traditions, Sioux City’s Briar Cliff University is ranked America’s 134th most conservative college on Niche and 10th most affordable online school by SR Education Group. Well-respected faculty led by Dr. Elizabeth Rembold deliver the Online BSW for $434 per credit to access courses like community organization and gain 450 hours of internship experience.
27. Salisbury University
Serving 8,770 Sea Gulls, Salisbury University is declared an “A+ School for B Students” and America’s 141st top public university by Forbes. Admitting each Fall with a 20-student cohort, Salisbury’s Online MSW Program suits Mid-Atlantic residents seeking fast, seven-week blocks costing $750 per credit within the Child and Behavioral Health Education Initiative.
28. University of Central Florida
Breaking records with enrollment at 64,318, the University of Central Florida is congratulated as America’s 188th best value on Forbes and 61st best college for student life on Niche. Spanning from four to nine terms, the UCF Online Master of Social Work is customized for advanced generalist practice for $327 in-state or $1,151 out-of-state per credit.
29. Portland State University
Following the motto “Doctrina urbi serviat,” Portland State University is named America’s 203rd top public college on Forbes and ninth most innovative school by the USNWR. Starting each Fall for three years full-time and costing $456-$719 per credit, Portland’s Generalist Master of Social Work is 90% online with an annual two-day, face-to-face seminar for community building.
30. University of Maine
Charging e-tuition at $418 in-state and $523 out-of-state per credit, the University of Maine is crowned America’s 151st top public school on Forbes with the USNWR’s 123rd best online graduate education. Satisfying LMSW-CC requirements, the Online-Hybrid MSW will admit Regular Standing students in Fall 2018 for a 63-credit, three-year sequence with webcam courses and 900+ fieldwork hours.
31. California State University – Northridge
Led by President Dianne F. Harrison, California State University-Northridge is the 152nd top public college on Forbes and 110th best big university on Niche. Currently priced at $38,430-$44,220 total, the CSUN Online Master of Social Work offers live, Web-based courses starting after 5pm for cohorts to prepare for strengths-based, multicultural practice with 1,050 field education hours.
32. Huntington University
Originally called Central College in 1897, Huntington University in Indiana has become America’s 181st best Christian school on Niche and 175th top liberal arts institution in Forbes. The Adult Degree Programs Division offers the Social Work Major (BSW) online with speedy, five-week courses and 20% discounts on the $375 tuition per credit for Parkview Health employees.
33. Simmons College
Located on the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail, Simmons College is the 11th best Northern college on the USNWR and 97th top small university nationally on Niche. With One2One Peer Mentoring, the Simmons Online MSW lets post-grads avoid relocations by paying $1,030 per credit for synchronous seminars and 1,000 fieldwork hours in LCSW specialties like Aging.
34. University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley
Designated a Hispanic-serving institution in 2013, the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley is named America’s 183rd top public school in Forbes and 128th best free application college on Niche. Costing $444 per credit, the Online M.S. in Social Work offers 12-month Advanced Standing tracks for Administration and Community Practice or Direct Practice with Latinos.
35. Thomas University
Moved to SACS Level III status in 1998, Thomas University in Georgia is named the 72nd best online college by Niche and placed in the top 5% for social work on College Factual. With a 15:1 student-faculty ratio and “ecosystems” approach, the Bachelor of Social Work Online lets Thomas undergrads develop their social justice strategies for $630 per credit.
36. Tennessee State University
Participating in the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Tennessee State University is proclaimed the United States’ 22nd best HBCU by the U.S. News and 254th top research hub on Forbes. The Mid-Tennessee Collaborative awards the Master of Social Work full- or part-time online for $755 per credit with advanced generalist courses and 950 internship hours.
37. Metropolitan State University of Denver
Situated in the Rockies, Metropolitan State University of Denver is ranked the Midwest’s 23rd best college by the USNWR and 279th top baccalaureate institution nationally in Washington Monthly. Since 2016, Colorado residents paying $425 per credit have taken the Fully Online MSW Delivery Option with concentrations in Individuals and Families or Leadership and Management.
38. Kentucky Christian University
Requiring a 24-hour Biblical Studies core, Kentucky Christian University is ranked the South’s 32nd best college by the U.S. News and America’s 105th top Christian school by Faith on View. The Online Learning Division lets adults take Christ-centered courses costing $605 per credit for the Bachelor of Social Work, 420 fieldwork hours, and LBSW credentialing.
39. Mary Baldwin University
Partnered with Women for Women International, Mary Baldwin University is America’s 138th best liberal arts school on Niche with the 224th most grateful grads in Forbes. For $460 per credit, MB’s Bachelor of Social Work Online admits transfers holding 36+ credits from the Virginia Community Colleges System to finish their degree on Blackboard with 450 field placement hours.
40. Limestone College
South Carolina’s third-oldest campus, Limestone College, is ranked the 41st best Southern school by the USNWR and 90th best online institution nationally on Niche. Directed by Jackie A. Puckett, MSSW, courses begin every eight weeks for $1,323 apiece to begin the Online Bachelor of Social Work’s 123-credit curricula and 400 supervised practicum hours.
41. Humboldt State University
As a “College with Conscience,” Humboldt State University is ranked the West’s 52nd best school by the USNWR and America’s 200th best college location on Niche. The College of eLearning & Extended Ed charges $510 per unit for students to take synchronous online courses every Thursday with a four-day January intensive for the two-year Advanced Standing or 3.5-year MSW.
42. Edinboro University
Enrolling 6,550 Fighting Scots, Edinboro University in Pennsylvania is deemed the 88th best Northeastern value in Washington Monthly and 262nd most liberal college in America on Niche. Integrating 900 fieldwork hours over four terms, the Online MSW costs $585 in-state or $683 out-of-state per credit for advanced generalists to achieve a 96 percent job placement rate.
43. Saint Leo University
Run by President LTG William Lennox, Saint Leo University is the South’s 62nd best college on the USNWR survey and America’s 35th top online educator on Niche. Rooted in Catholic values, the Masters in Social Work Online offers post-grads an Advanced Clinical Practice Concentration for $465 per credit to receive LCSW licensure after evening webcam courses.
44. Troy University
Known for prominent alumni like William G. Gregory, Troy University is ranked America’s 11th best online university on Niche and South’s 69th top college by the U.S. News. Granted CSWE candidacy in 2017, Troy Online offers Bachelor of Social Work courses to produce empathetic, proactive advocates of social justice for $338 per credit with 420 practicum hours.
45. Our Lady of the Lake University
Sponsored by Congregation of Divine Providence, Our Lady of the Lake University is featured in Hispanic Outlook’s top 50 and ranked the 76th best Western college by the USNWR. Offering an award-winning NASW Chapter, the Worden School charges $822 per credit for its Online MSW that’s oriented toward practice in Latino communities with 950 fieldwork hours.
46. Bemidji State University
Welcomed into the MNSCU system in 1998, Bemidji State University is lauded as America’s 446th top public university on Niche and the Midwest’s 128th best value in Washington Monthly. The Extended Learning Office offers the six-semester, cohort-based BSW Major online for $314 per credit for 20 students annually with one Saturday campus session each month.
47. Campbellsville University
Affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, Campbellsville University is ranked the 92nd best Southern value in Washington Monthly and 322nd top Christian college nationally on Niche. Authorized in 49 states excluding North Carolina, the Online Bachelor of Social Work integrates Christian ideals into a 120-credit curriculum with 450 direct practice hours that costs $399 per credit.
48. Delaware State University
Endowed for $28.7 million in Dover, Delaware State University is placed 128th regionally by the U.S. News and 17th nationally by HBCU-Colleges.com. Distributed online on Blackboard for $430 in-state and $948 out-of-state per credit, the DSU Online Master of Social Work has an Advanced Generalist Practice concentration that’s open for applications until June 30th yearly.
49. Wayne State University
Noted for its Irvin D. Reid Honors College, Wayne State University is crowned the 285th best national university by Times Higher Education and 137th top Midwestern school in Forbes. Linked to the Michigan DHHS, the School of Social Work offers the BSW WOW! option for juniors with a minimum 2.5 GPA to pay $360 in-state or $825 out-of-state per credit.
50. Aurora University
Situated in the Chicagoland with 5,500 Spartans, Aurora University is deemed America’s 253rd best free application college on Niche and the Midwest’s 153rd top college by Forbes. For $600 per credit, the Aurora Online MSW starts every eight weeks for Advanced Standing students to finish 1,050 fieldwork hours in Clinical, Faith-Based, Health Care, or Leadership concentrations.