The Best Social Work schools in Florida list will get you started or advance your Social Work career in Florida with a BSW or MSW!
As one of the fastest-growing states, Florida is a great place to begin your career in Social Work. Florida boasts some of the best weather in the country and has more coastline than any other state. With fifteen accredited Social Work programs, a great place to start your career in Social Work is Florida. To get you started on your Social Work journey, we have compiled a list of Florida’s best Social Work schools.
How We Ranked the 10 Best Social Work Schools In Florida
Social Work Degree Center editors focused on accredited, trusted institutions for our ranking of the Best Social Work Schools In Florida. Programs are ranked according to student satisfaction, cost, and graduate salary. We use data from IPEDS and Niche to assess Florida colleges for social work programs. Social Work schools in Florida have been ranked for you and we have your list of the top ten!
1. Florida State University
Florida State University is the first of the best Social Work schools In Florida. FSU’s College of Social Work offers both a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BSW) and a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW). Students gain experience in real-world settings as they complete this degree program, which falls under the Office of Field Education. The school offers opportunities for students to participate in international social work. In addition, it strives to provide financial aid for as many students as possible and connects prospective students to the appropriate resources within the university. The best social work schools Florida students look for include those with acclaimed faculty members. FSU has faculty members from prestigious universities across the country. It also sponsors research and service projects around the globe.
The university has a long history of educating some of the brightest minds in the field and preparing students for entry-level to advanced jobs in the industry. Florida State University was established in 1928, and its social work education program was one of the first MSW programs available online. The school enrolls 30,000 undergraduate students and is located in Tallahassee, Florida. It’s the number 2 ranked public university in the state.
Degree: BSW, MSW, PhD
Social Work at Florida State University
2. Florida International University
Florida International University offers another one of Florida’s best Social Work Schools. The school’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work offers numerous social worker degrees. They include bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and dual degree programs. Among the best social work schools Florida offers, FIU offers unique classroom and field experiences. Students gain the skills they need to practice social work upon graduation. The research-intensive program includes internships at community programs throughout South Florida. Students perform over 100,000 internship hours, contributing much to the various communities in which the school interacts.
Florida International University is part of the State University System of Florida. The public university opened in 1965 and is the second-largest university in Florida. The FIU Social Work school first received CSWE accreditation in 1974.
Degrees: BSSW, MSW, MSW/MPH, MSW/JD, PhD
Social Work at Florida International University
3. Barry University
The Ellen Whiteside McDonnell School of Social Work at Barry University offers several of Florida’s best Social Work programs. The school’s programs include bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Barry University’s accredited Social Work programs focus on empowering students to operate effectively in trauma-related situations. In addition, the program specializes in producing clinical leaders and uses a trauma-informed curriculum to help students better understand the evolution of abuse, neglect, and crisis. Students can also choose from exceptional internship opportunities tailored toward various interests. Barry students can access one of Florida’s most flexible Social Work education available. Programs are offered online, on-campus, weekend, full-time, and part-time, and an advanced standing MSW program are available.
Barry University is a private university in Miami with two other branch campuses in Tallahassee and Orlando. The school opened in 1940 and is also one of the largest Catholic universities in the southeast. Barry offers over 100 degree programs, including many online. The Social Work programs at Barry first received accreditation in 1968.
Degrees: BSW, MSW, DSW, PhD
Social Work at Barry University
4. University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida ranks as one of Florida’s best Social Work schools. The UCF School of Social Work has both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in social work. The UCF BSW program prepares social workers for generalist roles. Graduates are skilled in delivering social services across various practice settings. The MSW graduates are ready to work as advanced clinical social work practitioners. Two MSN tracks are available. Students can attend an in-person or entirely online program. In addition, an advanced standing option is available for students with a BSW.
Central Florida is a public university with more than 42,000 undergraduate students. Popular majors include liberal arts and humanities, psychology, and health service preparatory studies. UCF has a competitive admissions program and is also considered a top public university in the Sunshine State. The University of Central Florida’s BSN program first received CSWE accreditation in 1974.
Degrees: BSW, MSW
Social Work at the University of Central Florida
5. Saint Leo University
Another one of the best social work schools in Florida is Saint Leo University. The university offers both a BSW and a flexible online Master in Social Work (MSW). The online format provides both freedom and convenience to students. Graduates emerge ready to take on advanced positions in real-world jobs. Many students go on to promote economic justice and human rights on the local and national levels.
The program prepares students to serve various communities, including military personnel and the elderly. Other groups include individuals who face oppression or discrimination. Saint Loe’s MSW program offers courses online or via webcam. This allows students to interact face-to-face while studying from home or their favorite study spot. Students must be available for daytime internships and evening classes and attend a weekend seminar during the summer. This is a full-time program with a demanding curriculum.
Saint Leo is the oldest Catholic university in Florida and has served students for over a century. Located just north of Tampa, the school has 2,400 students on its main campus. However, this school educates more than 18,000 students across 16 regional campuses. With over 50 undergraduate programs as well as master’s and doctoral degrees, Saint Leo offers a plethora of educational opportunities for social workers and students in other majors.
Degrees: BSW, MSW
Social Work at Saint Leo University
6. University of South Florida
Another one of Florida’s best Social Work schools is the University of South Florida. USF has many undergraduate and graduate-level Social Work programs and a dual degree option. Programs are available both on-campus and online. In addition, students can choose part-time or full-time paths. Graduates emerge with advanced standing and master social work. This campus-based program provides students with direct access to prestigious professors with vast experience in the field. Thus, it is also one of the best social work schools Florida students can attend.
The University of South Florida is in Tampa, with two smaller campuses in Sarasota and St. Petersburg. USF is part of Florida’s public State University System and has more than 50,000 students. Well-known as a competitive school, the university also offers affordable education to Florida students. The USF undergraduate Social Work program first received CSWE accreditation in 1976, and the graduate MSW program in 1983.
Degrees: BSW, MSW, Advanced Standing MSW, PhD, MSW/MPH
Social Work at the University of South Florida
7. University of North Florida
Another one of Florida’s best Social Work schools is at the University of North Florida. UNF offers both undergraduate and graduate social work programs. The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program prepares students for generalist practice with vulnerable populations. Students attend the BSW program on-campus. However, they can choose from a full-time or part-time program of study. The Master of Social Work (MSW) program is also campus-based. An advanced standing program is available for students with a BSW and also a traditional path for students new to the field.
The University of North Florida (UNF) is in Jacksonville and is also part of the State University System of Florida. The Social Work program received CSWE accreditation in 2012. North Florida has 62 undergraduate programs and 231 degrees available for online students.
Degrees: BSW, MSW
Social Work at the University of North Florida
8. Florida Atlantic University
Among Florida’s best social work schools, Florida Atlantic University offers BSW, MSW, and DSW degrees. Graduates of the undergraduate program emerge ready for entry-level social work, while those obtaining advanced degrees sometimes seek out supervisory positions or clinical or research opportunities.
The program addresses social work among many populations. So, graduates find work in criminal justice, schools, gerontology, and child welfare. A bachelor’s degree prepares students for both master’s studies and entry-level employment. Some graduates study masters in other programs such as political science or law.
Florida Atlantic University is located in Miami and serves nearly 17,000 undergraduate students. The school has an admissions process that’s highly competitive and is also considered one of the best public universities in the state. The FAU Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work first received CSWE accreditation in 1982.
Degrees: BSW, MSW, DSW
Social Work at Florida Atlantic University
9. Florida Gulf Coast University
With both undergraduate and graduate programs, Florida Gulf Coast University is one of Florida’s best Social Work schools. Graduates emerge from working in nonprofit, public, and also human service positions. The Florida Gulf Coast social work programs are rigorous but also student-friendly.
Both the BSW and MSW programs feature on-campus classes that students attend one day a week. Then, for the remainder of the week, students participate in fieldwork and clinical experiences. The undergraduate program is transfer-friendly and also receives students with associate degrees. In addition, BSW graduates who intend to attend an online MSW program can qualify for advanced standing programs.
Florida Gulf Coast is a large university with 11,000 undergraduate students. Known for its competitive admissions, the school accepts just over half of the students who apply. The school offers dozens of degrees and is a also top public university in the Sunshine State. The Social Work school first received CSWE accreditation in 2000.
Degrees: BSW, MSW
Social Work at Florida Gulf Coast University
10. University of West Florida
One of the best social work schools Florida students can attend is the University of West Florida. West Florida takes pride in its students and helps them connect with the community. Students who complete the UWF bachelor’s in Social Work can either enroll in a master’s program or look for entry-level jobs. Some students establish private practices, while others work with nonprofit and private clients. The master of social work degree is available both online and in-person at the Pensacola location. In addition, students have both a traditional and an advanced standing path of study.
The University of West Florida is in Ferry Pass, near Pensacola. The midsize public institution has nearly 7,000 undergraduate students and also offers dozens of majors. The UWF Social Work school is a well-known institution at UWF and first received CSWE accreditation in 1974.
Degrees: BSW, MSW
Social Work at the University of West Florida
How Do I Choose One Of The Best Social Work Schools in Florida?
Some students who choose a social work degree in Florida already have clear career goals. However, others need more time to determine their specialization. Selecting an online social work school in Florida with several specializations, such as mental health, can help students gain exposure to different aspects of social work. In addition, a concentration will allow them to choose a program that aligns with their career goals.
Here are a few questions that can help students compare different schools:
- Does the school offer both online and in-person classes?
- What is the class size?
- Has the school received regional and national accreditation?
- Does the school have a social work program at your level of study, including bachelors, masters or doctoral programs?
- Are there programs for advanced-standing students?
Which Social Work Schools In Florida Have Online Degree Programs?
Many students want to know about online Social Work programs in Florida. There is one online Associate degree program in Florida and a handful of online Florida MSW programs. So, below is a list of the schools that offer online masters in social work in Florida options. Some schools with a social worker degree in Florida did not make our top ten list, but all have accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education(CSWE).
Online Associates in Social Work schools in Florida:
Online graduate schools in Florida for Social Work:
- Florida State University
- University of South Florida
- University of Central Florida
- Saint Leo University
How Is the Job Market for Social Workers in Florida?
According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, Florida is neither in the top 10 nor in the bottom 10 states for social work. The median pay for social workers in Florida is $46,000. Florida has a relatively high quotient for social workers when compared to other states.
However, with the aging population and rising crime rates in the Sunshine State, the need for social workers is likely to increase. A certified master social worker can expect to make higher than a licensed clinical social worker.
How Much Do Social Workers Make in Florida?
According to Salary.com, social workers with a master’s degree can make an average of $64,000 in Florida. However, the typical pay range falls between $50,000 and $70,000. In addition, higher levels of education open doors to supervisory positions or jobs in exciting and lucrative fields of study.