Top 10 Online Social Work Degree Programs 2018

If you are interested in a rewarding career where you will be able to help clients overcome challenges in their lives, and you need schedule flexibility in your study, then pursuing one of a number of online social work degree programs may be the right choice for you.

Social work is a growing area and demand for qualified people is expected to grow. Studying at an online school for social work enables you to experience the same rigorous coursework you’d expect from an on-campus program, with the added flexibility to work on your own schedule. In developing this list of accredited online social work degree programs, we took into account program and university rankings in major publications, cost and value, and program options and flexibility.

Our Ranking of the Top Social Work Schools Online

#1 Boston University

Executive Summary

Boston University was founded in 1839 and is one of the most respected private research universities in the country. Its online social work master’s degree offers the same challenging curriculum as its on-campus counterpart.

Tuition

Tuition is $685.00 per credit hour.

What’s Unique

The online master’s degree in social work program allows students to pursue their educational goals on a part-time basis. This program is available in a concentration in Clinical Social Work Practice, which prepares students for careers in community based and residential programs, schools, and mental health centers.

Courses in the Online Social Work Master’s Degree

Social Welfare Policy
Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Racial Justice & Cultural Intersectionality of Oppression
Introduction to Social Work Research
Communities and Organizations

Students also complete one or two field internships as part of their program.

Career Options

Graduates from the accredited online social work degree program are eligible for licensure in most states. They can work in schools, public health departments, substance abuse clinics, and hospitals.

#2 Wayne State University

Executive Summary

Wayne State University

Wayne State’s School of Social Work has been ranked as the best undergraduate program in the U.S.

Tuition

Tuition ranges from $326.00-$384.25 for state residents and $746.65-$883.60 for out-of-state students.

What’s Unique

The accredited online social work degree (Bachelor of Social Work / BSW) program includes courses in research methods, social welfare policy and services, human behavior and the social environment, and social work practice. Students also complete a field education component in their junior year.

Online Social Work Degree Program Courses

Students enrolled in this program take courses in the following study areas:

Human behavior and the social environment
Research Methods
Social work practice
Social welfare policy and services

Field education is a required part of the program. Students may be able to complete this requirement at their current place of employment.

Career Options

Graduates from the Master’s program are qualified for positions as general case managers, program coordinators or program managers in community organizations, child welfare agencies or departments, mental health clinics or service agencies, or policy and planning departments. They may also choose to work in the employment social services or gerontology fields.

#3 Capella University

Executive Summary

Capella University

Capella University is an accredited school that was founded in 1993. It offers high-quality programs and has an alumni satisfaction rate of 95 percent.

Tuition

Tuition is $468.00 per credit hour, making it one of the most affordable online social work degree programs available.

Unique Features

Courses in the MS in Social and Community Services degree program are 10 weeks in length and prepare students for careers as general case managers, program managers, family specialists, or probation specialists.

Online Social Work Courses

Introduction to Research Methodology
Ethnic and Cultural Awareness
Scope of Human Services
Collaboration, Communication, and Case Analysis for Master’s Learners
Human Services Integrative Project

Career Options

People who choose the online degree in Social and Community Services can find employment in a number of settings, including child welfare agencies, community organizations, employment services, hospitals, mental health centers and social service agencies, and public interest groups. They may be hired as family specialists, community organizers, consultants, program managers, or case managers.

#4 Walden University

Executive Summary

Walden University

Walden University has been offering degree programs since 1970 and is a leading online university. It is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. It offers an online social work master’s degree (MSW).

Tuition

Students pay $500.00 per credit hour.

What’s Unique

The online master degree in social work program includes two, four-day in-person residencies. During these periods, students get practical experience along with their coursework.

Online Master Degree in Social Work Concentrations Available

• Addictions
• Children, Families and Couples
• Crisis and Trauma
• Forensic Populations and Settings
• Medical Social Work
• Military

Career Options

Graduates from the online MSW program often seek to advance into positions as program directors, school social workers, mental health social workers, licensed clinical social workers, and policy analysts.

#5 Brandman University

Brandman University

Executive Summary

Brandman University was founded in 1958. The school operates on a nonprofit basis and has a top 10 ranking as one of the best online undergraduate programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Tuition

Undergraduate students pay $500.00 per credit hour.

What’s Unique

The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work program includes courses in social policy, social work research, social work practice groups, and interviewing and assessment skills. Students also complete three practicums.

Online Social Work Courses

Social Work Foundations
Social Welfare
Social Policy
Interviewing and Assessment Skills
Human Behavior and the Social Environment

Students complete three practicums as part of this program. The practicum courses are graded on a pass/no pass basis.

#6 Our Lady of the Lake University

Executive Summary

Our Lady of the Lake University

Our Lady of the Lake University has been offering social work degree programs for 70 years. This Catholic liberal arts school has a reputation for a personal teaching style.

Tuition

Tuition is $760.00 per credit hour.

What’s Unique

The online social work master’s degree (MSW) program is available in two tracks. Students who hold a Bachelor’s degree in Social work from an accredited institution can qualify for advanced standing and complete their degree in as little as two years. The full Master’s in Social Work degree can be completed in as little as three years. The school’s MSW resource page is a great place for social work students and professionals to keep up with trends and initiatives in the field of social work.

Online Social Work Degree Program Courses

Child Welfare
Leadership, Women and Spirituality
Violence Prevention and Intervention
Social Work Research
Family Stress, Functioning and Social Support
Policy and Practice in Human Services

Students enrolled in this online school for social work write a thesis and are required to complete four field sessions of field education to graduate.

Career Options

This program prepares graduates to work in schools, mental health agencies, family service agencies, child protective services, and emergency assistance programs.

#7 University of New England

Executive Summary

University of New England

The University of New England is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It has been named as one of the Best Universities in the North by U.S. News & World Report. It offers an online master degree in social work (MSW).

Tuition

Students pay $810.00 per credit hour.

What’s Unique

The MSW online program is nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). It is offered in a traditional track for student who hold a Bachelor’s degree in any area of study, as well as an Advanced Standing Track for students with a background in social work. Students take one course at a time.

#8 Fordham University

Executive Summary

Fordham’s MSW program has been ranked as the #1 online MSW program by BestSchools.org. It has also been ranked at #11 by U.S. News & World Report.

Tuition

Tuition is $859.00 per credit hour.

What’s Unique

Applicants to the online program must live in New York State, New Jersey, or Connecticut and live at least 50 miles from a Fordham metro campus. Students can begin their program in either the fall or spring semester.

Courses

Social Policy
Human Rights and Social Justice
Human Behavior and the Social Environment
Generalist Practice in Research
Social Work Practice in Research

Students are required to complete a year-long field work assignment. They have the opportunity to work 14 hours per week from September through July and 21 hours per week from September through May.

#9 Vancouver Island University

Vancouver Island University

Executive Summary

Vancouver Island University was founded in 1936 as a vocational training school. Today, it is an internationally-renowned university with an excellent reputation for teaching and applied research.

Tuition

Domestic students pay a very affordable $364.14 per credit, and international students pay $6,600 per semester for up to 15 credits.

Unique Features

The online bachelor of social work program at Vancouver Island University is a degree completion program. Students enter the program at the third year level and must complete a number of required courses and electives before admission.

Online Social Work Degree Programs Courses

Intro to Social Work Practice
Into to Social Welfare in Canada
Family Studies
Interpersonal Communication Skills
Social Work Practice in Mental Health and Addictions
Methods in Social Work Practice

Students complete two, three-week field sessions as part of this program.

#10 McKinley College

McKinley College

Executive Summary

McKinley College is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council. It is a member of the Colorado Association of Career Colleges and Schools (CACCS).

Tuition

Tuition is set at $165.00 per credit hour, which is cheap compared to other online educational programs.

What’s Unique

Students enrolled at McKinley College can complete their Associate’s degree program in as little as 16 months. The credits may be transferred toward a Bachelor’s degree at another educational institution.

Classes

Multicultural Issues
Abnormal Psychology
Child & Adult Problems
Behavior Modification
Principles of Sociology
Social Welfare
Social Problems

This concludes our ranking of the top accredited online social work degree programs.


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