Social Work Degree Programs in Kentucky (N-Z)

Are you interested in learning more about social work degrees in Kentucky to begin or advance a rewarding career alleviating the conditions of those in need? Look no further.

Situated in the east south-central region of the United States as the 37th most extensive and 26th most populous state, Kentucky may be best known for its bluegrass music, tobacco, automobile manufacturing horse racing, coalfields, cave systems, and fried chicken. However, Kentucky is also packed full of educational opportunities for aspiring social workers from some of the top-ranked universities in the South and beyond. The following is the second half (N-Z) of the numerous social work degree programs that have been given the stamp of approval by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in Kentucky. For the first half of our list, see Social Work Degree Programs in Kentucky (A-M).

Northern Kentucky University

Department of Counseling, Social Work, and Leadership

Founded in 1968 to provide public access to education with an emphasis on high-quality affordable learning opportunities, Northern Kentucky University is situated on a 398-acre suburban campus of rolling countryside in the town of Highland Heights within the greater metropolitan area of Cincinnati. Home to more than 15,700 students, NKU is currently ranked as the 77th best college, 35th top public school, and 19th best university for veterans in the South by the U.S. News and World Report. Within the College of Education and Human Services, the Department of Counseling, Social Work, and Leadership offers in-depth programs based upon current research and experiential learning in a practical helping environment.

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Designed to educate competent and ethical graduates who demonstrate leadership in social work practice to work towards advancing social and economic justice, the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program provides undergraduate students with generalist social work knowledge to understand the mechanisms of oppression and discrimination for applying strategies of advocacy. Through the 120-credit program, students are engaged in coursework on social welfare policy, human behavior, social work practice, and social work research. In order to also build critical thinking, communication, assessment, intervention, and other professional skills, the program also involves two five-credit courses in field education in which students must complete a total of 400 clock hours under the supervision of a licensed social worker.

Master of Social Work (MSW)

With the mission of promoting human and community well-being by preparing competent advanced social work practitioners who are leaders in the profession, the Master of Social Work (MSW) program provides graduate students with advanced knowledge and skills sufficient for autonomous professional practice advocating for social and economic justice. The program places an emphasis on critical thinking, client strengths, commitment to social work values, self-awareness, professional development, evidence-based decision-making, and multicultural competency for practice with children and families. While the full program contains 60 semester hours and takes three years to complete, those with a BSW can apply for advanced standing to complete the degree with 30 semester hours in just three semesters.

Accreditations

  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC)

Contact Information

MEP Center Room 203B
Highland Heights, KY 41099
(859) 572-5604
wileyk2@nku.edu
http://coehs.nku.edu/departments/counseling/programs.html

Spalding University

Department of Social Work

With a reputation of academic excellence spanning 200 years since being established in 1814 by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Spalding University is an accredited independent Roman Catholic co-educational institution rooted in a strong liberal arts tradition. Home to a close-knit community of just over 2,500 students, Spalding is known for being the first private institution of higher education in the commonwealth of Kentucky to hold membership in the Council of Graduate Schools. According to the U.S. News and World Report, the Department of Social Work is also nationally acclaimed for having the 130th best graduate social work program.

Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW)

Intended to inspire and prepare entry-level generalist social work practitioners to meet the diverse needs of today’s changing society by promoting peace and social justice, the Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) program is the oldest accredited undergraduate social work program in the region with a long tradition of social activism and community engagement tracing back to the 1960s. Comprised of a total of 120 credit hours, the program follows a unique six-week intensive session model to provide the opportunity for students to focus on fewer subjects at a time while maintaining progress toward their degree. Outside of the classroom, undergraduate students are also required to complete at least 450 clock hours of supervised field practice in a social service agency.

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Following an integrative curriculum model that emphasizes critical thinking skills and a global perspective, the Master of Social Work (MSW) program prepares graduate students for advanced generalist social work practice to sustain a versatile and meaningful career as a leader of the profession. With interactive class formats combining in-person, online, and out in the community practical learning, the program requires the completion of 58 credits for individuals with bachelor’s degrees in other fields and 34 credits for those with a BSW degree from an accredited institution. Graduates are also required to complete two supervised field experiences for a total of 900 clock hours in family service centers, public or non-profit agencies, mental health facilities, community clinics, or hospitals.

Accreditations

  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC)

Contact Information

845 South Third Street
Louisville, KY 40203
(502) 588-7183
alucear@spalding.edu
http://spalding.edu/academics/social-work/

Union College

Social and Behavioral Sciences Department

Situated on a 100-acre rural campus in Barbourville near the center of the southern highlands of Appalachia within miles of Knoxville in Tennessee, Union College is a comprehensive private institution rooted in the liberal arts and founded in the intellectual dimensions of the Christian faith. Recently recognized among the “Best Wired Colleges in America” with its state-of-the-art technology hub, Union College is currently ranked as the 84th best college in the South by the U.S. News and World Report. The Social and Behavioral Sciences Department is dedicated to providing accredited undergraduate programs in preparation for students who seek employment in social service, counseling, human service, criminal justice, and leadership positions.

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

With the goal of preparing undergraduate students for ethical generalist social work practice with diverse populations and developing a commitment to advocating for social justice and human rights, the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program is based on a strong liberal arts tradition with the evidence-based social work knowledge and skills for working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, or communities. Focused on the pursuit of justice for the diverse and multicultural populations of the rural Appalachians, the program addresses the broad social issues of child abuse, substance abuse, domestic violence, prejudice, discrimination, poverty, juvenile delinquency, mental health care, and criminal justice. As an upper-level program, students must complete at least 49 credits of major social work courses for completion.

Accreditations

  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC)

Contact Information

Sharp Academic Center Room 3100
310 College Street
Barbourville, KY 40906
(606) 546-1799
rarmour@unionky.edu
http://www.unionky.edu/academics/departments/social-and-behavioral-sciences/social-work

University of Kentucky

College of Social Work

As a major public land-grant research institution that prepares students for an increasingly diverse and technological world, the University of Kentucky is located on an urban campus in the city of Lexington around 80 miles south of Cincinnati. According to the U.S. News and World Report, the University of Kentucky is currently ranked as the 119th best college and 58th top public school in the entire nation. Even more importantly, the College of Social Work is nationally distinguished for offering advanced students the 44th best graduate social work program in the United States.

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW)

Following an outcome-focused education model to assist students with achieving competencies in the practice behaviors required for a successful career and additional graduate studies, the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) program prepares undergraduate students for beginning generalist social work practice with an emphasis on inquiry-based ethical practice, cultural diversity, community engagement, and critical thinking. Grounded in a strong liberal arts foundation, the program consists of general education requirements, major social work courses, social or behavioral science electives, and two intensive field practicum experiences for a grand total of 120 credit hours. For those with an interest in joining Kentucky’s public child welfare services sector, students can also participate in the Public Child Welfare Certification Program.

Master of Social Work (MSW)

With an innovative and exciting curriculum based on ethical imperatives, sound intervention techniques, and empirical-based research to practice, the Master of Social Work (MSW) program aims to equip advanced social work practitioners with the practical skills needed for the tasks and responsibilities they will encounter in professional practice settings. For completion of the degree, graduate students are required to complete at least 21 hours of foundation courses, six hours of bridge courses, and 27 hours of concentration courses for a total of 54 credit hours. In addition to the two concentrations offered in Clinical Social Work and Community Social Development, students also have the option of completing a certificate in School Social Work, Gerontology, or Developmental Disabilities.

Accreditations

  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC)

Contact Information

619 Patterson Office Tower
Lexington, KY 40506
(859) 257-6650
trumble@uky.edu
http://www.uky.edu/SocialWork/AcademicPrograms

University of Louisville

Raymond A. Kent School of Social Work

Lying on the banks of the Ohio River on a 345-acre urban campus in the heart of Louisville around 100 miles from Indianapolis and Cincinnati, the University of Louisville is a premier metropolitan public research institution intent on improving the lives of the citizens of Kentucky. Recognized among America’s “Top 12 Good Neighbors” by the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, UofL is currently ranked as the 161st best college and 88th top public school in the nation by the U.S. News and World Report. The Raymond A. Kent School of Social Work is also nationally acclaimed for having the 37th best graduate social work program.

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Designed to prepare full-time undergraduate students as generalist social work practitioners who also may serve special populations of people in the areas of child welfare, gerontology, criminal justice, case management, mental healthcare, substance abuse, and community organizing, the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program is focused on hands-on practical learning opportunities through quality field education and service learning. With the goal of promoting social justice through practices with diverse client systems in sponsoring social service agencies, the 121-credit program covers major social work courses in human behavior, generalist practice, social welfare policy, service delivery, social environment, social work research, and advocacy.

Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW)

Offered in online or in-person formats at the main Louisville campus or the satellite Brescia location, the Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) program is designed to help graduate students achieve their maximum leadership potential as advanced social work practitioners through a carefully structured curriculum and 16 hours of field practicum each week. While the full program can be completed in 60 hours, qualified applicants with a recent BSW degree from an accredited institution can be placed in advanced standing status to complete just 30 hours. Depending on career goals, students can specialize their studies in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT), Military Social Work, School Social Work (SSW), Alcohol and Drug Counseling (ADCS), Gerontology (GER), Mental Health Counseling (MH), or Psychosocial Oncology.

Accreditations

  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC)

Contact Information

Oppenheimer Hall Room 2
2301 South Third Street
Louisville, KY 40292
(502) 852-8039
krroge01@louisville.edu

University of Pikeville

Division of Social Sciences

Founded in 1889 by the Presbyterian Church, the University of Pikeville is a comprehensive private Christian institution rooted in a strong liberal arts and sciences foundation on a 25-acre rural campus in the heart of the Appalachian region. Home to a close-knit community of just over 1,650 students, UPike is dedicated to providing the personal attention of a small college with the academic strengths of a larger university to give graduates a distinctive advantage. The Division of Social Sciences introduces students to the special branches of knowledge in anthropology, criminal justice, geography, history, political science, psychology, and social work.

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

As one of the newest academic programs at the university, the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program is dedicated to maintaining a rigorous curriculum that will produce entry-level generalist social work professionals who can think critically, conceptualize, and apply theoretical foundations to practical solutions for promoting social justice. The program aims to engage students in a learning process that provides the knowledge, values, skills, and dispositions needed to address the various needs of eastern Kentucky, rural Appalachia, and beyond. Along with the completion of at least 120 semester hours of undergraduate general education and social work major coursework, students are required to complete at least 480 clock hours of supervised field experience training in an approved social service placement.

Accreditations

  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC)

Contact Information

147 Sycamore Street
Pikeville, KY 41501
(606) 218-5250
nancycade@upike.edu
http://www.upike.edu/Academic-Programs/social_science/social_work

Western Kentucky University

Department of Social Work

Located on a 235-acre urban campus in the center of Bowling Green in the western region of the state with an international reach, Western Kentucky University is a comprehensive public institution that is currently undergoing a physical, intellectual, cultural, social, and economic transformation to become a nationally prominent university. According to the U.S. News and World Report, WKU is now ranked as the 30th best college, 11th top public school, and 7th best up-and-coming university in the South with the 87th best online bachelor’s programs in the nation. The Department of Social Work is also recognized for hosting the 130th best graduate social work program in the entire United States.

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Ideal for undergraduate students who are interested in making a difference in the lives of individuals, couples, families, groups, organizations, and even entire communities, the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program is designed to prepare entry-level generalist social work practitioners who are committed to addressing the social issues and challenges that affect our changing society. This program consists of at least 120 credit hours, including 54 hours within the social work major, 45 hours of general education, and 21 hours of general electives. Areas of study in the curriculum include human behavior, social welfare, populations at risk, human diversity, research, ethics, social and economic justice, and supervised field practicum.

Master of Social Work (MSW)

With the mission of preparing graduate students for advanced professional social work practice to meet the needs of increasingly diverse rural populations in south central and western Kentucky, the Master of Social Work (MSW) program is dedicated to addressing the workforce needs of social service agencies working with Kentucky’s individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities to promote social justice. While students can complete the 60-credit traditional program in two years full-time or three years part-time, those with a BSW degree who earn advanced standing status need to complete just 33 credits. At the conclusion of the program, graduates are well-prepared for leadership roles in child welfare services, substance abuse treatment, correctional systems, mental health care, schools, military bases, nursing homes, employee assistance programs, and other community agencies.

Accreditations

  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC)

Contact Information

Academic Complex Room 210
1906 College Heights Blvd.
Bowling Green, KY 42101
(270) 745-5312
swrk@wku.edu
https://www.wku.edu/socialwork/

As the only helping profession that places an emphasis on both social justice and human well-being, social workers are committed to empowering others to bring about social change on an individual, familial, group, community, and agency level. If you possess strong interpersonal and problem-solving skills with a drive to work with the diverse populations in the “Bluegrass State” to overcome their unique challenges, be sure to further investigate these top-notch accredited social work degrees in Kentucky to find the right program that matches your career goals.

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