35 Best Master’s in Social Work

Do you have a passion for reaching out and helping others? Do you want to make a difference in people's lives during a time of stress or during a crisis situation? If so, you might want to consider one of the 35 Best Master's in Social Work. There are four basic types of social workers: child and family, school, healthcare, as well as mental health and substance abuse. According to the Profile of the Social Work Workforce, compiled by the Council on Social Work Education and National Workforce Initiative Steering Committee in October 2017, the most common types of social workers are child, family, and school social workers, followed by healthcare social workers. CSWE explains that the number of healthcare social workers has grown by 45 percent over the last decade. A bachelor's degree in social work is the entry level requirement for social workers. However, most clinical positions require that you complete the MSW. Most MSW students choose to specialize in either Clinical Social Work (micro-level work) or in leadership (macro-level work).

Clinical Social Work focuses on individuals and families. Clinical social workers apply specialized knowledge to the prevention, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of emotional and mental health. Those who specialize in leadership work with communities, organizations, or society by examining social justice and putting theory into practice to examine social issues and policy. CSWE outlines the need for programs to include practical field work during an MSW program. Most students spend at least 450 hours in supervised clinical work during their master's degree program. Those with a BSW from a CSWE-accredited school are usually eligible to apply for Advanced Standing status for their MSW program. All of the schools in our list offer a CSWE-accredited MSW degree. Many also offer a dual degree, combining the MSW with another program. The most common include a Juris Doctor degree through a law school; a Master of Public Administration; a Master of Public Health; or a Master of Business Administration.

Why Become a Social Worker?

While you can begin your career as a social worker with a BWS, there is a considerable difference in income for those who complete the MSW. According to CSWE, the highest median incomes for those with an MSW are in national security and international affairs, with a median salary of $69,000. Those with the MSW who work in individual and family services have a median income of $45,000. This compares to a median income of about $39,000 for those with a BSW working in individual and family services. According to the Bureau of Labors Statistics, the median pay for all social workers, in 2017, was $47,980. Despite the above-average growth in the number of social workers over the past decade, BLS estimates that the demand for social workers will continue to increase by 16% over the next decade. If you become a Licensed Master Social Worker, with testing through CSWE, you can expect higher annual salaries, ranging up to $70,600. The expected salary for social workers changes dramatically depending on specialization, industry, and geographic region. According to the BLS, the highest salaries are in the District of Columbia and Connecticut.

There are many places where you can find employment as a social worker, including:

  • Private Organizations
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Charitable Organizations
  • Government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels
  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient Care Centers
  • Schools

Plus there are a variety of careers in social work, depending on your specialization, including:

  • Assisted Living Director
  • Child Welfare Advocate/Case Manager
  • Clinical Therapist
  • Criminal Justice System
  • Health Education
  • Substance Abuse Counselor

There are several organizations that can help you define your interests in social work and guide you through your program. Those include:

How to Choose a Master's in Social Work

Social Work Degree Guide is here to help you find the perfect program for you. We factor in Student Satisfaction and Affordability as our primary metrics, at 30 percent of the total ranking each. From there Alumni Salaries, SAT Scores, and the school's retention rate each represent 10 percent. For more information on how SWG ranks Social Work degrees, please visit our About Us page.

 

#35. Florida State University – Tallahassee, FL

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 9,684 / $24,116

Score: 81.9

Unique Features

Florida State University, founded in 1851, is a major research institution in Tallahassee. There are about 42,000 students in more than 300 undergraduate and graduate programs. In 2017, FSU was one of only four institutions to receive the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization. Awarded by NAFSA: Association of International Educators, it recognizes the university's innovative approaches to internationalization. The College of Social Work, created in 1926 to introduce social welfare courses to FSU, offers an MSW. It is a flexible program with five areas of specialization: social work practice, social policy, human behavior and the social environment, social work research, and field education. You can complete the MSW as either a full-time or part-time student, in a traditional on-campus format, or through the online program. The first year's studies include practice, policy, research, and human behavior. Courses include Human Behavior and the Social Environment and Social Welfare Policy and Services. You will also complete a 10-credit field internship during your first year. During your second year, you select one of two concentrations: Clinical Social Work or Social Leadership. Those in Clinical Social Work take Psychopathology in Clinical Practice and Evaluation of Social Work Practice. If you choose the Social Leadership concentration, your courses include Personnel Administration and Advanced Policy Analysis. You will also complete a 12-credit internship and a three-credit Advanced Seminar during your final year. The Advanced Seminar is available both face-to-face or online. It gives you a chance to blend coursework with real-world experience. FSU also offers four joint degree programs: an MSW/JD; MSW/MPA; MSW and MS in Criminology and Criminal Justice; and an MSW/MBA.

 

#34. Michigan State University – East Lansing, MI

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 18,132 / $ 35,628

Score: 82.0

Unique Features

Michigan State University, founded in East Lansing in 1855, began as an agricultural college. It became a university in 1964. Today, there are more than 50,000 students from around the globe. MSU offers more than 200 degree programs in 17 different colleges. According to the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, MSU ranks as one of the top 70 universities in the world. The School of Social Work offers a 57-credit MSW degree. You can select either a 2-year full-time or a 3-year part-time program. Part-time students have the option of a weekend program that includes a blend of face-to-face sessions with online learning. You examine research and practice methods during the program and select one of two specializations: Clinical Social Work or Organization and Community Leadership. The Clinical Social Work specialization focuses on micro-level interventions with individuals and families. Those in the Organization and Community Leadership specialization examine macro-level interventions for communities and organizations. To receive your MSW, you must also complete four semesters of field education. You will work in the field for about 16 hours each week throughout each semester. MSU has a Field Education Program with a liaison/seminar model. Students work with field coordinators and liaison faculty throughout the state. You meet throughout the semester in small seminar groups while working in the field. This gives you a chance to discuss issues and support your peers. MSU also offers a joint MSW/JD degree through the College of Law and a joint MSW/MPH.

 

#33. Portland State University – Portland, OR

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 11,178 / $17,010

Score: 83.0

Unique Features

Portland State University began in 1946 to provide education for World War II GIs. Today, the urban Oregon university offers affordable education for 27,000 students. PSU ranks as one of the country's most innovative schools by U.S. News & World Report. It has more than 200 degree programs. One of those, through the School of Social Work, is the 78-credit MSW. It is the only CSWE-accredited MSW degree in Oregon. You can complete the program at one of the PSU campuses or online. It requires two to four years. You will select a concentration, which can be Clinical Social Work Practice; Practice and Leadership with Communities and Organizations; Social Work with Children, Youth, and Families; or Health Across the Lifespan. All students complete courses in Social Justice in Social Work and Social Welfare History and Policy. You will also complete two 500-hour field placements during your MSW program. You will spend 16 hours each week working in the field under supervision. This gives you a chance to show how to use classroom learning in real-world situations. As an MSW student, you may prepare for licensure with the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. This gives you eligibility for a position as a school social worker. To be eligible for school social work licensure, you must pass a background check, complete one year of field experience in a K-12 setting, and complete one year in a community-based agency serving youth and families. You may also complete a joint MSW/MPH at PSU.

#32. Tulane University of Louisiana – New Orleans, LA

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 52,856

Score: 83.4

Unique Features

Tulane University began as the Medical College of Louisiana in 1834. It served New Orleans at a time when disease carried devastating impacts on society. It became the University of Louisiana in 1847 and then Tulane University in 1884 with an endowment from a wealthy merchant. Today, Tulane has five schools. It is one of 62 members of the Association of American Universities. It is home to about 14,000 students and offers more than 70 majors. You can complete an MSW through the School of Social Work. It ranks as one of the top social work programs in the country. You may complete the 60-hour program either full time over 16 months or part-time over eight continuous semesters. Your courses include Social Work History and Policy, Theories of Human Behavior, and Data Analysis. You will complete 15 credit hours of fieldwork over three semesters. This is about 316 actual clock hours each semester. The program includes a combination of classroom work, team projects, simulations, and field work. You complete a final two-credit Capstone Seminar during your final semester. TSSW offers two joint programs for MSW students. You can complete an MSW/MPH through the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. For those who want to work in law, you can complete a joint MSW/JD with the School of Law.

 

#31. Smith College – Northampton, MA

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 52,120

Score: 83.5

Unique Features

Smith College is a liberal arts college that opened in 1875. This independent New England college is home to 2,450 female undergraduates. The graduate school is co-educational with 100 students enrolled in masters and doctoral programs. The School of Social Work focuses on clinical social work and offers an MSW. There is a 4:1 student-to-faculty ratio in the MSW program. Smith College offers a 130-quarter-credit MSW over 27 months. It divides the program into five sequences: Core Courses, Social Work Practice, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Social Welfare Policy and Service, Research, and Fieldwork. You complete the program through a Block Plan. Each block consists of five sessions. Sessions one, three, and five, which take place over three successive summers, involve all your coursework. Your courses include Social Work Practice, Theories of Individual Development, Social Welfare Policy, and Racism in the United States. Courses each summer are in one- or two-term sessions of five weeks each. During each winter session, sessions two and four that run from September through April, you take a field internship working with clients under the supervision of an adviser. You will complete monthly assignments, develop a learning plan, issue a report, and deliver a case study. You can expect to spend about 30 hours per week in the internship. You will also complete a field seminar each winter session. This gives you an opportunity to integrate coursework and discuss clinical work with faculty and other students. The seminar meets two hours each month. Early admission decision begins in November each year. The final application deadline is in mid-February. Smith gives admission preference to students with at least one year of work experience.

#30. University of Kansas – Lawrence, KS

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 9,989 / $23,366

Score: 84.0

Unique Features

The University of Kansas, on a beautiful campus in Lawrence, is one of 62 members of the Association of American Universities. Founded in 1866, KU now has 28,500 students located across five campuses. There are 13 schools offering more than 400 degree programs. The School of Social Welfare offers an MSW. KU's program offers specialization in either Clinical Social Work Practice or at the macro-level in Social work Administration and Advocacy. You may complete the MSW in two years as a full-time student or up to four years as a part-time student. The program is available in Lawrence or at the Edwards Campus. You may complete the program in a combined online and campus program through the Western Kansas campus. The 64-credit program requires 36 credit hours in classroom work. You will also complete 28 credit hours of a field practicum, in which you work with a social services agency. During your first year, you complete core courses that include Social Work Practice, Social Policy, Social Work Research, and a field practicum. The first year practicum requires 16 clock hours each week. Those with a Clinical specialization take courses in their second year that include Clinical Social Work Practice, Mental Health, and Psychopathology. If you select a Macro specialization, your courses are taught in a blended format from the Edwards Campus. Those courses include Program Design, Grant Writing, and Managing Financial Resources. Both specialties require an advanced field practicum during the final year. The final practicum requires 24 clock hours each week for two semesters. You can apply for a concurrent practicum exception. If approved, you will be able to complete both practica during the summer months by working 40 hours each week for 18 weeks.

#29. University of Louisville – Louisville, KY

Master of Science in Social Work

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Tuition: $ $12,684 / $26,454

Score: 84.3

Unique Features

The University of Louisville has its beginnings in 1798 when Kentuckians established Jefferson Seminary. The legislature created the University of Louisville in 1846. Today, the University of Louisville has more than 22,000 students. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees from 12 colleges. The Kent School of Social Work offers the Master of Science in Social Work. The 30-hour MSSW program is available full-time, part-time, and online. You can specialize in Couple & Family Therapy, Military Social Work, School Social Work, Alcohol and Drug Counseling, Gerontology, Mental Health, Psychosocial Oncology, Forensic Social Work, and Leadership, Management and Supervision. The MSSW focuses on social justice and helps you think critically about your social work practice. Students choosing the MSSW-CFT specialization begin their specialization before their foundation year. All others take one year of foundation courses before declaring a specialization. Foundation courses include Human Behavior, Social Welfare Institutions, Human Behavior, and Issues in Policy and Service Delivery. Advanced required courses include Social Justice and Injustice in Social Welfare Policies and Advanced Research Practice. Electives give you a chance to go in-depth in your areas of concentration. Field Education is a major component of the program, under CSWE guidelines. You will spend at least 450 clock hours completing field work during the MSSW program.

 

#28. Case Western Reserve University – Cleveland, OH

Master of Science in Social Administration

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Tuition: $ 45,168

Score: 84.7

Unique Features

Case Western Reserve University, located in Cleveland, began in 1826 as Western Reserve College. Originally located in Hudson, 30 miles outside Cleveland, it relocated to the city in 1882. Today, the research institute has nearly 12,000 students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries. Case Western Reserve offers a Master of Science in Social Administration through the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. The MSSA is the same as an MSW degree. U.S. News & World Report ranks the MSSA No. 9 among 250 accredited programs. The MSSA program offers an Ability Based Learning Environment. This blends social work courses, field education, and other hands-on learning opportunities. In the on-campus format, you can study one of several specialties: Aging; Children, Youth & Families; Community Practice for Social Change; Health; Mental Health with Children and Adolescents; Mental Health with Adults; School Social Work; and Substance Use Disorders & Recovery. You can complete the Children, Youth & Families, Mental Health, or Substance Use Disorders specialties in an intensive weekend format. You can also complete the Children, Youth & Families, Community Practice, or Mental Health specialties in an online format. The 60-credit MSSA also includes a field practicum. You select your own field placements that are concurrent with your MSSA coursework. The generalist practicum requires 450 clock hours while the specialized practicum is 600 clock hours. On-campus students can combine the MSSA with other coursework to receive a dual degree in MSSA and Public Health; Nonprofit Management; Law; Bioethics and Medical Humanities; or Business.

 

#27. Fordham University – New York, NY

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 33,696

Score: 84.8

Unique Features

Fordham University, a Jesuit university in New York City, has campuses in Manhattan, The Bronx, and three other New York locations. Founded in 1841, Fordham has more than 16,000 students across nine schools. It has been home to 168 Fulbright Scholars since 2003. You can complete an MSW through Fordham's Graduate School of Social Service. The program ranks in the top 10 percent by U.S. News & World Report. You can select either part-time study or full-time work. The full-time program takes four years. You may extend up to four years for part-time study. You can complete the MSW at one of three on-campus locations, via a hybrid campus-online program, or through the fully online program. To begin your studies toward the MSW at Fordham, you begin with foundational core courses. Those courses include Human Rights and Social Justice, Human Behavior, and Social Policy. After you complete the core, you then select a specialization. There are four specialization areas available: Individuals and Families; Organizations and Community; Evaluation; and Policy Practice and Advocacy. You must also complete 1200 hours of fieldwork before you can receive your MSW. Half of those hours are in the Generalist field practicum while the other half is for your Specialist field practicum. While taking each field practicum, you will also complete seven field seminars. Each two-hour session gives you a chance to refine your social work practice with your peers, under the facilitation of an advisor.

 

#26. The University of Texas at Arlington – Arlington, TX

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Tuition: $ 7,898 / $18,996

Score: 84.8

Unique Features

The University of Texas at Arlington, founded as Arlington College in 1895, became part of the UT System in 1967. The campus is on 420 acres in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Today, there are 180 degree programs serving more than 58,000 students around the world. UTA ranks No. 1 in Texas for veterans according to Military Times. The School of Social Work offers an MSW. The program ranked No. 1 in the 50 Best Online Masters of Social Work Degree Programs by Best Online. If you already hold a BSW, you can apply to Advanced Standing in the MSW program. The 61-hour MSW program offers two concentrations: Direct Practice or Community and Administrative Practice. Those who choose Direct Practice can select one of four specialties: Aging Services, Children and Families Services, Health Services, or Mental Health. During your work toward the MSW, you will complete 26 hours in the foundation curriculum. These courses include Generalist Micro Practice, Generalist Macro Practice, and Human Behavior. The regular MSW program then requires 35 hours of Advanced Curriculum after the core program. Those accepted into the Advanced Standing MSW program complete 38 hours of Advanced Curriculum in three semesters. As with most MSW programs, fieldwork is a major component of the program. You have the option of applying for a cohort program, available in accelerated online learning, regular online, or a hybrid program. The non-cohort program is available to both on-campus students in Arlington and online students. Non-cohort students can begin studies in fall or spring while cohort students begin studies in the fall. There are several options available, giving you flexibility in completing the MSW.

 

#25. New York University – New York, NY

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 42,888

Score: 86.1

Unique Features

New York University, founded in 1831, is one of the country's largest private universities. It is a member of the Association of American Universities and grew from 158 students to more than 50,000. NYU has three campuses: New York City, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai. There are another 11 global academic centers across the globe. NYU has 18 schools and colleges including the Silver School of Social Work. Established in 1960, it trains social workers with a commitment to social justice. Silver offers an MSW that combines classwork work with field experiences. The focus of your program is on research-informed, direct practice. You also have a chance to specialize in one of several areas through focused-learning opportunities. Those include such areas as Children, Adolescents, and Families; Global Social Work; Mental Health; Older Adults; Policy Practice/Macro Practice; or Research. The school offers several options for you to complete the MSW. You can attend full-time and complete the program in two years or through a 16-month accelerated option. There are also several part-time options. After completing one year of full-time study you can extend the program in cooperation with your advisor. There is also a 32-month program that gives you the option to complete the evening, weekend, and summer study. You will take a generalist practice level and a specialized practice level to complete your MSW. Both levels include research and field instruction. You will complete 600 hours of Generalized Field Education and 600 hours of Specialized Practice Education. You will also meet for 2.75 hours each week for classroom practice during your field education course. This gives you a chance to integrate your real-world skills with your coursework. Specialized practica include Substance Abuse and Co-Occurring Disorders, Palliative and End-of-Life Care, Evidence-Based Mental Health Practice, Macro Practice in Organizations, and Youth and Families.

 

#24. The University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa, AL

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $10,780 / $29,230

Score: 86.4

Unique Features

The University of Alabama, established in 1820 in Tuscaloosa, has more than 38,000 students. Over the years, 600 National Merit Scholars attended UA and it has produced 15 Rhodes Scholars. UA offers more than 200 degree programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. There are nine colleges, including the School of Social Work. It offers a 60-hour MSW degree. UA's MSW program focuses on social work practice, human behavior, social welfare policy, research methods, and field education. The UA program is available both on campus and online. The on-campus program begins only in Fall while distance learners can begin in Summer. Distance learners must complete face-to-face skills labs held on Saturdays at locations throughout Alabama. You complete one year of foundation courses. This gives you the critical thinking skills required to succeed in professional social work practice. After the foundation year, you begin your concentration year. This gives you expertise in working with children, youth, and families. Elective courses might include Crisis Intervention, Psychopathology, and Family Preservation. As part of your MSW program, you complete Field Education in the Spring semester of each year. You can complete field education across Alabama. There are also second-year field education opportunities in Washington, D.C. UA offers two joint programs, enabling you to get an MSW/JD or an MSW/MPH.

 

#23. Indiana University-Purdue University – Indianapolis, IN

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 8,568 / $23,448

Score: 87.7

Unique Features

Indiana University was founded in 1820 while Purdue University began in 1869. Both of these respected universities joined in 1969 to become IUPUI. Today, there are 17 schools offering more than 350 undergraduate and graduate programs. You can complete an MSW through IUPUI's School of Social Work. It is the country's oldest university-affiliated School of Social Work. To receive the MSW, you complete three levels to receive your degree. You begin with Foundation Courses. These include Intro to the Social Work Profession, Research, Social Policy Analysis, and Generalist Theory. You then complete Concentration Courses focusing on Clinical and Community Practice. This gives you more depth in the field of social work. It includes courses such as Clinical Theory and Practice, Executive Leadership Practice, and Social Policy. During the Concentration part of your MSW program, you complete two detailed practica. Each one is 640 clock hours and gives you hands-on experience in a clinical/agency setting. You work with your field liaison throughout the program. Finally, you begin the Focus Area curriculum. There are five focus areas available: Children, Youth & Families; Health; Community & Organizational Leadership; Mental Health & Addictions; and School Social Work. You will complete three focus courses. If you have a BSW that you received in the past five years, you are eligible to apply for advanced standing in the program. You can attend as an accelerated student, as a full-time student, or as a part-time student in the evenings. The School of Social Work is also home to The Behavioral Health Academy. This gives cohort students a chance to take courses that help with a career in mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders. Through the Behavioral Health Academy, you work to become licensed as both a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor.

 

#22. Rutgers University-New Brunswick – New Brunswick, NJ

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 17,232 / $29,304

Score: 87.9

Unique Features

Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey, is the eighth oldest public university in the country. Established in 1766, there are more than 70,000 students enrolled. There are 29 schools and colleges, including the Rutgers School of Social Work. You can complete an MSW at one of three campuses. There is also an Intensive Weekend MSW program held at various New Jersey locations, or you can complete the degree online. Full-time students can expect to complete the program in two years, while part-time students usually need four years. As an MSW student, you begin with Generalist curriculum. This gives you extensive knowledge necessary for social work practice. Courses include Human Behavior, Social Welfare Policy, and Social Work Research. Your second year gives you a chance to specialize. You will select either Clinical Social Work or Management and Policy. The Clinical Social Work specialization prepares you for work with individuals, families, and groups. Those courses include Clinical Social Work and Advanced Practice in Clinical Social Work. The Management and Policy specialization prepares you to lead nonprofit and public service organizations. Courses in the MAP specialization include Management Practice and Theory and Program and Strategic Planning. To further develop your career, you can select one of six areas of emphasis at Rutgers. Those include Social Policy; Global Social Work; Children, Youth and Families; Mental and Behavioral Health; Health Area of Emphasis; or Latino/a Initiatives for Service, Training and Assessment. You must spend four of your 20 courses in field education. This equals 1,125 clock hours. During each field practicum, you combine coursework with an internship. Rutgers offers several dual degrees with the MSW. You can complete a MSW/JD, MSW/Master of Divinity, or an MSW/Ph.D. degree.

 

#21. University of Houston – Houston, TX

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 8,214 / $17,463

Score: 88.0

Unique Features

The University of Houston, located just south of downtown, has been educating students since 1927. Princeton Review listed UH as one of the 2019 Best Colleges in the U.S. It is home to more than 46,000 students and offers 258 undergraduate and graduate degrees. The UH campus houses one the country's largest public art collections. There are also public performances at Cullen Performance Hall and an on-campus Hilton Hotel. The Graduate College of Social Work offers an MSW on campus, online, or through a hybrid program. As an MSW student, you work toward either clinical or macro practice. You begin with a foundation in Generalist Practice curriculum. During these 16 credit hours, you get a foundation in social work, social economics, and political justice. Full-time students complete foundation courses in one semester while part-time students have two semesters. Courses include Human Diversity, Policy in the Social Environment, and Social Work Skills. You will also complete a 200 clock hour foundation field practicum. After the foundation courses, select either Clinical Social Work Practice or Macro Social Work Practice and begin advanced courses. If you specialize in Clinical Practice, you will take courses in Cognitive Behavioral Interventions and Clinical Applications of DSM. If you specialize in Macro Practice, courses include Administrative Practice, Dynamics of Leadership, and Social Policy Advocacy. During your advanced study, you can select one of four specializations: Political Social Work; Health & Behavioral Health; Social Work Practice with Latinos; or Individualized study. You will need 12 semester hours in advanced courses. You complete an advanced field practicum of 720 clock hours. This gives you experience working in your specialization under supervision. UH also offers several dual degrees, giving you a chance to earn an MSW and a MPP, Ph.D., MBA, MPH, or JD.

 

#20. Boston University – Boston, MA

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 52,816

Score: 88.2

Unique Features

Boston University, chartered in 1869, is a major research institution in Massachusetts. There are more than 34,000 students enrolled in 300 degree programs. BU has 17 schools and colleges, including the School of Social Work, which offers the MSW. There are more than 950 students enrolled in BU's MSW, with a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio. You can complete the MSW in several programs: full-time, part-time, hybrid, or online. For each format, you will choose a major in either Clinical or Macro Practice. You will also select from five specializations: Children, Youth and Families; Behavioral Health; Lowy Specialization in Aging Practice, Policy and Social Justice; Trauma and Violence; or Leadership in Group Work and Human Service Management. Clinical Practice majors are also able to minor in Macro Practice. You begin the BU program with Foundation courses. There are 27 semester credits in the classroom and 6 credits in field education. After completing Foundation courses, you start work on your advanced program. This is a chance for you to study your area of specialization through 24 credits in the classroom and eight credits in field education. If you prefer to apply for the online program, you complete your first year through Live Classroom sessions, taking one course every seven weeks. Live Classroom sessions take place Sunday or Monday nights. You then take two courses each semester and field internships during the next two years. The part-time off-campus MSW experience gives you a chance to work with a cohort of students at one of four Massachusetts locations. The off-campus program features classes held Friday evenings and on Saturdays. All SSW students, on-campus, online, or off-campus, complete a total of 1,200 hours in the field. BU also offers three dual degrees with the MSW: Public Health, Education, and Theology.

 

#19. Ohio State University – Columbus, OH

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 11,560 / $34,064

Score: 88.5

Unique Features

The Ohio State University, founded in 1870, is in Columbus. There is a network of more than 500,000 Buckeyes who call Ohio State their alma mater. Today, it ranks as one of the country's top 20 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. It offers more than 12,000 courses across 18 colleges and schools. You can complete an MSW through the College of Social Work, either on campus or online. If you have a BSW, you can apply to the Advanced Standing Program. The ASAP MSW program begins each Summer. If your BSW is older than five years, or you hold a different undergraduate degree, you can apply for the Traditional MSW Program. The Traditional program begins each Autumn. If you are in the Traditional program, you must complete 19 hours of Foundation courses. The ASAP requires four hours in Foundation courses. In both programs, you then complete six hours in your area of emphasis, 12 hours in Advanced Practice Methods courses, six hours of Practice Evaluation courses, and eight hours in Field Education. There are four areas of emphasis available in the MSW: Aging and Health; Mental Health and Substance Misuse; Child and Youth Services; and Community and Social Justice. Aging and Health and Community and Social Justice are only available to on-campus students. You must complete 672 hours of Field Education Experience if you are in the ASAP program or 896 field hours for those in the Traditional program. You work 24 hours each week at a partner agency across the country, in cooperation with your field instructor. Ohio State offers three MSW dual degrees, in Public Affairs, Public Health, or City and Regional Planning. You can also apply for an accelerate program combining the MSW with a Ph.D.

 

#18. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities – St. Paul, MN

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 17,064 / $26,412

Score: 89.2

Unique Features

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities has more than 47,000 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs. U of M has locations in Crookstone, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, and the Twin Cities of St. Paul/Minneapolis. The College of Continuing and Professional Studies also offers evening and online courses. The College of Education and Human Development's School of Social Work offers an MSW. You can apply for the 34-credit Advanced Standing program if you have a CSWE-accredited BSW earned within the past seven years. All other students complete the full 53-credit program. On-campus courses take place Thursday through Saturday, and Monday through Wednesday evenings. The U of M curriculum has its roots in social justice. Full program students take 19 credits in Foundation courses. Those courses include Human Behavior; Social Work Practice Methods; and Social Work Research Methods. You will also complete a six-credit field practicum and seminar for 420 hours. You usually spend Mondays through Wednesdays in the field. After the foundations courses, you complete a 34-credit concentration. If you are in the Advanced Standing program, you begin your MSW at this point. You can select at least one of four possible concentrations: Clinical Mental Health; Community Practice; Families and Children; or Health, Disability and Aging. These courses include Assessment and Engagement; Community Assessment and Intervention; and Advanced Policy Advocacy. The second field placement is 600 clock hours. You will also take a monthly peer-consultation seminar along with the field placement. The U of M also offers dual degrees with MSW, so you can complete a Master of Public Policy, Master of Urban and Regional Planning, or a Master of Public Health.

 

#17. Boston College – Chestnut Hill, MA

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 29,412

Score: 89.2

Unique Features

Founded as a Jesuit school in 1863, Boston College started in a small building in Boston's South End. It is a leader in liberal arts education and now has more than 14,500 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate studies. BC has eight schools and colleges spanning more than 50 fields. You can complete an MSW through the School of Social Work. You can work toward the MSW in either a full-time or part-time program. The full-time degree is a two-year program that blends coursework with field work. The part-time program takes four years to complete. You select either a Clinical Program or a Macro Program. The Clinical Program introduces therapeutic interventions and gives you a chance to practice skills and techniques. The Macro: Social Innovation + Leadership program helps leaders in social service to find social innovation. In either program, your first year is a Foundation year. You take courses that include Human Behavior, Diversity & Cross-Cultural Issues, Social Welfare System, and Psychosocial Pathology. You also spend two days each week, a total of 16 hours, completing your field education. In both Clinical and Macro specializations, you select a field of practice to help specialize your studies. There are five fields of practice at BC: Children, Youth & Families; Global Practice; Health; Mental Health; and Older Adults & Families. You also select five electives to complete your MSW. You can select such courses as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy; Strategic Planning for Public & Nonprofit Organizations; or Substance Use Disorders. BC also offers three dual degree programs with the MSW: an MBA, JD, or MA in Theology and Ministry.

 

#16. University of Chicago – Chicago, IL

Master of Arts in Social Service Administration

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Tuition: $ 57,759

Score: 89.9

Unique Features

The University of Chicago, founded in 1890 by John D. Rockefeller, is home to more than 16,000 students. There are five divisions and six professional schools for graduate study, including the School of Social Service Administration. SSA, founded in 1908, works to solve major social problems through an interdisciplinary approach. You can receive a Master of Arts, artium magister, in Social Service Administration from The University of Chicago. The AM degree is equal to an MSW degree. You begin the AM program by completing a core curriculum in your first year. For the first two quarters, you take courses in Social Intervention and Human Behavior. You will also complete 480 clock hours of field practicum during your first year. After your initial foundation curriculum, you declare either a Clinical or Social Administration concentration. Clinical concentration helps you work with individuals, families, and small groups. You complete courses in practice methods and clinical research. You will also need to complete a course in Intervention Theories. The Social Administration concentration prepares you for the community, organizational, and government positions. For that concentration, you will complete courses in Economics for Social Welfare, Organizational Theory, and Political Processes. During your second year, you will also complete a field practicum. For those with the Social Administration concentration, you complete 496 clock hours. The Clinical Practice concentration requires 640 clock hours in the practicum. Your electives give you an opportunity to further customize your studies. You can choose one of the faculty-designed programs of study or work with your advisor to create your own. The approved Clinical programs include Advanced Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor Training, School Social Work, or Trauma Responsive Social Work. The Social Administration programs are Educational Inequalities or Social Inequality. Other popular programs include Child and Adolescent Mental Health; Family and Child Welfare; LGBTQIA Clients; or Mental Health.

 

#15. University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, PA

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 22,846 / $38,736

Score: 90.0

Unique Features

The University of Pittsburgh began as a log cabin named the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787. It gained university status in 1819 as the Western University of Pennsylvania. It officially became the University of Pittsburgh in 1908. Today Pitt is a member of the Association of American Universities and has more than 36,000 students. Pitt ranked in the top five public universities in the Northeastern U.S. by the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. You can complete an MSW through the School of Social Work. The MSW program ranks #17 by U.S. News & World Report. When you begin the MSW program, you choose one of two specializations: Direct Practice with Individuals, Families, and Small Groups or Community, Organization, and Social Action. You begin with required Generalist courses. Those courses include Generalist Social Work Research, Social Work Practice, and Social Welfare. Direct Practice courses include Models of Intervention and Advanced Direct Practice. You will also complete courses that meet your areas of interest, such as Mental Health, Children & Families At Risk, or Social Policy & Gerontology. COSA curriculum includes courses in Human Behavior and the Urban Environment and Organizations. In COSA, you can take electives in Social Administrations and Community Organizing. All MSW students complete 1,080 clock hours of field education during the four terms. If you have a CSWE-accredited BSW, you can enter the MSW program as an advanced standing student. Advanced standing students complete 720 clock hours of field education. Pitt also offers five certificate programs for Direct Practice students: Integrated Healthcare; Gerontology; Home and School Visitor/School Social Worker; Children Youth and Families; and Mental Health. COSA students can pursue a certificate in Human Services Management. You qualify for certifications by completing specific electives and concentration-specific field studies.

 

#14. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor – Ann Arbor, MI

Master of Social Work'

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Tuition: $ 23,128 / $46,678

Score: 90.3

Unique Features

The University of Michigan is the state's oldest university, with campuses in Ann Arbor, Flint, and Dearborn. Since its founding in Detroit in 1817, U-M has grown to house more than 19 schools and colleges as well as offering 260 degree programs. The main Ann Arbor campus is in what Forbes calls the No. 1 Best College Town in the country. Michigan is a major research institute, ranked No. 1 Public Research University in the U.S. by the National Science Foundation. The School of Social Work, formed at U-M in 1921, offers an MSW degree. About 415 students begin the MSW program each fall. You can complete the regular MSW program in either a 16- or 20-month program. The 15 credits in foundation courses, for those without the approved BSW, include Macro Practice Skills Laboratory, Basic Social Work Research, and the Foundation Field Instruction. If you have a BSW from a CSWE-accredited university, you may apply for Advanced Standing. This reduces the MSW from a 60-credit program to 45 credits. You can complete the advanced standing program in 12 months. All students complete Interpersonal Practice with Individuals, Families, and Small Groups along with Management, Community Organization, and Policy Practice. As a U-M MSW student, you select one of four practice methods concentrations: Interpersonal Practice, Community Organization, Management of Human Services, or Social Policy and Evaluation. You complete specific courses in your chosen practice area. Michigan also offers five specializations: Children and Youth in Families and Society, Mental Health, Aging in Families and Societies, Health, and Community and Social Systems. You complete nine credits in your chosen practice area. Depending on the length of your program, you will complete either one or two field studies. Students spend between two and four days each week working in the field.

 

#13. University of Illinois at Chicago – Chicago, IL

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 13,612 / $23,299

Score: 90.7

Unique Features

The University of Illinois at Chicago began in 1982 but is the consolidation of two health schools dating back to 1859. Today, the major research institute is home to 31,000 students. UIC has 15 colleges, including the Jane Addams College of Social Work. You can complete an MSW degree at Jane Addams full-time, with advanced standing, or in a PM-Extended option. The full-time program takes two years while the extended option requires three years. Those in Advanced Standing complete specialization year courses. The Foundation courses, taken during the first year of full-time study, include Generalist Practice, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, and Social Work Research. Along with your coursework, you must complete field instruction. During the first year of full-time study, you complete two days per week in the field. Your fieldwork totals 450 hours. Part-time students complete the first field instruction during their second year. You select one of four MSW specializations to develop your program past the foundation year. UIC specializations are Child and Family, Mental Health, Organization and Community Practice, and School Social Work. During your specialization, you spend two to three days a week in field instruction for a total of 630 hours. Part-time students complete this advanced field instruction during their third year. UIC offers several enhancements to the MSW degree. Those in the Mental Health specialization can apply for a Certificate in Evidence-Based Mental Health Practice with Children. Those in the Child and Family specialization can apply to the Jane Addams Child Welfare Traineeship Project. Those in the Mental Health or School specializations can apply for admission to the Integrated Behavioral Health Care Training program or the Integrated Substance Use Disorder Training Program.

 

#12. Columbia University in the City of New York – New York, NY

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 46,216

Score: 91.0

Unique Features

Founded in 1754 by a charter from the King of England, Columbia University is one of the country's foremost schools. This Ivy League university has undergraduate and graduate degree programs, serving students around the globe. It has educated more than 80 Nobel Prize winners and nine Supreme Court Justices. There are 13 graduate and professional schools, including the Columbia School of Social Work. It was the first social work school in the country, established in 1898. You can complete an MSW degree either on campus or online through CSSW. There are seven programs for the MSW: a two-year program either on-campus or online; a 16-month on-campus program; an Advanced Standing program; an Extended program for three or four years; a Reduced Residency program; a Transfer program; or a five-term international option. To complete your MSW, you choose one of four method concentrations: Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice, Policy Practice, Social Enterprise Administration, or Advanced Generalist Practice & Programming. The Advanced Generalist concentration is available only to on-campus students. Within the four concentrations, you can select one of three specializations: Accelerated Policy Practice, Social Enterprise Administration Management Fellows, or Dialectical Behavior Therapy. There are also seven fields of practice you can pursue at CSSW: Aging/Gerontology; Family, Youth & Children's Services; International Social Welfare; World of Work; Contemporary Social Issues; Health, Mental Health & Disabilities; or School-Based and School-Linked Services. You begin your program with a foundation year. Courses include Human Behavior, Social Work Research, Social Welfare Policy, and a foundation course. In your second advanced practice year, you take practice courses in your area of concentration, a field of practice course, and an advanced research course. You will also complete field education each semester during your studies. It will be a broad-based field education in your first year and focused on your area of concentration for the second year.  

 

#11. University at Buffalo – Buffalo, NY

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 11,090 / $22,650

Score: 91.5

Unique Features

The University of Buffalo, founded in 1846, is the largest campus for the State University of New York. UB offers more than 125 undergraduate degrees and 320 graduate and professional programs. You can complete an MSW degree through UB's School of Social Work. The program blends trauma-informed perspectives with a human rights foundation. The traditional program requires 60 credits. If you hold a CSWE-accredited BSW, you can apply to the 35-credit Advanced Standing Program. You may pursue your MSW in either full-time or part-time study. If you choose a full-time study, it will take two years to complete the program. If you enroll as a part-time student, you can complete the MSW in three years. During your first year, you take Fundamental courses including Social Welfare History and Policy, Theories of Human Behavior, and Interventions. During your second year, you complete a Professional Development Seminar along with Advanced Interventions and Topic Analysis on your specific area of interest. There are several areas of interest available including Families, Groups, Community Change, or Crisis Intervention. You complete field placements throughout your MSW program. If you enroll in the traditional program, you complete 420 hours during your Foundation year. All students complete 480 hours during the advanced placement year. You may also take coursework during your MSW to become a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor.

 

#10. University of Wisconsin-Madison – Madison, WI

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 10,728 / $24,054

Score: 92.5

Unique Features

The University of Wisconsin-Madison, founded in 1848, has more than 44,000 students. UW-Madison ranks No. 15 for America's Best Colleges among public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The School of Social Work offers an MSW degree, which you can pursue either full-time or part-time. Your first year is a Generalist Practice year. During that first year, you complete foundation courses that include Generalist Practice, Social Policy, Psychopathology, and Human Behavior in the Environment. Your second year is the Advanced Practice Specialization Year. During that specialization, you can focus on one of four areas: Aging; Child, Youth, and Family Welfare; Health; or Mental Health. You will also complete field placements throughout your MSW program. You complete 512 hours of field placement and an integrative seminar during your first year. That averages about 14 hours per week for each 16-week semester, plus two hours per week in the integrative seminar. During your Advanced Practice year, you will complete a minimum of 640 hours for the two semesters, or about 18 hours per week. If you hold a CSWE-accredited BSW, you may begin the program with your Advanced Practice year. This also enables you to forego the first two semesters of field placement. When you complete UW-Madison's MSW degree program, you meet the Master's level requirements for the LCSW license in Wisconsin. If you want licensure as a School Social Worker in Wisconsin, UW-Madison's focus on Child, Youth, and Family Welfare meets those requirements.

 

#9. University of Southern California – Los Angeles, CA

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 44,712

Score: 93.0

Unique Features

The University of Southern California has grown up with Los Angeles. Established in 1880, it had only 53 students in a city with no paved streets or electric lights. Today, it is home to more than 47,000 students in the country's second largest city. You can complete an MSW through the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. You can select either an on-campus or an online program. You can finish in either a four-, six-, or eight-semester program. If you have a CSWE-accredited BSW, you may apply for advanced standing admission. If accepted, you can complete your MSW in 12 months. There are four departments in the program: Adult Mental Health and Wellness; Social Change and Innovation; Children, Youth and Families; and Nursing. You select one of the departments when you begin your MSW studies. You have seven core courses to complete during your first year. Your coursework varies depending on the department you choose. After you complete the foundation courses, you focus on specific areas of interest. Those areas include Military Social Work; Social Change and Innovation; Children, Youth and Families; and Adult Mental Health and Wellness. You can slo select a track, which requires two extra courses, to customize your degree. To complete the MSW degree, you will complete two internships requiring 1,000 hours of work in the field. USC offers several dual degree options: a JD, MBA, MPA, MPH, Master's in Gerontology, or Jewish nonprofit management. You may also elect for the PhD direct program while pursuing your MSW. The MSW program at USC helps prepare you for LCSW testing.

 

#8. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Urbana, IL

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 15,068 / $28,221

Score: 93.2

Unique Features

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign began in 1867 with a land grant. It ranks No. 13 among public universities by U.S. News & World Report. Illinois students and faculty have acquired 29 Pulitzer Prizes and invented the first graphical web browser. Today, there are more than 47,000 students attending Illinois from around the world. Along with impressive academics, Illinois is home to the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. It also supports two museums: Krannert Art Museum and the Spurlock Museum. Illinois has 16 colleges and offers more than 150 undergraduate and 100 graduate programs. In the 1930s, the Illinois Public Welfare department suggested that the University of Illinois develop a program to train social workers. From those beginnings, the School of Social Work educates students for public service. You can complete an MSW through SSW. The MSW is available as an on-campus program, both full-time and part-time. You can also apply to the iMSW Program to complete the MSW online or with an iMSW Hybrid Program. The MSW program requires 14 courses plus an internship. If you have a BSW degree earned within the past seven years, you can begin the accelerated program that requires nine courses plus a one-semester internship. There are two areas of concentration in the MSW: Leadership and Social Change or Advanced Clinical. Both programs require four foundations and eight advanced courses. For both concentrations, you complete a two-semester internship. During each internship, you will also take two online field seminar courses. If you enroll as a traditional student, you work on the job Monday through Thursday for 30 to 32 hours each week for two semesters. If you are an Advanced Standing student, you work onsite for five days a week for 40 hours during a 14-week summer program.

 

#7. The University of Texas at Austin – Austin, TX

Master of Science in Social Work

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Tuition: $ 11,742 / $22,564

Score: 93.8

Unique Features

The University of Texas at Austin opened with 221 students in 1883. UT Austin has grown into a top-ranked public service institution with more 51,000 students. The school ranks No. 7 in U.S. Public Colleges by Business First and No. 8 in Best-Value Public Colleges by Kiplinger. There are 13 colleges and schools offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. The UT Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work offers a Master of Science in Social Work. The MSSW program is a 60-credit program. If you have a BSW degree, you can enter the advanced program and complete the MSSW with 42 to 48 semester hours. The degree requires from 12 months to 42 months. UT Austin offers two different concentrations: Clinical Social Work or Administration and Policy Practice. The Clinical Social Work concentration teaches clinical practice technologies and intervention techniques. The APP concentration examines social work at the macro level. You explore advocacy, program development, evaluation, information management, leadership, communication, and governance. You can also customize your studies with one of three certificate programs: Military Social Work Practice, Health Care Social Work, or School-Based Social Work Practice. Portfolio programs let you get interdisciplinary credentials. There are programs such as Aging and Health, Disability Studies, Dispute Resolution, Nonprofit Studies, and Women and Gender Studies. To receive your MSSW, you complete 1,020 hours of field practicum. The Steve Hicks School has partnerships with more than 400 agencies and works to place you in a practicum that benefits your career. Your first field practicum is usually 16 to 20 hours each week. Your second practicum can be either 36 hours per week during the spring semester or 18 hours each week split between Spring and Summer.

 

#6. University of California-Berkeley – Berkeley, CA

Master of Social Welfare

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Tuition: $ 11,442 / $26,544

Score: 93.8

Unique Features

The University of California at Berkeley began in 1868 with 40 students. It has been a landmark university throughout its history. Today, it has more than 42,000 students in 14 colleges and schools. UC-Berkeley ranks as the No. 1 public university worldwide by U.S. News & World Report. You can complete the Master of Social Welfare degree, which was established in 1944, at Berkeley's. Berkeley's MSW program is a full-time, two-year program. There are no part-time or online options. You must complete at least 54 units, including 25 units of field education. When you begin the MSW program, you must select one of three areas of study: Advancing Health and Wellbeing across the Adult Lifespan; Strengthening Children, Youth, and Families; or Strengthening Organizations and Communities. You will complete nine units of Generalist Practice, one course in Diversity-Competent Practice, and two courses in Social Research Methods. You will then take three to four courses in your advanced social work practice and social policy courses in your area of study. You take two to five courses in electives to complete one of the additional program options. These let you complete a Graduate Certificate in Aging, School Social Work Credential program, or Social Work with Latinos Certification. The School Social Work program leads to eligibility for the Pupil Personnel Services Credentials by the State of California. Once accepted to the MSW program, you may apply for admission to the Child Welfare Scholars Program. If selected, you receive a training stipend of $18,500 annually for up to two years. As an MSW student at Berkeley, you will also complete field placements for at least 1,100 hours. This gives you hands-on experience in a social service agency in the San Francisco Bay area. UC Berkeley offers two concurrent degree programs, letting you complete either the MSW/MPH or MSW/MPP.

 

#5. University of Washington-Seattle Campus – Seattle, WA

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 15,510 / $27,801

Score: 94.2

Unique Features

The University of Washington, founded in 1861 in Seattle, is a major research institution. There are more than 54,000 UW Huskies located across three campuses, in Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell. You can complete an MSW through the School of Social Work. The SSW ranked No. 1 in the world by the Center for University Rankings. You can enroll in the MSW program as a traditional full-time Day Program student, part-time as Extended Degree Program student, or with Advanced Standing. The MSW combines classroom learning with fieldwork to prepare you for a career in social work. You begin with the Foundation curriculum. You then select concentrations for your advanced coursework: Administration and Policy Practice, Community-Centered Integrative Practice, or Clinical Social Work. In the MSW Day Program, you complete the Foundation courses during your first year. You attend classes two to four days a week. You will also spend a few days each week in field education. If you attend UW as an Extended Degree student, you will have three years to complete your MSW. You take two classes per quarter during the first year. You begin fieldwork during your fourth quarter, usually spending one or two days per week in the field. You can take EDP evening classes or enroll as an EDP weekend student. EDP students will need to spend some traditional hours during the week in field placement. If you hold a CSWE-accredited BSW and have at least 2,000 hours of social service experience, you may apply for Advanced Standing. The 10-month program begins with an intensive summer bridge program. After that, you begin your advanced curriculum, which is the same as second-year MSW Day Program students. You can expect to spend three days each week in your field practicum.

 

#4. University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, PA

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 34,882

Score: 94.8

Unique Features

The University of Pennsylvania began in 1740 as a Philadelphia charity school but never opened. In 1749, a group of leading citizens, led by Benjamin Franklin, purchased the building and formed an institution of higher education. It opened in 1751 as the Academy and Charitable School in the Province of Pennsylvania. Franklin served as president until 1755 and was a trustee until 1790. Today, there are more than 25,800 students. There are four undergraduate and 12 graduate/professional schools. The School of Social Policy & Practice offers an MSW degree. The program ranked No. 5 by Princeton Review's Gourman Report. You can enroll as a full-time or part-time student. If you hold a BSW degree, you may apply for Advanced Standing. The curriculum includes Foundation courses and the Advanced curriculum. The Foundation curriculum is six courses, including History and Philosophy of Social Work, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, and Introduction to Social Work. You will then select a concentration of either Clinical Practice or Macro Practice. Your Advanced curriculum, which is the second year for full-time students, focuses on your concentration. You complete a field education component each semester. You spend three days per week during both the Foundation year and the Advanced year. You have an option of choosing one of nine different certifications or specializations. This gives you experience in the areas such as Child Well-Being & Child Welfare, Criminal Justice, Law, Aging, Health Care, Global Human Rights, or Home-School Visitor. Penn does offer several dual degrees with the MSW, including law, public health, public administration, criminology, education, nonprofit leadership, and social policy.

 

#3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Chapel Hill, NC

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 4,337 / $17,771

Score: 97.0

Unique Features

The University of North Carolina is the country's oldest public university, accepting its first students in 1795. It began graduate programs in 1876. Today, there are almost 30,000 students enrolled at UNC. There are 77 bachelor's degree programs, 111 master's degree programs, 65 doctoral degrees, and seven professional degrees available. UNC ranks as the No. 3 Best Public University by The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. The UNC School of Social Work, founded in 1920, offers an MSW degree. The MSW combines courses with field work. You can enroll full-time to complete your degree on the Chapel Hill campus in two years. If you hold a BSW degree, you can apply for Advanced Standing, which requires one year of study. There is also a three-year Distance Education MSW. All MSW students at UNC begin with the JumpSTART Preparation for Practice orientation program. You also take an online course on the history of oppression. Your Generalist curriculum is seven courses. You study social welfare policy and services, human behavior in the social environment, social research, and social work practice. You also complete a foundation field practicum and a concurrent field seminar. During your second year of full-time study, you study the Advanced curriculum. This gives you a more complex experience in social work. You will choose one of two concentrations: Direct Practice or Community, Management and Policy Practice. The DP concentration prepares you to work with individuals, families, and small groups. The CMPP concentration prepares you for community practice and human services administration. You also complete another practicum and field seminar during your second year. As an Advanced Standing student, you enroll in the summer for 13 credits, including a practicum. You complete the remaining 27 credits in your concentration, which includes a practicum. UNC offers optional certificates in International Development and Social Change or International Peace and Conflict Resolution. You can also work toward North Carolina Social Work Certification or School Social Work Licensure.

 

#2. University of Maryland-Baltimore County – Baltimore, MD

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 11,520 / $19,782

Score: 97.6

Unique Features

The University of Maryland, Baltimore opened in 1807. UMB has more than 6,700 students in professional schools and the Graduate School. It offers three bachelor's degrees, 23 master's degrees, 20 doctoral degrees, and 28 certificates. The School of Social Work ranks No. 17 in the country according to U.S. News & World Report. UMB offers a 60-credit MSW degree. As a UMB student, you complete 24 foundation credits and 36 advanced credits. If you have a CSWE-accredited BSW, you may apply for the Advanced Standing program. This 36-credit program usually requires three semesters. During your Foundation year, you complete courses in Social Welfare and Social Policy, Social Work Practice, Social Work Research, and Human Behavior and the Social Environment. You also complete a practicum during your Foundation year. It is usually two days per week for a total of at least 480 clock hours. You will select a concentration for your Advanced curriculum. You can choose either a Clinical Concentration or a Macro Concentration. Along with a concentration, you will choose a specialization that lets you customize your practice. The specializations include Aging; Behavioral Health; Community Action & Social Policy; Families and Children; and Health. The Community Action & Social Policy specialization is only available if you select the Macro Concentration. You may take an Employee Assistance sub-specialization within the Behavioral Health specialty. If you select the Health Specialization, you may choose a sub-specialization in Child, Adolescent, and Family Health. During your Advanced year, you will also complete a field placement for three days each week. This gives you a chance to spend at least 720 hours in the field during your advanced year. UMB has five dual degrees that you can pursue along with your MSW. You may apply to receive a JD, MBA, MPH, MPP, or Leadership in Jewish Education and Communal Service.

 

#1. Washington University in St. Louis – St. Louis, MO

Master of Social Work

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Tuition: $ 52,400

Score: 100.0

Unique Features

Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri opened its doors in downtown back in 1853. It began work on a new campus, the current Danforth Campus, in 1895. The beautiful site plan was developed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Today, Washington University has nearly 13,000 full-time students and offers more than 300 academic programs. The Brown School at Washington University, founded in 1925, works for positive social change. It offers a two-year, 60-credit MSW. It is a practical, flexible program that helps prepare you for a specialized social work career. You complete 21 credit hours of Foundation courses. These include Research Methods, Human Behavior, Social Justice, and Social Work Practice. You also complete a Foundation practicum during your first year, along with a one-credit practicum integrative seminar. You spend 360 clock hours on your first year practicum. In line with the program's flexibility, you select one of nine concentrations: American Indian & Alaska Native; Children, Youth & Families; Health; Mental Health; Older Adults & Aging Societies; Social & Economic Development – Domestic; Social & Economic Development – International; Violence & Injury Prevention; or an individualized concentration. Within those concentrations, you can also add a specialization such as Management, Policy, Research, Sexual Health and Education, Social Entrepreneurship, and System Dynamics. Along with your coursework during your second year, you complete a Concentration practicum, which totals 600 clock hours. Washington University offers a series of one-credit Skills Labs that you can complete during your program. These topics include grant writing, fundraising, budget management, data management, and statistical analysis software. It helps prepare you for today's social work field. If you hold a BSW from a CSWE-accredited university earned within the past six years, you may be eligible for Advanced Standing. You may receive a total of 19 credits toward your MSW.

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