35 Most Affordable Bachelor’s Degrees in Social Work 2020

Affordable programs should cut costs without sacrificing educational quality. The following 35 Most Affordable Bachelor's Degrees in Social Work inexpensively prepare individuals to serve diverse and complex communities in 2020. Each program listed takes a generalist approach to social work, meaning it addresses a broad scope of social issues and human needs. Generalist core courses typically address areas of research and communication in social service. Most delve into the distinctions between the needs of individuals, families and peer groups, and broader global communities. Students may select electives in specialized areas such as aging populations, addictions, children and families, and beyond. All of the following programs listed incorporate field experiences, giving students opportunities to work directly with clients and start serving their communities in social work agencies before graduation. The core generalist perspective opens up a wide range of career possibilities for Social Work degree holders, from school guidance counseling to marriage and family therapy. Generally speaking, social workers help people cope with and solve problems that affect their everyday lives. They may work in schools, child welfare, and human service agencies, or addiction treatment centers. Bachelor's social workers engage in macro social work, meaning they focus on larger scale social problems. According to the most recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, social workers make a median annual salary of $47,980.

Why Become a Social Worker

Due to the nature of individual and universal human struggles, the need for competent social workers grows with the population. The general social work field is currently experiencing a 16 percent growth rate, which is much faster than the average growth rate across all industries. Social workers specializing in mental health or substance abuse can expect an employment growth rate of 19 percent, as the need for mental health and addiction services continues to grow. Today, drug offenders are increasingly being directed to treatment centers rather than to jail, so social workers will be needed to fill those counseling roles. Employment of social workers in the healthcare field is expected to grow at a whopping 20 percent rate, as they will continue to be needed to assist aging populations and families.

How to Choose a Bachelor'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. St. Catherine University – St. Paul and Minneapolis, MN

Bachelor of Social Work

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Tuition: $20,523

Unique Features

Established in 1905, St. Catherine University was one of the first institutions of higher learning for women in the Midwest. Until 2009, the university was known as the College of St. Catherine. Today, the private Roman Catholic liberal arts university is coeducational. St. Kate's has two campuses in the Twin Cities: the main campus in the Highland Park neighborhood in St. Paul, and one specializing in healthcare in the Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis. U.S. News & World Report ranks St. Kate's No. 13 best in the Midwest, No. 16 for Best Undergraduate Teaching, and No. 10 for Most Innovative Schools. Before the 2018-2019 academic year, the university's Bachelor of Social Work program was a joint effort between St. Kate's and nearby brother school St. Thomas. Each university will offer its independent BSW program for the 2019-2020 year. The program trains students in general social work and emphasizes social justice. The curriculum covers areas such as social welfare, communication skills, group work, and case management. Major requirements include courses in Human Behavior and the Social Environment and Social Policy for Social Change. All students must also complete 600 hours of field experience and accompanying integrative seminars. The program aims to prepare students for Minnesota social work licensure.

#34. University of South Carolina – Columbia, SC

Bachelor of Social Work

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Tuition: $20,271

Unique Features

The University of South Carolina opened in 1801 by an act of the South Carolina General Assembly. The university was under military control during the American Civil War but was reorganized by The University Act of 1869. Today, the public university is the flagship institution of the University of South Carolina System. It is categorized in the top tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. In addition to its large main campus in Columbia, SC, USC has seven satellite campuses throughout the state. The university houses the largest Ernest Hemingway collection and the most extensive collection of Robert Burns and Scottish literature outside of Scotland. U.S. News & World Report ranks USC No. 106 in the nation and No. 46 among public schools. USC's Bachelor of Social Work program has an admissions process separate from the undergraduate admissions process. The department considers factors such as foundational academic performance, community service experience, and enthusiasm for the social work field. Major requirements include courses in Diversity and Social Justice in Contemporary Society, Social Policy Analysis, and Advocacy for Social and Economic Justice. Toward the end of the program, students engage in 500 hours of social work field experience. USC designed its BSW to prepare students to become Licensed Baccalaureate Social Workers.

#33. University of Oklahoma – Norman, OK

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

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Tuition: $ 20,003

Unique Features

The Oklahoma Territorial legislature established the University of Oklahoma. The assembly also created the mechanical college in Stillwater, later renamed Oklahoma State University, and a normal school in Edmond later renamed the University of Central Oklahoma. The first president of OU ordered trees be planted before the first campus building was built. Landscaping remains essential to the university, which is now a public research university. Its campus in Norman, OK, is home to two museums. Its Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art specializes in French Impressionist and Native American work. The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History details the state's natural history. The Council of Social Work Education accredited the university's Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work since 1974. Its Bachelor of Arts in Social Work is comprised of prerequisite courses followed by two years of social work courses. Prerequisites include Elements of Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, and Statistics for Social Workers. Major courses include Human Diversity & Societal Justice, Practice with Organizations & Communities, and Interviewing Skills in Generalist Practice.

#32. University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa, AL

Bachelor of Social Work

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Tuition: $19,993

Unique Features

The University of Alabama was established in 1820. U.S. Congress authorized the Alabama Territory to set land aside for a seminary of learning. The campus design was influenced by Thomas Jefferson's plan for the University of Virginia. Originally named the University of the State of Alabama, the school began with an emphasis on classical studies and social and natural sciences. It also served as a center of activity during the American Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the public university is the flagship of the University of Alabama System. Located in Tuscaloosa, it is the oldest and largest of all public universities in the state. It is classified within the top tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. The university's Alabama Museum of Natural History houses the Sylacauga meteorite, which is the most massive known space object to strike a human being who lived to tell the tale. U.S. News & World Report ranks UA No. 129 in the nation, No. 80 for best value, and No. 61 among public schools. UA's Bachelor of Social Work degree is ideal for those interested in social justice, human rights, mental health, and community. Undergraduates must complete general education requirements including course in Public Speaking, Critical Decision Making, and English Composition. Social Work major courses include Oppression & Social Injustice, History of Social Welfare in the United States, and Human Development in Social Environments. Students must also take social work practice courses relating to individuals and families, groups, and communities. Seminars are offered in Professional Writing, Field Preparation, and Generalist Practice. Students also complete field education experience placements with community service agencies for a minimum of 32 hours a week.

#31. University of Vermont – Burlington, VM

Bachelor's degree in Social Work

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Tuition: $19,815

Unique Features

Established in 1791, the University of Vermont is among the oldest universities in the United States. The private university enrolled its first students a decade later. In 1865, after the enactment of the Morrill Act, UVM merged with Vermont Agricultural College. Today, the university is a public research university in Burlington, VM, and the only land-grant university in the state. It is one of the eight original "Public Ivy' universities in the nation, meaning its educational quality is comparable to that of the Ivy League. U.S. News & World Report ranks it at No. 96 in the nation and No. 74 for best value. UVM's Bachelor's degree in Social Work is a rigorous program emphasizing hands-on learning, self-reflection, and community engagement. Each student is assigned an academic advisor for their time in the program, whom they meet with regularly for guidance and mentorship. Courses are structured for interaction, incorporating case studies, presentations, and simulations. The curriculum is comprised of a pre-professional curriculum and a professional curriculum. Pre-professional general education requirements include courses in Quantitative Reasoning, Sustainability, and Writing and Information Literacy. The professional curriculum, which begins during students' junior year, includes Human Needs and Social Service, Racism & Contemporary Issues, and Issues & Policies in Social Welfare. The program practices a cohort model, with students progressing through course material together in their final two years of study. During their senior year, students engage in 450 hours of internship with a social service agency.

#30. Goshen College – Goshen, IN

Bachelor of Science/Arts in Social Work

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Tuition: $19,446

Unique Features

Mennonites were historically skeptical about higher education, but that began to change by the late 19th century. Partially prompted by the establishment of Christian colleges, Mennonites began the Elkhart Institute in 1894 in Eckhart, IN. The institute later became Goshen College and opened up to students of all faiths. Today, Goshen is a private liberal arts college in Goshen, IN. It has a small student body of 883 students. Mennonites make up 36 percent of the student body. The college is home to The Mennonite Quarterly Review journal and the Mennonite Historical Library. U.S. News & World Report ranks Goshen No. 9 in the Midwest, No. 8 for undergraduate teaching, and 6th for best value. The college's Bachelor of Social Work program emphasizes anti-oppressive practice, engaging effectively across differences, and social and economic justice. Students can follow a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science track. Both tracks feature the same courses, including Human Behavior; Race, Class and Ethnic Relations; and Abnormal Psychology. The program includes supervised practica and requires a senior internship. The school encourages local activism on campus and in the Goshen community.

#29. George Mason University – Fairfax County, VA

Bachelor of Social Work

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Tuition: $18,629

Unique Features

George Mason University began as an extension center of the University of Virginia in 1949. It became George Mason College of the University of Virginia a decade later and gained independence and university status in 1972. The university is named after founding father, planter, and politician George Mason. Mason wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which served as the basis for the U.S. Bill of Rights. The public research university has a main campus in Fairfax, VA, with three additional locations elsewhere in the state. It also operates a campus in Songdo, South Korea. The university is categorized in the top tier of research activities by the Carnegie Foundation. U.S. News & World Reports ranks GMU at No. 136 in the nation, No. 67 among public schools, and No. 28 in Most Innovative Schools. GMU's Bachelor of Social Work program builds students' skills in technologically current, culturally sensitive, generalist social work practice. The Council on Social Work Education accredits the program. All students must complete 450 hours of supervised field practicum experience. Students can also take part in the university's Social Work Integrative Research Lab through research projects and mentorship opportunities. The faculty has particular expertise in the areas of behavioral health, children and adults, immigration, and older adults. Required courses include Changing Social Policies and Systems and Knowledge Building for Helping Professionals. The program culminates in a synthesis course and capstone experience. The designated synthesis course is Human Behavior and Family Life. The capstone experience is Integrative Methods in Social Action and Social Change. All students must also take Research in Social Work to fulfill the university's writing intensive requirement.

#28. University of Kansas – Lawrence, KS

Bachelor of Social Work

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Tuition: $18,365

Unique Features

The University of Kansas was founded in Lawrence, KS, in 1865. The first degree certificate awarded by the KU was a Doctor of Divinity to abolitionist-preacher Richard Cordley. Today, KU is a public research university and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. It is classified in the top tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. In addition to its main campus in Lawrence, the university has satellite campuses and learning sites across the state. U.S. News & World Report ranks KU at No. 129 in the nation, No. 98 for best value, and No. 61 among public schools. KU's Bachelor of Social Work program prepares students to be generalist social workers with individuals, groups, and organizations. Freshman and sophomore students work on meeting the university's general education requirements. These include courses in Speaker-Audience Communication, Critical Reading & Writing, and College Algebra. The remaining two years are generally spent on major requirements. Major course offerings include Culturally Competent Social Work, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, and Intimate Partner Violence. The curriculum consists of a field practicum placement during students' senior year. Seniors spend two days a week attending classes and two days on the field practicum. They can also expect to participate in seminars in social work practice, social work research, and professional issues.

#27. Ohio State University – Columbus, OH

Bachelor of Science in Social Work

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Tuition: $18,042

Unique Features

Ohio State University opened in 1870 as a land-grant university under the Morrill Act. Founded as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, the school was initially located in a farming community in northern Columbus, OH. Today, OSU is a public research university with the third-largest campus in the United States. In addition to the primary school in Columbus, OSU offers five regional colleges across Ohio. OSU is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and a Carnegie-classified top-tier research university. The university's extensive research facilities include Chadwick Arboretum, Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island, and Large Binocular Telescope. OSU is also recognized for its dedication to cancer research involving Comprehensive Cancer Center and hospital. U.S. News & World Report ranks OSU 56th in the nation, 18th for innovation, and 17th among public schools. The college's Bachelor of Science in Social Work can be completed in a standard four-year undergraduate format or as an accelerated program with a master's. The university's BSSW/MSW program allows students to complete the bachelor's and master's programs in five years. Pre-major requirements for the BS in Social Work include courses in Human Biology, Lifespan Development, and Minority Perspectives. A field placement component is integrated into the senior year of the program. Students also have the opportunity to study abroad and examine social issues in countries such as Australia, Guatemala, and India. Furthermore, students can choose to pursue the Global Option in Social Work, which specializes in the study of and service to global communities as well as local immigrants and refugees.

#26. University of Missouri – Columbia, MO

Bachelor of Social Work

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Tuition: $17,762

Unique Features

Shaped by Thomas Jefferson's ideas about public education, the University of Missouri was the first public university in the Louisiana Purchase. It was also the first public university west of the Mississippi River. Founded in 1839, Mizzou became a land-grant college in 1862 under the Morrill Act. Today, the public research university is the flagship of the University of Missouri System. Along with its main campus in Columbia, the school has campuses in Kansas City, Rolla, and St. Louis. It is a member institution of the Association of American Universities. The trailblazing university operated the nation's only university-owned TV network affiliate and was home to one of the first schools of journalism. It also operates four hospitals through the University of Missouri Health Care System. The University of Missouri Research Reactor Center is the world's most potent nuclear research reactor. U.S. News & World Report ranks Mizzou at No. 129 in the nation, No. 78 for best value, and No. 61 among public schools. The university's Bachelor of Social Work program is a professional program preparing students for a wide range of social work career paths. Students can choose to pursue an accompanying minor in Social Justice, Financial Literacy for Helping Professionals, or Gerontology. Social Work major requirements include courses in Criminal Justice in Social Work, Dynamics of Interviewing, and Understanding Personality in a Social Context. Students begin by completing the university's liberal arts prerequisites before going onto major courses and practicum experience. The field practicum involves 24 hours per week spent in a field placement agency.

#25. Colorado State University – Fort Collins, CO

Bachelor of Social Work

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Tuition: $17,191

Unique Features

Colorado State University opened in 1870 as the Colorado Agricultural College. It arose as a land-grant institution from the Morrill Act. Today, the public research university is the flagship of the Colorado State University System. It is located in Fort Collins, at the base of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The Oval, a green area, lined with elm trees, lies at the heart of campus. Students can enjoy camping, hiking, skiing, white-water rafting, and more at nearby recreation areas. The region experiences 300 days of sunshine a year. U.S. News & World Report ranks CSU at No. 140 in the nation and No. 70 among public schools. The university's Bachelor of Social Work program provides a generalist framework and a liberal arts foundation. Foundational courses include Attributes of Living Systems, Individual and Family Development, and Social Problems. Major course offerings include Dismantling Privilege and Oppression, Writing Arguments, and Black Feminism. The curriculum integrates several hands-on practical learning experiences. Each student works with a social work agency throughout their sophomore year and participates in agency internships as seniors. Placement options sometimes include international agencies.

#24. University of North Carolina Wilmington – Wilmington, NC

Bachelor's of Social Work

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Tuition: $16,831

Unique Features

The University of North Carolina Wilmington opened in 1947 as the Wilmington College. It initially operated as a junior college, mostly, to serve veterans returning from World War II. In 1963, the North Carolina General Assembly legislature permitted the school to offer four-year undergraduate degrees. Six years later, the school gained university status and became the fifth campus of the University of North Carolina System. The UNC system now has 17 campus locations, and UNCW is now a public state research university. Its campus in Wilmington, NC, lies near the Atlantic Ocean. The school is noted for its marine science program. U.S. News & World Report ranks UNCW at No. 15 in the southern region, No. 6 among public schools, and No. 5 for innovation. The Council on Social Work Education accredits the school's Bachelors of Social Work program. General education requirements include American National Government, General Psychology, and Modern Biology. Core courses include Basic Working Relationship Skills, Issues in Diversity for Generalist Practice, and Human Behavior in the Social Environment. Additionally, students of UNC Wilmington can travel internationally and participate in student organizations and faculty research.

#23. Michigan State University – East Lansing, MI

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

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Tuition: $16,684

Unique Features

Michigan State University opened in 1855 as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan. It was one of the nation's first higher education institutions to teach scientific agriculture. It later became a model for all land-grant universities created under the Morrill Act and expanded its curriculum. Today, the public research university is one of the largest universities in the United States by enrollment. Its campus in East Lansing, MI, houses facilities such as the Abrams Planetarium, the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden, and the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams. U.S. News & World Report ranks MSU at No. 85 in the nation, No. 43 in Best Undergraduate Teaching, and No. 35 among public schools. The Council on Social Work Education has continuously accredited the school's Bachelor of Arts in Social Work program. The degree has a strong base involving liberal arts and social sciences. The curriculum covers generalist social work practice with courses in social welfare, research, and human behavior. Class sizes are small – most with fewer than 25 students – to maximize interaction. The program includes field placements with local social work agencies and programs. Students also engage in research efforts and mentorship with the department faculty, and to study abroad while working through general education requirements. Students may choose to pursue the university's Master of Social Work, which is eligible for advanced standing by the Council on Social Work Education.

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

Bachelor of Social Work

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Tuition: $16,638

Unique Features

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was created in 1867 under the Morrill Act. While it was initially named "Illinois Industrial University," university President John Milton Gregory wanted to ground the school in liberal arts education rather than industrial education. Today, U of I is a public research university and the flagship of the University of Illinois System. It is located in the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign, IL. The land-, sea-, and space-grant institution is categorized within the top tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. Its campus library system has the second-largest university library holdings in the nation, after Harvard University. The campus is also home to the fast supercomputer on a university campus, at its National Center for Supercomputing Applications. U.S. News & World Report ranks U of I at No. 46 best school in the nation and No. 13 among public schools. The university's Bachelor of Social Work program lays the foundations for a wide range of careers in social work. The program is grounded in liberal arts education. General Education courses include Historical and Philosophical Perspective, U.S. Minority Cultures, and Introduction to Statistics for Social Work. The major degree requirements include a course in Diversity: Identities & Issues; Human Development; and Social Work Research Methods. Electives include International Perspectives, Dementia Care for Older Adults, and Hispanics in the U.S. The university emphasizes practical learning experience through community projects and a semester-long internship. The degree allows students to pursue a License of Social Work and makes them eligible to seek Advanced Standing for a master's of Social Work program, enabling them to receive a master's degree in one year.

 

#21. Ramapo College of New Jersey – Mahwah, NJ

Bachelor of Social Work

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Tuition: $16,586

Unique Features

Ramapo College of New Jersey was founded in 1969 in response to the growing population and suburbanization of Bergen County, NJ. The Ramapo Valley was a destination for the wealthy in the late 19th century. The college's campus includes mansions built for American Sugar Company founder Theodore Havemeyer. Today, Ramapo College is a public liberal arts college in Mahwah, NJ. The college lies near the Ramapo Mountains, just south of the New York state line. It is ranked at No. 28 in the northern region and No. 7 among public schools by U.S. News & World Report. The Council on Social Work Education fully accredits its Bachelor of Social Work program. The curriculum builds an understanding of areas including cultural diversity, environmental sustainability, and social thought. Students may minor in fields such as gerontology, women's studies, and ethnic studies. General education requirements include Sociology of the Family and Introduction to Biology. Program requirements include Contemporary Social Policy and Cultural Diversity: Racial, Oppression, and Privilege. Suggested electives include Community Mental Health, Child Welfare, and AIDS: Social Perspectives. The program consists of 500 hours of supervised fieldwork spanning two years.

#20. Florida State University – Tallahassee, FL

Bachelor of Social Work

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Tuition: $16,450

Unique Features

Florida State University was founded in 1851 on the oldest continuous higher education site in Florida. During the Civil War, the school became The Florida Military and Collegiate Institute. During the 60s and 70s, the university was a center for student activism and became known as the "Berkeley of the South." The 1970s fad of "streaking" is said to have originated at FSU. The school is now a public university and a senior member of the State University System of Florida. A sea- and space-grant university, FSU is classified as a "very high research activity" university by the Carnegie Foundation. Its main campus in Tallahassee is home to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art. It is also the birthplace of anti-cancer drug Taxol. U.S. News & World Report ranks FSU at No. 70 in the nation, No. 37 for innovation, and No. 26 among public schools. The university's Bachelor of Social Work program is offered at its Tallahassee and Panama City campuses. It can be completed on a full- or part-time basis, though most classes are held in the daytime. Major courses include Interviewing and Documentation, Diversity, and Social Justice, and Human Behavior in the Social Environment. The program consists of 512 hours of field placement experience. Students may take on international internships or participate in service work on an alternative spring break in Grenada. They may choose to participate in the College of Social Work's summer programs in Prague. Students can also earn their Master of Social Work degree in one year through the school's advanced-standing program.

#19. Rutgers University – New Brunswick, NJ

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

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Tuition: $16,016

Unique Features

Rutgers University was chartered as Queen's College in 1766 by William Franklin, the illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin. Rutgers is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. Its name was changed to Rutgers in honor of Revolutionary War hero Colonel Henry Rutgers. Previously a private liberal arts college, the school is now a public research university. The U.S. News & World Report ranks Rutgers at No. 56 in the nation and No. 17 among public schools. It has three campuses in the state: in Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick. The school's Bachelor of Arts in Social Work program is offered on its New Brunswick campus. The Council on Social Work Education accredits the program. The curriculum includes courses such as Groups at Risk in Contemporary Society, Introduction to Human Sexuality, and Diversity and Oppression. It also offers seminars in Integration and Professional Development. The program includes a fieldwork experience spread over two semesters, throughout which students are expected to work at their placement site two days per week.

#18. University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, AR

Bachelor's in Social Work

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Tuition: $15,966

Unique Features

The University of Arkansas was established in 1871 under the Morrill Act. It was founded as the Arkansas Industrial University and is noted for its strong programs in architecture, agriculture, and Middle Eastern studies programs, among others. The university was built on a hilltop farm overlooking the Ozark Mountains, hence its nickname "The Hill." Located in Fayetteville, AR, UA is the flagship of the University of Arkansas System. It is the largest and best-known university in the state. The land- and the space-grant university is categorized in the top tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. U.S. News & World Report ranks it at No. 78 in Top Public Schools. The university's Bachelor's in Social Work program is one of the oldest undergraduate social work programs in the United States. The Council on Social Work Education fully accredits it. Required Social Work courses include American National Government, Human Diversity & Social Work, and General Sociology. Electives include Spirituality and Social Work Practice, Social Work with Elders, and Addiction & the Family. The program consists of supervised field internships in areas of practice such as domestic violence, mental health, and youth services.

#17. University of Northern Iowa – Cedar Falls, IA

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

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Tuition: $15,942

Unique Features

The University of Northern Iowa opened as a result of the state's desire to care for orphans after the Civil War, as well as its need for a teacher training institution. The university was founded in 1876 as the Iowa State Normal School. Today, it is a public university in Cedar Falls, IA. For the 2018-2019 school year, more than 88 percent of enrolled students were from Iowa. The school has a liberal arts focus and a student-to-faculty ratio of 18:1. It is ranked 25th in the Midwest and 2nd in Top Public Schools by U.S. News & World Report. The Council on Social Work Education accredits UNI's Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. Required core courses include Social Welfare: A World View, Practice with Individuals, and Diversity & Difference. Elective offerings include Addictions Treatment and Stress & Stress Management in the Helping Professions. The program also involves a minimum of 11 credit hours – or 440 clock hours – of field placement experience.

#16. University of Georgia – Athens, GA

Bachelor of Social Work

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Tuition: $15,934

Unique Features

Founded in 1785, the University of Georgia is one of three schools that can claim to be the oldest public higher education facilities in the United States. The founding was due primarily to the efforts of Lyman Hall, a Yale University graduate and one of three doctors to sign the Declaration of Independence. UGA is now a public flagship university. It holds land, sea, space, and sun grants and is considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States. It is categorized in the top tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. The school's North Campus is a designated historic district with extensive green space and historic buildings. The university has a main campus in Athens, GA, and additional campuses across the state. Athens is often ranked as one of the country's best college towns due to its lively bar, restaurant, and music scenes. UGA is ranked at No. 46 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The Council on Social Work Education accredits the school's Bachelor of Social Work program. It is grounded in liberal arts, with core English, Humanities, and World Language & Culture requirements. Major Requirements include Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Social Welfare Policy, and Services, and Current Issues in Social Work. The curriculum also includes integrative seminars and practica in generalist social work. Senior students intern for 20 hours a week in social service agencies.

#15. University of Wisconsin – Madison – Madison, WI

Bachelor of Social Work

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Tuition: $15,910

Unique Features

Formally created in 1848, The University of Wisconsin – Madison is the oldest and largest public university in Wisconsin. It is also Wisconsin's official state university and the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. Its school is located on the shores of Lake Mendota in Madison, WI, and features four National Historic Landmarks. UW also operates a nearby historic arboretum. It is a "Public Ivy," with an educational quality comparable to that of the Ivy League. It is also a member institution of the Association of American Universities. The land- and the sea-grant university is categorized in the highest tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. Its scientific advances include an experiment that marked the birth of modern nutrition science, the first synthesis of human embryonic stem cells, and the discovery of vitamins A and B. U.S. News & World Report ranks UW at No. 49 in the nation and No. 15 among public schools. The university's Bachelor of Social Work program prepares students to enter the social work field. Its generalist practice goals encompass ethics, professionalism, diversity, social justice, and group engagement. Major requirements include courses in Social Work with Ethnic and Racial Groups, Psychopathology for Generalist Practice, and Research Methods. Students also complete a year-long social work internship.

#14. University of Central Florida – Orlando, FL

Bachelor of Social Work

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Tuition: $15,341

Unique Features

The birth of the University of Central Florida was mainly thanks to President John F. Kennedy's goal of flying men to the moon by the end of the 1960s. As a result of Kennedy's 1962 speech, pressure grew on the space program in Central Florida due to the nearby Cape Canaveral. In 1963, Florida State Legislature authorized the Florida Board of Regents to create a new state university in Central Florida. It opened in 1968 as the Florida Technological University. Today, UCF is a public state university with more students enrolled on campus than any other college or university in the nation. The space-grant university's roots live on in its leadership of the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium. The campus is located 13 miles east of downtown Orlando, FL. U.S. News & World Report ranks UCF at No. 87 among public schools and No. 10 for innovation. The Council of Social Work Education accredits the university's Bachelor of Social Work program. The curriculum covers topics in human behavior, social welfare policy, and social work practice. Students can choose from electives in child welfare, aging studies, immigration, queer populations, addictions, and health services. The program also requires an internship placement in a community social work agency.

#13. University of Iowa – Iowa City, IA

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

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Tuition: $14,845

Unique Features

The University of Iowa was founded in 1847, 59 days after Iowa was admitted to the Union. UI is the flagship public research university of Iowa. It is the oldest and second largest university in the state. The Constitution of the State of Iowa indicated the state university should not have branches anywhere outside of Iowa City. The university's urban campus sits on the banks of the Iowa River. The space-grant university is classified in the highest tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. Notably, it operates the Iowa Writers' Workshop, which has produced 17 of the university's 46 Pulitzer Prize winners. U.S. News & World Report ranks UI at No. 89 in the nation, No. 88 for best value, and No. 38 among public schools. The university's Bachelor of Arts in Social Work program is offered in Iowa City and Des Moines. The Council on Social Work Education accredits it. Social Work courses include Intercultural Communication, Global Aging, and Aging Matters: Introduction to Gerontology. Students may choose to engage in special projects such as the National Center for Family-Centered Practice and programs in gerontology and end-of-life care.

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

Bachelor of Social Work

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Tuition: $14,356

Unique Features

The University of Texas at Austin opened in 1883 and is the flagship campus of the University of Texas System. The public university has the eighth-largest single-campus enrollment in the United States. It also currently has the second-largest endowment among U.S. higher-education institutions, surpassed only by Harvard University. The university is a "Public Ivy" and a member of the Association of American Universities. It has a main campus in Austin, TX. It operates seven museums and 17 libraries. Its school is further set apart by its intricate underground tunnel system linking campus buildings. The tunnels are closed to students and the public and used instead for communications and utility service. U.S. News & World Report ranks the school No. 49 in the nation, No. 16 for innovation, and No. 15 among public schools. Its Bachelor of Social Work program has a liberal arts foundation followed by a professional social work course sequence. Class sizes typically range between 25 and 35 students to maximize personal attention. Major courses include Social Work Statistics, Social Work Research Methods, and Contemporary Issues in Adoption and Foster Care. The program culminates in a supervised internship with a social services agency.

#11. Stony Brook University – Stony Brook, NY

Bachelor of Social Work

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Tuition: $14,330

Unique Features

The State University of New York at Stony Brook opened in Oyster Bay in 1957 as the State University College on Long Island. Today, the school – now known as Stony Brook University – is one of four centers of the State University of New York system. Stony Brook conducts extensive marine science research and is home to the Brookhaven National Laboratory Research & Development Park. U.S. News & World Report ranks it 80th nationally and 32nd among public schools. Its Bachelor of Social Work program builds generalist social work practice skills. Major courses include Contemporary Social Justice, Community Learning and Professional Preparation, and Social Welfare Policy and Institutional Oppression. The program consists of supervised fieldwork internships in agencies addressing health, mental health, and social welfare. Field experience sites are available from Long Island to New York City.

#10. Portland State University – Portland, OR

Bachelor's in Social Work

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Tuition: $13,573

Unique Features

Portland State University opened in 1946 as Vanport Extension Center. The center's purpose was to educate returning World War II veterans. After the Vanport Flood of 1948, the college refused to close and therefore became known as "the college that wouldn't die." Originally located in a high school and then a shipyard, PSU is now located in downtown Portland, OR. The public university is classified as a "high research activity" university by the Carnegie Foundation. Its research centers include the Center for Interdisciplinary Mentoring Research, the Center for Life in Extreme Environments, and the Institute on Aging. The school is also noted for its unique University Studies curriculum, which culminates in a required senior capstone project. U.S. News & World Report ranks PSU at No. 32 in Most Innovative Schools. The university's Bachelor's in Social Work program is the only one in an Oregon public institution to be accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Students can pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. The university recently launched its BSW Hybrid program, through which students can take their junior-year classes online and their senior-year courses in person in Eugene, OR. Major requirements include courses in Advocacy for Policy Change, Human Behavior Through the Lifespan, and Social Justice Practice. All students must complete a 500-hour field placement during their senior year.

 

#9. North Carolina State University – Raleigh, NC

Bachelor of Social Work

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North Carolina State University - Best MSW in East 2016

Tuition: $13,442

Unique Features

North Carolina State University opened in 1887 under the name "North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts." Today, the public research university is among the largest universities in the nation. With the main campus in Raleigh, it is a member institution of the University of North Carolina System. The land-, sea-, and space-grant institution is one corner of the Research Triangle, along with Duke and UNC at Chapel Hill. The university's Bachelor of Social Work program was one of the nation's first accredited programs. Students complete liberal arts requirements before moving onto major courses. Foundational Social Work courses include Community Social Services, Multicultural Social Work, and Human Behavior for Social Work. The program culminates in Field Work in Social Services and a Community-Based Field Practicum. The degree qualifies graduates for North Carolina state licensing and certification.

#8. San Diego State University – San Diego, CA

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

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Tuition: $13,363

Unique Features

San Diego State University opened in 1897 as the San Diego Normal School, with the purpose of educating local women as elementary school teachers. It is also the oldest and largest higher education institution in San Diego County. The public space-grant university is a Carnegie-designated research university. Located in San Diego, CA, several of the main campus' buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The school has branch campuses in Brawley and Calexico, CA, as well one abroad in Tbilisi, in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. U.S. News & World Report ranks SDSU at No. 127 nationally, No. 60 among public schools, and No. 45 for innovation. The university's Bachelor of Arts in Social Work program is based in the liberal arts. The intensive upper-division curriculum addresses areas of social work including cultural pluralism, human behavior, and macro-level practice. Electives are offered in specialized areas such as aging, child welfare, drugs and alcohol, and family studies. The degree program also requires a field practicum experience in the form of a 16-hour-per-week internship.

 

#7. Arizona State University – Tempe, AZ

Bachelor of Social Work

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Tuition: $12,947

Unique Features

Arizona State University opened as the Territorial Normal School in 1885. Its purpose was to train teachers for the Arizona Territory. The campus was initially made up of a single four-room schoolhouse. The university has since grown into one of the largest public universities in the United States by student enrollment. The public university operates five campuses across the Phoenix, AZ, area, and four additional learning sites throughout the state. It is a NASA-designated space-grant institute and a Carnegie-designated top-tier research university. U.S. News & World Report ranks it at No. 52 among public schools, No. 11 for undergraduate teaching, and No. 1 for Most Innovative Schools. ASU's Bachelor of Social Work program is offered at its Downtown and West Phoenix campuses, and in Tucson for transfer students. In their first two years of the degree, students take general education courses such as Introductory Ethics: A Social Issues Perspective and Social Services Perspective of Government. The last two years are spent on Social Work major courses, such as Diversity and Oppression in a Social Work Context, Human Biology for Social Workers, and Spirituality and the Helping Professions. All students can also expect to complete field seminars integrating practice and theory.

#6. University of Utah – Salt Lake City, UT

Bachelor of Social Work

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Tuition: $12,363

Unique Features

The University of Utah was established as the University of Deseret in 1850. The school closed in 1853 due to lack of funds but was later re-established by a prominent pioneer settler and his successor John R. Park. Park bequeathed his fortune to the school upon his death, a financial boost which helped the university rapidly grow. Today, it is a public university and the flagship institution of Utah. A space-grant university, U of U is categorized in the highest tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. The campus is located in the Salt Lake Valley, about two miles east of downtown Salt Lake City, UT. Students can travel around the school via on-campus shuttles, which run on biodiesel and vegetable oil. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U at No. 119 in the nation and No. 56 among public schools. Major course offerings include Applied Social Work Statistics, Social Diversity, and Cultural Understanding, and Global Community-Based Research. The program consists of a 450-hour supervised internship in the social work field. Practicum placement sites are available in the Salt Lake City region, throughout the United States, and internationally. Students leave the program eligible for state licensure and prepared to enter a range of human service positions.

#5. Rutgers University – Newark – Newark, NJ

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

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Tuition: $12,020

Unique Features

Rutgers University – Newark came about in 1946 when Rutgers University absorbed the University of Newark. Rutgers – Newark is one of three regional campuses of Rutgers University, with the others in Camden and New Brunswick. Rutgers is a public research university and the eighth-oldest college in the United States. It is also a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. Its Newark campus is located in the University Heights section of Newark, NJ. It is home to research institutes including the Institute of Jazz Studies. According to U.S. News & World Report, it is the most diverse university in the nation. The site also ranks Rutgers – Newark at No. 104 for best value and No. 52 among public schools. The Council on Social Work Education accredits the university's Bachelor of Arts in Social Work program. Major prerequisites include courses in Basic Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, and Statistics for Social Science. Major course requirements include Groups at Risk, Introduction to Social Work & Social Justice, and a Professional Development Seminar. Elective offerings include Introduction to Human Sexuality and Global Health Perspectives: Vulnerability, Human Health, and Wellbeing. Students also have study abroad options in China, Israel, Romania, and the Yucatan Peninsula.

#4. University of South Florida – Tampa, FL

Bachelor of Social Work

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University of South Florida Selective Social Work Schools

Tuition: $11,766

Unique Features

The University of South Florida was the first independent state university planned and built during the 21st century. Founded in 1956, the university was established on the site of a World War II airstrip and former historical orange grove. Today, USF is a member of the State University System of Florida and the fourth-largest public university in the state. It is categorized in the top tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. The USF system includes three member institutions: one in Sarasota, one in St. Petersburg, and the main campus in Tampa. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University at No. 124 in the nation, No. 71 for best value, and No. 58 among public schools. The Council on Social Work Education accredits USF's Bachelor of Social Work program which was built upon its guidelines. Before beginning the major requirements, students must take courses in the areas of human biology, political science, psychology, sociology, and economics. BSW core classes include Human Behavior & Social Environment, Multi-Cultural America in a Global Society, and The American Social Welfare System. The final semester of the program involves an integrative seminar and field placement experience.

 

#3. Appalachian State University – Boone, NC

Bachelor of Social Work

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Appalachian State University - Best MSW in East 2016

Tuition: $10,473

Unique Features

Appalachian State University began in 1899 when a group of Watauga County citizens created a movement to bring teacher education to the region. The school was initially named Watauga Academy and became Appalachian State University in 1967. Today, the university is a public university member of the University of North Carolina system. Its main campus is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in downtown Boone, NC. The school's student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1, and it has an average class size of 27 students. The university emphasizes sustainability and global learning. U.S. News & World Report ranks it at No. 8 in the southern region, No. 3 among public schools, and at No. 2 in, both, undergraduate teaching and innovation. The Council on Social Work Education accredits the university's Bachelor of Social Work program. Students begin the program with foundational courses such as Professional Social Work in Contemporary Society and The American Social Welfare System. They then start the professional sequence, which includes three Social Work Practice courses: with Individuals and Families, with Groups, and in Communities and Organizations. Students may choose to study abroad. The department offers rotating international study options including Costa Rica, Germany, India, and Uganda. The degree culminates in a field placement internship and accompanying capstone seminar.

#2. California State University – Long Beach – Long Beach, CA

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

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Tuition: $9,654

Unique Features

California State University – Long Beach was established in 1949 by then-governor Earl Warren. Originally named Salinas-Orange County State College, the school was intended to serve the growing post-World War II populations of Orange County and the Southern Los Angeles area. It is a member institution of the California State University system. Residing in the Los Altos area of Long Beach, CSULB overlooks the Pacific Ocean. The university currently has some of the lowest student fees in the nation. U.S. News & World Report has named it the No. 12 most diverse university in the West. The site also ranks the school at No. 26, overall, for the western region and No. 3 among national public schools. Students can take major courses for the university's Bachelor of Arts in Social Work program in a daytime or evening sequence. Major preparation courses include statistics, Human Biology, and General Psychology. Major course requirements include Law, Court Decisions, and Policy Practice; Generalist Social Work Practice; and Social Policy: Formulation and Analysis. The curriculum also contains practica in Social Welfare and Social Work. Students complete the program with field education experiences during their junior and senior years.

#1. University of Washington – Seattle, WA

Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare

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University of Washington Seattle Selective Social Work Schools

Tuition: $9,443

Unique Features

The University of Washington opened in downtown Seattle in 1861 as the Territorial University of Washington. The university architect was John Pike, for whom Seattle's famous Pike Street was named. UW has since expanded and moved to the University District in the urban Puget Sound region of Seattle, with mountain views. The public university has two additional campuses in Bothell and Tacoma. A sea- and space-grant university, it is categorized within the top tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. UW is the flagship university of the six public universities in Washington. U.S. News & World Report ranks it No. 59 in the nation, No. 37 for innovation, and No. 20 among public schools. The university is home to Social Work Degree Guide‘s No. 1 most affordable Bachelor's Degree in Social Work. The Council on Social Work Education accredits its Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare and subsequentially structured according to the council's standards. Course offerings include Cultural Diversity and Social Justice, Community Service Learning, and Evidence-Based Social Work. The curriculum consists of practica, seminars, and a skills lab. The program's fieldwork component involves a lesson and a field instruction placement in a social service agency. Students may also choose to study abroad, conduct independent research, or pursue an honors thesis.

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