25 Best Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Social Work

Learn how to make a difference in the world with one of the 25 Best Affordable Online Bachelor's Degrees in Social Work for 2019!

The United States Bureau of Labor predicts the growth of social worker careers will increase by 16 percent, a historically rapid growth rate in comparison to other job industries. Many social worker employment opportunities require only a bachelor's degree, which means that upon graduation, students will be ready to enter the professional field, where there is a median pay of $47,980.

Students who pursue an undergraduate degree in social work, practice useful methods for helping communities and individuals in the twenty-first century. With the global political and social climate in growing need of humanitarian assistance, the field of social work is more necessary than ever.

Most of the programs featured on the following list of 25 Best Affordable Online Bachelor's Degrees in Social Work provide, mostly, social-justice based curriculum and with a particular emphasis on the experience of marginalized communities. Graduating with a bachelor's degree in Social Work is not only a rewarding pursuit in terms of postgraduate pay or preparation for graduate school but the skills and knowledge earned are also ever-necessary.

Social work graduates will be trained to work towards bettering the human condition and living standards for all peoples. The numerous online program also ensures that no matter what a student's life responsibilities are, there are flexible options for pursuing a world-changing degree.

Selection Criteria

Best Value Schools publishes college degree rankings with the belief of how one's higher education should be, both, affordable and an investment of continued value for the students who pursue them. The staff of BVS collects data from reputable sources in order to calculate Net Price and the short and long-term value of every ranked degree. Collected data is simplified into weighted categories before scoring and then scaled through a BVS Score up to 100. The weighted categories are:

  • Degree Investment Return (25%)
  • Student & Alumni Evaluation (25%)
  • Cost Value (25%)
  • Matriculation (10%)
  • Academic Success (15%)

No matter what degree you decide on, we hope our research and support has made the selection process easier. There are numerous resources BVS utilizes to collect information on degrees, and we encourage you to check them out for yourself!

Here are the 25 Best Affordable Online Bachelor's Degrees in Social Work for 2019!

25. University of Cincinnati – Cincinnati, OH

Bachelor's of Social Work

UC is a well-recognized research university, with many of its students receiving co-op work placements in the urban city.

The University of Cincinnati designed its Bachelor's of Social Work for students entering with a two-year associate degree in the field or a related major or transfer students. Admitted students may begin taking courses any of the three semesters, speaking to the intended flexibility of the program. The curriculum focuses on hands-on fieldwork, familiarizing students in social welfare, human behavior, substance abuse counseling, and mental health awareness. Fieldwork is required during a student's final year, and students may complete their degree at whichever location they choose. Prospective students should apply with a minimum GPA of 2.75 GPA from previous university coursework, having already completed 60 credits in social work or a similar field.

Net Price: $21,050

24. Malone University – Canton, OH

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

Malone is a Christian university, but its' student body represents more than 45 different faith backgrounds, including secular students.

Malone University offers their Bachelor of Arts in Social Work with a heavy faith-based curriculum, providing students a Biblical worldview that can be used to catalyze change. Courses range from 7-15 weeks long, with 124 credits required for graduation. Typically, Malone students complete anywhere their degree within four years. The program focuses on human growth and development, social work theory, research and writing styles in the field, social welfare policy, and more. The university also provides connections for field instruction during one's time in the program. Most graduates from the program go onto further education.

Net Price: $20,917

23. Indiana Wesleyan University – Marion, IN

Bachelor's of Social Work

Young America's Foundation has named Indiana Wesleyan University one of the Top Ten Conservative Colleges in the US for five years in a row.

The Social Work program at Indiana Wesleyan University is designed to prepare students for entry-level practice in the field post-graduation, especially those who prioritize the integration of personal faith and learning into practice. Students in the program benefit from the university's degree-focused cohort groups, which are provided to students for community support. Also, students can take courses from faculty members with prestigious academic credentials and professional expertise. Applicants are accepted into the university as pre-social work majors and must show their academic dedication and seriousness to be admitted to the Social Work program, itself. Students are also required to complete a Field Placement or an internship after all SW major coursework is complete.

Net Price: $20,008

22. Millersville University – Millersville, PA

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

Millersville University Best Value Colleges Pennsylvania
83 percent of students who attend Millersville University receive financial assistance, and 95 percent of graduates are employed 6-10 months after graduation.

Millersville University designed their Bachelor of Arts in Social Work for students who have their associate's degree at least 60 college credits already, some of which are earned in prerequisite courses that are listed on the program's website. Millersville's BASW focuses on teaching students how to work in the field with both research-informed practice, and practice-informed research. These skills will ready students to meet social, cultural, economic, political, and global challenges, having been familiarized with the impacts of policy on practice. The 120-credit minimum program requires 48 core Social Work courses, with topics like Human Diversity, Social Welfare Policy, and Social Work Welfare & Law.

Net Price: $19,731

21. Huntington University – Huntington, IN

Bachelor's of Social Work

Huntington is located in rural Indiana, close to Fort Wayne and about two hours away from Lake Michigan and three hours from Chicago.

Courses in Huntington University's Bachelor's of Social Work program last five weeks, ensuring maximum flexibility for students who rely on online courses. More than 70 percent of students at the university in all programs take more than four years to finish college, with the average age of an online "adult" program last year was 35. Many graduates go onto work in the professional field with roles in hospitals, clinics, government, schools, or youth-serving organizations. Others continue their education, perhaps in Huntington's Master of Arts in Counseling program. One hundred percent of students who finished the program and applied to graduate programs are accepted with advanced standing status, and another 100 percent of students who graduated and pursued work in the field found employment.

Net Price: $19,219

20. Briar Cliff University – Sioux City, IA

Bachelor's of Social Work

Briar Cliff University Best Value Colleges Iowa
Briar Cliff University has many student organizations and clubs, including Women of Color, Jazz Ensemble, and Blue Crew – a cheering group of students who attend sports events.

The Bachelor's of Social Work offered from Briar Cliff University is a 47 credit major within a minimum 120-credit undergraduate degree. Students of Briar Cliff are privileged with the opportunity to work among well-respected and published faculty members. Faculty advisors are available every step on the way, with one-on-one meetings each week to make sure everything is on track. Once completing the program course requirements, students will participate in a local-to-them 450-hour field internship. Students will never have to come to campus in Iowa. Courses online do not have to be attended at a particular time, maximizing flexibility in student's schedule.

Net Price: $18,409

19. Salisbury University – Salisbury, MD

Bachelor's of Social Work

Salisbury University Best Value Colleges Maryland
Salisbury University is in rural Maryland, not far from the Salisbury Zoological Park, the Johnson Wildlife Management Area, and the Nanticoke River.

Graduates from the Bachelor's of Social Work program at Salisbury University entered the field with the knowledge that guides them with values of social justice and human rights. The program has been designed to educate culturally responsive social work professionals, with courses like Privilege and Oppression, Social Work with Older People, Human Rights and Women, Disabilities Studies, and more. Many graduates go onto continuing education, whether at Salisbury in their Master's of Social Work program or another accredited university. Students in the program will not have only been admitted to the university, but will also have to apply to the SW program after completing 60 undergraduate credits, all with a minimum 2.5 GPA, and a GPA of at least 2.7 for Social Work classes.

Net Price: $18,374

18. Ursuline College – Pepper Pike, OH

Bachelor's of Social Work

Ursuline is a women's college with NCAA Division II sports teams and over 20 student clubs.

Ursuline College designed its online Bachelor's of Social Work program for working adults who want to enter the Social Work field, even if they do not have a history in the field. There's no minimum GPA or ACT/SAT score to get into UC. If students feel dedicated to the discourse and are set on pursuing their graduate degree after completion of the BA, they may participate in an advanced placement segment of the BSW program, earning them up to 15 credits of graduate-level work while simultaneously completing their bachelor's. Aside from coursework, students will also participate in fieldwork and research with organizations and communities local to them.

Net Price: $17,832

17. Union Institute and University – Cincinnati, OH

Bachelor of Science in Social Work

UIU is a non-profit university, with a notable focus on the interdisciplinarity of research and socially-relevant curriculums.

Union Institute and University's Bachelor of Science in Social Work has listed nine competency target's for its students from 2017-2018. Such targets include demonstrating ethical and professional behavior, engaging diversity and difference in practice; and engaging with practice-informed research and research-informed practice. All others involve focusing on the advancement of student's knowledge, not only in the field, but on social-justice oriented tradition. After completion of courses, students will participate in a field practicum, completing 400 or more hours in field practice while also participating in a seminar. Students will be required to fulfill general credit requirements with general courses in psychology, sociology, biology, and statistics. Eleven courses will be taken in social work, with room for electives in the field as well.

Net Price: $17,297

16. University of Louisville – Louisville, KY

Bachelor's of Social Work

The University of Louisville is home to 30 different Greek Letter Fraternities and Sororities.

The online Bachelor's Social Work from the University of Louisville may be completed 100% online, or in a hybrid format which will include some in-person options. The program focuses social work practice with an emphasis on social justice, intending to ready students for careers in Public School Systems, Hospitals, and Nursing Homes, Government Agencies, and more. Applicants who have 0-44 college credits will have to be first accepted to UL, and then upon completion of 45+ credits admit to the BSW program, having earned a GPA thus far of 2.5 or higher. Applicants to UL should have at least a minimum high school GPA of 2.5 and an ACT score of 20 or higher.

Net Price: $17,008

15. Campbellsville University – Campbellsville, KY

Bachelor's of Social Work

Campbellsville is a private Christian university, and graduates have noted how much support they receive from professors due to the small class sizes.

Courses in the Bachelor's of Social Work program from Campbellsville University last eight weeks, with an estimated length of the full program being four years. As CU is a proud Christian school, where students are trained to work in the field from a perspective grounded on Christian faith. Students may go onto the professional field, or continue in the online Master of Social Work program offered from CU. The program readies students with knowledge in historical and contemporary principles of social work, and all will have earned hands-on experience in a supervised social work environment. Small class sizes mean that professors are available, personable, and can also be communicated to via video interaction, as can other students.

Net Price: $16,523

14. University of Nebraska at Kearney – Kearney, NE

Bachelor of Science in Social Work

UN at Kearney has staff dedicated to helping students evaluate career options and find full-time work after graduation.

The Bachelor of Science in Social Work from University of Nebraska at Kearney is delivered entirely online, consisting of 45 credits in general studies with a statistics and biology course required, 24 of electives with 12 being from the program, and 48 credits of the SW major courses, 36 of which are laid out for students in requirement. Application to the online programs at UNK is limited to Transfer, Readmit, and Readmit Transfer students. They must submit both college and high school transcripts. Required topics in the major include Diversity and Social Justice, two courses of Field Placement experience, Human Service Ethics and Experiences, and more. The electives offer diverse areas of potential specialization in practice, including a focus on disabilities and mental health issues.

Net Price: $15,909

13. Northern Arizona University – Flagstaff, AZ

Bachelor's of Social Work

The San Francisco peaks are just about an hour drive away from campus, a popular location for hikers.

Northern Arizona University's Bachelor's of Social Work takes focus on social-justice oriented issues. The program prides itself on teaching the discourse of Social Work as something that is dedicated to all humans and meeting their basic needs, with the necessary focus on those people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. The program at NAU, therefore, focuses on practice with rural and Indigenous populations of the Southwest, with the intention of addressing structural racism and oppression. Students will have to complete 75 credits of major requirements of the 120-credit undergraduate element, with research being optional yet fieldwork experience or internship required.

Net Price: $14,901

12. Bemidji State University – Bemidji, MN

Bachelor's of Social Work

BSU gives students opportunities to engage with the Minnesota wilderness, with kayaks, sailboats, and snowshoes available for rent.

Bemidji State University provides online students with an opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Social Work. Graduates of BSU graduate prepared to work in the professional field with studies focused on civic commitment, cultural responsiveness, social and economic justice, professional ethics, and global interconnectedness. In addition to completing standard credit requirements, BSW students are also expected to earn over 500 hours of field experience. Prospective students must not only apply to the university, meeting all undergraduate admission requirements but then to the Social Work major, having earned a minimum 2.5 GPA in lower-division social work courses thus far. They will also need to submit two references, so prioritizing faculty mentorship is essential.

Net Price: $14,653

11. California State University, Chico – Chico, CA

Bachelor's of Social Work

CSU at Chico has over 200 student clubs and organizations, from a wakeboarding team to multicultural clubs.

California State University's Social Work program is currently impacted, meaning that more students want into the program than the school can accommodate. Because of this, admission to the program is now only offered for students in surrounding counties in California, which are listed on the program's website. The Bachelor's of Social Work program consists of core courses, required electives, volunteer hours, and a 36-credit hour Professional Sequence. All BSW courses need to be taken in a specific sequence; with the first semester in the program requiring 13-credits, the second with 12-credits, and the third with 12-credits as well.

Net Price: $14,185

10. Humboldt State University – Arcata, CA

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

Humboldt State is located in lush Northern California, near the state's infamous redwood forests, oceanside, and mountains.

The online Bachelor of Arts in Social Work offered from Humboldt State University is a two to three-year degree plan, requiring students to come to campus for orientation and practice intensive each January. Live web sessions take place every Thursday evening, but other aspects of the online course can be accommodated to students' schedules. The program proudly takes a social-justice oriented focus, with emphasis on the necessary work with Indigenous and rural communities, both in Humboldt and local to where the student is. Students will be trained in the decolonization of mainstream social work practices, having learned how to work with various lived experiences and oppression mindfully.

Net Price: $14,140

9. Brescia University – Owensboro, KY

Bachelor's of Social Work

Brescia College Best Value Colleges Kentucky
Brescia is a proud Catholic university, with curricular goals based around themes from the Catholic identity.

The Bachelor's of Social Work from Brescia University trains students through all-encompassing social work theory and practice courses. The degree is completable within two years for transfer students who already acquired 86 equivalent credits. Transfer students and adult learners are whom the program is designed for, offering maximum flexibility with working schedules. Brescia's general education requirements incompass studies involving Language and Literature, Philosophy and Religion, Fine Arts, Natural Science and Mathematics, and Social and Behavioral Science. The major requirements will then accompany the tightly-defined gen ed requirements.

Net Price: $13,496

8. University of Arkansas at Little Rock – Little Rock, AR

Bachelor's of Social Work

Over 12,000 students gather at UA Little Rock's 250 tree-covered acre campus.

The online Bachelor's of Social Work from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is only available to Arkansas residents. Students must first be admitted as undergraduate students to UA Little Rock, with no minimum GPA or minimum ACT/SAT score. Upon graduation, students will have completed 35 credits of general core courses, 50 of BSW courses, 9 in specific upper-level field-related courses, and 12 related electives. Every BSW student at UA Little Rock is expected to finish an internship during their senior year, which requires about 16 hours per week to complete. The program's curriculum focuses on preparing students for work amongst diverse individuals, families, groups, and communities. It emphasizes a person-in-environment perspective.

Net Price: $13,404

7. Eastern Kentucky University – Richmond, KY

Bachelor's of Social Work

The EKY Center for the Arts is one of Central Kentucky's main live entertainment and arts destination.

The entirely online Bachelor's of Social Work program from Eastern Kentucky University has eight-week terms to accommodate a personalized graduation plan, providing students with feedback and support from expert faculty, and opportunities for practicum experience and internships. The program focuses on topics such as crisis intervention, addictions, race and ethnic relations, and more. Students also have the option of pursuing undergraduate certification in specialty areas, such as Correctional Intervention Strategies or Infant/Toddler Care and Education. Courses will also be complete in psychology and sociology. The university offers a $142 per credit discount for active duty military.

Net Price: $12,659

6. University of Texas at Arlington – Arlington, TX

Bachelor's of Social Work

The student body at UT Arlington represents people from over 100 countries, making it one of the most diverse student groups in the U.S.

The Bachelor's of Social Work from University of Texas at Arlington prepares students for professional careers with course topics in Social Work Professionalism & Student Success, Diverse Populations, Theories of Human Behavior, and an array of electives that offer a closer emphasis on certain topics. Electives may include Disability and Social Work, the Latina Experience, and U.S. Immigration & The American Dream. The socially conscious array of issues in the program speak to the curriculum's goal of preparing students for the work in supporting marginalized communities, such as individuals affected by poverty, discrimination, abuse, addition, and more. Even once a student is accepted to the university, they must further apply to the BSW Major after completing some required courses with a minimum 2.5 GPA thus far.

Net Price: $12,533

5. Western New Mexico University – Silver City, NM

Bachelor's of Social Work

Western New Mexico University Small Affordable Colleges
50 percent of undergraduate students attending WNMU are Hispanic, as the school is a designated Hispanic Serving Institution.

The Bachelor's of Social Work from Western New Mexico University is open to students who are admitted to WNMU and then have accumulated a 2.5 GPA in lower-division courses. The degree curriculum has course topics in Human Behavior/Environment, Diversity in Social Work, Theory/Foundations/Technology of Social Work, and more. Students will also complete a two-course long Field Practicum. General education requirements of the university include oral and written communication, mathematics, lab science, humanities and fine arts, philosophy, and more. The program proudly emphasizes values that center on service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, and more.

Net Price: $12,500

4. University of Utah – Salt Lake City, UT

Bachelor's of Social Work

The campus at UU is home to the Natural History Museum of Utah and the Red Butte Garden.

The College of Social Work at the University of Utah proudly focuses on the importance of cultivating respectful relationships between prospective social workers and marginalized communities. The Bachelor's of Social Work from this program will prepare students for social-justice oriented work, with the intention of bettering human conditions for all. Students must be admitted to, both, the University of Utah, and to the BSW program. It's recommended that students declare a pre-major in the field, and then proceed to apply with the support from a BSW academic advisor. The online courses still provide students with peer community by being a declared Online Cohort program.

Net Price: $12,363

3. Metropolitan State University of Denver – Denver, CO

Bachelor of Science in Social Work

Metro State of Denver is one of the first urban-colleges in the US, providing an example for universities like the University of Michigan and the University of Texas.

The Bachelor of Science in Social Work from the Metropolitan State University of Denver prepares students with not only courses in social problems, policies, agencies, and change, but also 480 hours of fieldwork throughout two semesters. Class sizes are small and taught by diverse scholarly-trained faculty, all with broad professional expertise in the field and dedication to the program. The program proudly focuses on preparing students for value-driven, research-informed, culturally responsive, and academically rigorous work, teaching them how to successfully apply theory to practice. Students are ready for both professional work in the field post-graduation, or the continuance of education, perhaps even in the Master's or Ph.D. program MSU Denver.

Net Price: $12,175

2. Northwestern State University – Natchitoches, LA

Bachelor's of Social Work

Students in the program will have opportunities in nearby indigenous Alaskan communities for practicum work.

The Bachelor's of Social Work from Northwestern State University focuses on providing a generalist foundation to students, so that they may work in one field of the practice or transition amongst many throughout their career. This is especially great for anyone who's unsure about which area they want to dedicate themselves to long-term. Many graduates from the program earn immediate entry to the professional sphere or continue onto the Masters of Social Work programs. Application to the university has varying requirements depending on what kind of student the applicant is, and all can be found on their home website.

Net Price: $10,503

1. University of Alaska, Fairbanks – Fairbanks, AK

Bachelor's of Social Work

The social work program at UA provides emphasis on rural concerns of the Alaska Native peoples.

The Bachelor's of Social Work program from the University of Alaska Fairbanks is designed for students currently residing in Alaska, but may not be able to commute to campus every day. They offer a traditional on-campus education in conjunction with a named Distance Delivery Education, which is, again, designed for students across Alaska. This latter program is a combination of on-campus delivery and online courses. Students will complete a 400-hour practicum experience during their senior year in the program, after completing all of the degree requirements. The curriculum consists of the university general education requirements, which is a liberal arts base, and then the major requirements. The social work program at UA provides emphasis on rural concerns of the Alaska Native peoples.

Net Price: $9,010