35 Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Social Work

Social work is an excellent line of work for empathetic students devoted to communities in need of informed and competent support. Earning a Bachelors in Social Work is a fulfilling and bold step in this direction. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates job prospects for Social Workers will grow an impressive 16% from 2016 to 2026, given the needs of communities everywhere are becoming more pressing every day.

Social workers are employed in a variety of different settings and industries dedicated to the service of many populations. This may include mental health clinics, school counseling offices; human service agencies; or even private practices.

Most social workers enter the field with a BSW, but earning a graduate-level degree in Social Work makes one more a more competitive professional candidate. Many BSW programs provide advanced-standing for graduates, allowing them to earn their MSW within one additional year.

The following list of BSW programs provide students with opportunities to complete field practicums and internships and allow an early start toward gathering hands-on experiences in the field. These may take place locally, nationally, or internationally, as the dedicated support social workers provide is needed everywhere in the world.

Social workers are expected to have an understanding of how many communities are oppressed and underserved, as these will often be the populations that they work with. With that, many programs are social-justice oriented and dedicated to human well-being and civil rights. Social work is a great field for those who feel empathetic and devoted to the many communities and peoples' in need of informed and competent support. Earning a BSW is a fulfilling and bold step in this direction.

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 35 Best Bachelor's Degrees in Social Work for 2020!

35. Fordham University – The Bronx, NY

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

Website

The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work offered by Fordham University is dedicated to an education centered on human rights, social justice, and individual and community well-being. Course topics include Integrating Human Rights and Justice in Practice, Contemporary Social Welfare Policy, and more. Students benefit from flexible scheduling, which allows either part or full-time study and weekend classes. The program required every student to complete 600 hours of fieldwork experience and a seminar. Applications are open to students who are already at Fordham and have completed at least 50 credits including most of the BSW program prerequisites. The expected undergraduate GPA of applicants thus far is at least a 3.0.

Net Price: $38,503
Score: 79.9

34. University of North Carolina Wilmington – Wilmington, NC

Bachelor's of Social Work

University of North Carolina Wilmington Best Value Colleges North Carolina

Website

The Bachelor's of Social Work at the University of North Carolina Wilmington prepares students for generalist social work practice. The values and goals of the program are rooted in scholarly inquiry and community service, ethical practice, social justice, empowerment, and honoring diverse populations. Students have many opportunities to complete field experience and internships in agencies closeby campus, including military bases, addiction treatment centers, and nonprofits. Course topics include Issues in Diversity for Generalist Practice and many dedicated to Human Behavior. Applicants must have completed fulfilled Pre-Social Work coursework. After completing those prerequisites, the student may further apply to the BSW upper-level program.

Net Price: $16,831
Score: 80.1

33. University of South Florida – Tampa, FL

Bachelor of Social Work

Website

University of South Florida's Bachelor of Social Work prepares students for entry-level practice in generalist social work. The curriculum focuses on intervention methods, case management, resource development, teaching, advocacy, and more. Graduates are equipped with skills and an understanding of the systems at hand they'll work within, whether it be amongst individuals, families, groups, organizations, or entire communities. BSW students complete 460 hours of fieldwork to gain professional experience and benefit from the mentorship of those in the field. The program is at limited access status, so meeting application requirements does not guarantee entree. Applicants should have completed prerequisites at USF at the time of application and with a GPA of at least 2.75.

Net Price: $11,766
Score: 80.8

32. University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus – Norman, OK

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Best Alternative Graduate Schools in the West

Website

The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma focuses on preparing students with the knowledge and systemic skills to work with a variety of populations, with the necessary emphasis on historically oppressed groups around the US and world. Course topics include Diversity and Social Justice, Social Welfare and Policy, and Research Methods of the field. Many students in the BSW program opt to minor in other related fields, which are often African and African American Studies, Women's and Gender Studies, Social Justice, and Native American Studies. All in the program completed the Field Education program, earning practicum experience in medical and mental health hospitals, correctional institutions, nonprofits, and state agencies.

Net Price: $20,003
Score: 81.7

31. Cedarville University – Cedarville, OH

Bachelor of Science in Social Work

Website

Cedarville University's Bachelor of Science in Social Work program prepares students with the professional skills necessary to succeed in the field, and through a dedicatedly Christian lens. Students can earn their degree in three or four years, with all completing a 150 and then 450 hours of internship during their junior and senior year. Some opt to complete an international field experience to fulfill the internship, traveling to either Romania, Uganda, or India. Graduates looking to go onto a Master's of Social Work program will receive advanced standing due to CU's accreditation, meaning they can earn their master's in only one additional year.

Net Price: $23,520
Score: 81.7

30. University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, AR

Bachelor's in Social Work

Website

The University of Arkansas' Bachelor's in Social Work program centers on skills and knowledge necessary for the enrichment of human well-being and the alleviation of hardship and abuse. Graduates are prepared for entry-level generalist practice or to continue onto higher education. The curriculum gives students the knowledge and skills to make culturally competent and empirically based decisions once in the professional field. Course topics include Biological Anthropology, Social Welfare Policy, Communications, and more. All students complete an internship and field seminar to gain professional and hands-on experience. Before declaring the Social Work major, students must meet with the BSW program director.

Net Price: $15,966
Score: 82.8

29. University of Missouri – Columbia – Columbia, MO

Bachelor of Social Work

Website

The Bachelor of Social Work program at the University of Missouri is an advanced-level program that students at UM begin after completing the liberal arts prerequisite courses. Applicants must have maintained at least a 2.5 GPA in all undergraduate work. Once admitted to the program, students take courses topics like crisis intervention, community outreach, case management, assessment, advocacy, research methods, and more. All students also complete a field practicum, working at local agencies typically three days a week. The program is designed to prepare students for a wide variety of career options, including opportunities in hospitals or schools.

Net Price: $17,762
Score: 83.5

28. University of South Carolina-Columbia – Columbia, SC

Bachelor of Social Work

Website

University of South Carolina's Bachelor of Social Work offers a curriculum made up of advanced coursework, student research, and fieldwork experiences and education. Students apply to the pre-BSW program upon application to the university and begin taking prerequisites for the upper-vision part of the BSW program. To be considered for the advanced BSW program, students must have completed requirements with a 2.5 GPA or better. The program is designed to prepare graduates as ethical generalist practitioners, who focus on social and economic justice, well-being, and issues affecting diverse populations. Students will become well-versed in the conditions that influence human rights, and learn how to use critical thinking in advocacy and service.

Net Price: $20,271
Score: 83.5

27. The University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa, AL

Bachelor of Social Work

Website

The Bachelor of Social Work program at The University of Alabama is a professional-level program that students apply to after completing prerequisites with at least a 2.25 undergraduate GPA. The program utilizes liberal arts courses, electives, social work courses, and supervised field education opportunities to prepare students for generalist social work practice. Social Work courses include topics like Human Behavior and Social Environment, Oppression and Social Injustice, Research for Social Work Practice, and more. Students may also take elective courses in related fields such as Anthropology or Geography. Aside from the required field internships, students may participate in research alongside faculty and graduate students.

Net Price: $19,993
Score: 83.8

26. University of New Hampshire – Durham, NH

Bachelor of Science in Social Work

Website

The University of New Hampshire's Bachelor of Science in Social Work prepares students to enter the field with an understanding of their professional identity, critical thinking, diversity, and human rights, social justice, human behavior, research, and more. Graduates may go onto generalist social work practice or continue their studies or research in graduate-level programs. Hands-on experience is earned during students' senior year 450-hour internship, where knowledge and coursework are put into praxis, and students are familiarized with personal and professional boundaries. Some in the program opt to study abroad in Northern Ireland or the Dominican Republic, learning about the social welfare systems of other nations and different realities of social justice and human rights.

Net Price: $22,888
Score: 84.4

25. Colorado State University – Fort Collins – Fort Collins, CO

Bachelor of Social Work

Website

The Bachelor of Social Work program at Colorado State University prepares students for generalist social work practice, with a foundation in all aspects of the field as well as a strong base in the liberal arts. The curriculum familiarizes students with six different roles they will take on as a social worker: the Advocate, Broker, Community Change Agent, Counselor, Mediator, and Researcher. Learning the skills and becoming trained with the tools necessary for success as each role is done through coursework focused on social and economic justice and human rights. All students complete practical field experience, and this may include international placement opportunities.

Net Price: $17,191
Score: 84.7

24. Goshen College – Goshen, IN

Bachelor of Science in Social Work

goshen-college

Website

Goshen College's Bachelor of Science in Social Work is an 18-month degree completion program designed for working adults. Classes primarily take place during the evening. Graduates from the program have gone onto careers in private practice, government and nonprofit organizations, schools, mental health facilities, healthcare, and more. The curriculum utilizes economic and social justice-oriented frameworks to teach students the role of social workers in major social issues. Course topics include Social Welfare Policy, Social Work Practice Theory, and Methods of Social Research. Students also complete 400 hours of Field Instruction in a social service agency. Applicants are expected to have sufficient college-level coursework completed.

Net Price: $19,446
Score: 84.8

23. Arizona State University – Tempe – Tempe, AZ

Bachelor of Social Work

Website

Arizona State University's Bachelor of Social Work program begins student's junior year, after completing all prerequisites for the professional BSW. The curriculum prepares graduates for generalist social work practice, focused on advocacy, referrals, case management, and research. Many have gone onto careers in supporting survivors of domestic violence and child abuse; those affected by poverty, discrimination, and disability; and more. All students complete field education opportunities to fulfill internship requirements. These internship placements take place in social service agencies in the area and equip students with relevant hands-on experience that'll make them competitive job candidates.

Net Price: $12,947
Score: 85.0

22. The University of Tennessee – Knoxville – Knoxville, TN

Bachelor of Science in Social Work

Website

The Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Tennessee is an upper-division focused program, where students will begin social work courses their junior year after completing prerequisites with at least a 2.5 GPA. Until then, they will be at pre-major status but still, receive the support of the BSSW academic advisors. Admission into the upper-level courses and BSSW program is competitive. The curriculum is focused on preparing graduates with the tools and knowledge necessary to make social impact and change in a variety of different specialized fields. Those who plan to continue into graduate-level studies may pursue the BSSW/Master of Science in Social Work program at UT, where one can earn both degrees in just five years.

Net Price: $20,995
Score: 85.4

21. Rutgers University – Newark – Newark, NJ

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

Website

Rutgers University' Bachelor of Arts in Social Work is a professional degree program consisting of approximately 60 credits and requires students to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA. The curriculum focuses on the creation of solutions to social problems using the tools and knowledge at hand. Students are prepared with knowledge, skills, and values in the field that are used to serve especially those populations that are underserved, marginalized, and oppressed. The BASW program goals are all centered around human rights, informed research and informed practice, and the various ways to support individuals, families, groups, and communities. All students complete a field experience their senior year.

Net Price: $12,020
Score: 85.6

20. University of Kansas – Lawrence, KS

Bachelor of Social Work

Website

University of Kansas' Bachelor of Social Work program prepares students for generalist social work practice with advanced coursework and a minimum of 480 hours of field practicum. The Social Work courses begin students' junior year with topics like Diversity, Oppression, and Social Justice; Human Behavior; Intimate Partner Violence; Childhood and Early Adolescence Behavior; and more. Students are required to maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Field practicum begins during KU students' senior year where they spend time in social work settings like public health clinics, community mental health centers, court services; or community development projects, throughout Kansas and western Missouri.

Net Price: $18,365
Score: 86.3

19. New York University – New York City, NY

Bachelor of Science in Social Work

Website

The Bachelor of Science in Social Work from New York University emphasizes the importance of empathy, self-awareness, commitment, and ethics in challenging social problems and injustice. The curriculum prepares students with a thorough understanding of the complex social systems and issues that exist in every aspect and strata of society. Further, students are equipped with the skills and critical thinking tools to alleviate the examined issues. The coursework is accompanied by over 600 hours of on-site field learning in agencies throughout NYC. There are specific opportunities for work with refugee and immigrant populations as well as study abroad trips, so students are ensured perspectives outside of the US.

Net Price: $36,256
Score: 86.9

18. University of Central Florida – Orlando, FL

Bachelor of Social Work

Website

The Bachelor of Social Work program at the University of Central Florida is an entry-level, professional program that students begin their junior year. Courses are focused on human behavior, social environment, social welfare policy, and research. Electives are offered in more specialized areas, such as child welfare or immigration. All students are required to complete an internship in a nearby agency. Some courses are offered in hybrid-format with both on-campus and online sessions, to ensure schedule flexibility. Applicants to the program must be dedicated to work with diverse populations and to provide services using many different strategies and tools such as case management, advocacy, or education.

Net Price: $15,341
Score: 88.2

17. University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, PY

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

University of Pittsburgh Best Biomedical Engineering Degrees

Website

University of Pittsburgh's Bachelor of Arts in Social Work prepares students for entry-level generalist social work practice, as well as graduate-level education after graduation. The curriculum provides students with a strong liberal arts foundation, which the upper-division courses building off of the frameworks beginning the junior year. The BASW course topics include Policy Analysis, Ethnicity & Social Welfare, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, and more. Applicants to begin the program their junior year must have at least 60 undergraduate credits with a GPA of at least 2.5. The program traditionally takes two years, but students also have the opportunity to complete it at a part-time schedule.

Net Price: $22,848
Score: 88.4

16. Florida State University – Tallahassee, FL

Bachelor of Social Work

Website

Florida State University's Bachelor of Social Work is a 50-credit professional program that students begin their junior year. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or greater after completing all prerequisite courses, which are heavily focused on liberal studies topics like American Government and Introduction to Sociology. All students will complete 512 hours of field placement, gaining professional experience in a social work agency setting. The upper-division course topics include Diversity and Social Justice, Interviewing and Documentation, and Statistics for Social Workers. Those who plan on attending graduate school after the BSW will benefit from the advanced standing program offered by FSU, enabling students to earn their MSW in just one year.

Net Price: $16,450
Score: 89.1

15. George Mason University – Fairfax, VA

Bachelor of Social Work

Website

The Bachelor of Social Work from George Mason University is dedicated to preparing generalist social work professionals with an emphasis on challenging injustice through theory-informed praxis. Students in the program benefit from groundwork in the liberal arts that then frameworks in which to analyze social problems at hand. Course topics include Methods of Social Work Intervention, Changing Social Policies and Systems, and Integrative Methods in Social Action and Social Change. Because the program has competitive entry, students must complete 45 college credits with at least a 2.5 GPA prior to admission for their junior year. Official admission to the BSW program is granted right before senior year when students complete their field placement. Until then, students may unofficially declare social work as a major in the prospect of completing the degree.

Net Price: $18,629
Score: 89.6

14. University of Iowa – Iowa City, IA

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

Website

University of Iowa's Bachelor of Arts in Social Work has graduated students who have gone onto careers in public welfare, mental health, elderly services, child welfare, and more. Admission to the major is competitive, and applicants must have completed prerequisites with a GPA of at least 2.5. Until admission students declare their major as a social work interest, and complete courses in related liberal arts topics. Course topics include Social Justice and Social Welfare, Gerontology, Global Aging, Nonprofit Organizational Effectiveness, and Human Sexuality, Diversity, and Society. Certificates are available to students in the program who focus on Resilience and Trauma-Informed PErspectives or Critical Cultural Competence.

Net Price: $14,845
Score: 90.5

13. San Diego State University – San Diego, CA

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

Website

San Diego State University's Bachelor of Arts in Social Work consists of 65 upper-division credits, covering human behavior, cultural pluralism, social policy, macro-level practice, and research. Students may also choose to spend their electives on specific areas like child welfare, alcohol and other drugs, and family studies. Upon entry as freshmen to the university, students are considered pre-majors. Once they've completed all prerequisites and been accepted to the BASW program, they'll begin advanced courses covering all aspects of praxis in the field. All students will also complete a 16-hour per week internship to fulfill their field practicum requirement.

Net Price: $13,363
Score: 90.9

12. University of Washington – Seattle, WA

Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare

Website

The Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare at the University of Washington is for students who wish to pursue Masters or Ph.D.'s in Social Work, graduate degrees in Public Health, Law, or others, or enter the professional field post-graduation. The program is centered around social justice and equips students with a critical lens on both human behaviors, and the social systems humans operate under. Students apply to the program after completion of prerequisites. The average GPA of students who entered the BASW program in 2018 was 3.29. Course topics include Social Welfare History/Policy; Cultural Diversity and Social Justice; and Human Behavior. All students complete a field practicum experience.

Net Price: $9,443
Score: 91.7

11. California State University – Long Beach – Long Beach, CA

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

Website

California State University's Bachelor of Arts in Social Work is a professional program preparing students for entry-level, professional, and generalist social work post-graduation. Some graduates also go onto further education in Social Work graduate programs, or degrees in related fields. To ensure accessibility, classes are offered at both daytime and evening hours. Students in the program are encouraged to take courses in related fields to gain multidisciplinary perspectives useful in the field. This may look like electives fulfilled by courses in women's studies, sociology, anthropology, or other ethnic studies. The BASW is an impacted major at California State, and admission continues to be competitive.

Net Price: $9,654
Score: 93.7

10. Michigan State University – East Lansing, MI

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

Website

The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work program at Michigan State University uses a person-in-environment model with a focus on social justice to teaching students the skills and necessary knowledge to become advocates on the local, national, and global level. All students will begin their studies with a strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences, moving forward into interactive, small, upper-division courses dedicated to more in-depth social work topics. Field placements and internships are completed with local agencies and programs, all focusing on the preparation for generalist social work practice. Six certificates are available within the BASW: Health and Aging; Child Welfare; Global Social Work; Law and Policy; Children, Youth, and Families; and Nonprofit Administration.

Net Price: $16,684
Score: 94.1

9. Stony Brook University – Stony Brook, NY

Bachelor of Social Work

Website

Stony Brook University's Bachelor of Social Work follows a curriculum similar to the Bachelor of Science: students spend their first two years taking general education courses, working their way to the professional-level social work courses accompanied by an internship. Internships may take place in central New York City, while others are in nearby communities like Long Island. Many graduates move on to work for mental health clinics, nursing homes, homeless shelters, or government agencies to fulfill their internship requirement. Courses prepare students with a foundational and extensive generalist social work practice. Graduates from the program are competitive candidates for entry-level positions in a variety of industries in the field.

Net Price: $14,330
Score: 94.4

8. Appalachian State University – Boone, NC

Bachelor of Social Work

Website

The Bachelor of Social Work from Appalachian State University focuses on skills and topics necessary for the bettering of human well-being and social justice advocacy. Graduates are knowledgeable about, not only the history and theory behind social work but different deliveries of professional practice. All students will complete 440 hours of supervised fieldwork experiences at nearby community agencies. Study abroad options are also available to BSW students, with opportunities in Costa Rica, Germany, India, and Uganda. Admission to the professional-level BSW program at ASU is competitively granted to students who have completed foundational prerequisite courses.

Net Price: $10,473
Score: 94.6

7. Ohio State University – Columbus, OH

Bachelor of Science in Social Work

Website

Graduates from the Bachelor of Science in Social Work program at Ohio State University are well-prepared for generalist social work practice in a variety of settings dedicated to individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. The curriculum focuses on the importance of evidence-informed practice, advocacy for vulnerable populations, and tools for the advancement of social justice. Freshman admissions to Ohio State are granted pre-major status, where they will fulfill all general education courses before beginning the social work focused upper-division courses. Students are also encouraged to apply through the Freshmen 4+1 Program, where they can earn both their BSSW and Master of Social Work in five years at the university.

Net Price: $18,042
Score: 94.8

6. University of Utah – Salt Lake City, UT

Bachelor of Social Work

Website

University of Utah's Bachelor of Social Work program prepares students with a coherent liberal arts foundation before equipping them with skills and advanced knowledge necessary for culturally competitive generalist social work practice. Course topics include Human Behavior and Social Environment; Social Work and Social Welfare: The Profession and Institution; Social Diversity and Cultural Understanding; and Global Community-Based Research. All students complete a 450-hour internship or field practicum, with over 150 different placement options both locally, nationally, and internationally. Two certificate options are available: Substance Use Disorder Treatment Training Certificate and Social Justice Advocacy Certificate.

Net Price: $12,363
Score: 95.2

5. Rutgers University – New Brunswick – New Brunswick, NJ

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

Website

The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Rutgers University is a professional-level program that prepares students for generalist social work practice. It is nearly the same program as that offered by at their other campus listed above, Rutgers University in Newark. All students will complete prerequisite courses in psychology, sociology, human biology, statistics, and at least two courses in art, literature, philosophy, history, or religion. There are also study abroad options in Israel, China, Romania, and Yucatan. Students will complete a field experience their senior year accompanied by relevant seminars on professional practice and research. Course topics include Groups at Risk in Contemporary Society and Diversity & Oppression.

Net Price: $16,016
Score: 96.3

4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Urbana-Champaign, IL

Bachelor of Social Work

Website

Graduates from the Bachelor of Social Work program at the University of Illinois are ready for generalist social work practice, Master of Social Work programs, or career opportunities and graduate education in related fields, such as law, human resources, health care, and education. Students in the BSW program have the benefit of learning from many award-winning faculty members who have professional experience in the field. Many courses include community projects that students participate in to gain hands-on experience. Professional expertise is also obtained through the required one-semester internship. Applicants must have completed prerequisite courses with at least a 2.5 GPA, and already have done a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer or paid work experience in social service agencies.

Net Price: $16,638
Score: 98.1

3. University of Wisconsin-Madison – Madison, WI

Bachelor of Social Work

Website

The Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison is open to students who have completed at least 71 college credits with a GPA of 2.5 or better. Once admitted to the program, the BSW senior-level students complete a year-long internship to fulfill their field experience requirements. Required course topics focus on the research methods and necessary groundworks for generalist social work practice, but students have the opportunity to complete electives providing a more in-depth understanding of certain aspects of the field. Internships may take place in community agencies, or settings focused on mental health, disabilities, criminal justice, and child welfare.

Net Price: $15,910
Score: 98.3

2. North Carolina State University – Raleigh, NC

Bachelor of Social Work

Website

North Carolina State University's Bachelor of Social Work focuses on human behavior and diversity, community social services, social policy, and different research methodologies within the generalist social work practice. Graduates from the program are ready to provide support to individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations, and using informed professional values and skills. The curriculum uses frameworks dedicated to the advancement of human well-being and social justice pursuits, with course topics like Multicultural Social Work and Social Welfare Policy Analysis & Advocacy. All students complete a community-based field practicum during their last semester. Students admitted to NC State as freshmen can declare their major in Social Work upon admission.

Net Price: $13,442
Score: 98.5

1. University of Georgia – Athens, GA

Bachelor of Social Work

Website

The Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Georgia prepares its graduates for entry-level social work practice, with a curricular emphasis on social justice. Within the liberal arts foundation and advanced courses on social work, students learn about the impact of diversity and oppression, theories of human development, and the history of social work practice. Students graduate with an understanding of the importance of professional behavior and the ability to provide culturally-informed support. All students complete a hands-on internship their last two semesters in the program. The internship is about 20 hours a week in local community organizations and agency programs.

Net Price: $15,934
Score: 100