Social work aims to boost community welfare, and with one of the following 30 Best Master's Degrees in Social Work, graduates can enhance lives from an individual to a global level.

Social workers address – and help to minimize – society's greatest challenges. The following 30 Best Master's Degrees in Social Work address a wide range of social and economic issues and human needs. They prepare graduates to serve individuals in clinical settings; to address the needs of groups and communities, and even to promote social justice on a macro level. Many of the programs listed are highly customizable to students' individual goals and interests. Most are built on a foundational curriculum that builds generalist social work skills. Students then often move on to an advanced curriculum with multiple specializations and concentration options to choose from. These options may include areas such as aging populations, children and families, grief and trauma, mental health, and more. Each program also incorporates field education, allowing students to gain hands-on experience in their field.

Graduates of these Social Work programs leave prepared to become licensed social workers in the state of study. Social workers must be licensed in the state in which they practice. Social work master's degree holders can go on to work in a variety of settings, such as nonprofit agencies, direct clinical practices, and community leadership settings. According to the most recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2018 median salary for social workers was $49,470. The field is growing at a projected rate of 16 percent, which is much faster than average. This is due to an increased demand for health and social services and the complexity of contemporary social issues.

Methodology

The staff of Grad School Hub has compiled the following 30 Best Master's Degrees in Social Work for the 2019-20 academic school year based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Data contributed from sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics, and the U.S. Department of Labor plays a significant role in how graduate degree programs are ranked because institutional transparency is essential for deciding which career path is right for you. Based on this data, GSH organizes information into five weighted categories, which are:

  • Alumni Feedback: 20%
  • Continued Enrollment: 20%
  • Degree Selectivity: 10%
  • Graduate Expenses: 25%
  • Projected Annual Salary: 25%

A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible through our Ranking Methodology page.

Here are the 30 Best Master's Degrees in Social Work for 2019 – 2020!

#30 – Tulane University

Master of Social Work

New Orleans, LA

Website

Tulane University offers a Master of Social Work through its School of Social Work. The degree program has an emphasis on clinical and community-based learning. The 60-credit study sequence includes courses in Community Organizing and Policy Advocacy, Diversity and Social Justice, and Theories of Human Behavior Across the Life Course. The coursework integrates creative simulations, electronic learning, fieldwork, and team projects. Students can also expect to complete a capstone seminar, community practice experience, field practicum, and program evaluation. The degree program can be completed in 16 months over four consecutive semesters of full-time study. Part-time students can complete the program in eight semesters.

Tulane was founded in 1834 as the Medical College of Louisiana. Today, it is a comprehensive private research university considered to be the most prestigious and selective university in Louisiana. Located in the vibrant city of New Orleans, the Tulane campus is known for its historic architecture and towering oak trees. The university is a member of the Association of American Universities, a prestigious group of prominent North American research universities. It is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for its community engagement and very high level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks Tulane at No. 63 in Best Value Schools and No. 44 in National Universities. The university is also ranked at No. 36 for Social Work at the graduate level.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $52,856

#29 – Baylor University

Master of Social Work

Waco, TX

Website

Baylor University offers a Master of Social Work through its Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. Baylor's Social Work degree program prepares graduates for a wide range of social work positions with individuals, families, and communities. The 60-credit curriculum includes courses in Administrative Practice in Social Work, Practice with Individuals & Families, and Social Policy for Social Work Practice. Students can choose to specialize in Clinical Practice or Community Practice. They may also choose to concentrate on a specific area within their specialization, such as children and families, death and grief, or international social work. Each student must also complete two internships. The program culminates in a week-long capstone seminar. The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. It fulfills all graduate education requirements for state licensure and professional social work credentials.

Chartered in 1845, Baylor is one of the oldest continuously operating universities in the state of Texas. It is also one of the oldest educational institutions west of the Mississippi River. Located in Waco, it sits on the largest Baptist university campus in the world. The private Baptist Christian university encourages students to participate in volunteer efforts and faith-based activities. A research university with high research activity, Baylor is a member of the Collider Detector at Fermilab collaboration and the Central Texas Technology and Research Park. The university is ranked by U.S. News & World Report at No. 78 in National Universities and No. 57 in Best Value Schools. It also ranks at No. 59 in Social Work at the graduate level.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $30,888

#28 – Saint Louis University

Master of Social Work

St. Louis, MO

Website

Saint Louis University provides a Master of Social Work degree program. The program offers flexible format options for students working full- or part-time or for those who want to progress through the material at a faster pace. Elective courses may be completed in nontraditional formats, such as two week-long intersession periods, online blended classes, or Saturday sessions. The 57-credit curriculum is built on a generalist foundation. Individuals can then choose an Applied Behavior Analysis, Clinical, or Community and Organization concentration. Each student will complete mentored fieldwork in the community. Students can further specialize their studies by choosing courses or practicum experiences in areas such as Criminal Justice, Nonprofit Administration, or Substance Use Disorder Treatment.

Established in 1818, SLU is the oldest university west of the Mississippi River. Founded by a Roman Catholic bishop, it is also the second-oldest Jesuit university in the United States. The private research university operates two campuses: one in St. Louis, Missouri, and another in Madrid, Spain. The St. Louis campus includes four libraries, a central clock tower, a 10-story research center, and a multi-purpose arena. The university's Center for Service and Community Engagement encourages community service efforts in collaboration with campus ministry and student organizations. U.S. News & World Report ranks SLU at No. 106 in National Universities and No. 36 in Best Value Schools. The university's School of Social Work ranks at No. 51 at the graduate level.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,340

#27 – Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis

Master of Social Work, concentration in Clinical and Community Practice

Indianapolis, IN

Website

Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis provides a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Clinical and Community Practice. The degree program is offered through the university's School of Social Work, which is the oldest university-affiliated school of social work in the United States. The curriculum covers healthy communities and organizations, social and economic justice, and social and economic policies. Foundational courses include Diversity, Human Rights, and Social Justice; Generalist Theory and Practice; and Social Policy Analysis and Practice. Clinical and Community Practice courses include Assessment in Mental Health and Addictions and Community in Global Theory and Practice. Students may also choose from five focus areas, including Health, Mental Health & Addictions, and School Social Work. The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis and must be completed within five years.

IUPUI was born from the 1969 merger of Indiana University Indianapolis and the Purdue Indianapolis Extension Center. It is now a core campus of Indiana University that offers both IU and Purdue degrees. The campus is located on a peninsula along the White River near downtown Indianapolis. The university is home to the only dental school in Indiana and the second-largest medical school in the United States. Its research efforts include the Arts and Humanities Institute, Innovation-to-Enterprise Central, and the Integrated Nanosystems Development Institute. U.S. News & World Report ranks IUPUI at No. 106 in Top Public Schools and No. 45 in Most Innovative Schools. The university's graduate Social Work programs rank at No. 36.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,568 in-state; $23,448 out-of-state

#26 – University of Illinois at Chicago

Master of Social Work

Chicago, IL

Website

The University of Illinois at Chicago awards a Master of Social Work through its Jane Addams College of Social Work. The 62-credit curriculum covers areas of social work such as human behavior, field instruction, the social environment, and research. Students can choose from four specializations: Child and Family, Mental Health; Organization and Community Practice; and School Social Work. Course offerings include Human Behavior and the Social Environment and Social Work in a Multicultural Society. Students may also choose to participate in training programs addressing behavioral health care, child welfare, child mental health, substance use disorders, or urban youth with disabilities. All students must complete a field placement, and they are offered the option to complete a master's thesis.

Comprised of three campuses on the Near West Side of Chicago, UIC a designated Hispanic Serving Institution, UIC consistently ranks among the most ethnically diverse universities in the nation. U.S. News & World Report ranks UIC at No. 129 in both National Universities and Best Value Schools, and No. 61 in Top Public Schools. The university also ranks at No. 25 in Social Work at the graduate level.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,612 in-state; $23,299 out-of-state

#25 – Boston University

Master of Social Work

Boston, MA

Website

Boston University offers a Master of Social Work through its School of Social Work. The hands-on curriculum is rooted in social justice and integrates both research and practice in social work. Students can major in Clinical or Macro Practice and choose from five specializations, including Behavioral Health and Trauma and Violence. The curriculum also includes a required field education internship. The program can be completed in a full-time, part-time, hybrid, or online capacity. On-campus students have the option to complete the program on the main Boston campus or at one of the university's four regional campuses throughout Massachusetts. The program has a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1.

BU first took root in the Newbury Biblical Institute, a theological school established by Methodist ministers in 1839. In 1869, the theological school was chartered as Boston University by the state legislature. Today, BU is a nonsectarian private research university. Its main campus is situated along Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts, and features traditional Boston brownstone. The university is a member of the Association of American Universities. Notably, former professor Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in a BU lab. U.S. News & World Report ranks BU at No. 46 in Best Value Schools, No. 42 in National Universities, and No. 28 in Most Innovative Schools. The university's School of Social Work ranks at No. 10 for its graduate programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $52,816

#24 – Rutgers University

Master of Social Work

Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick, NJ

Website

Rutgers University offers a Master of Social Work through its School of Social Work. The degree program is offered on all three Rutgers campuses. Students may choose from a schedule of daytime and evening classes. Students may also choose an emphasis area from such areas as children, youth, and families; international social work; and mental and behavioral health. Each student must complete a field placement experience, which can be completed at sites throughout New Jersey and neighboring states. Students may additionally choose to pursue a certificate in an area such as Promoting Child and Adolescent Well-Being or Violence Against Women and Children. The degree program can be completed in two years of full-time study or four years part-time.

Chartered in 1766, Rutgers is one of the oldest colleges in the United States. It is counted among the original colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. Today, the public research university is the largest institution of higher education in the state of New Jersey. The university has three campuses in the state: in Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick. It is a member of the Association of American Universities. U.S. News & World Report ranks Rutgers at No. 56 in National Universities and No. 17 in Top Public Schools. The university's School of Social Work ranks at No. 17 for its graduate programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,232 in-state; $29,304 out-of-state

#23 – University of Pittsburgh

Master of Social Work

Pittsburgh, PA

Website

The University of Pittsburgh awards a Master of Social Work through its School of Social Work. Pittsburgh's School of Social Work and the MSW program have a long history, particularly in practice with vulnerable children, youth, and families. Students can participate in the program's Child Welfare Education for Leadership project, which provides training to employees of public child welfare agencies. The school also serves aging populations through several aging initiatives and programs. Despite its specializations and historic foundations, the MSW curriculum is contemporary in nature and also includes generalist studies. It consists of 42 class credits and 18 field credits. Courses include Models of Intervention, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, and Social Work Practice with Diverse Populations. The program is generally completed in two full-time years or four part-time years.

Pitt was founded in 1787 on the edge of the American frontier. Today, it is a public state-related research university. Its historic main campus is located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The university operates four additional campuses in Western Pennsylvania: in Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville. A member of the Association of American Universities, Pitt is a major recipient of health research funding from the U.S. government and the National Institutes of Health. The university is noted as the location for the development of the polio vaccine by Dr. Jonas Salk. U.S. News & World Report ranks Pitt at No. 70 in National Universities, No. 55 in Most Innovative Schools, and No. 26 in Top Public Schools. The university's School of Social Work is tied at No. 17 for its graduate programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $22,846 in-state; $38,736 out-of-state

#22 – Fordham University

Master of Social Work

New York, NY

Website

Fordham University provides a Master of Social Work through its Graduate School of Social Services. Beyond the core curriculum, each student can build their own plan of study in one or more areas of advanced practice, such as Individuals and Families or Organizations and Community. The program includes a field placement component, which students can complete at one of many sites in the New York metropolitan area and nationwide. The flexible program also offers students the choice to study at the university's Lincoln Center, Long Island, or Westchester locations. The program can also be completed in a hybrid or fully online capacity. Students can complete the program on a part-time, full-time, or accelerated basis. Students may also choose to take weekend courses.

Fordham is the third-oldest university in the state of New York and the only Jesuit university in New York City. The private research university operates three campuses in New York State: in West Harrison, the Bronx, and Manhattan's Upper West Side. Its research facilities include the Louis Calder Center and the William Spain Seismic Observatory. Fordham has been named among the nation's "Hidden Ivies," a group of smaller private institutions that rival the Ivy League. U.S. News & World Report ranks at No. 70 in National Universities and No. 25 for graduate Social Work.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $33,696

#21 – Newman University

Master of Social Work

Wichita, KS

Website

Newman University offers a Master of Social Work with a contemporary curriculum built upon clinical and trauma competencies. The degree program is available at the university's Wichita campus and Colorado Springs site. The 62-credit curriculum covers areas such as diversity, ethics, human behavior, and social and economic justice. It includes graduate research and a field practicum experience in social work. The degree program can be completed in two years of full-time study, four part-time years, or a combination of both in three years. Graduates of the program will have met the educational requirements for state social work licensure.

Newman was founded in 1933 by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Named after John Henry Cardinal Newman, it is a private Catholic liberal arts university. In addition to its liberal arts foundations, the university emphasizes community engagement beyond the classroom. The university has been awarded the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll several times. The Newman campus occupies 60 acres of urban Wichita, Kansas. It operates additional learning locations in Colorado Springs, Colorado; southeast and western Kansas; and Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma. The university's small size allows for intimate interactions and personalized mentorship.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,062

#20 – University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Master of Social Work

Charlotte, NC

Website

Students can earn their Master of Social Work in one to three years from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The multiplatform degree from UNC Charlotte is offered in three different tracks. The Full-Time Plan of Study requires two years of class, the Part-Time Plan of Study takes around three years to complete, and the accelerated Advanced Standing Plan of Study is completable within one year. The Full-Time and Advanced Standing programs currently have a two-year waiting list for incoming students.

The university's MSW program is guided by seven themes, which include Context, Cultural Sensitivity and Humility, and Critical Reflection. While three different programs exist for the MSW program, each degree track requires students to complete courses such as Advocacy and Policy Change, Mental Health Assessment, and Advanced Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities. The university requires applicants to apply with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and to have an undergraduate degree in liberal arts. All applicants must submit GRE scores for consideration unless they acquired a GPA above 3.25-3.5 or already possess a doctoral degree in the U.S.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,337 in-state; $17,771 out-of-state 

#19 – University at Buffalo

Master of Social Work

Buffalo, NY

Website

The University at Buffalo offers a Master of Social Work through its School of Social Work. The degree program prioritizes evidence-based practice and trauma-informed and human rights perspectives. The 60-credit curriculum can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. Courses include Diversity and Oppression, Social Welfare History and Policy, and Theories of Human Behavior and Development. It also includes a professional development seminar. Students must work on a field placement each semester. The program can be completed in two academic years, or four semesters, of full-time study. Students have the option to complete the coursework requirements to become a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor.

The University at Buffalo was established in 1846 as a private medical school. Today, it is the largest public university in the state of New York. It is the flagship campus of the State University of New York system, and it has the largest enrollment and endowment in the system. The university is spread across three campuses in Amherst and Buffalo. A sea- and space-grant research institution, it is a member of the Association of American Universities. The university is home to two New York State Centers of Excellence, in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences and Materials Informatics. U.S. News & World Report ranks SUNY Buffalo at No. 102 in Best Value Schools, No. 89 in National Universities, and No. 38 in Top Public Schools. The university's School of Social Work ranks at No. 25 in the nation.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,090 in-state; $22,650 out-of-state

#18 – University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Master of Social Work

Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN

Website

The University of Minnesota offers a Master of Social Work through its School of Social Work. The degree program aims to prepare graduates for advanced and leadership positions in the field of social work. Students choose from four concentration areas: clinical mental health; community practice; families and children; and health, disability, and aging. The 53-credit curriculum includes foundational courses in Historical Origins & Contemporary Policies in Social Welfare and Human Behavior and the Social Environment. Students must also take advanced policy classes in areas such as aging and disability, health and mental health, and international social welfare. The program includes field placement experience, which can be completed in a social work agency in the Twin Cities or in neighboring states. The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Established in 1851, UMN is the flagship campus of the University of Minnesota system, and the oldest and largest institution within it. The university's main campus is divided across the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, approximately three miles apart. A land- and space-grant institution, UMN is a member of the Association of American Universities. Its research facilities include the Minnesota Population Center and the Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment, and the Life Sciences. The public research university is counted among the nation's "Public Ivy" universities. U.S. News & World Report ranks UMN at No. 86 in Best Value Schools, No. 76 in National Universities, and No. 30 in Top Public Schools. The university's School of Social Work is ranked at No. 36 for its graduate programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,064 in-state; $26,412 out-of-state

#17 – Lehman College

Master of Social Work

New York, NY

Website

Lehman College provides a Master of Social Work geared toward training graduates for leadership positions in urban communities. The traditional program is offered on a full-time basis. The program includes two evenings of classes and three days of fieldwork per week. Courses include Administration in Urban Agencies, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, and Human Diversity and the Social Environment. The 65-credit curriculum also includes social work research each year and fieldwork and seminars each semester. The degree can be completed in four semesters of full-time study. Graduates of the program will have completed the education requirements to sit for the New York State licensure exam for clinical social work.

Lehman College was founded in 1931 and served as U.S. Navy facilities during World War II. Formerly known as the Bronx Branch of Hunter College, Lehman is located in The Bronx borough of New York City. It occupies a 37-acre campus featuring modern and Collegiate Gothic architecture. The public state liberal arts college is a member of the City University of New York System. U.S. News & World Report ranks Lehman at No. 121 in graduate-level Social Work programs, No. 120 in Regional Universities North, No. 37 in Top Public Schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,770 in-state; $19,920 out-of-state

#16 – California State University, Long Beach

Master of Social Work

Long Beach, CA

Website

California State University, Long Beach awards a Master of Social Work that prepares students for advanced generalist social work practice. Students may choose from three areas of specialization: Adulthood and Aging, Child and Family Wellbeing, and Integrated Health. The 60-credit curriculum includes required courses in Addressing Oppression through Social Justice, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, and Skills and Interventions with Groups. It also includes two 500-hour field placements. Students can choose to culminate their program with a master's thesis or research project. Depending on their chosen plan of study, students can complete the degree program in two or three years.

CSULB was established in 1949 to accommodate the expanding population of Southern Los Angeles following World War II. It has since grown into one of the largest universities in the state of California by student enrollment. The public university is the third-largest member of the 23-campus California State University system. Located at the coastal tip of Los Angeles County, the campus overlooks the Pacific Ocean. It is designed in a minimalist layout, featuring brick, glass, and a primary focus on its lush landscaping. U.S. News & World Report ranks CSULB at No. 68 in graduate-level Social Work programs, No. 26 in Regional Universities West, and No. 3 in Top Public Schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,176 in-state; $16,680 out-of-state

#15 – New York University

Master of Social Work

New York, NY

Website

New York University provides a Master of Social Work through its Silver School of Social Work. The degree program emphasizes research-based clinical training in social work practice. It also offers emphasis options in integrated primary and behavioral health care; policy practice; and global social work practice, which offers study abroad opportunities. Course offerings include Clinical Social Work Practice with LGBT Clients; Creative Arts Therapy; and Mindfulness and Social Work Practice. The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. Students may also choose to pursue a dual degree that includes child development, global health leadership, law, or management.

NYU was established in New York City in 1831. In addition to its main campus in Greenwich Village, the university operates campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai and learning locations in major cities across the globe. The private research university has one of the largest research budgets of any university in the nation. It is home to the Bobst Library, which is one of the largest academic libraries in the United States and includes the Avery Fisher Center for Music and Media, which is one of the largest academic media centers in the world. U.S. News & World Report ranks NYU at No. 56 in Best Value Schools, No. 37 in Most Innovative Schools, and No. 30 in National Universities. The university's Silver School of Social Work ranks at No. 13 for its graduate studies.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $42,888

#14 – University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Master of Social Work

Baltimore County, MD

Website

University of Maryland, Baltimore County provides a Master of Social Work. The degree program offers students the choice between a Clinical or Macro concentration. Students can also choose a further specialization in an area such as Aging, Community Action & Social Policy, or Families and Children. The 60-credit general curriculum covers clinical social work, community organization, and human services management. Advanced course offerings include Equality and Social Justice, Intimate Partner Violence – Breaking the Cycle, and Mental Health and Social Policy. The program also requires a field practicum experience, which can be completed on sites throughout Maryland, particularly in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

Established in 1966, UMBC was the first public college in Maryland to be inclusive of students of all races. A member of the University of Maryland System, the university was originally intended to serve the overflow of students in the area seeking admission to UMD, College Park. However, UMBC has become a high-achieving institution in its own right. Located in Baltimore County, the school was home to Maryland's first university research park. The space-grant institution is counted among the fastest-growing research universities in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks UMBC at No. 87 in Top Public Schools and No. 9 in Most Innovative Schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,520 in-state; $19,782 out-of-state

#13 – Florida State University

Master of Social Work

Tallahassee, FL

Website

Florida State University awards a Master of Social Work through its College of Social Work. The program can be completed on-campus in Tallahassee or Panama City or online from anywhere. Students can choose a concentration in Social Leadership or Clinical Social Work Concentration. The 61-credit curriculum includes courses in Social Work with Groups and Communities, Social Work Research, and Social Welfare Policies and Programs. The program is typically completed in two years, or five semesters, of full-time study. Students can alternatively complete the degree on an online and/or part-time basis at their own pace.

Founded in 1851, FSU is situated on the oldest site of higher education in Florida. The public state research university is a senior member of the State University System of Florida. A sea- and space-grant institution, FSU is home to research facilities such as the High-Performance Materials Institute and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. Located in Tallahassee, the campus houses seven libraries, the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, and the Ruby Diamond Auditorium performance venue. U.S. News & World Report ranks FSU at No. 70 in National Universities, No. 37 in Most Innovative Schools, and No. 26 in Top Public Schools. The university's College of Social Work ranks at No. 33 for its graduate programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,684 in-state; $24,116 out-of-state

#12 – University of Texas at Arlington

Master of Social Work

Arlington, TX

Website

The University of Texas at Arlington provides a Master of Social Work. The program can be completed online, in a hybrid format, or on campus in Arlington or Fort Worth. The 61-credit curriculum consists of two parts: Generalist Practice and Advanced Practice. It is organized around six areas of study, including Community and Administrative practice, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, and Social Welfare Policy. It has two concentrations: Community and Administrative Practice and Direct Practice. Students can also expect to spend 16 to 40 hours per week on field practicum experience.

Founded in 1895, UT Arlington was previously a member of the Texas A&M University System and is now a member of the University of Texas System. The public research university is the largest university in North Texas in terms of student enrollment. It is also the fourth-largest university in the state. The campus is located in Arlington, midway between Dallas and Fort Worth. It includes research facilities such as the Aerodynamics Research Center, the Center for Mexican American Studies, and the Shimadzu Institute for Research Technologies. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA at No. 126 in Top Public Schools and No. 51 for graduate Social Work.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,898 in-state; $18,996 out-of-state

#11 – Florida Atlantic University

Master of Social Work

Boca Raton, FL

Website

Florida Atlantic University offers a Master of Social Work through its School of Social Work. The 60-credit degree program incorporates theory, practice, and professional skills in social work. It also has an emphasis on clinical-community practice. Students can choose to focus on adults and families; children, adolescents, and families; or elders and families. Course offerings include Animal-Assisted Therapy, Conflict Resolution, Social Work and Human Sexuality. Students may also choose to complete a study abroad experience. The degree can be completed in two years of full-time study or four part-time years. Graduates of the program are eligible to apply for clinical social work licensure in Florida and elsewhere.

Established in 1961, FAu was the first public university in southeast Florida. The public university is a member of the State University System. In addition to its main campus in Boca Raton, it operates satellite campuses throughout South Florida, in the towns of Dania Beach, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce, and Jupiter. Its major research facilities include the Max Planck Society, the Scripps Research Institute, and the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies. The university is also home to two centers of excellence, in Biomedical and Marine Biotechnology and Ocean Energy Technology. U.S. News & World Report ranks the FAU School of Social Work at No. 96 at the graduate level.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,467 in-state; $16,695 out-of-state

#10 – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Master of Social Work

Urbana and Champaign, IL

Website

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides a Master of Social Work. The degree program is available in a traditional on-campus format, a hybrid format, or as an on-campus dual degree program with an MBA. It can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. Students can choose to pursue an Advanced Clinical or Leadership and Social Change. Under the Advanced Clinical umbrella, students can choose a focus area in Children, Youth, and Family Services; Health Care; Mental Health; or Schools. Students must complete 36 to 56 credits of coursework plus one to two semesters of internship.

Founded in 1867, UI was one of the universities created under the Morrill Land-Grant Act. It is the flagship institution of the University of Illinois System. The public university's campus is located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana. It houses the second-largest library holdings in the United States, after Harvard University. It also houses the world's fastest university campus supercomputer in its National Center for Supercomputing Applications. The sea- and space-grant institution is a Carnegie-classified top-tier research university and a member of the Association of American Universities. U.S. News & World Report ranks UI at No. 46 in National Universities and No. 13 in Top Public Schools. The university also ranks at No. 22 in Social Work at the graduate level.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,068 in-state; $28,221 out-of-state

#9 – Ohio State University

Master of Social Work

Columbus, OH

Website

The Ohio State University awards a Master of Social Work through its College of Social Work. The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis on campus or online. Students can choose from among four emphasis areas: Aging and Health, Child and Youth Services, Community and Social Justice, and Mental Health and Substance Misuse. In addition to courses, the 63-credit curriculum includes 11 credit hours of field education and seminar. The degree program can be completed in two years of full-time study. Students may also choose to pursue a dual degree program or an accelerated MSW/Ph.D. program.

Founded in 1870, OSU was one of the land-grant universities created under the Morrill Act. Originally an agricultural and mechanical school, it is now a public research university. It has grown into the fourth-largest university in the United States by campus enrollment. In addition to its main Columbus campus, it occupies five regional campuses throughout Ohio. The university has been counted among the nation's "Public Ivies" for its high quality of education. A Carnegie-classified top-tier research university, OSU operates research facilities including the Byrd Polar Research Center, the Boyd Arboretum, and the Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island. U.S. News & World Report ranks the school at No. 56 in National Universities, No. 18 in Most Innovative Schools, and No. 17 in Top Public Schools. The university's College of Social Work is ranked 13th in the nation for its graduate studies.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,560 in-state; $34,064 out-of-state

#8 – University of Washington

Master of Social Work

Seattle, WA

Website

The University of Washington offers flexible program options leading to a Master of Social Work degree. The degree program can be completed on a traditional full-time basis or a part-time basis with evening classes for working professionals. The curriculum covers history, policy, professionalism, and social justice in relation to social work. Course examples include Child Development; Gender, Gender Identity, and Sexuality; and Poverty and Inequality. Through Advanced Practice with Diverse Children and Families, individuals can focus on child mental health, child welfare, or community settings. Other invaluable fieldwork opportunities include Empowerment Practice with Refugees; Engaged Practice with Latinas and Latinos; and Praxis for Intergroup Dialogue. Students can complete the degree program in two years of full-time study, or in 9 to 11 consecutive quarters of part-time study.

Founded in 1861, UW is the flagship university of the state of Washington. Originally established in downtown Seattle, the campus now lies in the city's University District. The university operates additional campuses in the Washington towns of Bothell and Tacoma. With over 26 libraries, the public university has one of the largest library systems in the world. A sea- and space grant institution, UW is a member of the Association of American Universities. It is also counted among the nation's "Public Ivies." U.S. News & World Report ranks UW at No. 59 in National Universities, No. 37 in Most Innovative Schools, and No. 20 in Top Public Schools. The university also ranks third in the nation for its graduate Social Work programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,510 in-state; $27,801 out-of-state

#7 – Columbia University in the City of New York

Master of Social Work

New York, NY

Website

Columbia University in the City of New York provides a Master of Social Work through its School of Social Work. The Columbia School of Social Work has been a leader in social work education since 1898. It offers seven different pathways to its MSW degree, including on-campus, online, full-time, part-time, and accelerated programs. Students can also choose from four concentration areas: Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice, Advanced Generalist Practice & Programming, Policy Practice, and Social Enterprise Administration. The program also provides seven fields of practice, including but not limited to aging, contemporary social issues, school-based services, and workplace services. The traditional, full-time, on-campus program can be completed in two years.

Columbia was established in 1754 by King George II of Great Britain. It is the oldest institution of higher education in the state of New York and the fifth-oldest in the United States. A private Ivy League research university, Columbia often ranks among the top ten universities in the world. Its research developments include the laser, the first evidence for plate tectonics and continental drift, and the origin of modern genetics. It is a member of the Association of American Universities. Several significant politicians are alumni of Columbia, including five founding fathers–Theodore and Franklin Delano Roosevelt–and Barack Obama. U.S. News & World Report ranks the university the third Best University in the Nation overall, and sixth for Best Value. The Columbia School of Social Work also ranks third in the nation at the graduate level.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $46,216

#6 – University of Southern California

Master of Social Work

Los Angeles, CA

Website

The University of Southern California provides a Master of Social Work through its Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. MSW students can specialize in Adult Mental Health and Wellness; Children, Youth, and Families; or Social Change and Innovation. They may choose to pursue a military social work track or one of eight dual-degree programs. The curriculum includes course offerings in such areas as juvenile justice, school social work, and spirituality. It also incorporates field internship experiences and international study abroad opportunities. The degree program can be completed on campus or online at students' own pace, in four, six, or eight semesters.

Founded in 1880, USC is the oldest private research university in the state of California. Its main campus is located in the University Park district of Los Angeles and features various architectural styles and historic structures. A sea- and space-grant institution, the university is a member of the Association of American Universities. USC innovations include antivirus software, DNA computing, and the Domain Name System. The USC Libraries house notable library collections in such areas as German exile literature, queer studies, and Warner Brothers studio archives. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University at No. 37 in Best Value Schools, No. 28 in Most Innovative Schools, and No. 22 in National Universities. The Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work ranks at No. 25 in the nation for graduate studies.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $44,712

#5 – University of Michigan

Master of Social Work

Ann Arbor, MI

Website

The University of Michigan offers a Master of Social Work through its School of Social Work. MSW students can choose from among 13 specializations, including Global, Interpersonal Practice, and Peace Corps. Students can also choose their desired practice area and practice method concentration. MSW course offerings include Contemporary Cultures in the United States; Death, Loss and Grief; and Social Change Theories. The 60-credit curriculum also includes a foundation field instruction experience and seminar. The degree program can be completed through one of four curriculum schedule options. These include 12-, 16, and 20-month options, as well as accelerated programs for experienced applicants and extended programs for working professionals.

Founded in 1817, U of M is the oldest university in Michigan and the state's flagship institution. Originally established in Detroit, the campus is now located in Ann Arbor. The public research university operates the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and the Wolverine Tower office building. A sea and space grant institution, U of M is a founding member of the Association of American Universities. The university conducts significant technological research and operates the nation's oldest interdisciplinary social science research lab. It has also been included among the nation's "Public Ivy" institutions. U.S. News & World Report ranks U of M at No. 27 in National Universities, No. 12 in Most Innovative Schools, and No. 4 in Top Public Schools. The university also ranks first in graduate Social Work studies.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $23,128 in-state; $46,678 out-of-state

#4 – University of Wisconsin – Madison

Master of Social Work

Madison, WI

Website

The University of Wisconsin – Madison offers a Master of Social Work. The program is split into two parts: the Generalist Practice Year and the Advanced Practice Specialization Year. During the first year, students will build a foundational understanding of generalist social work. For their second year, students can choose from four focus areas: Aging; Child, Youth and Family Welfare; Health; or Mental Health. Students can then deepen their understanding of social work practice through direct or indirect practice experience. The traditional full-time program can be completed in four semesters or two years. Students who choose to complete the program on a part-time basis must carefully plan their studies with a Social Work advisor.

Founded in 1848, UW – Madison is the oldest and largest public university in Wisconsin. It is the state's official university and the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. A land and sea grant institution, UW is a Carnegie-classified top-tier research university. It is also a member of the Association of American Universities and is counted among the nation's "Public Ivies." The university is a leader in research, including nutrition science, stem cell research, and human virus research. U.S. News & World Report ranks UW at No. 49 in National Universities and No. 15 in Top Public Schools. The university's graduate Social Work studies rank at No. 13 in the nation.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,728 in-state; $24,054 out-of-state

#3 – Boston College

Master of Social Work

Chestnut Hill, MA

Website

Boston College provides a Master of Social Work through its School of Social Work. The degree program boasts hands-on faculty and advising and career planning services, and a social work library and dedicated research librarians. Through electives and certificate programs, students can tailor their plan of study to their needs and interests. They can specialize in social work at the clinical or macro level, which might include a specialty in Mental Health or Older Adults & Families, amongst others. Elective course offerings include Neuroscience of Human Relationships & Development and Strategic Planning for Public & Nonprofit Organizations. Students can expect to spend half of their MSW time on field education experience.

Boston College was founded in 1863 by a local Jesuit bishop. Previously a preparatory school and liberal arts college, BC is now a Jesuit research university. The campus is located in Massachusetts' opulent Chestnut Hill village, about six miles from downtown Boston. The historic campus features some of the initial forms of gothic architecture in the country. The university's research centers include the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life, the Sloan Work and Family Research Network, and the Weston Observatory. U.S. News & World Report ranks BC at No. 38 in National Universities and No. 33 in Best Value Schools. The university's School of Social Work ranks at No. 10 at the graduate level.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $29,412

#2 – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Master of Social Work

Chapel Hill, NC

Website

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill awards a Master of Social Work degree program. The 62-credit curriculum consists of a generalist curriculum, an advanced curriculum, and field education. For the Advanced Curriculum, students specialize in evidence-informed practice and choose a concentration in Community, Management and Policy Practice or Direct Practice. Course offerings include Confronting Oppression, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, and Non-Profit Leadership. The program is offered as a full-time, on-campus program that can be completed in two years. The degree program is also available as a one-year Advanced Standing program or a three-year distance education program.

Chartered in 1789, UNC is one of three schools allowed to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States. It is the flagship university of the 17-campus of the University of North Carolina system. Located in downtown Chapel Hill, the campus encompasses the Morehead Planetarium and much of bustling Franklin Street. The public research university anchors the region's Research Triangle, along with Duke University and North Carolina State University. UNC is also counted among the nation's "Public Ivy" universities. U.S. News & World Report ranks it at No. 30 in National Universities, No. 8 in Best Value Schools, and No. 5 in TOp Public Schools. The university also ranks third in graduate Social Work studies.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,243 in-state; $27,454 out-of-state

#1 – University of California, Berkeley

Master of Social Welfare

Berkeley, CA

Website

The University of California, Berkeley provides a Master of Social Welfare degree program. The program is designed to prepare leaders for multi-level social work practice rooted in social justice. Students follow a prescribed plan of study, which prepares them for both generalist and specialized practice. The program offers three specialization area options: Advancing Health and Wellbeing Across the Adult Lifespan; Strengthening Children, Youth and Families; and Strengthening Organizations and Communities. Each student must complete a minimum of 54 units of study, including 25 units of field education. The program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study.

Founded in 1868, Berkeley is the flagship institution of the University of California system. The public research university is a founding member of the Association of American Universities. It is home to research institutes including the Center for the Built Environment, the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The university's library system is the fourth-largest academic library system in the nation. In the 1960s, Berkeley was noted for its student-led Free Speech and Anti-Vietnam War movements. The university is counted among the nation's "Public Ivy" institutions. U.S. News & World Report ranks it at No. 24 in Most Innovative Schools, No. 22 in National Universities, and No. 2 in Top Public Schools. The university also ranks third in Social Work at the graduate level.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,442 in-state; $26,544 out-of-state