Kutztown University of Pennsylvania was chartered in 1866 as the Keystone State Normal School for teacher preparation. Nearly a century later, the school diversified its goals for arts and sciences education. In 1983, Kutztown was welcomed into the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) as a four-year public, co-educational bachelor's institution. Endowed for $14.9 million, Kutztown University now educates around 9,200 undergrad and 1,000 post-grad Golden Bears under President Kenneth S. Hawkinson's leadership. Occupying 326 rural acres, Kutztown stands in Maxatawny Township just 18 miles southwest of Allentown. Through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania offers three programs to aspiring social workers.

According to the U.S. News, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania is the North's 128th best college and 43rd top public school with the 198th best social work education nationally. On Niche, Kutztown was deemed America's 241st "Most Conservative College" with the 405th "Safest College Campus." The Economist placed Kutztown as the 162nd best university for value-added education. PayScale noted Kutztown University of Pennsylvania for a median mid-career salary of $60,300 and 20-year net ROI of $123,000. Washington Monthly picked Kutztown as the Northeast's 89th best bang for the buck. Kutztown was also the only Pennsylvania public university ranked in Military Times' top 100 choices for veterans.

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Accreditation Details

Reaffirmed in 2013 for 10 years, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission for Higher Education (MSCHE). Classified as a Master's College by Carnegie, Kutztown holds Federal Title IV eligbility under the U.S. Department of Education. In particular, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences maintains programmatic accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) for quality BSW, MSW, and DSW degrees.

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Application Requirements

Even with a "less selective" acceptance rate of 81 percent, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania has admission criteria to exceed. Freshmen interested in the BSW Program must have finished a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Following a college-prep curriculum with four units of language arts and math is strongly encouraged. First-year applicants are expected to hold a cumulative GPA above 2.5, but the average is 3.2. Admitted undergrads also present a mean SAT score of 1050 and ACT score of 20. Transfers could pursue the BSW if they've completed 12+ credits at regionally accredited institutions with "C" average or better.

Getting accepted into the MSW Program will require finishing an accredited bachelor's degree with a liberal arts background, including one course in human biology, statistics, psychology, and sociology. The Advanced Standing track is reserved for BSW holders who graduated from a CSWE-accredited institution in the last five years. Master's applicants should have a minimum "B" average and satisfactory GRE or MAT scores. The DSW Program looks for a MSW degree, GPA of 3.3 or higher, and at least two years of clinical experience. Any candidates from non-English speaking nations need to take the TOEFL for a minimum iBT score of 79.

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania welcomes applications from prospective Golden Bears on a rolling basis. Graduate students must apply by August 1st for Fall or December 1st for Spring though. Download the online Application for Admission to submit the following:

  • Non-refundable $35 application fee
  • Official high school or college transcripts
  • Original standardized testing reports
  • Three professional recommendations
  • Two-page social issues essay
  • Resume or CV of community experience
  • Verification of English fluency if applicable

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time BSW students from Pennsylvania are charged $3,619 per semester. Non-resident undergrads studying full-time will pay $9,048 each term. Mandatory fees like the $131 activity fee, $170 student union fee, and $135 health center fee are extra. Residing on the Kutztown campus adds $2,860 and $1,859 for room and board respectively. Total cost of attendance is $9,765 (in-state) and $15,311 (out-of-state) each semester. The MSW Program bills Pennsylvanians $483 per credit while non-residents pay $725 per credit. The DSW Program presently costs $628 per credit for PA residents and $943 per credit for out-of-state candidates.

The NCES states that 91 percent of beginning, full-time KU Golden Bears earn financial aid packages worth $5,029 on average. Social work majors could earn institutional awards like the President's Academic Honors Scholarship, Transfer Book Award, Allentown School District Scholarship, Centro Hispano Daniel Torres Scholarship, Civic Innovation Scholarship, and more. There's an International Diversity Tuition Waiver offering $6,000 per year. Financially needy undergrads could earn the Pell Grant or FSEOG Grant. Borrowing from the government with Stafford, Perkins, Grad PLUS, and Parents PLUS loans is possible. Keystone State residents may earn the PHEAA State Grant or Pennsylvania PATH Program. Military funding, such as the Chapter 33 Benefit and TA Army/National Guard, are also accepted.

Online Degree(s) Available

At Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, the Social Work Department awards three degree pathways to prepare practitioners for generalist, collaborative practice. Featuring a 19:1 student-faculty ratio, the programs foster active engagement with tenured, PhD-level professors trained at Penn State, Marywood, Pittsburgh, and more. Courses are traditionally on-campus, but an increasing number are taking a hybrid approach for online study via D2L and Blackboard Collaborate. Students also access resources in state-of-the-art facilities like the Institute on Aging and Institute on Addiction Studies. Consider pursing one of these social work degrees:

BSW Program

Fully CSWE accredited since 2003, the BSW Program confers a bachelor's for Kutztown undergrads interested in promoting and restoring social functioning in vulnerable populations. The 120-credit curriculum builds on liberal arts education for courses on poverty, human behavior, diversity, social welfare, and case management. Majors complete two semesters of fieldwork for 480 contact hours with agencies like Access Services, Lehigh Valley Hospital Rehab, and Pennsylvania Public Welfare.

MSW Program

Post-bachelor's students enter Kutztown's Master of Social Work to develop the competencies for advanced generalist practice with Pennsylvania LMSW licensure. The Traditional MSW spans two years full-time with 900 practicum hours, yet there's also an Advanced Standing option with online hybrid courses for working social workers. Master's students take 44-64 credits total with specialized electives ranging from family mediation to psychopharmacology and nonprofit leadership.

Related Resource: 30 Best Affordable Online Master's in Nursing Education

DSW Program

Partnered with Millersville University, the DSW Program is a part-time, cohort-based doctoral option that prepares social work practitioners for teaching the next generation of justice advocates in academia. For eight sessions, post-master's students take online courses like multivariate analysis, curriculum design, and social work leadership with one face-to-face weekend residency per term. Kutztown University of Pennsylvania concludes the 48-credit offering with doctoral dissertation research.