2022 Best Bachelor’s in Social Work Programs
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Deciding which college to attend can be a daunting task. For many, it will be the most important decision that they make in their lives. To make an informed decision, you have to consider a lot of variables, such as cost of attendance, financial aid, student/teacher ratio, academics, student life, and more. These factors will either positively or negatively impact the quality of education that you receive.
Do you want to acquire a bachelor’s in social work, but don’t know what institution you should attend? Well, if you are as ambitious as I was in my late teens, then you want to attend a top school, instead of an average or mediocre one. Fortunately, we have already done the legwork for you. To help you find the right school for your interests and goals, we’ve compiled a list of 2022’s best bachelor’s in social work programs.
What institution did we forget? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
- University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
The University of Pennsylvania confers the BA/MSW degree program for social work learners, and it is one of the most popular destinations for learners who are interested in becoming professionals in this field. This institution is regionally sanctioned by the MSCHE and is further sanctioned by the CSWE.
This degree program takes a total of five years to finish. At the end of the program, learners will have both an undergraduate and graduate degree, along with work and volunteer experience within social work that they can then put on their resume. This is an exciting degree program for learners who want to obtain their education swiftly so they can move into their career paths.
The BA/MSW degree program requires a total of 194 credit hours of classwork. Fieldwork experience hours will vary, depending on a learner’s concentration, so learners are advised to speak with a department admission advisor about this requirement.
- James Madison University, Fairfax, VA
James Madison University has an undergraduate social work degree that is perfect for learners who are interested in becoming generalist social workers. The BSW degree program is also one of the most popular degrees at the school and is a hallmark of the institution. This school is regionally sanctioned by the SACS COC. The degree program is independently sanctioned by the CSWE.
This BSW has a field practice requirement, which consists of a learner working within an agency four days a week for one semester during their senior year, with placement being endorsed by a faculty field instructor. As this is a sizeable part of the requirements for the degree, learners are advised not to work during their senior year to make room for this fieldwork experience. The BSW degree program requires 120 total credit hours and fieldwork to apply for graduation.
- New York University, New York, NY
New York University, one of the leading institutions in the country, is also one of the few schools to confer a bachelor’s degree in social work. NYU is top-rated across many categories and departments.
NYU requires learners to finish 700 hours of fieldwork experience and practicum across their time at the school. This field experience prepares learners for real-world social work experience and exposes them to distinct career prospects before graduation. Sample classes consist of:
- Social Welfare Programs and Policies
- and Services to Children and Families
The BSW requires 128 credit hours of academic classwork and field experience work hours. This institution is regionally sanctioned via the MSCHE. The degree program is independently sanctioned via the CSWE.
- University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Champaign-Urbana, IL
This BSW requires candidates to acquire 120 credit hours and fieldwork experience. A social work major will be required to participate in an internship during their senior year; this experience is comparable to a full-time placement for four months. Learners are advised not to take a job during their final year because of the full-time status of the internship.
- University of Washington, Seattle, WA
The University of Washington at Seattle confers the bachelor’s in social work via the School of Social Work. This degree program is a practice degree, meaning learners will be prepared to take on entry-level work as social workers once they’ve graduated. This institution is regionally sanctioned by the NWCCU. The BASW degree program is separately sanctioned by the CSWE.
This degree program is focused on general social work practices, making it a great fit for learners who need a foundation in social work to further their studies at the graduate level. Learners will find that many classes deal with the history and philosophy of social work, including social justice history and community policy changes across the years. Fieldwork experience is a cornerstone of the degree program, and all learners must finish at least 500 clock hours of fieldwork experience before graduation.
- University of Wisconsin at Madison, Madison, WI
The University of Wisconsin at Madison confers the BSW degree to learners via its School of Social Work. This degree program focuses on generalist social work practice and is designed to prepare learners for entry-level work in this field. This institution is regionally sanctioned by the NCACS THLC. The BSW degree program is independently sanctioned by the CSWE.
This is a highly competitive degree program, with only 30 learners being admitted to the program in any given academic session. It is so competitive that only sophomore learners who meet the General Education Core requirements can apply. Sample classes consist of:
- Foundations of Generalist Social Work Practice
- Introduction to Social Policy
- Introduction to the Field of Social Work
Learners will also have to meet the 512-hour fieldwork experience requirement that must be finished during their final year. Learners are advised not to take a job during their final year because of the full-time status of the internship.
- University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
The University of Texas at Austin is regionally sanctioned by the SACS COC. The BSW degree program is specially sanctioned by the CSWE. This is a cooperative degree program that mirrors the social work field. Unlike many other programs, learners spend much of their education working with other learners, and professors to learn the skills needed to become effective professionals. Research and group projects are common at UTA, and learners will find that the practice-based approach to this degree program will serve them across their careers. Sample classes consist of:
- Social Work Practice in Organizations and Communities
- Foundations of Social Justice
- Social Welfare Programs
- Policies and Issues
UTA gives social work learners the chance to study abroad in a special degree program that was built especially for the department. Learners can spend time in Europe, Africa, Asia, or Latin America, learning about how social work affects distinct societies. It’s a great learning opportunity and gives students a fresh viewpoint on social work.
- The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
The College of Social Work, which offers the bachelor of science in social work, has special accreditation by the CSWE. As a social work major at OSU, each learner has a wide range of possibilities open to them. Learners can participate in the institution’s partnership with the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program; a focused certificate within the degree program is required to have a field placement within a children’s services agency. Sample classes consist of:
- Engagement and Interviewing Skills
- Lifespan Development
- Professional Values and Ethics
Learners can also select to take an international study path, enabling them to study abroad with faculty and learn about the subtleties of social work across borders and cultures. This will be especially useful for learners who wish to work in law or government. Learners may also take on an optional internship to further broaden their experience.
- University of Georgia, Athens, GA
The University of Georgia confers the bachelor’s in social work for learners who are interested in obtaining a career in social justice. With small class sizes and a legendary faculty, UG is a great place to begin a foundation in social work. This institution is regionally sanctioned by the SACS COC. The BSW degree program holds independent sanctioned by the CSWE.
This degree ensures that learners comprehend not only current policy and law as it relates to social work, but also the history and philosophy behind the field. Learners will also learn how community organizations can affect families and children, along with acquiring the necessary interindividual and reasoning skills needed to become an effective social worker. Sample classes consist of:
- Social Welfare Policy and Services
- Foundations of Social Work Research
- General Practice and Issues Surrounding Social Work
Learners in the BSW degree program will be required to take a fieldwork experience, or “real-life” internship, during their senior year. Some learners have been hired by the agency they interned with.
- Simmons University, Boston, MA
Simmons University confers an undergraduate social worker degree via the Department of Social Work. This is an exceptional degree program for all learners, but in particular, learners who wish to go on to graduate study. This institution is regionally sanctioned by the NEASC, and this degree program is independently sanctioned by the CSWE.
This degree program has unique opportunities for learners who would like to be licensed. Upon graduation, Simmons learners can apply to the school’s MSW degree program. They can also sit for the licensing exam for social workers, along with pursuing additional focused credentials within the field, such as a Certified Social Work Case Manager or a Social Worker in Gerontology. Sample classes consist of:
- Social Welfare Policy
- Introduction to Social Research
- Social Inequality
Simmons also offers ambitious learners the possibility to apply for the 3+1 BSW/MSW choice with additional minors. This enables learners to earn both an undergraduate and graduate degree in the same four years it usually takes to get a bachelor’s degree. This is the only degree program on this list that requires learners to do fieldwork every year of their education.
- Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
The Rutgers School of Social Work has a BASW, which is a fast-growing and challenging degree program. This institution is regionally sanctioned through the MSCHE. The degree program holds specialized accreditation by the CSWE.
Because social work is a real-life profession, learners will have the same experience at the institution. This means that learners will not only work in teams on projects, much like social workers do in the field, they will also be responsible for case study projects, fieldwork experience, and research papers; learners will also be expected to participate in practicums and fieldwork experience.
- Fordham University, Bronx, NY
Fordham University confers a bachelor’s degree in social work via the Graduate School of Social Service. The BSW is an adaptable degree program designed to be a real-life experience, which is perfect for learners eager to enter the world of social work. This institution is regionally sanctioned via the MSCHE. The degree program is independently sanctioned by the CSWE.
This degree program has scheduling options for learners, something that is not available from all schools on this list. Learners can select to study full-time, part-time, or even on weekends. As long as a learner fulfills all the requirements for the degree, Fordham is happy to aid them on their degree path. Sample classes consist of:
- Human Rights and Social Justice
- Social Policy: Policy and the Profession
- Generalist Social Work Practice with Students, Families, Organizations, and Communities
Fordham social work learners will finish a year-long fieldwork experience that amounts to 600 clock hours during their senior year. Even here, the school works with learners; there are three options to fulfill this requirement, including a work-study degree program that gives learners the capacity to earn money and experience while still in school.
- University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
The University of Pittsburgh has a strong bachelor of arts in social work program. This degree program is one of the longest-running sanctioned programs of its kind in the US. This institution is regionally sanctioned by the MSCHE. The degree program itself is further sanctioned by the CSWE.
BASW learners will be required to successfully finish 600 clock hours of fieldwork experience in a single placement during their senior year. Learners are advised not to take on full-time work their last year at the institution. Sample classes consist of:
- Ethnicity and Social Welfare
- Social Work with Communities and Organizations
- Foundations of the Welfare State
This degree program is unique in that via the social work major, learners can also select to concentrate their studies.
- Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX
Abilene Christian University is one of the best institutions for social work learners in the entire country and is regularly praised by both former and current learners. This institution is regionally sanctioned by the SACS COC. The degree program is further sanctioned by the CSWE.
The BASW coursework at ACU is holistic. Learners will be expected to finish research projects, fieldwork, practicums, and partake in classwork, such as labs and team projects. These experiences prepare learners for a challenging and rewarding career that they will have once they graduate. Sample classes consist of:
- Social Work Practice with MicroSystems
- Micro Human Behavior Theory
- Fundamental Skills of Relating
This degree program is based on Christian values, and it is rated third nationally among the Best Value Christian Colleges with a CSWE-sanctioned Social Work Program by Social Work Degree Guide. This is a great institution for learners who want to combine their Christian faith with their profession.
- California State University at Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
At California State University at Long Beach, learners can apply for a bachelor’s degree in social work that speaks to their passion for a just society. This institution is regionally sanctioned by the WSCUC SCUC. The bachelor of arts in social work is independently sanctioned by the CSWE.
CSULB learners will be required to finish 450 clock hours of field experiences during their senior year. Learners are advised to plan accordingly for this requirement. There are no exceptions, as every learner must fulfill this requirement. This is a markedly flexible schedule. Learners can select a schedule for their classes that best fits their needs. Daytime learners have classes from nine in the morning to five in the afternoon. Evening learners will have access to classes from five in the afternoon to ten at night. These schedules were designed to alleviate the stress of the fieldwork experience and classes all during the day.