Online MSW programs with flexible scheduling options improve learning experiences and allow students to balance their education and other high priorities. With options to complete a social work master’s degree in a full-time or part-time enrollment capacity, students can continue attending to other duties such as family, work and personal appointments. We’ve placed precedence on online MSW programs that enable students to determine scheduling that works best for them.
Concentrations are important in setting students up for success in their chosen field. The field of social work is expansive, and social workers can be found in many different industries, working with many different populations. Online MSW programs that offer varied concentrations may provide students with a more focused curriculum. We’ve placed precedence on social work programs that offer concentrations so that students can center their career on what matters most to them.
No GRE Requirement for Admissions
Universities that don’t require the GRE look at a prospective student’s entire application package, which is often advantageous for adult learners who may already have experience in social work. There are many universities that offer GRE waivers or don’t require the test at all for graduate admissions. Although GRE scores may help universities better understand your capability for graduate-level work and may be required if your GPA is below the program’s requirement, there are many MSW programs that do not require it for admission. We’ve placed precedence on MSW programs without a GRE requirement for admission to streamline your admission timeline and potentially enable you to enroll in a program faster.
Many people need extra help in their lives, and an online social work degree can help you learn how to lend support in a way that makes a difference.
Editorial Listing ShortCode:
Whether you want to help with addiction, mental health or another social services area, there is a growing need for social work professionals in many locations.
Online Bachelor’s in Social Work Degrees
If you have a passion for helping people, then you may want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in social work. This field is focused on helping people live successful lives and connecting them to supportive services. Effective social work benefits not only individuals but also entire communities.
As you study for a social work degree, you will probably start with an introductory class that addresses the fundamentals of this field. You’ll likely then move on to courses about working with people. These may include studies in human behavior, cultural diversity and communication.
Social workers connect clients to community services, so you’ll need to understand what services are available and how to develop new programs to meet people’s needs. To that end, you may take additional courses on case management, statistics and program evaluation.
The best online schools offering BSW social work programs usually require hands-on components so you can practice your skills in real-world settings. You might engage in practicums or complete a full internship. Either way, you should have opportunities to learn from current social work practitioners.
There are a number of different social work avenues available to people with this degree. Many graduates work as case workers or community service managers in human service agencies. This might involve interacting with kids who are in foster care or new mothers who need help feeding for their children, for example.
Healthcare settings provide another career path for social workers. Your degree might prepare you to support families who are facing serious diagnoses and help patients transition from one care setting to another. You might also work in a long-term care facility.
Social workers interact with people of all ages. From children to senior citizens, many people can benefit from the support of trained social workers.
After earning an online Bachelor of Social Work, you may want to consider continuing your education with a master’s degree. Earning a graduate degree can help you expand your career opportunities. For example, a master’s is required for becoming a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) who can offer private-practice counseling services.
Bachelor’s in Social Work Careers & Salaries
Social work expertise is in demand by employers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that jobs in community and social service occupations are expected to increase by 12% over the next ten years.
An example of what you can do with a bachelor’s degree in social work is working as a social work assistant, which is a common entry-level role for this field. A bachelor’s degree isn’t always required for that position, so you may be able to hold such a position while completing your college coursework. The experience you gain may help you advance to a role with more responsibility shortly after graduation.
Completing your online Bachelor of Social Work can help you get ready for a job as a social worker. Many jobs for social workers are found in community agencies. You might be a case manager or a child welfare worker.
Social workers also work in schools, hospitals, long-term care facilities and criminal justice organizations. In one of those settings, you might help people adjust to new circumstances or work through problems that they are having.
Editorial Listing ShortCode:
Social workers not only talk to people and provide helpful tips, but they may also refer them to outside organizations that can meet their needs.
Mental health is an important area where social workers can make a significant difference. With a bachelor’s degree, you may qualify to be a mental health assistant who works under the supervision of a licensed counselor. Also, many states allow people to become substance abuse counselors with this level of education.
In some states, having a bachelor’s degree in social work and several years of experience may allow you to become credentialed as a licensed social worker (LSW). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some careers in the social work field include:CareersAnnual Median SalaryAdministrative Services Manager$98,890Social and Community Service Manager$69,600Fundraiser$59,610Probation Officer$55,690Social Worker$51,760Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker$48,720Child, Family, and School Social Worker$48,430Substance Abuse Counselor$47,660Community Health Worker$42,000Social and Human Service Assistant$35,960
To increase your earning potential, consider earning a master’s degree or an online doctorate in social work so you can be approved by your state as a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). There are an abundance of master’s programs to choose from and you may want to look into accelerated MSW programs or MSW online programs no GRE.
Choosing an Online Bachelor’s in Social Work Degree
Many colleges offer online BSW social work programs. How can you figure out which school is right for you? To help you decide, ask yourself questions like these:
Selecting a program that meets your qualifications is a smart step toward a satisfying college experience.
Bachelor of Social Work Curriculum & Courses
The curriculum of a BSW program should prepare you for situations that you’ll face when working in direct support settings or leading community initiatives. Some common courses that are taken for this degree include:
To graduate with your BSW, you’ll probably need to earn about 120 credit hours or 180 quarter-credit hours.
Once you’ve picked out your top social work schools, you’ll want to do everything you can to increase your chances of getting in. A strong application packet that highlights your strengths may catch an admissions committee’s attention.
Editorial Listing ShortCode:
Your application may need to include:
Some schools ask to see scores from standardized tests like the ACT or SAT. You may need to complete an interview before the college makes a final decision about your admissions status.
When selecting a school, one of the most important things to look into is whether a college holds regional accreditation.
You can count on earning a good education at a regionally accredited institution. To earn regional accreditation, colleges must prove that they meet or exceed minimum standards for academic quality.
Employers are more likely to hire candidates with regionally accredited degrees. Accredited studies will also be important if you want to transfer credits to another bachelor’s program or apply to graduate school.
A full list of regional accreditors and accredited institutions is available from the U.S. Department of Education.
Social Work Professional Organizations
Social work can be challenging at times, so it’s important to build a supportive network of colleagues who understand the highs and lows of this profession. Membership in a professional organization can help you network with and learn from fellow social workers.
Membership benefits vary among groups. They may include journals, newsletters and online training sessions that are included in your membership fee. Some groups also hold conferences or local meetings.
Social Work Licensure and Certification
Certain social work jobs require applicants to hold certifications in the field. In some states, you can become a substance abuse counselor or a licensed social worker (LCW) with a bachelor’s degree.
Becoming a clinical social worker requires a different type of licensure. Requirements vary from one state to another, but a master’s degree is always needed. Licensed clinical social workers (LCSW) can offer independent counseling services and may qualify for leadership roles.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
State governments and the federal government are some of the best sources of financial aid for college. To apply, you’ll need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Government help often comes in the form of loans. You may be able to borrow money at a low interest rate and pay it back after graduation. Some students qualify for government grants as well. Grants are valuable because they don’t have to be repaid.
Editorial Listing ShortCode:
Scholarships are another form of free tuition money. These are granted by private organizations. You can apply for scholarships from companies, clubs, philanthropic groups and schools.
What is Social Work?
As a branch of the human services field, social work is all about helping to meet people’s needs. Social workers typically provide support directly to people in need, so they are often classified as direct service personnel.
Professionals in this field may work with clients facing concerns like hunger, unemployment, illness or addiction. They learn about clients’ problems and then connect them to helpful services.
Social work takes place in many settings — anywhere that there’s a need to be met. Roles for social workers are often found in community agencies, hospitals, schools, correctional facilities, group homes and counseling offices.
What Can You Do With a Bachelor of Social Work Degree?
An online Bachelor of Social Work can help you move beyond entry-level jobs as a social services assistant and take a position as a social worker.
Direct support roles within that category can include case worker, child welfare worker, school social worker, hospital social worker and mental health intake worker. With this degree, you could also pursue a job as a probation officer or a youth advocate.
Some social workers don’t provide direct services. Instead, they are involved with coordinating programs or influencing public policies. They may also be involved in conducting research.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Social Work Degree Online?
Earning 120 credits for a bachelor’s degree usually takes about four years. Your work may be divided over eight semesters.
Online degrees can sometimes be completed more quickly. Schools with accelerated calendars often forgo the traditional semester model and instead run back-to-back classes. You may be able to complete such a program in about 24 months, especially if you have previous college credits to transfer in.
Keep in mind that, while courses can be accelerated, internships cannot be. You may need to commit several months to an in-person experience, and that can affect the overall length of your program.
Are There Any Affordable Online Bachelor of Social Work Degrees?
Yes, you should be able to find a social work program to fit your budget. Some online undergraduate programs cost between $300 and $600 per credit hour.
To keep your costs down, start by looking into online programs from the public universities in your state. In-state students often receive a tuition break. Transferring in credits from previous college coursework is another way to reduce your expenses.
Even pricier schools can fit your budget if you receive enough assistance. Fill out the FAFSA to apply for government financial aid, and pursue some scholarships as well.
How much does a bachelor’s in social work cost?
To calculate the cost of a college degree, multiply the number of credit hours by the per-credit tuition. You’ll need to add in fees and textbook expenses as well. Rates vary considerably among schools, but many degrees cost between $40,000 and $70,000.
The list price isn’t necessarily what you’ll pay, though. Many students qualify for government aid. Grants are particularly valuable for reducing your tuition burden since you won’t have to pay them back after completing your studies.
Editorial Listing ShortCode:
Scholarships are another source of free tuition money. You might receive one-time awards or renewable gifts for each year of your studies.
What Does a Social Worker Do?
Social workers interact with people to help them find solutions to their problems. Some help children who are in unsafe living environments, and others connect senior citizens to transportation services in the community.
Others may work with students who are struggling at school, teens who are dealing with addiction, patients who have received scary diagnoses or adults who are struggling to put food on the table.
Social workers can also advocate for programs and policies that support people. They can do this by researching solutions, talking to government officials or holding administrative roles in social service agencies.
What’s the Difference Between Social Work vs. Psychology Degrees?
The field of psychology addresses how people think and the ways that thoughts influence behavior. Psychology majors find jobs in a variety of fields, including business, education, mental health, criminal justice and sales.
In a social work program, you’ll probably touch on psychology because thoughts and behavior play into people’s life circumstances and their responses. The main focus of social work, though, is on helping people overcome their problems and struggles.
As a direct support professional in the social work field, your job will likely involve matching people to programs and services that may improve their lives.
Is an Online Social Work Degree Worth It?
Yes, an online social work degree is worth it for many students. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that there will be a 12% job growth in the community and social service field for the next decade, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Social work jobs are expected to increase in number over the next several years. This degree may help you get a job as a community service manager, a child and family worker, or a substance abuse counselor.
Earning a bachelor’s degree is an essential prerequisite for master’s programs. A graduate degree can help expand your career opportunities and salary potential.
Can You Become a Counselor With a Social Work Degree?
Working as a clinical therapist requires a master’s degree. After getting your bachelor’s, you may want to get a Master of Social Work so you can become a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) in your state. An LCSW is a requirement needed to provide private-practice counseling services.
Having only a bachelor’s may not preclude you from all counseling roles, though. Some states allow substance abuse counseling with an undergraduate degree. You may also be able to assist with counseling under the supervision of an LCSW, or you might get a job as a mental health intake worker.
Universities Offering Online Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Angelo State University
Ranked among the 20 Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Work Degree Programs by the Grad Reports resource guide, the Angelo State University bachelor’s of social work program is designed to prepare students to work as generalist social workers.
Students complete courses exposing them to biopsychosocial theories of human behavior, assessment methods, evaluation methods, policy, and communication skills spanning 120 credit hours.
Angelo State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Aurora University’s bachelor’s of social work is designed to prepare students to work in community, group, family, and individual settings to address diverse problems. Many of the classes offered through this program uniquely use open-education resources in place of traditional text books to cut down on costs for students.
Some of the courses and topics covered include social work with groups, human behavior in the social environment, and social work in communities and organizations.
Aurora University is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
Bemidji State University
Students are expected to graduate from Bemidji State University’s bachelor’s of social work program prepared to work as generalists with deep understandings of human interactions across cultural environments. While this program is primarily online, an integrated model can help students practice face-to-face communication techniques.
The goal of the program is to provide future social workers with the tools needed to develop knowledge and skills for working with individuals, groups, families, organizations, and communities.
Bemidji State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Brescia University’s bachelor’s of social work program blends social work theory and practice hours. Students are expected to graduate equipped to work in the areas of child protective services, aging-population services, anti-poverty programs, criminal justice, and corrections.
U.S. News & World Report named the university as one of the best in the South.
Brescia University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Briar Cliff University
Briar Cliff University’s bachelor’s of social work program utilizes a one-on-one mentoring format that allows students to learn from veteran faculty members. The crowning feature of the program is a 450-hour field internship. Courses and topics covered in the program include marriage and families, developmental psychology, and ethics.
Briar Cliff University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
California State University – Chico
California State University – Chico’s bachelor’s of social work program is designed to prepare students to work in interdisciplinary fields like education, rehabilitation, mental health, criminal justice, counseling, and protective services.
The program consists of five prerequisite courses, three social work core prerequisite courses, 12 professional sequence courses, and three upper-division pathway courses.
CSU – Chico is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Graduates of Campbellsville University’s bachelor’s of social work program are trained to be effective professionals who approach clients and situations using ethics and Christian values. Coursework emphasizes marriage and family relationships, social politics, and crisis intervention.
The list of courses and topics covered includes qualitative statistics and research methods, human behavior and social environment, and human diversity.
Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Eastern Kentucky University
Students enrolled in Eastern Kentucky University’s bachelor’s of social work explore addictions, crisis interventions, and race and ethnic relations spread across 120 credit hours.
Personalized graduation plans allow future social workers to focus on learning how to manage real-world situations to help others and create positive impacts within their communities.
Eastern Kentucky University is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Eastern New Mexico University
Eastern New Mexico University’s bachelor’s of social work is designed to prepare students to work in schools, medical facilities, courts, youth-services agencies, law enforcement, hospitals, and corrections facilities.
The program emphasizes both the personal and social aspects of solving problems using a curriculum that blends assignments, readings, labs, tests, projects, and hands-on experience.
Eastern New Mexico University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Indiana Wesleyan University
Designed to prepare graduates to work as generalists, Indiana Wesleyan University’s bachelor’s of social work program encourages students to become “world changers.” Both personal faith and learning are supported on the journey to this degree.
The list of courses and topics covered in the program includes human behavior and the social environment, environment and society, state and local politics, basic economics, and social research.
Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Focused on advocacy and intervention strategies, King University’s bachelor’s of social work program requires 124 semester hours for graduation. The program is designed to prepare students to work in positions as case managers, researchers, policy analysts, community organizers, victim advocates, and social workers.
King University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Liberty University’s bachelor’s of social work program trains students to tackle social challenges based on an understanding of human psychology. Students explore tools to evaluate, engage with, and intervene for individuals and communities.
Featured topics and courses include social work practice with groups, human behavior and the social environment, and social work practice with individuals and families.
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Rooted in biblical principles, Malone University’s bachelor’s of social work program emphasizes ethical professional work.
Using a mix of coursework and hands-on experience, students cover topics related to human behavior, human growth and development, social welfare policy, and professional ethics before graduating with 124 credits.
Malone University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commissions.
Maryville University’s flexible bachelor’s of social work program integrates the nine competencies outlined by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The program blends theory and real-world training using a mix of in-class projects and an experiential practicum. Coursework emphasizes social justice, diversity, and self-care.
The Maryville University of Saint Louis is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Millersville University’s bachelor’s of social work program offers students careful sequencing to ensure that they are building upon the knowledge gained through study.
An emphasis is placed on both research-informed practice and practice-informed research while covering topics and courses like modern social welfare dilemmas, human behavior and the social environment, and sociology and the family.
Millersville University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University’s bachelor’s of social work program provides generalist instruction designed to help future professionals work with vulnerable populations in local, regional, and global contexts. Coursework focus on applying critical thinking to professional judgments with an emphasis on ethical and professional practices.
Northern Arizona University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Designed to prepare graduates for roles in social work and human services, Northwestern State University of Louisiana’s bachelor’s of social work program offers courses covering aging, child welfare, substance abuse, income maintenance, criminal justice, school work, disabilities, and social policy.
Students graduate with a generalist foundation that can be applied to a variety of fields.
Northwestern State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Our Lady of the Lake University
Our Lady of the Lake University’s bachelor’s of social work program is designed to prepare students to serve as generalists over the span of 120 coursework hours. Specialties covered include children, family, school, healthcare, mental health, and substance abuse.
OLLU’s social work program is one of only three in the country with an emphasis on serving the Hispanic community.
Our Lady of the Lake University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Spring Arbor University
Spring Arbor University’s bachelor’s of social work program is ranked among the Top 25 Christian Colleges for a Social Work Degree by Social Work Degree Online. It has also been ranked 15th among the Best Online BSW degrees by GradReports.
Students explore courses and topics like social welfare policies, racial and ethnic relations, and practice with individuals and families.
Spring Arbor University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Touro University Worldwide
Designed to prepare students to be generalists, Touro University Worldwide’s bachelor’s of social work program offers training in evidence-based decision making spread across 120 credit hours.
Emphasis is placed on human behavior and social contexts in relation to the environment, social policies, social services, human diversity, economic justice, and social justice.
Touro University Worldwide is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
University of Arkansas – Little Rock
Students enrolled in the bachelor’s of social work program at University of Arkansas – Little Rock prepare to serve as generalists trained to work with diverse individuals, families, groups, and communities.
The program’s curriculum helps students to develop knowledge of human behavior and social problems with a view on assessing and solving problems.
UA Little Rock is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati’s bachelor’s of social work program is designed to equip students to work in advocacy and policy-guiding roles. Using classroom and hands-on learning, students can choose to devote their attention to specialties covering social welfare, human behavior, substance-abuse counseling, and mental-health awareness.
The University of Cincinnati is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
University of Louisville
With an emphasis on social-justice dynamics and critical analysis, the University of Louisville’s bachelor’s of social work program aims to empower future social workers to advocate for vulnerable or marginalized populations. Students are able to specialize their learning plan with an optional track for drug and alcohol counseling.
The University of Louisville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Massachusetts – Global
The University of Massachusetts Global’s Bachelor’s in Social Work program is designed to prepare future social workers to serve diverse communities using technology and organization processes. The goal of the program is to position graduates so they can pursue work in child and family social work, mental healthcare, correctional treatment, substance treatment, and gerontology.
This program offers hands-on experience cultivated through 400 supervised on-site field practice hours.
The University of Massachusetts Global is accredited by the WSCUC Senior College and University Commission.
University of Nebraska – Kearney
At University of Nebraska – Kearney, students in the bachelor’s of social work program are trained in the knowledge, skills, and values needed to understand human behavior while serving at-risk and diverse populations.
Courses and topics covering social policy, diversity, social justice, aging services, child abuse and neglect, and disabilities are designed to equip graduates to work in public, private, and government agencies.
UNK is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
University of North Dakota
Upon completing 120 credits or less, graduates of University of North Dakota’s bachelor’s of social work program are expected to be ready to serve vulnerable people and communities. This flexible program aims to equip students with the skills needed to help clients overcome poverty, discrimination, disabilities, and social problems in roles at private and public organizations.
The University of North Dakota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
University of Tennessee – Knoxville
The bachelor’s of social work program at University of Tennessee – Knoxville is famed for its current, cutting-edge electives covering topics like crisis intervention, suicide, trauma, and forensic social work. Enrolled students work with field coordinators to get in supervised real-world experience in field and practicum placements.
The University of Tennessee – Knoxville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Utah
Designed to create “agents of change” in the field of social work, the University of Utah’s bachelor’s of social work program emphasizes relations building with marginalized communities through the development of community leaders and programs. The program utilizes interactive learning systems via group assignments, discussions, and peer reviews.
The University of Utah is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Walden University’s bachelor’s of social work program is designed to develop generalists equipped to provide ethical, evidenced-based services to individuals and communities. In addition to learning how to apply legal and ethical standards, students are trained in the skills needed for advocacy and positive social change.
Walden is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Western New Mexico University
Western New Mexico University’s bachelor’s of social work program aims to equip graduates with the knowledge, values, and practical skills needed to serve clients of all ages in counseling, case-management, advocacy, and intervention roles.
Using small class sizes, the program emphasizes the values of service, social justice, dignity, integrity, and person-to-person relationships.
Western New Mexico University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your Bachelor’s in Social Work Degree Online
If you’re looking for personal fulfillment and a field with many job opportunities, then social work might be the career for you. Being a social worker will give you regular opportunities to help people improve their lives. You may play an influential role as you connect clients to supportive programs in your community.
To do this job effectively, social workers need training in human behavior, crisis response, social services and public policy. If those topics intrigue you, apply to online BSW social work programs. Earning an online bachelor’s degree can help prepare you for the workforce as well as future graduate studies.
Ready to start your journey?
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.
What degree is best for a social worker?
Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Master of Social Work (MSW) With the bachelor of social work (BSW), you will be qualified for entry level positions in areas such as mental heath, aging services, or residential treatment. You will need an MSW to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).
What is the highest paid social worker?
5 Highest-Paying Jobs in Social Work.
Corporate Social Responsibility Manager – Median Salary: $80,200..
Social Policy Analyst – Median Salary: $74,700..
Medical Social Worker – Median Salary: $65,300..
Child and Family Therapist – Median Salary: $63,000..
Human Resources Coordinator/Specialist – Median Salary: $48,300..
What is the easiest social work job?
5 Easy Entry-Level Social Work Jobs.
Group Home Workers..
Substance Abuse Counselors..
Community Social Workers..
Healthcare Social Workers..
What degree do you need to be a social worker in Ohio?
Education Requirement Complete a bachelor's, masters, or doctorate degree in social work from an accredited program. Degrees in other fields ("related degrees") are no longer eligible for licensure. If you are in the final semester of a social work program, you may apply and start the process at any time.