Best Online Social Work Degree Programs

With the United States Department of Labor reporting that job growth for social workers is expected to increase faster than the average for other jobs, it’s no wonder that many students are becoming increasingly interested in this career path. Unfortunately, finding a legitimate educational institution that offers online courses in social work isn’t necessarily easy. To help make it a little less difficult, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to outline the best colleges in the country that offer online degree programs for social work, so that the most difficult thing you’ll have to do is just choose one.

How Our Ranking System Works

Our methodology primarily consists of breaking down the raw data that we’ve gathered from the reports of the National Center for Education Statistics. From these reports, we were able to decipher the rates of graduation and the availability of resources at each education institution. In addition, we’ve measured the success of graduates, as well as their satisfaction with the school they attended. All of these factors, in addition to others, have been combined to create a list of the best online social work degree programs that can currently be found.

Why Study Social Work Online?

The allure of studying social work online primarily comes from the ease with which it can be done. With an online program, you don’t have to worry about moving between home and campus or dealing with bad weather just to get to a lecture on time. Instead, you can study the intricacies of psychology, sociology, and human services from the comfort of your own home.

Is Earning an Online Social Work Degree Right for You?

If you’ve had trouble in the past with balancing work, family, and other obligations with obtaining an education, then an online social work degree is certainly for you. Undergraduates and graduate students alike can benefit from the ease with which an online degree can be obtained. As long as you avoid the temptation to ignore your coursework, there’s virtually no reason to not pursue a social work degree online.

  • Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    87213%46%58%

    About This School

    There are three pillars of excellence with which Brescia University uses to measure the effectiveness of its online programs: efficiency, affordability, and convenience. From these metrics, it’s clear that Brescia University’s online bachelor’s degree program in social work is one of the best there is for a prospective student. While students are required to have a minimum of 45 credits before enrolling in the program, this can be completed through Brescia University’s online associate’s degree in human services program. It’s also worth mentioning that Brescia University’s social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Students can expect their online coursework to closely mirror the expectations of the Council and will be well prepared for a future in social work.

    Admissions Advisor

    Shanda LaRue
    Director of Operations, BUonline
    Shanda.larue@brescia.edu
  • Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    6,396N/A12%53%

    About This School

    Darton State College offers a number of certification programs that allow social work degree students to specialize in a specific area of expertise and provide them with more employment options once they’ve graduated. While prospective students can leverage their social work degree from Darton State College to gain a position in a number of careers, its certification programs certainly help to gain immediate employment. Best of all, Darton State College’s social work degree program can be completed entirely online, ensuring that students earn their degree at a speed that suits them best.

    Admissions Advisor

    Susan Bowen
    Director of Admissions
    susan.bowen@darton.edu

    Specializations

    • Addiction Counseling
    • Family and Child Welfare Practitioner
    • Teacher Communication and Crisis Skills Enhancement
    • Human Services
  • Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    7,46272%42%68%

    About This School

    Edinboro University of Pennsylvania has had such success with its online programs that it has been ranked as one of the top fifty online graduate education programs. With that type of pedigree, it’s easy to see why prospective graduate students would do well to give serious consideration to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania’s online offerings. In particular, Edinboro Univeristy of Pennsylvania offers graduate students two master’s programs related to social work: Master of Social Work and Social Sciences. While the Master of Social Work can be completed entirely online, prospective students that are interested in a Master of Arts in Social Sciences should be aware that this program requires on-campus education. Either way, this is a great school for graduate students that are interested in further studying after completing their bachelor’s degree.

    Admissions Advisor

    Dr. Miller
    Acting Director of Undergraduate Admissions
    millerse@edinboro.edu

    Specializations

    • Social Work
    • Social Sciences
    • Conflict Management
  • Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    40,69536%75%91%

    About This School

    Florida State University offers an online program with a specific focus on interdisciplinary social science. In this bachelor degree program, students will learn the various issues that plague different levels of society, as well as how to address them. Instead of offering specializations in particular areas, the interdisciplinary social science program gives students a foundation from which to build their education. As such, students can expect to take online courses in sociology, public administration, political science, and many other areas. Prospective students that are interested in building their bachelor’s degree around a large body of education would do well to consider Florida State University and its online program.

    Admissions Advisor

    Janice Finney
    Director of Admissions
    jfinney@admin.fsu.edu

    Specializations

    • Interdisciplinary Social Science
  • Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    15,17013%81%88%

    About This School

    Fordham University is a Jesuit University located in New York that specializes in challenging its students to better themselves. As part of this educational mentality, it should come as no surprise that Fordham University offer its students a number of courses that can be completed entirely online at their own pace. In particular, the bachelor degree program in social work allows students to earn their degree through a mix of online coursework and traditional classroom activities. As Fordham University also has a nationally ranked master’s program in social work, prospective students should give this educational institution serious consideration, regardless of whether they wish to attend it at the graduate or undergraduate level.

    Admissions Advisor

    Dr. Peek
    Director of Admissions
    peek@fordham.edu

    Specializations

    • Human Rights
    • Social Justice
    • Clinical Social Work
    • Leadership and Macro Practice
    • Research
  • Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    3,883N/A18%55%

    About This School

    James A. Rhodes State College offers its students hybrid coursework in human services that can later be used as the basis for a bachelor’s degree in social work. Through this hybrid program, students can attend the college for a mixture of online courses and traditional classes that involve visiting the campus directly. This combination of classes allows the faculty at James A. Rhodes State College to offer supplemental instruction and provide individual attention to each student so that they may be better prepared for their future in social work. In addition, the human services program at James A. Rhodes State College has a number of certifications available to it, making the degree much more appealing than those offered at other schools.

    Admissions Advisor

    Traci Cox
    Director of Admissions
    cox.t@rhodesstate.edu

    Specializations

    • Activity Directing
    • American Sign Language
    • Developmental Disabilities
  • Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    30,22545%67%83%

    About This School

    Louisiana State University offers an online master’s degree program in social work for graduate students that is a blend of asynchronous and synchronous classes. This simply means that students can take online courses that are self-contained modules to be completed at their own pace or more traditional online courses that are completed at the same speed as other students in the same class. Due to this innovative design, Louisiana State University is perfect for graduate students that are seeking the ultimate form of flexibility in their online coursework.

    Admissions Advisor

    Lupe Madrid
    Associate Director (Undergraduate Admissions)
    glamadrid@lsu.edu

    Specializations

    • Gerontological Social Work
  • Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    23,38154%25%65%

    About This School

    Metropolitan State University of Denver uses the Blackboard learning management system to deliver some of the coursework to its students of the comprehensive human services degree program. Accredited by the Council for Standards in Human Service Education, Metropolitan State University of Denver supports both undergraduates and graduates that wish to further their education in human services. As such, prospective students will be interested to know that in addition to the general human services degree, the Metropolitan State University of Denver also includes several specializations that allow students to achieve an even greater understanding of social work in a wider context.

    Admissions Advisor

    Cindy Nguyen
    Senior Admissions Counselor
    pnguye37@msudenver.edu

    Specializations

    • Addiction Studies
    • Domestic Violence Counseling
    • High Risk Youth Studies
    • Mental Health Counseling
    • Nonprofit Studies
    • Paramedic
  • Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    8,224N/A20%64%

    About This School

    Northwest Mississippi Community College offers a bachelor’s degree program in social work that can be completed entirely online. In addition to general social work knowledge, students can expect to also learn about psychology and sociology to better prepare them for careers in small community agencies. Of course, the bachelor degree program at Northwest Mississippi Community College will also prepare students for careers in mental health and substance abuse social work, family and school social work, and policymaking. As such, this is one of the best online social work degree programs that prospective students will find in the Mississippi area.

    Admissions Advisor

    Jere Herrington
    Director of Recruiting
    jherrington@northwestms.edu
  • Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    2,79930%27%60%

    About This School

    Our Lady of the Lake University has specifically designed its online course offerings to cater to graduate students that are eager to earn their master’s degree in social work. Through its acclaimed Worden School of Social Service, students will acquire the skills they’ll need to succeed in their career. In particular, students will learn about social service leadership, direct practice, and the impact they can have on the lives of children and families. Graduate students interested in earning their master’s degree online should look into Our Lady of the Lake University for further details.

    Admissions Advisor

    Betty Galvan
    Registrar
    galvb@lake.ollusa.edu
  • Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    4,762N/A35%59%

    About This School

    Through cooperation with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, students of Owensboro Community and Technical College can take a blended mix of online courses and traditional coursework to earn their associate’s degree in human services. While some students use this degree to immediately leverage a position in their career, most go on to use their associate’s degree as a foundation for their future bachelor’s degree. Regardless of which path is chosen, students can expect to acquire an immersive education in human services at Owensboro Community and Technical College.

    Admissions Advisor

    Linda Calhoun
    Senior Admissions Advisor
    linda.calhoun@kctcs.edu

    Specializations

    • Gerontology
    • Developmental Disabilities
    • Family Services
  • Texas State University
    601 University Dr
    San Marcos, Texas 78666
    http://www.socialwork.txstate.edu/
    Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    34,22562%55%76%

    About This School

    Texas State University has a comprehensive online program entirely dedicated to graduate level students interested in furthering their education in social work. In fact, Texas State University has had such success with this online program that it has been consistently listed as one of the best online social work programs by TheBestColleges.org. As such, it should come as no surprise that graduate students have spoken highly of the education provided by Texas State University. Graduate students that are interested in earning their master’s degree in social work should seriously consider Texas State University as a viable option.

    Admissions Advisor

    Stephanie Anderson
    VP for Enrollment Management -Director of undergrad admissions
    sa35@txstate.edu

    Specializations

    • Direct Practice
    • Administrative Leadership
  • Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    29,83343%66%85%

    About This School

    The University of Tennessee has a strong commitment to providing its students with high quality online programs in social work. At the undergraduate level, students can earn their bachelor’s degree in social work through a combination of online classes and traditional coursework. At the graduate level though, students can earn their master’s in social work entirely online. In this program, graduate students will be asked to choose between one of two possible concentrations to further build upon in their academic career. These concentrations are evidence based interpersonal practice and management, leadership and community practice. In addition to these concentrations, students will also be able to pursue certifications in a number of specific areas, ensuring that students have a wide variety of areas with which to build their education from.

    Admissions Advisor

    Monique Anderson
    Registrar
    registrar@utk.edu

    Specializations

    • Evidence Based Interpersonal Practice
    • Management, Leadership and Community Practice
    • Gerontology
    • School Social Work Licensure
    • Trauma
    • Veterinary Social Work
  • Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    1,666N/A27%8%

    About This School

    As a member of the North Central Association and accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, it should come as no surprise that Union Institute and University takes its obligations to its students seriously. In particular, its comprehensive bachelor’s degree program in social work prepares students for everything they’ll face in their career. Best of all, this program is offered entirely online, to ensure that any student that wishes to earn this degree can do so at a speed that is most comfortable for them. Upon completion of the bachelor’s degree program, students can move on to pursue their state licensure to begin working as a social worker.

    Admissions Advisor

    Lew Moore
    Registrar
    lewrita.moore@myunion.edu
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
    2500 Campus Road, Hawaii Hall
    Honolulu, Hawaii 96822-2217
    http://www.hawaii.edu/sswork/de/index.html
    Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    20,42639%56%79%

    About This School

    While those interested in pursuing an undergraduate degree in social work can do so through a combination of online classes and traditional coursework, graduate students will be pleased to know that they can earn their master’s degree in social work almost entirely online at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In addition to a master’s degree program in social work, the University of Hawaii at Manoa also offers a doctoral level program in social work, ensuring that students have plenty of options in how to proceed with their academic career after graduating with their bachelor’s degree.

    Admissions Advisor

    Ryan Yamaguchi
    Assistant Director - Undergraduate Admissions
    rtyamagu@hawaii.edu

    Specializations

    • Children and Families
  • University of North Dakota
    264 Centennial Drive, Stop 8193
    Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202-8193
    http://distance.und.edu/degree/about/?id=msw4bsw2&page=1107
    Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    15,25061%54%74%

    About This School

    At the University of North Dakota, students can pursue an undergraduate program in social work that combines online coursework and traditional classes to provide students with both the educational background they’ll need for their career, as well as the practical experience that they can only learn while working in the field. At the graduate level, students can pursue a master’s degree in social work that can be completed entirely online. Prospective students that are interested in earning each stage of their degree from a single institution would do well to look into the University of North Dakota.

    Admissions Advisor

    Suzanne Anderson
    Registrar
    suzanne.anderson@und.edu

    Specializations

    • Gerontology
    • Chemical Dependency
    • Addiction Counseling
  • University of Utah
    201 Presidents Circle, ROOM 203
    Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-9008
    http://www.socwk.utah.edu/pace/sswlc.html
    Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    32,38838%59%88%

    About This School

    The University of Utah has designed its comprehensive social work program to incorporate elements of online learning while still offering plenty of field experience that is absolutely crucial to the success of a student in their social work career. In particular, the University of Utah offers a certification program for its social work undergraduates that will allow them to become experts in alcohol and drug abuse treatment. Students that are interested in this certification program, or the general mix of online and traditional classes offered by this program, would do well to look into the University of Utah for further details.

    Admissions Advisor

    Matthew Lopez
    Director of Admissions
    matthew.lopez@utah.edu

    Specializations

    • Alcohol/Drug Abuse Treatment
  • University of Wyoming
    Corner of Ninth and Ivinson
    Laramie, Wyoming 82071
    http://www.uwyo.edu/socialwork/
    Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    12,90341%54%76%

    About This School

    The University of Wyoming offers students the ability to complete their master’s degree in social work entirely online, as well as providing students with the opportunity to participate in a school social work certification program that can also be completed entirely online. In addition, the University of Wyoming offers students a bachelor degree program that incorporates the use of online classes into its traditional curriculum. Students that are interested in attending a mix of online and traditional classes, or are interested in earning a certification in school social work, should look into the University of Wyoming for further details.

    Admissions Advisor

    Shelley Dodd
    Director of Admissions
    shelley@uwyo.edu

    Specializations

    • School Social Work Preparatory
  • Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    28,78647%48%72%

    Admissions Advisor

    Katie Nielsen
    Director of Admissions
    katie.nielsen@usu.edu
  • Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    31,44538%56%85%

    About This School

    Virginia Commonwealth University, through its School of Social Work, offers students several programs that can be completed with varying levels of online coursework: International Social Justice Studies, Social Welfare, and Social Work. In particular, the graduate level social work program deserves special mention as it encompasses a wide variety of specializations. Graduate students that are interested in furthering their education in social work should definitely put Virginia Commonwealth University on their list of possible schools to attend.

    Admissions Advisor

    Lisa Dougherty
    Director of admissions processing and operations
    ljdougherty@vcu.edu

    Specializations

    • Aging Studies
    • Interdisciplinary Early Childhood
    • Intervention
    • Nonprofit Management
    • School Social Work Practice
  • Wayne State University
    656 West Kirby Street
    Detroit, Michigan 48202
    http://socialwork.wayne.edu/bsw/online.php
    Total EnrollmentAcceptance RateGraduation RateRetention Rate
    28,93828%28%75%

    About This School

    Through its School of Social Work, Wayne State University offers a bachelor’s degree program in social work that can be completed entirely online. In addition to the common social work curriculum that can be found in other programs, Wayne State University requires that its students develop an educational foundation in other areas that are extremely useful to a social worker, such as political science, psychology, and sociology. With this education, students are not only prepared for a future in their career, but for furthering their education at the graduate level as well.

    Admissions Advisor

    Lajoyce Brown
    Interim Senior Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Orientation
    lajoyce@wayne.edu