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The 20 Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Work Degree Programs

Helping people isn’t a job- it’s a calling. Social work is a deeply-felt vocation for those ready to make a real difference by improving lives and changing society. But social work is also a career, and one that requires plenty of education and training.

If you have the compassion, ambition and sense of justice to pursue this challenging and rewarding vocation, you’ll want to get started with a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW). This undergraduate degree typically takes four years to complete on a full-time basis, and is a fundamental requirement for a career in social work. A bachelor’s in social work will prepare you with coursework in topics like Human Behavior, Social Welfare Policy, Ethics, and Research Methodology. There may also be an experiential learning component, like an internship, required. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in social work, many states also require that social workers hold a master’s degree in social work, so be sure to determine the regulations for your state. After earning your degree, you’ll need to become licensed, with requirements varying by degree level and by state.

It’s clear that the role of social worker is too important to trust to anyone but the most highly-trained, competent, and qualified professionals. For those who go through this rigorous process, earning their bachelor’s in social work, licensure, and perhaps and advanced degree, what’s the career outlook? The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median salary for social workers in the US as of 2017 is $47,980, while those in the 75th percentile made an average of $65,860. Furthermore, demand for licensed professionals with a bachelor’s degree in social work is expected to increase by 16% between 2016-2026, far faster than the national average. Most importantly, being a social worker is a personally satisfying and rewarding career. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks Clinical Social Worker as #5 in Best Social Service Jobs.

If you’re ready to get started, check out our ranking of the Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Social Work. Our ranking pulls together the best of the best, which we’ve weighted for affordability, prestige, flexibility, and graduation rates. Read on, and get ready to make an impact on individual lives, and society at large.

Methodology:

  • Graduation Rate (1/4): The percentage of first-time, first-year students who complete their program within 150% of the required time.
  • Affordability (1/4): Average cost for out-of-state tuition, measured by credit hour.
  • Flexibility (1/4): The number of flexibility-enhancing elements specific to the degree program including concentrations, degree specialties, prior learning or life experience crediting options, accelerated or self-paced courses, personalized student advisement/guidance, and competency-based credit options.
  • Academic Prestige (1/4): The academic prestige of the parent institution operationally defined through the analyses of the rankings/reviews of prominent education review entities such as US News & World Report and The Princeton Review.

1. University of Utah

The University of Utah (U of U) is a public, space-grant research university located in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is the state’s flagship school, and serves a total of 31,860 graduate and undergraduate students, awarding almost 200 different degrees through a total of 17 colleges and schools. U of U is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a “Doctoral University with Highest Research Activity,” the highest-possible ranking. The university is the second-oldest in Utah. It was first established back in 1850 as the University of Deseret, and actually predates the founding of the state of Utah itself by several years. This prestigious school has been ranked 110th in National Universities by U.S. News and World Report, and 15st in Top Public Schools, as well as 136th in Best Value Schools. University faculty, students, and researchers have won numerous awards, including 22 Rhodes Scholarships, four Nobel Prizes, two Turing Awards, eight MacArthur Fellowships, and several Pulitzer Prizes.

The University of Utah offers an on-campus or online bachelor’s in Social Work which is prestigious, rigorous, flexible, and affordable, easily landing in first place in our ranking of the Best Bachelor’s in Social Work. This respected program is available fully online, and is one of just 16 online Bachelor’s of Social Work programs to be accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Social Work students are required to complete a series of four prerequisites, in areas like behavioral, physical science, and humanities, then take 48 credits in required social work courses, including an internship. Class topics include Global Community-Based Research, Social Diversity and Cultural Understanding, and Research and Evaluation. Students also choose four electives from a rotating selection of topics related to social justice and advocacy. Online students can expect to complete their coursework and internships in three to four semesters, at a rate of 12 to 15 credits per semester. Online classes incorporate traditional instruction, delivered through lectures and readings, with interactive learning, based on group assignments and discussions. The university’s national academic rankings are the highest of any school included in our ranking of Best Bachelor’s in Social Work, while the school’s graduation rate is the second-highest. The prestigious bachelor’s in Social Work from Wayne is also a very affordable degree, costing only $370 per credit.

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  • Graduation Rate: 65%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $370
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: n/a
  • Academic Prestige: #1

2. University of North Dakota

Based in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the University of North Dakota (UND) is a public space-grant research university. The school was founded six years before North Dakota achieved statehood, in 1883, making it the state’s oldest university. It is also the flagship university of North Dakota, and home to the state’s only schools of Medicine and Law. As a space-grant school, UND has a very highly regarded school of Aerospace Sciences and Aviation, the first such school in the nation to award a degree in unmanned aircraft systems operations. The Carnegie Foundation recognizes UND as a “research university with high research activity,” while U.S. News and World Report ranks it 192nd in National Universities, 102nd in Top Public Schools, and an impressive 25th in Most Innovative Schools.

The University of North Dakota awards an online bachelor’s in Social Work which has a winning combination of prestige, affordability and flexibility. This online degree program is designed for those with existing college transfer credits or a bachelor’s in another field, and can be completed in as little as 2 years. The UND bachelor’s of social work was recently ranked in the Top Ten Bachelor’s of Social Work by The Best Schools. The program consists of 39 or more credits, covering topics like Task and Treatment Groups, Social Work Research Methods, and Human Behavior and the Social Environment. Online classes are taught in a live-web lecture format, and distance learners may complete their experiential learning, a 450-hour field placement, in their own area of residence. A single on-campus, four-day learning session is required for all online students. This bachelor’s in Social Work is an extremely affordable degree, costing just $351 per credit.

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  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $351
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: Accelerated program
  • Academic Prestige: #2

3. King University

King University is a private, Christian university, which is located in Bristol, Tennessee. The school was established in 1867, and offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, minors and pre-professional degrees, in addition to graduate degrees in nursing, business, and education. The school was founded back in 1867 by a Presbyterian minister, Reverend James King, and the university is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. Students have the opportunity to engage in a wide range of spiritual activities, including chapel services, Bible study, Christian ministry groups, and faith-based service work. King serves a student body of 2,920, and class sizes are small, with a remarkably low student-to-faculty ratio of just 11 to one. All freshman classes make a group visit to Washington D.C. to tour the city and visit various museums, monuments and civic institutions. U.S. News and World Report ranks King 89th in Regional Universities, South.

King University offers an accelerated bachelor’s in Social Work which is available on-campus, in an evening and weekend format, or fully online. This fast and convenient program is designed for students with transfer credits and those with a bachelor’s degree in another field, and takes just 16 months to complete. A total of 11 courses are required, totaling 52 credits. Students may need additional coursework to meet the university’s Educational Core requirements, depending on their academic background, and all bachelor’s degree candidates must take a comprehensive online general education assessment test. In addition, 400 hours of practicum experience are needed for graduation, significantly lower than the experiential requirement of most programs. At a cost of just $305 per credit, this accelerated bachelor’s degree program is the single most affordable school in our entire ranking of Best Bachelor’s in Social Work.

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  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $305
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: Accelerated Program
  • Academic Prestige: #16

4. Brescia University

Brescia University is a small, private, Catholic university based in Owensboro, Kentucky. Brescia was originally established by the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph as Mount Saint Joseph Junior College for Women back in 1925. Today, Brescia serves a small, coeducational student body of 1,298 undergraduate and graduate students. The most popular majors at Brescia are Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, Business, and Liberal Arts. Class sizes are incredibly small, and students enjoy individual attention at this small and intimate school, where the student to faculty ratio is just 8 to one. U.S. News and World Report ranks the university 28th in Regional Colleges South and an impressive 16th in Best Value Schools, in recognition of its high-quality academics and affordable tuition.

Brescia University administers an online bachelor’s of social work designed for transfer students and those holding a degree in another field of study. This fast and flexible degree completion program requires just 42 credit hours in the Social Work Core, though transfer students may need to complete additional general dedicational or elective requirements, depending on their particular academic background. Class topics include Social Work and Aging, Ethical Considerations in Social Work, and Social Welfare Policy. Brescia has five start dates per year, January, March, May, August and October, so students ready to start pursuing their online bachelor’s of social work can begin their studies immediately. This efficient online bachelor’s degree was ranked 27th for Best Online Social Work Degrees for 2017 by Affordable Colleges Online, and tuition is priced at just $425 per credit.

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  • Graduation Rate: 27%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $425
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: n/a
  • Academic Prestige: #8

5. Grand Canyon University

Established in 1949, Grand Canyon University (GCU) is a private, Christian university, which is based in Phoenix, Arizona, about four hours away from the Grand Canyon itself. Originally affiliated with the Baptist Church, GCU is today an interdenominational university that welcomes students from all backgrounds. GCU awards undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees through eight schools and colleges, including liberal arts, fine arts, health care, business, engineering, and Christian theology. The Carnegie Foundation classifies GCU as a “research university with moderate research activity” and U.S. News and World Report ranks the school 231st in National Universities.

Grand Canyon University offers an online Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with an Emphasis in Social Work. A total of 120 credits are required for graduation: 34-40 in general education, 48 in the Sociology major, and 32-38 elective credits. Online classes are accelerated, lasting just 7-8 weeks, whereas on-campus classes are 15 weeks long. Under the school’s generous transfer credit policy, up to 90 credit hours may be transferred in from another institution. Social Work course topics include Social Research and Statistics, Inequality in a Diverse Society, Sociology of Religion, and Case Management and Direct Practice. At a cost of $470 per credit, this respected online bachelor’s degree is an affordable option.

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  • Graduation Rate: 43%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $470
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: Accelerated program
  • Academic Prestige: #5

6. Park University

Park University is a private university which dates back to 1875. The 700-acre, suburban flagship campus is located in Parkville, Missouri, and the its Graduate School campus is based in Kansas City, Missouri. Park has a total of 41 campuses in 22 states, most of which are located on military bases. The school’s close military affiliation has earned it a designation of #1 among all private colleges and universities in the nation in the Military TimesÕ “Best for Vets: Colleges 2016” ranking. The school also represents an excellent return on investment, placing 2nd in the nation in the 2015 PayScale College ROI Report. U.S. News and World Report ranks Park 126th in Regional Universities Midwest. Park is also known for extensive online classes and degrees, which it has been offering since 1996, and a large percentage of the student body is enrolled, in part or exclusively, in online classes.

Park University offers a very affordable a Bachelor’s in Social Work. Students complete a total of 122 credit hours to earn this bachelor’s degree, including 45 hours in core curriculum and a two-semester field instruction at a social service agency. Social Work class topics include Human Diversity & Social Justice, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Human Sexuality, and Study of the Family. Throughout the curriculum, two conceptual frameworks are stressed: the “strengths perspective” (recognizing clients’ innate abilities and resilience) and “ecological systems theory” (focusing on relationships between individuals, communities and society). At a cost of only $399 per credit, this bachelor’s of social work is an affordable degree program.

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  • Graduation Rate: 38%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $399
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: Accelerated program
  • Academic Prestige: #15

7. Limestone College

Limestone College is a private, liberal arts institution, which is located in the suburban town of Gaffney, South Carolina, and has branch campuses in Yemassee, Greer, Charleston, Kingstree, Graniteville, Florence, and Columbia. The school was established by two British scholars in 1854 as the first women’s college in the state, and one of the first in the nation. Limestone became co-educational in the 1960s, and today the 3,500-member student body is roughly equally balanced between men and women. The college takes its name from a limestone quarry located on its main campus, and 10 of the school’s distinctive limestone buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. The student to faculty ratio is low at 12.5 to one, and 80% of faculty hold a PhD or terminal degree in their fields of expertise. Limestone boasts a winning combination f academic prestige and relatively low tuition. U.S. News and World Report ranks it 39th in Regional Colleges South and

Limestone College offers an accelerated, fully-online Bachelor’s in Social Work, in addition to on-campus and hybrid formats. The degree requires the completion of both general education and core-specific credits, as well as a Field Practicum comprising 400 hours of supervised social work practice. Class topics include Introduction to Psychology, Social Welfare Programs and Policy, and Practice with Culturally Diverse Populations. Limestone’s Bachelor’s in Social Work was recently ranked 19th in the nation by GuideToOnlineSchools.com. Tuition is very affordable at $441 per credit, and is further discounted by 50 percent for military service personnel.

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  • Graduation Rate: 33%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $441
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: n/a
  • Academic Prestige: #11

8. Walden University

Walden University is a private University which is headquartered in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota and offers classes exclusively online. Walden was founded in 1970 in order to provide affordable and accessible, graduate-level education to working adults and other non-traditional learners. Walden’s online offerings encompass more than 140 degree programs, along with 300 specializations and concentrations. The majority of these are career-focused fields of study, including health care, human services, counseling and psychology, criminal justice, information technology, management, education, and public administration. Walden’s online student body totals 48,982, most of whom take classes on a part-time basis while working full time. The school caters to working adult learners with generous transfer credit policies, extensive support services, affordable tuition, and flexible scheduling.

Walden University offers an affordable and fully-online Bachelor’s in Social Work. The degree requires the completion of a total of 182 credits, including general education, elective, core and social work skills lab credits. Of the required credits, up to 135 may be transferred in from work completed at a previous institution. The curriculum stresses hands-on training and evidence-based practices, and covers such topics as Introduction to the Welfare System, Diversity and Multiculturalism, Policy and Advocacy, and Social Work Research. Students may choose between five concentrations within the Bachelor’s in Social Work degree: Addiction, Forensics and the Criminal Justice System, Crisis and Trauma, Courts and the Legal System, and Healthcare Settings. Those students in Walden’s Bachelor’s in Social Work program who maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher will be eligible to enter the school’s Master’s in Social Work degree program with a status of “Advanced Standing”, which may reduce the credits required for completion of the master’s program. At a cost of just $325, the Bachelor’s in Social Work from Walden University is one of the most affordable options included in this ranking.

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  • Graduation Rate: 11%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $325
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: Multiple concentrations offered
  • Academic Prestige: #25

9. Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University (NAU) is a public research university based in Flagstaff, Arizona, with additional campuses located throughout the state. U.S. News and World Report ranks NAU 231st in National Universities and an impressive 47th in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. Today, NAU awards 158 undergraduate and graduate degrees, and serves 31,057 students on campus, as well as an additional 8,000 students through its highly-regarded online degree programs. NAU was first established as the Northern Arizona Normal School in 1899, with just 23 students and two faculty members. The main campus is surrounded by the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the world, adjacent to a popular ski resort. The city of Flagstaff, where the main campus is located, was ranked in 2017 as the third-best college town in the United States by the American Institute of Economic Research. In 2013, NAU became the first public university to launch a competency-based online degree program, dubbed “Personalized Learning.” Through this self-paced program, students can earn academic credit for demonstrated competency and experience. Personalized Learning is subscription-based, allowing those who wish to accelerate their pace of completion to take multiple classes simultaneously for the same flat fee. U.S. News and World Report ranks this innovative school a prestigious 47th in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, and 231st in National Universities.

Northern Arizona University offers a respected and fully online Bachelor’s in Social Work. The curriculum covers not only the practice of counseling and outreach with vulnerable populations, but also trains students to advocate for policy change for under served and disenfranchised populations. Because this respected program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), graduates who pursue a master’s in social work can opt-out of up to 12 required credit hours. The bachelor’s degree requires including 9 hours of liberal arts requirements, 75 hours in core courses, along with enough electives to reach a total of at least 120 credits. Classes within the major include Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Crisis Intervention, and Contemporary Topics in Social Work. Degree seekers must also complete a Senior Seminar and 12 credits in Field Education.

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  • Graduation Rate: 53%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $458
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: n/a
  • Academic Prestige: #5

10. Briar Cliff University

Based in the suburbs of Sioux City, Iowa, Briar Cliff University is a private, Roman Catholic, Franciscan, liberal arts university. Briar Cliff was founded in 1930 as a women’s college by the Sisters of Saint Francis of Dubuque. The school became co-educational in 1966, and transitioned to a full-fledged university in 2001. Today, this small school serves a diverse total of 1,316 students, with a student to faculty ratio of 14 to one allowing each student to experience individual attention in small classes. In keeping with the school’s Franciscan tradition, classes and school activities emphasize service, caring, and openness to all, and leads freshman students in a “Franciscan Core” class which teaches environmental responsibility, peacemaking and social justice. Briar Cliff also emphasizes a liberal arts foundation, with undergraduate students in all 30 programs completing a liberal arts core. The school is ranked 31st in Regional Colleges Midwest by U.S. News and World Report, and, in recognition of its academic excellence and affordable tuition, 30th in Best Value Schools.

Briar Cliff University awards a Bachelor’s in Social Work degree through its on-campus and online bachelor’s degree completion program. The program is designed for transfer students with at least 77 credits or an associate’s degree in social work or human services. The bachelor’s degree requires the completion of 47 course credit hours and a 450-hour field internship. Classes include Digital Research for Academic Endeavors, Social Issues and Policy, Community Organization, and Christian and Franciscan Traditions. Online students benefit from convenient, asynchronous learning, small class sizes and weekly, one-on-one mentorship meetings with faculty advisors. There are two start dates per year, and the entire degree completion program can be completed in two years. This convenient online bachelor’s degree from a respected school is an excellent value at $415 per credit.

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  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $415
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: n/a
  • Academic Prestige: #10

11. Bemidji State University

Located on the shores of Lake Bemidji, in the rural town of Bemidji, Minnesota, Bemidji State University (BSU) is a public state university which dates back to 1919. The school was originally founded as Bemidji State Normal School, a teacher training school, with just 38 students in its inaugural class. Today, the university has a student body of 5,912 undergraduate and graduate students, engaged in 47 different areas of study. These include professional fields such as business administration, accounting, education, nursing, computer science, psychology and criminal justice, as well as niche majors, such as aquatic biology, wildlife biology, Ojibwe language and exhibit design. Many classes and full degree programs are available through the school’s well-regarded and highly-ranked online programs. U.S. News and World Report ranks BSU 109th in Regional Universities Midwest and 32nd in Top Public Schools.

Bemidji State University offers a highly respected Bachelor’s in Social Work online, with select coursework conducted on-campus. The curriculum consists of 69 credits in the Social Work Major, to be completed in addition to the school’s standard Liber Arts core.
This cohort-based program is delivered online, with on-campus classes held three to four times per semester. Students must also complete a 480-hour internship at a social service organization. Topics of study include Intercultural Communications, Social Welfare Policy, Family Dynamics and Intervention, and Interpersonal Relations. BSU boasts a 96% rate of social work majors passing their licensing exams, compared to the overall pass rate of 76% for the state, and the online bachelor’s program has one of the highest graduation rates of any school in our ranking, at 46%. The school’s online bachelor’s degree program was recently ranked 8th in the nation by The Best Schools, and 41st in the nation by Affordable Colleges Online. With an affordable tuition of $314 per credit, the respected bachelor’s degree in social work from BSU is an exceptional value.

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  • Graduation Rate: 46%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $314
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: n/a
  • Academic Prestige: #22

12. Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) is a regional public university located in Richmond, Kentucky, with additional campuses in Corbin, Hazard, Somerset, Danville, Lancaster, and Manchester. In addition to its on-campus programs, EKU also administers over 40 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The university has a large and diverse student body, with a total enrollment of 16,881 undergraduate and graduate students, and boasts a low student to faculty ratio of 16 to one. EKU has been widely recognized for excellence in the fields of healthcare, including top national rankings for Speech-Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy, and Nursing. The Carnegie Foundation designates the school as a “Community Engaged University.” U.S. News and World Report ranks EKU 73rd in Regional Universities South and an impressive 27th in Top Public Schools.

Eastern Kentucky University has a highly-respected and convenient online Bachelor’s in Social Work. U.S. News and World Report ranks EKU’s overall Online Bachelor’s Program 115th in the nation. The curriculum consists of 120 credit hours in coursework, divided into 8-week terms, and stresses real-world applications such as crisis intervention, addictions, and race and ethnic relations. EKU’s generous transfer credit policy allows students to transfer in up to 90 credit hours in approved prior coursework. Degree candidates must complete 34 hours in General Education Core requirements, followed by 51 hours in Social Work Core credits (including an experiential learning component), 12 in Supporting Courses, and a generous selection of 23 in Free Electives, allowing for a high degree of personalization. Social Work class topics include Social Welfare Policy History, Assessing Needs of Older Adults, Crisis Intervention, and Social Work Practice Methods. This respected bachelor’s degree is a great value, at price of $409 per credit.

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  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $409
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: n/a
  • Academic Prestige: #14

13. Touro University Worldwide

Touro University Worldwide (TUW) is a nonprofit institution of higher learning, and is the distance education component of the Touro College and University System. Touro College and University System was founded in 1970 in New York City in order to strengthen the Jewish heritage and tradition and to serve the larger community through high-quality education. The Worldwide division was established in 2008, and currently serves a large proportion of the University System’s 18,000 students. Among the school’s most popular degree programs are Touro’s Master of Social Work, Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The school makes online education convenient and accessible with student-centered learning models, six annual start dates, small class sizes, online academic resources, and affordable tuition with all texts and resources included.

Touro University Worldwide offers an online Bachelor’s in Social Work which is reasonably priced and leaves room for students to personalize their course of study. The curriculum covers human behavior, social welfare policy and services, multicultural and diversity issues, social and economic justice, ethical standards and research methods. This high-quality program was recently ranked among the nation’s Best Online Social Work BachelorÕs Degree Programs by Affordable Colleges Online. The degree requires the completion of 120 credits: 45 in General education, 51 in the Social Work Core, 450 hours of community-based fieldwork, and a generous 24 credits in Electives, allowing for a high degree of personalization. Classes in the Social Work Core include Child Welfare Services, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, and Social Work Research. With a graduation rate of 78%, TUW has, by a wide margin, the highest score on this metric of any school included in our ranking of Best Bachelor’s in Social Work. This highly respected degree program is affordably priced at $400 per credit.

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  • Graduation Rate: 78%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $400
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: n/a
  • Academic Prestige: #25

14. Western New Mexico University

Western New Mexico University (WNMU) is a public institution based in the rural town of Silver City, New Mexico, with a satellite campus serving graduate students in Gallup, New Mexico. WNMU was originally established in 1893, before New Mexico had achieved statehood, as a teacher training institute for the New Mexico Territory. The student body, which totals over 3,500, is notably diverse in terms of age, culture, language and ethnic background. WNMU awards 73 different degrees and certificates: 12 Master’s degrees, 41 Bachelor’s degrees, and 20 Associate’s degrees and certificates. Class sizes are relatively small, with a student to faculty ration of 18 to one. The school was the first in the state to receive the Zia Award, the highest honor accorded by Quality New Mexico.

Western New Mexico University awards a bachelor’s in social work which is remarkably affordable. Class sizes are small, and instructors are themselves licensed social workers with extensive experience. The degree requires the completion of 550 hours of field experience, General Education, Electives, and 50 credits in Core Social Work classes. Core areas of study include Theoretical Foundations & Techniques, Ethics in Social Work & Human Services, Social Welfare Policy, and Diversity in Social Work Practice. Electives may be chosen from any department, but those looking within the school of social work for their electives will find a wide variety available, with 14 elective social work classes offered. The WNMU bachelor’s in Social Work is an amazingly affordable degree, with the second-lowest tuition of any school included in this ranking: just $313 per credit.

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  • Graduation Rate: 20%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $313
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: n/a
  • Academic Prestige: #25

15. University of Alaska Fairbanks

Founded in 1917, The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) is a public research university located in Fairbanks, Alaska, with seven additional branch campuses throughout the state. It is the flagship of the University of Alaska System, as well as a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university. There are 10,490 undergraduate and students at UAF, enrolled in 190 different degree and certificate programs delivered through nine schools and colleges. UAF is the state’s primary research institute, and conducts over 90% of the research within the University of Alaska System. U.S. News and World Report ranks UAF 207th in National Universities and 113th in Top Public Schools.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks awards a prestigious Bachelor’s in Social Work. The course of study consists of a total of 123 credits: a liberal arts base, a behavioral sciences foundation, coursework in social policy and services, and practice methods, and field instruction. Central to the program is the preparation of degree seekers for work with the state’s native and rural Alaskan populations. Required classes for the major include Social Welfare, Rural Social Work, Research Methods, and Ethics, Values and Social Work Practice. Students may also choose two social work electives from a selection of 9 specialized topics. This nationally-ranked school is one of the most prestigious included in our list of Best Bachelor’s in Social Work, and U.S. News and World Report ranks UAF 192nd in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

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  • Graduation Rate: 25%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $715
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: Option to specialize in Gerontology
  • Academic Prestige: #3

16. Campbellsville University

Campbellsville University (CU) is a private institution based in Campbellsville, Kentucky. CU was originally established by the Russell Creek Baptist Association in 1906 as Russell Creek Academy, a school for boys. The school later became a college, and transitioned into a full university in 1996. Today, CU is a non-denominational Christian institution serving a total of 4,365 students. Class sizes are remarkably small, with a student to faculty ratio of 13 to one allowing each student to receive individual attention. Popular majors include Business, Criminal Justice, Social Work, Education, and Nursing.
The school was also ranked 4th in Most Affordable Colleges in America by Best Christian Colleges.
U.S. News and World Report ranks CU 106th in Regional Universities South.

Campbellsville University offers a highly accelerated and fully online bachelor’s in Social Work. The online degree program requires the completion of 120 credits, and can be completed in as little as two years. Students pursuing this bachelor’s in social work complete 57 credit hours in Social Work Core classes, including a community-based practicum, and 9 credits in social work electives, with no less than 16 options to choose from. Class topics include Human Behavior & the Social Environment, Human Diversity, Quantitative Research, and Qualitative Research. CU’s bachelor’s in social work is also available in an on-campus learning environment. The program is quite affordable at a price of $399 per credit hour.

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  • Graduation Rate: 36%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $399
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: Accelerated program
  • Academic Prestige: #21

17. Aurora University

Aurora University is a private, nonprofit liberal arts college located in Aurora, Illinois, with branch campuses in Williams Bay, Wisconsin and Woodstock, Illinois. The school was fist established as a seminary in 1893, becoming a secular university in 1971. Today, Aurora serves a total of 5,500 undergraduate and graduate students, and maintains small class sizes, with a relatively low student to faculty ratio of 17 to one. Over 80% of Aurora faculty hold a terminal degree in their fields of expertise. The university offers 40 undergraduate majors, a wide variety of master’s degrees, several professional certificates, and two online doctoral degrees. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school 126th in Regional Universities Midwest.

Aurora University awards a Bachelor’s in Social Work which is available fully online. The program consists of 120 credits, including 40 within the social work major. Core courses include Social Work with Groups, Social Welfare Institutions and Policies, Individuals and Families, and Social Work with Communities and Organizations. All students also complete two courses consisting entirely of field instruction. Social work courses are offered year-round, in convenient eight-week modules. Students learn through traditional online lectures, interactive discussion boards and chat rooms. Students completing Aurora’s bachelor’s in social work will be eligible for advanced standing in the Aurora University MSW program, and may opt out of some graduate credit requirements. With a graduation rate of 58%, Aurora has one of the highest scores on this metric of any school included in our Best Bachelor’s in Social Work ranking. Tuition is also affordable, at a cost of $425 per credit.

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  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $425
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: Accelerated courses
  • Academic Prestige: #24

18. Mary Baldwin University

Mary Baldwin University (MBU) is a private, liberal arts university based in Staunton, Virginia. The school was first established in 1842 as a women’s seminary, becoming a college in 1923 and a university in 2016. Today, MBU awards bachelorÕs, masterÕs, and doctoral degrees, and serves a student body of 1,761.
The university encompasses Mary Baldwin College for Women, a women’s liberal arts and leadership college, and a University College offering co-educational residential undergraduate programs. The university has a remarkably low average class size, with a student to faculty ratio of just 10 to one, and 91% of full-time faculty at MBU hold a terminal degree in their field of expertise. MBU is the oldest American Presbyterian institution of higher education for women, and is home to the world’s only all-female cadet corps. U.S. News & World Report ranks the school 43rd in Regional Universities South, and 19th in Best Value Schools.

Mary Baldwin University offers an on-campus or online bachelor’s in social work. The degree program features small class sizes, student-selected field placement options, and, for on-campus learners, community service opportunities through the school’s Social Work Club and Phi Alpha HonorÕs Society for social work students.
The curriculum include general education requirements, as well as 51 credits in the Social Work Core. Core class topics include Child Welfare Services, Ageing, Social Welfare Policy, School Social Work, and Social Work Research. All students complete a field placement of 450 hours during the spring semester of their senior year. Tuition in MBU’s bachelor’s in Social Work is very reasonably priced at $460 per credit.

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  • Graduation Rate: 46%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $460
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: n/a
  • Academic Prestige: #12

19. Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSU) is a public university based in Natchitoches, Louisiana, United States, with satellite campuses in Shreveport and general campuses in Fort Polk, and Alexandria. It is a member of the University of Louisiana System. The university was founded in 1884 as the Louisiana State Normal School, a teacher training institute, and was the first school in the state to award degrees programs in nursing and business education. Today, NSU offers over 50 degrees and serves a total of 10,572 students. NSU also offers 40 online degree programs through eNSU, the first and most extensive online learning program in Louisiana. The most popular majors at NSU are Health Professions, Liberal Arts, Business, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, and Psychology. U.S. news and World Report ranks the school 114th in Regional Universities South.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers a fully online bachelor’s in social work. The course of study consists of 120 credits, which follow a prescribed sequence. Social work classes include Generalist Practice with Groups, Techniques of Interviewing, Economics & Social, Statistics in Social Work Research, and Cultural Diversity. Additionally, those earning a bachelor’s in social work at NSU will be able to enter a master’s in social work degree program with advanced standing, opting out of up to half of required coursework. Tuition at NSW is highly affordable, at a cost of $375 per credit.

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  • Graduation Rate: 35%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $375
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: n/a
  • Academic Prestige: #23

20. Wayne State University

Located in downtown Detroit, Michigan, Wayne State University (WSU) is a large, public research university. The school dates back to 1868, when the Detroit College of Medicine was established, soon merging with a competing medical school and, later, a teacher’s college, junior college of liberal arts, and law school, becoming a single, unified institution in 1933. Today, WSU awards almost 350 different degrees within 13 distinct schools and colleges. Some 27,000 graduate and undergraduate students are enrolled, and Wayne State University is the state’s third-largest university, yet class sizes are small, with a student to faculty ratio of 16 to one. Research is strong at WSU, particularly in the areas of Physics and Astronomy, Biosciences, and Medicine, and at an annual average of $213.8 million, WSU is among the nation’s top universities for research expenditure according to the National Science Foundation. This prestigious school is ranked 223rd in National Universities by U.S. News and World Report, as well as 129th in Top Public Schools.

Wayne State University’s School of Social Work was ranked 38th in the nation in 2016 for Best School of Social Work by U.S. News Grad School Health Programs Rankings. The Bachelor of Social Work degree requires 120 credits. Students complete 60 credits in their freshman and sophomore years, including both General Education requirements and social work prerequisite courses. In their junior and senior years, students complete 51 credits in required social work classes and fieldwork, as well as 9 credit hours in electives. Fieldwork gives students an opportunity for hands-on learning, and takes place in a variety of social service agencies, where students may work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, or communities. Each component of the curriculum is designed to cover four central themes: values and ethics, social justice, oppression and discrimination, and populations-at-risk.

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  • Graduation Rate: 39%
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $900
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: n/a
  • Academic Prestige: #4