Best Online Social Work Degrees

by TBS Staff

Updated September 26, 2022

reviewed by TBS Rankings Team
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Online BSW Programs

A social work degree at the bachelor's level allows you to compete for entry-level, non-clinical roles in myriad professional settings. Whether you hope to work as a case management aide at a children's hospital, a probation officer at a county prison, or a behavioral management aide at a school, a bachelor of social work online can help you achieve that goal.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that roles for social workers will grow 13% between 2019 and 2029 — much faster than the national average for all occupations. Approximately 81,000 new roles should be created during this timeframe.

What Is Social Work?

Social work jobs are primarily concerned with assisting and supporting individuals, groups, and families as they attempt to live healthy and stable lives. It is also an academic discipline devoted to furthering research in social welfare, oppression, societal change, and human rights.

Social workers with bachelor's degrees provide support to licensed professionals, offering administrative and support services. Professionals must have a master's degree to become licensed and practice therapy, counseling, or case management. Social workers can also develop community programming, collect data on the effectiveness of existing community strategies, and perform administrative functions for health clinics or communtiy centers. Specializations include substance abuse, healthcare, developmental disabilities, and child welfare.

Top Social Work Programs

The Best Online Bachelor's in Social Work Programs

#1

University of North Dakota

School Information
Location Grand Forks, North Dakota
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 61%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
University of North Dakota, located in Grand Forks, North Dakota, enables distance learning across 67 online degree programs. Undergraduate degree-seekers can choose from 16 online bachelor's degree programs. Students looking for a Social Work-adjacent career can pursue study through the Bachelor's degree - Social Work. at their own pace. The flexible program helps learners complete a college degree.

During the Social Work program, students complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the Social Work field. Students complete classes relevant to the Social Work field, as well as general education requirements. Students have the option to modify their studies, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations.

A bachelor's degree enables graduates to access higher paying jobs and more employment opportunities. According to the college, graduates earn a median salary of $45,400 six years after completing their degree. Though degree costs vary, undergraduate students pay an average of $15,654 per year in tuition and fees. Students can meet with the Office of Financial Aid to learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements for scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid.

University of North Dakota at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 6,163

Total Online Programs: 67

Online Bachelor's Programs: 16

Admission Rate: 81%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

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#2

Troy University

School Information
Location Troy, Alabama
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 47%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Learners seeking competitive online study should consider Troy University. Located in Troy, Alabama, the college supports distancing learning across 19 remote bachelor's programs. Distance learners interested in the Social Work field can enroll in the school's Bachelor's degree - Social Work..

The Social Work program enables flexible study. Students can collaborate with their academic advisor to find classes that complement their career interests. Enrollees can explore other educational opportunities, such as minors and elective courses, to customize their studies.

Undergraduate Social Work students can expect to pay $15,600 in tuition. Students can receive financial aid to offset the costs of their degree. The school reports an average financial aid award of $6,594 per student.

Troy University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 9,242

Total Online Programs: 49

Online Bachelor's Programs: 19

Admission Rate: 88%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

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#3

Misericordia University

School Information
Location Dallas, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 86%
Graduation Rate 68%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Learners looking for competitive online learning opportunities should consider Misericordia University's online bachelor's degree programs. The private school supports 8 distance learners across 8 online bachelor's degree programs. The Bachelor's degree - Social Work. is one of 8 programs providing premier education.

Students benefit from a rigorous curriculum that enables flexible study. Enrollees can modify their coursework in consultation with their academic advisor. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to modify coursework, choose electives, ,and pursue other educational opportunities relevant to their career goals.

At present, undergraduates pay $32,800 in tuition. Enrollees can benefit from scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid through the college.

Misericordia University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 964

Total Online Programs: 18

Online Bachelor's Programs: 8

Admission Rate: 86%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

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#4

Brandman University

School Information
Location Irvine, California
Admission Rate 89%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 96% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Located in Irvine, California, Brandman University offers many top-ranked bachelor's programs. Students interested in distance learning will find the school's 16 fully online bachelor's degree programs an attractive option for study. Distance learners interested in the Social Work field can enroll in the school's Bachelor's degree - Social Work..

Social Work students can maximize flexibility through modified coursework and the option to pursue part-time study. Students complete coursework relevant to the Social Work field, with the option to choose electives and modify coursework. Enrollees can choose electives, minors, and other modifications to individualize their studies.

Undergraduates pay a tuition rate of $12,000 at the school. Social Work students gain access to internal and external funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid, through the college.

Brandman University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 9,772

Total Online Programs: 50

Online Bachelor's Programs: 16

Admission Rate: 89%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Accepted

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#5

Liberty University

School Information
Location Lynchburg, Virginia
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Liberty University, a private not-for-profit, 4-year or above college located in Lynchburg, Virginia, offers premier education bachelor's degree opportunities. Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, the college supports distancing learning across 30 remote bachelor's programs. The Bachelor's degree - Social Work. in Social Work is an attractive option for students seeking to advance in the Social Work field.

Social Work students can modify their coursework to suit their interests and accommodate their schedule. Enrollees can modify their coursework in consultation with their academic advisor. Students can benefit from electives, minors, and other modifications to their studies.

Undergraduate students pay approximately $15,417 in tuition. The accredited instution connects students with internal and external funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships.

Liberty University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 78,511

Total Online Programs: 161

Online Bachelor's Programs: 30

Admission Rate: 51%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Accepted

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#6

Angelo State University

School Information
Location San Angelo, Texas
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 40%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Students looking to earn a flexible college degree should consider Angelo State University's online Bachelor's degree - Social Work.. Of its online programs, 4 offer an undergraduate-level education. From its campus in San Angelo, Texas, the school offers an online Bachelor's degree - Social Work. degree. The Social Work program supports students from all walks of life through flexible study options.

Throughout their coursework, students gain industry-relevant knowledge through general and advanced classes. These classes incorporate general and advanced knowledge applicable to the Social Work field. Enrollees can customize their studies by working with their academic advisor to choose electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

A bachelor's degree greatly increases one's earning potential. According to the institution, enrollees can earn a median salary of $36,100 six years after finishing their degree. Undergraduate students at the college can expect to pay $12,169 in tuition and fees yearly. Prospective enrollees can meet with the Social Work department directly to discuss admission requirements, application materials, and other relevant information.

Angelo State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 4,333

Total Online Programs: 24

Online Bachelor's Programs: 4

Admission Rate: 77%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

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#7

Bemidji State University

School Information
Location Bemidji, Minnesota
Admission Rate 65%
Graduation Rate 48%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Located in Bemidji, Minnesota, Bemidji State University offers many top-ranked bachelor's programs. Distance learners can choose from 11 fully online bachelor's degree programs. Learners in the Social Work program are prepared for the demands of the Social Work field through rigorous study.

The online Social Work degree prioritizes flexibility. Students work with their academic advisor to ensure their studies suit both academic and professional goals. Students can work with their academic advisor to modify their classes to suit career interests.

Undergraduate students can expect to pay $7,858 in tuition. Learners can access numerous funding opportunities through the accredited institution. Students at the college are awarded an average of $5,457 in financial aid.

Bemidji State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 2,213

Total Online Programs: 17

Online Bachelor's Programs: 11

Admission Rate: 65%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

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#8

University of Louisville

School Information
Location Louisville, Kentucky
Admission Rate 69%
Graduation Rate 59%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Students looking to earn a flexible college degree should consider University of Louisville's online Bachelor's degree - Social Work.. Of its online programs, 9 offer an undergraduate-level education. The Bachelor's degree - Social Work. is an attractive option for students seeking to advance in the Social Work field. The flexible program helps learners complete a college degree.

During the 120-credit bachelor's program, majors take lower-division and upper-division Social Work classes. Enrollees also complete general education classes, gaining a well-rounded education. Students can modify their degree by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

A bachelor's degree connects graduates with numerous job opportunities and a higher earning potential. The school reports a median salary of $38,200 for graduates six years after completing a bachelor's degree. The average undergraduate pays $17,490 in tuition and fees yearly. Prospective students can contact the Social Work program to learn more about admission requirements and financial aid opportunities.

University of Louisville at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 2,624

Total Online Programs: 29

Online Bachelor's Programs: 9

Admission Rate: 69%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Accepted

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#9

Aurora University

School Information
Location Aurora, Illinois
Admission Rate 87%
Graduation Rate 54%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 20% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Aurora University, a private not-for-profit, 4-year or above college in Aurora, Illinois, supports online learning across 14 online programs. Undergraduates choose from 6 online bachelor's programs at the private not-for-profit, 4-year or above institution. Students seeking advanced online study in Social Work can enroll in the school's online Bachelor's degree - Social Work.. The Social Work program supports students from all walks of life through flexible study options.

Throughout the program, students complete coursework comprised of 120 credit hours. Students complete classes relevant to the Social Work field, as well as general education requirements. In consultation with their academic advisor, students can customize their studies through electives, minors, and concentration areas.

The benefits of a bachelor's degree are varied, from increased job opportunities to higher earning potential. The median salary for graduates six years after their degree completion is $39,200, according to the college. Prospective students can contact the Social Work program to learn more about admission requirements and financial aid opportunities.

Aurora University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,252

Total Online Programs: 14

Online Bachelor's Programs: 6

Admission Rate: 87%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Accepted

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#10

Huntington University

School Information
Location Huntington, Indiana
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 70%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 19% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Huntington University supports highly ranked bachelor's degree programs from its main campus in Huntington. The college boasts 6 fully online bachelor's degree programs. Distance learners looking to earn an online degree in Social Work can enroll in the Bachelor's degree - Social Work..

Students in the Social Work program complete coursework pertinent to the Social Work field. In consultation with their academic advisor, students can modify their courseload to suit their needs. Students also have the option to choose a minor and select electives as part of their curriculum.

Undergraduates pay around $25,956 in tuition at the school. Distance learners can pursue financial aid opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships, to offset educational expenses.

Huntington University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 259

Total Online Programs: 13

Online Bachelor's Programs: 6

Admission Rate: 75%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

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#11

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

School Information
Location Little Rock, Arkansas
Admission Rate 66%
Graduation Rate 43%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock supports 5,209 distance learners across 42 fully online programs. Undergraduate students seeking flexible, remote study can choose from one of 19 online bachelor's degree programs. Learners hoping to advance in the Social Work field can enroll in the college's Bachelor's degree - Social Work.. The Social Work program supports flexible study for students across the distance.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the Social Work field. Enrollees also complete general education classes, gaining a well-rounded education. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to individualize their degree by exploring electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

Graduates greatly benefit from their education, gaining access to more job opportunities and a higher earning potential. The college boasts a median salary of $34,600 for graduates six years after completing their studies. The average undergraduate student pays $13,751 in tuition and fees every year, after aid. Students interested in learning more about admission requirements and their eligibility for financial aid should connect with the Social Work department.

University of Arkansas at Little Rock at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 5,209

Total Online Programs: 42

Online Bachelor's Programs: 19

Admission Rate: 66%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

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#12

Northern Arizona University

School Information
Location Flagstaff, Arizona
Admission Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 57%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Students looking for a flexible bachelor's level education should consider Northern Arizona University. The public school supports 18 distance learners across 18 online bachelor's degree programs. Learners in the Social Work program are prepared for the demands of the Social Work field through rigorous study.

The Social Work program connects students with a supportive online learning community, while enabling flexibility. Students complete coursework relevant to the Social Work field, with the option to choose electives and modify coursework. Students can benefit from electives, minors, and other modifications to their studies.

At present, undergraduates pay $16,613 in tuition. At the accredited institution, students can access external and internal funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid. Students at the college are awarded an average of $12,831 in financial aid.

Northern Arizona University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 14,098

Total Online Programs: 70

Online Bachelor's Programs: 18

Admission Rate: 85%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

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#13

Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global

School Information
Location Marion, Indiana
Graduation Rate 38%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 97% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
As a leader in online education, Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global supports 11,075 distance learners across 78 remote degree programs. The college offers 18 online bachelor's degree programs, reaching 11,075 distance learners worldwide. Students seeking advanced online study in Social Work can enroll in the school's online Bachelor's degree - Social Work.. The Social Work program is a flexible option for working professionals and busy students.

Social Work students complete general education and advanced coursework, amounting to 120 throughout their studies. This curriculum, which consists of foundational and advanced coursework, equips students with relevant skills needed to succeed in the Social Work field. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to customize their degree, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations.

Graduates greatly benefit from their education, gaining access to more job opportunities and a higher earning potential. Prospective students should contact the Social Work department directly before applying, to discuss admission requirements, application materials, and other information.

Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 11,075

Total Online Programs: 78

Online Bachelor's Programs: 18

Admission Rate: Data not available

Transfer Credits Accepted: Accepted

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#14

Millersville University of Pennsylvania

School Information
Location Millersville, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 56%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 25% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Millersville University of Pennsylvania, a public, 4-year or above institution, offers competitive bachelor's degree programs. The public college supports distance learners across 3 online bachelor's degree programs. The Bachelor's degree - Social Work. supports flexible, rigorous study.

The program prepares Social Work students for the demands of the Social Work field. Enrollees can modify their coursework in consultation with their academic advisor. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to modify coursework, choose electives, ,and pursue other educational opportunities relevant to their career goals.

Undergraduate tuition at the institution is $19,290. At the accredited institution, students can access external and internal funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid. On average, enrollees receive $6,508 in financial aid.

Millersville University of Pennsylvania at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,935

Total Online Programs: 8

Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Admission Rate: 79%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

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#15

University of Nebraska at Kearney

School Information
Location Kearney, Nebraska
Admission Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 56%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Students seeking flexible online study should consider University of Nebraska at Kearney. The public college supports 9 online bachelor's programs from its main campus in Kearney, Nebraska. Learners in the Social Work program are prepared for the demands of the Social Work field through rigorous study.

The Social Work program connects students with a supportive online learning community, while enabling flexibility. Enrollees can modify their coursework in consultation with their academic advisor. Enrollees can explore other educational opportunities, such as minors and elective courses, to customize their studies.

Undergraduate tuition at the school averages $13,290. Enrollees can access internal and external funding opportunities to defray the costs of their studies. The school reports an average financial aid award of $6,912 per student.

University of Nebraska at Kearney at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 4,095

Total Online Programs: 25

Online Bachelor's Programs: 9

Admission Rate: 85%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

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#16

Thomas University

School Information
Location Thomasville, Georgia
Admission Rate 38%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Thomas University supports 1,528 distance learners across 34 fully online programs. Undergraduate students can choose from 19 online bachelor's degree programs. Students looking for an individualized education relevant to the Social Work field can enroll in the online Bachelor's degree - Social Work.. The Social Work program provides flexibility to learners from all walks of life through full- and part-time study options.

Throughout the program, students attend industry-relevant lectures while completing Social Work-specific coursework. Enrollees also complete general education classes, gaining a well-rounded education. Students can modify their degree by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

The value of a bachelor's degree is clear-- graduates increase their job opportunities and earning potential. According to the college, graduates earn a median salary of $38,700 six years after completing their degree. Prospective students can meet with the financial aid office to learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements.

Thomas University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,528

Total Online Programs: 34

Online Bachelor's Programs: 19

Admission Rate: 38%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

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#17

Limestone College

School Information
Location Gaffney, South Carolina
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 33%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Limestone College supports flexible distance learning opportunities across 12 online degree programs. Of these online offerings, 9 provide undergraduate-level education. Students looking for a Social Work-adjacent career can pursue study through the Bachelor's degree - Social Work. at their own pace. The program provides flexibility through customizable study options and classes.

During the Social Work program, students complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the Social Work field. Students gain industry-relevant and broader knowledge and skills, preparing them for life after their degree. Enrollees can customize their degree by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

A bachelor's degree enables graduates to access higher paying jobs and more employment opportunities. The college boasts a median salary of $34,900 for graduates six years after completing their studies. Students hoping to gain admission to the Social Work program should connect with the Social Work department to discuss admission requirements and application materials.

Limestone College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 768

Total Online Programs: 12

Online Bachelor's Programs: 9

Admission Rate: 51%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

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#18

Wayne State University

School Information
Location Detroit, Michigan
Admission Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 48%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Located in Detroit, Michigan, Wayne State University offers many top-ranked bachelor's programs. The institution prides itself on its leadership in online learning, while offering 8 online bachelor's degree programs. Distance learners looking to earn an online degree in Social Work can enroll in the Bachelor's degree - Social Work..

The Social Work program balances rigor with flexibility, proving beneficial to working professionals, busy students, and other learners. Students seeking to modify their studies can work with their academic advisor. Online students also choose minors and electives to individualize the degree.

Undergraduate Social Work students can expect to pay $29,894 in tuition. While at the college, enrollees can explore funding opportunities to apply towards their studies. Enrollees can expect to receive a financial aid award package of $9,191.

Wayne State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 9,206

Total Online Programs: 33

Online Bachelor's Programs: 8

Admission Rate: 73%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

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#19

Spring Arbor University

School Information
Location Spring Arbor, Michigan
Admission Rate 66%
Graduation Rate 59%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Spring Arbor University, a private not-for-profit, 4-year or above college located in Spring Arbor, Michigan, offers premier education bachelor's degree opportunities. The private school offers 4 online bachelor's degree programs from its main campus in Spring Arbor, Michigan. Learners seeking to advance in the Social Work field will benefit from the Bachelor's degree - Social Work..

The Social Work program supports flexible study for students from all walks of life. Students can also customize their studies, in consultation with an academic advisor. Enrollees can benefit from elective classes, minors, and other modifications.

When calculating the costs of a degree, students should note the current tuition rate of $29,030. The school's accreditation status allows students to access funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships.

Spring Arbor University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,551

Total Online Programs: 12

Online Bachelor's Programs: 4

Admission Rate: 66%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

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#20

Mary Baldwin University

School Information
Location Staunton, Virginia
Admission Rate 84%
Graduation Rate 38%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Mary Baldwin University supports highly ranked bachelor's degree programs from its main campus in Staunton. The program is one of 23 online bachelor's degree programs available through the institution. The Bachelor's degree - Social Work. is one of 23 programs supporting distance learners.

The program curriculum enables flexible study. Students complete industry-specific classes, with the option to add electives and modify their coursework. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to modify coursework, choose electives, ,and pursue other educational opportunities relevant to their career goals.

At present, undergraduates pay $30,690 in tuition. Enrollees can benefit from scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid through the college.

Mary Baldwin University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 869

Total Online Programs: 36

Online Bachelor's Programs: 23

Admission Rate: 84%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

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Best Online Bachelor's

Online Bachelor's in Social Work Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

Popular BSW Programs

What Is an Online Bachelor's in Social Work Degree?

Pursuing an online bachelor's degree in social work teaches you the foundational skills required for non-clinical roles in the field. Bachelor of social work students learn about research methods, serving diverse populations, social work ethics, and how to administer social work across the lifespan. Aside from coursework, learners often participate in a semester-long internship to gain practical skills such as assessing clients, developing treatment plans, and making appropriate referrals for additional services.

The typical online bachelor of social work student has a passion for helping others. Some pursue a master's in social work immediately after graduating from online bachelor's programs so they can offer therapeutic services. Others wait until they've worked in an entry-level role for a few years. Doctorate-level students usually work in research or teaching at the postsecondary level.

Continuing Education in Social Work

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Bachelor's in Social Work?

The average online social work degree at the bachelor's level requires four years of full-time study, though there are options for students who seek an alternate schedule. Part-time learners typically spend six years enrolled, while students in accelerated programs can often graduate in 2-3 years.

Other factors affecting the length of an online bachelor of social work program include internships and whether the program delivers coursework synchronously or asynchronously.

What Will I Learn in an Online Bachelor of Social Work Program?

A typical online bachelor's degree in social work curriculum often includes the following courses.

Social Work Jobs

Graduates of online social work degrees at the bachelor's level can choose from many different meaningful career paths, including those covered below.

Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists

Median Annual Salary: $50,090
Projected Annual Growth: 22%

These professionals work with individuals, couples, families, and other groups across the lifespan to provide professional therapeutic care. They may offer one-on-one or group counseling, focusing on topics like conflict resolution, trauma, relational issues, or grief. Individuals hoping to work as mental health counselors or marriage and family therapists must earn a master's degree and complete supervised experience requirements before seeking licensure.

Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists

Median Annual Salary: $53,020
Projected Annual Growth: 3%

These professionals work with individuals convicted of crimes who are in custody, awaiting trial, imprisoned, or out on probation or parole. They conduct interviews; identify, develop, and implement appropriate rehabilitation programs; connect their clients with necessary resources; and provide counseling. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists must maintain detailed records in case their observations or findings are required at a later date. They typically need bachelor's degrees.

Social and Community Service Managers

Median Annual Salary: $65,320
Projected Annual Growth: 13%

These professionals oversee programming and services devoted to helping improve social and community engagement. They often hold community meetings to identify necessary services, ascertain the effectiveness of ongoing programs, and stay in touch with those whom they serve. Much of their work revolves around improving programming through data collection and analysis, managing community service providers, and ensuring all administrative functions — including grant proposals — are operating appropriately.

Social Workers

Median Annual Salary: $49,470
Projected Annual Growth: 11%

Social workers provide meaningful services focused on making their clients' lives better. Social workers with a bachelor's degree mostly serve in supervised support roles, while those with master's degrees can provide clinical services such as counseling, therapy, and case management. Common responsibilities include making referrals, assessing client needs, working with individuals going through significant life transitions, helping those in crisis find security, and staying in touch with clients to ensure they have access to necessary services.

Substance Abuse Counselors and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

Median Annual Salary: $44,630
Projected Annual Growth: 22%

These professionals often have a bachelor's degree, though some positions can be obtained with only a high school education. They work with clients as they navigate substance abuse and behavioral disorders, working in community health clinics, prisons, rehabilitation facilities, or counseling offices to provide mental health evaluations, treatment plans, and access to necessary resources. While they cannot provide therapeutic services, they can help individuals gain access to programming. They may also lead informational sessions or outreach programs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is social work?

Social work focuses on providing help to those who need it. Social workers help clients with counseling, education, emotional support, and health referrals.

How much do social workers make?

As of 2018, median pay for social workers was $49,470. The top 10% of earners made over $81,400 in 2018.

What is the best online college for social work?

The best online college for social work for you is the one that matches your academic abilities, professional interests, lifestyle requirements, and academic needs.

What kind of job can you get with a bachelor of social work?

While you need a master of social work to qualify for licensed or clinical roles, a bachelor of social work qualifies you for entry-level support positions.

Is a social work degree a B.A. or a B.S.?

Most programs are a bachelor of social work (BSW degree), so they are not art or science degrees. However, some schools offer a bachelor of art in social work.

How long does it take to get a bachelor's in social work?

Full-time learners typically need four years to graduate from bachelor's programs.

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