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The Best Bachelor’s in Social Work 2020

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Social workers support communities by providing social services, helping clients manage mental health disorders, mentoring children, and connecting clients with resources.

A bachelor's degree in social work (BSW) can pave the way to a meaningful and in-demand career assisting society's most vulnerable people and groups. Specific job duties vary by specialty and employer, but social workers help people access community resources, like healthcare or food stamps; respond to crisis situations, like child abuse; and provide counseling or psychotherapy for individuals, couples, and families.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an 11% growth rate for the social worker profession between 2018 and 2028. The BLS anticipates particularly good job prospects for clinical social workers, who provide treatment services in a clinical setting.

Professional social workers need a bachelor's in social work at minimum. Our rankings list provides insight into some of the best schools for social work, as well as common career options for graduates.

Top 10 Online Bachelor's in Social Work Programs 2020

#1 University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA
#2 New York University New York, NY
#3 University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI
#4 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
#5 University of Washington-Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
#6 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
#7 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
#8 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
#9 University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA
#10 Ohio State University-Main Campus Columbus, OH

Top Programs for a Bachelors in Social Work

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4

The University of Texas at Austin 

Austin, TX

About this school

The University of Texas at Austin's Steve Hicks School of Social Work offers a bachelor's degree in social work that combines social work and liberal arts coursework to prepare students for careers in human services. The program cultivates interview, assessment, advocacy, and problem-solving skills. Learners study topics like program evaluation, community organizing and outreach, and service planning.

Foundational social work classes include introduction to social work and social welfare, social work research methods, foundations of social justice, and generalist social work practice. All students also complete a practicum to gain field experience. The program also offers study abroad and service learning opportunities. Students have access to online continuing education programs, career services, and social work research programs and institutes.

Students must be admitted to UT Austin before applying to the social work program. Admission requirements include at least 45 credits, a minimum 2.0 overall GPA, and a minimum 2.5 GPA in all social work prerequisite courses. Applicants must also submit a personal statement and a recommendation from a social work instructor.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
87%
Percent Receiving Loans
62%
5

University of Washington-Seattle Campus 

Seattle, WA

About this school

The University of Washington ranks among the best schools for social work in the country. The 180-credit bachelor of arts in social welfare program emphasizes social justice, applies a critical lens to social systems and human behavior, and gives students a foundational understanding of social work theory and practice. The program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Students take classes in human behavior and the social environment, cultural diversity and social justice, evidence-based social work practice, and introduction to social welfare research. Social welfare majors gain professional experience through 480 hours of supervised practicums and service learning opportunities.

Graduates can pursue entry-level social welfare positions or further education. Qualifying students can enter the university's accelerated master of social work program. Applicants must be current UW students or transfer students with at least 65 transferable credits, a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA, and a minimum 2.0 GPA in prerequisite courses.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
83%
Percent Receiving Loans
65%
6

University of Iowa 

Iowa City, IA

About this school

The four-year BA in social work degree from the University of Iowa prepares students for social services careers working in child welfare, mental health, public welfare, and elderly services. The program also prepares students for graduate study in social work and related fields. The curriculum includes a strong liberal arts focus and emphasizes social work ethics and values.

The 120-credit program includes classes like social justice and social welfare in the United States, human behavior in the social environment, introduction to social work research, and social welfare policy and practice. The program also includes supervised field experiences, giving learners practical experience in the field. Social work majors gain interpersonal, problem-solving, and advocacy skills.

Students can apply to the social work program after completing two years of undergraduate coursework. Applicants must complete a social work prerequisite course with a grade of 'C' or higher and hold a cumulative 2.5 GPA to receive admission. The social work degree is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
84%
Percent Receiving Loans
61%
7

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Champaign, IL

About this school

The bachelor's degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's School of Social Work focuses on professional ethics and behavior, practice-informed research, social justice, and diversity.

The 120-credit program includes at least 53 social work credits. Classes cover social work statistics, doing good through the nonprofit sector, social work services for older adults, and social work and disability studies. All social work majors must complete 15 credits of combined internship and field seminar courses. Students have access to student-faculty committees and the local student chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Admission requirements include at least 50 hours of paid or volunteer experience at a social services agency, a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA, and evidence of strong interpersonal and communication skills. BSW students in the top 10% of their graduating class graduate with distinction. Graduates can work for advocacy programs, hospitals, and public health agencies. They can also pursue graduate study.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
73%
Percent Receiving Loans
92%
8

Syracuse University 

Syracuse, NY

About this school

One of the best schools for social work in the country, Syracuse University offers an accredited bachelor of science in social work program that prepares graduates for generalist social work practice and graduate study. The curriculum emphasizes human behavior in the social environment, social work practice and research, and social welfare policy and services.

This 120-credit bachelor's degree in social work includes classes in foundations of social work practice, human diversity in social contexts, foundations of social work research, and strategies of social work intervention. Students also complete two field practicums and two field seminars and can potentially earn academic credit for paid or volunteer work experience in social service agencies.

Admission requirements include a cumulative 2.8 GPA or higher and completion of at least 12 credits at Syracuse. Applicants must meet with the program director to discuss their interest in the program and create a degree plan. The program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

School Type
Private Non Profit
Graduation Rate
84%
Percent Receiving Loans
62%
9

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus 

Pittsburgh, PA

About this school

The BA in social work degree from the University of Pittsburgh prepares students for generalist social work practice in child welfare, juvenile justice, hospitals, and family preservation. The School of Social Work boasts $30 million in externally funded research and offers more than 600 fieldwork opportunities.

The 120-credit bachelor's degree in social work requires classes in foundations of the welfare state, poverty and income inequality, global perspective in social work, and child welfare services. The program also requires a practicum that gives students practical professional experience. Students can add a concentration in anthropology, human biology, English composition, or statistics.

Admission to the social work bachelor's program requires at least 60 completed credits or an associate degree and a minimum 2.50 GPA. The school considers applicants with a lower GPA for provisional admission on a case-by-case basis. Students can apply to the program year-round.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
83%
Percent Receiving Loans
79%
10

Ohio State University-Main Campus 

Columbus, OH

About this school

Ohio State University offers a bachelor of science in social work program that prepares students for generalist social work practice, working with groups, families, individuals, and communities. Students learn to advocate for vulnerable populations, analyze social policy, work with diverse groups, and develop a professional identity.

The curriculum includes courses in research and statistics for understanding social work problems, social work practice with diverse populations, generalist practice with families, and professional values and ethics. The program also requires 15 credits of a supervised internship at a social work agency. Social work students can choose from 150 minors to add to their degree.

Students have access to career services, disability services, counseling services, and social work student organizations. The College of Social Work also offers a variety of scholarships for eligible students. Admission requirements include completion of required pre-major coursework and a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Applicants must also submit a personal statement and degree audit. The program reviews applications on a rolling basis and admits new students each fall.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
83%
Percent Receiving Loans
78%
11

Michigan State University 

East Lansing, MI

About this school

The bachelor of arts in social work program from Michigan State University uses a systems perspective, focusing on social justice and service. Graduates can work in public service positions, serving diverse groups, individuals, organizations, and communities. The program also prepares students to pursue graduate study in social work and related disciplines.

The 120-credit program emphasizes research, outreach, service, and critical thinking. Students take courses in social work and social policy, research methods in social work, social welfare policy and services, and social work leadership in organizations. All senior social work majors must also complete a field experience. Students need a minimum 2.0 GPA to graduate.

Applicants must hold at least 42 transfer credits and submit an admission essay, social work professionalism and ethics agreement, a resume, and a criminal background statement of understanding. The admissions committee also considers applicants' volunteer and employment experience, academic record, and suitability for the profession and program.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
84%
Percent Receiving Loans
82%
12

University of Utah 

Salt Lake City, UT

About this school

Founded in 1937, the University of Utah's College of Social Work offers a bachelor's degree in social work that emphasizes professional ethics, social justice, policy practice, and diversity. The BSW is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The program prepares students to promote social and economic justice through social work practice.

The program includes classes in human behavior and the social environment, applied social work statistics, developmental impact of child abuse and neglect, and social work research and evaluation. Students also complete a 450-hour, supervised social work practicum. Many social service agencies that offer practicum opportunities require students to pass a criminal background check before beginning the practicum.

Admission requirements include a minimum overall 2.35 GPA, completion of all general education requirements, and completion of or registration for all social work pre-major courses. Students must earn a grade of 'C' or better in all pre-major coursework. Applicants must submit transcripts from all previously attended colleges, a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and a social work-related resume.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
80%
Percent Receiving Loans
66%
13

University of Missouri-Columbia 

Columbia, MO

About this school

The University of Missouri offers a bachelor's in social work degree that emphasizes research methods for social work, social statistics, and the theory and practice of social group work. The program holds accreditation from the Council of Social Work Education.

Students take classes in human behavior and the environment, social justice and social policy, introduction to community and organizational processes, and strategies of direct practice. They also complete a six-credit, 400-hour practicum, gaining professional experience at a local social services agency. Students usually spend three days per week at their internship sites.

Learners start this program by taking liberal arts prerequisite courses as pre-professional students. After they complete all prerequisites, they can apply for formal admission to the professional BSW program.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
70%
Percent Receiving Loans
85%
14

University of Kansas 

Lawrence, KS

About this school

The School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas offers a bachelor's in social work program that trains students to promote individual well-being and create a more just society. The program emphasizes social work practice, social policies, program analysis, and advocacy.

The 120-credit program includes classes in fundamentals of social work research; diversity, oppression, and social justice; community and organizational dynamics and human behavior; and fundamentals of social work practice.

Students also complete a 12-credit, 480-hour practicum that takes place two days per week in the fall and spring of the student's senior year. Students must earn a minimum 2.5 GPA in social work courses and complete at least 30 credits in residence at KU during their senior year to graduate.

To advance to 500-level courses, students must complete 54 general education credits, earn a cumulative minimum 2.5 GPA, and complete 20 hours of paid or volunteer work in a social service organization.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
69%
Percent Receiving Loans
85%
15

University of Georgia 

Athens, GA

About this school

The University of Georgia offers a bachelor of social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The 120-credit program covers topics like oppression, power, evidence-informed practice, and advocacy.

Core courses include foundations of social work research, human behavior in the social environment, general practice of social work, and social welfare policy and services. Social work majors also complete a field internship in a social service setting and a capstone project during their senior year.

Students can apply to the professional BSW program after they finish the last required lower-division social work course. Applicants must be current UGA students, hold at least 60 credits with a minimum 2.5 GPA, and earn a 'B-' or better in all social work classes.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
65%
Percent Receiving Loans
86%
16

Fordham University 

Bronx, NY

About this school

Fordham University offers a bachelor's degree in social work program that emphasizes social justice, human rights, and community and individual well-being. Fordham's School of Social Service also supports a number of research centers, including the Children and Families Institute, the Fordham Center for Nonprofit Leaders, and the National Center for Social Work Trauma Education and Workforce Development.

The curriculum for Fordham's BSW includes required courses in contemporary social welfare policy, integrating human rights and justice in practice, social work practice with individuals across the lifespan, and applied social work research and evaluation. During their senior year, social work majors must also complete a 600-hour fieldwork practicum and integrative seminar.

Applicants must be current Fordham students with at least 50 credits. The admissions committee prefers applicants with paid or volunteer experience in social service organizations. Accepted social work majors must complete the 33-credit program in two years. The program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

School Type
Private Non Profit
Graduation Rate
86%
Percent Receiving Loans
97%
17

Temple University 

Philadelphia, PA

About this school

Temple University's bachelor of social work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Delivered through the College of Public Health, the program emphasizes professional ethics, social justice, research-informed practice, and social policy.

The 120-credit program includes classes in introduction to the social work profession, the social worker in the group, human behavior in the social environment, and social welfare in the United States. Students also complete at least 400 clock hours of supervised fieldwork. Students can complete fieldwork in areas like community planning, children and youth, family services, and substance abuse.

Graduation requirements include a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA and a grade of 'C' or better in all social work courses. Students can apply to Temple's BSW program as freshmen or as transfer students. The College of Public Health offers a variety of merit- and need-based financial aid opportunities for BSW students, including many scholarships.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
86%
Percent Receiving Loans
69%
18

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville 

Knoxville, TN

About this school

The College of Social Work at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, offers a bachelor of science in social work degree-completion program that prepares students for generalist social work practice. The program emphasizes relationships between people and their environments.

Required courses include social work practice with individuals and families, interviewing skills and the helping relationship in social work practice, and understanding diversity in a global society. Students can optionally complete the bachelor's in social work online. Learners gain access to career services, academic advising, and a student success center.

Admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA, at least 45 previous credits, and completion of two social work prerequisite courses with a grade of 'C' or better. Applicants must also submit a personal essay. The College of Social Work also offers a five-year program in which students earn their undergraduate and graduate social work degrees concurrently.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
83%
Percent Receiving Loans
89%
19

University of Cincinnati-Main Campus 

Cincinnati, OH

About this school

The College of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Cincinnati offers a bachelor of social work degree that prepares students for generalist social work practice and graduate study. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Students start taking required major courses during their junior year. These classes include mental health perspectives in social work, generalist social work practice with communities and organizations, social work research, and human diversity and generalist social work practice. The program also requires social work field learning and a field seminar. BSW graduates can work in mental health clinics, nursing homes, schools, and hospitals.

The social work program also offers a child welfare training program that prepares qualified BSW and MSW students to become child welfare leaders. The child welfare program includes individualized mentoring, field practicums, and specialized coursework. Graduates of the child welfare program must agree to work for at least one year in an Ohio public agency serving children. They receive a $5,000 employment incentive.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
73%
Percent Receiving Loans
90%
20

Florida State University 

Tallahassee, FL

About this school

Florida State University's accredited bachelor of social work program prepares students for entry-level social work practice working with diverse clients. The College of Social Work has held continuous accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education since 1950.

Learners in this program study professional ethics, the role of social workers in promoting social justice, and institutional change. Required courses include interviewing and documentation, social welfare policy and programs, social work practice with groups, and human behavior and the social environment. Students also complete a 512-hour field experience and can add an optional certificate in child welfare practice or gerontology/aging studies.

Qualifying graduates can also earn FSU's MSW with just one additional year of study. Students can apply for social work scholarships, a social work undergraduate research award, and a social work honors program. The School of Social Work also offers study abroad, alternative spring break, and international field placement opportunities. Admission requirements include a minimum 3.0 GPA and completion of all required general education classes (60 credits).

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
73%
Percent Receiving Loans
94%
21

University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus 

Norman, OK

About this school

The Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work at the University of Oklahoma offers a bachelor's in social work with accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education. The BA in social work focuses on case management, advocacy, and social justice. Students can pursue the degree full time or part time. Graduates can work in healthcare facilities, nonprofit agencies, and departments of human services or mental health.

The curriculum includes classes like generalist practice with individuals and families, human diversity and social justice, interviewing skills for generalist practice, and introduction to statistics. During their senior year, students complete a practicum to gain professional experience. The School of Social Work boasts numerous special centers and programs, including the Center for Social Work in Healthcare, the Center for Child Welfare Training and Simulation, and the Knee Center for Strong Families.

Students start social work major coursework during their junior year. Applicants must be admitted to OU, hold at least 60 credits with a minimum 2.5 GPA, and complete prerequisite courses. Prerequisite courses include introduction to social work, introduction to sociology, and introduction to psychology.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
68%
Percent Receiving Loans
83%
22

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College 

Baton Rouge, LA

About this school

Louisiana State University and A&M College offers a bachelor's degree in social work that prepares students for entry-level careers working in social policy, community organizations, family agencies, and healthcare. The program emphasizes written communication skills and evidence-based professional practice. Faculty research projects focus on children and families, addictive disorders, gerontology, and poverty.

The first two years of the program provide a liberal arts foundation through general education coursework. During their junior year, students take major-related courses like human development theory, direct practice with individuals and families, and practice-related evaluation and research. Students develop communication, critical thinking, research, and analytical skills.

The School of Social Work supports several student organizations, including the BSW Student Association, the National Association of Black Social Workers - LSU student chapter, and Phi Alpha. Applicants to the social work bachelor's program must be accepted to the College of Human Sciences and Education and hold at least 24 credits with a minimum 2.5 GPA. The program also requires completion of prerequisite courses with a grade of 'C' or better.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
83%
Percent Receiving Loans
96%
23

University of Kentucky 

Lexington, KY

About this school

The University of Kentucky offers a bachelor's in social work degree accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The school's College of Social Work has many scholarship opportunities for social work students, with 97% of learners receiving some type of financial aid. The program offers fall and spring start dates each year.

Students must complete a field experience, for which UK offers strategic field advising, career preparation support, and flexible placement options. Students can choose from more than 300 field placement opportunities, including with the College of Social Work's research centers, like the Interdisciplinary Research Center on Children and Families, the Suicide Prevention and Exposure Lab, and the Kentucky Kinship Resource Center.

The program prepares graduates to work in hospitals, K-12 schools, and community-based nonprofit organizations. Many graduates also pursue graduate degrees in social work or related fields. Applicants must hold a minimum 2.5 GPA, a grade of 'B' or better in at least two prerequisite social work courses, and a passing grade in other prerequisites. The program also requires an application essay.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
67%
Percent Receiving Loans
95%
24

CUNY Hunter College 

New York, NY

About this school

The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College -- which is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system -- offers a practice-based bachelor's degree in social work with a focus on care coordination and child welfare. Students gain skills in advocacy, engagement, assessment, and documentation. The program emphasizes human rights, professional identity, ethical principles, and research-informed practice.

Required courses include introduction to social work policy, human behavior in the social environment, social work practice in child welfare, and social work practice and learning laboratory. Social work majors can add a field of practice specialization in areas like sexuality and gender, criminal justice, child welfare, and school social work. Learners can access academic advising, writing help, counseling, and disability services.

Applicants must hold a minimum 2.75 GPA and complete the introduction to social work course with a grade of 'B' or better. They must also submit an essay or personal statement, a resume, and a fieldwork experience verification letter. The Silberman School of Social Work also offers an accelerated MSW degree pathway for eligible BSW students.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
67%
Percent Receiving Loans
96%
25

Catholic University of America 

Washington, DC

About this school

The bachelor of social work program from the National Catholic School of Social Service at the Catholic University of America provides a social work education grounded in Catholic social teaching.

Required courses include social welfare policy, social work research and statistics, human behavior and the social environment, and diversity in a multicultural society. Students also complete a 96-hour field placement in their junior year and a 480-hour field placement in their senior year.

Students have access to academic advising, campus ministry, counseling, and disability services. The social work school also offers research opportunities through its social work research centers, including the Center for the Promotion of Mental Health Well-Being and Catholics for Family Peace.

Admission requirements include official high school transcripts, at least one letter of recommendation from a teacher, the Common App essay, and a secondary school report with a counselor letter.

School Type
Private Non Profit
Graduation Rate
66%
Percent Receiving Loans
95%
👏

End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Bachelor's in Social Work Programs Ranking Guidelines

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

What Is Social Work?

Social workers support individuals, families, and communities struggling with issues such as poverty, mental health disorders, and behavioral issues. Social workers may help clients access social services and address problems through behavior modification. Many social workers also provide counseling services.

Social workers have several specialization options. For example, school social workers help children and adolescents overcome challenges at school, while substance abuse and behavioral social workers help clients manage substance use disorders and behavioral problems. Clinical social workers diagnose and treat behavioral and mental health disorders.

The largest employers of social workers are local and state government agencies, individual and family services, and ambulatory healthcare services.

What Is a Bachelor's in Social Work Degree?

A bachelor's degree in social work prepares students for entry-level, generalist positions in social work. Graduates of social work bachelor's programs can also apply to master of social work programs.

Many students need or prefer the flexibility and convenience of earning a social work degree. Typical social work majors include college students who know they want to become social workers, working professionals who want to change fields, and healthcare administration professionals who want to advance their career and earning potential by earning a BSW.

Bachelor's in social work programs provide a foundational understanding of the history, major theories, and practices of the profession. Programs cover case management, human growth and development, and professional identity. Students gain critical thinking, advocacy, communication, and interpersonal skills.

Choosing a Program

Students looking for bachelor's in social work programs have a lot to consider when choosing a degree, including individual career goals and academic interests, cost, program length and flexibility, and specializations.

Read on to learn more about how to choose the right social work degree.

How To Choose Your Major

What Else Can I Expect From a Bachelor's in Social Work Program?

Bachelor's in social work students develop foundational social work skills like case management, crisis intervention, and treatment planning.

A typical curriculum offers courses in social work research, human behavior in the social environment, basic skills for social work practice, and diversity and multiculturalism. Many social work bachelor's programs do not offer concentrations, instead focusing on preparing students for general practice social work.

Students who plan to pursue a master of social work should use their electives to gain specialized knowledge during undergraduate studies.

Bachelor's in Social Work Curriculum

Social Work Practice

This course covers common social work environments, the skills required for specialist and generalist social work, and the core values of the field. Students explore the modern social service system and different models for providing social work services. The course also covers topics like levels of intervention, theoretical social work foundations, and client services.

Social Service Delivery Systems

This course introduces social work majors to U.S. social policy and service delivery systems. Students learn about social services, mental health, and healthcare systems, with an emphasis on the historical development of these systems and their current challenges. The course also addresses specialized social services for distinct populations, such as the elderly and children.

Human Behavior in the Social Environment

This course covers the development of social environments and human behavior within those environments. Students examine the role of culture in shaping individual values, worldviews, and beliefs with a focus on the way society shapes personal identity. The course also explores human development across the lifespan.

Social Work Specializations

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Work

Social workers who specialize in mental health and substance abuse help individuals struggling with mental health challenges and addiction. This specialization explores mental health assessment, trauma, substance use intervention policy, and suicide risk assessment. Students who plan to pursue an MSW and become clinical social workers can benefit from this specialization.

Community Social Work

This specialization focuses on working directly with specific communities to improve daily life for people in that community. Community social workers often work on particular issues with citizens, nonprofit groups, and government agencies. For example, they may help start a new school or create a public health initiative.

Child, Family, and School Social Work

Child, family, and school social workers typically offer support to children and their families. They can work both in and outside of school settings, including at government agencies and social service agencies. Job duties may include conducting training for school staff, helping parents with children who struggle with behavioral issues in school, and intervening when a child experiences bullying.

Social Work Professional Organizations

Clinical Social Work Association

CSWA offers professional support, advocacy, and resources for clinical social workers. Members include licensed clinical social workers, new professionals who earned their degrees within the past four years, and social work students. Members can access to up-to-date clinical information, an exclusive job board, and free consultations on legal and ethical questions. The association also offers a therapist finder for patients.

School Social Work Association of America

A professional organization for school social workers, SSWAA hosts a national conference with professional development and networking opportunities. Members have access to professional discounts, industry newsletters, and advocacy and support services. The association's website also offers practice tools, position papers, and articles for school social workers. The SSWAA webinar series provides educational content for both members and nonmembers.

National Association of Social Workers

Founded in 1955, NASW represents more social workers than any other professional membership organization in the world. The group develops professional standards, advocates for social policies, and promotes professional growth opportunities. Membership benefits include free and discounted continuing education, practice support, access to an online research library, and automatic chapter membership.

Careers in Social Work

There are a number of specialities that you can pursue after earning a bachelor's in social work. However, note that some careers require at least a master's in social work, so it's important to check with local licensure requirements if you are pursuing one of these social work careers.

Social Workers

Social Workers help people overcome and deal with struggles in their everyday lives. Typical job duties may include helping a student experiencing bullying, connecting a family with community resources like food stamps, or helping a victim of domestic violence find emergency housing. Professional social workers be able to quickly and effectively solve problems while remaining calm.

Social workers need a bachelor's degree in social work at minimum to qualify for generalist social work positions. However, many social work jobs require a master of social work and state licensure.

Median Annual Salary

$50,470

Projected Growth Rate

11%

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors help people who struggle with behavioral disorders and addiction. Job duties vary by specialization, but they may include evaluating clients' readiness for treatment, creating treatment goals with clients and their families, and referring clients to other services and resources.

Most substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors need a bachelor's degree at minimum. Some states may require a master's degree. All states require licensure for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors working in private practice. Licensure requirements vary by state for those outside of private practice

Median Annual Salary

$46,240

Projected Growth Rate

22%

Social and Community Service Managers

Social and community service managerscoordinate programs and initiatives that promote public well-being, usually under the auspices of a government or nonprofit organization. They may write funding proposals, identify necessary programs and services with the help of stakeholders, analyze program effectiveness, and manage outreach to promote programs.

Most social and community service managers need at least a bachelor's degree in social work or a related field and relevant professional experience. Some social and community service manager positions require a master's degree. This career does not require a license.

Median Annual Salary

$67,150

Projected Growth Rate

13%

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Bachelor's in Social Work Program?

It usually takes students four years to earn a bachelor's in social work. Transfer students and students who already hold an associate degree can graduate in less time.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Social Work?

A bachelor's in social work prepares graduates for jobs as social workers, case managers, and social services managers. It also meets educational admission requirements for most master of social work (MSW) programs.

How Much Do You Make as a Social Worker?

The BLS reports that social workers make a median annual salary of $50,470.

What Is a Social Worker?

Social workers help people solve problems in their everyday lives. Typical job duties include developing programs to help meet clients' basic needs, maintaining records, responding to crisis situations, and referring clients to community resources.

What Is a Bachelor's in Social Work?

A bachelor's degree in social work prepares graduates for careers as generalist social workers and case managers. Graduates can also apply to master's in social work programs.

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