Master's Degrees in Social Work in North Carolina

Updated January 4, 2023

Looking for the best Master's Degree in Social Work (MSW) in North Carolina? You should consider these top-tier institutions and jobs in the social work field.

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Master's Degrees in Social Work in North Carolina

Earning a Master's Degree in Social Work in North Carolina

Do you love to learn about new subjects? Are you looking for a career that's rewarding and fun? Start your search with the best degrees in North Carolina for social work. With a master's degree, graduates can apply to diverse career opportunities. With a master's degree, graduates gain the skills needed to move forward in their careers.

An individual with a master's degree typically earns $1,574 per week or about $6,296 a month and $81,848 per year.

Social Work Master's Programs For You

Working and Living in North Carolina in the Social Work Profession

A social work degree can be obtained at many different colleges and universities, and the coursework for these programs can vary greatly. However, there are some common courses that are typically covered in a social work program. These courses can include social welfare policy, human behavior, social work research methods, and social work practice. In addition, many social work programs also require students to complete a field placement, which gives them the opportunity to gain real-world experience working with clients. After completing a social work program, graduates can pursue a variety of different jobs. Some common jobs for social workers include working in a hospital setting, working with children and families, working in the criminal justice system, and working in a school setting. Social workers can also find jobs in private practice, where they can provide counseling and therapy services to clients.

The median salary in North Carolina is $38,370/yr, or $18.45/hr. This statistic affects all 4,422,020 employees in North Carolina. The BLS has stated that the lowest 10% of earners make $22,360 annually, while the highest 10% make $99,300 a year. The following lists the average earnings for social workers in North Carolina.

Key

Social Workers in North Carolina
Social Workers Nationally
All Occupations in North Carolina
All Occupations Nationally

Social Work Careers and Salaries in North Carolina

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Based on the cost of living index, North Carolina is ranked number 23 out of 51 states (including Washington DC) on the list of states with the lowest cost of living. A cost of living index measures the average cost of living in specific states. Based on a U.S. average of 100, all locations within the country are either above (more expensive) or below (less expensive). On a 100-point scale, North Carolina has a cost of living index of 95, which is 5% lower than the national average. Determine whether North Carolina is the right place for you with our cost of living comparison.

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Over the next decade, social workers can expect a 5.8% growth rate in their profession. Currently, employment in occupation is projected to change from 71,400 in 2020, to 75,500 by 2030. Master's degrees are necessary to qualify for these positions. An example of a typical job title would be:

Master's Degrees in Social Work in North Carolina

#1 Master’s Degrees in Social Work in North Carolina

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosts a top-ranked Master's in Social Work program. The program draws on a rigorous curriculum that prepares graduates for leadership responsibilities. A master's degree also helps candidates pursue new career paths.

The master's curriculum blends theory and practice to provide an advanced understanding of Social Work. Learners choose electives and concentrations to prepare for focused career paths. The master's program recommends a background in Social Work before applying to the program.

Online enrollees work with the program to arrange professional internships at approved locations in their local area. The common facilities and services offered at most universities, such as the library or gym, are accessible to students who live on campus. Internships and other practicum activities build both hands-on experience and professional connections.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at a Glance:

Type of school: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 23%

Total Online Master's Programs: 14

Program name: MSW Degree

Graduate Tuition In State: $10,552

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $28,278

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,019
Out-of-state
$34,198
Retention Rate
95%
Admission Rate
25%
Students Enrolled
30,092
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
91% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Master’s Degrees in Social Work in North Carolina

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

  • Raleigh, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online master's in Social Work program, offered by North Carolina State University at Raleigh from its Raleigh campus, ranks as a top program. Graduates prepare for advanced roles in the field during the rigorous Master's in Social Work program. A master's degree can also lead candidates to new career paths.

The master's curriculum emphasizes research methods and analytical skills. Learners choose electives or a specialization to gain focused career training. Applicants without a Social Work background may need to complete prerequisite courses to enroll in the program.

Online enrollees can often complete professional internships at approved locations in their own community. Students who attend on campus can access the library and gym, as well as other amenities and facilities available at most institutions. The program encourages graduate students to participate in hands-on experiences and networking events to grow their professional connections.

North Carolina State University at Raleigh at a Glance:

Type of school: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 45%

Total Online Master's Programs: 38

Program name: MSW Program

Graduate Tuition In State: $9,095

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $26,421

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,535
Out-of-state
$26,654
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
46%
Students Enrolled
36,042
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
91% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Master’s Degrees in Social Work in North Carolina

University of North Carolina Wilmington

  • Wilmington, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The master's in Social Work program at University of North Carolina Wilmington, located in Wilmington, offers a flexible online format. The Master of Social Work program helps graduates move into leadership roles and increase their earning potential. A master's degree helps candidates advance in their current field or pursue a new career path.

The master's curriculum incorporates theoretical and applied approaches. Learners take electives and other specialized courses to gain career-specific training. The master's program builds on prior Social Work experience during a bachelor's program.

Online enrollees work with the program to find internship opportunities in their local area. Those who attend on campus can enjoy the common amenities and facilities available at most institutions, such as the library or gym. The program encourages professional development activities, including networking events, so graduate students can expand their professional connections.

University of North Carolina Wilmington at a Glance:

Type of school: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 65%

Total Online Master's Programs: 16

Program name: Master of Social Work

Graduate Tuition In State: $4,719

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $18,548

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,443
Out-of-state
$18,508
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
68%
Students Enrolled
17,915
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
95% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Master’s Degrees in Social Work in North Carolina

East Carolina University

  • Greenville, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

East Carolina University, located in Greenville, offers a flexible online master's in Social Work. The Social Work MSW program helps graduates increase their salary potential and take on more professional responsibilities. Earning a master's degree can help candidates advance in their current career or pursue a new career path entirely.

The master's curriculum emphasizes the best practices in Social Work. Learners choose electives and concentrations to prepare for focused career paths. The program encourages applicants to gain experience in Social Work before applying to the program.

Online enrollees work with the program to find internship opportunities in their local area. Common facilities and services offered at most universities, like the library or gymnasium, are accessible to students living on campus. The program encourages graduate students to attend networking events to expand their professional connections.

East Carolina University at a Glance:

Type of school: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 79%

Total Online Master's Programs: 41

Program name: Social Work MSW

Graduate Tuition In State: $4,749

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $17,898

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,452
Out-of-state
$20,729
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
28,798
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
93% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Master’s Degrees in Social Work in North Carolina

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

  • Charlotte, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online master's degree in Social Work at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, located in Charlotte, offers high academic quality. The Master of Social Work program encourages career training throughout its curriculum, preparing graduates for leadership positions. A master's degree helps candidates advance in their current field or pursue a new career path.

The master's curriculum emphasizes the best practices in Social Work. Learners often choose a specialized concentration, which can help them stand out in a competitive job market. Applicants with prior experience in Social Work or a related field often meet the admission requirements.

Online enrollees participate in internship programs at approved locations in their local area. The common facilities and services offered at most universities, such as the library or gym, are accessible to students who live on campus. Graduate students also build professional connections through virtual networking events and other activities.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte at a Glance:

Type of school: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 65%

Total Online Master's Programs: 12

Program name: Master of Social Work (MSW) 

Graduate Tuition In State: $4,337

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $17,771

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,812
Out-of-state
$17,246
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
30,146
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
93% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Financing a Master's Degree in Social Work

The financial aid program can help you pay for your college education. You can get financial aid by applying for scholarships, grants, fellowships, and work-study programs. Some students also cover federal and private student loans. The college's financial aid office is a great resource for applicants who need help determining their financial aid options.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in North Carolina

In North Carolina, tuition and other costs will vary based on the institution. There are some commonalities that exist among institutions of all sizes, however. You can determine whether attending a public institution is the right choice by reviewing the information listed below.

Public 4-Year School Tuition Rates: North Carolina vs. National Average

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North Carolina
National Average

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The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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Can you imagine attending a private college or university? The costs of private schools tend to be higher in general, which is to be expected. Here is a graph that will help you learn more about private colleges in North Carolina.

Private 4-Year School Tuition Rates: North Carolina vs. National Average

Key

North Carolina
National Average

Chart

Bar chart with 5 bars.
The chart has 1 X axis displaying salary types.
The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
End of interactive chart.

Federal Student Loan Information

Have you considered applying for student loans to fund your education? When considering a loan, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

You can review the data below to determine what students typically borrow.

Undergraduate Federal Loans
Demographic Percent who borrowed Amount borrowed
Total 66.6% $27,400
Female 69.6% $28,100
Male 62.5% $26,500
White, not Hispanic or Latino 66.1% $26,700
Black, not Hispanic or Latino 85.7% $34,800
Hispanic or Latino/a, of any race 67.7% $25,700
Asian, not Hispanic or Latino 43% $22,700
Other or Two or more races, not Hispanic or Latino 70.4% $28,300
Source: NCES

Online vs. On-Campus

Pros and Cons: Online Degrees

Pros

  • Cheaper tuition
  • Flexible, asynchronous classwork
  • No on-campus fees for parking, tech, etc.

Cons

  • Less structure
  • Minimal peer-to-peer interaction
  • Less facetime with professor
  • No access to on-campus amenities

Pros and Cons: On-Campus Degrees

Pros

  • Gym, library, etc. access
  • Smaller class options
  • Face time with peers and professors

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Transportation or housing costs
  • Rigid scheduling
The cost and format of the class are two of the main differences between an online degree and a degree completed on campus. There are many advantages to studying online, including flexibility, affordability, and convenience. For distance students, the fee structure is typically higher. The advantages of attending classes, however, are numerous.

Top Social Work Degree Options Available by State
State Degree Level
California Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Florida Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Georgia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Illinois Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
New York Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
North Carolina Bachelors, Doctorate
Pennsylvania Associate, Bachelors, Doctorate
Texas Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Virginia Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Washington
Top Social Work Degree Options Available by State
State Degree Level
California Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Florida Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Georgia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Illinois Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
New York Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
North Carolina Bachelors, Doctorate
Pennsylvania Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Texas Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Virginia Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Washington Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate

Private vs. Public

There are various differences between public and private colleges. Private schools tend to charge more in tuition than public schools. Public institutions are funded by the government and therefore have fixed costs. The government provides grants and scholarships to cover these costs as well. For those who have high GPAs or SAT scores, private institutions often offer merit scholarships.

Private colleges tend to have smaller classes, allowing students to connect with professors directly. There are some benefits and drawbacks to attending a private institution as opposed to a public one.

Pros and Cons

Private

  • Unique program offerings
  • Cultural or religious options
  • Local prestige
  • Higher costs
  • Less regulatory oversight

Public

  • Government-issued tuition costs
  • Government funding, benefits, and regulation
  • Oftentimes large classrooms

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the salary for social workers in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the mean salary for social workers is $62,450 per year.

Do social work majors lead to high-demand careers?

The total number of social workers is expected to change by 5.8% from 2020 to 2030.

How do you get an online master's degree in Social Work?

It is possible to earn an online master's degree in social work. At least some of their courses are offered online in today's environment.

In order to successfully complete a master's degree, how long does it take?

A full-time student typically earns a master's degree within two years. The completion time of part-time students will vary, as will the duration of the program.

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