Doctoral Degrees in Social Work in North Carolina

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Updated January 4, 2023

Looking for the best PhD in Social Work in North Carolina? You should consider these top-tier institutions and jobs in the social work field.

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Doctoral Degrees in Social Work in North Carolina

Earning a Doctoral Degree in Social Work in North Carolina

In North Carolina, the best degrees for social work allow students to learn through hands-on experience and provide the flexibility to pursue their interests. You can prepare for the workforce and pursue diverse career paths with a doctorate. Students with a doctorate possess the skills required to move forward in their careers.

The average annual income of those who hold a doctorate is approximately $7,636 per month or approximately $99,268 on average. For professionals with a doctorate, unemployment is at 1.5%, while those with a high school diploma face 6.2% unemployment.

Social Work PhD Programs for You

Working and Living in North Carolina in the Social Work Profession

A social work degree can be a great way to help people in your community. Social workers are trained to help people with a variety of issues, including mental health, addiction, and poverty. There are many different types of social work degrees, but most programs cover a few common topics. These topics include human behavior, social welfare policy, and social work practice. Most programs also require students to complete an internship to gain real-world experience. After earning a social work degree, there are many different career paths you can take. You could work in a hospital, a school, a government agency, or a nonprofit. You could also start your own private practice.

The median salary in North Carolina is $38,370 a year, or $18.45 per hour. This holds true for the 4,422,020 workers in the state. The BLS projects that the lowest earners bring home $22,360 a year, and the highest earners bring in about $99,300. A comparison of social worker salaries is offered in the table below.

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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Among 51 states (including Washington D.C.), North Carolina ranks number 23 on the cost of living index, according to MERIC. A cost of living index measures the average cost of living in specific states. The U.S. average is measured as 100, and all locations in the U.S. are either above (more expensive) or below (less expensive) than average. In comparison with the national average, North Carolina's cost of living index is 95, which is -5% lower. The following table shows the average cost of groceries, housing, utilities, and more in North Carolina compared to the average cost in the rest of the country.

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Source: Missouri Research and Information Center
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Jobs for social workers are projected to grow by 5.8% over the next decade. The BLS projects the occupation's total employment to change from 71,400 in 2020 to 75,500 in 2030. Bachelor's degrees are typically required for entry-level positions in these fields.

Doctoral Degrees in Social Work in North Carolina

#1 Doctoral Degrees in Social Work in North Carolina

North Carolina A&T State University

  • Greensboro, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

North Carolina A&T State University offers a Ph.D. in social work program with an online learning format. With flexible enrollment options, the public school helps degree-seekers earn a doctorate. Doctoral students also benefit from research support, career advising, and library access.

Learners take doctoral classes in the social work program. Doctoral candidates move through the program by passing exams and researching a dissertation project. As the terminal degree in social work, the program prepares graduates for academic, research, and industry positions.

Doctoral students qualify for federal financial aid and fellowships at the accredited institution. Prospective applicants can contact the program to learn more about financial aid opportunities and the admission process.

North Carolina A&T State University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 4,224

Online Master's Programs: 4

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $4,745

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,540
Out-of-state
$17,050
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
57%
Students Enrolled
12,753
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

#2 Doctoral Degrees in Social Work in North Carolina

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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

The online Ph.D. in social work program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranks as one of the best degrees in the social work field. Degree-seekers benefit from flexible course options through the public institution. Doctoral students receive library access, research support, and career services.

In the social work program, learners complete doctoral coursework and strengthen advanced skills. The program also requires passing scores on a comprehensive examination and the successful defense of an original dissertation project. A doctorate in social work trains graduates for roles in research, academia, and leadership.

Doctoral students who enroll online at the accredited institution qualify for fellowships, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid. Contact the social work program to learn more about the enrollment process and start dates.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 3,721

Online Master's Programs: 14

Online Doctoral Programs: 3

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,552

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

#3 Doctoral Degrees in Social Work in North Carolina

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

  • Greensboro, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The social work Ph.D. program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro uses an online learning format. With its flexible format, the public university makes a doctorate more accessible. Doctoral students also benefit from research support, career advising, and library access.

In the social work program, learners take doctoral-level coursework. Doctoral candidates advance in the program by passing comprehensive exams and writing an original dissertation. With a social work doctorate, graduates work in academia, research positions, and leadership roles.

Online doctoral students can pay for their degree with scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of financial aid. Prospective applicants can contact the program to learn more about financial aid opportunities and the admission process.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 10,282

Online Master's Programs: 16

Online Doctoral Programs: 3

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $5,219

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,422
Out-of-state
$19,581
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
19,764
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Financing a Doctoral Degree in Social Work

Financial aid is available to help students lower the cost of their degree. In addition to scholarships and grants, work-study programs are available. Additionally, some students are eligible for student loans from the federal government and private lenders. You should research the colleges you are interested in and find out what kind of financial aid they offer to their students if you wish to receive a scholarship.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in North Carolina

In North Carolina, college tuition varies by institution. However, there are some commonalities between public and private institutions. Please review the information below to determine whether attending a public institution is right for you.

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

Key

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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How does a private college compare to a public college in terms of cost? The cost of education at private schools is generally higher. The following graph will help you learn more about the 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

In order to fund your education, have you considered borrowing student loans? Before committing to a loan, you should take a few things into consideration.

See the data below to assist you in determining 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 class size of an online program and a program completed on campus vary. Online programs offer numerous advantages, including flexibility, affordability, and convenience. Due to student fees, on-campus programs tend to be more expensive than distance education degrees. There are many benefits and drawbacks to attending classes on a regular basis.

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, Masters
Pennsylvania Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Texas Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Virginia Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Washington Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate

Private vs. Public

Public and private colleges differ in several ways. Generally, private schools charge more in tuition than public schools. At public institutions, costs are set by the government and therefore covered by state-funded grants and scholarships. Based on the student's previous academic performance, private colleges often offer merit scholarships.

The size of private colleges is typically smaller, allowing students to connect with professors one-on-one. Listed below are some pros and cons of attending a private college 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

For social workers in North Carolina, what is the salary?

There is a mean wage of $62,450 for social workers in North Carolina.

In today's environment, are graduates with social work majors in demand?

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

Can I earn a doctorate in social work online?

It is possible to obtain an online doctorate in social work. Most schools today offer at least some of their courses online.

In order to complete a doctorate, how long does it take?

Doctoral programs tend to take full-time students 4-6 years to complete. The completion time for part-time students will vary.

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