Doctoral Degrees in Social Work in Virginia

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Updated January 4, 2023

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

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Doctoral Degrees in Social Work in Virginia

Earning a Doctoral Degree in Social Work in Virginia

The best degrees in Virginia for social work are provided by reputable colleges and universities. These degrees offer students the opportunity to start on a path to greater career possibilities. You can apply for diverse job opportunities with a doctorate degree, as well as move further in your field with a doctorate.

There is a typical income of $1,909 per week for individuals with a doctorate degree. Boasting an unemployment rate of only 1.5%, doctorate degree-holders are also more likely to be employed than those with high school diplomas.

Social Work PhD Programs for You

Working and Living in Virginia in the Social Work Profession

Social workers help individuals reach their goals by identifying barriers that prevent them from progressing in society. Social work degree programs provide students with the necessary tools to expand their knowledge in areas such as human behavior, human development, social justice, psychopathology, and social policy. Classes are designed to prepare students for a career as either a caseworker or advocate.

The average annual wage in Virginia is $47,200, or $22.69 per hour. All 3,753,230 employees in Virginia contribute to this statistic. The BLS states that the lowest 10% of earners make $23,190 a year, and the highest 10% of earners make $125,820 a year. The following table shows the earnings for social workers.

Key

Social Workers in Virginia
Social Workers Nationally
All Occupations in Virginia
All Occupations Nationally

Social Work Careers and Salaries in Virginia

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Based on the MERIC cost of living index, Virginia ranks number 32 out of 51 states (including Washington D.C.). The cost of living index measures the average cost of living in the U.S. against specific places in the U.S. As an example, the U.S. average is 100, and all locations within the U.S. experience either a higher or lower cost of living than the average (either more expensive or less expensive). In comparison with the national average, Virginia's cost of living index is 103.2, which is 3.2% higher. Determine whether Virginia is the right state for you by comparing the cost of living to other states.

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Source: Missouri Research and Information Center
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Social workers can expect to see a 5.8% growth in their field over the next decade. According to the BLS, there is a projected change in employment from 71,400 in 2020 to 75,500 in 2030. Doctorate degrees are generally required for these positions. There are a number of typical job titles, including:

Doctoral Degrees in Social Work in Virginia

#1 Doctoral Degrees in Social Work in Virginia

Norfolk State University

  • Norfolk, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The Ph.D. in social work program at Norfolk State University offers a doctorate in a flexible online learning format. Doctoral students at the public university can participate in career advising and gain research skills.

After passing comprehensive examinations, doctoral candidates propose a dissertation topic and conduct research in their specialty area. With a doctorate, graduates may work in academia, research positions, and leadership roles.

The accredited institution meets federal requirements for financial aid support. Prospective applicants can contact the program to learn more about financial aid opportunities and the admission process.

Norfolk State University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 3,670

Online Master's Programs: 3

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

Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,820

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,752
Out-of-state
$16,920
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
91%
Students Enrolled
5,457
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
87% 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 Virginia

Virginia Commonwealth University

  • Richmond, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The Ph.D. in social work program at Virginia Commonwealth University offers an online option for doctoral students. At the public institution, degree-seekers complete a doctorate in a flexible environment. Enrollees receive research support and can participate in scholarly events.

Degree-seekers complete doctoral coursework and strengthen advanced skills. Candidates advance in the program by passing comprehensive exams and writing an original dissertation. A doctorate in social work prepares graduates for careers in academia, research, and leadership.

Doctoral students attending the accredited institution online qualify for several forms of financial aid. Contact the program to learn about admission requirements.

Virginia Commonwealth University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 9,276

Online Master's Programs: 16

Online Doctoral Programs: 5

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

Graduate Tuition Rate: $12,701

Average Tuition
In-state
$12,179
Out-of-state
$32,827
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
91%
Students Enrolled
29,070
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
88% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Financing a Doctorate Degree in Social Work

There are many benefits to receiving financial aid to pay for college. Financial aid includes scholarships, grants, fellowships, and work-study programs. Some students qualify for federal and private student loans, as well as scholarships. The college's financial aid office is a great resource for applicants who need help determining their eligibility for federal scholarships.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in Virginia

There are a variety of costs associated with attending college in Virginia, but similarities exist among both public and private colleges. You can determine whether attending a public institution is the right choice for you by reviewing the information provided below.

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

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Virginia
National Average

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Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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The are also benefits of attending a private college as opposed to a public one. However, generally speaking, private schools charge a higher tuition rate. Find out more about the private colleges in Virginia by looking at the following graph:

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

Key

Virginia
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
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Federal Student Loan Information

Have you considered taking out student loans to pay for your education? There are a few things you should keep in mind before taking out a loan.

The following statistics will assist you in determining what students tend to 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 main differences between completing an online degree and completing a degree on campus are the cost and class size. Some advantages of online degree programs include flexibility, affordability, and convenience. On-campus tuition is typically higher because of student fees. These fees are typically not required for distance students. However, there are some benefits to attending in-person 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, Doctorate
Pennsylvania Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Texas Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Virginia Bachelors, Masters
Washington Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate

Private vs. Public

There are a number of differences between public and private colleges. For example, public colleges tend to offer more affordable tuition rates than private colleges, and you can use research grants and scholarships to help cover the cost of attending a public college. There are often merit-based scholarships to help with the cost of attending a private college.

Because of smaller class sizes, professors at private colleges are often more available for students. There are a number of benefits and drawbacks to attending a private versus a public institution.

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 are the salaries of social workers in Virginia?

Social workers earn a mean annual salary of $72,070 in Virginia.

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.

Can you get an online doctorate degree in social work?

There are many options for earning an online doctorate degree in social work. Typically, some social work courses will be offered online.

For those who wish to complete a doctorate degree, how long does it take?

Full-time students typically complete their doctorate in 4-6 years. It will take longer for part-time students.

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