2022 Best Social Work Schools

533 Colleges in the United States
56,402 Social Work Degrees Awarded
$36,459 Avg Early-Career Salary
If you pursue a degree in social work, you won't be alone. The field of study is the #12 most popular program in the country. This means there are lots of options to choose from when you decide to get your degree.

College Factual reviewed 533 schools in the United States to determine which ones were the best for degree seekers in the field of social work. When you put them all together, these colleges and universities awarded 56,402 degrees in social work during the 2019-2020 academic year.

What's on this page:

Choosing a Great Social Work School

Best Social Work Schools The social work program you select can have a big impact on your future. That's why we developed our collection of Best Schools for Social Work rankings. We derive our Best Overall Social Work School rankings by rolling up our degree-level rankings after weighting them by the number of degrees awarded at each school.

In order to find the schools that are the best fit for you, you may want to filter to one of the degree levels below.

Pick Your Social Work Degree Level

When choosing the right school for you, it's important to arm yourself with all the facts you can. To that end, we've created a number of major-specific rankings, including this Best Social Work Schools list to help you make the college decision. If you'd like to restrict your choices to just one part of the country, you can filter this list by location.

In addition to our rankings, you can take two colleges and compare them based on the criteria that matters most to you in our unique tool, College Combat. Test it out when you get a chance! You may also want to bookmark the link and share it with others who are trying to make the college decision.

If you want to learn more about how we derive our rankings, see College Factual's Methodology.

Best Schools for Social Work in the United States

If you aren't interested in a particular degree level and want to know which schools are the overall best at delivering an education for the social work degrees they offer, see the list below. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

25 Top Schools in Social Work

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
477 Social Work Degrees Awarded

University of Maryland - Baltimore is a great option for students interested in a degree in social work. UMB is a medium-sized public university located in the large city of Baltimore.

There were about 477 social work students who graduated with this degree at UMB in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the social work major at University of Maryland - Baltimore earn $11,541 above the average graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in social work from University of Maryland - Baltimore

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
515 Social Work Degrees Awarded

It's difficult to beat Columbia University in the City of New York if you wish to pursue a degree in social work. Columbia is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of New York. A Best Schools rank of #22 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Columbia is a great university overall.

There were about 515 social work students who graduated with this degree at Columbia in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the social work major at Columbia University in the City of New York make $14,241 more than the typical college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in social work from Columbia University in the City of New York

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
1,352 Social Work Degrees Awarded

University of Southern California is one of the best schools in the country for getting a degree in social work. Located in the city of Los Angeles, USC is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Schools rank of #33 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means USC is a great university overall.

There were approximately 1352 social work students who graduated with this degree at USC in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the social work major at University of Southern California make $13,441 more than the typical college grad with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

More information about a degree in social work from University of Southern California

#4

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
210 Social Work Degrees Awarded

University of Chicago is a great choice for students interested in a degree in social work. UChicago is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Chicago. A Best Schools rank of #7 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means UChicago is a great university overall.

There were about 210 social work students who graduated with this degree at UChicago in the most recent data year. Those social work students who get their degree from University of Chicago receive $7,241 more than the typical social work grad.

More information about a degree in social work from University of Chicago

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
185 Social Work Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Berkeley, UC Berkeley is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Schools rank of #26 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means UC Berkeley is a great university overall.

There were approximately 185 social work students who graduated with this degree at UC Berkeley in the most recent year we have data available. Social Work degree recipients from University of California - Berkeley earn a boost of around $13,091 above the average income of social work majors.

More information about a degree in social work from University of California - Berkeley

#6

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
207 Social Work Degrees Awarded

UPenn is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Philadelphia. A Best Schools rank of #13 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means UPenn is a great university overall.

There were about 207 social work students who graduated with this degree at UPenn in the most recent year we have data available. Social Work degree recipients from University of Pennsylvania get an earnings boost of approximately $8,541 over the average income of social work graduates.

More information about a degree in social work from University of Pennsylvania

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
256 Social Work Degrees Awarded

WUSTL is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the suburb of Saint Louis. A Best Schools rank of #28 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means WUSTL is a great university overall.

There were roughly 256 social work students who graduated with this degree at WUSTL in the most recent data year. Social Work degree recipients from Washington University in St Louis get an earnings boost of around $6,041 above the typical earnings of social work majors.

More information about a degree in social work from Washington University in St Louis

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
83 Social Work Degrees Awarded

UCLA is a fairly large public university located in the large city of Los Angeles. A Best Schools rank of #46 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means UCLA is a great university overall.

There were roughly 83 social work students who graduated with this degree at UCLA in the most recent year we have data available. Those social work students who get their degree from University of California - Los Angeles earn $19,341 more than the standard social work grad.

More information about a degree in social work from University of California - Los Angeles

#9

Boston University

Boston, MA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
360 Social Work Degrees Awarded

Located in the large city of Boston, Boston U is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Schools rank of #67 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Boston U is a great university overall.

There were about 360 social work students who graduated with this degree at Boston U in the most recent data year. Social Work degree recipients from Boston University get an earnings boost of about $6,191 over the typical income of social work majors.

More information about a degree in social work from Boston University

Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
379 Social Work Degrees Awarded

Located in the medium-sized city of Ann Arbor, U-M is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Schools rank of #40 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means U-M is a great university overall.

There were approximately 379 social work students who graduated with this degree at U-M in the most recent year we have data available. Those social work students who get their degree from University of Michigan - Ann Arbor receive $8,341 more than the standard social work student.

More information about a degree in social work from University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

#11

New York University

New York, NY
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
636 Social Work Degrees Awarded

NYU is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of New York. A Best Schools rank of #53 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means NYU is a great university overall.

There were about 636 social work students who graduated with this degree at NYU in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the social work major at New York University make $11,741 more than the average graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in social work from New York University

#12

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
221 Social Work Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Chestnut Hill, Boston College is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population. A Best Schools rank of #45 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Boston College is a great college overall.

There were about 221 social work students who graduated with this degree at Boston College in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the social work major at Boston College get $10,741 above the average college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in social work from Boston College

#13

Capital Community College

Hartford, CT
Associate Degree Highest Degree Type

Capital Community College is a small public college located in the midsize city of Hartford. This college ranks 13th out of 32 schools for overall quality in the state of Connecticut.

There were approximately 22 social work students who graduated with this degree at Capital Community College in the most recent data year. Students who receive their degree from the social work program make an average of $33,800 in their early career salary.

More information about a degree in social work from Capital Community College

#14

Winona State University

Winona, MN
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
73 Social Work Degrees Awarded

Located in the distant town of Winona, Winona State is a public university with a moderately-sized student population. This university ranks 13th out of 63 colleges for overall quality in the state of Minnesota.

There were about 73 social work students who graduated with this degree at Winona State in the most recent year we have data available. Social Work degree recipients from Winona State University earn a boost of approximately $2,141 above the average income of social work majors.

More information about a degree in social work from Winona State University

#15

Simmons University

Boston, MA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
592 Social Work Degrees Awarded

Located in the large city of Boston, Simmons is a private not-for-profit university with a medium-sized student population. This university ranks 19th out of 72 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There were roughly 592 social work students who graduated with this degree at Simmons in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the social work program at Simmons University make $11,641 above the standard college grad in this field shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in social work from Simmons University

#16

Fordham University

Bronx, NY
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
1,073 Social Work Degrees Awarded

Fordham U is a large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Bronx. This university ranks 23rd out of 160 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

There were roughly 1073 social work students who graduated with this degree at Fordham U in the most recent data year. Social Work degree recipients from Fordham University receive an earnings boost of approximately $11,641 over the typical income of social work graduates.

More information about a degree in social work from Fordham University

Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
6th Most Popular In WI
72 Social Work Degrees Awarded

UW - Eau Claire is a large public university located in the city of Eau Claire. This university ranks 8th out of 52 colleges for overall quality in the state of Wisconsin.

There were approximately 72 social work students who graduated with this degree at UW - Eau Claire in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in social work from University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
60 Social Work Degrees Awarded

MSU is a small public university located in the remote town of Minot. This university ranks 6th out of 14 colleges for overall quality in the state of North Dakota.

There were about 60 social work students who graduated with this degree at MSU in the most recent year we have data available. Those social work students who get their degree from Minot State University make $4,741 more than the typical social work student.

More information about a degree in social work from Minot State University

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In TX
226 Social Work Degrees Awarded

UT Austin is a very large public university located in the city of Austin. A Best Schools rank of #52 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means UT Austin is a great university overall.

There were roughly 226 social work students who graduated with this degree at UT Austin in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in social work from The University of Texas at Austin

#20

St Olaf College

Northfield, MN
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
16th Most Popular In MN

Located in the town of Northfield, St. Olaf is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 2nd out of 63 schools for overall quality in the state of Minnesota.

There were about 13 social work students who graduated with this degree at St. Olaf in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in social work from St Olaf College

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
224 Social Work Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Cleveland, Case Western is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. This university ranks 2nd out of 108 colleges for overall quality in the state of Ohio.

There were about 224 social work students who graduated with this degree at Case Western in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the social work degree program at Case Western Reserve University make $5,841 above the typical graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in social work from Case Western Reserve University

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
758 Social Work Degrees Awarded

Located in the small city of New Brunswick, Rutgers New Brunswick is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 4th out of 49 schools for overall quality in the state of New Jersey.

There were about 758 social work students who graduated with this degree at Rutgers New Brunswick in the most recent data year. Those social work students who get their degree from Rutgers University - New Brunswick receive $2,541 more than the standard social work student.

More information about a degree in social work from Rutgers University - New Brunswick

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In WA
284 Social Work Degrees Awarded

UW Seattle is a very large public university located in the large city of Seattle. This university ranks 1st out of 58 colleges for overall quality in the state of Washington.

There were about 284 social work students who graduated with this degree at UW Seattle in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in social work from University of Washington - Seattle Campus

#24

Smith College

Northampton, MA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
126 Social Work Degrees Awarded

Located in the suburb of Northampton, Smith is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 20th out of 72 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There were approximately 126 social work students who graduated with this degree at Smith in the most recent data year. Social Work degree recipients from Smith College earn a boost of around $7,641 over the typical earnings of social work majors.

More information about a degree in social work from Smith College

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In WI
242 Social Work Degrees Awarded

UW - Madison is a very large public university located in the city of Madison. This university ranks 1st out of 52 schools for overall quality in the state of Wisconsin.

There were about 242 social work students who graduated with this degree at UW - Madison in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in social work from University of Wisconsin - Madison

Rest of the Top 50 Best Social Work Schools

#26

Marquette University

Milwaukee, WI
#29

Viterbo University

La Crosse, WI
#30

Yeshiva University

New York, NY

#36

Bethel University Minnesota

Saint Paul, MN
#37

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, ND
#38

San Jose State University

San Jose, CA

#42

Metropolitan State University

Saint Paul, MN
#43

Brandman University

Irvine, CA
#47

Hunter College

New York, NY
#48

Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, TX

Additional Award Winners

This list shows the remainder of the colleges awarded a Best Social Work Schools badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 533 different United States social work schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
50 University of Nevada - Reno Reno, NV
51 California State University - Long Beach Long Beach, CA
52 Bemidji State University Bemidji, MN
53 Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr, PA
54 Westfield State University Westfield, MA
55 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
56 Belmont University Nashville, TN
57 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS
58 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
59 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
60 Camden County College Blackwood, NJ
61 University of Minnesota - Duluth Duluth, MN
62 Capella University Minneapolis, MN
63 University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Stevens Point, WI
64 Western New Mexico University Silver City, NM
65 St Catherine University Saint Paul, MN
66 Salisbury University Salisbury, MD
67 Bristol Community College Fall River, MA
68 Rutgers University - Newark Newark, NJ
69 Loras College Dubuque, IA
70 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
71 Concordia College at Moorhead Moorhead, MN
72 Adelphi University Garden City, NY
73 Marist College Poughkeepsie, NY
74 University of New England Biddeford, ME
75 University of Denver Denver, CO
76 West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA
77 Elms College Chicopee, MA
78 Luther College Decorah, IA
79 Ramapo College of New Jersey Mahwah, NJ

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great schools for Social Work students that almost earned our Best Social Work Schools award.

Rank College Location
80 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
81 University of Georgia Athens, GA
82 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
83 Briar Cliff University Sioux City, IA
84 California State University - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
85 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
86 San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA
87 Harding University Searcy, AR
88 Siena College Loudonville, NY
89 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
90 University of New Hampshire - Main Campus Durham, NH
91 Mount Vernon Nazarene University Mount Vernon, OH
92 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
93 Castleton University Castleton, VT
94 Saint Martin’s University Lacey, WA
95 San Diego State University San Diego, CA
96 Bradley University Peoria, IL
97 Aurora University Aurora, IL
98 Erikson Institute Chicago, IL
99 Seattle University Seattle, WA
100 Springfield College Springfield, MA
101 Colorado State University - Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO
102 Austin Community College District Austin, TX
103 Nazareth College Rochester, NY
104 Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA
105 Binghamton University Vestal, NY
106 Cedarville University Cedarville, OH

Social Work by Region

View the Best Social Work Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

View All Rankings >

Social Work is one of 5 different types of Public Administration & Social Service programs to choose from.

Social Work Concentrations

Major Annual Graduates
Social Work 55,872
Child Advocacy & Policy 365
Other Social Work 165

View All Social Work Concentrations >

Majors Similar to Social Work

Related Major Annual Graduates
Public Administration 16,183
Human Services 11,421
Public Policy 5,931
Community Organization & Advocacy 2,888
Other Public Administration 643

View All Social Work Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Army Medicine.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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