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2022 Best Social Work Bachelor's Degree Schools

454 Colleges in the United States
21,855 Bachelor's Degrees
Social Work is of the hottest bachelor's degree programs in the United States, coming in as the #24 most popular major in the country. This makes choosing the right school a hard decision.

College Factual reviewed 454 schools in the United States to determine which ones were the best for bachelor's degree seekers in the field of social work. Combined, these schools handed out 21,855 bachelor's degrees in social work to qualified students.

What's on this page:

Choosing a Great Social Work School for Your Bachelor's Degree

Best Social Work Bachelor's Degree Schools Your choice of social work for getting your bachelor's degree school matters. Important measures of a quality social work program can vary widely even among the top schools. When choosing a school we recommend considering some of the following factors:

Quality Overall Is Important

The overall quality of a bachelor's degree school is important to ensure a good education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To take this into account we consider a college's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a combination of different factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 30% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 21%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 365 to 86 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Above Average Earnings After Graduation

The average early-career salary of those graduating with their bachelor's degree in social work is one indicator we use in our analysis to find the schools that offer the highest-quality education. Bachelor's Degree holders from a school in the United States make an average starting salary of $30,412, but the students who attended one of the top 25 schools of our list make an average of $35,157.

Starting Salary  ( 31549 to 40250 )
$0
$41,700

Other Factors We Consider

The metrics below are just some of the other metrics that we use to determine our rankings.

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on social work students vs. other majors.
  • Major Demand - The number of social work students who choose to seek a bachelor's degree at the school.
  • Educational Resources - How many resources are allocated to students. These resources may include educational expenditures per student, number of students per instructor, and graduation rate among other things.
  • Student Debt - How easy is it for social work to pay back their student loans after receiving their bachelor's degree.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or accredited by a recognized social work related body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for social work students working on their bachelor's degree.

More Ways to Rank Social Work Schools

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 Bachelor's Degree Schools list to help you make the college decision.

In addition to College Factual's rankings, you may want to take a look at College Combat, our unique tool that lets you pit your favorite schools head-to-head and compare how they rate on factors that most interest you. When you have some time, check it out - you may want to bookmark the link so you don't forget it.

Best Schools for Bachelor’s Students to Study Social Work in the United States

Below you'll see a list of the best colleges and universities for pursuing a bachelor's degree in social work. 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 for a Bachelor's in Social Work

90 Annual Graduates
$14,504 Median Student Debt

University of California - Berkeley is one of the finest schools in the United States for getting a bachelor's degree in social work. Located in the medium-sized city of Berkeley, UC Berkeley is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #24 out of 1,683 schools nationwide means UC Berkeley is a great university overall.

With 90 students who completed this degree in the most recent year we have data available, University of California - Berkeley is one of the most popular universities to study social work in the United States. Bachelor's recipients from the social work program at University of California - Berkeley earn $5,888 more than the typical college grad with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from University of California - Berkeley

68 Annual Graduates
$17,500 Median Student Debt

Any student pursuing a degree in a bachelor's degree in social work needs to take a look at The University of Texas at Austin. UT Austin is a very large public university located in the large city of Austin. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #46 out of 1,683 colleges nationwide means UT Austin is a great university overall.

There were roughly 68 social work students who graduated with this degree at UT Austin in the most recent year we have data available. Bachelor's graduates who receive their degree from the social work program earn about $29,900 in the first couple years of working.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from The University of Texas at Austin

73 Annual Graduates
$25,000 Median Student Debt

Winona State University is a great choice for individuals pursuing a bachelor's degree in social work. Located in the distant town of Winona, Winona State is a public university with a medium-sized student population. This university ranks 11th out of 34 colleges for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Minnesota.

There were roughly 73 social work students who graduated with this degree at Winona State in the most recent data year. Social Work bachelor's degree recipients from Winona State University earn a boost of approximately $8,188 over the typical income of social work majors.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from Winona State University

71 Annual Graduates
$22,000 Median Student Debt

It's hard to beat University of Wisconsin - Madison if you want to pursue a bachelor's degree in social work. UW - Madison is a fairly large public university located in the large city of Madison. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #64 out of 1,683 schools nationwide means UW - Madison is a great university overall.

There were roughly 71 social work individuals who graduated with this degree at UW - Madison in the most recent data year. Students who graduate with their bachelor's from the social work program state that they receive average early career wages of $32,300.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from University of Wisconsin - Madison

72 Annual Graduates
$21,615 Median Student Debt

UW - Eau Claire is a fairly large public university located in the city of Eau Claire. This university ranks 7th out of 36 schools for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Wisconsin.

There were about 72 social work individuals who graduated with this degree at UW - Eau Claire in the most recent data year. Bachelor's recipients from the social work program at University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire earn $2,588 more than the average college graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

60 Annual Graduates
$15,000 Median Student Debt

MSU is a small public university located in the remote town of Minot. This university ranks 6th out of 10 colleges for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of North Dakota.

There were roughly 60 social work students who graduated with this degree at MSU in the most recent year we have data available. Social Work bachelor's degree recipients from Minot State University receive an earnings boost of about $10,788 over the typical income of social work graduates.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from Minot State University

#7

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, ND
84 Annual Graduates
$24,031 Median Student Debt

UND is a fairly large public university located in the small city of Grand Forks. This university ranks 2nd out of 10 schools for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of North Dakota.

There were approximately 84 social work individuals who graduated with this degree at UND in the most recent year we have data available. Social Work bachelor's degree recipients from University of North Dakota receive an earnings boost of about $9,888 above the typical income of social work graduates.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from University of North Dakota

#8

St Olaf College

Northfield, MN
13 Annual Graduates

Located in the town of Northfield, St. Olaf is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #96 out of 1,683 schools nationwide means St. Olaf is a great college overall.

A popular choice for social work students, there were about 13 students who completed this degree at St. Olaf in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from St Olaf College

78 Annual Graduates
$17,750 Median Student Debt

UIUC is a very large public university located in the small city of Champaign. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #69 out of 1,683 colleges nationwide means UIUC is a great university overall.

There were roughly 78 social work students who graduated with this degree at UIUC in the most recent data year.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

95 Annual Graduates
$20,000 Median Student Debt

Located in the large city of Reno, UNR is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 1st out of 8 colleges for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Nevada.

There were roughly 95 social work individuals who graduated with this degree at UNR in the most recent year we have data available. Those social work students who get their bachelor's degree from University of Nevada - Reno make $11,288 more than the standard social work graduate.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from University of Nevada - Reno

#11

Marquette University

Milwaukee, WI
27 Annual Graduates
$26,000 Median Student Debt

Marquette is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Milwaukee. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #118 out of 1,683 schools nationwide means Marquette is a great university overall.

With 27 individuals who completed this degree in the most recent year we have data available, Marquette University is one of the most popular universities to study social work in the United States. Bachelor's graduates who receive their degree from the social work program make about $25,500 for their early career.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from Marquette University

71 Annual Graduates
$19,775 Median Student Debt

St. Scholastica is a small private not-for-profit college located in the small city of Duluth. This college ranks 13th out of 34 schools for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Minnesota.

With 71 individuals who graduated from this program in the most recent year we have data available, The College of Saint Scholastica is one of the most popular colleges to study social work in the United States. Those social work students who get their bachelor's degree from The College of Saint Scholastica receive $10,088 more than the average social work student.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from The College of Saint Scholastica

112 Annual Graduates
$20,500 Median Student Debt

UMBC is a fairly large public university located in the large suburb of Baltimore. This university ranks 7th out of 22 colleges for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Maryland.

There were roughly 112 social work individuals who graduated with this degree at UMBC in the most recent data year. Social Work bachelor's degree recipients from University of Maryland - Baltimore County get an earnings boost of about $2,288 above the average earnings of social work majors.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from University of Maryland - Baltimore County

#14

New York University

New York, NY
40 Annual Graduates
$20,992 Median Student Debt

NYU is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of New York. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #56 out of 1,683 schools nationwide means NYU is a great university overall.

With 40 individuals who completed this degree in the most recent data year, New York University is one of the most popular universities to study social work in the United States.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from New York University

22 Annual Graduates
$26,086 Median Student Debt

NWU is a small private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Lincoln. This university ranks 4th out of 16 colleges for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Nebraska.

There were roughly 22 social work students who graduated with this degree at NWU in the most recent year we have data available. Those social work students who get their bachelor's degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University make $5,488 more than the standard social work student.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from Nebraska Wesleyan University

#16

Viterbo University

La Crosse, WI
20 Annual Graduates
$27,200 Median Student Debt

Located in the small city of La Crosse, Viterbo is a private not-for-profit university with a small student population. This university ranks 14th out of 36 schools for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Wisconsin.

Viterbo University is a fairly popular university to study social work in the United States with about 20 graduations in the most recent data year. Bachelor's recipients from the social work program at Viterbo University get $8,188 above the typical graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from Viterbo University

33 Annual Graduates
$14,137 Median Student Debt

UW Seattle is a fairly large public university located in the large city of Seattle. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #80 out of 1,683 colleges nationwide means UW Seattle is a great university overall.

There were about 33 social work individuals who graduated with this degree at UW Seattle in the most recent year we have data available. Bachelor's recipients from the social work program at University of Washington - Seattle Campus get $4,488 above the average graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from University of Washington - Seattle Campus

#18

Brandman University

Irvine, CA
123 Annual Graduates
$27,750 Median Student Debt

Brandman is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Irvine. This university ranks 33rd out of 113 colleges for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of California.

A preferred choice for social work students, there were roughly 123 learners who completed this degree at Brandman in the most recent data year. Bachelor's graduates who receive their degree from the social work program earn an average of $31,500 for their early career.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from Brandman University

69 Annual Graduates
$21,500 Median Student Debt

MSU Moorhead is a medium-sized public university located in the suburb of Moorhead. This university ranks 24th out of 34 schools for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Minnesota.

There were approximately 69 social work students who graduated with this degree at MSU Moorhead in the most recent data year. Social Work bachelor's degree recipients from Minnesota State University - Moorhead receive an earnings boost of around $6,888 above the average income of social work majors.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from Minnesota State University - Moorhead

61 Annual Graduates
$23,250 Median Student Debt

Minnesota State Mankato is a fairly large public university located in the city of Mankato. This university ranks 14th out of 34 schools for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Minnesota.

There were approximately 61 social work individuals who graduated with this degree at Minnesota State Mankato in the most recent year we have data available. Those social work students who get their bachelor's degree from Minnesota State University - Mankato earn $7,588 more than the standard social work student.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from Minnesota State University - Mankato

75 Annual Graduates
$23,611 Median Student Debt

Located in the small city of New Brunswick, Rutgers New Brunswick is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #136 out of 1,683 colleges nationwide means Rutgers New Brunswick is a great university overall.

There were roughly 75 social work students who graduated with this degree at Rutgers New Brunswick in the most recent year we have data available. After graduating, social work bachelor's recipients generally make about $31,700 in the first five years of their career.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from Rutgers University - New Brunswick

#22

Bethel University Minnesota

Saint Paul, MN
18 Annual Graduates
$21,773 Median Student Debt

Bethel University Minnesota is a small private not-for-profit university located in the suburb of Saint Paul. This university ranks 16th out of 34 colleges for overall bachelor's degree quality in the state of Minnesota.

Bethel University Minnesota is a fairly popular university to study social work in the United States with approximately 18 graduates in the most recent data year. Social Work bachelor's degree recipients from Bethel University Minnesota get an earnings boost of about $6,388 over the typical earnings of social work graduates.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from Bethel University Minnesota

#23

Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, TX
34 Annual Graduates
$20,000 Median Student Debt

TCU is a large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Fort Worth. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #116 out of 1,683 colleges nationwide means TCU is a great university overall.

Texas Christian University is one of the most popular universities to study social work in the United States with about 34 graduations in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from Texas Christian University

21 Annual Graduates
$27,000 Median Student Debt

UW - River Falls is a moderately-sized public university located in the distant town of River Falls. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #218 out of 1,683 schools nationwide means UW - River Falls is a great university overall.

With 21 students who graduated from this program in the most recent year we have data available, University of Wisconsin - River Falls is one of the most popular universities to study social work in the United States. Students who graduate with their bachelor's from the social work program report average early career income of $30,600.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from University of Wisconsin - River Falls

154 Annual Graduates
$24,096 Median Student Debt

Located in the large city of Columbus, Ohio State is a public university with a fairly large student population. A Best Bachelor's Degree Schools rank of #143 out of 1,683 schools nationwide means Ohio State is a great university overall.

There were approximately 154 social work students who graduated with this degree at Ohio State in the most recent year we have data available. Bachelor's graduates who receive their degree from the social work program make around $31,000 in the first couple years of working.

More information about a bachelor’s in social work from Ohio State University - Main Campus

Rest of the Top Best Social Work Bachelor's Degree Schools

#27

Metropolitan State University

Saint Paul, MN
#29

University of Northern Iowa

Cedar Falls, IA
#31

Salisbury University

Salisbury, MD

#33

Bemidji State University

Bemidji, MN
#34

St Catherine University

Saint Paul, MN
#35

Westfield State University

Westfield, MA
#36

San Jose State University

San Jose, CA
#37

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA
#38

Belmont University

Nashville, TN
#40

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

#41

Boston University

Boston, MA

#42

Kansas State University

Manhattan, KS
#43

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI
#47

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY
#49

Loras College

Dubuque, IA

Additional Award Winners

This list shows the remainder of the colleges awarded a Best Social Work Bachelor's Degree Schools badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 454 different United States social work schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
50 Concordia College at Moorhead Moorhead, MN
51 Nazareth College Rochester, NY
52 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
53 San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA
54 West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA
55 Marist College Poughkeepsie, NY
56 California State University - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
57 Seattle University Seattle, WA
58 Indiana Wesleyan University - National & Global Marion, IN
59 Stockton University Galloway, NJ
60 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
61 Aurora University Aurora, IL
62 San Diego State University San Diego, CA
63 Elms College Chicopee, MA
64 Luther College Decorah, IA
65 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
66 Salem State University Salem, MA
67 Saint Cloud State University Saint Cloud, MN
68 Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ

Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Social Work Bachelor's Degree Schools award.

Rank College Location
69 Briar Cliff University Sioux City, IA
70 Adelphi University Garden City, NY
71 Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA
72 Harding University Searcy, AR
73 Simmons University Boston, MA
74 Siena College Loudonville, NY
75 Lehman College Bronx, NY
76 Mount Vernon Nazarene University Mount Vernon, OH
77 University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI
78 Castleton University Castleton, VT
79 Saint Martin’s University Lacey, WA
80 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC
81 Bradley University Peoria, IL
82 University of Wyoming Laramie, WY
83 California State University - Long Beach Long Beach, CA
84 Rhode Island College Providence, RI
85 Appalachian State University Boone, NC
86 Bridgewater State University Bridgewater, MA
87 Texas State University San Marcos, TX
88 Fordham University Bronx, NY
89 Temple University Philadelphia, PA
90 Illinois State University Normal, IL

Social Work by Region

View the Best Social Work Bachelor's Degree 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 21,554
Child Advocacy & Policy 252
Other Social Work 49

Related Major Annual Graduates
Human Services 6,126
Public Administration 3,117
Public Policy 2,524
Community Organization & Advocacy 1,863
Other Public Administration 307

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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