Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Social Work

Find Schools Near

2020 Best Colleges for Social Work in the Great Lakes Region

Approximately 55,945 social work degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be a challenge finding the best fit for you. This year's Best Colleges for Social Work in the Great Lakes Region ranking analyzed 69 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in social work. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 10 schools for Social Work students in the Great Lakes Region.

Choosing a Great Social Work School

Best Colleges for Social Work in the Great Lakes Region Your choice of social work school matters. This section explores some of the factors we include in our ranking and how much they vary depending on the school you select. To make it into this list a school must excel in the following areas.

Overall Quality is a Must

A school that excels in educating for a particular major must be a great school overall as well. To make it into this list a school must rank well in our overall Best Colleges ranking. This ranking considered factors such as graduation rates, overall graduate earnings and other educational resources to identify great colleges and universities.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 22% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 18%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 297 to 123 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Better Early and Mid Career Salaries

A social work degree from colleges on this list typically translates into higher than average income following graduation. A social work bachelors degree from a college in Great Lakes helped students who graduated in 2015-2017 make $30,537 a couple years later.

Starting Salary  ( 28536 to 33763 )
$0
$32,400

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Social Work students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other social work students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized social work related accrediting body.

Our complete ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for Social Work students in the Great Lakes Region.

Best Schools to Study Social Work in Great Lakes

Learn about the top ranked colleges and universities for social work majors. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list. Of the 69 schools analyzed, only 10 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 10 Best Social Work Colleges in the Great Lakes Region

University of Wisconsin - Madison is a great decision for individuals interested in a Social Work major. Located in the city Madison, Wisconsin is a public school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 80 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Wisconsin is a great college overall.

There are roughly 232 social work undergrads enrolled in this degree at Wisconsin. Graduates of the social work program state that they receive average early career income of $32,300.

More…

Request Information

It is difficult to beat Loyola University Chicago if you wish to pursue social work as a major. Located in the large city Chicago, Loyola Chicago is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 29th out of 268 schools for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

There are approximately 333 social work undergrads studying this program at Loyola Chicago.

More…

Request Information

Any student pursuing a degree in social work needs to check out Ohio State University - Main Campus. Located in the city Columbus, Ohio State is a public college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 206 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Ohio State is a great school overall.

There are roughly 427 social work undergrads studying this degree at Ohio State. After getting their bachelor's degree, social work students typically make an average of $31,000 in the first five years of their career.

More…

Request Information
#4

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

Michigan State University is a great decision for individuals pursuing a Social Work degree. Located in the city East Lansing, Michigan State is a public college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 120 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Michigan State is a great school overall.

Michigan State University is a fairly popular school to study social work in Great Lakes with over 94 graduations last year. After getting their bachelor's degree, social work students generally earn around $31,300 in their early careers.

More…

Request Information

Located in the city Cincinnati, Cincinnati is a public college with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 55th out of 268 colleges for overall quality in the state of Ohio.

There are roughly 160 social work undergraduates studying this degree at Cincinnati. Graduates of the social work program make about $32,000 in the first couple years of working.

More…

Request Information
#6

Hope College

Holland, MI

Hope is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Holland. This college ranks 32nd out of 268 colleges for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

Hope College is one of the most popular school to study social work in Great Lakes exceeding 30 graduations last year.

More…

Request Information

Miami of Ohio is a large public school located in the town of Oxford. This school ranks 40th out of 268 colleges for overall quality in the state of Ohio.

A preferred major for social work undergraduates, there are approximately 76 individuals studying this program at Miami of Ohio. Students who graduate from the social work program make about $32,400 in the first couple years of working.

More…

Request Information

Located in the medium-sized suburb Normal, Illinois State is a public college with a very large student population. This college ranks 47th out of 268 colleges for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

With 81 undergrads, Illinois State University is one of most popular colleges to study social work in Great Lakes. Graduates of the social work program make around $28,800 for their early career.

More…

Request Information
#9

Marquette University

Milwaukee, WI

Located in the large city Milwaukee, Marquette is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 160 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Marquette is a great college overall.

There are roughly 22 social work undergrads studying this program at Marquette. Students who graduate from this degree report average early career income of $25,500.

More…

Request Information
#10

Bradley University

Peoria, IL

Located in the midsize city Peoria, Bradley is a private not-for-profit school with a medium-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 200 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Bradley is a great college overall.

A preferred choice for social work undergraduates, there are roughly 14 individuals enrolled in this degree at Bradley. Students who graduate from the social work program earn an average of $27,100 in their early career salary.

More…

Request Information

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for in the Great Lakes Region Social Work students that almost earned our Best Colleges for Social Work in the Great Lakes Region award.

Rank College Location
11 Wayne State University Detroit, MI
12 Spring Arbor University Spring Arbor, MI
13 Mount Vernon Nazarene University Mount Vernon, OH
14 Indiana University - Purdue University - Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN
15 University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI
16 Xavier University Cincinnati, OH
17 Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI

Best Social Work Colleges by State

Explore the best social work colleges for a specific state in this the Great Lakes region.

State Colleges Degrees Awarded
Ohio 318 2,592
Michigan 316 2,590
Illinois 306 2,664
Indiana 291 1,073
Wisconsin 290 1,014

One of 5 majors within the Public Administration & Social Service area of study, Social Work has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Public Administration 16,874
Human Services 14,962
Public Policy 5,550
Community Organization & Advocacy 2,775
Other Public Administration 957

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.

Featured Social Work Schools

Find Schools Near You