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2020 Best Colleges for Social Work in Pennsylvania

Social Work is a popular major and Pennsylvania is the 7th most popular state for students studying this major. 2,496 of the 55,945 Social Work degrees awarded last year were given by colleges in Pennsylvania. With so many choices it can be a challenge finding the best choice. This year's Best Colleges for Social Work in Pennsylvania ranking analyzed 26 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in social work. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 3 schools for Social Work students in Pennsylvania.

Choosing a Great Social Work School

Best Colleges for Social Work in Pennsylvania 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.

Over 80% of the schools in this list are in the top 22% of our overall quality ranking while the lowest ranked school on the list is still in the top 22%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 387 to 138 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Better Early and Mid Career Salaries

A social work degree from colleges on this list usually translates into higher than average salaries after graduation. A social work bachelors degree from a college in Pennsylvania helped students who graduated in 2015-2017 earn $31,150 a couple years later.

Starting Salary  ( 30946 to 32853 )
$0
$32,000

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 full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for Social Work students in Pennsylvania.

Best Schools to Study Social Work in Pennsylvania

Learn about the top ranked colleges and universities for social work majors.

Top 10 Best Social Work Colleges in Pennsylvania

Every student pursuing a degree in social work has to take a look at University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus. Pitt is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Pittsburgh. A Best Colleges rank of 124 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Pitt is a great college overall.

There are approximately 300 social work undergraduates studying this degree at Pitt. Students who graduate from this degree report average early career wages of $30,300.

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#2

Temple University

Philadelphia, PA

Every student who is interested in social work has to check out Temple University. Located in the large city Philadelphia, Temple is a public school with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 27th out of 123 schools for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

There are roughly 235 social work undergrads enrolled in this program at Temple. Grads of the social work program report average early career earnings of $31,900.

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Every student pursuing a degree in social work needs to take a look at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. WCUPA is a fairly large public school located in the suburb of West Chester. This college ranks 33rd out of 123 colleges for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

West Chester University of Pennsylvania is a fairly popular college to study social work in Pennsylvania exceeding 165 graduates last year. Graduates of the social work program earn around $32,000 in their early career salary.

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#4

Elizabethtown College

Elizabethtown, PA

Every student who is interested in social work needs to check out Elizabethtown College. Located in the suburb Elizabethtown, E - town is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 199 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means E - town is a great college overall.

With 25 students enrolled, Elizabethtown College is one of most popular colleges to study social work in Pennsylvania.

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#5

Widener University

Chester, PA

Widener is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Chester. This school ranks 47th out of 123 colleges for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

Widener University is a fairly popular college to study social work in Pennsylvania exceeding 173 graduates last year.

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#6

Messiah College

Mechanicsburg, PA

Messiah is a small private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Mechanicsburg. A Best Colleges rank of 253 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Messiah is a great school overall.

Messiah College is one of the most popular school to study social work in Pennsylvania with more than 22 graduates last year.

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Located in the large suburb Millersville, Millersville is a public school with a moderately-sized student population. This school ranks 68th out of 123 colleges for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

With 139 students enrolled, Millersville University of Pennsylvania is one of most popular colleges to study social work in Pennsylvania. After getting their bachelor's degree, social work students generally earn around $29,500 in the first five years of their career.

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#8

Gannon University

Erie, PA

Gannon is a small private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Erie. This college ranks 30th out of 123 colleges for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

With 4 students enrolled, Gannon University is one of most popular colleges to study social work in Pennsylvania.

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#9

La Salle University

Philadelphia, PA

La Salle is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Philadelphia. This college ranks 46th out of 123 schools for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

With 26 undergraduates, La Salle University is one of most popular schools to study social work in Pennsylvania.

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#10

Cedar Crest College

Allentown, PA

Located in the medium-sized city Allentown, Cedar Crest is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This school ranks 73rd out of 123 schools for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

With 23 undergraduates, Cedar Crest College is one of most popular schools to study social work in Pennsylvania. Graduates of the social work program earn around $31,100 in their early career salary.

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Best Social Work Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region

Explore all the Best Social Work Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Area or other specific states within that region.

State Colleges Degrees Awarded
New York 335 5,345
Maryland 284 1,146
New Jersey 280 2,087
District of Columbia 194 344
Delaware 171 77

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.

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