Top Rated Schools with Social Work Degrees in the U.S.

Learn about the top-rated schools for social work, which include a number of high-ranking national universities. Read about the degree options at three top-notch institutions, and find a table with at-a-glance information about other schools in the U.S. that provide training for social workers.

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School Overviews

The following schools offer programs that have been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, which can lead to a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in social work. They include Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the University of Georgia in Athens. Two of these schools have also been nationally ranked for their social worke programs. Unique to the individual schools are graduate areas of concentration or the opportunity to pursue a dual-degree program.

Top U.S. Schools with Social Work Programs

1. Washington University in Saint Louis, MO

According to U.S. News & World Report in 2008, Washington University in St. Louis had the number one social work program in the U.S. This private research school also ranked as the 13th-best college in the country by USN&WR in 2011. Through the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, students can pursue an accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) program; the school also offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Social Work, as well as a dual MSW/Master of Public Health (MPH). Aspiring social workers enrolled in the master's degree program can focus on one of six concentrations, including economic and social development; families, children and youth; management; mental health; general health or gerontology.

2. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

The School of Social Work at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor ranked second in the nation in 2008, as designated by U.S. News & World Report. In 2011, the school also placed 29th on the USN&WR list of best universities. Programs include an undergraduate minor in social work, an MSW and a Ph.D. in Social Work; additionally, undergraduates in advanced standing can pursue a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). The school also offers nine concentrations separated into two categories. The first practice methods category includes concentrations in social policy and evaluation, interpersonal practice, community organization and human service management. The second practice area category offers concentrations in aging, children and youth studies; communities and social systems and health and mental health.

3. University of Georgia in Athens, GA

In 2011, the University of Georgia was ranked as one of the top 20 public universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. In the same year, it also ranked as a Best Southeastern College, as well as placed fifth on The Princeton Review's 'Best Value Public College' list. The university's School of Social Work offers accredited programs leading to a BSW, MSW or Ph.D. in Social Work. Additional programs include a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Nonprofit Organizations and a combined MSW/Juris Doctor (J.D.). Unique to the school is its Burn Camp, offered in conjunction with the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation, in which students work with children who've suffered fire-related injuries.

List of Ten Good U.S. Schools with Social Work Degrees

School Name Distinction Location
Case Western Reserve University Number one school of social work in Ohio, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2008 Cleveland, OH
Columbia University School of Social Work includes the Field Education Department New York, NY
University of California - Berkeley Dual Master of Social Work and Public Policy program Berkeley, CA
University of Georgia Social work students can pursue study abroad programs in Ghana, Northern Ireland and Mexico Athens, GA
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Master's International program in social work offered in collaboration with the Peace Corps Ann Arbor, MI
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Jordan Institute of Families Chapel Hill, NC
University of Pittsburgh Nationally recognized Center on Race and Social Problems Pittsburgh, PA
University of Texas at Austin Center for Social Work Research has more than $20 million in funding for projects and studies Austin, TX
University of Washington Students in the School of Social Work can participate in practicum and internship opportunities Seattle, WA
Washington University in St. Louis The 3/2 social work program allows undergraduates to earn an MSW with an additional year of study Saint Louis, MO
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