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Top Social Work Masters Programs In The U.S. In 2023

3 minute read


Social work is a noble profession that involves serving society’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals, families, and communities. Social workers are often the first line of defense for people in need, providing emotional, psychological, and practical support. With a growing demand for qualified social workers, it is essential to choose a reputable master’s program to be prepared for this field.

In the United States, many universities offer master’s programs in social work (MSW) that are recognized both nationally and internationally. However, not all of them are created equal. If you’re interested in the top social work master’s programs in the U.S, you can find certified schools and programs with an online search right now.

California State University, Fresno

Admission Rate: 58%

Average Tuition In State: $7,176

Average Tuition Out of State: $16,680

The Master of Social Work program is a 60-credit course that concentrates on Behavioral Health and Integrated Practice, School Social Work, and Child Welfare. This program provides students with a comprehensive education that enables them to work with communities in need. The course is available in two options: a full-time, two-year MSW, which comprises 1,000 hours of practicum, and a part-time program that takes four years to finish.

University of Southern California (USC)

Admission Rate: 16%

Average Tuition Overall: $29,630

The 42-credit-hour MSW program at USC offers exceptional fieldwork placement opportunities, with over 700 agency partnerships in Los Angeles alone. With a 91% employment rate for graduates within six months of completion, students can rely on USC’s Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work for research job opportunities to ease their financial burdens.

Washington University, St. Louis

Admission Rate: 13%

Average Tuition Overall: $22,850

The Brown School’s MSW program is flexible and caters to both full-time and part-time students. The full-time program takes two years, while the part-time program takes 3.5 years, and both require two fieldwork practicums to graduate.

After selecting one of nine concentrations, including options such as Violence and Injury Prevention and Mental Health, students can opt for one of seven specializations such as Research and Policy. The program is unique in its focus on American Indian and Alaskan Native populations.

The University Of Texas, Austin

Admission Rate: 32%

Average Tuition In State: $12,028

Average Tuition Out of State: $22,886

The Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas (UT) offers a 60-credit-hour MSW degree with two concentrations: Clinical Social Work or Administration and Public Practice. Students must complete 1,020 hours of supervised field internship in addition to their coursework.

UT’s program provides five different timelines to accommodate their students’ schedules, and it is a hands-on program with international opportunities to help underserved populations. There are also research job opportunities available to students on campus, allowing them to gain knowledge and experience while bringing in some income to offset tuition.

Columbia University at School of Social Work

Admission Rate: 74%

Average Tuition Overall: $49,024

Columbia University’s 60-credit MSW program is one of the top-ranked schools for social work in the US. The program provides a solid foundation in social work theory, research, and practical skills, and students can specialize in Social Enterprise Administration, Mental Health, or Children, Youth, and Families. With partnerships with over 800 community-based organizations, students can experience the field firsthand, both locally and internationally. On average, students who earn their master’s degree at Columbia make $7,230 more than graduates from other MSW programs.

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