2016 Ranking of Best Masters Programs in Social WorkThe Master of Social Work degree is a specialized, professional degree beyond the Bachelor of Social Work. It focuses on the particular aspects of professional practice in social work whereas the bachelor’s degree focuses on general practices in the field. The MSW typically requires two years of full-time graduate study in addition to an internship. If you’re considering degrees from online colleges, which provide more flexibility to fit with within an already busy schedule, you should check out our ranking of the best Online Master’s in Social Work Degrees.

Recommended Master's in Social Work

University of Southern California Master of Social Work

The USC School of Social Work’s [email protected] offers the opportunity to earn a Master of Social Work degree through the Virtual Academic Center without relocating to Southern California. This online program is designed to prepare social workers with the knowledge and skills to make a difference in world, improve the lives of people and communities and eradicate pressing societal problems. The [email protected] is the first top-ranked MSW program offered nationally.

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What are the best master’s in social work degree programs?

Our 2016 rankings of Master of Social Work degrees are based on factors students said were most important to their college decision. According to the most recent nationwide survey published by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, these factors include academic reputation, financial aid offerings, overall cost, and success of graduates in the post-college job market. Our data was derived from a variety of publicly available sources, including U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, and PayScale.com.


Portland State University

College Choice Score: 100.00

Cost of Tuition: $16,680

Program Website

Portland State University

Originally founded for World War II veterans, Portland State University is now a four-year public research institution. Portland State’s School of Social Work has been an integral partner in the community for over fifty years and is the only graduate social work program in Oregon to be accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. A diverse student community contributes to an intellectually stimulating environment, as students and faculty strive for the enhancement of the individual and society. PSU’s MSW program requires 78 credits and can be completed in one to four years in Portland, online, or through distance options in Ashland, Bend, Eugene, and Salem.


Hunter College, City University of New York

College Choice Score: 96.77

Cost of Tuition: $22,146

Program Website

Hunter College CUNY

Hunter College, located in Manhattan, is one of the constituents of the City University of New York. The College’s Silberman School of Social Work is the oldest and largest public school of social work in New York. The curriculum provides personal as well as professional and intellectual development opportunities. The MSW at Hunter can be completed through several formats, including a two-year program and a one-year residency program, as well as accelerated and advanced standing programs. Students can earn dual degrees through the Silberman School, pairing up their MSW with a degree in Education or Public Health.


University of Albany, State University of New York

College Choice Score: 95.37

Cost of Tuition: $22,210

Program Website

SUNY Empire State College

The State University of New York at Albany offers undergraduate and graduate programs of study in Albany as well as Guilderland and Rensselaer, New York. The university’s School of Social Welfare prepares students for social work practice while serving and supporting local community agencies. Founded in 1965, the School of Social Welfare has become known for the leadership and research of its faculty. MSW students at Albany specialize in clinical practice or organizational management and can participate in such specialized work as the Internships in Aging Project. Study abroad opportunities are available, as is an advanced standing program for those who have completed an undergraduate degree in the field.


Rutgers University

College Choice Score: 95.22

Cost of Tuition: $21,329

Program Website


Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, is the state’s largest higher education institution and the eighth-largest university in the nation. The MSW program at the Rutgers School of Social Work accepts students who excelled in undergraduate studies. Rutgers has one of the nation’s largest schools of social work and offers concentrations in Clinical Social Work as well as Management and Policy. The MSW can be earned through traditional, intensive weekend, online, and hybrid formats. The program lasts two years full-time or four years part-time and is available at the university’s three campuses in Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick.


University of California Los Angeles

College Choice Score: 95.04

Cost of Tuition: $23,465

Program Website


The University of California, Los Angeles was established in 1919 and now offers 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs provides professional preparation in social work, urban planning, and policymaking. Combining these fields into one school allows for integration and collaboration that leads to an informed perspective of micro- and macro-level organization. Areas of focus within UCLA’s Master of Social Welfare degree include Child Welfare, Immigration, Welfare Reform, Substance Abuse, and more. The degree requires 76 credits and is completed over two years. All MSW students must take at least one course outside of the Department of Social Welfare.


Smith College

College Choice Score: 94.86

Cost of Tuition: $23,600

Program Website

Smith College

Although Smith College’s undergraduate programs are specifically for women, its graduate schools admit both women and men. Smith is located in Northampton, Massachusetts and is part of the Five Colleges consortium along with Mount Holyoke College, Amherst College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The Smith College School for Social Work has been operating for nearly a hundred years and is known for its focus on clinical social work. The MSW program provides preparation for clinical service as well as an understanding of the historical and theoretical context of the field of social work. The 56-hour program lasts for 27 months.


Virginia Commonwealth University

College Choice Score: 94.83

Cost of Tuition: $24,626

Program Website

Virginia Commonwealth University

Founded as a medical school in 1854, Virginia Commonwealth University is now a public research institution in Richmond. The School of Social Work at VCU was the first in the South to offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in social work. The school offers small class sizes, state-of-the-art technology, and flexible learning spaces. VCU’s MSW degree can be completed in one to four years through on-campus or distance education options. Law, divinity, and public health degrees can be combined with the MSW through dual-degree programs, as can certificates in aging studies, nonprofit management, and school social work.


University at Buffalo, State University of New York

College Choice Score: 94.06

Cost of Tuition: $22,210

Program Website

University at Buffalo

The State University of New York at Buffalo was founded in 1846 as a private college before merging with the SUNY system. Buffalo enrolls nearly 30,000 students and is the largest public university in the northeastern United States. The School of Social Work at the University at Buffalo seeks to bring the original purpose of the field of social work together with the technological tools we now have at our disposal. The MSW curriculum incorporates trauma-informed and human rights perspectives while rooting the educational experience in evidence-based practice. The program can be completed full-time, part-time, online, or through an accelerated course of study for advanced standing students.


University of Illinois Chicago

College Choice Score: 93.40

Cost of Tuition: $23,720

Program Website

University of Illinois Chicago

Located in the Near West Side area, the University of Illinois at Chicago is a public research university enrolling nearly 30,000 students. UIC’s Jane Addams College of Social Work prepares professional social workers who actively advance social, racial, and economic justice in the city and beyond. In the final year of the MSW program, students are selected to receive advanced training through the Jane Addams Child Welfare Traineeship Project. Concentrations are available in the areas of Child and Family, Community Health and Urban Development, Mental Health, and School Social Work. Students can also choose an interdisciplinary concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies or Violence Studies.


University of North Carolina

College Choice Score: 91.97

Cost of Tuition: $30,806

Program Website

University of North Carolina

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill began enrolling students in 1795 and is one of the three oldest public universities in the United States. Since 1920, the UNC School of Social Work has been educating social workers and working toward solutions to poverty, mental health, violence, and substance abuse issues. The Master of Social Work degree through UNC can be completed full-time in two years, or in three years with a distance education program. Advanced standing students need only complete 40 credit hours as opposed to the 62 required for other students. MSW students can finish a dual degree program in four years in the fields of divinity, law, public administration, or public health.


University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

College Choice Score: 91.64

Cost of Tuition: $26,058

Program Website

University of Illinois

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, founded in 1867, is the second oldest public university in the state. UIUC’s School of Social Work links knowledge development to community needs through research, teaching, and public engagement. Courses in the School of Social Work area capped at 25-30 students, allowing for an intimate community atmosphere and abundant leadership opportunities. The MSW degree at Urbana-Champaign can be earned through an advanced standing program, a full- or part-time campus program, or a hybrid outreach program. Students can choose from Leadership and Social Change, Mental Health, and a variety of other concentration options.


University of Minnesota

College Choice Score: 89.74

Cost of Tuition: $24,508

Program Website


The University of Minnesota system consists of campuses in the Twin Cities, Duluth, Crookston, Morris, and Rochester. The university’s School of Social Work began in 1917 and continues in its mission to educate ethical practitioners, promote scholarship, and provide professional outreach. The School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota offers an MSW program designed around the principle that a just society provides basic human needs for all people. Students enrolled in the full-time program complete two field instruction experiences, one consisting of 420 hours and the other of 600 hours. Dual degree pairings include the Master of Public Policy, Master of Urban and Regional Planning, and Master of Public Health.


University of Pittsburgh

College Choice Score: 89.28

Cost of Tuition: $28,860

Program Website

University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh, formerly known as the Pittsburgh Academy and later the Western University of Pennsylvania, now consists of 17 schools and colleges. Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work exists for the purposes of education, research, and service. The school was one of the first in the United States to offer programs in community organization and child welfare. Around 300 undergraduate and graduate students enroll in the school each year. Nearly all Pittsburgh social work graduates have a job in the field within a year of graduation. MSW students choose between concentrations in Direct Practice and Community, Organization, and Social Action.


University of Washington

College Choice Score: 88.91

Cost of Tuition: $34,143

Program Website


The University of Washington, founded in Seattle in 1861, is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast. The MSW degree at UW’s School of Social Work can be completed in one, two, or three years. Regardless of their timeframe, students must engage in fieldwork along with classroom courses. The first year of the program is devoted to the foundation curriculum and the second year to advanced courses, with the summer term being open to electives or field placements. MSW students have access to special service and research opportunities such as the Child Welfare Training & Advancement Program and the Northwest Leaders in Behavioral Health Program.


University of Louisville

College Choice Score: 88.74

Cost of Tuition: $24,274

Program Website

University of Louisville

The University of Louisville, founded in 1798, is part of the Kentucky state university system. Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work was founded in 1936 and continues to face complex social problems through a commitment to education, research, and service. The Kent School offers a Master of Science in Social Work degree, which requires 60 credit hour, or 30 credit hours for advanced standing students. An online degree option is also available. Students can pursue dual degrees, combining the MSSW with advanced degrees in Pan-African Studies, Women & Gender Studies, Law, Divinity, and Bioethics.


University of Maryland

College Choice Score: 88.67

Cost of Tuition: $28,328

Program Website


The University of Maryland is a public research institution in College Park, four miles from the border of Washington, D.C. Because of the university’s proximity to the nation’s capital, students benefit from research partnerships with the federal government. The University of Maryland’s School of Social Work is known for its emphasis on clinical social work, human services management, and community organization. The MSW requires 24 foundation credits and 36 advanced credits, although advanced standing students can earn the degree in one to two years. Field placement at the University of Maryland operates under a concurrent model, requiring students to take classroom courses during their time at their internships.


University of Wisconsin Madison

College Choice Score: 88.23

Cost of Tuition: $29,664

Program Website

University of Wisconsin_Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a public research university founded in 1848, the same year Wisconsin achieved statehood. The MSW program at UW-Madison’s School of Social Work boasts a unique approach to field education, ensuring that the social work experience students gain during the degree program is engaging and educationally directed. The first year of the degree program consists of foundational courses, while in the second year students choose to specialize in Aging; Child, Youth and Family Welfare; Health; or Mental Health. MSW students have access to valuable interview practice and state-of-the-art videoconference rooms.


University of Georgia

College Choice Score: 87.70

Cost of Tuition: $25,064

Program Website

University of Georgia

The University of Georgia is a public research university located in Athens, an hour’s drive from the state’s capital of Atlanta. Full- and part-time MSW programs are offered through the University of Georgia’s School of Social Work. Advanced standing students can complete the degree requirements in three semesters. JD, MPH, and MDiv degrees can be combined with the MSW, as can certificates in areas such as Gerontology, Global Health, and Disability Studies. Degree concentration options include Clinical Practice, and Community Empowerment and Program Development. The school prepares students for work in these particular areas while acknowledging that the two are not mutually exclusive.


St. Catherine University

College Choice Score: 87.62

Cost of Tuition: $23,130

Program Website


St. Catherine University, or St. Kate’s, is a Catholic university in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. St. Catherine’s undergraduate college is for women, but the university also offers coeducational graduate programs. Social work degrees are offered jointly by St. Kate’s and the University of St. Thomas, allowing students to take courses on both campuses during the day or through weekend and evening formats. The MSW program emphasizes clinical practice while offering faculty and graduate students the opportunity to function as both practitioners and scholars of the field. Students who complete the program are academically prepared to meet clinical licensure requirements.


University of Kansas

College Choice Score: 87.14

Cost of Tuition: $27,492

Program Website

University of Kansas

The University of Kansas is a public research institution with campuses in Lawrence, Wichita, Overland Park, Salina, and Kansas City. KU’s School of Social Welfare is the oldest in the state and the only one that offers undergraduate through doctoral degrees. The Master of Social Work program at KU is based on a strengths perspective and includes concentration options in clinical practice and administration and advocacy. Students in the clinical track also choose a specific field of practice, such as child and family, health/mental health, or aging. Each campus varies in the formats in which the MSW program is offered.


University of California Berkeley

College Choice Score: 86.92

Cost of Tuition: $33,660

Program Website

University of California, Berkeley

The University of California Berkeley is the flagship campus of the University of California system. Nearly 40,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs. Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare offers an MSW experience that prepares future leaders for multi-level social work in particular areas of practice, all for the sake of advancing social justice. The school offers five MSW concentrations, including Direct Practice in Aging, Direct Practice in Child and Family Services, Direct Practice in Community Mental Health, Direct Practice in Health, and Management and Planning. All MSW students, regardless of prior experience or education, complete a full-time program of study lasting two years.


Washington University St. Louis

College Choice Score: 86.17

Cost of Tuition: $38,234

Program Website

Washington University St Louis

Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university that was founded in 1853 and named after George Washington. WUSTL’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work seeks to instigate positive social change by way of research and educational excellence. Graduates of the MSW program at Washington University have gone on to fill professional positions in all 50 states and around the world. An array of concentrations and specializations are available, allowing students to customize the degree to fit their individual interests and aspirations. The MSW can also be combined with one of seven other advanced degrees or with a professional certificate program.


University of Houston

College Choice Score: 85.48

Cost of Tuition: $26,760

Program Website

University of Houston

Serving nearly 43,000 students, the University of Houston is the third-largest university in the state of Texas. A diverse group of about 350 students are currently enrolled in the MSW program at Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work. Dual degree opportunities are available in business, law, and Public Health, and MSW students can specialize in Health and Behavioral Health, Social Work with Latinos, Political Social Work, or and Individualized Specialization option. Students have the option to travel internationally to areas such as Hong Kong, Wales, and Mexico. In addition to coursework and field placements, students can gain experience by getting involved in initiatives such as the Child Trauma Project or the Child Welfare Education Project.


Boston College

College Choice Score: 85.17

Cost of Tuition: $31,000

Program Website


Enrolling over 14,000 students, Boston College is a private Jesuit university in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. BC’s School of Social Work offers MSW programs with a flexible yet structured curriculum, allowing students to decide what direction they want their careers to take. Every MSW student chooses between Clinical and Macro Social Work, and decides on one of a variety of concentrations. Dual degrees, certificate programs, and three- and four-year programs are also available. Boston College’s Latino Leadership Initiative prepares students to work with Latino communities in the U.S. and abroad.


Catholic University of America

College Choice Score: 85.17

Cost of Tuition: $25,000

Program Website


The Catholic University of America, located in Washington, D.C., was founded in 1887 by the U.S. Catholic bishops. The MSW degree offered through the Nationals Catholic School of Social Service seeks to provide traditional education as well as current insight on the demands of the field. The curriculum is composed of foundation knowledge credits and advanced knowledge credits, as well as internship learning experiences. Students graduating from undergraduate programs in social work can apply for advanced standing status before enrolling. Those interested in a dual degree in law can spend four years and one summer earning a J.D. degree along with their MSW.


University of Kentucky

College Choice Score: 84.97

Cost of Tuition: $26,154

Program Website


The University of Kentucky, located in Lexington, was originally founded in 1865 as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky. The university is now the largest in the state, enrolling nearly 30,000 students across 16 colleges. Additional University of Kentucky programs are available at Morehead State University and at the Center for Rural Health in Hazard. The MSW program at UK is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education and includes concentrations in Clinical Social Work and Community and social Development. Students from all undergraduate backgrounds are welcome to apply and can complete the program full- or part-time.


University of Michigan

College Choice Score: 84.26

Cost of Tuition: $39,692

Program Website

university of michigan

The University of Michigan, located in Ann Arbor, was originally founded in Detroit in 1817. The university also has satellite campuses in Flint and Dearborn. The University of Michigan School of Social Work has been a leader in research and social change for more than 90 years. MSW specialization options include such areas as Community Organization, Global Social Work, Management of Human Services, and more. Several timeframes are offered for completing the degree, including 12-month, 16-month, and 20-month programs, as well as extended degree and fifth-term options. Students interested in working with youth also have the option to incorporate 27 months of Peace Corps service into their MSW degree plan.


Ohio State University

College Choice Score: 84.25

Cost of Tuition: $29,700

Program Website


Founded in 1870 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, the Ohio State University is now a public research institution in Columbus. Community, diversity, and justice characterize the vision of OSU’s College of Social Work. All degree programs, from the BSSW to the PhD, play a part in collaborating with the social work community in the area to make a difference in the state and the nation. The Master of Social Work degree can be completed full-time in two years or part-time in three to four years. Advanced standing students can finish the program in only three semesters. The MSW curriculum is designed to be dynamic and flexible, preparing students for work in a variety of social work settings.


Arizona State University

College Choice Score: 84.23

Cost of Tuition: $26,716

Program Website


Arizona State University has five campuses in the Phoenix area and is the nation’s largest public university by enrollment. Before earning the MSW degree offered through ASU’s School of Social Work, students choose to enroll in the standard program, the direct practice program, or the concentration in Planning, Administration, and Community Practice. Each of these options focuses especially on populations of the Southwest. The program is typically complete in two years of full-time study, but a three-year part-time option is also available for qualified students. Students have ample opportunities for research and active learning, including ASU’s Child Welfare Education Project.


University of Iowa

College Choice Score: 83.79

Cost of Tuition: $27,054

Program Website


A public research institution in Iowa City, the University of Iowa was founded in 1847 and is the oldest university in the state. Iowa’s School of Social Work educates students from strengths-based and systems perspectives, forming culturally competent scholars and practitioners. The MSW at the University of Iowa focuses primarily on domestic and international family systems and social change. The program is available at the Iowa City campus, as well as in Des Moines, Sioux City, and Quad Cities. The full-time program can be completed in two years, while the part-time option takes up to four years to finish.


Simmons College

College Choice Score: 82.94

Cost of Tuition: $29,700

Program Website


Simmons College, located in Boston, has a private co-educational graduate school in addition to its women-focused undergraduate college. Simmons has been offering training for clinical social workers since 1904, making it the nation’s first higher learning institution to do so. The social work program places a strong emphasis on field education, requiring MSW students to work at their internship three days per week during both years of study. Online and extended formats are available for the MSW program, which features such initiatives as an Urban Leadership Program, international study, and Spanish language courses particularly for social workers.


Howard University

College Choice Score: 82.60

Cost of Tuition: $29,962

Program Website


Howard University is a private, nonsectarian university located in Washington, D.C. Although Howard is a historically black university, the school is open to people of all races. Howard University’s School of Social Work prepares leaders to strengthen diverse communities locally, nationally, and internationally. The MSW requires 45 credits for advanced standing students, and 60 credits for all other students. Fields of practice concentrations include criminal justice, mental health, displaced populations, and more. Students in all fields of practice participate in Supervised Field Instruction. Those who complete the program part-time can finish in three to four years.


St. Louis University

College Choice Score: 82.35

Cost of Tuition: $27,150

Program Website


St. Louis University was founded in 1818 and is the second-oldest Jesuit university in the United States. The MSW is offered through the School of Social Work, a part of SLU’s College for Public Health and Social Justice. The school boasts small class sizes, faculty members who have made important contributions to the field, and interactive teaching methods that connect classroom activity to community-based practice. Possible degree concentrations include Community and Organization, Clinical, and Applied Behavior Analysis. Further specializations are also available, as are dual degree programs in areas such as Public Health, Public Administration, and Pastoral Studies.


Tulane University

College Choice Score: 81.77

Cost of Tuition: $28,590

Program Website

Tulane University

Tulane University is a private research institution in New Orleans that was originally founded as a public medical college in 1834. The Tulane School of Social Work operates on a clinical-community curriculum and relationship-centered practice. The MSW degree requires 60 credit hours, which can be completed full-time in two years or part-time in four years. Joint MPH, JD, and Disaster Resilience Leadership Studies degrees are also available. Tulane’s field education program in social services is connected with more than 75 entities in the New Orleans area. MSW students graduate with 990 hours of work experience and hands-on training.


Loyola University Chicago

College Choice Score: 80.79

Cost of Tuition: $29,340

Program Website


A private Jesuit university, Loyola University Chicago has six campuses in the Chicago area, as well as international campuses in Italy, China, and Vietnam. Loyola’s School of Social Work was founded in 1914 and is located at the Water Tower Campus on Michigan Avenue. The MSW program at Loyola lasts two years and fulfills the education requirement for LSW and LCSW licenses. A clinical track and a leadership and development track are offered, as are several specialties and subspecialties. The university has partnerships with over 300 agencies and nonprofits in the Chicagoland area, allowing students a wide variety of fieldwork options.


New York University

College Choice Score: 80.15

Cost of Tuition: $34,830

Program Website


New York University is a private nonprofit institution located in Lower Manhattan, in New York City. NYU’s Silver School of Social Work has been around since 1960, sending social workers to respond to such impactful local events as 9/11 and the 1980s AIDS crisis. The university also allows social work students to engage in global learning experiences such as spending time at the NYU Shanghai campus. The Silver School maintains a long-held focus on research and clinical practice. MSW students can also take advantage of courses in community and policy practice. One full-time and three part-time programs are available, as are four dual-degree programs.


University of Tennessee at Knoxville

College Choice Score: 80.12

Cost of Tuition: $30,856

Program Website

University of Tennessee Knoxville

Founded in 1794, the University of Tennessee Knoxville is the flagship university of the University of Tennessee system. The university comprises nine undergraduate and eleven graduate colleges, serving nearly 28,000 students. The 70-year-old College of Social Work at the University of Tennessee offers degree programs in both Knoxville and Nashville. One of these programs is a Master of Science in Social Work, which includes a concentration in either clinical or macro practice. Advanced standing, full-time, and extended study formats are available. Those needing even more flexibility may choose to complete the MSSW degree online.


Columbia University

College Choice Score: 77.62

Cost of Tuition: $41,764

Program Website


Founded as King’s College in 1754, Columbia University is a private Ivy League university in Upper Manhattan. Columbia’s School of Social Work is the oldest in the nation, and is one of only two social work schools within the Ivy League. The School awards Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Social Work. The first year of study is devoted to learning foundational research and practice methods, while second-year students focus on a concentration area and field of practice. Both years include a three-day-per-week field education requirement. Columbia’s School of Social Work is made up of around 800 students, including 20- to 60-year-olds representing the U.S. and 30 other countries.


Case Western Reserve University

College Choice Score: 77.37

Cost of Tuition: $39,950

Program Website


Case Western Reserve is a private university located five miles from downtown Cleveland. The university’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences offers a Master of Science in Social Administration, which is equivalent to an MSW degree. Students can participate full-time, part-time, or through an Intensive Weekend format. The comprehensive, interdisciplinary program prepares social workers for leadership experiences in a variety of career fields. Field education is required for all MSW students, who also receive a stipend for their work. Degree concentrations include Community Practice for Social Change, which takes a macro perspective, and Direct Practice, which has a more specific focus.


University of Connecticut

College Choice Score: 76.24

Cost of Tuition: $33,812

Program Website


Founded in 1881, the University of Connecticut is a public research university currently enrolling over 30,000 students on six campuses. UConn’s School of Social Work offers an MSW program that focuses on the strengths of individuals, community groups, and families. Degree concentrations are available in Casework, Group Work, Community Organization, Administration, and Policy Practice. Two 560-hour required internships give students valuable work experience before they graduate. The first-year internships includes a range of field assignments, while the second-year experience focuses on the student’s major method concentration.


University of Chicago

College Choice Score: 75.76

Cost of Tuition: $44,178

Program Website

University of Chicago

The University of Chicago, located in the Hyde Park neighborhood, was established in 1890 and enrolls around 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, founded in 1908 as the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy, was one of the nation’s first schools of social work. The school emphasizes the importance of integration, delivering a broad foundation in the social sciences as well as focused education and field experience. The Chicago SSA Master of Arts program offers students a choice between Clinical and Social Administration concentrations, as well as between full-time or part-time delivery methods.


Florida State University

College Choice Score: 75.60

Cost of Tuition: $33,300

Program Website

Florida State University

The Florida State University, whose main campus is located in Tallahassee, was founded in 1871 and currently enrolls over 41,000 students. The MSW program can be complete online or at FSU campuses in Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Gainesville, and Panama City. Several different types of MSW degrees are available, including Clinical, Social Leadership, and a variety of dual degree programs. JD, MPA, MBA, and MS in Criminology degrees can be paired with the MSW. Part-time online students complete either a traditional or advanced-standing program, depending on whether they have earned a BSW.


University of Pennsylvania

College Choice Score: 72.09

Cost of Tuition: $40,978

Program Website


The University of Pennsylvania, also known as UPenn, is a private Ivy League university in Philadelphia. UPenn’s School of Social Policy & Practice is not only well respected, but is one of the nation’s oldest social work programs. The school’s recently redesigned curriculum emphasizes the necessity of integrating knowledge, values, and skills by using classroom and field experience to support each other and fulfill students’ learning objectives. The MSW program boasts small class sizes, eleven dual degree programs, and interdisciplinary and international study opportunities. Students can complete the MSW degree requirements full-time, part-time, or through the Advanced Standing or Employed Practitioners programs.


Michigan State University

College Choice Score: 71.32

Cost of Tuition: $39,570

Program Website

Michigan State University

Founded in 1855, Michigan State University is a private research institution in East Lansing. MSW students at Michigan State can focus their degree on Clinical Social Work or Organization and Community Leadership. Both concentrations offer courses in a variety of relevant topics, but each uniquely prepares students for work in ether micro- or macro-level interventions. MSU admits MSW students who can work collaboratively, express themselves verbally, and use computers and advanced technology. Part-time and full-time program formats are available for both regular and advanced-standing students.


Indiana University

College Choice Score: 71.12

Cost of Tuition: $39,720

Program Website


Indiana University offers an MSW degree at seven of its eight campuses throughout the state, as well as an online option. Each campus offers different scheduling options for completing the degree. Concentration options also vary among campuses. The program consists of 16 courses and two practicum experiences, and takes two years to complete full-time. The first practicum experience is generally based, while the second is focused on the student’s chosen field of concentration. Indiana University students can combine the MSW degree with either a Master of Public Health or a Doctor of Jurisprudence, finishing both degrees in four or five years.


Fordham University

College Choice Score: 70.87

Cost of Tuition: $42,912

Program Website


Fordham University, located in New York City, is a private nonprofit university described as being “in the Jesuit tradition.” Fordham’s MSW students can complete the degree program online or at campuses in Lincoln Center, Westchester, or Long Island. MSW concentrations include Clinical, Leadership and Macro Practice, and Research. The program consists of 66 credits and can be completed in two to four years. Special plans of study are also available for advanced standing students and for experienced social service practitioners. The Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham offers international study in London, as well as several internationally focused courses.


University of Texas at Austin

College Choice Score: 66.77

Cost of Tuition: $49,044

Program Website


The University of Texas at Austin was founded in 1883 and is the flagship institution of the University of Texas system. UT Austin is located in the state’s capital city and enrolls more than 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The School of Social Work has been around since 1950 and currently offers three degree programs, including a Master of Science in Social Work. The MSSW program can be completed in as little as a year or extended to three and a half years. Students concentrate in either Clinical Social Work or Administration and Policy Practice, ultimately completing 1,020 hours of valuable field practicum experience.


University of Denver

College Choice Score: 66.61

Cost of Tuition: $43,164

Program Website


Founded in 1864, the University of Denver is the oldest independent private university in the Rocky Mountain Region. The Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver allows students to choose a specialization after only two quarters of study. Eight MSW concentrations are offered, as are certificates in animal-assisted social work, couples and family therapy, and social work with Latinos/Latinas. Seven student organizations provide opportunities for building community and promoting social justice. Although most students complete the MSW program at the Denver campus, the program is also available at the Four Corners and Western Colorado campuses.


University of Southern California

College Choice Score: 64.13

Cost of Tuition: $48,056

Program Website


The University of Southern California, founded in 1880, is a private, not-for-profit university with its main campus in Los Angeles. Four-, six-, and eight-semester MSW programs are available through USC’s School of Social Work, as are options for advanced standing students. The degree includes preparation in the student’s choice of three departments of study. Eight dual degree programs also provide opportunities to make the most of a USC education. The school offers flexibility not only in the timeframe of the degree, but also in the location where courses are taken. Students can complete the degree in Los Angeles, Irvine, West L.A., or online.


Boston College

College Choice Score: 59.60

Cost of Tuition: $52,512

Program Website


Enrolling over 14,000 students, Boston College is a private Jesuit university in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. BC’s School of Social Work offers MSW programs with a flexible yet structured curriculum, allowing students to decide what direction they want their careers to take. Every MSW student chooses between Clinical and Macro Social Work, and decides on one of a variety of concentrations. Dual degrees, certificate programs, and three- and four-year programs are also available. Boston College’s Latino Leadership Initiative prepares students to work with Latino communities in the U.S. and abroad.

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