Best Social Work Degrees

If you’re interested in working to better the quality of life for families or individuals, then you should consider becoming a social worker.

Best Social Work Degrees

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What are the Best Social Work Degrees?

Our College Choice rankings, which will help you find the best social work degree, are made from a few different sources. Our first consideration was data taken from a nationwide survey published by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA where students evaluated academic reputation as well as school costs and post-graduate achievements on the job market.

Next, these pieces of data were then weighted with data from other public sources, including U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, and PayScale.com. Happy hunting!

If you’re interested in working to better the quality of life for families or individuals, then you should consider becoming a social worker.

As a social worker you’ll get to work in an engaging interpersonal environment advocating for people in social systems, therapy settings, and other areas where folks are in need of representation so they can receive much-needed care and support.

What kind of social work degree should you get?

Social workers divide their time between counseling, research, education, and policy making as they work to secure provisions for people from all different walks of life.

At College Choice, we’re committed to providing you with up-to-date, easy-to-understand information concerning Social Work education. Below, you will find our rankings for the best Bachelor’s in Social Work, complete with information about tuition, scholarships, and other necessary facts to help you make an informed decision about your future career. And if you're thinking online, we've got you covered there too with our Best Online BSW Degrees.

How much money will you make with a degree in Social Work?

While becoming a social worker isn’t easy, it can be an incredibly rewarding job. Social workers often feel a sense of professional satisfaction while they help people manage extenuating life circumstances.

As well, earning a degree in social work will grant you access to a growing profession: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that social work professionals earn an average of $63,530 with a Bachelor’s degree, and that the profession on the whole will experience a faster than average growth rate at 10% between the years 2014 and 2024.

What can you do with a degree in Social Work?

Social workers enjoy stable jobs and satisfying professional activities as they help people understand their rights, provide diagnoses for people experiencing mental, behavioral, and social instability, and manage cases to assist people in accessing charitable and healthcare benefits.

Social workers often exist in nonprofit organizations, private for-profit companies, and government agencies to provide care and support for people stuck in cycles of exploitation, like substance or physical abuse, as well as work with couples and families to provide therapy services.

What are the requirements for a degree in Social Work?

While completing a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work (BSW), students will fulfill the qualifications of licensing through hours of onsite practicum work.

The practicum offers hands-on, guided training with clients in need of special services, all under the watchful care of experienced professionals. During this time, you will become familiar with real-world procedures and practices within the profession.

It should be noted that each state has different licensing requirements, but all states require a degree and practicum experience before you can begin a career as a social worker. The Social Work License Map can help you understand the specific requirements for your state and give you the opportunity to plan your career path.

Ranking of the Best Social Work Degrees

See our rankings methodology page.

#1

University of Pennsylvania

School Information
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 8%
Graduation Rate 96%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 6% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor of arts and master of social work program at the University of Pennsylvania, a private institution, stands out for its academic quality. The Philadelphia-based school offers both in-person and online enrollment options. Undergraduates benefit from flexible program options, rigorous academics, and the school's support services.

Majors earn a bachelor's degree from the program after taking major-specific and general education courses. Students complete general education requirements by taking classes in the social sciences, STEM, and humanities. The major curriculum covers theoretical and practical approaches to the field, preparing graduates for entry-level roles in diverse industries.

University of Pennsylvania at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 8%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 6-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 93

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $51,156

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $51,156

Graduation Rate: 96%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $91,200

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#2

James Madison University

School Information
Location Harrisonburg, Virginia
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 84%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 8% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

James Madison University offers a bachelor of science in social work as one of its 48 bachelor's programs. Students can pursue many careers after earning their social work degree. Bachelor's degree-holders also meet the requirements for master's and doctoral programs.

The bachelor's curriculum trains learners in the core principles and practices of social work. Undergraduates strengthen their communication, writing, and critical thinking skills in general education courses. Minors and second majors help enrollees balance their skills and demonstrate a well-rounded education.

The school's student services provide support for incoming degree candidates. For example, career counselors meet with learners to conduct career assessments and mock interviews.

James Madison University at a Glance:

Location: Harrisonburg, Virginia

Type of School: Public

Admissions Rate: 77%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $7,250

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $23,564

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#3

New York University

School Information
Location New York, New York
Admission Rate 16%
Graduation Rate 85%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A private college, New York University offers a top-rated bachelor of science in social work. From its campus in New York, the school offers both in-person and online enrollment options. The institution sets high academic standards while offering flexible course options.

Majors graduate with a bachelor's degree after taking social work and general education courses. Social science, humanities, and STEM classes complement the courses in the social work major. Degree candidates gain a theoretical and practical understanding of social work, preparing them for the workforce.

New York University at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 16%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 9-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 137

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 4

Undergrad Tuition In State: $50,684

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $50,684

Graduation Rate: 85%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $55,900

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#4

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

School Information
Location Champaign, Illinois
Admission Rate 59%
Graduation Rate 85%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor of social work program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ranks high among programs of its type. The curriculum prepares students for a variety of entry-level careers in diverse industries. Bachelor's graduates can also apply to master's programs to continue their education.

The bachelor's curriculum trains learners in foundational social work knowledge and practices. Undergraduates also gain research, writing, and communication skills through general education requirements. Students can explore other interests by declaring a complementary minor or second major.

The school's student services provide support for incoming degree candidates. For example, academic advisors meet with enrollees to recommend course selections and review graduation requirements.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at a glance:

Location: Champaign, Illinois

Type of School: Public

Admissions Rate: 59%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $14,188

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $33,127

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#5

University of Washington-Seattle Campus

School Information
Location Seattle, Washington
Admission Rate 52%
Graduation Rate 84%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 8% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

University of Washington-Seattle Campus, a public institution, offers a top-ranking bachelor of arts in social welfare. The school offers on-campus and online courses. Undergraduates benefit from flexible program options, rigorous academics, and the school's support services.

The curriculum combines upper-division social work classes with general education courses. The general education curriculum introduces major academic subjects including humanities, math, and natural sciences. The social work curriculum covers theoretical and advanced topics, preparing graduates for the workforce or further education.

University of Washington-Seattle Campus at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 52%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 245

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $10,370

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $37,071

Average Amount Aid Awarded: $15,354

Graduation Rate: 84%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $50,300

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#6

University of Wisconsin-Madison

School Information
Location Madison, Wisconsin
Admission Rate 54%
Graduation Rate 88%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor in social work degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a public institution, ranks among the best programs of its kind. The school runs in-person and online programs. Undergraduates benefit from flexible enrollment options, rigorous academics, and comprehensive college support services.

Majors earn a bachelor's degree after taking social work and general education courses. The general education requirements introduce major academic subjects like math, humanities, and the natural sciences. Graduates train for entry-level careers or further education by taking upper-division social work classes.

University of Wisconsin-Madison at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 54%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 128

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $9,273

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $36,333

Average Amount Aid Awarded: $9,754

Graduation Rate: 88%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $49,600

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#7

The University of Texas at Austin

School Information
Location Austin, Texas
Admission Rate 32%
Graduation Rate 86%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 25% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Texas at Austin offers 110 bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor of social work that prioritizes flexibility. The degree leads to career opportunities in many different industries. After completing a bachelor's degree, graduates can also apply to master's programs to continue their education.

The bachelor's curriculum introduces foundational and advanced principles in social work. Enrollees take general education courses, which strengthen communication, analytical, and critical thinking skills. Minors and double majors allow students to explore their other academic and professional interests.

The school's student services provide support for incoming degree candidates. For example, career counselors help learners identify strengths and plan for the job market.

The University of Texas at Austin at a Glance:

Location: Austin, Texas

Type of School: Public

Admissions Rate: 32%

Undergrad Tuition In State: $10,824

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $38,326

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#8

Ohio State University-Main Campus

School Information
Location Columbus, Ohio
Admission Rate 54%
Graduation Rate 86%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A public college, Ohio State University-Main Campus offers a top-rated bachelor of science in social work program. The Columbus-based school offers both in-person and online classes. Undergraduates benefit form flexible course options and rigorous academic standards.

Majors take social work courses and general education classes to earn a bachelor's degree. Students complete general education requirements by taking classes in the social sciences, STEM, and humanities. Advanced social work courses cover theoretical and practical subjects, training graduates for entry-level careers or further education.

Ohio State University-Main Campus at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 54%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 155

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $10,197

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $31,174

Average Amount Aid Awarded: $8,176

Graduation Rate: 86%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $41,500

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#9

University of Georgia

School Information
Location Athens, Georgia
Admission Rate 45%
Graduation Rate 87%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor of social work program at the University of Georgia, a public institution, prepares graduates for the workforce. The school offers online classes and in-person classes located on its Athens campus. The institution's flexible course options and comprehensive support services appeal to many undergraduates.

The social work program includes general education and major courses that emphasize key skills and knowledge. Degree-seekers take humanities, math, and communication classes as part of the general education curriculum. Within the major, learners take upper-division courses that provide an advanced understanding of social work, preparing graduates for the job market.

University of Georgia at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 45%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 129

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $9,790

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $28,830

Average Amount Aid Awarded: $10,577

Graduation Rate: 87%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $45,200

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#10

Simmons University

School Information
Location Boston, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 81%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor of social work program at Simmons University, which offers 66 bachelor's degrees, helps degree-seekers reach their goals. With a social work degree, graduates can pursue entry-level careers in diverse industries. A bachelor's degree can also lead to higher education opportunities, including master's and doctoral programs.

The bachelor's curriculum introduces major principles and practices in social work. General education courses emphasize in-demand skills like communication, writing, and critical thinking. Minors and second majors allow students to explore other interests.

Enrollees can expect strong support services. For example, academic advisors work with students to make a graduation plan that accounts for transfer credits.

Simmons University at a Glance:

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Type of School: Private

Admissions Rate: 73%

Undergrad Tuition In State: $40,850

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $40,850

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#11

Rutgers University-Camden

School Information
Location Camden, New Jersey
Admission Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 65%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor of arts with a social work major at Rutgers University-Camden is one of 41 total bachelor's programs. Enrollees gain the knowledge and skills required for diverse careers in the social work program. Graduates can also apply to master's programs, which open up additional career opportunities.

The bachelor's curriculum includes introductory social work classes and upper-division courses. Undergraduates also complete general education requirements, which strengthen analytical and critical thinking skills. Degree-seekers can explore other academic and professional interests by declaring a minor or a second major.

The school's student services help incoming learners make connections on campus and thrive in their program. For example, career counselors recommend job training workshops and offer career assessments.

Rutgers University-Camden at a Glance:

Location: Camden, New Jersey

Type of School: Public

Admissions Rate: 79%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 7

Undergrad Tuition In State: $12,230

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $28,466

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#12

Fordham University

School Information
Location Bronx, New York
Admission Rate 46%
Graduation Rate 83%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A private institution, Fordham University enrolls learners in a top-ranked bachelor of arts in social work program. Located in Bronx, New York, the school offers both in-person and online enrollment options. Flexible course options, rigorous academics, and comprehensive support services appeal to many undergraduates.

Majors take social work courses and general education classes to earn a bachelor's degree. STEM, social science, and humanities classes make up the general education curriculum. Learners prepare for the workforce or further education by taking advanced social work courses that cover theoretical and practical topics.

Fordham University at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 46%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 67

Undergrad Tuition In State: $52,980

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $52,980

Graduation Rate: 83%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $53,600

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#13

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus

School Information
Location Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 57%
Graduation Rate 83%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 4% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor of arts in social work program at University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus, a public institution, stands out for its quality. Degree-seekers can choose from in-person and online classes. Undergraduates benefit from comprehensive support services, including academic and career advising.

Majors graduate with a bachelor's degree after taking social work and general education courses. STEM, social science, and humanities classes make up the general education curriculum. Enrollees gain a theoretical and practical understanding of social work, preparing graduates for the workforce.

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 57%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 98

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $18,628

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $32,656

Average Amount Aid Awarded: $10,488

Graduation Rate: 83%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $44,300

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#14

Abilene Christian University

School Information
Location Abilene, Texas
Admission Rate 61%
Graduation Rate 61%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor of science in social work program at Abilene Christian University, a private institution, earns top marks. Degree-seekers can choose from online and in-person classes offered on the Abilene, Texas, campus. The school's flexible course options and comprehensive support services appeal to many undergraduates.

Majors graduate with a bachelor's degree after taking social work and general education courses. The general education requirements introduce major academic subjects like math, humanities, and the natural sciences. Advanced social work courses cover theoretical and practical subjects, training graduates for entry-level careers or further education.

Abilene Christian University at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 61%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 61

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $36,250

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $36,250

Graduation Rate: 61%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $38,900

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#15

California State University, Long Beach

School Information
Location Long Beach, California
Admission Rate 39%
Graduation Rate 74%
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor of arts in social work program, one of 91 bachelor's programs at California State University, Long Beach, offers a flexible route to a college degree. Graduates enter the workforce prepared for diverse careers. After earning a bachelor's degree, graduates can also continue their education by applying to master's or doctoral programs.

The bachelor's curriculum introduces core social work topics and methods. Undergraduates also complete general education courses, gaining widely applicable skills such as writing, communication, and critical thinking. Degree-seekers can explore other interests by choosing a minor or a second major.

Student services supports incoming degree candidates academically and socially. For example, career counselors review job opportunities and connect students with employment opportunities.

California State University, Long Beach at a Glance:

Location: Long Beach, California

Type of School: Public

Admissions Rate: 39%

Undergrad Tuition In State: $5,742

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $17,622

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#16

Michigan State University

School Information
Location East Lansing, Michigan
Admission Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 81%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Michigan State University offers a total of 119 bachelor's programs, including a bachelor of arts in social work. Graduates can pursue many careers after earning their social work degree. Degree-holders can also apply to master's programs, which open up additional career opportunities.

The bachelor's curriculum includes introductory social work classes and upper-division courses. General education requirements also strengthen enrollees' writing, communication, and critical thinking skills. Electives, minors, and double majors allow students to explore other academic and professional interests.

Student services help incoming degree candidates transition into the school's community. For example, career counselors work with students to determine their professional goals and create a plan to reach them.

Michigan State University at a Glance:

Location: East Lansing, Michigan

Type of School: Public

Admissions Rate: 71%

Undergrad Tuition In State: $15,555

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $40,384

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#17

Marist College

School Information
Location Poughkeepsie, New York
Admission Rate 49%
Graduation Rate 84%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 23% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor of social work program at Marist College is one of 52 total bachelor's programs. Students gain the knowledge and skills required for diverse careers. After earning a bachelor's degree, graduates can also apply to master's programs to continue their education.

The bachelor's curriculum covers the major principles and methods in social work. Undergraduates also gain communication, writing, and critical thinking skills in general education courses. Degree-seekers gain interdisciplinary skills by declaring a minor or second major.

Student services supports incoming degree candidates academically and socially. For example, career counselors help learners identify strengths and plan for the job market.

Marist College at a Glance:

Location: Poughkeepsie, New York

Type of School: Private

Admissions Rate: 49%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $39,925

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $39,925

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#18

University of Iowa

School Information
Location Iowa City, Iowa
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor of arts in social work program at University of Iowa, a public institution, enrolls degree-seekers with flexible options. Learners can choose from online and in-person classes offered on the Iowa City campus. Undergraduates benefit from strong student support services and rigorous academics.

The bachelor's program requires general education and major courses that build key knowledge and skills. Students gain an understanding of diverse academic fields through the general education curriculum. The major curriculum covers theoretical and practical approaches to the field, preparing graduates for entry-level roles in diverse industries.

University of Iowa at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 83%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 90

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 4

Undergrad Tuition In State: $8,073

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $30,036

Average Amount Aid Awarded: $7,231

Graduation Rate: 72%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $47,700

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#19

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

School Information
Location Raleigh, North Carolina
Admission Rate 45%
Graduation Rate 82%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor of social work program at North Carolina State University at Raleigh, a public institution, prepares graduates for the workforce. The institution offers both in-person and online enrollment options. Undergraduates benefit from flexible course options and comprehensive college support services.

The bachelor's curriculum includes social work and general education courses. Social sciences, STEM, and humanities classes meet the general education graduation requirements. Graduates train for entry-level careers or further education by taking upper-division social work classes.

North Carolina State University at Raleigh at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 45%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 90

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $6,535

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $26,654

Average Amount Aid Awarded: $8,938

Graduation Rate: 82%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $45,000

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#20

Baylor University

School Information
Location Waco, Texas
Admission Rate 45%
Graduation Rate 78%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor of social work program, one of 111 bachelor's programs at Baylor University, offers a flexible route to a college degree. The social work degree builds the knowledge and skills required for a variety of entry-level and mid-level careers. Graduates also meet the requirements for master's and doctoral programs by earning a bachelor's degree.

The bachelor's curriculum includes lower-division and upper-division social work classes. General education requirements also strengthen writing, communication, and critical thinking skills. Students complement their major by selecting a minor or double majoring.

Incoming degree candidates benefit from strong college support when they enroll at the school. For example, career counselors help enrollees identify strengths and plan for the job market.

Baylor University at a Glance:

Location: Waco, Texas

Type of School: Private

Admissions Rate: 45%

Undergrad Tuition In State: $42,842

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $42,842

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