Best Online Social Work Degrees

Are you ready to find your fit?

Navigate the Complex Process of Choosing the Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Work (BSW).

You can begin a fulfilling career without putting the rest of your life on hold to get your education. 

Distance learning frees higher education from the constraints of time and location that go with face-to-face teaching.

Accredited Online College Programs

A Quick Look: Best Online Social Work Degrees

RankSchoolAverage Net Price
1California State University-Chico$13,583
2Huntington University$19,305
3Indiana Wesleyan University$25,015
4Arizona State University$13,175
5Liberty University$23,468
6George Mason University$17,316
7Brescia University$11,165
8Bemidji State University$13,798
9Limestone College$22,324
10Briar Cliff University$18,138

As an online social work major, you’ll experience the perks of flexibility and affordability as you complete your education and get to work with people in your area who need your discerning patience.

People often think that an online social work degree is easier than a traditional Bachelors of Social work. Not true! Educators have been praising the developments in online learning for years—developments that have not only legitimized digital education, but have made it both rigorous and dynamic. To see more online programs, check out our ranking of the Best Online Colleges and Universities.

Students of online programs find that they can accomplish more interaction with peers and have a greater ability to concentrate.

Online platforms like Moodle or Blackboard help create deeply satisfying learning experiences for students and allow scholars to work, raise a family, or complete other important personal goals.

What is the best online program for bachelors in social work degree?

When it comes to online degree programs, you want to know that you are getting high-quality instruction. The best online bachelor’s in social work programs first and foremost have institutional support- vision, planning, and infrastructure.

They provide a strong course structure, high levels of student support and rigorous student evaluation and assessment. Learner interaction and engagement is consistent in the best degree programs.

Social work is a field that can only be prepared for through coursework and fieldwork. All the best online degree programs require an internship or field placement to gain the real world experience needed to be career ready.

Regarding learning online, people often mistakenly believe that online education is cheaper. It is true that digital education may cost less money than traditional classroom education, but there can be hidden costs not included in the sticker price, like technology fees.

It’s helpful to think of these costs like textbooks or room and board and plan accordingly with your finances. Do your research, the best online social work degree programs will be upfront about costs and accreditation.

College Choice is your one-stop search for rankings on the best online bachelors in Social Work programs. Use this guide to gather information and make the best decision to advance your education and your career!

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. California State University-Chico
    Location

    Chico, CA

    Tuition

    $13583

    Overview

    Founded in 1887, the rural campus of California State University-Chico offers students more than 300 fields of study! The public institution has a thriving student life, with 200+ clubs to join and an active Greek community. The cultured city of Chico is a place where students can enjoy music festivals, parks, and museums. Sacramento is just a day trip away! California State University–Chico is ranked #8 on the U.S. News & World Report’s list of Top Public Schools.

    Program Features

    The Chico social work program grants admission to a mix of students from diverse cultural backgrounds and lifestyles to create a meaningful context for studying social change. Their distance learning program is called ‘distributed learning’. Programs offer online courses and often require a face-to-face meeting on campus once or twice per semester. Programs include:

    • Bachelor’s of Social Work

    Notables

    Their program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. This increases their students’ prospects for employment and admission into MSW programs after graduation. Participants in Chico’s online social work programs are also required to complete field work as a part of their course of study.

  2. Huntington University
    Location

    Huntington, IN

    Tuition

    $19305

    Overview

    Huntington University confers the Bachelor of Social Work online for adult learners. This is an exceptional program for any working professional who is interested in generalist social work practice. This university is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC. The program is also accredited by the CSWE.

    Program Features

    The Huntington BSW program is also a pathway for students to becoming licensed social workers. Because the school is accredited, this prepares students for certification as well as additional advanced standing for graduate education.

    • Bachelor’s of Social Work

    Notables

    This degree requires 128 credit hours and 450 clock hours of field education.Courses are all taught in asynchronous format and the field work experience is completed in the student’s area of residence. Sample courses include Minority Groups, Social Welfare Institutions, and Human Behavior and the Social Environment.

  3. Indiana Wesleyan University
    Location

    Marion, IN

    Tuition

    $25015

    Overview

    Indiana Wesleyan University has the privilege of being one of the top destinations for social work students. It confers the Bachelor of Social Work in a fully online format and was designed specifically for working students in mind. This university is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC. The program has been continuously independently accredited by the CSWE.

    Program Features

    This program is taught in the sequential format. By teaching one course at a time, students can focus on mastering one skill or subject before moving on to the next. This is also a great way for online students to manage their work and school schedules, giving them the freedom to live life while completing their degree.

    • Bachelor’s of Social Work

    Notables

    A field placement internship is also required. This is a mandatory internship that takes six months to complete and amounts to over 400 minimum hours of field work experience. It is a necessary step in learning how social work practice works in the field. Sample courses include Interviewing Skills and Techniques, Research Methods for Social Sciences, and Human Behavior and Social Environment.

  4. Arizona State University
    Location

    Tempe, AZ

    Tuition

    $13175

    Overview

    Arizona State University has an interesting and specialized degree for interested online students. The school confers the Bachelor of Arts in Community Advocacy and Social Policy through the ASU Online portal. This degree is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC. The program is further accredited by the CSWE and can provide a pathway to licensure.

    Program Features

    This is one of the only undergraduate specialized degrees for social work students. It is also one of the only accredited programs that are available to online students, making it a great find for those who are interested in learning about diversity, oppression, and privilege in the social work field.The BA CASP program at ASU focuses heavily on advocacy and how it relates to issues of diversity and privilege within the United States. Policy analysis, social change and problems, and interventions are all covered in depth in the curriculum.

    • Bachelor’s of Community Advocacy and Social Policy

    Notables

    This degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours, 30 of which must be earned through ASU. There are no field work experience hours necessary for this degree. Sample courses include Social Policy and Services, Macro Human Behavior and the Social Environment, and Advocacy Strategies.

  5. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Tuition

    $23468

    Overview

    Liberty University Online offers students the chance to earn a Bachelor of Science in Social Work almost entirely online, with only one intensive required for the entire degree. This is the perfect degree for out-of-state students who want to get a degree from this premier institution. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

    Program Features

    The school requires one intensive for all students, which allows students the chance to see the campus as well as meet their instructors on-campus as well as learn more about online learning. It is a great way for students to feel connected to the Liberty University vision and can be completed as soon as they are accepted into the program.

    • Bachelor of Science in Social Work

    Notables

    Unlike many other BSSW programs, Liberty does not require students to partake in research projects. However, at least 400 hours of field work must be completed. Students are advised to speak with the Field Education Director about their placements to ensure they find a suitable agency in their area of residence.

  6. George Mason University
    Location

    Fairfax, VA

    Tuition

    $17316

    Overview

    Looking for a public institution in a prime location? Located in center of it all, George Mason University’s campus in beautiful Washington D.C. With a student population of 34,000, George Mason offers over 200 degree programs from bachelors to doctoral. They are well known for biomedical research, economics, electronic journalism, and history. If you enjoy student athletics, GMU participates in NCAA division I athletics! George Mason is tied for #143 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of National Universities.

    Program Features

    George Mason’s social work department has been preparing students for making positive change for over 40 years. The program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Students must successfully complete 450 hours of field work in agencies approved by the Department of Social Work to obtain their degree. Programs include:

    • Bachelor’s of Social Work
    • Master’s in Social Work

    Notables

    The students of George Mason have the opportunity to take internships and get jobs at national and international companies and organizations, ranging from National Geographic to the White House! They are known for their innovation and academic excellence. If you’re looking for a school with a great reputation and prime location, look no further!

  7. Brescia University
    Location

    Owensboro, KY

    Tuition

    $11165

    Overview

    Brescia University is one of the premier destinations for online students. It confers the Bachelor of Social Work as a completion program, ensuring that students who’ve already started the journey towards getting this degree can do so with ease. This university is regionally accredited. The program is also independently accredited by the CSWE.

    Program Features

    As a completion program, the BSW degree requires that students apply when they have 45 credit hours from a regionally accredited institution. This prepares students to focus solely on the social work requirements. The BSW program at Brescia also requires practicum and field work experience at the junior and senior levels. This work allows students to practice their new skills in social work in real-world settings.

    • Bachelor of Social Work

    Notables

    This degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours and at least 400 clock hours of approved field work experience in order to apply for graduation. There is also a research project requirement. Sample courses include Ethical Consideration in Social Work, Research Methods in Social Work, and Social Issues in Diversity.

  8. Bemidji State University
    Location

    Bemidji, MN

    Tuition

    $13798

    Overview

    Bemidji State University offers a unique online option for students in the Social Work Integrated Model. Students can earn a Bachelor of Social Work through this model, which is currently accredited by the CSWE. The university holds regional accreditation.

    Program Features

    The SWIM program at Bemidji is an interesting pathway to an online degree. Students are grouped into cohorts that they stick with until graduation, enabling classroom instruction and team projects to work to build relationships between students and faculty. Students then can meet each other once a month in the mandatory residency required class meeting.

    • Bachelor of Social Work

    Notables

    Students will have to meet stringent admission requirements in order to enroll in this program. References, a writing assignment, pre-requisite courses and an interview are all required before a student will be allowed into this program. This ensures that students are just as dedicated to online learning as the world-renown faculty is to teach them about social work.

  9. Limestone College
    Location

    Gaffney, SC

    Tuition

    $22324

    Overview

    If you imagine yourself at a small, tight-knit private school, check out Limestone College. Founded in Gaffney, South Carolina in 1845, Limestone is home to just 1,227 students. Their commitment to a small student-faculty ratio and high-quality instruction has boosted Limestone to #41 in Regional Colleges South as ranked by the U.S. News & World Report. The most popular majors at Limestone College include: Business, Management, Marketing, Social Sciences, and Computer Sciences to name a few.

    Program Features

    Limestone College provides a complete Social Work degree program online, making it one of the few fully online programs in South Carolina! Students enjoy the flexibility to choose to earn their Bachelor of Social Work completely online or through a combination of both online and in-person classes. Programs include:

    • Bachelor’s of Social Work
    • Master’s in Social Work

    Notables

    Seeking financial aid? At Limestone College, 92% percent of full-time undergraduates receive financial assistance. Online students will benefit from the same services as traditional students, such as nonremedial tutoring, placement service, health service, and health insurance.

  10. Briar Cliff University
    Location

    Sioux City, IA

    Tuition

    $18138

    Overview

    Briar Cliff confers the Bachelor of Social Work entirely online, making it one of the only programs of its kind in the nation. This program is perfect for working professionals who need a flexible schedule that can help them meet their goals. This university has been continuously accredited and recognized by the CSWE since 1974, making it one of the oldest BSW programs in the nation.

    Program Features

    The Briar Cliff social work program requires a 450 clock hour field work experience in the form of an internship. This internship has an orientation that must be taken in the second term of a student’s junior year, and the internship is completed during the senior year. It is important to remember that there is no field practicum credit earned for prior social work experience.

    • Bachelor of Social Work

    Notables

    This degree requires a total of 120 credit hours of coursework. At least 47 credit hours must be taken at Briar Cliff in order to apply for graduation. Sample courses include History and General Method of Social Work, Social Issues, and Policy, and Social Science Research Methods.

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