Most Affordable Online Social Work Degrees

Are you ready to take the steps to becoming a social worker? Are you looking for the most affordable online Bachelor’s in Social Work programs?

Most Affordable Online Social Work ProgramsThen stop scouring the Internet for “Most Affordable Online Social Work Major” or “Cheapest Online Social Work Major.” You’ve found all the information you need right here! We also have the Most Affordable Online Schools as well!

What are the 10 most affordable bachelor’s in social work?

Rank School
1 The University of Tennessee-Knoxville
2 Northwestern State University of Louisiana
3 Indiana Wesleyan University
4 Eastern New Mexico University
5 Misericordia University
6 Mary Baldwin University
7 Huntington University
8 Limestone College
9 Union Institute & University
10 University of North Dakota

What kind of Affordable Online Social Work degree should you get?

Let College Choice help narrow the search by perusing our easy-to-discern rankings page focused on cheap social work degrees that you can receive online.

Getting an online degree provides students with flexible, affordable options to begin the process of becoming a fully certified social worker.

While pursuing the cheapest online Bachelor’s in Social Work, you’ll be able to tend to your familial, social, and personal obligations with minimal disruption to your professional pursuits at college.

Take a look below and let College Choice guide you as you make one of the biggest, most exciting decisions you’ve ever made about going back to school.

How much money can you make with an Online Social Work degree?

Healing hearts and minds deserves more thanks than money. But money certainly helps! Social workers earn a modest salary for the work they do. According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics, the typical annual income for a social worker ranges from $48k to $79k.

No surprise, this job isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. As our world becomes more and more complex, the demand for social workers is on the rise. In fact, between now at 2026, the field is expecting an impressive 16 percent increase in the job market.

What can you do with an Online Social Work degree?

You have a number of options available to you once you complete your bachelor’s degree in social work. You could jump right into the job market and find a direct-service job in the field. This might look like a caseworker or a mental health assistant or aide.

Or, you could continue your education and earn a master’s degree in social work. This will usually take another two to three years of school, but it would open up your options. You could get a job as a clinical social worker. Most social workers find meaningful careers in the following sectors:

  • Hospitals
  • Government
  • Schools
  • Family Services

What are the Most Affordable Online Social Work degrees?

You’re on the path to becoming a social worker, one of the most challenging and rewarding careers out there. College Choice has done some of the heavy lifting for you and narrowed your search to only the best online programs that also prioritize affordability.

Our methodology prioritizes the lowest tuition costs above all. We’ve also considered all the add-on fees such as per credit costs, technology fees, and online service fees. Our individual profiles provide the basics on what kind of tuition costs to expect, the basic outline of the curriculum, and any highlights of the program.

2020 Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.

1

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Founded in 1794, UT Knoxville now serves nearly 30,000 students. To meet the needs of its large student body, the university offers more than 900 programs, including an online social work degree.

UT Knoxville’s social work program accepts applicants with at least 60 college credits. The university also prefers applicants who complete the Tennessee Transfer Pathway in Social Work. During the program, online learners gain practical skills through field experience. The program includes both synchronous and asynchronous courses. The curriculum covers interviewing skills, case management with military personnel and veterans, professional ethics, and trauma-informed care.

UT Knoxville’s College of Social Work also offers a dual program that enables students to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s in social work within five years.

UT Knoxville is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

2

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Established in 1884, NSU operates its central campus in Natchitoches. In addition to in-person classes, NSU offers more than 40 online degrees, including an affordable online social work degree.

NSU’s social work degree offers a generalist education that can apply to several different careers. Courses focus on developing skills and knowledge in social work interviewing, research, and policy. All students must complete fieldwork before graduating. NSU’s bachelor’s curriculum covers about half of the university’s master’s coursework, making it easy for learners to pursue graduate education. The program offers in-state tuition to all students, including out-of-state learners.

NSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

3

Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global

Founded in 1920, IWU is a private, Christian school located on a 300-acre campus in Marion, Indiana. The university’s catalog includes 80 bachelor’s degrees and several master’s programs.

IWU’s online social work degree meets the needs of working students interested in a Christ-centered education. The program provides the opportunity to interact with classmates and faculty through research case studies and discussions. The program also includes society labs that offer field trips for undergraduates. Fieldwork at the end of the program gives students hands-on social work experience. Program graduates can apply for advanced standing in IWU’s master’s in social work.

Applicants typically hold 45 transfer credits from a regionally accredited college. The university offers up to 40 college credits from relevant work or life experience.

IWU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

4

Eastern New Mexico University

ENMU offers two-year and four-year degrees from its three campuses across the Land of Enchantment. ENMU serves over 5,500 students through 60 undergraduate and graduate degrees.

ENMU’s 120-credit online social work degree allows online learners to interact through Mediasite and Blackboard. Program coursework includes labs, lectures, and assignments. In their senior year, all students in the program complete an internship in their own communities.

Students gain a broad understanding of social work policy, research, skills, and theory. Required courses include social welfare policy, working with the aging population, mental health, and chemical dependency.

ENMU’s affordable social work degree prepares graduates to work in child welfare, mental health services, hospice care, corrections, and courts. The program supports distance learners through a student manual, tutoring, an online writing center, and online databases at ENMU’s Golden Library.

ENMU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

5

Misericordia University

Founded by the Religious Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia is committed to providing personalized education from its 123-acre campus in Dallas, Pennsylvania. To that end, the college maintains an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Misericordia’s 121-credit online social work degree offers an accelerated path that allows working professionals to graduate in two years. The program prepares students for state licensure. Graduates can also qualify for advanced standing in a master’s in the social work program.

Required courses include introduction to psychology, American national government, cultural minorities, and basic statistics. Each course lasts seven weeks. Each student must also complete a practicum in their local community. The program accepts students year-round. Learners officially join their cohort in the fall semester.

Misericordia is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

6

Mary Baldwin University

MBU opened its doors in 1842 as a college for women. Today, the private college also serves working students through more than 30 distance-learning programs.

MBU’s online social work degree allows learners to benefit from the support of a cohort without ever traveling to campus. However, online learners must complete the program’s required 450-hour field experience in Virginia. The curriculum prepares students for generalist practice with courses in child welfare services, aging, policy, research, and interviewing. All learners complete a concentration in medical or school social work.

Students engage with MBU’s Social Work Club and Phi Alpha Honor Society. Learners can also find international fieldwork opportunities in Haiti or Honduras. MBU accepts up to 84 transfer credits, which can help social work students graduate in less than four years.

MBU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

7

Huntington University

A private, Christian university, HU offers seven online degrees and one certification, including an affordable social work degree. The program allows learners to take one five-week course at a time.

The program’s curriculum includes required courses such as social policy, introduction to addictions, human behavior, and social environment. All students complete an internship in their senior year. The program delivers all coursework asynchronously. Graduates can pursue state licensure in social work or enroll in HU’s master of counseling program. Applicants can transfer credits received from regionally accredited colleges and earn prior credit learning credits after completing an assessment.

HU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

8

Limestone College

Limestone College, a private Christian school that opened in 1845 to provide degrees to women, now offers a wide selection of online and evening degrees. Students can take classes in person at Limestone’s Gaffney, South Carolina, campus or through the university’s virtual campus, which launched in 1996.

Limestone’s online social work degree provides students with the knowledge and skills to work in health, family and children’s services, gerontology, and academia. Required courses include social welfare programs and policy, human behavior, practice with culturally diverse populations, and social work intervention. All students must complete a 400-hour fieldwork practicum, which typically requires students to work 3-4 days a week. Each course lasts eight weeks.

Limestone is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

9

Union Institute & University

Founded in 1964 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Union delivers a private education geared toward working students. Union features online and hybrid degrees with flexible distance-learning programs.

Union’s affordable social work degree prepares students for generalist practice through fully online courses and fieldwork. The program’s curriculum consists of 120 credits. Students gain a professional foundation through courses in policy, multicultural social work, ethical standards, and research. All students must complete a 400-hour practicum in their local area. Program graduates find work in aging and long-term care, child welfare, healthcare, addiction, and criminal justice.

Prospective students can apply for free. The university maintains transfer agreements with colleges such as Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana, Chatfield College in Ohio, and American River College in California.

Union is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

10

University of North Dakota

UND serves over 13,500 students through more than 250 programs. UND offers coursework on its 521-acre campus in Grand Forks and online.

UND’s 120-credit online social work degree allows students to graduate within 2-4 years. Required courses include social work research and social policy. The program also includes a 450-hour field practicum, which students complete in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and eastern Montana. The program delivers all online coursework synchronously. After earning their social work degree online, graduates can apply for licensure and find work in child welfare, corrections, schools, and gerontology.

Learners can complete minors in gerontology and chemical dependency. UND’s social work students can join the university’s Student Social Work Association.

UND is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

11

Saint Joseph's College of Maine

A private Catholic school located on a 474-acre campus in Standish, Maine, SJC offers in-person and online education to students of all faiths. SJC’s students can choose from more than 40 associate, bachelor’s, and certificate programs.

SJC’s online social work degree includes required courses in human behavior, policy, and research. All students also gain practical experience through two field internships, which last six months each. Program graduates can work in hospitals, schools, or rehabilitation centers. Distance learners enroll in the program as part of a cohort. The college also offers opportunities to connect with peers by joining the National Association of Social Workers or the Phi Alpha National Honor Society for Social Work.

SJC is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

12

University of Louisville

The UofL serves students from 119 countries and features more than 40 online programs. The university’s online social work degree includes a track in drug and alcohol counseling.

Required courses cover human behavior, social welfare institutions, issues in policy, and social work research. A required 450-hour, two-semester practicum gives students the chance to integrate everything they have learned at a social service agency. Students work 16 hours per week during the practicum.

Learners pursuing the drug and alcohol counseling track must complete an internship at a substance abuse agency. Program graduates find work in nonprofits, courts, police departments, schools, and hospitals. Graduates can also enter the university’s master’s in social work program with advanced standing. The program accepts up to 60 transfer credits from a two-year school and up to 90 transfer credits from a four-year college.

The UofL is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

13

Troy University

Founded in 1887, Troy now offers 71 completely online degrees, including an affordable social work degree. Nine-week terms allow students to finish the social work program’s 120-credit curriculum quickly. Graduates gain the knowledge to sit for the social work licensure exam in Alabama. Online learners also gain hands-on training through a 500-hour practicum at a social service agency. Core courses cover diversity, ethics, human behavior, professional communication skills, and research. The program also prepares students to work with individuals, families, and diverse communities.

All program applicants must hold a minimum of a 2.5 GPA. Troy University allows students to transfer up to 70% of a degree from a regionally accredited school. Students can also receive college credit for military training.

Troy is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Commission on Colleges.

14

Touro University Worldwide

Touro University Worldwide, a system of private colleges rooted in Jewish tradition, offers several online degrees, including an affordable social work degree.

Working students can earn their social work degree at TUW within two years. Part-time students transferring with less than 60 credits may take longer to graduate. Students without any previous college credit complete the 120-credit degree within 3.5 years.

The program’s 120-credit curriculum and 450-hour fieldwork experience prepare students for generalist practice in social work. Electives give online learners the chance to study victim advocacy, domestic violence, child abuse, and at-risk youth. The program does not require students to purchase textbooks. All students gain access to the Touro University Worldwide library, which provides digital databases and writing assistance. Incoming students can transfer up to 90 credits from an accredited college.

TUW is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

15

Liberty University

Since 1971, Liberty has provided students with a flexible Christ-centered education. Online classes at Liberty began in 1985. The university now offers more than 400 online programs.

Liberty’s 120-credit online social work degree offers working professionals the opportunity to graduate within 3.5 years. The program provides additional flexibility by accepting up to 90 transfer credits. Online learners use Blackboard to complete coursework in social work research, statistics, chemical dependency, and welfare and policy. Students also take Christian life and biblical worldview courses. The program takes place entirely online with the exception of a five-day on-campus intensive and 500 hours of fieldwork.

Liberty is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

16

Briar Cliff University

Briar Cliff University, which opened its doors as a Catholic college for women in 1930, now offers programs to all genders on its 70-acre campus in Sioux City, Iowa. BCU also offers six fully online programs, including a 124-credit online social work degree that primarily serves working professionals.

BCU’s social work program admits students who hold a minimum of 77 transfer credits. Learners can finish the program within two years. BCU offers college credit for tests and volunteer experience. Learners in the program have weekly online meetings with their mentors and receive guidance from the field director. Required courses cover human behavior, digital research, and social policy. All learners also complete a 450-hour internship. The program delivers all coursework asynchronously. The program offers two start dates.

BCU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

17

Wayne State University

Founded in 1868 in Detroit, Wayne State University now serves around 27,000 students through more than 370 programs.

WSU’s 120-credit online social work degree that offers an optional law and social work minor. The program delivers all coursework online and asynchronously through the Canvas platform, although students can choose to complete some courses on campus.

The program’s curriculum equips graduates with professional skills and knowledge in human behavior and social environment, research methods, social work practice, and social welfare policy and services. All students must complete a 460-hour internship during their senior year. Applicants need at least 60 college credits from an accredited college and a minimum 2.5 GPA.

WSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

18

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock, which opened its doors in 1927 as a junior college, now serves approximately 11,000 students through more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Several of UA Little Rock’s online programs offer reduced tuition, including an affordable social work degree.

The program provides undergraduates with a strong foundation that translates to the workforce. The program’s 120-credit curriculum courses in social welfare policy, statistics, methods, and addictions. UA Little Rock supports distance learners through tutoring and access to a digital library.

During their senior year, all students in the program complete internships in which they work 16 hours per week at a social services agency. The program begins every fall. As of April 2020, the program only accepted Arkansas residents.

UA Little Rock is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

19

Thomas University

Founded in 1950 in Thomasville, Georgia, TU now offers several online programs, including an affordable social work degree that primarily serves working professionals and parents.

The program’s 120-credit curriculum includes courses in cultural diversity, human behavior, social welfare policy, and ethical issues. All students also complete a 400-hour practicum during their final two semesters. After graduating, students can apply for the university’s fully online master’s in clinical rehabilitation and mental health counseling degree.

TU maintains articulation agreements with two-year colleges to help students seamlessly transfer to a bachelor’s program. In addition to transfer credits, applicants can earn college credits for military or law enforcement training. The college also evaluates career portfolios to provide prior learning credits.

TU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

20

Western New Mexico University

Based in Silver City, WNMU began offering classes in 1893. Today, the university serves a diverse student body of 3,500 learners through more than 70 programs.

WNMU’s 120-credit online social work degree lets students begin major courses before they complete general education requirements. The curriculum prepares graduates to work in hospitals, schools, government agencies, and drug and alcohol treatment centers. Full-time students can complete the program in four years.

The program does not include any on-campus requirements, as students can complete the required 450-hour practicum in their own communities. The practicum also includes a seminar in which students interact using Zoom. Otherwise, students complete online coursework asynchronously through Canvas.

Residents of states that border New Mexico benefit from tuition waivers under the Western Undergraduate Exchange. Classes begin in the fall, spring, and summer.

WNMU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

21

Rutgers University-Newark

Founded in 1766, Rutgers offers a catalog of more than 150 undergraduate majors. Working professionals seeking flexibility can pursue several fully online degrees through the university’s Newark campus, including an online social work degree.

The program eliminates all on-campus requirements, as students can complete the required 420-hour practicum at sites in their own communities. Graduates leave the program with a firm grasp of social work theory and methods, social welfare policies, and human behavior and the social environment. Online learners may qualify for research opportunities with faculty members. The university provides all students with resume assistance, interview tips, and career advice. Students who want to pursue graduate school qualify for advanced standing in Rutgers’ master of social work degree.

Rutgers University-Newark is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

22

University of Utah

Founded in 1850, the University of Utah serves more than 31,000 students through 17 schools and colleges. Working professionals can enroll in hundreds of online courses at the U.

The U’s 122-credit online social work degree delivers all coursework asynchronously. The program’s curriculum takes an interdisciplinary approach, requiring courses in general psychology, sociology, political science, and social work. All learners complete a practicum in their final semester. Students who take 12-15 credits per semester can complete major coursework in 3-4 semesters.

Online learners interested in pursuing social work with children and families can opt for the program’s Child Welfare Title IV-E Career Path. This state grant offers an 18-month job placement at a public agency after graduation. Participants receive in-state tuition and a stipend. Applicants must have a 3.0 minimum GPA.

The U is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

23

University of Nebraska at Kearney

UNK’s three colleges offer 170 majors and 30 pre-professional programs. Since UNK opened in 1905, it has expanded to meet the needs of working professionals through 500 online courses and 50 fully online programs.

UNK’s 120-credit online social work degree provides hands-on experience through a 400-hour supervised practicum. The program’s curriculum also includes courses in social policy and programs, diversity and social justice, human service ethics and experience, and the fundamentals of research. Graduates leave the program prepared to work in child welfare, family services, adoption, mental health and substance abuse, and private practice.

UNK is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

24

Northern Arizona University

Founded in 1899, Northern Arizona University began offering online courses at the turn of the 21st century. NAU’s online social work degree prepares students to become licensed social workers.

The program provides multiple delivery methods. Students can take all courses online and mostly asynchronously through Blackboard or attend some on-campus courses at NAU’s Flagstaff campus. The program’s 120-credit curriculum includes courses in social work policy, research, crisis intervention, and information technology literacy. The program’s culminating fieldwork experience allows students to integrate everything they have learned.

NAU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

25

Angelo State University

Founded in 1928, ASU now serves nearly 10,500 students both online and at its campus in San Angelo, Texas. ASU’s online programs include an online social work degree.

Students can complete ASU’s social work degree within two years. The program’s 120-credit curriculum offers opportunities for online learners to gain professional experience through a study-abroad trip in Germany, Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Romania, or Austria. The curriculum also includes a 520-hour practicum. Undergraduates can engage with peers through ASU’s Student Social Work Association.

Applicants need to submit a resume and a personal narrative. They must also have completed 20 volunteer hours at a human or social services agency.

ASU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.