50 Best MSW Programs 2018A Master of Social Work (MSW) degree is an immensely useful tool for anyone looking to land a good job or advance their career doing work that helps the most vulnerable in our society. With so many variables among the hundreds of CSWE-accredited programs, knowing where to apply can be a daunting task. We have compiled a list of the 50 best on-campus social work programs in the U.S. We hope this can be a jumping off point for you to begin your own research.

Our unique ranking is based on a number of factors: U.S. News & World Report’s ranking based on peer assessment surveys of overall academic quality (sent to deans, administrators, and faculty of social work programs), Princeton Review’s “Gourman Report of Graduate Programs” in social work, tuition averages, and finally breadth of concentration areas and presence of innovative work in the field.

#1  University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

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Michigan’s MSW degree program has an impressive range of concentration areas and specializations as well as faculty producing cutting edge research in the field. In fact, over the past 15 years, the School has ranked as either the #1 or #2 school of social work by U.S. News & World Report and ranked in the top three schools of social work for the past 30 years. Today the School averages around 650 enrolled MSW students and 80 enrolled doctoral students.

The vision of U of M’s School of Social Work is to create a “better society through individual and social change.” Students first choose between one of four concentration areas: Interpersonal, Community Organization, Human Services Management, and Social Policy and Evaluation. Then there are five practice areas: Aging, Children and Youth, Community and Social Systems, Health, and Mental Health. The SSW Office of Field Instruction has over 550 fieldwork sites primarily in Southeast Michigan, but also in locations across the country and around the world. There is also an opportunity to combine  education with time in the Peace Corps. Finally, the University of Michigan School of Social Work Office of Field Instruction, faculty and staff are committed to providing and nurturing a “safe zone” for students. U-M SSW has a nondiscrimination policy, which includes a commitment to inclusivity. Faculty and staff extend a warm welcome to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning/Queer, Intersex, Ally (LGBTQIA) students.

U.S. News ranking: 1
Tuition: $26,838 (in-state) $42,998 (out-of-state)
Program website

#2  Columbia University (New York, NY)

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With an enrollment of over 900, Columbia’s School of Social Work  is one of the largest social work programs in the United States. It is also the nation’s oldest, with roots extending back to 1898 when the New York Charity Organization Society’s first summer course was announced in The New York Times. The combination of its age and size has led to the School becoming a repository for much of the reference literature in the social work field. Over the years, the School has contributed numerous leaders in social work education. Its graduates hold thirty-nine deanships in schools of social work around the world.

At Columbia, students have 28 options for their specialization, 9 options for dual degrees, and 5 options for minors. Being in the center of the largest metropolitan area in the country also means that degree candidates can find nearly any type of population, cause or agency with which to work in their field placement. Columbia is also the first school of social work to have a center in sub-Saharan Africa, which aims to empower HIV/AIDS-impacted youth. The Columbia Population Research Center, housed within the School of Social Work, is measuring poverty in New York City in partnership with the Robin Hood Foundation. For those interested in clinical studies, Dr. M. Katherine Shear, a foremost expert on complicated grief, was ranked #1 for having the largest citation impact of any female scholar in the top 25 schools of social work.

U.S. News ranking: 6
Tuition: $45, 172
Program Website

#3  Washington University (St. Louis, MO)

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In 2008, Washington University was ranked #1 for quality of life according to The Princeton Review, among other top rankings. With roots dating back to 1909 in the university’s School of Social Economy, the George Warren Brown School of Social Work (commonly called GWB, the Brown School, or Brown) was founded in 1925. Brown’s academic degree offerings include a Master of Social Work (MSW), a Master of Public Health (MPH), a PhD in Social Work, and a PhD in Public Health Sciences. The school has many nationally and internationally acclaimed scholars in social security, health care, health disparities, communication, social and health policy, and individual and family development. Many of the faculty have training in both social work and public health.

The Brown School, demonstrating a wide breadth of concentrations and specializations, includes an American Indian and Alaskan Native concentration as well as a specialization in System Dynamics. Neither of which have representation anywhere else on our list.  Adding to their reputation for innovation, The Institute for Advancing Justice Research and Innovation aims to advance science, policy and practice to improve the well-being of individuals and families impacted by involvement in the criminal justice system. Advancing Justice is dedicated to accelerating the feedback look between research and practice in order to reduce high incarceration rates.

U.S. News ranking: 2
Tuition: $39, 968
Program Website

#4  University of Chicago

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Founded in 1903, The University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration (SSA) was among the first academic institutions to use social research and community data to inform the care and counseling of the most vulnerable members of our society.  This integrated academic approach —using research to inform practice and policy—continues to distinguish SSA today. SSA claims to differ from other graduate schools of social work because they challenge students to dig deeper to understand the root causes and human costs of social inequity. Their mission is to continue to produce the best, most forwarding-thinking research in social work and social welfare policy and to prepare the best social workers to use those ideas to serve individuals, families and communities in creating a better quality of life.

SSA confers the MSW-equivalent degree known as the AM.  The core curriculum consists of seven required courses taken during the first two quarters of study. A concentration, selected during the winter quarter of the first year, is begun in the spring. Field placements are required and are carried out in association with the core curriculum during the first year, and in association with each student’s concentration during the second year. The full-time student ordinarily spends six quarters in residence. Master of arts candidates are required to complete eighteen courses: a core curriculum required of all students and a concentration curriculum in clinical practice or social administration. A requirement in the area of human diversity may be met by one of a number of approved first and second year courses that address issues related to culture, race, ethnicity, class, age, mental and physical ability, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

U.S. News ranking: 3 (tie)
Tuition: $47, 802
Program Website

#5  University of Wisconsin – Madison

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The UW-Madison School of Social Work has a national reputation for excellence among schools of social work. The School’s program of study challenges students to acquire social work knowledge, skills, and values, to provide leadership to the profession, and to become dedicated social work practitioners who work to improve social conditions and promote social justice. The MSW Program offers a social problem and social issues focus to the education and preparation of students as advanced practitioners and leaders across fields of social work practice.

UW Madison’s relatively affordable tuition is one of the reasons it is so high up on our list. It has the reputation of being an elite training center for social workers as well as being one of the seven most affordable institutions in our ranking. The first year (or Generalist Practice Year) is designed to provide students with foundational social work knowledge, values, and skills necessary for solid social work practice and to prepare them for advanced practice within the advanced generalist specialization. In the second year (or Advanced Practice Specialization Year), students complete the advanced generalist specialization with a focus in Aging; Child, Youth and Family Welfare; Health; or Mental Health. It is not possible to focus in more than one area. In addition, through the courses they choose, students deepen their social work practice knowledge, values, and skill base within that framework with either a direct practice or indirect practice emphasis.

U.S. News ranking: 12 (tie)
Tuition: $11, 988 (in-state) $25, 314 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#6 University of California – Berkeley

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Berkeley Social Welfare’s MSW Program develops future leaders of the profession who are deeply prepared for multi-level social work in specific areas of practice.  They provide an education built on the strongest available evidence, oriented to advancing social justice, and responsive to the changing needs of local and global communities.  Since 1944, Berkeley has prepared over 11,000 social work professionals, dedicated to serving the most vulnerable members of society, for leadership positions in the public and nonprofit human service sectors.

The Berkeley MSW Program is a two-year, full-time program.  All master’s students follow a prescribed, full-time (minimum 12 units per semester) program of work preparing them for both generalist practice and specialized practice. UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare has concentrations in Aging; Child and Family Services; Community Mental Health; Health; and Management and Planning. The MSW program focuses on three central themes of leadership development: leadership for service; leadership for social justice and social change; and leadership for evidence-informed and competency-based practice. There are also certifications offered in School Social Work and Social Work with Latinos.

U.S. News ranking: 3 (tie)
Tuition: $23, 426 (in-state)  $35, 672 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#7  University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)

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Similar to several other schools near the top of our list, The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice dates its beginnings back to the early 20th century. Starting in 1908, the School has one of the oldest social work programs in the country. Penn’s MSW program promotes the profession of social work by educating students to become leaders for social change and justice. Penn prepares students to be highly competent professionals who are skilled at providing effective service, integrating interdisciplinary knowledge, theory, and social work values with practice to address social needs locally and globally.

The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice has a renowned faculty as well as a large array of choices within the MSW program. There are eleven dual-degree programs on offer, as well as a certificate in prisoner re-entry, among others. The Penn Approach offers four major perspectives: a clear understanding and respect for the past; analysis of current professional issues; a vision of the future that reflects a commitment to social change; and knowledge appreciation and knowledge generation on local, national and global issues.

U.S. News Ranking: 12 (tie)
Tuition: $43, 896
Program Website

#8  University of Pittsburgh

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Pitt’s School of Social Work has been around since 1918 and was the first program of Community Organization in the country. Their School of Social Work has been a nationally recognized leader in preparing MSW students for professional practice with vulnerable children, youth, and families. The Child Welfare Education for Leadership (CWEL) project is a unique effort that provides MSW education and training to employees of public child welfare agencies. The School of Social Work is also committed to developing professionals and supporting agencies to serve older adults through its Aging Initiatives & Programs.

The School features two MSW concentrations: Direct Practice with Individuals, Families, and Small Groups; and Community, Organization, and Social Action. Additionally, Pitt hosts the Center on Race and Social Problems. The Center on Race and Social Problems’ (CRSP) Fellows Program is an internship opportunity which offers a structured, hands-on experience of teaching school children aged 5 -11 the skills they need to overcome academic and behavioral challenges. The program is well established and Fellows work with experienced staff and teachers to develop and enhance training materials, identify potential research projects and make a valuable contribution to struggling local children and their community.

U.S. News Ranking: 10 (tie)
Tuition: $22, 290 (in-state) $30, 540 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#9  Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH)

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Case Western’s Mandel School offers an MSW-equivalent Masters of Science in Social Administration (MSSA). Similar to Pitt, the Mandel School has been around for a long time, since 1915, and earned a reputation as one of the elite social work schools in the country. They have an 8:1 student/faculty ratio, among the lowest in the nation. The Mandel School strives to make students central in all that they do, claiming that students actively participate and contribute to a dynamic learning community that develops leaders of social change in direct practice, community practice, and nonprofit management.

There are two broad concentrations: Community Practice for Social Change; and Direct Practice. A macro social work focus strives to develop the practical skills and values needed to lead and organize comprehensive social change on a broad scale. This specialization addresses a range of issues including globalization, poverty, inequality and oppression, cultural diversity, human rights, gay rights, women’s rights, and more – understanding their context, opportunities, and lasting solutions. A micro social work focus aims to address complex human needs in the context an evolving practice environment. Students develop the practical skills and values needed to engage individuals, families, and groups; assess client needs and strengths; provide or help arrange needed services and support; weigh intervention alternatives; implement change strategies; and evaluate results.

U.S. News Ranking: 9
Tuition: $42, 570
Program Website

#10  University of Washington (Seattle, WA)

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The University of Washington School of Social Work is committed to promoting social and economic justice for poor and oppressed populations and enhancing the quality of life for all. The School strives to maximize human welfare through education, research and public service. Their MSW program prepares graduates for leadership and direct practice positions in a host of professional settings, ranging from health, aging and mental health to public education, multicultural communities, and nonprofit or government agencies.

Washington’s school of social work has courses that focus on social work history, professional identity, policy, and social justice. They concentrate on building core social work practice skills across systems levels and with diverse populations. Their areas of concentration include: Administration and Policy Practice & Community-Centered Integrative Practice; Children, Youth and Families & Multi-generational Practice; and Health & Mental Health Practice. Arlien Johnson, the School’s founding director, became a leading social work educator and theorist guided by the belief that, in her words, “Social change is inevitable, but human needs are the same from one generation to another.”

U.S. News Ranking: 3 (tie)
Tuition: $17, 643 (in-state) $30, 309 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#11   Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)

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ASU’s School of Social Work is one of the largest and most diverse social work programs in the world. The School prepares social work practitioners committed to social justice and to serving and empowering individuals, families, and communities. It contributes to the development and dissemination of social work knowledge and skills, and affirms professional values and ethics. The School emphasizes understanding and respect for the unique social, political, and cultural diversity of the Southwest.

Their areas of strength include Child Welfare Training, Health and Behavioral Health, Community Practice, Administration, Policy Practice and Innovative Services for Children, Youth, and Families. They also focus on gerontology, forensic social work, integrative health, the animal-human bond, Borderland issues, and several other areas. ASU’s expertise and attention to cultural diversity and the distinct populations of the Southwest are unique.

U.S. News Ranking: 32
Tuition: $10, 970 (in-state) $21, 888 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#12  Boston College

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Founded in 1936, Boston College’s School of Social Work Social prepares students to initiate and sustain change in small and big ways through a rigorous, experience-based academic program and innovative research that advances the field and affects practice. Their mission is to prepare students with the knowledge, values, and skills to practice competently and compassionately and to provide an intellectual atmosphere that facilitates faculty and student scholarship and research. Boston College’s Jesuit, Catholic tradition combines rational thought and faith, logical inquiry and belief, viewing these values as complementary and synergistic. Their faculty and staff embody this synergy of service and academics.

Boston College’s School of Social Work has several concentrations: Children, Youth & Families; Global Practice; Health; Mental Health; and Older Adults & Families. Each concentration is offered as a clinical or macro practice. BC also hosts the Immigrant Integration Lab, an applied research lab exploring the intersection of social work, social policy, and immigrant inclusion. There is also a Center for Social Innovation, a National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services, and the Center on Aging and Work. Finally, to better prepare students to work with a diverse population, the B.C. School of Social Work has a Latino Leadership Initiative within the MSW program.

U.S. News Ranking: 10 (tie)
Tuition: $35, 520
Program Website

#13  Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI)

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Michigan State’s School of Social Work is dedicated to educating students for competent, responsive, and ethical social work practice. Their teaching, research, and outreach seek to promote positive change and social justice for diverse communities, organizations, groups, families, and individuals. The School claims that in an age of great economic inequality, rising social tensions, and countless vulnerable groups in need of compassion and assistance, social work is more important than ever. MSU’s School of Social Work is committed to meeting these challenges by conducting cutting edge research and by educating skilled and creative social work practitioners and scholars, within a framework that highlights social work values of empowerment and social justice.

All students studying social work at MSU begin with the generalist foundation, providing the grounding for all professional social work practice regardless of setting, specialization, or professional role. The School’s MSW programs have advanced concentrations in Clinical Social Work and in Organizational and Community Leadership to be selected for the second half of the program. MSU is strategically located in the state capital. The School recognizes the inter-connectedness and collaboration between policy and practice, politics and human needs and resources, and a systemic perspective on human and organizational behavior. With easy access to the capital, MSW students will have special opportunities to engage in advocacy projects and build advocacy, leadership, and political skills.

U.S. News Ranking: 32 (tie)
Tuition: $10, 897 (in-state) $21, 412 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#14  Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)

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Accredited in 1919, Ohio State is the country’s oldest continuously accredited social work program in a public university. The College of Social Work, through excellence in teaching, research, and service, prepares leaders who enhance individual and community well-being, celebrate difference, and promote social and economic justice for vulnerable populations. The College fosters social change through collaboration with individuals, families, communities, and other change agents to build strengths and resolve complex individual and social problems. They are dedicated to building and applying knowledge that positively impacts Ohio, the nation, and the world.

OSU’s MSW program consists of three principal parts: Through the Foundation Curriculum students master the theoretical knowledge, professional values, and core competencies common to all social work practice. The Advanced Concentration is highly applied and focuses on acquiring expertise as a master’s prepared social worker in one of several practice areas. Finally, the extensive field practicum experiences integrate theory and both foundation and advanced practice and provides highly mentored opportunities in which students further refine their skills as professional social workers.

U.S. News Ranking: 17 (tie)
Tuition: $13, 096 (in-state) $34, 568 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#15  University of Maryland – Baltimore

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The University of Maryland School of Social Work was created in 1961 and has grown to become one of the largest and most respected schools of social work in America. The mission is to develop practitioners, leaders and scholars to advance the well-being of populations and communities and to promote social justice. The UMB School of Social work creates and uses knowledge for education, service innovation, and policy development. Currently, the SSW is educating the vast majority of social workers throughout Maryland.

In the advanced year at UMB, social work students have the choice between the Clinical concentration and the Macro concentration. It is also possible to have a primary and secondary concentration. In addition, students choose a specialization or field of practice that will focus on work in a particular area of study within the concentration. These fields of practice are: Aging; Behavioral Health; Community Action & Social Policy; Families and Children; and Health. The subspecializations consist of: Child, Adolescent and Family Health; and Employee Assistance Program.

U.S. News Ranking: 17 (tie)
Tuition: $13, 328 (in-state) $29, 174 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#16  University of Illinois – Chicago

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Often described as the “mother of social work” in America, Jane Addams worked tirelessly on behalf of poor and immigrant families in Chicago. Hull-House, the internationally famous settlement house that she co-founded here in Chicago, is now a National Historic Landmark and museum on the UIC campus. Under Jane Addams, it was a leading center in the development of the profession of social work, fostering study and inquiry into the causes of urban poverty. The Jane Addams College of Social Work carries forward that mission and that spirit of service, adapting them to the realities of today’s urban environments.

MSW education is composed of two parts: foundation and advanced concentration: generalist education for practice (the first year of the MSW program for full-time students) and education for advanced practice in a concentration (the second year of the MSW program for full-time students). The MSW program prepares students for advanced social work practice in four concentrations: Mental Health; Child and Family Services; Community Health and Urban Development; and School Social Work Practice. Located in the heart of Chicago, just minutes from downtown and in the same neighborhood as Jane Addams’ Hull-House, the school is situated within a variety of urban experiences and a diversity of communities.

U.S. News Ranking: 27 (tie)
Tuition: $11, 480 (in-state) $23, 720 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#17   Portland State University (Portland, OR)

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The mission of the Portland State University MSW program is to educate students for advanced leadership and practice that recognizes and dismantles systems of oppression; builds racial equity and social, political, and economic justice; and advances the well-being of diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and tribal nations. The school endeavors to deliver a social work education that is critically informed, theoretically driven, empirically supported, reflexive, ethical, vigilant and resistive to colonial, heteropatriarchal, classist, and white supremacist agendas.

The School offers four advanced concentrations. All concentrations will focus on the knowledge, values and skills of advance practice with specific populations. These include: Practice and Leadership with Communities and Organizations; Health Across the Lifespan; Social Work with Children, Youth and Families; and Clinical Social Work Practice. Students in any concentration will be eligible to pursue clinical social work licensure after graduation.

U.S. News Ranking: 38 (tie)
Tuition: $10, 692 (in-state) $16, 824 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#18  University of California – Los Angeles

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The UCLA Department of Social Welfare’s research and teaching guide policy makers, shape practice and programs in such areas as welfare, aging, health care, mental health, children and families, and long-term support. UCLA Social Welfare faculty members are committed to placing their knowledge at the service of communities and empowering the disadvantaged and the vulnerable.

UCLA Luskin’s Master of Social Welfare is a full-time, two-year program. In addition to the core curriculum, students can participate in an advanced research course or research project focused on an issue of interest to you. Two field placements with social work agencies put into action what students have learned in the classroom, providing invaluable real-world experience. The MSW Program at UCLA seeks to educate: skilled practitioners with a solid foundation in theory, research and social policy; future leaders of the field of social welfare; and change agents in the profession of social work and the communities they serve. The program also seeks applicants experienced in working with diverse groups around issues of social justice.

U.S. News Ranking: 12 (tie)
Tuition: $22, 600 (in-state) $35, 301 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#19  Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)

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The Rutgers School of Social Work is one of the largest in the nation. It boasts seven active centers and institutes engaged in research, teaching, and public service on issues related to families, addiction, domestic violence, and global social work. It also has a wide range of faculty research including the development of evidence-based screening and intervention tools, comprehensive assessment of child-welfare involved youth, and the creation of data hubs to monitor human services professionals. The Rutgers School of Social Work also has one of the most ethnically and racially diverse student populations in the nation.

The School offers many areas of emphasis. An area of emphasis focuses on a student-identified and student-driven topic, population, or specialization. Some of the options include Social Policy; International Social Work; Children, Youth and Families; Mental and Behavioral Health; Health Area of Emphasis; and LISTA (Latino/a Initiatives for Service, Training and Assessment).

U.S. News Ranking: 22 (tie)
Tuition: $16, 848 (in-state) $28, 656 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#20  University of Denver

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The Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver fosters social responsibility regarding social and economic justice, quality of life and multicultural communities, based on equality for all people. DU’s Master of Social Work (MSW) degree empowers students to be champions for social change in their community. After completing their social work program, graduates can pursue a purposeful career working with individuals, families and communities.

During the foundation curriculum, social work students at the University of Denver acquire a broad, basic knowledge of social work. After two quarters of foundation study, students begin the concentration curriculum. Denver campus students can choose from eight concentrations, three academic certificates, the PROGRESS gerontology program and courses offered at other schools on the University campus. Concentration areas include: Aging Services and Policy; Child Welfare; Children and Youth: Risks and Healthy Development; Family Systems; Health and Wellness; Mental Health; Organizational Leadership and Policy Practice; and Sustainable Development and Global Practice.

U.S. News Ranking: 17 (tie)
Tuition: $47, 520
Program Website

#21  University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

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The UNC School of Social Work states that “As we choose our individual and collective responses to a changing world, we share one voice in our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive environment that does not discriminate on any basis and to the importance of high-quality intervention research and applied science to inform the questions of our time.” The faculty, staff and students of the UNC School of Social Work stand with those they serve and bring the best they have to offer to promote equity, inclusion and justice for all. The School has a tradition of excellence in producing practitioners and leaders who are committed to public, private and nonprofit services and to the development of policies and programs that strengthen individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations.

The MSW program offers courses and field work that enable students to think critically about the social and economical challenges facing at-risk children, adults and the elderly. The program is designed to prepare students for direct agency-based practice, management of nonprofit and public agencies, direct community practice, policy practice, advocacy and leadership positions in the social work profession. In the Advanced curriculum, students specialize in evidence-informed practice and choose from two concentrations: Direct Practice: Prepares students to understand and work with individuals, families, and small groups, within the context of the environment; and Community, Management and Policy Practice: Prepares students for leadership careers in community practice, human services administration, and policy practice and advocacy.

U.S. News Ranking: 7 (tie)
Tuition: $15, 230 (in-state) $32, 190 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#22  University of Texas – Austin

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The Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) program at The University of Texas at Austin prepares students for advanced social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.The School’s mission is to provide national leadership to promote social and economic justice, alleviate critical social problems, and enhance human well-being.

The program organizes and integrates course content and field experiences using a systems/developmental framework and a bio-psycho-social perspective. U.T. Austin offers two concentrations: Clinical Social Work and Administration and Policy Practice. Regardless of the student’s choice of concentration, the program emphasizes commitment to culturally diverse populations and women, issues of social and economic justice, and the advancement of the knowledge base of the profession.

U.S. News Ranking: 7 (tie)
Tuition: $13, 560 (in-state) $26, 016 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#23  Boston University

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The Boston University School of Social Work seeks to develop dynamic and diverse social work practitioners, leaders, and scholars through rigorous teaching, innovative research, and transformative community engagement. Their vision is to advance a just and compassionate society that promotes health and well-being and the empowerment of all oppressed groups, especially those affected by racial, social, and economic inequities. A core value of the school is to promote equity, especially in the area of health, through high-impact prevention and intervention research and scholarship, characterized by trans-disciplinary and inter-professional collaborations.

Social work students can choose to major in clinical practice in order to work directly with individuals, families, and groups. Students develop competencies in assessment and diagnosis, treatment, and prevention for a variety of emotional and behavioral problems. There is also the option of focusing on Macro social work, which promotes human development and social justice through work with communities and organizations. Students can also complete specializations in the following practice fields: Children, Youth, and Families; Integrated Health Practice; Aging; Trauma and Violence; and Leadership in Groups, Organizations, and Communities.

U.S. News Ranking: 12 (tie)
Tuition: $32, 000
Program Website

#24  Bryn Mawr College (Bryn Mawr, PA)

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Founded in 1915, the GSSWSR has from inception embraced scholarship, practice, and collaboration within a broad construction of social work and social welfare. Bryn Mawr’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research Master of Social Service (MSS) degree is equivalent in both licensure and use to the MSW degree. Their Center for Professional Development seeks to enhance the career-long learning objectives of professional social workers, counselors, and marriage and family therapists, while their Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute offers nonprofit executives and ascending leaders the tools and time they need to examine and refine their leadership and management skills.

The Master of Social Service program is a carefully balanced curriculum, in accordance with Bryn Mawr’s mission to explore the variety of roles open to social workers, in the depth required for professional practice, and with the flexibility needed for continual growth in a changing world. Building on the foundation of knowledge, analysis and critical reflection, students choose one of two practice concentrations for their final year of the program: Clinical Social Work or Community, Practice, Policy and Advocacy.

U.S. News Ranking: 38 (tie)
Tuition: $34, 960
Program Website

#25  University of Houston

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The University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW), established by the Texas Legislature in 1967, has as its primary goal the enhancement of social functioning of all persons as individuals, family members, community participants, and members of society. They aim to prepare diverse leaders in practice and research to address complex challenges and achieve sustainable social, racial, economic, and political justice, locally and globally, through exceptional education, innovative research, and meaningful community engagement.

The Graduate College of Social Work has two main concentrations: Clinical and Macro. Clinical practice includes, (but is not limited to) assessment and intervention, diagnosis and treatment, education and prevention, advocacy, counseling and psychotherapy, supervision and consultation. Macro Practice prepares students for practice in urban settings where the needs of diverse, vulnerable populations require highly skilled professional leaders.

U.S. News Ranking: 38 (tie)
Tuition: $12, 000 (in-state) $27, 400 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#26  University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

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The School of Social Work was established at the University of Minnesota in 1917, the first graduate social work program among the land-grant universities in the United States. Located in a state known historically for its progressive innovations in human services and social reform, it has always emphasized social service and social justice in shaping its teaching, community service and research goals. The School of Social Work commits itself to creating a culture of scholarship and service that welcomes all students and responds to the populations served by our various graduates. They strive to create a learning environment that is diverse in all aspects. Further, they use this environment to help all students develop the sensitivity and skills necessary to work effectively in diverse communities.

The central mission of the Master of Social Work Program is the preparation of students for advanced social work practice and leadership in the following areas: Clinical Mental Health; Community Practice; Families and Children; Health, Disability and Aging. The University of Minnesota’s program places particular importance on preparing social work professionals — case managers, policy analysts, clinicians, and community organizers — to have a practical understanding of how power and privilege, and their opposites, shape the roles that individuals and groups play in society.

U.S. News Ranking: 32 (tie)
Tuition: $16, 728 (in-state) $25, 884 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#27  CUNY – Hunter College (New York, NY)

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The Hunter College School of Social Work, currently renamed the Lois V. and Samuel J. Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, was established in 1958 and is the oldest and largest public school of social work in New York. Their location in the urban public system of New York City directs them to seek and encourage social work talent for and from the least advantaged in the population. Hunter’s commitment to educational access is evident in their continued dedication to admit and graduate a diverse student body primarily from New York City; to maintain their affordability by providing financial aid and scholarship opportunities in addition to their already modest tuition; to offer students an array of academic opportunities and supports for achievement; and to strive for multi-layered diversity in their student body, faculty, administration, and staff.

At CUNY, students are required to concentrate in one of three practice methods: Clinical Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups; Community Organizing, Planning, and Development; or Organizational Management and Leadership. Additionally, 2nd-year students are required to choose a specialization in a field of practice. As a reflection of both their commitment to a social justice and human rights framework and the nature of the service systems where the work is done, the School has chosen the following five field of practice specializations. Each of these areas is linked to a universal human right: Aging; Child Welfare: Children, Youth, and Families; Global Social Work and Practice with Immigrants and Refugees; Health and Mental Health; and World of Work.

U.S. News Ranking: 27 (tie)
Tuition: $13, 370 (in-state) $27, 300 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#28  Howard University (Washington D.C.)

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The mission of Howard University School of Social Work is to prepare MSW graduates for advanced professional practice at local, national and international levels for the solution of human problems and to become leaders in their communities. They are dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge through discovery, research, partnerships, innovative process and other scholarly educational endeavors of the faculty, staff, students and alumni. Graduates are expected to become architects of liberating structures in culturally diverse families and communities.

The academic program leading to the Master of Social Work degree at Howard University equips students for careers in direct services and macro practice. Students choose a level of intervention or mode of practice as a major area of concentration, as well as a field of practice. This choice of concentration is supported by a foundation curriculum, fields of practice, and field education. The fields of practice include: criminal justice, social gerontology, mental health, social work in health care settings, family and child welfare, and displaced populations.

U.S. News Ranking: 38 (tie)
Tuition: $30, 546
Program Website

#29  New York University (New York, NY)

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The mission of the Silver School of Social Work at New York University is to educate professionals in a global perspective for social work practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities and to provide leadership in the development of knowledge relevant to social work practice in complex urban environments. The School seeks to fulfill its mission by building and transmitting knowledge that is grounded in empirical research, and that will help to alleviate human suffering, enhance the vitality and caring capacity of communities, and promote the ideals of a humane and just world.

The New York University Silver School of Social Work offers training in direct clinical social work practice as well as having an emphasis on policy practice for students with community and policy interests, integrated primary and behavioral health care, and global social work practice with opportunities to study abroad. A focus on research-informed, direct practice with individuals, groups, and families runs though the entire MSW curriculum. All programs have a strong social justice commitment.

U.S. News Ranking: 17 (tie)
Tuition: $50, 464
Program Website

#30  University of Southern California (Los Angeles)

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The Largest school of social work in the world, USC’s Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work’s enrollment has surpassed 3,500 students, and they now graduate nearly one out of every 20 social workers in the country. Their curriculum has a new profile, with a change in the underlying concept of what our graduates must master. They emphasize critical thinking, communications and collaboration as essential skills, and have shifted from traditional research courses to a focus on the science of social work. They became the first school of social work to house a graduate nursing program. The new Department of Nursing educates nurses for clinical leadership roles that improve the health of individuals, families and communities by emphasizing an integration of the physical, behavioral, social and environmental factors that affect well-being. Additionally, their Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families seeks to expand understanding of veteran transition issues and increasing the number of behavioral health providers trained to treat veterans and their families.

The USC Master of Social Work program offers a choice of three departments of study (Adult Mental Health and Wellness; Children, Youth and Families; and Social Change and Innovation) and eight dual-degree programs. Popular classes explore issues, populations and important ideas such as: military; social change; spirituality; juvenile justice; mental health; and school social work and leadership.

U.S. News Ranking: 12 (tie)
Tuition: $53, 448
Program Website

#31  University of Texas – Arlington

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The vision of the School of Social Work at UT Arlington is to educate leaders to create community partnerships for promoting a just society. The five stated major goals of the school are: to enhance their research capacity and impact; recruit, retain and graduate high quality BSW, MSSW and Ph.D. students; foster a culture of professional development and mutual respect; to enhance the quality of external collaborations and professional service by faculty and staff; and to enhance donor participation through external relations and strategic solicitation. Finally, they seek to promote the highest standard of integrity and excellence in research, teaching and service, and to create collaborative scholarly and educational opportunities for students and the community, with the goal of achieving a just society.

The Master of Social Work degree curriculum at UT Arlington is organized around six curriculum areas: Applied Social Work Practice (Field); Community and Administrative Practice (CAP); Human Behavior and the Social Environment (HBSE); Research and Evaluation (R/E); Social Welfare Policy (SWP); or Blended Theory and Practice Courses, consisting of both Direct Practice and HBSE content. The curriculum has two Professional Concentrations: Direct Practice (Micro-Social Work), with four advanced specialties: Aging; Children and Families Services; Health Services; and Mental Health Services. The other concentration is Community and Administrative Practice (Macro-Social Work).

U.S. News Ranking: 38 (tie)
Tuition: $9, 128 (in-state) $18, 428 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#32  University at Albany – SUNY (Albany, NY)

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The SUNY Albany School of Social Welfare seeks to be an open door to successful careers for students of social work. Students: play an active role in classes and research led by internationally respected scholars and practitioner; acquire hands-on experience through the School’s numerous community partnerships; learn state-of-the-art social work techniques in a quality educational experience; take advantage of unique study abroad experiences in countries such as South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda, Liberia, Tanzania, Zanzibar, South Korea, Russia, Haiti, and Peru.

At SUNY Albany, students specialize in either clinical practice or organizational management (also known as MACRO: Management Efficiency, Advocacy and Empowerment, Community Building, Resource Development, and Outcome Evaluation). The curriculum is designed for students to gain a generalist perspective on social work. The generalist perspective includes: An eclectic theoretical grounding within a systems framework for assessing multiple points and levels for potential intervention; The need for effective multi-level interventions that focuses simultaneously on individuals, families, groups, communities, or organizations and society; and Multi-system and multi-level interventions, using an evidence-based and outcomes oriented planned change model.

U.S. News Ranking: 27 (tie)
Tuition: $13, 080 (in-state) $22, 210 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#33  Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA)

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Founded in 1917, the School of Social Work stands as the first school of its kind in the South, as well as one of two programs in Virginia (and only 39 nationwide) to offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in the discipline. The mission of the VCU School of Social Work is to prepare professional social workers as practitioners, scholars and leaders; to generate research and scholarship for advancing knowledge and practice; and to contribute to the local, state, national, international and professional communities to improve quality of life. Guided by the principle of promoting social and economic justice in a diverse and multicultural society, their programs focus on service to and empowerment of people who experience oppression or vulnerability due to inadequate or inequitable distribution of personal, social or institutional resources.

After one year of foundational study, students enroll in specialized courses in the concentrations of clinical social work practice or social work administration, planning and policy practice. The School of Social Work’s home in VCU’s Academic Learning Commons provides them with a centrally located hub that allows them to deliver their educational mission through state-of-the-art technology and flexible learning spaces. Also, with new graduate research space, students have access to the materials, supports and technology they need to further their own independent community-engaged research goals.

U.S. News Ranking: 22 (tie)
Tuition: $11, 382 (in-state) $26, 314 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#34  University of Illinois – Champaign/Urbana

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The mission of the University of Illinois School of Social Work is to develop and disseminate knowledge and to be committed to diversity and social justice, with an emphasis on research-based practice with vulnerable and marginalized populations. The campus straddles the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, which have a combined population of 122,000. The School promotes the values of the social work profession through its commitment to diversity and social justice, its focus on reciprocal interactions between people and their ecological systems, and its emphasis on the use of research-based practice with vulnerable and marginalized populations. The School serves the citizens of Illinois by linking knowledge development to community needs, by educating students for public service in child welfare, health care, mental health, and school settings, and by sharing the School’s resources with the community.

 The University of Illinois’ MSW program prepares students for advanced social work practice and for research in public and private agencies in two areas of concentration: Leadership and Social Change; and an Advanced Clinical focus. Within the Advanced Clinical concentration, students choose a focus area: Mental Health; Health Care; Children, Youth and Family Services; and Schools. Every student must choose a concentration and complete an internship within that concentration.

U.S. News Ranking: 17 (tie)
Tuition: $14, 072 (in-state) $29, 238 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#35  University at Buffalo – SUNY (Buffalo, NY)

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The diverse community of The University at Buffalo School of Social Work is unified by their vision of a better society achieved through the generation and transmission of knowledge, promotion of social justice and service to humanity. The School prides itself on improving diversity and social justice matters within the local and global community: They have a faculty statement on Black Lives Matter; a statement in support of refugees and newcomers; and a statement of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. With the school adopting a trauma-informed human rights perspectives in social work education, policy and practice, the Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care (ITTIC), established in January 2012, has quickly become an integral part of the school.

SUNY Buffalo’s first year curriculum is organized into five sequences: Policy and Diversity; Human Behavior in the Social Environment; Research; Interventions; and Field Education. Building upon the skills and knowledge gained in your foundation year, the advanced year curriculum allows students to individualize their study to reflect the practice areas that interest them most. The program is rooted in evidence-based practice and integrates trauma-informed and human rights perspectives.

U.S. News Ranking: 27 (tie)
Tuition: $13, 080 (in-state) $22, 210 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#36  Wayne State University (Detroit, MI)

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As a school within an urban research university, the mission of the Wayne State University School of Social Work is to transmit, develop, critically examine, and apply knowledge to advance social work practice and social welfare policy in order to promote social, cultural and economic justice for the betterment of poor, vulnerable, and oppressed individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations, and society. The Wayne State School of Social Work seeks to be a learning collaborative of talented and diverse faculty, staff and students addressing complex problems, promoting social justice and fostering overall well-being through engaged teaching, research and partnership within an urban and global context.

The advanced portion of the M.S.W. degree program at Wayne State is designed to provide specific knowledge and practice skills in the concentrations of Interpersonal Practice or Innovation in Community, Policy, and Leadership. The Interpersonal Practice concentration offers students a particular theoretical orientation and clinical method from among three theory “tracks”: Cognitive-Behavioral, Family Systems, and Psychodynamic. The macro track contextualizes student learning into three platforms of practice including developing and sustaining effective communities, developing and sustaining effective policies, and developing and sustaining effective organizations through leadership.

U.S. News Ranking: 38 (tie)
Tuition: $10, 752 (in-state) $21, 763 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#37  University of Georgia (Athens, GA)

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The mission of the School of Social Work at the University of Georgia is to prepare culturally competent practitioners and scholars to be leaders in addressing persistent and emerging social problems through practice, research, and policy. The School of Social Work at UGA envisions a world where social workers are at the forefront of advocating on behalf of individuals, communities and service agencies in empowering the oppressed, promoting social justice, using the best science to resolve grand challenges, and celebrating the many aspects of diversity.

The School of Social Work at UGA offers a generalist year for the first year of study followed by a concentration in the second year of either a micro or macro track or the option of a combined track. A number of graduate certificates are available to MSW students including the Marriage and Family Therapy Certificate, the Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership, and the Certificate in Gerontology.

U.S. News Ranking: 38 (tie)
Tuition: $9, 474 (in-state) $25, 686 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#38  Smith College (Northampton, MA)

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The mission of the Smith College School for Social Work is to advance the aims of the profession through education for excellence in clinical social work practice and through the development and dissemination of knowledge. The school shares with the social work profession its historic commitment to serve oppressed, disadvantaged and at risk members of our society. It is committed to implementing a curriculum that addresses the concerns, issues and interests of these populations. The school joins with the profession to struggle against inequality and oppression based on such variables as: race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age and disability. The school and Smith College are committed to promote social justice, service to society and appreciation of individual and cultural diversity in a multicultural community.

To ensure training in areas Smith School for Social Work feels are key to a solid clinical education, courses and training are divided into five academic sequences: social work practice; human behavior in the social environment; social welfare policy and services; research; and field experience. Smith students’ clinical specialization is supported with advanced courses in personality theory, practice, trauma and an opportunity to examine policy and service delivery in the field. Issues of gender, race, ethnicity, class and oppression are intricately woven throughout the curriculum — a curriculum that centers social justice, service to society and a greater appreciation of individual and cultural diversity in today’s multicultural community.

U.S. News Ranking: 22 (tie)
Tuition: $26, 020
Program Website

#39  Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)

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Graduates of the Indiana University School of Social Work go on to promote social and economic justice at every level-from providing for the well-being of others to shaping social and economic policies. Since 1911, the school has been dedicated to developing competent, caring professionals who are qualified to assume leadership roles in social work practice, and who strive to enrich the lives of the people they touch. In addition to social work, the School also serves as the home of the university’s Labor Studies Program. With more than 60 years of leadership in the field of Labor Studies and labor education, Indiana University continues to pioneer innovative and quality educational opportunities in this field.

Indiana University Bloomington offers an MSW program with a concentration in Clinical and Community Practice. After foundational classes, the Concentration curriculum serves to advance their critical thinking and foundation practice skills for entry into very specialized fields of practice, or concentrations. Additionally, students from several states in the Midwest receive a tuition break in the form of 150% of the in-state cost. Advances in Social Work, a peer-reviewed journal, is committed to enhancing the linkage among social work practice, research, and education. Accordingly, the journal addresses current issues, challenges, and responses facing social work practice and education. The journal invites discussion and development of innovations in social work practice and their implications for social work research and education.

U.S. News Ranking: 27 (tie)
Tuition: $14 568 (in-state) $31, 052 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#40 Adelphi University (Garden City, NY)

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Adelphi University School of Social Work trains practitioners to improve the lives of individuals, families, groups, and communities. The seek to graduate strong advocates for social justice and students who are a driving force for ethical social work practice.

At Adelphi, students focus on advanced direct practice and may choose optional specializations: Mental health, substance abuse and trauma in context; Health across the life course; Children and families; and Human services management and organizational leadership. Adelphi students can find field work placements in more than 1,000 diverse health, mental health and social service agencies. Finally, ninety percent of students gain employment within a year of graduation.

U.S. News Ranking: 38 (tie)
Tuition: $35, 290
Program Website

#41  University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS)

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The School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas is the oldest school of social welfare in the state and the only one to offer degree preparation from undergraduate through doctoral degrees in social work. For over 60 years, the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare has provided leadership and innovation in professional social work education. Their faculty are leading experts in many areas of practice, including: mental health, child welfare and child mental health, aging, spirituality in social work practice, criminal justice, poverty and other areas; and they bring this expertise to the classroom.

The Master of Social Work degree program at the University of Kansas offers educational opportunities for those who wish to expand their skills in helping individuals and communities develop their capacities to support and enhance the quality of life for all people. At the advanced level, M.S.W. students choose a concentration in clinical social work practice with a focus in a particular field of practice – child and family; health/mental health; aging – or social work administrative and advocacy practice. The advanced level practicum implements the student’s choice of concentration. The school recognizes that individuals with a natural skill in helping come from all backgrounds and encourages them to apply.

U.S. News Ranking: 22 (tie)
Tuition: $16 923 (in-state) $37, 529 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#42  Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)

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The mission of the Master of Social Work Program at the Tulane University School of Social Work is to educate future social workers to engage in competent, ethical, clinical-community practice that is relationship-centered, evidence-informed, and empowerment-focused, incorporating a global/local perspective. The Southern School of Social Sciences and Public Services was the first training program for social workers in the deep South. Under the sponsorship of the Kingsley Settlement House, a group of Tulane social science faculty offered the first classes in social welfare in 1914. By 1927, with funding from a Rockefeller grant, the school became a separate program with a two-year curriculum qualifying students for the Master of Arts. In 1935, the University established the degree of Master of Social Work.

Tulane School of Social Work offers a “clinical-community” curriculum based on relationship-centered practice. This course of study is designed to offer the best of class in clinical and community training that addresses the unique needs of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Team projects, problem-based learning, creative simulation, team teaching, field work, and electronic learning exchanges are some of the experiences students enjoy while fulfilling the requirements for the MSW at Tulane. Culturally relevant social work practice (CRSWP), a key focus at Tulane, is situated within a broader ideal of the institutional goal of Diversity and Inclusive Excellence.

U.S. News Ranking: 32 (tie)
Tuition: $31, 558
Program Website

#43  University of Tennessee – Knoxville

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The educational mission of the College of Social Work at The University of Tennessee Knoxville is accomplished by faculty committed to the use of teaching methods that support critical thinking and life-long learning. The college’s research mission embraces interdisciplinary collaboration and scholarship that seeks to increase knowledge for the benefit of individuals, families, organizations, and communities. Community outreach services are rendered by both faculty, staff, and students who seek to enhance the quality of life for people and human systems in Tennessee, with particular concern for improving life conditions and greater social justice for vulnerable populations.

At UT Knoxville, students complete either a clinical concentration or a macro concentration in order to focus their education to meet their professional goals. The Evidenced-Based Interpersonal Practice (clinical) concentration provides advanced training in therapeutic interventions and group work. EBIP graduates work in schools, hospitals, private practices, psychiatric clinics, prisons, non-profit agencies, community mental health centers, etc. The Organizational Leadership (macro) concentration equips students with management, social-economic development, and policy practice skills that enable them to lead non-profit agencies, work for the government, and engage with communities to help address pressing needs.

U.S. News Ranking: 32 (tie)
Tuition: $13, 084 (in-state) $31, 502 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#44  Fordham University (New York, NY)

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The mission of the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service is to educate students to promote human rights and social justice. The school strives to improve the well-being of people and communities through teaching culturally responsive, evidence-informed practice and engaging in research, public advocacy, and community partnership. Academic excellence at Fordham is enhanced by a strong sense of community inspired by social work values and by the tradition of Jesuit institutions for cura personalis: Care for the whole person. Individual attention to students by faculty, administrators, and staff is a hallmark of the school. This individualized approach is reflected in the range of programs and schedules designed to respond to each student’s personal and professional needs, and in their ongoing support and assistance for career planning as students prepare to graduate.

At Fordham, the MSW degree offers three areas of concentration that can help students take their social work career in a number of directions: Working directly with clients in a clinical setting; Leadership and macro practice; and Conducting research. Students may choose to concentrate in research or simply take courses within this concentration to strengthen their research skills and potentially enhance future job opportunities. Additionally, students may choose to become certified in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling.

U.S. News Ranking: 22 (tie)
Tuition: $30, 000
Program Website

#45  University of Connecticut (West Hartford, CT)

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The University of Connecticut School of Social Work’s areas of distinction include mental health, trauma and violence prevention and reduction; international social work and human rights; social and health disparities; diversity and cultural competence; and policy analysis, advocacy, and community organizing. The School of Social Work is involved in a growing number of interdisplinary collaborations within the University, including with the School of Law, UConn Health, and the human rights programs. They also have an extensive collaboration network with public and private human service agencies. Their graduates play major roles in planning, administering, and providing social and mental health services in Connecticut, the region, and beyond.

Students in the UConn School of Social Work MSW program are educated in micro and macro practice concentrations which focus on the workings of individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations, and policies. With diversity in students, staff and faculty, the School is recognized as having strong programs dedicated to empowering students to recognize and challenge their stereotypes and prejudices while exploring the experiences of diverse, often intersecting social identities. In addition to gaining knowledge and skills in practice interventions, UConn offers unique opportunities to be involved in both political and international social work, or to pursue dual degrees in law, public health, divinity or public administration.

U.S. News Ranking: 47 (tie)
Tuition: $14, 500 (in-state) $35, 812 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#46  University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC)

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The mission of The University of South Carolina’s College of Social Work is to promote social well-being and social justice with vulnerable populations through dynamic teaching, research, and service conducted in collaboration with diverse people of South Carolina, the nation, and the international community. The College of Social Work is a member of the University’s Division of Health Sciences. Academic deans across the division—social work, public health, nursing, pharmacy, and family medicine—collaborate closely to provide an intellectually rich, friendly environment for education, research, and service across diverse academic disciplines.

The College of Social Work MSW Program at the University of South Carolina prepares graduates to become advanced practitioners who serve diverse communities in South Carolina and beyond through specialized practice competencies in one or more of the following areas: Aging; Children, Youth, and Families; Health and Mental Health; Community, Social, and Economic Development; and/or Military and Veteran Communities. The MSW Program will provide students essential knowledge, skills, and values to practice effectively, ethically, and collaboratively to promote social well-being and social justice for vulnerable populations. The program offers more than 500 regional field placement options, as well as many international opportunities.

U.S. News Ranking: 47 (tie)
Tuition: $16, 568 (in-state) $35, 460 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#47  University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA)

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The University of Iowa School of Social Work’s mission is to develop, disseminate, and integrate excellent and compelling research-based knowledge, practice, and policy particularly as related to children, families, and older adults. Operating from strengths-based and systems perspectives, they educate graduates to be culturally competent scholars and practitioners committed to social justice and social work values and ethics, prepared to serve in and have a positive impact on a broad range of family-centered and community-based practice settings throughout the state of Iowa and beyond.

Full-time MSW options through UI are available in Iowa City and Des Moines. The program in Iowa City prepares social workers for leadership in the profession and for advanced social work practice in one of two concentrations: Family Centered Practice or Integrated Practice. The program’s general focus is on family systems and social change, both domestic and international.The Des Moines MSW program offers students unique opportunities in policy advocacy and access to state government as well as the variety of services available in the state’s largest city. The urban environment of Des Moines allows for a wide selection of practicum and field placements for students.

U.S. News Ranking: 53 (tie)
Tuition: $9, 876 (in-state) $27, 054 (out-of-state)
Program Website

#48  St. Louis University (St. Louis, MO)

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Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic universities. The School of Social Work’s interactive teaching methods integrate community-based practice with classroom activities and discussions. Small class sizes facilitate an atmosphere of intellectual dialogue that fosters relationships between students and faculty.

SLU’s Master of Social Work program prepares students to be an advanced practitioner who will act as an agent of change to promote individual and societal well-being. Students choose from three concentrations — clinical, community and organization, or applied behavior analysis. Students can further tailor their studies through an area of emphasis to focus on special populations, including children, veterans and those who have experienced trauma. Students will also be qualified to work in the areas of substance abuse and criminal justice, among other settings.

U.S. News Ranking: 47 (tie)
Tuition: $28, 500
Program Website

#49  University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY)

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The University of Kentucky College of Social Work promotes community and individual well-being through its translational research and scholarship, exemplary teaching, and vital community engagement. The College is committed to the people and social institutions throughout Kentucky, the nation, and the world. The College, like the University, is an organization that cultivates a diverse academic community characterized by interpersonal fairness and social justice. The College is fiercely committed to developing outstanding social work professionals and scholars – leaders who will serve individuals, families, and communities through innovative and effective practices that are guided by cultural competence, systematic ethical analysis, and a keen and pragmatic understanding of the human condition.

The College of Social Work at the University of Kentucky offers an MSW Curriculum based on ethical imperatives, research to practice and sound assessments and interventions. Its aim is to equip MSW graduates for the tasks and responsibilities they will encounter in professional Social Work Practice. The MSW program is open to all undergraduate degrees and offers two concentrations: Clinical Social Work and Community and Social Development. In addition, students may complete certificates in Military Behavioral Health, School Social Work, Gerontology, and Developmental Disabilities.

U.S. News Ranking: 53 (tie)
Tuition: $12, 828 (in-state) $29, 032 (out-of-state)
Program Website

 

#50  Simmons College (Boston, MA)

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In 1904, Simmons was the nation’s first institute of higher learning to offer training for clinical social workers, at the forefront of educating students for medical social work and managed care practice. Today, the School of Social Work continues to provide a rigorous clinical social work education for men and women. As clinician activists, Simmons’ students, faculty and alumni all work to develop solutions to social injustice through their teaching, research, clinical practice, and community work.

Simmons College School of Social Work offers a hands-on curriculum that integrates education and practice with social justice values, multicultural perspectives and a strong emphasis on field education. Recent School of Social Work initiatives include their Urban Leadership Program, Spanish language courses for social workers, international study and schedules that accommodate working professionals. Clinically-focused students may choose from four different specializations, each addressing the specific needs of particular client populations: Child and Family; Trauma and Interpersonal Violence; Specialization in Mental Health and Addictions; and Specialization in Health and Aging.

U.S. News Ranking: 47 (tie)
Tuition: $30, 900
Program Website