2017 Top Master's in Social Work Programs

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Masters social work

Based on feedback from real students, this list highlights the top 39 schools that offer social work master's degrees. Tuition rates for ranked schools run from an affordable $6,098 - $27,790 a year at Arizona State University, to a more pricey $52,713 at University of Chicago. Aurora University, Clark Atlanta University and Loyola University Chicago offer annual out-of-state tuition in the more moderate $10,000 - $20,000 range, while University of LouisvilleUniversity of Washington - Seattle and University of Utah have annual out-of-state tuition costs in the mid $20,000 - $30,000 range.

Top-rated CUNY Lehman College received a Student Score of 88.90 and 100% of the graduates who reviewed the MSW program recommended it. One student attests that, because of the small size of the college, "Everybody knows everyone by name." Another student went even further, stating that the college has a "family atmosphere." Still another described the program as a place where "the faculty staff know you by name and are genuinely interested in the well-being of their students." Click on the names of the featured schools listed below to read additional reviews and learn more about these top-rated social work programs. If you're considering an online MSW, be sure to refer to our rankings of schools offering social work degrees online.

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All schools on this list have at least one degree accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
Rank College Campus Location 2017 Student Score
#1 #1 CUNY Lehman College Campus Location Bronx (NY) 2017 Student Score 88.90
#2 #2 Florida Atlantic University Campus Location Boca Raton (FL) 2017 Student Score 87.22
#3 #3 California State University-Los Angeles Campus Location Los Angeles (CA) 2017 Student Score 84.74
#4 #4 CUNY Hunter College Campus Location New York (NY) 2017 Student Score 84.01
#5 #5 Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Campus Location Indianapolis (IN) 2017 Student Score 83.75
#6 #6 University of Kansas Campus Location Lawrence (KS) 2017 Student Score 83.22
#7 (tie) #7 (tie) Adelphi University Campus Location Garden City (NY) 2017 Student Score 82.41
#7 (tie) #7 (tie) University of Georgia Campus Location Athens (GA) 2017 Student Score 82.41
#9 #9 Boston College Campus Location Chestnut Hill (MA) 2017 Student Score 82.26
#10 #10 Barry University Campus Location Miami Shores (FL) 2017 Student Score 81.92
#11 #11 Aurora University Campus Location Aurora (IL) 2017 Student Score 81.28
#12 #12 University of Southern California Campus Location Los Angeles (CA) 2017 Student Score 80.72
#13 #13 Arizona State University Campus Location Tempe (and 4 others) 2017 Student Score 80.60
#14 #14 Portland State University Campus Location Portland (OR) 2017 Student Score 80.51
#15 #15 University of Maryland-Baltimore Campus Location Baltimore (MD) 2017 Student Score 80.50
#16 #16 University of Central Florida Campus Location Orlando (and 7 others) 2017 Student Score 80.38
#17 #17 California State University-Fullerton Campus Location Fullerton (CA) 2017 Student Score 80.24
#18 (tie) #18 (tie) Fordham University Campus Location Bronx (NY) 2017 Student Score 80.22
#18 (tie) #18 (tie) Simmons College Campus Location Boston (MA) 2017 Student Score 80.22
#20 #20 University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus Campus Location Pittsburgh (PA) 2017 Student Score 79.85
#21 #21 University of Utah Campus Location Salt Lake City (UT) 2017 Student Score 79.24
#22 #22 Rutgers University Campus Location New Brunswick (NJ) 2017 Student Score 79.12
#23 #23 New York University Campus Location New York (NY) 2017 Student Score 78.74
#24 #24 Temple University Campus Location Philadelphia (PA) 2017 Student Score 77.75
#25 #25 Columbia University in the City of New York Campus Location New York (NY) 2017 Student Score 77.65
#26 #26 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Campus Location Ann Arbor (MI) 2017 Student Score 77.11
#27 #27 Boston University Campus Location Boston (MA) 2017 Student Score 76.44
#28 #28 University of Chicago Campus Location Chicago (IL) 2017 Student Score 76.43
#29 #29 Washington University in St. Louis Campus Location Saint Louis (MO) 2017 Student Score 76.17
#30 #30 The University of Texas at Austin Campus Location Austin (TX) 2017 Student Score 75.74
#31 #31 University of St. Thomas Campus Location Saint Paul (MN) 2017 Student Score 75.53
#32 #32 University of Washington - Seattle Campus Location Seattle (WA) 2017 Student Score 74.89
#33 #33 University of Denver Campus Location Denver (CO) 2017 Student Score 74.38
#34 #34 University of Louisville Campus Location Louisville (KY) 2017 Student Score 73.36
#35 #35 Clark Atlanta University Campus Location Atlanta (GA) 2017 Student Score 73.35
#36 #36 Loyola University Chicago Campus Location Chicago (IL) 2017 Student Score 71.94
#37 #37 Virginia Commonwealth University Campus Location Richmond (VA) 2017 Student Score 69.60
#38 #38 University of Pennsylvania Campus Location Philadelphia (PA) 2017 Student Score 69.23
#39 #39 University of South Carolina-Columbia Campus Location Columbia (SC) 2017 Student Score 65.86


Our goal in presenting this school data is to create a standardized and trustworthy method to assess institutions based on reliable statistics. In order for a school to be eligible to be featured on a 2017 Top Programs List, at least ten students from that particular major must have submitted feedback on their institution. Graduate Programs only considers regionally or nationally accredited, non-profit institutions for our rankings. Aggregated student rating values were multiplied by 20 to create a Student Score out of 100; in the event of a tie, schools were awarded the same rank value.

Together with our internal recommend rate data, which is calculated based on tens of thousands of student reviews submitted to our site, the data used in the school listings were gathered in 2016-2017 from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This site is the primary governmental entity for gathering and presenting data related to education. NCES data is updated annually. However, in many cases the most recently available data will not be for the current academic year. Additionally, tuition rates may vary by program, so prospective students should contact a representative from your institution of choice for more details.

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This indicates that a school has an annual tuition of $15,000 or less as reported to the National Center for Education Statistics or based on the school's website.