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Top Social Work graduate schools

Looking for the top Social Work graduate schools? We put together a comprehensive list of the best graduate programs for Social Work, and put the results below. We include the acceptance rate, average GRE scores, and a brief description of each - all the information you need to kick start your research. Read on!

Case Western Reserve University Social Work school acceptance rate

Case Western Reserve University's Social Work acceptance rate is 79.00%.

Case Western Reserve University
Rdikeman at the English Wikipedia / Wikimedia Commons / "The Case Western Reserve University campus, July, 2005. Photo taken by Rick Dikeman." / CC BY-SA 3.0

The Mandel School is a historic and distinctive institution, deeply rooted in community engagement. It is one of the first professional university-affiliated schools of social work in America, established by and for the Greater Cleveland community. The school's Master of Science in Social Administration program has set the standard for social work education and research, and now their Master of Social Work program continues that tradition. Since 1915, their mission has remained consistent: to promote individual and community well-being, pursue social and economic justice, and empower vulnerable populations. The Mandel School offers three formats for their highly ranked MSW program, ensuring accessibility and inclusive excellence. Graduates of the school are equipped with the skills to effect social change across various sectors, including education, healthcare, government, non-profit organizations, financial services, and even professional sports teams. With a master's degree in social work or nonprofit organizations, a wide range of fulfilling career opportunities are available.

Columbia University Social Work school acceptance rate

Columbia University's Social Work acceptance rate is 74.00%.

Columbia University
Mark Frank and Chloe Carli / Wikimedia Commons / "WSTM Mark Frank" / CC BY-SA 3.0

The Columbia School of Social Work has been a pioneer in social work education and research since 1898. Their mission is to improve the well-being of individuals and communities in New York City, the nation, and globally by integrating rigorous academic theory with practical experience. Students receive hands-on field training, working under the guidance of highly experienced social work practitioners. The school's Social Work Office of Professional Excellence (SWOPE) is dedicated to shaping the social work profession to address the demands of the 21st century. They offer approved continuing education credits (CEs) for social workers in most states and mental health counselors in New York. Their workshops encourage creative problem-solving in client services while providing professionals with the opportunity to earn CE credits.

University of California, Berkeley Social Work school acceptance rate

University of California, Berkeley's Social Work acceptance rate is 22.30%.

University of California, Berkeley
Sanfranman59 / Wikimedia Commons / "Haviland Hall (Berkeley, CA)" / CC BY-SA 3.0

The Berkeley School of Social Welfare has been training social work professionals since 1944, with over 11,000 graduates dedicated to serving vulnerable populations in the public and nonprofit human service sectors. With a renowned faculty and exceptional students committed to public service, Berkeley Social Welfare consistently ranks among the top 10 schools of social work in the country. Their Master of Social Welfare (MSW) Program prepares students for leadership and practice roles in social work. The program focuses on specialized skills, social science knowledge, welfare policies, and service organizations. Emphasizing critical inquiry and social justice, the two-year, full-time program equips students for both generalist and specialized practice in the field of social welfare.

University of California, Los Angeles Social Work school acceptance rate

University of California, Los Angeles's Social Work acceptance rate is 40.00%.

University of California, Los Angeles
Simon Cobb / Wikimedia Commons / "UCLA School of Public Affairs" / CC0

The UCLA Department of Social Welfare is a leading force in research and teaching, influencing policy makers and shaping programs in various areas including welfare, aging, healthcare, mental health, children and families, and long-term support. The faculty members are exceptional scholars dedicated to serving communities and empowering marginalized individuals. Students benefit from a top-notch curriculum with three advanced areas of concentration: Child and Family Well-Being, Health and Mental Health across the Life Span, and Social and Economic Justice. The department has a rich history of excellence since its establishment in 1947 and is the oldest and largest within UCLA Luskin. Embracing diversity and inclusion, UCLA is committed to fostering a graduate student population that reflects the demographics of California and the nation. Located in a vibrant region, UCLA offers an action-oriented study experience. Financial support is available through fellowships that prioritize diversity and social justice.

University of Chicago Social Work school acceptance rate

University of Chicago's Social Work acceptance rate is 58.00%.

University of Chicago
Mx. Granger / Wikimedia Commons / "University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration" / CC0

The Master of Arts Program in Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration (SW) at Crown Family School prepares students for leadership roles in clinical social work and social administration. The program offers a comprehensive and interdisciplinary curriculum, combining direct social work practice, policy development, interdisciplinary research, and social science theory. The AM degree provides greater flexibility and choice for future careers. The program is continuously accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, and the coursework emphasizes understanding individual distress within a larger social context. Students develop core competencies in areas such as ethical practice, diversity, human rights, research, policy, and intervention. Concentrations in clinical practice or social administration allow for specialization, and students can customize their education with elective courses and interdisciplinary opportunities.

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Social Work school acceptance rate

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor's Social Work acceptance rate is 35.80%.

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Kevin Rutherford Thomas / Wikimedia Commons / "SSW Building" / CC BY-SA 4.0

The University of Michigan's School of Social Work is consistently ranked as the top social work school in the country, offering a wide range of curriculum options. The university provides a rich academic environment and is known for its culture of excellence and strong alumni networks. The faculty at the School of Social Work are inspiring experts in their fields, conducting research that positively impacts lives. Students at the school develop lasting connections with a diverse cohort of colleagues, while Ann Arbor, a classic college town, offers a vibrant community with numerous amenities. The university promotes diversity and provides a supportive environment, offering various services to aid students throughout their degree program.

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University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Social Work school acceptance rate

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill's Social Work acceptance rate is 51.00%.

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) / Wikimedia Commons / "2008-07-21 Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building 1" / CC BY-SA 4.0

Established in 1920, the School of Social Work at UNC-Chapel Hill has consistently earned recognition as one of the top social work schools in the United States. By conducting innovative research that enhances education and improves practice, the school tackles challenges such as poverty, mental health, violence, and substance abuse. Through comprehensive programs and collaborative projects, they equip social workers with the skills to make a meaningful difference. The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program at UNC-Chapel Hill is highly regarded and emphasizes evidence-based education. Students can choose between two concentrations, Direct Practice (DP) or Community, Management, and Policy Practice (CMPP), shaping their education and future career paths accordingly.

University of Texas, Austin Social Work school acceptance rate

University of Texas, Austin's Social Work acceptance rate is 32%.

University of Texas, Austin
Guðsþegn / Wikimedia Commons / "The Texas Union with the Tower in background" / CC BY-SA 3.0

The Steve Hicks School of Social Work has been providing exceptional education to professional social workers since 1950, serving Texas and the entire nation. Their Master of Science in Social Work program has consistently ranked among the top ten in the country by U.S. News and World Report since 2003. In 2020, their Bachelor of Social Work program was ranked number three nationally by The Best Schools. The school boasts a distinguished faculty, staff, and students who excel in their respective fields, bringing years of professional experience and expertise to the classroom. Located in the vibrant city of Austin, Texas, the school embraces its surroundings' energetic music and arts scene, entrepreneurial spirit, and natural beauty. The Office of the Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion actively promotes a diverse and inclusive environment, prioritizing respect, appreciation of differences, and the dismantling of systems of privilege and oppression.

University of Washington Social Work school acceptance rate

University of Washington's Social Work acceptance rate is 43.00%.

University of Washington
Keng Susumpow / Wikimedia Commons / "Drumheller Fountain, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington" / CC BY 2.0

The MSW program prepares its graduates for leadership and direct-practice roles in various professional settings, including healthcare, mental health, education, multicultural communities, and nonprofit or government agencies. The school offers three different degree paths - Advanced Standing, Day and Extended Degree Programs - to cater to the diverse interests, educational backgrounds, and work-life demands of the students. The program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and is designed to equip students with the skills needed to address complex social challenges in a multicultural world. In 2022, the MSW program was ranked as the second-best among nearly 300 advanced social work programs in the country.

Washington University in St. Louis Social Work school acceptance rate

Washington University in St. Louis's Social Work acceptance rate is 11%.

Washington University in St. Louis
LittleT889 / Wikimedia Commons / "George Warren Brown School of Social Work" / CC BY-SA 4.0

The Brown School is an ideal choice for individuals who are passionate about social change and are seeking a rigorous professional degree. The school offers a collaborative environment where students have the opportunity to work with groundbreaking scholars, professors, research centers, and organizations that are at the forefront of advancing the field and implementing evidence-based practices. With multiple pathways to earning a degree, including a flexible part-time option, the Brown School provides opportunities for working professionals to enhance their skills and credentials in clinical social work and social service leadership. As one of the seven schools at Washington University, the Brown School fosters multidisciplinary collaboration and solutions by connecting students to renowned scholars across various fields.


And there you have it - the top graduate schools for Social Work. These are some of the best schools in the country for this field, and admission into any of them would be a great accomplishment that could set you up for a strong career.

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