Home > The Top Ranked Online Degree Programs in Social Work

The Top Ranked Online Degree Programs in Social Work

The field of social work offers substantial rewards to the professionals who choose it as a career. Though challenging, social work professionals are able to improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable and needy populations. Those who graduate with a degree in social work can find jobs with a wide range of human service agencies identifying individuals, families, and groups in need, determining appropriate intervention actions and providing support services. Social workers practice in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and government agencies. Some specialize in specific populations such as pediatrics, families, or geriatrics. They might also specialize in a specific at-risk group such as abused children, drug or alcohol addicted individuals, or pregnant teens. There is a substantial need for qualified, educated social workers in all urban, suburban, and even rural areas spanning the U.S.

To pursue a career in social work, education is essential, and salary ranges increase with advanced studies. Professionals with advanced degrees receive much higher salaries than those with an associate or bachelor’s degree, however, individuals trying to pursue additional educational accomplishments while working may face significant challenges and difficulties. Online degree options provide students with the flexibility necessary to allow them to successfully complete their educational goals without interfering with other responsibilities.

Below is a list of the top ranked online programs for 2017, offering the highest quality educational programs at a range of degree levels from undergraduate to graduate and post-graduate certificate programs. Each one is uniquely designed to increase the skills and knowledge of the students while providing the education necessary to advance their careers and increase their salary.

The Schools


To determine the best online social work programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the 8 best online Social Work programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.

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