2016 Most Affordable Online Social Work Degree Programs

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Annual tuition amounts for our 14 most affordable social work programs range from $8,400 to $15,817, with five schools offering tuitions under $10,000 a year. Ranking #1 on our list, Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers the least expensive online Bachelor of Social Work degree, with an annual tuition of $8,400. Sam Houston State University, our #2 ranked school, offers the most affordable online Master of Social Work option.

To be included on this list, schools were required to have at least one fully online social work degree at the bachelor’s level or higher.

Rank College Annual Tuition Social Work Degree Levels Offered
#1 #1 Northwestern State University of Louisiana Annual Tuition $8,400 Social Work Degrees: Bachelor's
#2 #2 Sam Houston State University Annual Tuition $8,481 Social Work Degrees: Master's
#3 #3 Valdosta State University Annual Tuition $8,790 Social Work Degrees: Master's
#4 #4 Arizona State University Annual Tuition $8,835 Social Work Degrees: Bachelor's and Master's
#5 #5 Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus Annual Tuition $9,340 Social Work Degrees: Bachelor's
#6 #6 University of North Dakota Annual Tuition $10,619 Social Work Degrees: Bachelor's and Master's
#7 #7 Liberty University Online Annual Tuition $11,250 Social Work Degrees: Bachelor's
#8 #8 Bellevue University Annual Tuition $12,640 Social Work Degrees: Bachelor's
#9 #9 Texas State University-San Marcos Annual Tuition $12,722 Social Work Degrees: Master's
#10 #10 University of South Dakota Annual Tuition $13,642 Social Work Degrees: Bachelor's and Master's
#11 #11 Walden University Annual Tuition $13,893 Social Work Degrees: Master's and Doctorate
#12 #12 Saint Leo University Online Annual Tuition $13,950 Social Work Degrees: Master's
#13 #13 Brandman University (Online Campus) Annual Tuition $15,000 Social Work Degrees: Bachelor's
#14 #14 Boston University Annual Tuition $15,817 Social Work Degrees: Master's
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  • Annual Tuition: $8,400
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC, CACREP, and CSWE

Northwestern State University of Louisiana is an affordable choice for students interested in pursuing an online degree in the field of social work. The online bachelor’s program takes four years to complete and includes classes focusing in cultural diversity, economics of social work, and contemporary social policy. Students who complete this degree will be ready to enter the workforce upon graduation, holding direct skills and knowledge in both social work and human services. Tuition averages $8,400 annually, and online students receive a reduced rate when enrolled in more than 12 semester units.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

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  • Annual Tuition: $8,481
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC and CACREP

At Sam Houston State University, students can obtain an online master’s degree in Victim Services Management. After completing the 36-unit program, students will be prepared to work in a variety of settings, including rape crisis centers and in social policy development. Sam Houston State’s master’s program typically takes an average of two years to complete with expedited 15-week courses. Classes cover topics such as victimology, advocacy, case management, research methods, criminal justice, and family violence. Tuition is currently set at $8,481 per year.

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Online Master's Degrees (1)

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  • Annual Tuition: $8,790
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Students with busy schedules can opt for Valdosta State University’s part-time Master of Social Work. Though not entirely online, the web hybrid program lasts three years and requires five on-campus weekend sessions (one per month). Students completing this degree are also required to finish two internships in the field. Courses include Human Behavior in Social Environment, Research and Evaluation Methods in Social Work, and Social Welfare Policy. Annual tuition rates for either program are $8,790.

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Online Master's Degrees (1)

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  • Annual Tuition: $8,835
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC, CACREP, and CSWE

The online Master of Social Work from Arizona State University is aimed at working professionals looking to enhance their research skills and service strategies. The program has a concentration in advanced generalist studies that prepares students to work with both individuals and communities. It requires 60 units, but can be finished in two years (full-time) or three years (part-time). Field experience and a portfolio project are also required. Students will take courses like Assessment of Mental Disorders, Advanced Social Work Practice, and Diversity and Oppression in a Social Work Context. Average tuition is $8,835 per year.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

Online Master's Degrees (1)

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  • Annual Tuition: $9,340
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

With an annual tuition of $9,340, earning a bachelor’s degree in social work online with Eastern New Mexico University is an affordable option. Social work is a profession that promotes human diversity by working to eliminate oppression and injustice, something that the program attempts to teach all students. Courses in topics like statistics, human behavior, social work practice, social welfare policy, and social research, help to give students the skills necessary for a generalist career in social work. Students can also opt to take electives in anthropology, nursing, psychology, economics, sociology, criminal justice, and more.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

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  • Annual Tuition: $10,619
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC and CSWE

Students can complete both undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work at the University of North Dakota. The online bachelor’s program takes two years to complete, requiring local field work in addition to 39 units. Live classes are held online each Tuesday and Thursday night as well. Students will take courses on social policy, human behavior, and social work practice. There are two choices for master’s programs—one for those who have a bachelor’s in social work and another for those who have a bachelor’s in a different field. If you have a bachelor’s in social work, the program will last two years instead of three, requiring only 36 units instead of 60. Both degree programs require courses in generalist practice and human behavior.

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  • Annual Tuition: $11,250
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC and CACREP

The online bachelor’s degree program at Liberty University gives students a chance to earn a degree for $11,250 per year. The four-year degree aims to prepare students for working in a diverse field, requiring critical thinking, ethics, and compassion. Courses include Social Problems, Ethics in Professional Helping, Chemical Dependency, and Human Welfare and Policy. Core requirements also include classes in psychology, sociology, biology, philosophy, and rhetoric. Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to work as clinical social workers, child protective services specialists, foster intervention specialists, and more.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

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  • Annual Tuition: $12,640
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Bellevue University offers an online bachelor’s degree that will give students a chance to work with children in the judicial system. The Bachelor of Science in Child Protection and Juvenile Justice requires 40 credit hours, which can be completed in two years or less. The curriculum focuses on the assessment, intervention, and victimology of youth as well as psychological disorders that often arise. It also touches on the juvenile justice system and legal components of child protection. Required courses include Intervention Strategies, Child and Juvenile Protection Law, Victimology and Trauma, and Family Dynamics and Community Involvement. Annual tuition is $12,640.

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  • Annual Tuition: $12,722
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

For less than $13,000 per year, students can earn an online master’s degree in social work from Texas State University’s San Marcos campus. Courses within the program build on generalist knowledge in topics like ethics, law, diversity, human behavior, social justice, and research in the field of social work. Two different options are available for this degree: the advanced track and the foundation track. The foundation track features theoretical components based on coursework, fieldwork, and life experience while the advanced track offers a specialized approach to either administrative leadership or direct practice.

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10
  • Annual Tuition: $13,642
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

The University of South Dakota offers an online Master of Social Work degree with standard track and advanced standing options. The standard track requires 60 units, while the advanced 36-unit track is designed for those who hold an accredited bachelor’s degree in social work. The Master of Social Work (MSW) program prepares students for work in clinical services, administration, and policy analysis with courses like History and Philosophy of Social Work, Practice with Small Groups, and Diversity and Social Justice in Rural and Urban Communities.

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Online Master's Degrees (1)

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  • Annual Tuition: $13,893
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC and CACREP

Students at Walden University can choose from a variety of online graduate degrees in social work. The Master of Social Work program—which includes standard, accelerated, and advanced standing options—uses coursework, field experience, and case studies to build the skills students will need to succeed in the field of social work. Students will also choose an elective cluster to specialize in, including addiction, crisis and trauma, or medical social work. Walden also has a variety of doctoral programs. The Doctor of Social Work (DSW) requires an intensive online residency and a research project within your own community.

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  • Annual Tuition: $13,950
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

For less than $14,000 per year in tuition, students can earn a two-year online master’s degree in social work from Saint Leo University. Although the classes are online, webcam lectures facilitate face-to-face interaction even from afar. Students will take courses including Social Work Research Methods, Social Welfare Policy, Methods of Macro Social Work Practice, and Ethical Foundations in Social Work Practice.

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Online Master's Degrees (1)

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  • Annual Tuition: $15,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: WASC WSCUC

The online campus at Brandman University gives students a chance to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work from home. In addition to covering topics regarding the social, cultural, and economic processes that affect diverse groups of people, this four-year program demonstrates the importance of various individuals’ and communities’ well-being. For $15,000 per year, students will complete core requirements like Social Work Foundations, Diversity and Social Justice in a Global Society, and Human Behavior and the Social Environment. They will also choose two electives from courses such as Victim Advocacy, Youth-at-Risk, and International Social Work.

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  • Annual Tuition: $15,817
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NEAS CIHE and CSWE

Winner of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) Platinum Award in Best Practices in Distance Learning, Boston University’s online Master of Social Work program aims to stimulate students academically while instilling in them the importance of social justice and empowerment for the oppressed. Students will learn about a variety of topics including social welfare, urban poverty, racial justice, psychopathology, and trauma. Students can also choose from three different tracks within this program. The traditional track is for those starting fresh in the field of social work, while the human service experience and advanced standing tracks are designed for those who already have academic experience or have completed fieldwork. Annual tuition for Boston University’s online program is $15,817.

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Our tuition numbers reflect data collected from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Recommendation rate refers to the percent of students who said they would recommend this school based on reviews submitted to our partner site, GradReports.com.
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.