2020 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Social Work Degrees

By the OnlineU team | Updated 3/13/2020
2020 Most Affordable Social Work Bachelors Degrees Badge
By the OnlineU team | Updated 3/13/2020

These 23 colleges offer the most affordable online bachelor's in social work degrees. Wichita State University is the #1 school on the list, offering a tuition rate of $6,708 annually. Ranked #2, Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus offers a Bachelor of Social Work at a tuition rate of $7,492 annually. Classes for this program include Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Inside Family Violence, Perspectives in Mental Health, Public Child Welfare, Social Welfare Policy, Southwest Peoples and Culture, and Working with Aging Populations. Below, we provide information about whether an online bachelor's in social work is worth it, degrees that go well with social work, and job outlook for social work graduates.

You can read more about our ranked schools below or browse our 2020 rankings of the most affordable online MSW programs. View our methodology or learn more about OnlineU.

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Rank School Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 Wichita State University $6,708
# 2 #2 Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus $7,492
# 3 #3 University of Arkansas at Little Rock $8,400
# 4 #4 Briar Cliff University $9,960
# 5 #5 Lewis-Clark State College $9,989
# 6 #6 Troy University $10,140
# 7 #7 University of Cincinnati $10,492
# 8 #8 Liberty University $11,700
# 9 #9 University of Nebraska at Kearney $11,880
# 10 #10 King University $11,895
# 11 #11 Campbellsville University $11,970
# 12 #12 Touro University Worldwide $12,000
# 13 #13 University of North Dakota $12,120
# 14 #14 Eastern Kentucky University $12,270
# 15 #15 Aurora University $12,750
# 16 #16 Virginia Wesleyan University $12,768
# 17 #17 Indiana Wesleyan University Online $12,780
# 18 #18 Limestone College $13,230
# 19 #19 Misericordia University $13,330
# 20 #20 Brescia University $13,600
# 21 #21 Western New Mexico University $15,231
# 22 #22 The University of Tennessee - Knoxville $15,270
# 23 #23 Malone University $15,810
#1
#1
Annual Tuition: $6,708
Annual Tuition: $6,708
Annual Tuition: $6,708

Wichita State University (WSU) offers an online Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) program with a concentration in Social Work through the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS). The social work specialization does not lead to licensure in the field. The BGS degree is intended for students who have multiple academic interests and wish to customize their degree program. The 120-credit BGS program requires that students complete 94 LAS credits and 33 credits of major area requirements....

Online coursework is delivered on the Blackboard learning management platform, where students have access to readings, exercises, discussion forums, lecture videos, assignments, and quizzes. WSU offers the resident tuition rate for all online programs. Online learners have access to electronic library resources, the online writing center, technology help desk, and testing services. Online student success tools and resources are also available, including an online student development series and OneStop services, which support students in the areas of admission, financial aid, registration, advising, and Blackboard.

First-year applicants must submit an online application and official high school transcripts (or equivalent), have a minimum GPA of 2.25, and an ACT/SAT score of 21/1080, respectively. Transfer students must complete an online application and submit official transcripts with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. They must also meet all first-year student requirements.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Acceptance Rate: 94%
  • Average SATs: 1050 -1290
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,016
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 572
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Cooperative Education, Forensic Social Work, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Studies, Sexual Assault Issues, Social Work & Entrepreneurship, Women and Compassion Fatigue

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of General Studies - Social Work
#2
#2
Annual Tuition: $7,492
Annual Tuition: $7,492
Annual Tuition: $7,492

Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) offers a fully-online Bachelor of Social Work program. The curriculum follows the guidelines of the Council on Social Work Education to prepare students to be ethical and effective generalist practitioners in settings, including health/mental health, child welfare, community-based organizations, and schools. The 57-credit hour program can be completed in four semesters with a full-time course load. Students must complete a field placement at an area of interest... with support from faculty, field supervisors, and liaisons during their senior year.

Online classes follow a blended asynchronous and synchronous format and may require live participation. Coursework is delivered through Mediasite and Blackboard learning platforms, where students can view recorded lectures, connect with instructors, and complete assignments, readings, labs, tests, and projects. The ENMU Foundation, Enrollment Services Offices, and academic departments offer scholarships to current, incoming, and military/veteran students. Online students have access to a variety of resources, including academic advising, tutoring services, an online writing center, and the Golden Library.

Applications into the program are accepted in the fall and spring semesters. Prospective students must submit an ENMU undergraduate application, an ENMU social work program application, official transcripts with a minimum 2.5 GPA, an essay, and three references. They must also complete an entrance interview.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 35%
  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Average SATs: 860 -1070
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,693
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 979
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Inside Family Violence, Perspectives in Mental Health, Public Child Welfare, Social Welfare Policy, Southwest Peoples and Cultures, Working with Aging Populations

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work
#3
#3
Annual Tuition: $8,400
Annual Tuition: $8,400
Annual Tuition: $8,400

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UA Little Rock) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Social Work for Arkansas residents. The 120-credit program requires 35 credits of core courses, 50 credits of major courses, three credits of abnormal psychology and writing courses, 12 elective credits, and 18-21 credits of university requirements. The curriculum focuses on human behavior and social problems. Students develop critical thinking, assessment, and problem-solving skills. To graduate, students... must complete a two-semester internship.

Online coursework is asynchronous and delivered on the Blackboard learning management platform, where students can watch video lectures, manage assignments, and communicate with instructors and peers. Online students pay standard tuition rates with no additional campus fees. Additionally, military and veteran students are eligible for reduced rates, and the application fee is waived. Students have the option to enroll in a payment plan for the fall and spring semesters. Students can also apply for UA Little Rock private scholarships. Online students have access to library resources, the university book store, military student success center, disability resource center, academic resources, and IT services.

Prospective students must first be admitted into UA Little Rock, which requires an online application (with fee), official transcripts, and ACT/SAT scores. Applications for the Bachelor of Social Work program are accepted in March, and classes being in the fall semester. Students must complete an academic advising session and prerequisite courses with a minimum GPA of 2.5.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 39%
  • Acceptance Rate: 75%
  • Average SATs: 950 -1190
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,579
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 759
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Abnormal Psychology, Addictions in Social Work, Editing for Usage, Style and Clarity, Statistics for Social Workers

#4
#4

Briar Cliff University

Sioux City (IA)
Annual Tuition: $9,960
Annual Tuition: $9,960
Annual Tuition: $9,960
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 214
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 152
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Community Organization, History and General Method of Social Work, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Social Issues and Policy

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work (Degree Completion)
#5
#5
Annual Tuition: $9,989
Annual Tuition: $9,989
Annual Tuition: $9,989
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 35%
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Average SATs: 890 -1110
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 740
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU

Example Classes: Biological Bases Of Behavior, Diversity Awareness in Social Work Practice, General Practice in Macro-interventions, Generalist Practice in Mezzo-intervention, Generalist Practice in Microinterventions

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work
#6
#6

Troy University

Troy (AL)
Annual Tuition: $10,140
Annual Tuition: $10,140
Annual Tuition: $10,140
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 42%
  • Acceptance Rate: 88%
  • Average SATs: 960 -1145
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 4,492
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,056
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Diversity, Ethics, Profession Communications Skills, Social Policy and Planning

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BS in Social Work
#7
#7

University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati (OH) (and 1 other)
Annual Tuition: $10,492
Annual Tuition: $10,492
Annual Tuition: $10,492
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 83%
  • Graduation Rate: 68%
  • Acceptance Rate: 76%
  • Average SATs: 1160 -1370
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,460
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 3,820
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Families in America, Mental Health Perspectives in Social Work, Poverty in America, Professional Issues for Social Workers

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work
#8
#8

Liberty University

Lynchburg (VA)
Annual Tuition: $11,700
Annual Tuition: $11,700
Annual Tuition: $11,700
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Acceptance Rate: 30%
  • Average SATs: 970 -1200
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 32,610
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 31,396
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Chemical Dependency, Ethics in Professional Helping, Human Behavior & the Social Environment, Social Welfare & Policy, Social Work Practice with Groups, Social Work Practice with Individuals & Families

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BS: Social Work
#9
#9
Annual Tuition: $11,880
Annual Tuition: $11,880
Annual Tuition: $11,880
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • Acceptance Rate: 82%
  • Average SATs: 935 -1120
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 376
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,621
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Aging Services, Child Abuse and Neglect, Medical Social Work, School Social Work, Social Work in Legal Settings, Violence Across the Lifespan

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Social Work Comprehensive
#10
#10

King University

Bristol (TN)
Annual Tuition: $11,895
Annual Tuition: $11,895
Annual Tuition: $11,895
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 88%
  • Graduation Rate: 46%
  • Acceptance Rate: 51%
  • Average SATs: 950 -1160
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 640
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 115
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Historical Foundations and Contemporary Issues, Human Diversity and Ethical Issues, Writing for Social Workers

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work
#11
#11

Campbellsville University

Campbellsville (KY)
Annual Tuition: $11,970
Annual Tuition: $11,970
Annual Tuition: $11,970
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Acceptance Rate: 69%
  • Average SATs: 940 -1153
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 529
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 832
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Addictions, Child Abuse & Interventions, Child Abuse & Neglect, Crisis Intervention, Death, Dying and Bereavement, Foster Care & Adoption, Human Rights, Marriage and Family

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work
#12
#12

Touro University Worldwide

Los Angeles (CA)
Annual Tuition: $12,000
Annual Tuition: $12,000
Annual Tuition: $12,000
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 88%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 438
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,163
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: WASC WSCUC

Example Classes: Domestic Violence, Drug and Alcohol Treatment in Social Work, Military Approach to Social Work, Social Justice and Diversity, Social Work with Older Adults, Youth-at-Risk

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BA - Social Work
#13
#13

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks (ND)
Annual Tuition: $12,120
Annual Tuition: $12,120
Annual Tuition: $12,120
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Acceptance Rate: 83%
  • Average SATs: 980 -1230
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,867
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,664
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Child Welfare, Cooperative Education, Generalist Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations, Generalist Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families, Generalist Social Work Practice with Task and Treatment Groups, Human Behavior and the Social Environment I, Orientation to Gerontology, Social Policy, Social Work & the Legal Process, Social Work Research, Substance Use and Abuse

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW)
#14
#14
Annual Tuition: $12,270
Annual Tuition: $12,270
Annual Tuition: $12,270
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Acceptance Rate: 87%
  • Average SATs: 1020 -1190
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,175
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,403
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Addictions, Assessing Needs of Older Adults, Crisis Intervention, Racial and Ethnic Relations, Social Welfare Policy History, Stress Management and Self-Care

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BSW (Bachelor of Social Work)
#15
#15

Aurora University

Aurora (IL)
Annual Tuition: $12,750
Annual Tuition: $12,750
Annual Tuition: $12,750
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Acceptance Rate: 87%
  • Average SATs: 970 -1150
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 365
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 517
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Individuals and Families, Social Work with Communities and Organizations, Social Work with Groups

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work
#16
#16
Annual Tuition: $12,768
Annual Tuition: $12,768
Annual Tuition: $12,768
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Acceptance Rate: 70%
  • Average SATs: 980 -1180
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 43
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 79
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Aging in the Media, Human Sexuality, Legislation, Policy and Administration, Lifespan Development and Behavior

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Science - Social Welfare
#17
#17
Annual Tuition: $12,780
Annual Tuition: $12,780
Annual Tuition: $12,780
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 82%
  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 5,219
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 3,418
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Human Behavior and the Social Environment I, Minority Group Relations, Social Problems, Social Research, Social Welfare Organization

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • B.S. Social Work
#18
#18

Limestone College

Gaffney (SC)
Annual Tuition: $13,230
Annual Tuition: $13,230
Annual Tuition: $13,230
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
  • Graduation Rate: 35%
  • Acceptance Rate: 50%
  • Average SATs: 960 -1130
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,294
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 67
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Introduction to Social Work as a Profession, Practice with Culturally Diverse Populations, Social Welfare Programs and Policy, Social Work Intervention: Large Groups and Community Organization, Social Work Specialized Groups, The Influence of Sexual Factors on Behavior

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work
#19
#19
Annual Tuition: $13,330
Annual Tuition: $13,330
Annual Tuition: $13,330
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 69%
  • Acceptance Rate: 79%
  • Average SATs: 1040 -1200
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 244
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 163
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE

Example Classes: Adaptive Behavior, Developing Cultural Competence with Children and Families, Drug Pharmacology, Trauma and Resiliency

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Social Work
#20
#20

Brescia University

Owensboro (KY)
Annual Tuition: $13,600
Annual Tuition: $13,600
Annual Tuition: $13,600
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 34%
  • Acceptance Rate: 42%
  • Average SATs: 1000 -1220
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 396
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 47
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Ethical Considerations in Social Work, Human Behavior in the Social Environment I, Social Issues in Diversity, Social Welfare Policy, Social Work and Aging

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work
#21
#21
Annual Tuition: $15,231
Annual Tuition: $15,231
Annual Tuition: $15,231
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 26%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 535
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 686
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Ethics in Social Work/Human Services, General Psychology, Macro Practice in Social Work, Micro Practice in Social Work, Writing for Social Work

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work
#22
#22
Annual Tuition: $15,270
Annual Tuition: $15,270
Annual Tuition: $15,270
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Acceptance Rate: 77%
  • Average SATs: 1150 -1330
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 110
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 819
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Interviewing Skills and the Helping Relationship in Social Work Practice, Understanding Diversity in a Global Society

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Social Work
#23
#23

Malone University

Canton (OH)
Annual Tuition: $15,810
Annual Tuition: $15,810
Annual Tuition: $15,810
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 57%
  • Acceptance Rate: 66%
  • Average SATs: 940 -1190
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 96
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 150
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Community and Organizational Development, Field Instruction in Social Work, History of Social Welfare, Human Behavior and Social Environment, Methods of Social Research, Professional Issues in Social Work, Social Welfare Policy Analysis

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (Degree Completion)

Can you earn a social work degree online?

Absolutely — we’ve listed the most affordable online bachelor’s degrees in social work above. OnlineU.com also ranks the 25 best online degrees by their return on investment, which considers future debt and earnings alongside tuition.

Social work degrees are increasingly available online, and a 2019 report from the CSWE noted that 84.6% of U.S. bachelor’s programs deliver at least some of their required courses virtually. Even more master’s programs in social work are offered remotely, with 30% delivered completely online. This may reflect the fact that M.S.W. students skew older than undergraduates and are more likely to have full-time job and family responsibilities, so many are attracted to the flexibility that online degrees provide.

Like many program-accreditation bodies, the CSWE is slowly starting to accredit distance-learning programs, though it still has a lot of work to do. The stigma around online degrees is fading as more schools offer hybrid or fully online programs. HR managers have publicly called for companies to consider graduates of online programs so they don’t ignore good candidates, and one study found that a majority of HR professionals see online degrees as equal to in-person versions.

Is an online social work degree worth it?

There is no catch-all answer to this question; it’s one that individuals must decide for any degree they choose to pursue. For salary, the BLS reports median annual wages of $50,470. This is about $11,000 more than the median for all occupations in the U.S. The industry outlook is also strong. But it’s important to note that most social workers eventually earn an M.S.W., and many hold licenses. These achievements skew the data because licensed M.S.W. graduates are qualified for many higher-paying positions that B.S.W. graduates can’t contend for.

Social workers report high levels of job satisfaction, according to a 2017 CWSE report. Over 90% of B.S.W.-level professionals said they were very or somewhat satisfied with their current positions, and about 80% of the same group were very or somewhat satisfied with their salaries.

Deciding the worth of an online degree takes careful research, and our sister sites GradReports and OnlineU.com can help prospective students decide if a social work degree is worth it. GradReports ranks programs by the median salaries their alumni earn a year after graduation, but this includes both on-campus and online programs in the data. OnlineU.com ranks online degrees by their return on investment, a measure of projected future earnings and debt in comparison to a school’s tuition.

What degrees go well with social work?

Several disciplines make natural companions to social work studies. Many social workers help people with problems such as poverty and discrimination, so it may be useful to accompany a social work degree with a degree in sociology, political science, public health, or law to understand the systemic and cultural factors behind these issues. This may also help a social worker qualify for a policy job where they can advocate for changes and improvements. Students who want to be licensed clinical social workers can benefit from studying psychology, because they’ll need to diagnose a variety of mental and emotional issues and then design treatment plans to encourage behavioral or environmental changes.

Social workers seeking a career in corrections may consider adding a criminal justice major or minor to their social work degree. It’s worth noting that this sector is growing at 4% annually, which is average for U.S. occupations but much slower than the 13% growth enjoyed by general and clinical social workers. Students who want to manage a social service team might consider studying business or nonprofit management alongside social work, which can put them on a higher-paying career path.

What other factors should I consider in my online social work program besides affordability?

Research conducted by our sister site OnlineU.com suggests that most online students prefer small class sizes that allow them to engage closely with their professors. Some students also cite accessible and helpful resources as a factor in their positive reviews, including engaged academic advisors, a well-connected career services office, and physical and mental health counseling for distance learners. Some schools require internships or field placements as part of the degree pathway, including two of our top-ranked universities: Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. These opportunities can be a helpful boost to students’ professional networks and provide real-world experience that they can cite in job applications and interviews.

Another factor may be course delivery and accessibility — whether courses are completely synchronous or require some live time commitments, and whether a school is willing and able to accommodate an online student’s disability. Prospective students should review each school’s program and “about us” pages for information on all these factors, along with graduation rates and employment rates after graduation. Schools will usually boast of programs with especially good numbers, but if they aren’t easy to find on a school’s site, the Department of Education’s College Scorecard may have the necessary data.

Can I get hired with an online bachelor’s degree in social work?

Yes. An online bachelor’s degree can qualify graduates for entry-level jobs as case workers (in government agencies or nonprofits), probation officers, substance abuse counselors, aides to mental health professionals, and more. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum required degree for these and most other social work positions, as long as it’s from an accredited institution. And though an employer won’t necessarily know that a degree was obtained through online coursework, the stigma around online education is eroding. A 2019 survey of HR leaders found that 61% view online degrees as equal in quality to in-person degrees.

Some social work jobs require a bachelor’s degree that doesn’t necessarily need to be in social work. In a 2020 survey by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), 8.6% of responding social workers claimed their job required a bachelor’s degree in social work, and another 9.9% said their job required a bachelor’s degree in any subject. Most respondents worked in jobs requiring a master’s degree, with or without a license, which suggests that most social workers eventually pursue a higher degree. Social work graduates may also get a job in another field that requires a bachelor’s degree, either to work while they pursue an M.S.W. or to pivot to another career entirely.