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MSW Rankings

MSW School Rankings

US News and World Report magazine conducts an annual survey of the nation's colleges and universities, issuing ranking and ratings for various types of universities and for many of the major graduate programs. Their ranking for the top ten schools of social work is provided below along with some brief comments about the programs at each school. The MSW is one of those degrees that often leads to a direct counseling practice and requires state licensure. Before enrolling in an MSW program you should check with the proper agency in the state where you intend to pursue your career about any issues regarding the source of your degree. Note these are all CAMPUS based programs, see here for Online MSW programs.

    • Washington University in St. Louis offers the MSW with six areas of specialization: social & economic development; management; children, youth & families; gerontology; health; and mental health. Students also have the option of an individualized program. The Brown School of Social Work gives out about $3 million in scholarships every year.
    • University of Michigan/Ann Arbor has a sixty credit-hour MSW program that requires selection of both a practice method and a practice area. Methods include community organization, social policy, human services management and interpersonal practice. The practice area options are gerontology, children and youth, social systems, health, and mental health.
    • University of Chicago School of Social Systems Administration offers a two year master's degree program with additional clinical hours required. The two elective options are clinical practice and social administration. There are residential placements in both years.
    • Columbia University Master of Social Work is a sixty credit course of study that includes a large amount of field work. There are 1,200 hours of field instruction during the course of the curriculum. There is no more varied collection of social work placement opportunities than those found in New York City. Students select one of four methods of practice and one of seven areas of practice.
    • University of Washington MSW program prerequisites include completion of a statistics course and a biology course. The program devotes the first year to core courses and the second to specialization options which include administration & policy; children & families; community based integrative practice; and health & mental health practice.
    • University of California/Berkeley has five areas of concentration for its two year MSW program: child & family services, community mental health, health services, gerontology, and planning & management. There are several joint and dual degree options including one with the master's in international & area studies program.
    • University of Texas/Austin offers a sixty credit hour program that is reduced to 42 - 48 hours if you have a bachelor's in social work. There are just two areas of concentration: clinical social work, and community & social leadership. The program has a lot of flexibility with eighteen month to three year study options. You'll spend 1,020 hours doing clinical field work.
    • University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill offers the foundation curriculum in year one of the MSW program and then provides three areas of specialization to choose from in year two. Those are direct practice; management and community practice; and a self directed option that allows the student to design a program that will lead to appropriate service skills within the context of the two types of practice.
    • University of Southern California provides two year, three year or four year schedules for completion of the MSW. There are ten areas of concentration and sub-concentration, one of which is Military Social Work and Veterans Services. There are also options in public child welfare, gerontology and school settings.
    • Case Western Reserve University offers the Master of Science in Social Administration with two areas of concentration: Community & Social Development and Direct Practice. Within the direct practice field there are options for gerontology, substance abuse, children & families, health, mental health, and children/adolescents.


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