Best Social Work Programs In California

Last Updated on May 31, 2022

Social workers are professionals who aim to enhance overall well-being and help meet basic and complex needs of communities and people. Social workers work with many different populations and types of people, particularly focusing on those who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.

Depending on their specialty, job title and place of employment, a social worker may be required to participate in legislative processes that often result in the formation of social policies. They lean on social work values and principles, as well as academic research to carry out their work. 

Right here on infolearners, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on best social work programs in california, best colleges for social work in the world, msw programs in california online, best social work undergraduate programs, uc berkeley social work masters, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

Best social work undergraduate programs

University of Central Florida

Location Orlando, FL

GRADUATION RATE73%
RECEIVING LOANS39%

Founded in 1963 to educate students for the new space industry, UCF currently offers more than 230 degree programs.

UCF offers an on-campus bachelor of social work degree program. Courses include human behavior and the social environment, culturally competent social work, and social welfare policies and issues.

To graduate, students must complete 120 credits and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in all social work courses.

Applicants must enroll at UCF and complete at least 15 semester hours in common prerequisites with at least a “C” grade and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.Accreditation: University of Central Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

University of Georgia

Location Athens, GA

GRADUATION RATE86%
RECEIVING LOANS35%

Considered the birthplace of public higher education in America, UGA currently teaches nearly 40,000 students.

UGA’s bachelor of social work program offers hands-on learning experiences through field placements facilitated by the program. Sample courses include communication as a helping professional; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and service-learning in social work.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

First-year applicants must submit transcripts and a letter of recommendation. Transfer students should have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5.Accreditation: University of Georgia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Florida State University

Location Tallahassee, FL

GRADUATION RATE83%
RECEIVING LOANS38%

Founded in 1851, FSU currently offers nearly 300 degree programs.

FSU teaches its bachelor of social work program at its main campus and Panama City campus. Students can focus on children and families, criminal justice, or military social work, among others.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate, with at least 50 credits in the social work curriculum.

Applicants must enroll at FSU and complete at least 60 hours of required liberal studies courses, plus social work prerequisite courses. Applicants must also have a cumulative GPA of 3.0. FSU requires all first-year applicants to submit transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, an essay, and a resume or list of activities. Accreditation: Florida State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The University of Texas at Austin

Location Austin, TX

GRADUATION RATE83%
RECEIVING LOANS36%

Founded in 1883, UT Austin currently teaches about 51,000 students.

UT Austin offers an in-person bachelor of social work program. Foundation courses include social work research methods, social work statistics, and generalist social work practice.

To graduate, students must complete 122 credits, 480 internship hours, and 60 hours of service-learning.

Before moving into the practice-based courses, applicants must complete at least 45 credits with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and at least a 2.5 GPA in all social work courses. Applicants must also submit a personal statement and a letter of recommendation from their SW 312 (generalist social work) instructor.Accreditation: The University of Texas at Austin is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Florida International University

Location Miami, FL

GRADUATION RATE58%
RECEIVING LOANS34%

Founded in 1965 on an old airfield, FIU currently teaches about 54,000 students.

FIU offers students the chance to earn a bachelor of science in social work through an on-campus curriculum. Students complete two internships and explore topics like human diversity, interviewing techniques, and social welfare policies and services.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

Before beginning upper-level coursework, applicants must complete 60 credits with a cumulative GPA of 2.75. First-year FIU applicants must submit transcripts and ACT or SAT scores.Accreditation: Florida International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Best Social Work Programs In California

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

University of Southern California is one of the finest schools in the country for getting a degree in social work. Located in the large city of Los Angeles, USC is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Schools rank of #33 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means USC is a great university overall.

There were approximately 1352 social work students who graduated with this degree at USC in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the social work major at University of Southern California make $4,130 more than the typical graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

University of California – Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

Any student pursuing a degree in social work needs to check out University of California – Berkeley. Located in the medium-sized city of Berkeley, UC Berkeley is a public university with a fairly large student population. A Best Schools rank of #26 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means UC Berkeley is a great university overall.

There were roughly 185 social work students who graduated with this degree at UC Berkeley in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the social work program at University of California – Berkeley get $3,780 above the average graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

University of California – Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

Any student pursuing a degree in social work has to look into University of California – Los Angeles. UCLA is a fairly large public university located in the city of Los Angeles. A Best Schools rank of #46 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means UCLA is a great university overall.

There were roughly 83 social work students who graduated with this degree at UCLA in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the social work program at University of California – Los Angeles get $10,030 above the average college graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

San Jose State University

San Jose, CA

Any student pursuing a degree in social work has to take a look at San Jose State University. Located in the large city of San Jose, San Jose State is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Schools rank of #263 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means San Jose State is a great university overall.

There were approximately 233 social work students who graduated with this degree at San Jose State in the most recent data year. Social Work degree recipients from San Jose State University earn a boost of about $6,830 above the typical earnings of social work graduates.

Brandman University

Irvine, CA

Brandman is a large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Irvine. A Best Schools rank of #241 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Brandman is a great university overall.

There were roughly 151 social work students who graduated with this degree at Brandman in the most recent year we have data available.

Career Opportunities for Social Workers in California

SOCIAL WORK CAREERJOB GROWTH (2016-26)AVERAGE ANNUAL SALARY
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers16.3%$61,640
Healthcare Social Workers20.9%$76,450
Child, Family, and School Social Workers12.9%$59,500
Social Workers, All Other7.3%$72,200

Best social work programs in the world

#1 University of California – Berkeley

One of the top-ranked schools in the United States for Social Work is the University of California – Berkeley. The Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare program in this college is grounded. The school has recorded a 70-year history of excellence in social work and social welfare curriculum.

Basically, the degree program focuses on the liberal arts and graduates are qualified to apply to Master of Social Work (MSW) programs as a bridge to social work licensure.

Berkeley also offers a Master of Social Work and combined MSW/Ph.D. programs. The Berkeley Graduate Social Work Program ranks 3rd in the US News and World Report’s Best Grad Schools – Social Work rankings.

In addition to the academic program, UC-Berkeley graduates report average early career wages of $41,463 and mid-career wages of $72,087. Also, it has one of the largest student bodies in California.

#2 Rutgers University

With a history that dates back to 1766, Rutgers is one of the few universities licensed before the American Revolution. It has grown and changed significantly in more than 230 years. Rutgers now encompasses five separate campuses.

The School of Social Work offers courses on the Camden and Newark campuses. These spaces are diverse and allow students to experience student life in an urban environment.

Many Rutgers students travel daily or live in apartments near the campus, but there are undergraduate accommodations available for those seeking the bedroom experience. Students who wish to specialize in social work apply for a place in the BASW program during their second year.

This competitive program requires a GPA of 3.0, proof of having completed the prerequisite course and letters of recommendation. Social work students gain valuable experience as apprentices in organizations in New Jersey, New York City, and Greater Philadelphia.

#3 Fordham University

The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) at Fordham University prepares graduates for the practice of general social work in an agency environment. The program focuses on social justice, human rights and the well-being of individuals and communities.

All students take a 600-hour field training course at a social services agency to gain experience and practical skills. With Fordham University located in the New York metropolitan area, students have a wide range of opportunities to complete their internships. Extracurricular activities, such as conferences, conferences, and other events are offered throughout the school year.

BASW graduates are generally eligible for advanced degrees in master’s programs in social work at Fordham or other schools, allowing them to complete the master’s program in less time. Fordham’s social work programs are accredited by the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE).

#4 University of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin – Madison is one of the best social work schools in the World. So, if you plan to study social work, consider it your best option. Social work graduates from the University of Wisconsin – Madison earn approximately 11.7% more income than typical social work graduates.

Located in Madison, Wisconsin, this university is a logical choice for students who enjoy the excitement of a great city.

#5 University of Washington

Social Work (MSW) program at the University of Washington offers students three flexible ways to complete their studies.

Therefore, applicants who have already obtained a university degree in social work or social protection approved by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) are eligible to obtain the advanced qualification to complete the training program after 10 months of full-time studies.

Usually, a full-time day program that can be completed in two years is open to students from all walks of life. A part-time course that can be completed in three years is also available.

It provides students with competitive opportunities to participate in social work research projects and innovative approaches to the practice of social work. Also, the school offers a BSW program and a Ph.D. in social protection.

In all programs, during the advanced study program, students can choose a concentration camp that matches their career goals. The Uw ranks first in terms of funding for research, research results and teacher publication rates. that makes it one of the best social work schools in the world.

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