Social work school prepares students to take on a career in social work, whether as a practitioner in the clinical field, an administrator, or an organizer. It is a professional and academic field that takes works from several disciplines, including psychology, sociology and philosophy. These ideas are used to fight against the forces that cause inequities and injustices such as poverty and racism. These schools are consistently the top ranked social work schools, according to publications that include the U.S. News & World Report and The Gourman Report.

University of California, Berkeley

University of California-Berkeley has one of the richest histories of social justice that any American college campus has seen, and the School of Social Welfare has been greatly influenced by the university’s tradition. The school offers MSW and Ph.D. programs.

University of California, Berkeley School of Social Welfare 120 Haviland Hall #7400 Berkeley CA 94720-7400 510-642-4341

University of California, Los Angeles

UCLA offers a Ph.D. and a Master's in Social Welfare as a part of the School of Public Affairs. Child welfare, aging, immigration, youth, welfare reform and substance abuse are just a few of the areas of focus. The school also has several research centers in which scholars address many of these issues.

UCLA School of Public Affairs 3250 School of Public Affairs Building Los Angeles, CA 90095-1656

University of Chicago

The University of Chicago prides itself on doing everything different from its counterparts—everything from the application (the “Uncommon Application”) to social work school that is called The School of Social Service Administration. This school offers master’s and doctoral degrees.

University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration 969 E. 60th St. Chicago, IL 60637 773-702-1250

Columbia University

One of the most selective on the list, Columbia University in the City of New York, is the Ivy gem of the top 10 social work schools. Of the Ivy League schools, Columbia has always had a reputation due to the commitment to public service, and social work is no exception. The school is especially renown for international social work and policy focuses, helping the schoolo earn its place on the list.

Columbia University School of Social Work 1255 Amsterdam Ave. New York, NY 10027 212-851-2300

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Located in the picturesque Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor School of Social Work ranks high due to the school’s offerings of policy research projects--funded by the likes of the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention--and commitment to economic and social justice.

University of Michigan School of Social Work 1080 South University Ave. Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106 734-764-3309

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work is one of the oldest in the country, open since 1920. The school specializes in poverty, mental healthy, violence and substance abuse. It offers a Master’s of Social Work and Ph.D.

University of North Carolina School of Social Work Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building 325 Pittsboro Street CB #3550 Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3550 919-962-1225

University of Southern California

The USC School of Social Work boasts one of the most selective Ph.D. social work programs and offers individualized study plans and more electives for MSW students. The school also offers the first nurse social work practitioner program.

University of Southern California School of Social Work Montgomery Ross Fisher Building Los Angeles, CA 90089-0411 213-740-2711

University of Texas, Austin

The School of Social Work at the Austin campus offers a social work education at all levels of collegiate learning, from a bachelor’s to a doctorate degree. Those interested in social work practice, policy, administration, researching and teaching are encouraged to apply.

The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work 1925 San Jacinto Blvd Austin, TX 78712 512-471-5457

Washington University, St. Louis

The George Warren Brown School of Social Work is consistently the highest ranked school of social work by the U.S. News & World Report. According to the website, the school is committed to research and social change.

Washington University George Warren Brown School of Social Work Campus Box 1196 One Brookings Drive St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

University of Washington

Since 1934, the University of Washington, located in Seattle, has been educating social work students to better understand the complex social issues that plague our modern world and teach them how to best tackle these problems.

University of Washington School of Social Work 4101 15th Avenue NE Seattle, WA 98105 206-543-5640

Related Articles