Social Work Programs

July 4, 2009

Top Social Work Graduate Programs: Ratings of Schools

Filed under: social work programs — Tags: , — admin @ 5:09 pm

The Princeton Review has something called the “Gourman Report of Graduate Programs” and in it is included ratings of social work programs. The report itself factors in areas including funding, curriculum changes, research facilities and the over-all quality of the program or school. It is continuously updated and edited to reflect new data. Let’s see what they say for the top social work graduate programs.

The phrase after each school is the department itself. The number after that indicates the rating:

1 University of Chicago Social Service Admin 4.69
2 Columbia University Social Work 4.68
3 University of Michigan--Ann Arbor Social Work 4.64
4 University of Wisconsin--Madison Social Work 4.62
5 University of Pennsylvania Social Policy & Prac. 4.58
6 Case Western Reserve University Social Work 4.55
7 Brandeis University Social Policy 4.52
8 University of Pittsburgh Social Work 4.49
9 Washington University Social Work 4.44
10 University of Minnesota--Twin Cities Social Work 4.42

I was pleased to see that University of Michigan at Ann Arbor is rated number 3 and that's what it was rated when I attended for the clinical social work degree program in the 80's. It was a very interesting program and I even did some studies in meditation.

There are many more programs available including online ones to accomodate your lifestyle so take this into account if you are looking to further your education and change work fields. You can often see the catalogs online for the graduate programs in social work and can read the pre-requisites and requirements to find the focus for the population that you wish to work with. The level of anger, stress and anxiety in our culture is quite high and doesn't seem to be alleviated by high tech gadgets designed to give us more time.


  1. Do you think it makes a difference if you get the social work grad degree from a top 10 school vs one that is less well known? Do employers keep track of which have highest ratings? My friend said they just want you to get licensed and be able to get on mental health insurance panels. I don’t think the insurance panels care where you went to school.

    Comment by Rita — July 10, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

  2. Hi there. I have been in the SW field for 10 years, in one capacity or another, and I am thinking about going back to school for my MSW. Since I have so much experience I have an idea of what I want, a program that focuses on therapy. I see the US News list and also the Princeton you listed but I don’t think it differentiates between programs that focus on therapy, case management, policy. Do you know or know where I could find this information? I know Smith is a good program for therapy but only because I know someone who went there… I can’t find any list or resources online. Any help would be appreciated!

    Comment by Alisa — July 26, 2009 @ 4:29 pm

  3. I don’t think it matters too much where your degree is from for social work grad school as long as you are licensable and take the required continuing ed credits. My friend went to Columbia and at her job interview they asked her if it was accredited! Duh- it is one of the top rated social work schools in the US. They are more concerned with fly by night programs that won’t enable you to be state licensed. Most good social work programs have an internship program too so you get social work field experience.

    Comment by Selena — July 27, 2009 @ 12:54 am

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