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A Guide to Connecticut Social Work Programs

By Steve Bailey


This guide offers key information and guidance for pursuing a social work career in Connecticut. Aspiring social workers can browse frequently asked questions, potential career opportunities, and education and licensing requirements.

With a bachelor of social work (BSW), you can significantly impact individuals, families, and communities from a macro perspective. With a degree from one of the best master of social work (MSW) programs in Connecticut, you can serve in clinical settings and specialize in child and family, aging, mental health and substance abuse, or school social work.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 11% job growth for social workers between 2018 and 2028, which is much faster than the average for all careers. Read on to explore the best social work programs in Connecticut.

In This Article

Frequently Asked Questions About Social Work

What does a social worker do?

Social workers help individuals and families address various challenges, such as job loss, illness, or divorce. They connect clients with community resources such as healthcare, childcare, and food support while monitoring cases to determine if situations improve. Social workers may respond and intervene in crises, such as domestic violence, child abuse, or substance abuse.

What is a social worker vs. therapist?

Social workers typically serve with government agencies, nonprofits, or healthcare organizations, helping individuals overcome life's challenges. They may intervene in cases of child abuse or if unemployment has led to food insecurity or a lack of reliable housing. Therapists and counselors usually address individual mental health needs and work to build better interpersonal relationships among couples and families.

What does it mean to be a mandated reporter?

All licensed social workers serve as mandated reporters, which means they must report to the authorities any evidence or suspicion of child abuse or neglect. Social workers can make anonymous reports, but they must do so as soon as neglect or abuse becomes apparent. Mandated reporting does not require social workers to investigate these matters on their own.

Is social work a good career?

Social work presents a fulfilling career path for individuals who want to help others. The need for these professionals continues to grow, enabling individuals with a social work degree in Connecticut to explore many career opportunities. However, the profession can be emotionally challenging and comes with relatively modest pay.

Why is accreditation important?

The best social work programs in Connecticut are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Most states require graduating from a CSWE-accredited program to secure a license to practice. This accreditation also signifies that a program offers a robust, evidence-based educational experience that prepares students to serve as competent social workers.

How do I become a social worker?

To enter the field, you need a BSW and must complete an internship. To serve as a licensed social worker, you also must graduate from an in-person or online MSW program in Connecticut and complete at least 3,000 hours of post-master's clinical work.

What Can I Do With a Social Work Degree in MA?

In Connecticut, professionals practicing clinical social work need a license. If you possess a BSW from a CSWE-accredited program, you may provide services to individuals and families. Clinical social workers need an MSW and a license from the Department of Public Health. The agency issues two types of social work licenses: the licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and the licensed master social worker (LMSW).

Clinical social workers identify and address problems for individuals, families, and communities. They often specialize in children and families, mental health, or aging. Non-licensed social workers usually serve at a macro level, developing programs and services that help communities as a whole.

According to Projections Central, jobs for Connecticut social workers are projected to grow 19% between 2016 and 2026.

Child and Family Social Worker

These professionals assist children and families facing abuse, neglect, or illness. The Connecticut Department of Public Health requires these social workers to hold an MSW to practice with a license.

School Social Worker

Serving in public and private schools, these social workers help students overcome hurdles to the learning process. The state requires school social workers to receive a degree from one of Connecticut's MSW programs.

Healthcare Social Worker

These professionals help individuals and families manage the mental, emotional, and physical stressors of serious illnesses, while also connecting them to care options. These social workers need an MSW to secure a license and practice in the state.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker

These social workers help individuals address mental, emotional, and substance abuse challenges through crisis intervention, group therapy, and preventive efforts. They need an MSW to practice in the state.

Top-Ranked Schools with Social Work Programs in CT

Kiplinger's Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*

  • University of Connecticut (#35 in-state, #38 out-of-state)

*Institution-wide ranking.

U.S. News Best Graduate Social Work Programs 2018

  • University of Connecticut (#38 tie)
  • Southern Connecticut State University (#105 tie)
  • Quinnipiac University (#201 tie)
  • University of Saint Joseph (#201 tie)

Social Work Guide's Top Online MSW Programs 2018

  • Sacred Heart University

Schools with Social Work Programs Accredited by the CSWE

  • Central Connecticut State University
  • Eastern Connecticut State University
  • Goodwin College
  • Quinnipiac University
  • Sacred Heart University
  • Southern Connecticut State University
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Saint Joseph
  • Western Connecticut State University

Schools in CT with Social Work Degree Programs

BSW and Other Undergraduate Programs

University of Saint Joseph

Located in West Hartford, USJ is a private, Roman Catholic, women's-only college with just under 1,000 undergraduate students. The School of Social Work's BSW program allows degree-seekers to specialize in Latino issues through the Latino Community Practice concentration. Students who choose this specialization must also study Spanish to achieve at least intermediate fluency and complete a field placement in a bilingual setting.

USJ also offers a criminal justice concentration that includes related electives and a field placement in a criminal justice setting. The school is dedicated to social justice and diversity, with all students required to take at least one class in Latino or racial issues. USJ also offers a CSWE-accredited MSW.

Sacred Heart University

Located in Fairfield, SHU is a private Roman Catholic institution. The social work department, within the school's College of Arts & Sciences, has offered a CSWE-accredited BSW since 1981, training generalist social workers to work with individuals, groups, and communities in many settings. All students take core curriculum classes including communications, humanities, math, and philosophy. The social work major curriculum includes courses on social welfare, social policy, diversity, and human behavior. Students then apply their knowledge in field education placements.

All learners complete at least 600 hours of supervised field education over their junior and senior years. Previous placements have been in child welfare, corrections, family services, disabilities, and health settings across the state.

MSW and Other Graduate Programs

University of Connecticut

Founded in 1881, UConn is a public institution located in the rural town of Storrs. UConn's School of Social Work's MSW program features a methods-based curriculum. Instead of choosing concentrations based on practice areas or specific populations, students choose a concentration based on their preferred style of practice.

The School of Social Work is part of the Urban Service Track collaboration, which trains healthcare professionals to work with underserved communities in urban areas across the state. Students attend interprofessional education retreats during the year and volunteer with related community service organizations.

Quinnipiac University

Located in Hamden, a suburb of New Haven, Quinnipiac is a private college offering a CSWE-accredited MSW program. The university's School of Health Sciences offers an MSW program focused on health, mental health, and behavioral health social work practice. All students take courses in interprofessional education that prepare them to work in collaborative healthcare teams.

Full-time students can begin the two-year program in the fall term. Degree-seekers can also begin the program part time in either the fall or spring terms but must complete the second year of the program on a full-time basis. Field education placements give students at least 1,000 hours of supervised experience in an organization related to their future practice goals and interests.

Southern Connecticut State University

SCSU offers a 60-credit MSW that learners can pursue on either a two-year or three-year plan. The first part of the program features courses to develop learners' practical field knowledge. In the second part of the program, students complete clinical field experience and develop a specialization in either children and families, elders and families, mental health and substance use, or social work in school settings.

MSW candidates must complete a master's thesis. Degree-seekers with a BSW from a CSWE-accredited program can pursue an accelerated advanced standing program, which may shorten the time it takes to earn the MSW. The university's Social Work Department offers opportunities for graduate assistantships that may help with the cost of tuition.

Accreditation Information for CT Social Work Schools

School Graduation Rate1 Transfer-Out Rate1 Associate’s SW Program Bachelor’s SW Program Graduate SW Program CSWE Accredited5 US News Best Social Work Grad Schools Ranking3 Net Price*1
Capital Community College 7% 28% Yes No No No Not Ranked $8,805
Central Connecticut State University 52% N/A No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $14,734
Eastern Connecticut State University 56% N/A No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $16,050
Goodwin College 23% 13% No Yes No No Not Ranked $21,757
Manchester Community College 16% 25% Yes No No No Not Ranked $4,317
Mitchell College 46% N/A Yes No No No Not Ranked $28,125
Quinnipiac University 76% N/A No No Yes Yes #201 tie $35,630
Sacred Heart University 67% N/A No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $37,204
Southern Connecticut State University 53% N/A No Yes Yes Yes #105 tie $13,517
University of Connecticut 81% 14% No No Yes Yes #38 tie $19,049
University of Saint Joseph 51% N/A No Yes Yes Yes #201 tie $26,210
Western Connecticut State University 43% 35% No Yes Yes Yes Not Ranked $16,625

*The net price is calculated by the National Center for Education Statistics by subtracting the average amount of aid (including grants and scholarships) from the total published cost of attendance for in-state/in-district students, which includes tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses. To gain a better understanding of how to interpret the statistics discussed in this table, see our list of important definitions.

Directory of CT Social Work School Programs

Capital Community College
950 Main St
Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 906-5000
School Site

Central Connecticut State University*
1615 Stanley St
New Britain, CT 06050
(860) 832-2278
School Site

Eastern Connecticut State University*
83 Windham St
Willimantic, CT 06226
(860) 465-5000
School Site

Goodwin College
One Riverside Dr
East Hartford, CT 06118
(860) 528-4111
School Site

Manchester Community College
60 Bidwell St
Manchester, CT 06040
(860) 512-3000

Mitchell College
437 Pequot Ave
New London, CT 06320
(860) 701-5000

Quinnipiac University*
275 Mt Carmel Ave
Hamden, CT 06518
(203) 582-8200
School Site

Sacred Heart University*
5151 Park Ave
Fairfield, CT 06825-1000
(203) 371-7999
School Site

Southern Connecticut State University*
501 Crescent St
New Haven, CT 06515-1355
(203) 392-5200
School Site

University of Connecticut*
352 Mansfield Rd
Storrs, CT 06269
(860) 486-2000
School Site

University of Saint Joseph*
1678 Asylum Ave
West Hartford, CT 06117
(860) 232-4571
School Site

Western Connecticut State University*
181 White St
Danbury, CT 06810-6826
(203) 837-8200
School Site

Schools with an asterisk (*) have programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).