North Carolina Social Work Programs and Degrees Guide

Social work degrees accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) are available at many public and private schools in North Carolina. Undergraduate social work programs teach generalist practice skills and prepare students to apply for social work licensure. Graduate social work programs focus on clinical and leadership skills necessary for more advanced levels of state licensure. Whatever your future social work career plans, there are many social work schools in North Carolina to choose from. Online MSW degrees are available through the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a new hybrid program will be offered by Appalachian State University beginning in Fall 2016.

Quick Facts

  • 25 schools offering social work programs in North Carolina are in our database (see below)
  • Of the social work schools in North Carolina, none offer associate’s degrees or certificates, 23 offer bachelor’s degrees, and 13 offer a master’s or advanced degree1
  • 5 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 20182
  • 11 schools ranked in US News Best Graduate Social Work Programs in 20183
  • No schools ranked in Social Work Guide’s Top Online MSW Programs in 20184
  • Across 25 schools, 35 bachelor’s and master’s social work degree programs in North Carolina are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)5

Top-Ranked Schools with Social Work Programs in North Carolina

Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*

  • Appalachian State University (#29 in-state, #22 out-of-state)
  • North Carolina State University (#9 in-state, #7 out-of-state)
  • University of North Carolina-Asheville (#61 in-state, #71 out-of-state)
  • University of North Carolina-Wilmington (#62 in-state, #68 out-of-state)
  • Western Carolina University (#58 in-state, #48 out-of-state)

*Institution-wide ranking.

US News Best Graduate Social Work Programs 2018

  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (#5 tie)
  • University of North Carolina-Charlotte (#54 tie)
  • North Carolina State University (#75 tie)
  • University of North Carolina-Wilmington (#75 tie)
  • University of North Carolina-Greensboro / North Carolina A&T State University Collaborative (#88 tie)
  • East Carolina University (#147 tie)
  • Appalachian State University (#174 tie)
  • University of North Carolina-Pembroke (#174 tie)
  • Western Carolina University (#174 tie)
  • North Carolina Central University (#201 tie)
  • Fayetteville State University (#220 tie)

Schools with Social Work Programs Accredited by the CSWE

  • Appalachian State University
  • Barton College
  • Bennett College
  • Campbell University
  • East Carolina University
  • Elizabeth City State University
  • Fayetteville State University
  • Johnson C. Smith University
  • Livingstone College
  • Mars Hill University
  • Meredith College
  • Methodist University
  • North Carolina A&T State University
  • North Carolina A&T State University / University of North Carolina at Greensboro Collaborative
  • North Carolina Central University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Shaw University
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • University of North Carolina-Charlotte
  • University of North Carolina-Greensboro
  • University of North Carolina-Pembroke
  • University of North Carolina-Wilmington
  • Warren Wilson College
  • Western Carolina University
  • Winston Salem State University

Schools in North Carolina with Social Work Degree Programs

BSW and Other Undergraduate Programs

Meredith College

Meredith College is a private college located in Raleigh, North Carolina. The school was recently ranked #5 among regional colleges in the southern US by US News & World Report. The Department of Psychology and Social Work offers female-only liberal arts education at the undergraduate level, including a CSWE-accredited BSW program. The program aims to teach students about the history, values, and ethics of social work and social justice. All students must take core biology, psychology, and political science courses, as well as social work courses on policy, research, human behavior, and generalist social work theory. Students enrolled in the honors program have the option of completing an undergraduate thesis as part of their coursework. All students must complete at least 430 hours of supervised generalist social work practice in the final semester while continuing to complete related coursework. The college also offers a minor in social work, although the minor coursework alone does not meet the CSWE accreditation requirements and therefore will not qualify graduates to become licensed social workers in North Carolina.

University of North Carolina at Wilmington

The University of North Carolina at Wilmington is a public institution, ranked #16 among southern regional colleges and #6 among public regional colleges in the South by US News & World Report. UNCW’s School of Social Work offers a CSWE-accredited BSW program that prepares students for many social work career paths including generalist practice, policy analysis, or graduate social work education and research. Students learn the skills necessary to practice at multiple levels, including with individuals, families, groups, communities, and macro institutions. They must also complete core courses in biology, sociology, psychology, and politics. Social work course content reflects the diversity of the region and specifically addresses social justice issues relevant to populations residing in the area. Students must complete both a service-learning project during the junior year and a supervised field education placement during the senior year. These placements can be completed in a variety of settings to provide broad experience. The University of North Carolina at Wilmington also offers a CSWE-accredited MSW program.

MSW and Other Graduate Programs

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is located close to the state capital, Raleigh, and houses a social work graduate school with a CSWE-accredited MSW degree program as well as a PhD in social work. In 2016, US News & World Report ranked the social work graduate school #5 in the country. The MSW program at the UNC School of Social Work prepares students for advanced generalist practice and organizational leadership in the social services. The degree can be completed in as little as one year through advanced standing for individuals with a recently conferred CSWE-accredited BSW degree. Candidates without advanced standing may complete the MSW degree through two years of full-time study or through three years of part-time online study. Dual degree programs in cooperation with the public health, law, or public administration graduate schools within the University of North Carolina or the Duke University graduate program in divinity are also offered. For students interested in international social work, the school occasionally offers a study abroad opportunity in the summer. Previous trips have been to countries such as China, Mexico, and Ireland.

Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, located in a rural setting near Boone, offers CSWE-accredited BSW and MSW degree programs. It was ranked #10 in the Regional Universities (South) category by US News & World Report in 2016. App State’s Department of Social Work offers an MSW program focuses on advanced clinical practice, leadership, and social service administration skills. The degree qualifies students to apply for clinical social work licensure in North Carolina. Two concentrations are available: Individuals and Families or Community and Organizational Practice. Advanced standing is possible for students holding an accredited BSW degree conferred within the past seven years. A new hybrid program, offering up to 50% online learning capability, will be available starting in the Fall 2016 term. Face-to-face portions of this program will be based at the university’s Hickory, North Carolina distance education campus. All students will complete field education placements in various settings across the state, which can be individualized based on student interests and future career plans.

East Carolina University

East Carolina University offers a Master of Social Work that prepares students to become advanced practitioners. The concentration of this MSW is Clinical Community Social Work, which can be further developed through elective courses. Graduate certificates in Gerontology or Substance Abuse may be earned while completing the MSW curriculum. A minor in Gerontology is also offered. Students may follow a full-time two-year course of study or a full-time one-year advanced standing track for those with an undergraduate degree in social work from a school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Part-time degree tracks are also available. Students may elect to join the Graduate Association of Social workers or the Phi Alpha Honor Society and have access to the school’s Social Work skills lab to learn and practice social work skills. The MSW program at East Carolina University is accredited by the CSWE.

North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University has a Master of Social Work degree program that builds leadership skills and lays the foundation for contributing to the field of social work through research and responsible practice. This MSW follows an advanced generalist program of study with two tracks, traditional full-time or advanced standing full-time, though summer courses are available to potentially reduce regular semester course loads. The traditional admissions track requires 60 credit hours to complete, while the advanced standing admissions track requires 39 credit hours to complete. Regardless of the track followed, field placements are undertaken during each year of a student’s study and are scheduled around the course sequence assigned. North Carolina State University’s MSW program holds CSWE accreditation.

Accreditation Information for North Carolina Social Work Schools

SchoolGraduation Rate1Transfer-Out Rate1Associate’s SW ProgramBachelor’s SW ProgramGraduate SW ProgramCSWE Accred.5US News Best Social Work Grad Schools Ranking3Net Price*1
Appalachian State University70%12%NoYesYesYes#174 tie$11,508
Barton College44%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$20,199
Bennett College45%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$21,505
Campbell University51%40%NoYesNoYesNot Ranked$26,865
East Carolina University59%17%NoYesYesYes#147 tie$12,908
Elizabeth City State University39%17%NoYesNoYesNot Ranked$2,490
Fayetteville State University35%22%NoYesYesYes#220 tie$6,848
Gaston College21%18%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$10,580
Johnson C. Smith University44%39%NoYesYesYesNot Ranked$19,032
Livingstone College24%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$15,812
Mars Hill University37%42%NoYesNoYesNot Ranked$17,657
Meredith College62%N/ANoYesNoNoNot Ranked$22,642
Methodist University34%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$21,487
North Carolina A&T State University48%13%NoYesYesYesNot Ranked$10,145
North Carolina Central University47%19%NoYesYesYes#201 tie$9,701
North Carolina State University at Raleigh75%9%NoYesYesYes#75 tie$13,579
Piedmont Community College14%20%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$8,671
Shaw University25%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$19,342
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill90%2%NoNoYesYes#5 tie$10,936
University of North Carolina at Charlotte55%18%NoYesYesYes#54 tie$10,196
University of North Carolina at Greensboro56%19%NoYesYesYes#88 tie$10,076
University of North Carolina at Pembroke34%28%NoYesYesYes#174 tie$10,686
University of North Carolina at Wilmington71%14%NoYesYesYes#75 tie$14,418
Warren Wilson College51%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$23,617
Western Carolina University58%20%NoYesYesYes#174 tie$12,916
Winston-Salem State University46%19%NoYesNoYesNot Ranked$7,737

*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 North Carolina Social Work School Programs

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

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

Appalachian State University*
287 Rivers St
Boone, NC 28608
(828) 262-2000

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
340 Victoria Rd
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 398-7900

Student Review: “Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College’s social work program was an overall good experience to me. Their degree is only a two-year degree but it easily transfers to North Carolina Universities if you want to build on it to complete a four-year degree. The college administration does a great job of helping you find job placement in the social work field after graduating. The 5-semester degree was challenging and very fast paced but I learned a lot of hands-on information that will be directly applied to my career. The first two semesters are a lot of traditional classroom course work and the last three are more of a practice in the field approach. All of the professors were hands-on and approachable and genuinely care about their student’s success. They always work with you to help you complete your coursework and will stay after hours if you need help. The few online courses available for this program are relevant and easy to navigate.” – Student at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College

Barton College*
200 E ACC Dr
Wilson, NC 27893-7000
(252) 399-6300

Bennett College*
900 E Washington St
Greensboro, NC 27401-3239
(336) 517-2100

Campbell University*
450 Leslie Campbell Ave
Buies Creek, NC 27506
(910) 893-1200

East Carolina University*
1001 East 5th St
Greenville, NC 27858-4353
(252) 328-6131

Elizabeth City State University*
1704 Weeksville Rd
Elizabeth City, NC 27909
(252) 335-3400

Fayetteville State University*
1200 Murchison Rd
Fayetteville, NC 28301-4298
(910) 672-1111

Gaston College
201 Hwy 321 S
Dallas, NC 28034
(704) 922-6200

Johnson C. Smith University*
100 Beatties Ford Rd
Charlotte, NC 28216-5398
(704) 378-1000

Livingstone College*
701 W Monroe St
Salisbury, NC 28144
(704) 216-6000

Mars Hill University*
100 Athletic St
Mars Hill, NC 28754
(828) 689-4968

Meredith College
3800 Hillsborough St
Raleigh, NC 27607-5298
(919) 760-8600

Methodist University*
5400 Ramsey St
Fayetteville, NC 28311-1420
(910) 630-7000

North Carolina A&T State University*
1601 E Market St
Greensboro, NC 27411
(336) 334-7500

North Carolina Central University*
1801 Fayetteville St
Durham, NC 27707
(919) 530-6100

North Carolina State University at Raleigh*
2101 Hillsborough St
Raleigh, NC 27695-7001
(919) 515-2011

Piedmont Community College
1715 College Dr
Roxboro, NC 27573
(336) 599-1181

Shaw University*
118 E South St
Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 546-8200

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill*
103 South Bldg Cb 9100
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
(919) 962-2211

University of North Carolina at Charlotte*
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
(704) 687-2000

University of North Carolina at Greensboro*
1400 Spring Garden St
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
(336) 334-5000

University of North Carolina at Pembroke*
One University Dr
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510
(910) 521-6000

University of North Carolina at Wilmington*
601 S College Rd
Wilmington, NC 28403-5963
(910) 962-3000

Warren Wilson College*
701 Warren Wilson Rd
Swannanoa, NC 28778-2099
(828) 298-3325

Western Carolina University*
92 Catamount Rd
Cullowhee, NC 28723-9646
(828) 227-7100

Student Review: “I felt my experience as WCU was very helpful in launching my career as a social worker. I had thought about getting my MSW, but don’t really think I will need it at this point. As a Christian, I’ve heard horror stories about how fellow Christians are marginalized in these programs and made to feel they do not belong – as it pertains to taking moral stances on issues with which our prospective clients may be bringing to us. But, I found both the staff and curriculum to be very neutral in that regard. I get the sentiments of those that feel we should keep our personal morality out of public view and hidden back in our churches. But both myself, as well as many other students I went to school with, felt that this is part of what informed our desire to be social workers in the first place. I thought WCU struck a very nice balance in that regard.” – Student at Western Carolina University

Winston-Salem State University*
601 Martin Luther King Jr Dr
Winston-Salem, NC 27110-0001
(336) 750-2000

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

1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Kiplinger’s Best College Values: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-kiplinger-s-best-values-in-private-colleges/index.php?table=all
3. US News & World Report Social Work Best Grad Schools Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/social-work-rankings
4. Social Work Guide’s Top Online MSW Programs 2018: https://www.socialworkguide.org/degrees/masters/online/
5. Council on Social Work Education: https://www.cswe.org/Accreditation/Directory-of-Accredited-Programs.aspx