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Pennsylvania Social Work Programs and Degrees Guide

There are many social work schools in Pennsylvania to choose from to earn a social work degree that will help you start or advance your career. Pennsylvania social work programs offer courses and field placements in a range of practice areas including child welfare, mental health, substance abuse, policy, and community development. You can complete a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) to work as a generalist social worker, or, if you plan to work towards social work licensure in Pennsylvania, complete a CSWE-accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) or PhD social work degree with either a clinical or macro specialization. Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and Widener University also offer MSW degrees that can be completed online.

Quick Facts

  • 46 schools offering social work programs in Pennsylvania are in our database (see below)
  • Of the social work schools in Pennsylvania, 9 offer associate’s degrees or certificates, 35 offer bachelor’s degrees, and 12 offer a master’s or advanced degree1
  • 2 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
  • 2 schools ranked in Social Work Guide’s Top Online MSW Programs in 20184
  • Across 39 schools, 48 bachelor’s and master’s social work degree programs in Pennsylvania are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)5

Top-Ranked Schools with Social Work Programs in Pennsylvania

Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*

  • Temple University (#91 in-state, #83 out-of-state)
  • University of Pittsburgh (#43 in-state, #32 out-of-state)

*Institution-wide ranking.

US News Best Graduate Social Work Programs 2018

  • University of Pennsylvania (#11 tie)
  • University of Pittsburgh (#11 tie)
  • Bryn Mawr College (#38 tie)
  • Temple University (#59 tie)
  • West Chester University of Pennsylvania (#105 tie)
  • Marywood University (#128 tie)
  • Millersville University of Pennsylvania / Shippensburg University Collaborative (#128 tie)
  • Widener University (#147 tie)
  • California University of Pennsylvania (#174 tie)
  • Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (#220 tie)
  • Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (#220 tie)

Social Work Guide’s Top Online MSW Programs 2018

  • Temple University
  • Widener University

Schools with Social Work Programs Accredited by the CSWE

  • Alvernia University
  • Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Cabrini College
  • Cairn University
  • California University of Pennsylvania
  • Carlow University
  • Cedar Crest College
  • Chatham University
  • East Stroudsburg University
  • Eastern University
  • Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
  • Elizabethtown College
  • Gannon University
  • Grove City College
  • Gwynedd Mercy University
  • Juniata College
  • Kutztown University
  • La Salle University
  • Lancaster Bible College
  • Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania
  • Mansfield University of Pennsylvania
  • Marywood University
  • Mercyhurst University
  • Messiah College
  • Millersville University of Pennsylvania
  • Millersville University of Pennsylvania / Shippensburg University Collaborative
  • Misericordia University
  • Neumann University
  • Saint Francis University
  • Seton Hill University
  • Shippensburg University
  • Slippery Rock University
  • Temple University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Valley Forge
  • West Chester University
  • Widener University

Schools in Pennsylvania with Social Work Degree Programs

BSW and Other Undergraduate Programs

University of Pittsburgh

Ranked #66 among national universities by US News & World Report, the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work maintains a CSWE-accredited BSW program that includes diverse learning opportunities. The program offers specializations in child welfare training and gerontology, over 500 field education opportunities, and a Center on Race and Social Problems. During the BSW program, students take courses on social work theory and practice with individuals, families, and communities to develop generalist social work practice skills. Students also complete over 600 hours of field education in placements throughout Pennsylvania; placement organizations are available in all areas of social work practice. Applications to the BSW program are considered on a rolling basis for either fall or spring enrollment. The university also offers CSWE-accredited MSW and PhD degrees with various specializations to continue social work education and professional development.

Mercyhurst University

Located in the northwestern city of Erie and ranked within the top 50 regional universities in the north by US News & World Report, Mercyhurst University is a small, Catholic college offering a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW). As a liberal arts college, Mercyhurst requires all BASW students to complete both social work studies and a core liberal arts curriculum that includes religious studies, civic responsibility, and scientific reasoning. Students in the Department of Applied Sociology and Social Work also receive training in social work ethics, research-informed practice, and professional judgment. The BASW program teaches students generalist social work practice, which prepares them to work with individuals, families, and communities in mental health, child welfare, community development, and substance abuse settings. It is possible to combine the social work major with a minor in gender studies, gerontology, social welfare, or sociology, or a concentration in criminology. Field education opportunities are available throughout the Erie region with both religious and secular social welfare organizations.

MSW and Other Graduate Programs

Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr College is an all-female institution located outside of Philadelphia offering a CSWE-accredited Master of Social Service (MSS) degree. The MSS degree offered by the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research can be completed in two years of full-time study with either a clinical or community concentration. Students who have completed an accredited BSW degree in the past five years may qualify for advanced standing to complete the MSS degree in as little as one year. The college also offers a combined MSS/Master of Public Health degree and a PhD in social work degree as well as post-graduate certificates in Social Work and Law; Organizational Behavior and Management; Home and School Visitor; and Child and Family Well-being. Bryn Mawr College students are also able to take classes at neighboring universities including Haverford College, Swarthmore College, and the University of Pennsylvania. In 2016 Bryn Mawr was ranked #25 among liberal arts colleges by US News & World Report.

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania offers a CSWE-accredited MSW degree that can be completed as a two-year, full-time program or three-year, part-time program. The school also offers an advanced standing option for individuals who have completed a CSWE-accredited BSW within the past five years. MSW students in UPenn’s School of Social Policy & Practice can choose between either a clinical or macro concentration. In the foundation year, students take courses on the history of social work, human behavior, and social work research and complete a field placement. In the specialization year, students complete concentration coursework and a second field placement. The MSW program is flexible and offers many options to customize the MSW experience, including taking courses from or completing dual degrees in the university’s other graduate schools, completing international study abroad courses, or completing specialized training for additional certifications related to social work practice. The university consistently ranks among the nation’s top universities and was ranked #9 in 2016 by US News & World Report.

Accreditation Information for Pennsylvania Social Work Schools

SchoolGraduation Rate1Transfer-Out Rate1Associate’s SW ProgramBachelor’s SW ProgramGraduate SW ProgramCSWE Accred.5US News Social Work Grad Schools Rank3Net Price*1
Alvernia University53%35%NoYesNoYesNot Ranked$27,016
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania65%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$15,740
Bryn Mawr College82%N/ANoNoYesYes#38 tie$32,285
Butler County Community College20%35%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$3,908
Cabrini College50%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$26,697
Cairn University-Langhorne66%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$18,358
California University of Pennsylvania53%N/ANoYesYesYes#174 tie$16,890
Carlow University60%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$18,099
Cedar Crest College69%3%YesYesNoYesNot Ranked$17,981
Chatham University56%30%NoYesNoYesNot Ranked$16,979
Community College of Allegheny County11%24%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$5,688
Community College of Beaver County21%N/AYesNoNoNoNot Ranked$7,669
Community College of Philadelphia10%23%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$6,530
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania56%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$15,664
Eastern University61%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$23,199
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania45%N/AYesYesYesYes#220 tie$13,864
Elizabethtown College69%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$27,681
Gannon University66%26%YesYesNoYesNot Ranked$20,920
Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg10%18%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$10,332
Juniata College78%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$25,883
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania55%N/ANoYesYesYes#220 tie$17,158
La Salle University66%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$25,010
Lancaster Bible College62%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$18,982
Lock Haven University47%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$14,196
Luzerne County Community College19%17%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$6,211
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania53%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$14,351
Marywood University69%13%NoYesYesYes#128 tie$23,686
Mercyhurst University68%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$21,204
Messiah College80%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$26,106
Millersville University of Pennsylvania64%N/ANoYesYesYes#128 tie$14,418
Misericordia University71%24%NoYesNoYesNot Ranked$25,348
Northampton County Area Community College19%24%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$5,577
Reading Area Community College10%26%YesNoNoNoNot Ranked$9,756
Saint Francis University72%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$23,456
Seton Hill University60%31%NoYesNoYesNot Ranked$21,747
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania55%N/ANoYesYesYes#128 tie$16,714
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania67%N/ANoYesNoYesNot Ranked$15,471
Temple University69%20%NoYesYesYes#59 tie$19,435
University of Pennsylvania96%N/AYesNoYesYes#11 tie$22,694
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus82%N/AYesYesYesYes#11 tie$23,489
University of Valley Forge48%10%NoYesNoYesNot Ranked$21,953
West Chester University of Pennsylvania67%N/ANoYesYesYes#105 tie$18,792
Widener University-Main Campus53%26%NoYesYesYes#147 tie$27,473

*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 Pennsylvania 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).

Alvernia University*
400 Saint Bernardine St
Reading, PA 19607-1799
(610) 796-8200
http://www.alvernia.edu

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania*
400 E Second St
Bloomsburg, PA 17815
(570) 389-4000
http://www.bloomu.edu

Student Review: “I loved my classes and experience at Bloomsburg University. They built my confidence up as an individual and as a leader. We went on trips and learning experiences to help us fill our leadership roles and to help others. We would guide others and those ahead of us would guide us. It felt more like a family experience rather than just a teacher and student situation. They helped to connect me to The Family Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania. I had a great time volunteering with them and gaining much experience and connections that I have only benefitted from. I am truly appreciative.” – Student at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
stars-4

Student Review: “I was very disappointed with my experience in the Social Work program at Bloomsburg University. I, and many of my peers, found that professors would tend to pick favorites out of classes. My peers and I have compared tests and papers to find there to be very little difference with the quality of our work yet still have vastly different grade with no explanation. Professors will choose which students to give additional aid to and which should, ‘figure it our themselves.’ On top of this the whole program is very rushed. By the time students have their general education credits under their belt that are required to allow for the higher level classes, there are still so many classes to take that students are required to take multiple summer sessions and overwhelm themselves with too many credits in a semester. I would not recommend the Bloomsburg University Social Work program to others looking for a degree in the field.” – Student at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
stars-2

Bryn Mawr College*
101 N Merion Ave
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
(610) 526-5000
http://www.brynmawr.edu

Butler County Community College
107 College Dr
Butler, PA 16002
(724) 287-8711
http://www.bc3.edu

Cabrini College*
610 King of Prussia Rd
Radnor, PA 19087-3698
(610) 902-8100
http://www.cabrini.edu

Cairn University-Langhorne*
200 Manor Ave
Langhorne, PA 19047-2990
(215) 752-5800

California University of Pennsylvania*
250 University Ave
California, PA 15419-1394
(724) 938-4400
http://www.calu.edu

Carlow University*
3333 Fifth Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3165
(412) 578-6000
http://www.carlow.edu

Cedar Crest College*
100 College Dr
Allentown, PA 18104-6196
(610) 606-4666
http://www.cedarcrest.edu

Chatham University*
1 Woodland Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
(412) 365-1100
http://www.chatham.edu

Community College of Allegheny County
800 Allegheny Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15233-1895
(412) 323-2323
http://www.ccac.edu

Community College of Beaver County
1 Campus Dr
Monaca, PA 15061-2588
(724) 480-2222
http://www.ccbc.edu

Community College of Philadelphia
1700 Spring Garden St
Philadelphia, PA 19130-3991
(215) 751-8000
http://www.ccp.edu

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania*
200 Prospect St
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301-2999
(570) 422-3211
https://www.esu.edu

Student Review: “The bachelor social work program at East Stroudsburg University is an accredited program that offers the opportunity to finish a master degree in a shorter time upon completion of the first degree. The professors are all incredibly well informed and truly care for their students. They are very willing to help with anything a student may need. The syllabus for each class is very straightforward and easy to follow. While the workload can be heavy at times, the professors are always willing to offer help. The only drawback of the program is that there is not a great variety of related electives to choose from. Sometimes it is hard to get a class you want because not everything is offered every semester, but advisers are willing to help students work around any issues they may have.” – Student at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
stars-5

Eastern University*
1300 Eagle Rd
Saint Davids, PA 19087-3696
(610) 341-5800
http://www.eastern.edu

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania*
219 Meadville St
Edinboro, PA 16444-0001
(814) 732-2000
http://www.edinboro.edu

Elizabethtown College*
One Alpha Dr
Elizabethtown, PA 17022-2298
(717) 361-1000
http://www.etown.edu

Gannon University*
109 W Sixth St
Erie, PA 16541-0001
(814) 871-7000
http://www.gannon.edu

Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg
1 HACC Dr
Harrisburg, PA 17110-2999
(717) 780-2300
http://www.hacc.edu

Juniata College*
1700 Moore St
Huntingdon, PA 16652-2196
(814) 641-3000
http://www.juniata.edu

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania*
15200 Kutztown Rd
Kutztown, PA 19530-0730
(610) 683-4000
http://www2.kutztown.edu

La Salle University*
1900 W Olney Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19141-1199
(215) 951-1000
http://www.lasalle.edu

Lancaster Bible College*
901 Eden Rd
Lancaster, PA 17601-5036
(717) 569-7071
http://www.LBC.edu

Lock Haven University*
401 N Fairview Street
Lock Haven, PA 17745-2390
(570) 484-2011
http://www.lhup.edu

Luzerne County Community College
1333 S Prospect St
Nanticoke, PA 18634-3899
(570) 740-0200
http://www.luzerne.edu

Mansfield University of Pennsylvania*
5 Swan St
Mansfield, PA 16933
(570) 662-4000
http://www.mansfield.edu

Marywood University*
2300 Adams Ave
Scranton, PA 18509-1598
(570) 348-6211
http://www.marywood.edu

Student Review: “I was only a social work student for one year, but my classmates were very supportive and kind. The professors were very knowledgeable about the subject matter and they went above and beyond to make sure their students were adequately prepared to enter the workforce. My advisor was phenomenal. While some other non-social work majors had difficulties contacting and meeting with their advisors, mine was always readily available and he helped me rework my schedule multiple times. My field experience class was very good, although I did at times feel that it was haphazardly organized. On one occasion, half of the class got lost going to one of the field locations and missed out on the entire presentation because our instructor didn’t give out adequate directions. While I did eventually decide social work wasn’t for me, that is no reflection on the faculty or program. I was very satisfied with that and wish my current department was that invested in its students.” – Student at Marywood University
stars-5

Mercyhurst University*
501 E 38th St
Erie, PA 16546
(814) 824-2000
http://www.mercyhurst.edu

Messiah College*
One College Ave
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
(717) 766-2511
http://www.messiah.edu

Millersville University of Pennsylvania*
1 S George St
Lyle Hall, Millersville, PA 17551-0302
(717) 871-4636
http://www.millersville.edu

Misericordia University*
301 Lake St
Dallas, PA 18612-1098
(570) 674-6400
http://www.misericordia.edu

Northampton County Area Community College
3835 Green Pond Rd
Bethlehem, PA 18020-7599
(610) 861-5300
http://www.northampton.edu

Pennsylvania State University
Old Main
State College, PA 16801
(814) 865-4700
http://www.psu.edu

Student Review: “When I first started classes I was a little worried about falling behind or having difficulty in comprehending everything that was being taught or discussed. I started the program after I left the Army, and hadn’t been in school for 8 years. However, in the initial discussions with professors, they were completely understanding and even went out of the way to assist me. I knew that I wanted to do social work before I actually enrolled from working with displaced children and families on deployment in Afghanistan, and expressed this to one of the military advisers with the school. I was put in contact with a knowledgeable department head. She suggested a couple of books to help inspire me, as well as get a quick rundown on what to expect. It can be stressful and difficult at times, but it’s absolutely worth the struggle to finally know you’re changing a person’s life.” – Student at Pennsylvania State University
stars-5

Reading Area Community College
10 S Second St
Reading, PA 19603-1706
(610) 372-4721
http://www.racc.edu

Saint Francis University*
117 Evergreen Dr
Loretto, PA 15940
(814) 472-3000
http://www.francis.edu

Seton Hill University*
1 Seton Hill Dr
Greensburg, PA 15601
(724) 834-2200
http://www.setonhill.edu

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania*
1871 Old Main Dr
Shippensburg, PA 17257-2299
(717) 477-7447
http://www.ship.edu

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania*
1 Morrow Way
Slippery Rock, PA 16057-1383
(724) 738-9000
http://www.sru.edu

Temple University*
1801 N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6096
(215) 204-7000
http://www.temple.edu

University of Pennsylvania*
34th & Spruce St
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6303
(215) 898-5000
https://www.upenn.edu

Student Review: “My experience in the social work program at Penn was great for the most part. The advisers are honestly the best and provided such great guidance. The classes were tough as all University of Pennsylvania classes are, but I feel they adequately prepared me for my future career. My least favorite part was the culture on campus, it seemed like all the majors and degree programs were secluded into their perspective groups and did not really mix with others. It might also just be that the social work program at Penn is only a graduate studies program and the undergraduate culture could be different.” – Student at University of Pennsylvania
stars-4

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus*
4200 Fifth Ave
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260
(412) 624-4141
https://www.pitt.edu

Student Review: “The University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work program was an extremely rewarding experience for me. The program was very challenging, but faculty and staff were available to assist you along the way to make the most out of your education. I learned a great deal from the experienced faculty who have extensive field and research history. They were easily accessible to answer any questions I had, in particular, my field advisor and research professor, who would meet with me one on one to answer any concerns I had with both classes. My field education was the most valuable experience as is was a stepping stone towards my current career in social work. My field education was in Child Protective Services with Allegheny County and it allowed me to work with a challenging population which provided me with valuable case management skills. I believe one aspect that the school can improve on is providing a more culturally diverse faculty.” – Student at University of Pennsylvania
stars-4

University of Valley Forge*
34th & Spruce St
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6303
(610) 917-0450
http://www.valleyforge.edu

West Chester University of Pennsylvania*
University Ave and High St
West Chester, PA 19383
(610) 436-1000
http://www.wcupa.edu

Widener University-Main Campus*
One University Pl
Chester, PA 19013-5792
(610) 499-4000
http://www.widener.edu

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

References:
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