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Washington DC Social Work Programs and Degrees Guide

There are several social work schools in Washington DC offering undergraduate and graduate social work degrees accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Candidates must have at least a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) to apply for a social work license in Washington DC. Washington DC social work programs are primarily offered through traditional on-campus study, but the Catholic University of America does offer an online Master of Social Work (MSW) program.

Quick Facts

  • 4 schools offering social work programs in Washington DC are in our database (see below)
  • Of the social work schools in Washington DC, none offer associate’s degrees or certificates, 3 offer bachelor’s degrees, and 3 offer a master’s or advanced degree1
  • No schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 20182
  • 3 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 4 schools, 6 bachelor’s and master’s social work degree programs in Washington DC are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)5

Featured Online Social Work Programs

Top-Ranked Schools with Social Work Programs in Washington DC

US News Best Graduate Social Work Programs 2018

  • Howard University (#30 tie)
  • Catholic University of America (#50 tie)
  • Gallaudet University (#88 tie)

Schools with Social Work Programs Accredited by the CSWE

  • Catholic University of America
  • Gallaudet University
  • Howard University
  • University of the District of Columbia

Schools in Washington DC with Social Work Degree Programs

BSW and Other Undergraduate Programs

Gallaudet University

Gallaudet University has a rich history of supporting the educational needs of deaf and blind learners. The university offers programs to a diverse, multicultural student body, but retains its commitment to serving these groups through a bilingual mandate that ensures full access to all classes in English and American Sign Language. The school’s Department of Social Work offers BSW and MSW degrees. The BSW program has a structured curriculum; students take liberal arts courses in the first two years and then take social work classes once formally admitted to the major during their junior and senior years. A field education placement is completed concurrently with coursework during both semesters of the senior year. US News & World Report ranked the university in a tie for 19th place among regional universities in the North in 2016.

University of the District of Columbia

The University of the District of Columbia is a public institution with almost 5,000 undergraduate students. The university’s CSWE-accredited BSW program prepares students for generalist practice in diverse contexts, such as mental health, criminal justice, and human rights. All students must take classes in communications, civics, and technology, and complete a foundational capstone project. Before being admitted to the social work major (within the Division of Education, Health, and Social Work), students must also complete prerequisite courses in biology, social sciences, and a language. Once admitted to the program, classes in social welfare, human behavior, group work, and research are taken in the junior and senior years. Students can also choose several electives that complement their practice interests such as mental health, children and families, and aging. The field education placement is completed concurrently with coursework in the senior year; students must take a complementing seminar in the fall term to connect practicum issues to coursework.

MSW and Other Graduate Programs

Catholic University of America

The Catholic University of America offers an MSW program within the National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS) with several concentration options: Clinical Practice with a specialization in either Healthcare or Military Social Work; Social Change; or Combined Clinical and Macro practice. Candidates who already have a BSW may qualify for advanced standing to skip the first year of the program if they have a 3.5 cumulative GPA in social work courses and a 3.2 GPA for all courses overall. Students in the advanced standing program must take an online transition course, offered during the summer, prior to beginning the program. Candidates who prefer to complete the degree online can pursue the clinically-concentrated MSW. The school also offers a dual degree in law in collaboration with the Columbus School of Law. Catholic University of America was ranked #123 among national universities in 2016 by US News & World Report.

Howard University

The MSW program at Howard University offers both direct and macro practice learning opportunities. Students are encouraged to identify an area of interest related to their future professional goals and personalize their learning around this level or type of practice. The HU School of Social Work’s MSW program can be completed in two years through full-time study or up to four years of part-time study. Field education placements occur in both years of the program at social service organizations in the Washington DC area. The university also offers a PhD program in social work. Howard University is recognized as a Historically Black University or College by the US Department of Education and US News & World Report ranked the social work graduate school in a tie at #33 among all social work graduate schools in the country in 2016.

Accreditation Information for Washington DC 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
Catholic University of America 67% N/A No Yes Yes Yes #50 tie $36,163
Gallaudet University 46% 15% No Yes Yes Yes #88 tie $14,080
Howard University 60% N/A No No Yes Yes #30 tie $22,337
University of the District of Columbia 13% N/A No Yes Yes Yes Not Ranked $16,046

*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.

Featured Online Social Work Programs

Directory of Washington DC 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).

Catholic University of America*
620 Michigan Ave NE
Washington, DC 20064
(202) 319-5000

Gallaudet University*
800 Florida Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002-3695
(202) 651-5000

Howard University*
2400 Sixth St NW
Washington, DC 20059-0001
(202) 806-6100

Student Review: “The Social Work Program at Howard University really prepared me for a holistic view of going about affecting social change. The program takes you from the history, to social theory, to social systems and practice so that when you enter into the field you have a solid foundation. What I specifically enjoyed about Howard’s program is its focus on the black perspective and how social work can impact and affect historically disadvantaged groups, like African Americans. The focus on the black perspective helps students to understand the issues that specifically plague the black population and the ways to effectively work in an environment that largely impacts African Americans. My field work was a little difficult as my field work instructor was not very responsive, but at the same time it was a very realistic representation of some of the issues one might face when actually practicing in social work. Overall of the program what could be improved the most is overall responsiveness from the field education office and field instructor.” – Student at Howard University

University of the District of Columbia*
4200 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 274-5304

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: /degrees/masters/online/
5. Council on Social Work Education: https://www.cswe.org/Accreditation/Directory-of-Accredited-Programs.aspx