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Social Work Programs in North Carolina

The state of North Carolina currently has 25 schools that offer a degree in social work. This includes 23 BSW, 12 MSW and 2 PhD programs within the state. 


Thinking about getting your degree in social work? The National Association of Social Workers serves thousands of social work students and professionals in North Carolina. Get a jump start on your social work career and become a member of your future professional association! We are here to help!


The social work field offers various options that fit any social worker. Click here to explore the social work field and potential possible career options.



BSW Programs


The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree is widely recognized as the entry level professional degree for practice in public and private social agencies. Such settings include health care settings; older adult care facilities; family service programs; mental health centers; departments of social service; schools; a wide variety of programs and services for children; shelters; and other agencies and programs.

The BSW is completed in a four-year baccalaureate program. Every accredited social work program requires substantial field work, that is, supervised work with clients in an agency.

BSW programs, like all accredited social work programs, include courses in human behavior and development, the use and development of community resources, family dynamics, social welfare policy and services, social work research, social work values, ethics, skills, knowledge base, and human and cultural diversity.


MSW Programs


The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree is the primary graduate level degree for professional social work practice, and is often pursued after some work experience.

Specialized social work positions, such as those in clinical social work and supervisory and administrative positions, often require the MSW. MSW programs provide both fundamental social work knowledge and the opportunity to focus on a specific practice area.


Concentrations may be in methods of practice, including clinical, community practice, administration, research, and social policy; or may be in fields of practice, including health and mental health social work, work with families and children, gerontological social work, or medical social work.

Some MSW programs also offer dual degree options, which can be completed simultaneously with the degree in social work. Some of these dual degrees include Master in Public Health, Public Administration, Divinity, Law, and City and Regional Planning.


PhD Programs


The purpose of social work education at the Doctoral level is to strengthen the field of social work by preparing practitioners who are able to improve and extend the theoretical and practice knowledge base through intensive study, advanced research, in-depth understanding of practice, and the teaching of others. Graduates of doctoral programs assume leadership roles in social work education, research, administration, and practice. Doctoral degrees are either PhDs or DSWs.



For a complete up-to-date listing of all accredited social work programs please visit the Council on Social Work Education website. You can also contact CSWE at:

The CSWE only accredits MSW and BSW programs and does not provide for accreditation of doctoral programs.



For information about PhD/DSW programs in social work, contact the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education (GADE). Visit the website for GADE at

  • Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education
    Chair of GADE Steering Committee:
    Barbara Rittner, PhD, LCSW
    Director, PhD Program
    Associate Dean for External Affairs
    UB-School of Social Work
    685 Baldy Hall
    Buffalo, NY 14260-1050
    716.645-3381 x 266
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