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The Best Social Work Colleges in Alabama

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Updated:
The Best Social Work Colleges in Alabama
RankSchoolLocation
1University of AlabamaTuscaloosa, AL
2Auburn UniversityAuburn, Alabama
3University of South AlabamaMobile, Alabama
4Alabama State UniversityMontgomery, Alabama
5Samford UniversityHomewood, Alabama
6Jacksonville State UniversityJacksonville, Alabama
7Tuskegee UniversityTuskegee, AL
8Oakwood UniversityHuntsville, Alabama
9University of North AlabamaFlorence, Alabama
10University of MontevalloMontevallo, Alabama
11University of Alabama at BirminghamBirmingham, AL
12Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical UniversityNormal, Alabama
13University of West AlabamaLivingston, AL

We’ve ranked the 13 Best Social Work Colleges in Alabama. This ranking is designed for degree-seeking students to make informed college and degree decisions.

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All rankings at Successful Student are uniquely made to help students navigate education. We do this by providing student-centered and objective rankings of education options.

This ranking focuses on the best on-campus Social Work colleges in Alabama.

Students must have at least a bachelor’s degree as the minimum required degree for getting the license. To obtain licensure, students may also have a master’s degree. The accreditation body for social work education is the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Make sure your program is accredited by this body.

Applications and Forms for Social Workers in Alabama

The Best Social Work Colleges in Alabama | Ranking Guidelines:

We ranked these colleges using a combination of factors. Consideration was given to each school’s overall program in Social Work, giving weight to the variety of degree offerings, course offerings, academic influence of the colleges in Social Work, and academic prestige of the university. Data for each school’s academic influence in Social Work was gathered at AcademicInfluence.com.


The Best Social Work Colleges in Alabama

1.University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL

At the top-ranked University of Alabama, students can earn a Bachelor of Social Work in Social Work (BSW).

The BSW, Social Work program prepares undergraduate students for graduate programs and diverse careers in social work fields. The program exposes students to different areas of study and professional practice. The BSW program is rooted in diversity and promotes social and economic justice.

While the University of Alabama has a campus population of over 35,000, the Social Work program has a close-knit community of students. With a student to faculty ratio of 18:1, undergraduates have the unique opportunity to connect with professors and peers.

Students in this program begin taking introductory classes like History of Social Welfare and Orientation to Social Work. By their final year, students will complete a combination of practice courses and Field Education. These hands-on opportunities place students with agencies in the area. Students then gain personal experience working alongside seasoned professionals.

The University of Alabama’s BSW program also provides a unique opportunity for students to participate in a field internship in Washington D.C. Undergraduate students can also gain experience working in one of more than 250 social service agencies.

Students who wish to pursue further education may enroll in the University of Alabama’s Master of Social Work or PhD in Social Work.

Credit Requirement: 74

Selection of Courses:

  • Oppression and Social Justice
  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Social Psychology

Admissions information: In general, students must submit an application with their choice of program and prior transcripts. Standardized test scores are not required for the 2021 semesters.

Accreditation: The School of Social Work receives accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education.

2.Auburn University

Auburn, Alabama

Undergraduate students at Auburn University can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work.

The BA, Social Work program provides small class sizes which allows students to develop relationships with faculty and peers alike. All faculty in the Auburn Social Work department are dedicated to helping students grow as professionals in order to succeed after achieving their bachelors.

Social Work undergraduates have ample opportunities for internship and practicum experience in unique settings including hospice, child welfare, education, and geriatrics. Auburn also places a significant emphasis upon advocacy and undergraduate research into social issues that affect all populations. Auburn University has multiple student-led Social Work chapters to get involved with including the Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society and the Auburn Association of Student Social Workers.

Course topics include Child Welfare, Aging Issues and Services, Addictions, Human Behavior, and Human Behavior in the Social Environment. Undergraduates have the additional opportunity to plan or present at the annual Alabama-Mississippi Social Work Education Conference.

Students may go on to pursue Auburn University’s Master of Social Work.

Credit Requirement: 120 total

Selection of Courses:

  • Sociology of the Family
  • Social Work Methods
  • Minorities
  • Child Welfare

Admissions information: Undergraduate students must submit high school transcripts, a personal short answer, and a supplemental document. Supplemental documents may include standardized test scores, expansive resume, or a graded writing assignment.

Graduate students must submit prior undergraduate transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. The statement should be four to five pages covering personal motivation for the field, capacity for professionalism, ethics statement, and the analysis of a social concern.

Accreditation: The Bachelor and Master programs in Social Work offered through the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work have accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education.

3.University of South Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

Students interested in studying social work can earn their Bachelor of Arts in Social Work at the University of South Alabama.

The University of South Alabama emphasizes rigorous field work and practicum placement in preparing undergraduate students for careers in social work. In their final semester, social work students will log more than 400 field hours of field placement experience, which is about 30-32 hours a week.

Social work students will be prepared to work as social work generalists in career fields like child welfare, mental health, family services, public health, and criminal justice. Students will also have ample experience to begin applying for graduate-level social work programs across the country.

Coursework in USA’s program includes Power, Privilege & Oppression, Ethical Decision Making, Family Violence, and International Social Work Practice. Undergraduates are also involved in the Social Work Student Organization which provides opportunities to network and socialize with fellow students and professionals in the field. USA also has multiple student associations including the National Association of Social Workers, National Association of Black Social Workers, and the North American Association of Christians in Social Work.

Credit Requirement: 120, 42 hours for the major

Sample of Core Requirements:

  • Human Behavior/Social Environment
  • Power, Privilege, and Oppression
  • Marriage and Family
  • Social Welfare Police

Admissions information: Undergraduate students must submit high school transcripts and standardized test scores to be considered for the pre-professional program in Social Work. To apply for the professional social work major students must first complete at least 60 credits of course work, including a math and statistics requirement, and have an overall GPA of at least 2.6.

Accreditation: The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work receives accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education.

4.Alabama State University

Montgomery, Alabama

Students can earn their Bachelor of Social Work degree at Alabama State University.

The BSW, Social Work will prepare students to lead and serve individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities through their occupation as social workers. As the only accredited social work program in the Montgomery area, the ASU Social Work program, with a focus on Social Justice, provides students with ample opportunities to engage in internships and practical experience as undergraduates.

Social work students develop a well-rounded understanding of the different areas of concentration through targeted coursework and pre-professional training. Some courses students will take in the Alabama State University BSW program include Societies Around the World, Logical Reasoning, Applied Research, and Social Problems.

The Department of Social Work at Alabama State University also offers a minor in Social Welfare.

Credit Requirement: 120 total, 37 for the major courses

Selection of Courses:

  • The General Method of Social Work Practice
  • Social Work in Health Settings
  • Social Work with Families
  • Human Behavior and Social Environments

Admissions information: Freshman students must submit high school transcripts and standardized test scores.

Accreditation: The Bachelor of Social Work program receives accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education.

5.Samford University

Homewood, Alabama

Undergraduates at Samford University can earn their Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.

Sociology, though different than a specific Social Work degree, is the study of relationships between people and is a great precursor to graduate study in Social Work. Students in this program are able to pursue their personal areas of concentration or interest. Undergraduates are able to create and conduct their own research based on their certain area of interest.

Sociology students have the opportunity to prepare for life after graduation through customizable internships. Internships allow students to discover or create a practicum placement that fits their unique career goals. This helps students have an in-depth knowledge of their particular area of study.

Coursework in this unique program includes classes like Sociological Theory, Research Methods, Sociology of Race and Ethnic Relations, and Archaeology.

Students seeking further education pursue Samford’s Master of Social Work.

Credit Requirement: 128 total, 40 for the major

Required Core Courses:

  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Quantitative Analysis in the Social Sciences
  • Sociological Theory
  • Research Methods
  • Sociology Internship
  • Senior Seminar

Admissions information: Interested students must submit high school transcripts, a 250-word minimum essay, one letter of recommendation, and standardized testing scores.

Accreditation: This program receives accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education.

6.Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville, Alabama

Students can earn their Bachelor of Social Work from Jacksonville State University (JSU).

The Social Work program provides innovative and relevant coursework to keep students on the cutting edge of the Social Work industry. Students will get hands-on learning through field practicums and service learning. The curriculum at JSU will prepare undergraduates for every type of entry-level social work career as well as graduate-level coursework.

As one of the largest BSW programs in the state of Alabama, students can participate in a strong social work student organization. High-achieving students can also be inducted into the National Phi Alpha Social Work honor society. Another way for undergraduates to get involved is through the annual JSU Social Work Conference where students can network among nationally recognized speakers and professionals.

Relevant coursework includes Family and Child Welfare Services, Social Work and Substance Abuse, Community Engagement and Social Work, and Crisis Intervention.

Interested students may pursue higher level education through JSU’s Master of Social Work degree.

Credit Requirement: 120

Required Core Courses:

  • Introduction to Social Work
  • Social Policy and Services
  • Social Work Research
  • Cultural Diversity and Social Justice
  • Human Behavior & Social Environment I and II
  • Social Work Practice

Admissions Information: Students must submit high school transcripts for evaluation. Admissions will not require standardized testing scores for the 2021 academic year.

Accreditation: This program receives accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education

7.Tuskegee University

Tuskegee, AL

Students can earn their Bachelor of Social Work at Tuskegee University (TU).

As a Historically Black College University (HBCU), Tuskegee’s Social Work program prepares students to work with marginalized populations and other vulnerable populations. Professors prepare students for all types of generalist social work careers. At TU, social work students learn how to research and apply their findings to their professional lives.

The BSW program is unique in its mission to teach undergraduate students how to not only be successful social workers, but to engage in policy practice and advocacy. With a small student population of just under 3,000, students in the social work program will have the unique opportunity to develop close relationships with faculty members.

Ranked among the best BSW in Alabama, BSW students gain skills through unique mixed reality simulations in class and practicum experiences. Starting in the junior year, students work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities, and finish their degree gaining more than 400 hours of hands-on learning in the field. Students finish the program prepared for advanced general practice or further graduate study.

Coursework in this program begins with an Introduction to Human Services, where students learn the foundational principles of the social work field. During the first and second year, undergraduates progress into classes like Human Behavior and the Social Environment and Research in the Human Services. Unique elective classes are available in global social work and social work with military families. Additionally, there is a Computer Application course that teaches students about application of technology in social work practice and research.

Credit Requirement: 123

Selection of Courses:

  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Patterns of Drug Abuse
  • Rural Social Work Practice
  • Social Work in Criminal Justice Settings

For a complete listing of courses please visit the Social Work home page.

Admissions Information: Incoming freshman must submit high school transcripts, at least one letter of recommendation, one essay of no more than 500 words, and standardized test scores.

Accreditation: This program receives accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education.

8.Oakwood University

Huntsville, Alabama

Undergraduate students can earn their Bachelor of Social Work at Oakwood University.

A traditionally seventh-day Adventist, HBCU, Oakwood University promotes community well-being in the social work program in addition to providing a biblical foundation. Students at Oakwood develop an appreciation for diversity, social, and economic justice.

Oakwood’s BSW program offers plentiful opportunities for students to get involved in the department. Students can join the Social Work Club, the Phi Alpha National Honor Society, and the International Social Work Club. In addition to department-specific involvement, students will broaden their horizons by more than 400 field hours of real-world social work experience.

During the final year of the BSW program, Oakwood students complete a Career Preparation course. This course is designed to prepare future graduates with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the profession. Students will learn how to network and conduct a job search as well as how to successfully interview. This course will also prepare students for graduate-level coursework.

Courses in the BSW program include International Social Work, Human Behavior and Social Environment, and Modern Social Work Theories and Practice.

Credit Requirement: 128

Selection of Courses:

  • Understanding Diversity and Oppression
  • Welfare Policies
  • Generalist Skills and Practice
  • Christian Philosophy of Social Work

Admission information: As part of the application students must submit high school transcripts, an essay and/or a letter of recommendation, and standardized test scores.

Accreditation: This program receives accreditation from Council on Social Work Education

9.University of North Alabama

Florence, Alabama

Interested students can earn a Bachelor of Social Work at the University of North Alabama (UNA).

Graduates of the UNA social work program are ready to begin practicing in private and public roles in areas like family services, schools, legal services, and more. Throughout the program, students gain experience in the social work field as well as multiple community service opportunities.

The University of North Alabama also provides an 18-credit hour certificate in Child Welfare. BSW students can stay involved outside of the classroom through the Social Work Organization and the Phi Alpha Honor society. Social work students contribute approximately 15,000 hours of service learning every semester through internships.

Coursework in the social work program includes Diversity and Cultural Competence, Social Services, Programs, and Policies, and General Psychology.

Students who wish to pursue further education may enroll in UNA’s Master of Social Work through the Graduate School.

Credit Requirement: 120

Selection of Courses:

  • Social Work with Groups, Organizations and Communities
  • Social Work Knowledge, Skills and Values
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Drugs in American Society

Admissions information: Students must submit high school transcripts and standardized test scores as part of their application.

Accreditation: This program receives accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education

10.University of Montevallo

Montevallo, Alabama

At the University of Montevallo (UM), students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Social Work.

The University of Montevallo was the first social work education program in Alabama. Because of their history in social work success, faculty prepare students for generalist practice with emphasis on the poor and undeserved. With 85 undergraduates in the program on a small campus of about 2,500 students, students receive a very personalized education at UM.

Social work students can join the National Association of Social Workers. This organization is available to any BSW student. This organization provides opportunities to get involved within the profession in unique and important ways. Students can also participate in the Phi Alpha honor society after their freshman year.

Coursework in the Social Work program includes Research in Social Welfare, Social Policy, Skills for Social Work Practice and Family and Child Issues and Services.

Interested students may pursue UM’s Master of Social Work through the Graduate School.

Credit Requirement: 120

Selection of Courses:

  • Social Work Practice with Aging Populations
  • Substance Abuse
  • Social Change Through Social Marketing
  • Individual and Family Development

Admissions information: Students must submit high school transcripts. Admissions traditionally requires standardized test scores, however this requirement is waived for the 2021 academic year.

Accreditation: This program receives accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education.

11.University of Alabama at Birmingham

Birmingham, AL

Students interested in social work can earn their Bachelor of Science in Social Work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

UAB prides itself on the experiential learning that students receive as undergraduates such as participating in simulations and interprofessional training activities, and service-learning course which cumulate into a final field practicum. All field work is monitored by a professional social worker, which allows students unique opportunities for professional networking and mentoring. Students can be placed in settings focusing on immigrant and refugees, corrections and criminal justice, advocacy, aging, and so many more. In fact, BSW students graduate with more than 450 hours of real-world experience.

There are ample opportunities for students to get involved as prospective social workers. UAB has a Student Social Work Organization that is rooted in building social relationships as well as providing professional development opportunities for students. Students may also join the National Association of Social Workers, the Phi Alpha International Honor Society, and take part in numerous different social work conferences.

Graduates of the Social Work department will be ready to enter into the profession as competent and confident social workers. Courses include a professional writing course, practice courses with a service-learning lab, Social Work Research, and Social Welfare Policy Analysis.

Interested students may go on to pursue a Master in Social Work at UAB as well.

Credit Requirement: 120

Selection of Elective Courses:

  • Child Welfare
  • Disaster Preparedness
  • Working in Addiction and Recovery
  • Medical and Mental Health Social Work

Admissions information: Incoming freshman must submit high school transcripts. Though Admissions usually requires standardized test scores, this has been waived for the Fall of 2021.

Accreditation: This program receives accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education

12.Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University

Normal, Alabama

Aspiring social workers can earn their Bachelor of Arts in Social Work at Alabama A&M University.

Students at Alabama A&M earn generalist knowledge as well as experience in family and child welfare through targeted field experience. The real-world experience will include working with historically oppressed groups in the Birmingham and North Alabama areas. The goal is to equip all students with the skills and confidence necessary to succeed in entry-level positions after graduation.

With a campus population of just under 6,000, social work students experience small class sizes and develop great relationships with faculty members in the department. Students also learn about the importance of social advocacy and policy that benefits all populations served by social workers.

Coursework in the program includes Diverse Populations, Social Problems, Rural Human Services, and Human Behavior.

A Master in Social Work is also available.

Credit Requirement: 121

Selection of Courses:

  • Poverty & Deprivation
  • Black Experiences Through Films
  • Substance Abuse: The Impact of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
  • Social Welfare Policies and Services

Admissions information: Incoming students must submit high school transcripts and standardized test scores.

Accreditation: This program receives accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education.

13.University of West Alabama

Livingston, AL

Undergraduates at the University of West Alabama can earn their Bachelor of Science in Sociology.

The sociology program prepares students for work in the social work field through its unique partnership with the University of Alabama. This partnership program helps students earn a dual degree, a Bachelor in Science in Sociology and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of West Alabama and the University of Alabama respectively.

Sociology students learn hands-on research skills and even have the opportunity to present their findings at various conferences throughout the Alabama and Mississippi region. Students can also work alongside a professor on their professional research projects.

Coursework in the social work dual program includes Spirituality in the Social Work Practice, History of Social Welfare, and Cultural Diversity and Social Justice.

Credit Requirement: 89 credits

Selection of Courses:

  • Social Work and Human Sexuality
  • Child Welfare Services
  • Forensic Social Work
  • Social Work Research Practicum

Admissions information: Interested students must submit high school transcripts and standardized testing scores.

Accreditation: This program receives accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education.