Social Work Programs in Georgia | No GRE/CSWE Accredited

Known for its delicious peaches and southern hospitality, the state of Georgia features many excellent universities and colleges where one can attend a social work degree program and graduate into a social work career. Students can enjoy many of the attractions that Georgia has to offer, including year-round warm weather, historical sites, various treats such as boiled peanuts, sweet tea, and pecans, and various other activities and culture surrounding the state.

Georgia currently has 18 social work programs within the state. 10 of these programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Choosing an accredited social work program is often an important part of making the decision about what school you are going to attend. There are options for students at all levels, whether you are looking to earn your first bachelor’s degree, would like to go on to obtain a master’s degree, or would like to become further educated with a doctoral degree.

Social Work Degree Programs in Georgia

There are many Georgia social work degree programs that will help you meet your educational needs and career goals. However, you may be wondering where to start. Below is a guide of some of the universities that have social work programs in Georgia so you can begin to become familiar with your options in order to make the best decision for you. 

University of Georgia

The University of Georgia offers three degree types: a bachelors, masters, or PhD in social work. 

University of Georgia Bachelor’s of Social Work

The bachelor’s degree in social work program helps students gain skills to analyze and address policies that create systemic problems in their community and help clients solve issues directly. Students gain this experience through both coursework and hands-on experience. The program takes about 120 total semester hours and involves a senior year internship in the field of social services, as well as a senior year capstone project. Additionally, each student will be required to develop nine competencies in social work that are related to ethics, knowledge regarding diversity, and the ability to practice social work through the lens of practice and evidence-based research.

University of Georgia MSW Degree Program

UGA also offers a master’s degree program. Those who completed a full bachelor’s degree program can enter the master’s program through their Advanced Standing track, and will likely be able to complete the program one year sooner than students entering the program without a BSW degree. In the program, students can choose to attend full-time, extended time, or online. Additionally, students have the option to choose among three specializations: micro practice, macro practice, and integrated practice.

University of Georgia PhD in Social Work

The PhD program at the University of Georgia gives students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of social work and become more involved in the academic side. They will also be given the chance to develop and explore their own theories. Students admitted as prospective candidates are offered 4 years of assistantship funding, per the UGA website. Students will complete two years of courses followed by exams. They will then complete their dissertation project. In total, students must complete a minimum of 60 credits overall to graduate. 

Georgia State University 

Georgia State University offers a bachelor’s degree program and a master’s degree program for those wanting to earn a degree in social work. 

The BSW degree program focuses on the nine competencies set by the national accrediting body that helps students prepare for licensure. The classes help students understand human behavior and different contexts and settings, and help students learn how to intervene within their community and a variety of systems. The goal of the curriculum is to create generalist social workers who use their newly developed critical thinking skills to ethically practice intervention approaches while understanding diversity, human functioning, and social environments. This program can be applied for after students have completed their lower division classes. This typically takes about two years. Students are expected to complete a minimum of 120 credit hours. Students who are taking this program full-time will complete the program in four years.

Georgia State University’s Online Bachelor of Social Work

The BSW program is also available online.

The master of social work degree program is intended to prepare students for leadership roles in social work. Students who take on this degree will likely go into careers that involve confronting complex challenges in the community at the big-picture level. They will learn how to address issues such as poverty, discrimination, and social and economic justice that disproportionately affect certain groups. Students who take this program full-time will be expected to complete a minimum of 60 credit hours, and can complete the program within two years. However, There is also a part-time option available. Additionally, there is an option available for those who completed a bachelor’s degree program in social work. The curriculum of this program involves three components, which are Liberal Arts Perspective, Social Work Generalist Practice, and Social Work Specialization.

The MSW program can be completed as a hybrid of online classes and on campus work, or just in-person classes. 

Clark Atlanta University 

Clark Atlanta University offers three social work degree programs: a bachelors, masters, and PhD in social work. 

The goals of the bachelor’s of social work (BSW) program equips students with the skills for generalist social work by focusing on four main goals. The first goal is to prepare students to practice ethical social work without discrimination and hold onto the values of the profession. The second goal is to teach students how to link their research and practice by applying the research to the latter, then evaluating it. The third goal is to help students prepare for practicing social work with systems of all sizes, for any career that they might find after graduation. The last goal is to help students develop critical thinking skills through their educational processes that stems from a liberal arts foundation and prepares them to go on to graduate school if they so choose. Students meet these goals through the 122-123 credit hour BSW curriculum that is completed in approximately four years. 

The master of social work (MSW) program features three plans of study that are different lengths to meet the needs of different students. The MSW program is intended to prepare students for leadership roles in the social work profession. It features two specializations: Child and Family Health and Mental Health. To be admitted into the program, students must submit three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, pay the application fee, and have a BA degree from an accredited university. 

The PhD program at Clark Atlanta University prepares students for advanced level research that can apply to careers such as teaching, organizational development, policy analysis, or social service management. The program has a number of objectives that will lead students to contributing to the social work profession both while in the program and once they have graduated. 

Kennesaw State University 

Kennesaw State University offers a master’s degree in social work. The goal of the MSW program is to produce social workers that focus on enhancing the well-being of individuals and families within their community. This program helps students prepare for the licensing social work exam. Students who take this exam will be qualified to practice mental health care. The MSW program with Kennesaw State University is a full-time program of study that takes two years (60 credit hours) to complete. 48 of the hours are spent on classroom courses, while 12 are spent in practicum. In order for students to complete their clinical field practicum, the department must approve the agency site where the student will be completing the requirement. Students in their first year of the program will be spending two days in the field, while students in their second year will be spending three days in the field.

Valdosta State University

Valdosta State University features a masters in social work degree program. This program has a full-time, on-campus option where students can complete the program in two years. There is also a 3-year option for students who wish to attend part-time. Additionally, there is a one year  option for students who meet the qualifications for the advanced standing program. All three of the options teach through a hybrid on-campus and online format, which demonstrates the campus’s cutting edge technology and allows students more flexibility to complete their coursework at their own pace. Many students who work full-time or live far from campus find this helpful. VSU is contracted with over 125 human services agencies across the state where students can be placed for their practicum when it comes time to fulfill that requirement in their education. Students are often placed at a variety of locations such as mental health agencies, hospitals, and children and family service departments.

CSWE Accredited Programs in Georgia

When you are deciding on which school and program is best for you, a considerable factor is if the program is CSWE accredited. There are several benefits for students in attending a school that holds an accreditation status. Schools also see benefits from being accredited, as students are more likely to be drawn to attend them. 

What is CSWE Accreditation? 

CSWE stands for the Council on Social Work Education. It is the association that represents social work in the USA. The organization was founded in 1952, and it includes individuals who are professionals in the field of social work and are passionate about the quality of social work education. CSWE also includes over 800 social work programs. 

Why is CSWE Accreditation Important?

CSWE Accreditation is important to ensure quality and consistency throughout accredited programs across the United States. These quality expectations are determined by the CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation (COA). Accredited schools prepare future social workers for the licensing exam, which in turn helps them become well-rounded social workers who can successfully assist their communities with complex problems. Many employers require that their social workers have documentation that they attended a CSWE-accredited program. Anyone who attends a CSWE-accredited program can be confident that their program has gone through multiple steps to meet high standards of quality, and that their education will adequately prepare them for the future. 

List of All CSWE Accredited Degrees in Georgia 

Online Social Work Programs in Georgia

Students enjoy the benefits of online social work degree programs for multiple reasons. The state of Georgia features several of such programs for those who need the flexibility of online classes. The universities offering online social work degree programs in Georgia include:

  • Albany State University: BSW
  • Georgia State University: BSW
  • University of Georgia: MSW

What Are the Benefits of an Online Social Work Degree? 

The ability to pursue a social work degree online can be helpful and beneficial to students who may be employed full-time and are attending school to increase their salary or pursue certain career goals. Attending online schooling allows these individuals to receive their education without needing to quit their day job. Sometimes, students may also have other responsibilities, such as a family to look after. Online education gives them the flexibility to complete schoolwork at their own pace, and sometimes watch recorded course lectures a few hours after it has taken place.  

Social Work Licensure in Georgia 

Each state has different requirements to become a licensed social worker, which is supervised by their individual state board. The two types of Georgia social work licenses are called a licensed master’s social worker (LMSW) and a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). While they are a bit similar, they perform slightly different duties and have different qualifications. 

The biggest difference is that LCSW can perform mental health therapy, while an LMSW cannot. 

To earn their licenses, both an LMSW and LCSW must earn a master’s degree from a CSWE-accredited institution. This can take 1-3 years following the time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree. LCSW’s must follow this up with at least three years under the supervision of a licensed social work supervisor. 

After the LMSW and LCSW have submitted their applications to the Georgia Society for Clinical Social Work board, they will register for their individual exams. These exams have a fee, consist of 150 questions, and take about four hours to complete. Students can prepare by studying the materials provided on the Association of Social Work Boards website. 

Social Work Salary & Job Outlook in Georgia

The average salary for a social worker in GA will depend on a number of factors such as their level of education, years of experience, where they work, how long they have been employed at that location, where they live in the state, and more. For example, a social worker who has just gotten their first job after graduating with their bachelor’s degree may earn a different amount than a licensed clinical social worker who has been in practice for ten years. However, regardless of salary or title, every social worker is important in their role. 

Social Worker Salary in Georgia 

According to the CareerOneStop,the median annual salary for social workers in GA is $81,620. Comparatively, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the average salary for social workers in the entire United States was $50,390 in 2021. The average salary for social workers based on their education and credentials is broken down below:

  • BSW average salary in GA: The average salary for a social worker with their bachelor’s degree is about $ 60,091. However, this salary typically falls between $53,709-$67,032. 
  • MSW average salary in GA: The average salary for a social worker with their master’s degree is about $66,737. However, this salary typically falls between $60,288-$73,613. 
  • LCSW average salary in GA: The average salary for a licensed social worker is about $74,190. However, this salary typically falls between $68,437-$82,443. 
  • DSW or PhD average salary in MA: The average salary for an individual with a doctoral degree in social work will depend on what career they choose to pursue. Many choose to go into academia. A professor of social work in GA earns about $99,297 on average. Others may choose to take on the role of a clinical director, where they will earn between $57,000-$110,000 on average annually. 

Social Worker Job Outlook in Georgia

According to O*Net Online, the jobs for social workers in Georgia are projected to grow 8% in the next decade. There are 130 job openings that are projected to open up annually. Comparatively, the job outlook in the United States over the next decade is projecting that social work jobs will grow 9%. 

Popular Social Work Careers in Georgia 

  • Licensed Social Worker (LMSW). This type of social worker has typically gone through school to earn their master’s degree. An LMSW will perform a large number of tasks that vary greatly depending on the type of work that is available, as well as the agency, non-profit, or other type of organization that is in need of them. For example, a licensed social worker in GA might work as a mental health therapist at a county agency. They also might work in a psychiatric care center, managing groups of patients receiving treatment. These and many other careers available for licensed social workers may also fall under different names on job boards as well. The salary for a licensed social worker in GA ranges between $68,437 and $82,443 annually. 
  • Case Manager. A case manager is typically a job that requires a lower level social work degree, such a BSW, but is equally as important. Case managers might be considered advocates for a client’s case, and perform duties as such. They work with clients to help them work their way through complex social systems to give them directions as needed, keep track of where they are in the system, and give them resources. They also might create and send referrals. The salary for a case manager in Georgia ranges widely between $20,000-$63,000 due to factors such as the education level required.  

What is the Typical Cost of a Social Work Program in Georgia

One of the most important aspects to planning your education might be finances. It’s important to have an idea of how much you might be spending ahead of time. Here is a breakdown of the average costs of GA social work programs. 

  • Bachelor’s of Social Work: $30,680 total average cost.
    • Example- University of Georgia: $27,542
  • Master’s of Social Work: $14,140 total average cost.
    • Example- Kennesaw State University: $16,852
  • Doctorate of Social Work $114,120, however, stipends and financial assistance is frequently provided and students often have to pay very little. 

Social Work Scholarships 

Finances can sometimes be a difficult roadblock when it comes to exploring the option of obtaining higher education. Luckily, there are often scholarships and grants available to make the process of paying for your chosen social work program easier. 

Individual universities frequently have their own scholarships and grants for potential or current social work students. The best way to discover if the schools that you are interested in have that option is to explore their website, email, or give them a call. There is typically a financial aid office that can direct you to the right place to look further into what options are available for you. 

Additionally, there are many websites online that compile general scholarships from many different sources for students, some of which include:

Another good option for many students is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application determines a student’s eligibility for aid based on factors such as their income, and can be the source of much of the financial relief that some students receive. 

Key Social Work Areas in Georgia

Georgia has many pleasant things to offer for its citizens and the students who will be attending the universities within the state. However, those who go on to be social workers in GA will not have a shortage of social issues to address in order to better the community. One of the main issues that the citizens of Georgia face is low wages, as the state’s minimum wage is under $7.25 an hour.

These low wages lead to a plethora of other issues, such as the fact that the state has 13.3% of their population living in poverty, which is higher than the national average. Consequently, due to the connection between poverty and health, residents living in the rural part of Georgia are more likely to experience health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Another significant issue seen in Georgia is the discrimination and violence against LGBTQ community and the lack of laws that are in place to protect them from said discrimination.

There are currently no explicit statewide laws that state that the community cannot be discriminated against. Another issue that the state is facing is a lack of accountability for law enforcement in terms of how they are handling certain calls they are receiving, particularly if the calls are related to mental health. 

Social workers at all levels are needed to address these issues. Social workers can assist families who are experiencing poverty navigate complex social service systems to apply for and get the help they need, if it’s available. They could also help them with finding a job, or help advise them on how to proceed with looking for housing.

Licensed clinical social workers can help address the emotional and mental health struggles that come along with poverty, health issues, discrimination, and many of the other struggles mentioned. Some social workers who are trained at how to address and change policy can work to change things at the big-picture level, such as more mental health training for police officers handling calls,  a social worker coming along to address the individual, or funding for a mental health crisis vehicle. 

Social workers are needed in the community to provide emotional support to their community, provide valid resources, and offer a different perspective to those who might need it.

Masters in Social Work Degree Programs in Georgia

Albany State University

(Albany, GA)

  • Masters in Social Work (MSW)
  • $3,610 Tuition Cost
  • $3,261 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
  • Urban Campus Setting

Clark Atlanta University

(Atlanta, GA)

  • Masters in Social Work (MSW)
  • $19,012 Tuition Cost
  • $8,015 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
  • Urban Campus Setting

Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

(Atlanta, GA)

  • Masters in Public Policy Analysis
  • $7,718 Tuition Cost
  • $6,823 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
  • Urban Campus Setting

Georgia State University

(Atlanta, GA)

  • Masters in Social Work (MSW)
  • $6,029 Tuition Cost
  • $953 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
  • Urban Campus Setting

Kennesaw State University

(Kennesaw, GA)

  • Masters in Social Work (MSW)
  • $3,888 Tuition Cost
  • $2,991 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
  • Suburban Campus Setting

North Georgia College & State University

(Dahlonega, GA)

  • Masters in Community and Social Psychology
  • $3,882 Tuition Cost
  • $2,223 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
  • Suburban Campus Setting

Savannah State University

(Savannah, GA)

  • Masters in Social Work (MSW)
  • $3,610 Tuition Cost
  • $4,501 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
  • Urban Campus Setting

University of Georgia

(Athens, GA)

  • Masters in Housing and Human Development
  • Masters in Social Work (MSW)
  • $7,646 Tuition Cost
  • $5,027 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
  • Urban Campus Setting

Valdosta State University

(Valdosta, GA)

  • Masters in Social Work (MSW)
  • $3,882 Tuition Cost
  • $3,249 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
  • Urban Campus Setting
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