Online Social Work Programs

Wildly Passionate. Exceptionally Prepared.

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100% Online Courses

80+ Years of Excellence

Top 50 College of Social Work1

Social change. Social justice. Social work.

When you continue your education with the University of Kentucky’s College of Social Work, you will join more than 80 years of proven excellence in social work education. Our social work programs include bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in an online format, preparing you to make a positive impact on behalf of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

With UK’s online degree programs in social work, you will learn from dedicated faculty who apply expertise across multiple social work areas. Build connections with your instructors and peers through courses offering the flexibility of online learning, backed by fieldwork opportunities that provide valuable hands-on experience. After graduation, you will possess the professional skills and network to pursue your passion as an advanced-practice social worker.

The University of Kentucky sets the bar for social work education. With a commitment to advancing your passion for positive social change, we empower you to join more than 6,000 social work graduates in careers that support the well-being of individuals, families, and communities worldwide.

Online Social Work Programs for Multiple Experience Levels

Discover the degree that enables you to move into the social work profession or advance into leadership roles. We offer Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW), Master of Social Work (MSW), and Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) programs in an online format that fits the needs of busy professionals.

  • Duration: 4 years
  • Total credits: 120 credits
  • Certificates: Yes

Build on your passion for advancing positive change by preparing for careers in social work and social justice with UK’s online BASW program. You can select an undergraduate Certificate in Diversity and Inclusivity Awareness or prepare for positions with the Kentucky Department of Community Based Services through the Public Child Welfare Certification (PCWCP) option.*

UK also offers a 4+1 MSW program, enabling eligible students to complete their MSW one year after finishing the BASW program.

  • Duration (Accelerated): 4 semesters
  • Total credits: 60 credits
  • Certificates: Yes

Empower yourself to create social change as a social work practitioner with UK’s CSWE-accredited MSW program. You can become an expert in your chosen area of focus by following an Individualized Plan of Study or pursuing a certificate in Clinical Social Work Practice, School Social Work, Child Welfare Practice, Military Behavioral Health, and additional areas.

An accelerated format is available for students to take 15 credits per term.

  • Duration (Accelerated): 2 semesters
  • Total credits: 30 credits
  • Certificates: Yes

UK offers this Advanced Standing MSW option for students who earned a CSWE-accredited BSW or BASW within the last seven years. Tailor your education by selecting an Individualized Plan of Study, or pursue a certificate matching your professional interests, such as Clinical Social Work Practice, School Social Work, Child Welfare Practice, and Military Behavioral Health.

An accelerated format is available for students to take 15 credits per term.

  • Duration: 2 to 3 years
  • Total credits: 42 credits
  • Certificates: Yes

Pursue your DSW with UK to learn from esteemed scholar-practitioner faculty with expertise in addressing contemporary social work challenges. You can hone your knowledge by selecting a concentration in Administrative Leadership, Clinical Social Work, Military Behavioral Health, or Social Work Education. Graduate with the qualifications for moving into higher education or advancing into social work leadership roles.

Dedicated Support for Active Military and Veterans

Since 2009, the University of Kentucky has been recognized by Military Times as a Best for Vets school among public universities in the state. In addition to waiving the application fee for veterans, our military support teams can help you determine eligibility and use the variety of programs available to make your out-of-pocket costs as low as possible.

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Take Online Classes When and Where You Want

The UK College of Social Work offers high-quality coursework in a flexible format that fits your busy life. You can remain in your current community while earning your social work degree online, developing knowledge for fostering positive change locally. Like our students on campus, you’ll learn from world-class faculty who provide the inspiration and guidance necessary to thrive as a social work student and practitioner.

Transform Social Work Throughout Society

Prepare to accelerate positive change in your community by enhancing your knowledge of social issues and learning to address barriers to equitable well-being for underserved populations. UK’s social work programs instill an appreciation for how diversity characterizes and shapes the human experience, with online courses that empower you to:

Deliver Exceptional Practice

Gain transferable skills for supporting individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities through ethical, high-quality practice.

Embrace Diversity and Social Justice

Learn how to advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice at all levels of practice.

Develop Practical Skills

Engage in practical coursework to build the real-world skills needed to thrive as an analyst, planner, advocate, leader, and change agent.

Impact Your Community with a Career in Social Work

Graduate ready for real-world practice at a university with licensure pass rates ranked #1 in Kentucky and among the highest in the nation. Our online social work programs impart adaptable, exceptional skills for career opportunities across an array of practice areas and settings. By starting or advancing your social work education online with UK, you can stand out in a profession expected to grow 7 percent from 2022 to 2032 — faster than the average for all occupations.4 Our recent graduates are working in hospitals, community-based non-profits, K-12 schools, universities, residential treatment programs, the criminal justice system, and more.

Rewarding Social Work Careers Include:

  1. Child, Family, or School Social Worker
  2. Clinical Social Worker
  3. Executive Director
  4. Health Care Social Worker
  5. Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counselor
  6. Psychiatric Social Worker
  7. Social and Community Service Manager
  8. Social Work Case Manager
  9. Social Work Educator
  10. Social Work Supervisor

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Sources and Disclaimers:

  1. “Best Schools for Social Work.” U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved Nov. 1, 2023 from
  2. “2024 Rankings for University of Kentucky.” College Factual. Retrieved Nov. 1, 2023 from
  3. “2021 Recipients: Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award 2021.” Insight Into Diversity. Retrieved Nov. 1, 2023, from
  4. “Social Workers.” Occupational Outlook Handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sept. 16, 2023. Retrieved Nov. 1, 2023, from

* The PCWCP certification is a collaboration between UK and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. It is designed to add highly trained social work graduates to the ranks of child protection workers throughout Kentucky. This is a competitive program that provides in-state tuition, a stipend, and a job upon graduation through a two-year employment commitment with the Cabinet following successful completion of the program.