Education Paths for Social Workers
To be a social worker, you must hold a degree in social work from a college or university program accredited by the
Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The undergraduate degree is the bachelor of social work (BSW). Graduate degrees include the master of social work (MSW) and the doctorate in social work (DSW) or PhD. An MSW is required to provide therapy.
Degree programs involve classroom study as well as practical field experience. The BSW prepares graduates for generalist entry-level work; the MSW is for more advanced clinical practice. A DSW or PhD is useful for doing research or teaching at the university level.
Financing Your Post-secondary Education
There are many options available to you when financing your education. It is important to educate yourself. Start with the
U.S. Department of Education and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Look for scholarships and grants and obtain information from multiple private lending institutions. Also, you can apply for
loan forgiveness at both the federal and state levels.