Social work degree programs can provide learners with particular focuses within several different specialty areas. Each of these areas can have their own unique contribution to the field, which can be helpful in providing well-rounded services to the general public. Students that are considering social work degree programs during the collegiate experience should have a strong desire to help others within their community, the ability to maintain a busy work schedule, and the drive to complete goals that are created to change the lives of others.
What is Social and Behavioral Science?
Degree programs in Social and Behavioral Sciences can be great for students that might be interested in working for state agencies focused on providing support to people that have experienced negative circumstances within their lives, as well as mental health agencies set on helping people diagnosed with different mental illnesses or disorders. If this sounds like the type of field that can interest you, you should read more in our guide below. Our team of educational experts has reviewed these programs in order to provide you with helpful information that can aid in your search.
Consider a Featured Online Social Work ProgramClick the university name for information on admissions, courses, status of accreditation, and more.
|School / Program||Online Program?||Advanced Standing Availability||Course Information|
|Fordham University||cast_connected Online||check_circle Advanced Standing Program Available||class Accelerated, full-time, and part-time options. Advanced standing for qualified students with a BSW.|
|Baylor University||cast_connected Online
No GRE Scores Required
|check_circle Advanced Standing Program Available||class 2 Specializations: Clinical Practice or Community Practice. Standard MSW and Advanced Standing MSW.|
|Case Western Reserve University||cast_connected Online||check_circle GRE scores are not required to apply||class Advanced Standing Available.|
|University of Denver||cast_connected Online
No GRE Required
|check_circle Advanced Standing Program Available||class Two online graduate programs: a traditional MSW and an advanced standing MSW.|
|University of Southern California||cast_connected Online||check_circle Ask Representative||class Earn a Master of Social Work online in as few as 12 months if you have a Bachelor of Social Work. Earn a Doctor of Social Work online in as few as 24 months (master’s req.).|
|Ohio University||cast_connected Online||check_circle No GRE or GMAT||class Complete in as few as 24 months. Adult Mental Health, Child, Family, and School, and Social Policy.|
Online Social and Behavioral Sciences Programs
When people think of a college education, they may imagine a large university containing thousands of students - each traveling to class each day to gain their degree. However, the way that society views college education may be rapidly changing. This change is partly due to the influx of technology within all walks of life. Technology has added alternative paths for education that can be useful to students from all backgrounds and walks of life. Online degree programs can be a great way for students to gain their degree with only a percentage of the sacrifice.
Online degree programs in Social and Behavioral Sciences can be found at universities all over the country. These degree programs may include similar elements to traditional degree programs, such as classroom discussions, weekly assignments, and even timed examinations. Through an online course room, students can search through their syllabus to determine what type of topics of information they can learn in their course, as well as use a virtual email tool to contact instructors for assistance.
In terms of social work degree programs, accreditation may be one of the most important factors. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredits degree programs in social work, which is required by all states for licensure. As you search for the perfect online degree program, you should locate the accreditation of your program before making a decision. In an effort to make your search go a little smoother, our team of educational experts has listed a few accredited schools for you to review below.
At Case Western Reserve University's CSWE-accredited Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences—ranked No. 9 in 2019 for social work by U.S. News & World Report—students can earn their Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) online. The degree is equivalent to an MSW, and can be completed in two and a half years. GRE scores are not required to apply.
Click for admissions information.
More Online BSW and MSW Programs:
- Brandman University: Online Bachelors in Social Work – Online Full-Time and Part-Time Options Available
- California State University – Chico: Online Masters in Social Work – Online Year-Round Programs Available
- Campbellsville University: Online Masters in Social Work – Online Full-Time and Part-Time Programs Available
When you are ready to choose and enroll in a masters program, you should choose a program that consists of a concentration related to your goals. In Social and Behavioral Sciences, you may find a variation of different degree specializations that are related to the field you would like to work in. If you have a particular focus you are interested in, such as mental health or environmental science, these types of concentrations can assist you with learning more about your prospective field, rather than adding in extra information from areas that you do not plan to work in. Our team has listed some of the common degree specializations for the Social and Behavioral Sciences programs below.
- Clinical Behavioral Health
- Behavior Studies
- Social and Behavioral Practice
Bachelor of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Some students that are interested in Social and Behavioral Sciences in the field of social work might wonder why their choice of bachelors program is so important to their future success. Ample career planning in early stages can assist you with gaining the most insight and experience within your field prior to receiving licensure and working with the public. Students that choose to begin their education and training within the field of social work may have the opportunity to learn more about how people interact with their environment, as well as have more practical experience in the field.
Bachelors programs in Social Work can be a great way for students to learn more about what types of services can be offered to people within society, what types of methods and tools are available for use with members of a community, and methods for applying knowledge to the creation of policies or programs concerned with social services. In the section below, our team has listed a few open bachelors programs that can assist you in building a meaningful foundation for your future career. Check out these programs to see if one seems like the right fit for your needs.
- The University of Utah: Online Bachelors in Social Work – Online Full-Time and Part-Time Options Available
- Ursuline College: Online Bachelors in Social Work – Online Full-Time and Part-Time Options Available
Master of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Masters degrees in Social and Behavioral Sciences can provide students with structured learning that focuses more on the specialization field as a whole. During this experience, students in online degree programs can use internet resources to locate case studies regarding behavioral health in social work, develop their own research projects, and even enroll in field experiences that can assist them with seeing social programs in action. These programs typically take around 3 years to complete for most students and are found in both full-time and part-time format.
While bachelors programs are more likely to introduce generalist ideas surrounding social work, students at the masters level may touch on the different areas of social work while in their program. The field of social work can be considered a network of different services and supports for the public that can intertwine in an effort to better society as a whole. Social and Behavioral Sciences degree programs can help students learn more about how people behave, how society and interaction can influence their behavior, and how these factors can influence their quality of life. The list of programs below contains CSWE-accredited online programs currently open for enrollment.
- The University of Houston: Online Masters in Social Work – Behavioral Health – Online Part-Time and Advanced Standing Options Available
- California State University – Chico: Online Masters in Social Work – Online Part-Time Program Available
- Case Western Reserve University: Online Masters in Social Work – Social Change – Online Full-Time, Part-Time, and Advanced Standing Options Available
Typical MSW of Social and Behavioral Sciences Coursework
Some students may wonder why the curriculum of a degree program is so important. The truth is, the degree program itself can be measured by the quality of the curriculum and its relevance to the career field it represents. This may be why accreditation is such an important step in determining the overall usefulness of your program. During accreditation, agencies may thoroughly review the coursework and practica to determine how well the work represents the career field as a whole. The courses that you take during your program should be relevant to the field you work in and provide you with ample knowledge to be an upstanding professional.
In order to help you visualize what this program looks like from an outside perspective, our team of educational experts has pulled course work from popular Social and Behavioral Sciences degree programs. Courses that can be found in these degree programs may provide you with ideas found in sociology and psychology that can be helpful during treatment planning and assessments in the field. Read more about these courses and what they may consist of in the list below.
- Human Behavior Across the Lifespan: Investigations into the origin of human behavior may have been where social work found its roots. Studies into social interaction, the environment, and nurture can help social work professionals learn more about how their influence can be beneficial to the people that they serve. Throughout this course, students can learn about the biological and social influences that can shape people into what they become as adults, as well as the methods and programs that can be implemented to help them along the way.
- Human Diversity in the Social Environment: Professionals in the field of social work should be prepared to work with varying populations throughout the duration of their career. This course can introduce students to new cultural aspects, open-mindedness, and the need for education into the different cultural groups present within society. Students may be encouraged to explore different ethnic groups, races, sexual preferences, and religions on their path to providing equal and great-quality care to the people around them.
- Human Behavior in Rural Settings: Students of social work degree programs may spend some time researching behavior of people in the social environment. This can include specialized looks into how behavior can vary in different social environments such as those in rural areas. In this course, students may review statistics and case studies relation to human interaction, norms, and cultures in rural settings, so that they can better relate and provide care to people within these communities. This course may also provide students with further knowledge into available services and support within these communities.
What Would You Do Working in Social and Behavioral Sciences?
How does the field of Social and Behavioral Sciences differ from every other field in social work? You might be interested to learn that this area of social work may be more concerned with factors that go beyond what can be observed by the human eye. Professionals in this field may conduct research on behavior and the environment in order to develop hypotheses about why people harm others, why they choose to follow in their family’s footsteps rather than trying to do better, and even why people do not seek out proper preventative health care when it is offered to them. Answering questions such as these may require social work professionals to go beyond what is seen and attempt to visualize patterns that can contribute to these types of behaviors.
Professionals that are employed in Social and Behavioral Sciences may have the opportunity to work with diverse populations throughout their career, which can assist them in learning more about how different groups of people act and interact, why they make the decisions that they do, and methods for helping people take advantage of preventative and supportive services offered to them. In the list below, we have listed some of the common job responsibilities and duties of professionals in this field for you to review. See if these duties line up with what you are seeking in your social work career.
- Conducting Social Assessments
- Identifying Environmental Stimuli that Influences Social Behavior
- Case Management for Mentally Ill Clients
- Partnering with Mental Health Facilities and Providers
- Reviewing Case Files for Treatment Accuracy
- Case Management for 8-10 Clients
Social and Behavioral Sciences Jobs or Careers
While the field of social work can be incredibly unpredictable, there is one thing that is certain: People working in this field can change the lives of others. The amount of time and effort you put into your job can help determine how much influence your work can have on the people you are serving. In Social and Behavioral Sciences, your work can even make determinations about different groups within your community, which can be helpful in determining what types of services could be most useful for them.
As you learn more about the different types of degree programs available in this field, you should also consider the end result of your education. Each career option in the field of social work may contain risks and benefits that can change the face of your career. Our team encourages you to consider your own strengths and desires when choosing a degree program, so that you can utilize what you have to offer to the fullest extent while working in your chosen career. Browse through some of the common career titles for Social and Behavioral Sciences graduates below.
While some fields of social work may be more focused on direct practice and implementation, there are some that can lead professionals into more research-driven careers. With a higher degree in social work, you could conduct much-needed research within social areas to determine why people respond a certain way to public services, what influences in social can restrict people from seeking help, and what measures can be put into place to assist people with finding better solutions to their issues.
Psychiatric/Mental Health Social Worker
There may be a great need for social work professionals in psychiatric institutions and mental health facilities. Patients within these facilities with debilitating mental illnesses may not have the capacity to make treatment decisions, financial decisions, or life-course decisions on their own without assistance. Professionals in this field may be responsible for reviewing case files, treatment histories, and diagnoses to determine which services might be most helpful for each of their clients.
Individual and Family Social Worker
Having expertise in Social and Behavioral Sciences can potentially set you on track for a meaningful career in individual and family services. In agencies that work with displaced families, those that have experienced trauma, and instances of neglect, social workers can help to coordinate mental health services, supportive community services, and even foster care.