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Bachelor of Social Work
WKU's Bachelor of Social Work program consists of 54 semester hours – 48 hours in social work and 6 hours in advisor consent electives. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , job outlook is expected to grow 16% by 2026. Our program is designed to prepare students for jobs in fields like the following:
- Foster care and adoptions
- Probation, parole, and youth offender services
- Victim assistance
- Employee hiring, retention, and retirement
- Working with developmentally disabled
- Providing academic services in schools
- Improving conditions for disadvantaged
- Working with older adults
- Planning and development of community programs
- Counseling and therapy for individuals and families
- Developing programs that promote health
- Drug or alcohol addiction treatment
Four-Year Degree Plan
Phone: ( 270) 745-4765
Email: [email protected]
To learn more about the Bachelor of Social Work , view the Undergraduate Catalog . To take the next step on your climb to the top, apply today !
For more information about the program, fill out the form below.
Data source: Economic Modeling, LLC (Emsi) / www.economicmodeling.com
The information provided through this website are based in part on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data that is licensed by Western Kentucky University from Emsi. While Western Kentucky University believes this data to be reliable as a whole, some of the data is based on estimates made by Emsi, when actual data is not available.
Western Kentucky University does not guarantee a job to graduates upon completion of any program.
Information about accreditation can be found through the Office of the Provost .
Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.
Online Social Work Programs in Kentucky
Six social work programs in Kentucky offer online courses, including two bachelor’s programs and four master’s programs. After they graduate, students enjoy plenty of social work job opportunities throughout the state. According to 2017 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are approximately 11,000 social work jobs in Kentucky.
Job titles for Kentucky social workers include child, family, and school social worker; mental health and substance abuse social worker; and healthcare social worker. Kentucky boasts the fourth-highest concentration of child, family, and school social workers out of all 50 states.
There are particularly strong opportunities in rural areas, with the East Kentucky and South Central nonmetropolitan areas offering some of the highest employment figures for child, family, and school social workers out of all of the nation’s rural areas. Earning an online social work degree in Kentucky is the first step toward these career opportunities.
Social Work Programs by Degree Level
Online Bachelor’s in Social Work Programs
Online Master’s in Social Work Programs
University of Louisville
Western kentucky university, education and licensure requirements for social workers in kentucky.
The Kentucky Board of Social Work oversees social work licensure in Kentucky. The board currently offers three types of social work licenses: licensed social worker (LSW), certified social worker (CSW), and licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). Learn more about these distinctions below.
In Kentucky, an LSW permits social workers to practice non-clinically. To earn an LSW, candidates must hold a bachelor’s in social work accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE). CSW candidates must hold a master’s in social work from a CSWE-accredited program. The CSW is a prerequisite for the LCSW license, which also requires a master’s in social work from a CSWE-accredited program.
Exam Application Process and Requirements
All of Kentucky’s three social work licenses require candidates to pass an Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) examination. Each test consists of 170 multiple-choice questions, with graders only scoring 150 questions. LSW candidates must pass the ASWB bachelor’s exam, which costs $230 and does not require any supervised experience, though it does require a CSWE-accredited BSW degree.
CSW candidates must pass the ASWB master’s exam, which costs $230 and also does not require supervised experience, although candidates must hold a CSWE-accredited MSW degree.
However, LCSW candidates need two years of full-time or three years of part-time clinical experience. They also need a CSWE-accredited MSW degree and must pass the ASWB clinical exam, which costs $260. Students can register for all ASWB exams on the association’s website.
Kentucky LSW certification includes a $25 application fee and a $75 licensure fee. The fees for MSW certification total $150 while LCSW fees are $225.
Continuing Education and Licensure Renewal
No matter what type of license they hold, Kentucky social workers must renew their licenses every three years. Renewal fees total $200 for LCSWs, $125 for CSWs, and $75 for LSWs. During each three-year renewal period, LSWs must complete 15 hours of approved continuing education courses, while CSWs and LCSWs must complete 40 hours. All social workers in Kentucky need six hours of courses in suicide prevention, identification, and management during each renewal period.
Featured Online Programs
Why choose an online social work program in kentucky.
Online students enjoy many benefits, such as affordability and flexibility. The six online social work programs in the Bluegrass State offer affordable tuition, with rates ranging from $400-$800 per credit depending on residency status. Online learners also typically save on expenses like housing and commuting costs. Furthermore, the flexibility of online programs allows students to continue working while pursuing their degrees.
Here is our list of online social work degree programs in Kentucky as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics . We cover online bachelor’s in social work, online master’s in social work, and online doctorate in social work programs. All programs are regionally and CSWE accredited, and all are available entirely online.
Brescia University, located in Owensboro, is a Catholic liberal arts college. The school accommodates learners with a suite of online programs in various disciplines. The Marilyn Younger Conley School of Social Work offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work. Since 2008, the school has administered an online bachelor of social work, a degree completion program that requires no visits on campus. BSW graduates can seamlessly transfer into the MSW, one of the best social work programs in Kentucky.
Brescia University’s Bachelor of Social Work
- Credits and Courses: The 128-credit degree consists of 42 credits in the major. Students can complete courses asynchronously in an eight-week accelerated format.
- Completion Time: Students who meet the school’s general education requirements and transfer up to 86 credits can complete the degree in two years. First-year students can typically complete the degree in four years.
- Field Education: Students can complete two field practicums at on-site agencies while concurrently participating in weekly seminars.
- Exam Preparation: The program prepares students for BSW-level state board examinations, such as those administered by the Kentucky Board of Social Work.
- Transfer Policies: Students may transfer up to 86 credits into this BSW. Brescia maintains articulation agreements with several colleges in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Kentucky to maximize the number of transfer credits.
- Cost: $425/credit in-state and out-of-state. BU has frozen its tuition until 2022.
- Admission Requirements: Admission requires at least 45 credits with a minimum 2.5 GPA. The program has five start dates: January, March, May, August, and October.
Brescia University’s Master of Social Work
- Concentrations: Brescia offers an advanced standing track.
- Credits and Courses: The program comprises 60 credits for traditional students and 30 credits for advanced standing students. Enrollees can participate in weekly synchronous chats required for all courses to have virtual, real-time interaction with faculty and peers in a small-class environment.
- Completion Time: Full-time students can finish the regular online MSW in less than two years. Advanced standing students typically complete the MSW in nine months of full-time study.
- Field Education: Regular MSW students should complete 900 hours of fieldwork. Advanced standing students, who can complete the program on a full-time or part-time basis, can complete 500 hours of fieldwork.
- Exam Preparation: This program prepares students for the ASWB exam.
- Cost: $600/credit in-state and out-of-state.
- Admission Requirements: Each applicant for the traditional track must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credits of the bachelor’s program. A candidate pursuing the advanced standing track must have a minimum 3.2 GPA in the last 60 credits earned.
Brescia University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Brescia University’s social work programs are CSWE-accredited.
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Campbellsville University is a Christian college that offers a full slate of online programs. The Carver School of Social Work features two online social work degrees in Kentucky that integrate Christian servant leadership principles. The bachelor of science in social work gives students a strong educational foundation to enter the social work field as mental health assistants or caseworkers.
The school also offers an MSW to advance scholarship, leadership, and Christian service for enrollees. Its social work faculty have designed the programs with working professionals and distance learners in mind to meet their need for comprehensive and hands-on social work education. Social work students can join XI Omega Phi Alpha, a National Social Work Honor Society, to meet peers and foster humanitarian goals and ideals.
Campbellsville University’s Bachelor of Social Work
- Credits and Courses: As part of a 120-credit curriculum in total, students can complete a 51-credit social work major and six hours of electives covering topics such as aging, addictions, and human rights. Faculty members deliver the program asynchronously using eight-week courses. Campbellsville’s virtual classroom allows students to interact with faculty and peers through video.
- Completion Time: Full-time students can finish the online BSW in four years.
- Field Education: A student can engage in a minimum 450 hours of field instruction during the last term of their senior year.
- Exam Preparation: The program prepares students for BSW-level state board examinations.
- Transfer Policies: Campbellsville allows students to transfer up to 72 credits from an accredited junior or community college into this bachelor’s degree, so long as they have a minimum “D” grade.
- Cost: $399/credit in-state and out-of-state.
- Admission Requirements: Applicants with fewer than 24 credits must submit ACT or SAT scores.
Campbellsville University’s Master of Social Work
- Concentrations: The program offers advanced standing and clinical tracks.
- Credits and Courses: The regular program comprises 60 credits. Students can complete 30 credits for either the advanced standing or clinical track. Faculty members deliver the MSW asynchronously. Many students in the clinical track plan to work in hospitals caring for patients with mental illnesses.
- Completion Time: A full-time student can finish the online MSW in two years. An enrollee with a CSWE-accredited BSW can complete either the advanced standing or clinical track in one year.
- Field Education: Students must find and secure their own placement site to complete 900 practicum hours. Note that fieldwork for the clinical track must take place in a hospital.
- Transfer Policies: A student pursuing the regular program may transfer a maximum of six credits. Neither the advanced standing nor clinical track programs accept transfer credits.
- Cost: $559/credit in-state and out-of-state
- Admission Requirements: Each applicant must possess a minimum 3.0 GPA for the full program or either track.
Campbellsville University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Campbellsville University’s social work programs are CSWE-accredited.
The University of Louisville’s 12 schools and colleges administer more than 200 programs. The Kent School of Social Work is one of the top research social work programs in the nation. Among the 262 social work programs in the nation, Kent School ranks 44th on U.S. News & World Report’s rankings , and first in the state.
The school offers a bachelor’s, master’s with nine specializations, and doctor of philosophy in social work. The robust program also offers dual degree programs in law, bioethics, ministry, Pan-African studies, and women and gender studies. Kent School encourages community involvement with 400 students providing approximately 190,000 hours of free social work services to individuals, groups, and communities.
University of Louisville’s Master of Science in Social Work
- Concentrations: The MSSW offers six of nine specializations online: Mental health, gerontology, psychosocial oncology, alcohol and drug counseling, military social work, and forensic social work.
- Credits and Courses: 60 credits for the regular program. Students with a BSW earned within the last seven years can complete 30 credits for the advanced standing program. Overall, the MSSW trains social workers for practice with children and families; community and international practice; and health and mental health.
- Completion Time: Students can finish the regular online MSW in 2-3 years, depending on full- or part-time enrollment status. Advanced standing students with CSWE-accredited BSWs can complete the program in 1-2 years.
- Field Education: Each student can complete 900 hours of field education, including supervised practice at a social service organization in their state of residence.
- Transfer Policies: Students may transfer up to six credits into the MSSW, one of the best social work programs in Kentucky, if completed within the last three years at an accredited institution.
- Cost: $714/credit in-state and out-of-state.
- Admission Requirements: Applicants submit transcripts from prior colleges and no GRE scores are required for admission. An advanced standing applicant should possess a preferred minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA.
The University of Louisville is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The University of Louisville’s social work programs are CSWE-accredited.
Western Kentucky University, located in Bowling Green, offers a comprehensive catalog that includes 104 graduate degrees and certificates. Its Department of Social Work offers a bachelor of social work and master of social work. The department manages significant projects, such as the public child welfare certification program and the MSW cohort studies initiative.
The master of social work focuses on practice in non-urban areas, especially rural communities. It also provides social work practitioners with the education and training needed for advancement into supervisory and management positions within human service agencies. The online MSW option is an advanced-standing cohort, so students interested in the full program must attend classes on campus.
Western Kentucky University’s Master of Social Work
- Concentrations: The program offers an advanced direct practice in rural settings concentration.
- Credits and Courses: A student with a BSW from an accredited social work program can complete 33 credits in a cohort on a part-time basis only. The school offers this online option to students living in rural areas with limited access to advanced education. Each enrollee may elect to complete a thesis.
- Completion Time: Students can complete the part-time online advanced standing option in two years.
- Field Education: An advanced standing student can complete a minimum 500 hours at a social service agency.
- Transfer Policies: The school accepts a maximum of nine credits with at least a minimum 3.0 GPA from CSWE-accredited MSW programs.
- Cost: $707/credit in-state and out-of-state.
- Admission Requirements: An advanced standing applicant must possess a BSW with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Western Kentucky University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Western Kentucky University’s social work programs are CSWE-accredited.
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How to Become a Social Worker in Kentucky
Kentucky needs social workers, and demand for social workers is expected to increase in the coming years . Social work is among the 20 most-needed professions in the state, according to the Kentucky Occupational Outlook to 2024 report. Job growth for social workers is expected to range from 6 percent to as much as 37.5 percent, depending on field. The steps below outline how to become a social worker in Kentucky.
Education Requirements for Kentucky Social Workers
Education is a requirement for social workers in Kentucky. In fact, the Kentucky Board of Social Work mandates that anyone seeking licensure possess a bachelor’s degree in social work from a school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) at the very least. Such a degree program provides students with training on human behavior, policy and research methods and also provides some field experience. A bachelor’s degree in social work is the requirement to become a licensed social worker (LSW) in Kentucky. Earning a Bachelor of Social Work degree may qualify a graduate for “advanced standing” in a Master of Social Work program.
Other Kentucky licenses require a master’s degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program, which allows students to focus on advanced topics in social work. Upon receiving a master’s degree in social work, a graduate qualifies to become licensed as a certified social worker (CSW) or a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) in Kentucky.
Licensure in Kentucky
In Kentucky, there are three different forms of licensure that allow an individual to practice social work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides brief information on each, which we have combined with information from the Kentucky Board of Social Work’s site and applications.
Licensed Social Worker (LSW)
The LSW is the basic licensure required to perform social work within Kentucky, allowing a license-holder to practice non-clinical social work under supervision. In order to attain an LSW, a candidate must be at least 18 years of age, must possess a bachelor’s degree in social work and must pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) bachelor’s exam. The exam carries a fee of $230, and a candidate must also send a $75 licensure fee with the exam. Before taking the exam, a candidate must apply for licensure with the Kentucky board. This process requires a completed application, an official college transcript, three references and a $25 application fee.
Certified Social Worker (CSW)
A social worker who possesses a CSW may command higher compensation and may have access to more career opportunities, because of the higher education requirements of the certification. The CSW carries a licensure fee of $125. The candidate must take and pass the ASWB master’s exam, which costs $230, and must submit an application along with an official transcript, three references and a $25 application fee. Upon receipt of the CSW, a social worker may practice clinical social work without supervision by contracting with a Kentucky Board of Social Work-approved licensed clinical social worker.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
An LCSW is able to practice clinical and non-clinical social work independently without a board-approved contract. In order to attain an LCSW, a social worker must have at least two years of full-time post-graduate experience or three years of part-time experience and must have undergone supervision by a board-approved supervisor. An individual must submit an application, an official transcript, the supervised experience documentation form, official scores from the ASWB, three references and a fee of $25. The applicant must then complete the ASWB clinical exam, which has a fee of $260. An LCSW who holds the license for at least three years may complete a three-hour training course to become a board-approved supervisor.
Individuals who have satisfied the requirements for a specific license but have not yet taken the corresponding ASWB exam can apply for a temporary permit, which allows them to engage in social work while they schedule and wait to take their exam. An applicant who wishes to do this must complete an application, supply a transcript and pay a $25 fee.
Kentucky does not have an official reciprocity agreement with any other state, so those wishing to become licensed in Kentucky must apply for licensure. Doing so requires an official transcript, official ASWB scores and verification from states where a license was previously held.
Practicing Social Work in Kentucky
Upon attaining a license, an individual can begin to practice social work in Kentucky. There are many fields of social work , but the most common are listed below. All median salary and career outlook information was provided by the Kentucky Occupational Outlook.
Healthcare Social Worker
Healthcare social workers practice within the healthcare system. This includes medical social workers, geriatric social workers and hospice social workers. Medical social workers, under the healthcare social work umbrella, provide people with psychological and social support to cope with chronic or terminal illnesses. Their role is to act as educators, counselors and guides, creating, implementing and monitoring care plans for their charges.
Geriatric social workers handle similar issues, but they work specifically with the elderly, often in nursing homes. Geriatric social workers assist with meal delivery, home healthcare and transitions to nursing care facilities.
Hospice social workers assist patients in hospice situations, providing care and counseling to patients, their families and caregivers.
Healthcare social workers are expected to see growth of 37.5 percent by 2024.
Mental Health and Substance Use Social Worker
Mental health and substance use social workers support people with mental illness. In clinical roles, both types of social workers can implement therapeutic strategies like crisis intervention and group or individual therapy.
Mental health social workers concentrate on helping individuals who are impacted by various mental health disorders. Assistance can include providing support and the resources needed to cope and help recover from the disorder. For instance, professionals in this field may refer their patients to counseling services and community services that can benefit individuals and their families.
Substance use social workers specialize in helping people who struggle with substance use. Like mental health social workers, substance use social workers offer support and resources, but they are knowledgeable of those that apply to substance use. The specialty is focused on helping patients overcome harmful addictions.
Note that both types of social workers can also help patients with goals like rebuilding relationships, returning to the workforce and getting back on their feet.
The field is expected to grow 31.5 percent by 2024.
Clinical Social Worker
Salary: $61,141 (Social Workers, All Other)
According to a survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), clinical social workers are one of the largest groups of behavioral health providers in the nation. For every 100,000 people, there are 62 clinical social workers. In comparison, for the same number of citizens, there are just over 2 adolescent psychiatrists. Their role is to diagnose and treat mental illness, to provide counseling and to collaborate with other mental health professionals to develop treatment plans and carry them out.
Clinical social work takes a biological-psychosocial approach to caring for patients, which examines the impact of biological issues as well as psychological and social factors on a patient.
The Occupational Outlook does not report specific salary and growth figures for clinical social workers. However, the “Social Workers, All Other” category is expected to grow 6 percent by 2024.
Child and Family Social Worker
Child and family social workers are case managers for children and their families, helping to improve the family dynamic, prevent abuse and provide support and advocacy for the child. Child and family social workers may act as liaisons to schools and may manage adoptions and foster care scenarios.
These social workers can address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior and truancy in students. They could advise parents and teachers, as well as intervene when they feel a child is in danger due to neglect or abuse.
The field is expected to grow 17.5 percent by 2024.
Earn your Social Work degree online!
Prepare to make a difference in your local community with one of CU’s accredited online social work degrees.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Social Worker?
Regardless of which state you become licensed to work in, becoming a social worker takes time. Earning your degree online, though, has an added convenience and flexibility that allows you to complete your education on a schedule that works for you.
Campbellsville University’s social work degrees are accredited by the Council on Social Work and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and they feature well-rounded courses designed by faculty who have experience in many areas of the field.
BSW Degree at CU Online
The online BSW from Campbellsville University will teach you the foundations of social work so that you’ll be prepared to work with individuals, families and groups. In addition, you’ll be able to choose electives to better tailor your education to suit your interests.
The online degree program, consisting of 120 credit hours, can be completed in as little as two years depending on how many transfer credits you have. Nearly half of the degree program consists of social work core curriculum classes, with an additional nine credit hours of electives. Students are also required to complete practicum hours outside of the classroom.
When pursuing an online Bachelor’s in Social Work, you must complete a minimum of 450 hours of field education at an approved agency as a requirement to graduate. You can complete this requirement on a full-time basis over two eight-week semesters or part-time over four eight-week semesters. Field education must take place at an approved practicum setting.
Pull-quote idea: CU online student handbook recommends being able to devote 15-20 hours per week to schooling
MSW Degree at CU Online
Campbellsville University’s online MSW prepares you for career advancement within social work and is open to those with or without a bachelor’s in social work.
Through the foundational portion of the curriculum, you’ll learn the fundamentals and basic skills for performing general social work practice. Within the clinical track, you will focus your education on psychopathology, additions, clinical diagnosis and psychopharmacology. In addition, you’ll learn clinical administration skills and study social working ethics.
Our online MSW is a two-year program that can be completed in as little as one year with the right pre-requisites. Eligible students who have recently earned a bachelor’s degree in social work can enroll directly into the Advanced Curriculum. All students, though, will be expected to complete practicum hours in an approved setting.
If you are enrolling with a BSW from an accredited university, you would take a 24-credit hour advanced program, focusing on core components of social work.
All online students are required to complete field education. If entering the program at the foundational curriculum stage, you must complete 900 hours of field education. You only have to complete 450 hours of field education if you’re enrolled in the advanced curriculum stage of the program.
Your Future in Social Work
Campbellsville University’s online social work degrees will prepare you to become part of the next wave of advocates to support communities. We are ranked the fourth-most affordable among Christian colleges in the U.S., and we’ve also been recognized as one of America’s best Christian colleges.
Kentucky – Featured Online Programs in Social Work
Social work schools in Kentucky prepare future social workers for rewarding and challenging careers in the state and across the country. In Kentucky, you must have either a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) or Master of Social Work (MSW) accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) to become licensed and practice social work. An MSW is required for clinical or independent practice and many Kentucky social work programs offer specializations in clinical practice. If you prefer to complete your studies online, Brescia University offers an online BSW degree, and the University of Louisville offers an online MSW degree.
- 22 schools offering social work programs in Kentucky are in our database ( see below )
- Of the social work schools in Kentucky, 6 offer associate’s degrees or certificates, 15 offer bachelor’s degrees, and 8 offer a master’s or advanced degree 1
- 1 school ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges
- 5 schools ranked in US News Best Graduate Social Work Programs
- 2 schools ranked in Social Work Guide’s Top Online MSW Programs 4
- Across 14 schools, 22 bachelor’s and master’s social work degree programs in Kentucky are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) 5
Featured Online Programs in Social Work
Top-ranked schools with social work programs in kentucky, kiplinger’s best values in public colleges.
- University of Louisville (#73 in-state, #74 out-of-state)
US News Best Graduate Social Work Programs
- University of Louisville (#38 tie)
- University of Kentucky (#59 tie)
- Western Kentucky University (#147 tie)
- Spalding University (#201 tie)
- Asbury University (#220 tie)
Social Work Guide’s Top Online MSW Programs
- Campbellsville University
University of Louisville
Schools with social work programs accredited by the cswe.
- Asbury University
- Eastern Kentucky University
- Kentucky Christian University
Kentucky State University
- Morehead State University
- Murray State University
- Northern Kentucky University
- Spalding University
University of Kentucky
- University of Pikeville
Western Kentucky University
Schools in kentucky with social work degree programs, bsw and other undergraduate programs.
Kentucky State University is located in the state capital, Frankfort, between Louisville and Lexington. The School of Public Administration, Social Work and Criminal Justice offers a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) degree program that is accredited by the CSWE and offers specialization opportunities in gerontology or child welfare. Entrance into the program is competitive; students must complete social work prerequisite courses, maintain a cumulative 2.2 GPA, and pass an interview with social work faculty members. Students with a lower GPA may be admitted on a provisional basis at the discretion of the faculty committee. The university works with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to offer its Public Child Welfare Certification Program; high-achieving students passionate about a career in child welfare practice may be offered tuition assistance and living stipends to complete the state’s required training for child welfare employees during the BSW. Several honors societies and the social work club keep students active in extracurricular activities throughout the program.
Brescia University is a small private Catholic university in Owensboro. Historically a women’s college, the institution is now co-ed but still has a predominantly female undergraduate student enrollment. The university has four guiding philosophies: Catholicism, liberal arts, career preparation, and service to others. The Department of Social Work’s BSW program is accredited by the CSWE and prepares students to work with different populations at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. The program can be delivered in-person or online. Students must first be admitted to the university and satisfactorily complete prerequisite courses in social work, sociology, psychology, biology, and math or have completed comparable transfer credits; they may then apply to the social work major. In the final year, a field placement is completed in a local agency; previous placements have been with shelters, hospitals, correctional facilities, and family resources centers. Students interested in child welfare social work may specialize their training through the Public Child Welfare Certification Program offered in collaboration with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
MSW and Other Graduate Programs
The University of Louisville is a public, research-focused university in the state’s largest city. In 2016, US News & World Report ranked the university’s Kent School of Social Work #37 among all social work graduate schools in the country. The school offers CSWE-accredited BSW and Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) programs and a PhD in social work. In the MSSW program, students learn about regional issues impacting social work practice such as chronic poverty, mental health, cultural diversity, and addictions. Students have access to field education placements in international, national, and regional organizations. Many placements are available in health social work as the university is the only institution in the US offering a specialization in oncology social work. Other possible MSSW specializations include military, gerontology, and couples and family therapy. Dual degrees in Pan-African Studies, Women & Gender Studies, Law, Divinity, and Bioethics are also offered. The program can also be completed fully online.
The University of Kentucky (UK) is a public institution offering over 120 graduate programs, including a CSWE-accredited MSW degree at UK’s College of Social Work. The MSW program is offered full- or part-time through day or weekend intensive classes. An advanced standing option, which decreases the number of required courses for students with a CSWE-accredited BSW degree, is available. Courses are offered at the main campus in Lexington, the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard, and occasionally online. Students choose between two specializations: Clinical Social Work or Community and Social Development. Further specializations in school social work, gerontology, and developmental disability practice are also offered, but all students must take at least two required courses in substance abuse and psychopathology. The College of Social Work was ranked in a tie for 44th place among all social work graduate schools in the country in 2016 by US News & World Report.
Western Kentucky University runs a Master of Social Work degree program that is flexible to the needs of working professionals. The study for this degree is generalized so that students are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in virtually any area of social work. However, while the plan of study is generalized, a particular emphasis is placed on social work practice in non-urban and rural areas. Core courses include Rural Community Organization and Development, Social Work in Diverse Rural Areas, and Integrated Social Work Practice with Families. While earning the MSW, students may pursue additional certification in public child welfare. All MSW candidates complete at least 12 credit hours of field practicum. Students are also able to access the resources of the school’s Academic Center for Excellence, Institute for Rural Health Development and Research, and South-Central Kentucky Area Health Education Center, among many other opportunities
Accreditation Information for Kentucky Social Work Schools
*The net price is calculated by the National Center for Education Statistics by subtracting the average amount of aid (including grants and scholarships) from the total published cost of attendance for in-state/in-district students, which includes tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses. To gain a better understanding of how to interpret the statistics discussed in this table, see our list of important definitions .
Directory of Kentucky Social Work School Programs
Schools with an asterisk (*) have programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
Asbury University* 1 Macklem Dr Wilmore, KY 40390-1198 (859) 858-3511 http://www.asbury.edu
Big Sandy Community and Technical College 1 Bert Combs Dr Prestonsburg, KY 41653 (606) 886-3863 http://www.bigsandy.kctcs.edu
Bluegrass Community and Technical College 470 Cooper Dr Lexington, KY 40506 (859) 246-6200 http://www.bluegrass.kctcs.edu
Brescia University* 717 Frederica St Owensboro, KY 42301-3023 (270) 685-3131
Campbellsville University* 1 University Dr Campbellsville, KY 42718-2799 (270) 789-5000 http://www.campbellsville.edu
Eastern Kentucky University* 521 Lancaster Ave Richmond, KY 40475-3102 (859) 622-1000 http://www.eku.edu
Student Review: “My experience at Eastern Kentucky University’s Social work program was overwhelmingly positive, if somewhat misleading. The professors and department affiliates are incredibly kind, wonderful individuals who want nothing more than to see their students succeed. I have on multiple occasions interrupted faculty during non-class or office hours and received very positive reactions. Normally professors are willing to work with you on due dates, requirements, and class information which you do not understand and nearly always try to spin all assignments and requirements to the student’s advantage. the only real draw back I could foresee is that they are not always truthful about the job market for social work majors, but then if they were no one would complete the program.” – Student at Eastern Kentucky University
Elizabethtown Community and Technical College 600 College St Rd Elizabethtown, KY 42701-3081 (270) 769-2371 http://www.elizabethtown.kctcs.edu
Gateway Community and Technical College 500 Technology Way Florence, KY 41042 (859) 441-4500 http://www.gateway.kctcs.edu
Hazard Community and Technical College One Community College Dr Hazard, KY 41701-2402 (606) 487-3503 http://www.hazard.kctcs.edu
Hopkinsville Community College 720 North Dr Hopkinsville, KY 42240 (270) 707-3700 http://www.hopkinsville.kctcs.edu
Jefferson Community and Technical College 109 E Broadway Louisville, KY 40202-2005 (502) 213-4000 http://www.jefferson.kctcs.edu
Kentucky Christian University* 100 Academic Pkwy Grayson, KY 41143-1199 (606) 474-3000 http://www.kcu.edu
Kentucky State University* 400 E Main St Frankfort, KY 40601-2355 (502) 597-6000 http://www.kysu.edu
Madisonville Community College 2000 College Dr Madisonville, KY 42431 (270) 821-2250 http://www.madisonville.kctcs.edu
Morehead State University* 150 University Blvd Morehead, KY 40351 (606) 783-2000 http://www.moreheadstate.edu
Murray State University* 218 Wells Hall Murray, KY 42071-3318 (270) 809-3011 http://www.murraystate.edu
Northern Kentucky University* 100 Nunn Drive Highland Heights, KY 41099 (859) 572-5100 http://www.nku.edu
Owensboro Community and Technical College 4800 New Hartford Rd Owensboro, KY 42303 (270) 686-4400 http://www.owensboro.kctcs.edu
Somerset Community College 808 Monticello St Somerset, KY 42501-2973 (877) 629-9722 http://www.somerset.kctcs.edu
Spalding University* 901 S Fourth St Louisville, KY 40203-2188 (502) 585-9911 http://www.spalding.edu
Union College* 310 College St Barbourville, KY 40906-1499 (606) 546-4151 http://www.unionky.edu
University of Kentucky* 410 Administration Dr Lexington, KY 40506-0032 (859) 257-9000 http://www.uky.edu
University of Louisville* 2301 S 3rd St Louisville, KY 40292-0001 (502) 852-5555 http://www.louisville.edu
Student Review: “Overall, I had a pretty good experience at Kent School of Social Work at U of L. Like most everything, it had its strengths and its areas that could be improved. I had some amazing professors who really opened my eyes and created lasting impressions on me that have profoundly shaped my worldview, as well as my career path and aspirations. Almost all of the professors, administrators, and faculty are very supportive and understanding. They really want to see you succeed. My international social work class in which I spent 2 weeks abroad was definitely a highlight of my Kent School career! A lot of people complain about the research and policy classes. Personally, as a macro-oriented practitioner, I liked them and understood the importance. However, people seeking more classes and experience with clinical/direct care should note that this is a MSSW vs. a MSW – virtually the same, but the MSSW does have more of an emphasis on research/data/policy.” – Student at University of Louisville
University of Pikeville* 147 Sycamore St Pikeville, KY 41501 (606) 218-5250 http://www.upike.edu
Western Kentucky University* 1906 College Heights Blvd Bowling Green, KY 42101-1000 (270) 745-0111 http://www.wku.edu
References: 1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/ 2. Kiplinger’s Best College Values: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-kiplinger-s-best-values-in-private-colleges/index.php?table=all 3. US News & World Report Social Work Best Grad Schools Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/social-work-rankings 4. Social Work Guide’s Top Online MSW Programs: /degrees/masters/online/ 5. Council on Social Work Education: https://www.cswe.org/Accreditation/Directory-of-Accredited-Programs.aspx
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ZaDonna Slay, DSW
Acting Director of Undergraduate Studies
Other programs from the College of Social Work:
- Social Work (BASW) - Online
As the only helping profession that emphasizes both human well-being and social justice, social workers strive to empower others to make the changes they desire in their lives and advocate to bring about social change on both individual and community levels. Social workers help communities provide maximum equality of opportunity for all; help vulnerable individuals learn to cope more effectively with their problems and needs; and seek continually to strengthen and improve the institutional systems responsible for education, justice, health, business, labor, and welfare, so that people are better served. Social workers impact all walks of life--from those who work with and advocate for the elderly, to those who work in schools with young learners.
Career Opportunities in Social Work
You can make a difference.
- Child Welfare
- Community Outreach
- Developmental Disabilities
- Foster Care
- Immigrants and Refugees
- International Social Work
- Intimate Partner Violence
- Medical Social Worker
- Mental Health Case Worker
- Non-Profit Organizations
- Public Health Outreach
- School Social Worker
- Substance Abuse
- Public Policy
- Veterans and Military Families
Daniel Beasley, BASW Student
Class of 2019
Professional Social Work Program
Incoming students may select Social Work or Undeclared/Exploratory studies in Social Work as a major when applying to the university. Current UK students interested in changing majors to social work can submit the major change in myUK under "Degree Planning and Registration". Students are encouraged to meet with an academic advisor in the College of Social Work to discuss potential schedule changes and update their graduation plan when considering a major change. Students can connect with a College of Social Work Advisor at [email protected]
Social Work students may apply for the Professional Social Work Education program once they have met the pre-requisite requirements including:
- Current UK Social Work Major
- An overall GPA of 2.5 or higher on all college work
- A grade of B or better in both SW 124 and SW 222, or a grade of B or better in SW 322 (or equivalent)
- A passing grade in PSY 100, SOC 101, BIO 103, and PS 101
- Submission of essay
Review full application instructions here .
One of the most important and exciting components of social work education is the field practicum. The Field Education practicum ensures students learn to integrate and apply social work values, knowledge, skills, and practice behaviors in a positive learning environment. Students’ high level of involvement in their own learning creates collaborative relationships that help them grow professionally and see practice in action. The College of Social Work partners with over 1000 public and non-profit organizations across Kentucky and the US. BASW students earn 10 credit hours completing over 400 hours in agency settings across two practicums within the social work curriculum. As the signature pedagogy of social work education, field education provides students a real world opportunity to begin to develop their professional identity.
Advanced Standing Master of Social Work Program
Students that have completed a bachelor’s degree of social work within the last 7 years may be eligible to apply for the Advanced Standing Master of Social Work (MSW) program. The Advanced Standing MSW program consists of 30 hours, compared to the regular 60 hour MSW program. To be eligible to apply for Advanced Standing, applicants must have received their BASW or BSW from a CSWE accredited program within the last 7 years and present Grade Point Averages (GPA) at or above the following minimums:
Undergraduate GPA 3.0 Social Work GPA 3.5 Graduate GPA (if applicable) 3.0
Advanced Standing may be completed full-time, part-time, hybrid, or online.
Candidates who are not admitted to Advanced Standing program are automatically considered for the Regular 60-credit program. For more information, click here .
Historical Major Sheets
Imagine your future.
Social workers help people prevent and cope with problems in their everyday lives.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.
per year in 2021
Number of Jobs
10 Year Job Outlook
new jobs (average)
Social workers are employed in a variety of settings, including child welfare and human service agencies, healthcare providers, and schools. Most work full time, and some work evenings, weekends, and holidays.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Enhancing Your Time at UK
There are countless ways to “see blue.” on campus, but the best way to maximize your journey at the University of Kentucky is by engaging in an Education Abroad opportunity.
This will allow you to gain a global perspective and enhance future employability. As you take the first step towards investing in your future, we encourage you to take advantage of all the opportunities UK has to offer. Take a look at some of the options UK Education Abroad & Exchanges office suggests to complement your major! #SeeBlueAbroad
Related Majors & Minors
The following are similar degrees programs and minors that have been generated from common keywords in curriculum, careers and academics.
- Family Sciences
- Counseling Psychology - Graduate
- Interdisciplinary Disability Studies
- Gender and Women's Studies
Minors that are a good fit with this program:
- Interdisciplinary Disability Studies - Minor
- Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures & Cultures - Minor
- Criminology - Minor
- Sociology - Minor
- World Religions - Minor
Social Work Degrees in Kentucky
Social work degrees in Kentucky open the door to meaningful careers in social services, addiction services, community care, and counseling. Licensed graduates direct clients toward resources that will help them improve their lives. Social work programs typically cover topics such as child and family services, group therapy, and human growth and development. Several schools in Kentucky provide on-campus and online social work degrees in a variety of concentrations.
It’s projected that by 2024, jobs for healthcare social workers in Kentucky will increase by 37.4%. Projections Central
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for social workers will grow 16% by 2026, providing approximately 110,000 new jobs throughout the country. Kentucky faces a particularly strong demand for social workers and related occupations. Projections Central projects that by 2024, jobs for healthcare social workers in Kentucky will increase by 37.4%. The organization also projects increases of 31.5% for mental health and substance abuse social workers, 27.5% for postsecondary social work teachers, and 22.9% for social and community service managers in Kentucky. In comparison, the average rate of growth for all positions in the U.S. is just 7%. The following guide describes the process for becoming a social worker, online social work programs in Kentucky, job prospects for social work majors, and the various licenses and certifications available.
Featured Online Programs in Social Work
How to become a social worker in kentucky.
Becoming a licensed social worker in Kentucky requires, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree and a licensing exam. Students at social work schools in Kentucky can choose from associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs, depending on their desired career goal. While a bachelor of social work allows individuals to obtain licensure, professionals seeking managerial roles or specific clinical careers need a master’s at minimum. Students hoping to conduct research or teach at the postsecondary level need a doctorate.
Becoming a licensed social worker in Kentucky requires, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree and a licensing exam.
Students should look for programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education to ensure they can apply for licensure and certification. During bachelor’s and bachelor’s programs, degree seekers participate in a practicums or internships to gain valuable real-world experience. These field experiences usually last one or two semesters and take place at a site approved by the school.
Upon graduation, students apply to their state’s board of social work licensure, complete any training or additional requirements, and sit for the exam. In Kentucky, bachelor’s candidates can earn the licensed social worker credential, while candidates with master’s degrees can apply to become a certified social worker or a licensed clinical social worker. To maintain their licenses, social workers must complete continuing education credits and apply for renewal every two years.
Types of Social Work Degrees in Kentucky
Social work programs in Kentucky prepare graduates for a variety of professional and educational opportunities. Most aspiring social workers complete at least a bachelor’s degree, since no certifications are available at the associate level. Individuals looking to take on more managerial roles or direct service positions often opt for a master’s degree. Professionals interested in teaching at the college level should pursue a doctoral program.
Generally speaking, students with more education typically earn higher salaries, find better job opportunities, and obtain more senior-level positions. The following list describes each level of degree and the jobs available to graduates from each program.
Associate degrees introduce students to foundational topics such as case management, diversity, and human service methods. While degrees at this level offer a great start toward becoming a social worker, students generally need more education.
A BSW provides students with a general understanding of the field. Topics include individuals and families, community intervention, and integrative practice. Graduates from these programs can apply to become licensed social workers in Kentucky.
A master’s in social work – known as an MSW – allows students to concentrate their knowledge in an area such as substance abuse, gerontology, or children and families. Graduates qualify for certification and licensure in a range of specialties.
The highest degree attainable in the field, DSW programs require students to complete considerable independent research or create a unique project that contributes to the field. In addition to qualifying for certifications and licensure, individuals with these degrees are eligible to teach at the postsecondary level.
Finding a Social Work Program in Kentucky
Before deciding on a social work program, students must consider several factors. For many, cost is the most important factor in where they ultimately attend school. In general, in-state public schools provide the best value, while out-of-state public schools and private schools cost significantly more. However, these schools may offer scholarships to make the price difference less significant. Students must decide if they want to stay in their current location or move to another city. Some questions to ask when considering location include access to support services, internship locations, and student housing. Location matters less for online students, but distance learners should still ensure there are acceptable internship locations close by.
Degree seekers should also ensure that their preferred school offers a specialization relevant to their interests and career goals. Even if a school meets all the other requirements, if it fails to prepare students for the job they want, it is likely a poor fit. After answering all these questions, some learners may feel drawn toward an online program rather than a traditional campus-based degree. Online programs are more flexible, but also require self-discipline and strong time management skills.
Can You Earn a Social Work Degree Online in Kentucky?
Online social work degrees provide flexibility for students who want to pursue postsecondary education but lack the time to visit campus multiple times per week. Interested students can review the Eastern Kentucky University’s BSW and the University of Louisville’s MSW , both of which are offered entirely online. Students considering a Kentucky online social work degree should ensure any school they pick has received approval to offer degrees in their state of residence.
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) provides all programmatic accreditation for social work programs.
When finding a degree, the most important step is to ensure the program has received proper accreditation. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) provides all programmatic accreditation for social work programs. Many states require students to receive a CSWE-accredited degree in order to obtain licensure. Degree seekers can review a directory of accredited programs on the CSWE website. Prospective students should check with the Kentucky Board of Social Work to ensure their program meets licensure requirements. Students can also contact the Association of Social Work Boards.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Social Worker in Kentucky?
Each level of degree requires a different time commitment. Most associate programs take two years to complete, while most bachelor’s degrees take approximately four years of full-time study. Master’s degrees require 30-60 credits, depending on each student’s concentration and if they pursue a clinical or nonclinical track. These programs typically take two to three years of full-time study. Doctoral degrees typically take four to seven years, depending on how long students take for their dissertation.
However, several factors can affect these timeframes. The vast majority of online Kentucky social work degrees require a supervised internship or practicum component. Students balancing school alongside work or family obligations may not be able to complete the required hours as quickly as their full-time counterparts. Some programs may not offer required classes every semester, meaning students need an extra semester to complete mandatory coursework. Other schools may offer accelerated, self-paced, or cohort-based courses. Self-paced programs allow students finish coursework more quickly or slowly depending on their needs. Cohort programs, on the other hand, require students to move through courses at the same pace as their peers.
How Much Does a Social Work Program Cost in Kentucky?
When deciding on a social work degree in Kentucky, students need to know the cost of education at various schools. According to College Board , the 2017-2018 tuition for public two-year schools was $3,570 per year. Public four-year schools charged $9,970 for in-state students and $25,620 for out-of-state students. Private schools, meanwhile, averaged $34,740 annually. Learners should work with their institutions to secure scholarships, fellowships, and grants. Learners should also seek funding from social work organizations or private foundations.
Licensing exams range from $75 to $200 in Kentucky, depending on the type of licensure. Certifications range from $150 to $450 depending on the type of certificate and whether the applicant is a member of the NASW. Continuing education courses typically vary in cost, but social workers should check with the KY Board of Social Work to ensure all credits meet state requirements. LCSWs and CSWs must complete 30 credits per renewal period, while LSWs must complete 15. All Kentucky social workers must complete credits in Kentucky social work ethics, pediatric abusive head trauma, domestic violence and elder abuse training, suicide prevention training, and HIV/AIDS.
Types of Social Work Licenses in Kentucky
All 50 states require clinical social workers to hold a license, and most states also require nonclinical social workers to hold a license. As part of the application process, students provide documents related to their education and proof of an internship or practicum experience, pay a fee to their state’s board of social work, and sit for an exam. Specific licensure requirements vary between states, and licenses do not always transfer over state lines.
Kentucky offers three licenses: licensed social worker (LSW), licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), and certified social worker (CSW).
Kentucky offers three licenses: licensed social worker (LSW), licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), and certified social worker (CSW). The LSW, considered the entry-level license, allows candidates with a bachelor’s degree to receive licensure. However, these professionals cannot work in a clinical setting. The CSW credential allows individuals with an MSW to complete the two years of supervised experience required for an LCSW. Professionals with an LCSW can conduct clinical work such as diagnosing and treating patients.
Licensure is a board-issued credential that legally allows social workers to practice in their state. Certifications, on the other hand, demonstrate expertise and competency in a particular area. Such certifications recognize recipients’ continued learning and specialized skill sets. They are usually optional, although certain employers may require candidates to hold certification to do work in a particular area. According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), these credentials allow potential employers to feel confident that a candidate has the specialized knowledge, personal commitment, and professional achievements needed to fulfill a specific role. To receive certification, applicants must meet a number of criteria, including education, work experience, and continuing education credits. They must also pay an application fee and pass a relevant exam. While a number of professional organizations provide certifications, the ones listed below all come from the NASW.
Licensed Social Worker (LSW)
This entry-level license is the only option for social workers who hold a bachelor’s degree, but not a master’s degree. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s in social work, provide a completed application with employment details, and pay a $25 application fee. Candidates must also pass the Association of Social Work Board’s (ASWB) LSW examination, pay a $75 fee to the Kentucky State Treasurer, and renew their license every two years.
Certified Social Worker (CSW)
The CSW allows social workers with an MSW to gain the requisite experience for LCSW licensure. Applicants must provide a completed application, official transcripts, an official ASWB master’s-level exam score report, and verification of any licenses currently or previously held. Candidates must also pay $25 to the State Treasurer and $125 to the Social Work Board.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
The highest level of social work licensure in Kentucky, the LCSW allows holders to perform clinical social work. To become an LCSW in Kentucky, applicants must hold an MSW degree and complete at least 200 hours of supervised practice, certified in writing by their supervisor. After filling out the application and paying a $25 application fee, students must pass the ASWB LCSW exam, pay a $200 fee, and renew their license every two years.
Advanced Practice Specialty Credentials
Certified social work case manager (c-swcm).
Social workers with this credential work directly with clients as case managers. C-SWCM holders meet clients to assess their needs and connect them with services. To qualify, applicants must have a BSW, at least three years and 4,500 hours of paid post-degree experience, and an active license. NASW members pay $165 and non-members pay $210.
Certified Advanced Children, Youth, and Family Social Worker (C-ACYFSW)
This credential applies to MSW graduates who primarily serve youths and their families. Applicants must have a degree from a CSWE-accredited school, 20 hours of continuing education specific to youths, at least 3,000 hours of paid post-degree work, and a current license. Members pay $150 and non-members pay $350.
Certified Clinical Alcohol, Tobacco, & Other Drugs Social Worker (C-CATODSW)
Individuals who pursue this certification work with individuals experiencing substance abuse or other addictions. Applicants should have an MSW, 180 hours of continuing education related to the field, two years of paid supervised work experience, and a current clinical license. NASW members pay $165 and non-members pay $450.
Clinical Social Worker in Gerontology (CSW-G)
Developed specifically for professionals who assist older populations, the clinical certification applies to both micro and macro social work. Applicants need a master’s degree, 30 continuing education credits related to gerontology, two years of full-time paid work, and an active license. Members pay a $165 application fee and nonmembers pay $450.
Certified School Social Work Specialist (C-SSWS)
Social workers who help children in school settings often pursue this credential. Recipients are proficient in interventions, mediation, and case management. Applicants must have an MSW, two years of work experience, and licensure. The applications costs $165 for NASW members and $450 for non-members.
Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Social Worker (ACHP-SW)
The ACHP-SW credential is designed for social workers providing palliative and end-of-life care for patients and their families. Candidates must have an MSW, at least 20 continuing education hours related to hospice care, at least two years of related work experience, and an up-to-date license. NASW members pay $165 when submitting the application; non-members pay $450.
Career and Salary Outlook for Social Work Degree Graduates
Social workers find employment in many different industries and fields, including counseling, rehabilitation, education, and social services. Individuals employed in these fields typically enjoy working with others, are passionate about helping people, and have a keen understanding of how to create change. The following list describes a few common jobs for social workers.
Social workers help people overcome a variety of social or mental health problems. They may also treat people for behavioral and emotional imbalances.
These professionals teach clients how to live a healthy lifestyle. Health educators provide one-to-one coaching and develop wellness programs. Most hold a bachelor’s degree, but those with a master’s or certification earn higher wages.
Correctional Treatment Specialists
These specialists help to rehabilitate offenders, connect them with social services, and reconnect them with family. Most roles require a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree makes candidates more competitive.
Career counselors help clients find potential career paths, learn about jobs, and make educated decisions about which occupation to pursue. Many roles require a bachelor’s degree, but as the field matures, master’s degrees are becoming more common.
Social and Community Service Managers
Working with various community stakeholders, these professionals develop programs and connect clients with meaningful social services. Depending on the role and organization, some positions may require a master’s degree.
Median Salaries and Employment For Social Work Specialties in Kentucky
Featured programs in social work, scholarships for social work majors in kentucky.
While most students don’t graduate completely debt free, there are ample scholarships and grants that can significantly lower the cost of education. Students should research awards from individual schools, government agencies, local businesses, professional organizations, and private foundations. Below are a few scholarships for students pursuing a social work degree in Kentucky.
Social Work Scholarships
John reginald white scholarship: $1,000.
Who Can Apply: The Kentucky Guardianship Association grants this award to junior or senior social work majors who plan to work with adult populations. Applicants must deliver a short speech at the KGA conference and provide a cover letter, transcripts, and a short essay. Candidates must be in good standing with their school. View Scholarship
Dr. Anthony Goldson Memorial Scholarship: Varies
Who Can Apply: This award, provided by Eastern Kentucky University’s social work department, assists social work majors residing in Eastern Kentucky. EKU prefers applicants who have volunteered in organizations focused on diversity. Candidates should write an essay about their financial need and the importance of cultural competence and diversity. The funds cover costs associated with the practicum component of the degree. View Scholarship
Bachelor of Social Work Scholarship: $100-500/year
Who Can Apply: Social work majors at Western Kentucky University can apply to this award. Candidates must submit an essay discussing their career goals and maintain a reasonable GPA. View Scholarship
College of Social Work Alumni Scholarship: Varies
Who Can Apply: The University of Kentucky awards this scholarship to a student age 30 or older who has a minor child and is returning to school after leaving for five or more years. Candidates must also demonstrate financial need. View Scholarship
Resources for Social Work Students in Kentucky
- National Association of Social Workers – KY Chapter In addition to taking advantage of national member benefits, learners and practitioners who join NASW-KY receive access to student resources, information about continuing education credits, data on licensure requirements, local networking events, and advocacy efforts. Members can also sign up for the newsletter and keep up with the group on social media.
- Kentucky Board of Social Work Students and licensed social workers can access the KYBSW website for information about state licensure, continuing education units, license verification, and steps for renewing a license. Individuals moving to KY can also find information about the process for receiving state licensure.
- The Kentucky Society for Clinical Social Work In addition to educating the state about clinical social workers, KSCSW provides networking opportunities, continuing education, and legislative advocacy. The organization also maintains an active blog.
- Kentucky Association of School Social Work The KASSW provides several member resources, including the annual school social worker of the year award and a history of school social work in Kentucky. The group hosts an annual fall conference held in different parts of the state and regularly sends out newsletters with relevant updates.
- National Organization of Forensic Social Work Although Kentucky doesn’t have a local organization devoted to forensic social workers, members of NOFSW can access the annual conference, opportunities for networking, a professional journal, regular newsletters, job listings, and career assistance.
Kentucky BSW Programs
Bachelor of social work degrees in kentucky.
There are over 10 different campus based BSW programs in Kentucky, including some online options as well. Here are a few universities in Kentucky with a BSW degree:
- Brescia University (campus and online BSW option)
- Campbellsville University (campus and online BSW)
- Kentucky Christian University
- Murray State University
- University of Kentucky
Already have your BSW? Check out MSW programs in Kentucky (includes online).
Deciding on an Online BSW Program
The rise in popularity of online BSW programs has led many universities to offering online versions of the BSW program, which can be beneficial for a multitude of learners with different learning styles and personal preferences for higher education.
Your online BSW program can provide you with the insight you need to identify problems areas for individuals and even communities. After graduating from this program, you could qualify for a large number of positions in multiple agencies and settings within your area.
If you would like to learn more about these incredible programs and the service areas they influence, read more in our team's guide below. Our goal is to provide you with relevant and accurate information about online BSW programs in Kentucky.
Kentucky learners can benefit from the large number of online BSW programs currently offered all over the state. Eastern Kentucky University, Cambellsville University, and Brescia University all have incredible online BSW programs for incoming learners just like you.
The online BSW program can look differently depending on the university you are reviewing. Some programs contain 100% online programs while others require you to participate in internships or practicum experience throughout your program.
The courses included in your BSW program can be just as diverse as the program itself.
- The first year of your program may contain a delve into general education courses like Humanities, Sociology, and Psychology, while later years can provide you with a deeper look into the social field as a whole.
- Courses focused on social work practice like Social Work Practice with Adults can allow you to look specifically at different age groups, their needs, and services that may be beneficial for their health and wellness. Some BSW programs can provide focus in practice with children, adolescents, and family units through these courses.
- Global Diversity is another course that can expand your knowledge and understanding of various groups in the U.S. and beyond. It is critical to consider the unique aspects of different cultures when providing social services, since different people may have different values, beliefs, and practices depending on their culture.
- Many online BSW programs may also provide learning opportunities in social research and social policy development. Your knowledge in these areas can help shape your methods for practice so that you operate daily under legal and ethical recommendations.
As you review each of the accredited online BSW programs in your state, you should seek out more information about any in-person requirements in order to choose a program that meets your unique needs. You are also encouraged to review each program's curriculum in order to prepare yourself for the learning experience ahead.
Popular Accredited BSW Program
The University of Louisville's online BSW is an incredibly popular option for incoming learners looking for convenience and quality with their educational experience. This program holds accreditation with the Council on Social Work Education, making it a preferred option for future social workers in this state.
This program consists of 120 credit hours that includes 37 credit hours of general education, 23 credit hours of electives, and 60 credit hours of core social work courses. This blend of diverse course offerings can help you develop a well-rounded skill set for future use.
The benefits of choosing this online program include the ability to log in and complete your weekly assignments at times that fit your schedule. Some students complete their work in the evenings or on weekends - which is not always possible when enrolled in traditional on-campus programs.
All-in-all, this program can be completed in around 4 years for most learners. As part of the greater learning experience, you may also be required to participate in a planned practicum experience at a location that is near you.
BSW Careers and Salaries
After engaging in a diverse and inclusive BSW program, you can have an incredible skill set for use with different individuals and groups in the field. Your online BSW program can lead you into popular career sectors such as social services, human services, healthcare, education, and mental health.
Mental Health Social Workers may partner with counseling agencies as an additional source of support for their clients. In-home behavioral monitoring services, community integration plans, and treatment plan follow-ups are just a few of the many responsibilities of professionals in this area.
School Social Workers may be hired by school systems to provide direct services to students with identified issues in learning, behavior, or family environment. In this area you can participate in educational planning and work with children and families to obtain services needed for educational success.
Wherever you pursue a career after completing your BSW program, you can be a meaningful and valuable aspect of personal development for your clients. Kentucky social workers have the ability to earn around $56,810 on average each year while working in the field.
2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and employment figures for Social Workers, All other, reflect national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed March 2023.
BSW Programs by State
Social work program areas.
- Administrative Leadership Social Work
- Adult Practice Social Work
- Advanced Generalist
- Aging Social Work
- Behavioral Health
- Child Welfare
- Community Development
- Clinical Social Work
- Counseling Social Work
- Criminal Justice Social Work
- Crisis and Trauma
- Direct Practice Social Work
- Disability Social Work
- Ethnicity & Race Focused Social Work
- Family Social Work Practice
- Hospital Social Work
- Individual Practice Social Work
- Micro Social Work
- Mezzo Social Work
- Macro Social Work
- Medical Social Work
- Mental Health Social Work
- Non Profit Social Work
- Organizational-Community Practice
- Psychiatric Social Work
- School Social Work
- Social Work Policy & Development
- Substance Abuse Social Work
- Social and Behavioral Sciences
- Trauma Social Work
- Vision & Hearing Impairment Social Work
Social Work Career Guide
- How to Become a Licensed Social Worker
- Why You Should Work in Social Work
- Top 5 Social Work Career Paths
- 6 Highest Paid Social Work Jobs
- CSWE Accreditation, Organizations
Social Work Licensure
- LBSW: Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker
- LMSW: Licensed Masters Level Social Worker
- LCSW: Licensed Clinical Social Worker
- LICSW: Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Captivating conversations with social work professionals. Gain insights for your own social work education and career journey in this new series hosted by Anna Shull, LMSW.
Social Work Degrees
- Online Social Work Programs
- Associates of Social Work
- Bachelors of Social Work
- Master of Social Work
- Online MSW Programs
- Doctorate Programs
Online DSW Program Admissions
Request more information or a consultation.
You’re likely to have questions as you make your decision about pursuing an online degree. From program information to application process details, we’re here to help you find the answers you need.
International students applying to the online DSW program need to meet certain additional requirements. International students are not eligible for an I-20 for F-1 status or DS-2019 for J-1 students status based on enrollment in the online DSW program.
The University of Kentucky’s online DSW program accepts up to 9 transfer credits with program director review and approval.
When to Apply
You can apply to the online DSW program at UK once applications open for the next start date! There is 1 start date per year, occurring in the Summer term. The application deadlines are:
summer Semester Start
- Priority Deadline: March 1, 2023
- Deadline: April 15, 2023
Contact Admissions at (833) 358-1721 to learn more.
Home Academics BASW Program
Explore the BASW Program
Students in our CSWE-accredited BASW program can choose to complete coursework online or in person. Students in this program interact with world-class faculty, staff, and a diverse cohort of students. Students gain practice and research experience in a variety of settings, including:
- clinical social work
- child welfare
- community organizing
- mental health
- international practice
Graduates from our program are uniquely poised to enter a competitive job market and make the most of forecasted growth within the social work profession. Our recent graduates are working in hospitals, community-based non-profits, K-12 schools, universities, residential treatment programs, the criminal justice system, and more.
Eligible undergraduates may qualify for our 4+1 MSW program, allowing them to complete their MSW in just one year.
Students may declare a Pre-Social Work major at any time, including when they apply to the University. Once prerequisite courses are completed successfully, students apply to the full major through an internal College of Social Work application process.
- Explore BASW
- Licensure Initiative
- Student Resources
THE UK DIFFERENCE
Learn anywhere, anytime.
Students may choose to enroll in all online courses, allowing flexible BASW completion from anywhere. Online students have access to the same support and services as on campus students.
Unique Learning Opportunities
CoSW students have the opportunity to work in a wide range of field placement settings, gaining hands-on practice experience that prepares them for the workforce.
Broaden Your World
Students can study abroad, engage in service learning, and complete the Diversity Certificate. Each of these will enhance their world view and broaden their appreciation of difference.
Strategic Academic Advising
All BASW academic advising is overseen by a licensed social worker, which lends a forward-looking career perspective to the educational process.
by the numbers
KY Rank for Graduate licensing Pass Rates
Field Placement Opportunities
Student who receive some type of aid
Wildly passionate about social work? We’ll help you become exceptionally prepared for your career.
Our students and alumni are the embodiment of our mission. Through dedication and steadfast service, they work to improve the human condition. These are their stories.
UK College of Social Work Celebrates the 2023 Lyman T. Johnson Awards Recipients
A Night of Celebration and Recognition: Highlights from the College of Social Work’s Inaugural Annual Awards Ceremony
What's new at cosw.
UK Social Work Graduate Fights for Consumer Rights and Survivors of Domestic and Financial Abuse at Texas Appleseed
Dr. ZaDonna M. Slay to serve as acting Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Transracial parenting: ages 5-12, compulsive lying, criminal justice program info session 11-14, calendar of events, 2 events, 30, a child’s education: rights & responsibilities.
A Child’s Education: Rights & Responsibilities will inform parents of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The training informs foster and adoptive parents of the processes used to determine
Building Positive Relationships With Caseworkers & Community Partners
Building Positive Relationships with Case Workers & Community Partners provides foster parents the information and tools needed to establish a positive working relationship with their caseworker and child’s caseworker, with
1 event, 31
Kinship families impacted by substance use kin vip support group.
This new KIN VIP Support Group will begin as a 12-week pilot Support Group and will provide a community of support for kinship caregivers who have been impacted by a
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) come in many forms, from physical and mental abuse to neglect and household dysfunction. This training examines data from the ACE study, how early adversity as
3 events, 2
Blended families: parenting children when they don’t get along.
Blended Families: Parenting Children When They Don’t Get Along assists caregivers with identifying issues that children may experience that are unique to blended families. It offers strategies to create a
Bullying provides parents an overview of bullying behaviors that children, teens, and young adults may encounter and the effects it has on children, youth and society as a whole. This
ARC Meetings & IEPs: The Basics
ARC Meetings & IEPs: The Basics will help foster and adoptive parents understand the process of an ARC Meeting and gain a better perspective of what an IEP will look
0 events, 3
0 events, 4, child development: ages 0-5.
Child Development 0-5 explores the typical milestones, or skills, that children develop from birth through age 5. It offers resources that caregivers can utilize to determine if a developmental screening
Fostering & Adopting At-Risk Children
Fostering & Adopting At-Risk Children explores categories of at-risk behaviors among children and adolescents that may lead to negative consequences, like poor health, injury or death. It assists foster/adoptive parents
4 events, 8
Connecting with your child while correcting behavior.
Connecting with Your Child While Correcting Behavior introduces parents to strategies to use to help them feel connected to children while correcting difficult behaviors. Parents will learn how to connect
A New Suitcase Of Parenting Knowledge And Skills
CORE TEEN (Critical On-going Resource Family Education) Session 7 A New Suitcase of Parenting Knowledge and Skills November 8, 2023 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST Via Zoom Carla Jordan,
4-H Camp Behavioral Health Fellowship Program Information Session
The College of Social Work is preparing to launch a new program and we want our MSW students to be the first to know! Have you ever attended a 4-H
Helping Foster & Adoptive Children Cope With Holiday Stress
Helping Foster & Adopted Children Cope with Holiday Stress is designed to assist foster and adoptive parents in learning and understanding how stressful holidays can be for foster/adopted children. It
2 events, 9
Kinship live virtual webinar training – housing: from homelessness to home. understanding hud and section 8 housing.
One of our most basic needs is housing, but finding affordable housing for your family can be challenging. With costs rising and housing being harder to find, it helps to
Positive Adoption Language: Part 1
Positive Adoption Language: Part 1 will discuss the power and impact of words and terminology related to adoption and foster care. This training will provide strategies to help parents reword
1 event, 10
Sibling attachment & adoption.
Sibling Attachment & Adoption provides parents with tools to promote healthy sibling relationships in foster and adoptive families. Parents will explore different ways in which families are formed and learn
3 events, 11
Dsw info session.
Turn Your Goals into Reality Explore our Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) program during an online info session. Registration link is at the end of the event listing, under 'Website'.
Healthy Boundaries In Teenage Relationships
Healthy Boundaries in Teenage Relationships explores healthy and unhealthy dating behaviors. It is designed to assist caregivers in identifying warning signs that a teen may be involved in an abusive
Healing After A Foster Child Leaves Your Home
Healing After a Foster Child Leaves Your Home will equip foster parents understand, cope with and heal from the unique pain of a foster child leaving their home. It offers
1 event, 12
Transracial Parenting: Ages 5-12 explores the unique experiences of transracial families and examines developmental stages of racial identity development in elementary and middle school-aged children. It offers strategies to create
1 event, 13
Compulsive Lying explores why a child may lie compulsively. It identifies strategies and offers resources designed to assist children and their families dealing with this issue. After completing this training,
3 events, 14
Turn your Passion into Purpose Please join us on November 14th as we discuss the upcoming Criminal Justice BA, BS, and MS degree programs. This info session will be held
Helping Your Child Make Healthy & Positive Choices: Talking To Teens & Preteens
Helping Your Child Make Healthy & Positive Choices: Talking to Teens & Preteens will teach foster and adoptive parents the importance of open and ongoing dialogue with their preteen or
3 events, 15
Centers & labs monthly meeting.
Monthly Staff Meeting for Centers & Labs Training Resource Center Staff. The meeting is held the 3rd Wednesday of Each Month at the Training Resource Center. This is an in-person
MSW Info Session
Explore our Master of Social Work (MSW) program during an online info session. Registration link is below, under 'Website' The UK Difference Our MSW program is an Advanced Generalist program
Creative Parenting: New Ways To Focus On Your Child
Creative Parenting: New Ways to Focus on Your Child is designed to help parents recognize the value of seeking to understand the meaning behind a child’s behavior. It explores the
1 event, 16
Fostering & adopting sibling groups.
Fostering & Adopting Sibling Groups explores the benefits of placing siblings together as well as potential barriers and challenges. The impact of on attachment and bonding among siblings who have
0 events, 17
2 events, 18, medically complex join hands together virtual training.
This training will take place via virtual live Zoom meeting. Participants will be required to have a laptop or tablet with reliable internet connection to participate in the live, interactive
Guiding Your Child Through Adolescence
Guiding Your Child Through Adolescence explores the physical and emotional changes that children undergo as they enter adolescence. Parents will discuss how parental roles change during this period of their
1 event, 19
Drugs: things you need to know.
Drugs: Things You Need to Know is designed to inform parents of the many different classifications of illicit drugs, as well as the current trends related to adolescent drug abuse.
2 events, 20
Positive discipline for teenagers.
Positive Discipline for Teenagers will provide foster/Adoptive Parents with effective tools that will guide them to positive discipline and communication with teenagers that are in their care/home. It discusses the
Services & Support For Foster & Adoptive Families
Services & Support for Foster & Adoptive Families will inform parents about resources available to individuals with intellectual disabilities through the Michelle P. Waiver Program, which allows eligible individuals to
4 events, 21
Learning your child has a disability.
Learning Your Child Has a Disability aims to help foster and adoptive parents understand the unique emotions of discovering or confirming a child in their care has a disability. This
Creating Memories & Meaningful Family Traditions For Blended Families
Creating Memories & Meaningful Family Traditions for Blended Families will inform parents of triggers children in their home may have and what they can do as parents to help create
Cyberbullying is a training that explores what cyberbullying entails, warning signs that a child may be a victim of it, and its harmful effects. Statistics on cyberbullying are examined and
2 events, 22
New placements: preparing & adjusting family roles.
New Placements: Preparing & Adjusting Family Roles will help foster and adoptive parents introduce new placements into their existing family units. It gives ideas and strategies on how to prepare
Confidentiality In Foster Care
Confidentiality in Foster Care explores the importance of protecting the confidentiality of children in care. It offers strategies for how sensitive information about children in care can be communicated in
0 events, 23
0 events, 24, 0 events, 25, 2 events, 26, ten things every pediatrician should know about children in care.
Ten Things Every Pediatrician Should Know About Children in Care will equip foster and adoptive parents to better understand the unique medical factors children in care face. This training will
Myths & Realities Of Foster Care & Adoption
Myths & Realities of Foster Care & Adoption enables parents to identify myths and realities related to foster care and adoption. After completing this training, participants will be able to:
3 events, 27
Developmental stages & children’s responses to grief.
Developmental Stages & Children’s Responses to Grief defines grief and explores how children process and express grief at different developmental stages. It offers insight into the unique experiences of grief
Stress Management For Caregivers
Stress Management for Caregivers will equip foster/adoptive parents with tools to understand what stress and caregiver burnout is, and how to cope with the unique stressors of being foster/adoptive families.
Helping Your Child Succeed In School
Helping Your Child to Succeed in School will increase the ability of foster/adoptive parents to understand educational challenges faced by foster/adopted children. It will give resource parents the tools for
1 event, 28
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