From urban centers to rural communities, North Carolina’s MSW programs aim to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge for effective practice and foster a deep commitment to serving diverse populations and addressing pressing social issues. In this article, we delve into the landscape of MSW programs in North Carolina, exploring the distinctive features, strengths, and opportunities that define these educational pathways toward a rewarding and impactful career in social work.

2024 - Best MSW Programs in North Carolina

Uncover's rankings of the premier MSW programs in North Carolina, meticulously curated to highlight excellence. Our methodology assesses completion rates, cost of living, institutional competitiveness, program diversity, and faculty experience for a comprehensive evaluation. Dive deeper into our ranking process on our methodology page for a detailed understanding. Learn more about our methodology.


Appalachian State University

Boone, NC

Appalachian State University's Master of Social Work (MSW) program emphasizes clinical and community practice. With flexible scheduling options and a supportive learning environment, students engage in experiential learning and research opportunities. Prepare for impactful careers in social work with App State's comprehensive curriculum and dedicated faculty.


Wingate University

Wingate, NC

Wingate University's Master of Social Work (MSW) program prioritizes equipping students for adept clinical practice and community involvement. Offering intimate class settings and individualized guidance, students actively participate in hands-on learning and research ventures. Prepare for influential roles in social work with Wingate's inclusive curriculum and faculty support.


East Carolina University

Greenville, NC

East Carolina University's Master of Social Work (MSW) program is committed to preparing students for impactful clinical practice and community advocacy. With specialized tracks and experiential learning opportunities, students engage in hands-on field experiences and research projects. Prepare for rewarding careers in social work with ECU's comprehensive curriculum and supportive faculty.

MSW Degree Program Requirements/Eligibility in North Carolina

North Carolina Traditional MSW Admissions Requirements

Students enrolling in their first social work programs will need to enter into a traditional two-year, 60-credit MSW program. Below are the admissions requirements for applying:

  • Bachelor’s degree, typically in psychology or a related area, from a regionally accredited institution
  • Minimum GPA requirement (typically around 3.0)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement or essay
  • Resume or CV outlining relevant experience
  • Completion of prerequisite courses (such as psychology, sociology, or human services)
  • GRE scores (some programs may waive this requirement)
  • Interview (some programs may require an interview as part of the application process)
  • Background check and/or fingerprinting

North Carolina Advanced-Standing MSW Admissions Requirements

If you already have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree and a GPA of 3.5 or higher, you can apply for advanced-standing MSW programs. These are fast-tracked programs that allow students to graduate in a year or less. All of the same admissions requirements apply. Here are a few popular advanced-standing MSW programs available in North Carolina:

RELATED: Learn more about Social Work Salaries

North Carolina MSW Program Tuition and Costs

Tuition in North Carolina ranges considerably, as seen in the table below. For residents of North Carolina, you can expect to pay a lot less—anywhere between $197 and $411 per credit—which will save you a lot of money on your total education. Take a look at the full range below.

SchoolTuition (per credit hour)Total CreditsTotal Tuition
University of North Carolina$340 (Resident)
$930 (Non-resident)
62$21,104 (Resident)
$57,688 (Non-resident)
North Carolina State University$411 (Resident)
$1,103 (Non-resident)
60$24,654 (Resident)
$66,200 (Non-resident)
Fayetteville State University$197 (Resident)
$832 (Non-resident)
61$12,033 (Resident)
$50,762 (Non-resident)

Are Online MSW Programs in North Carolina as Good as Campus-Based?

Online MSW programs offer the same intensive curriculum as their in-person counterparts, often with the same faculty teaching the courses. While they’ve become incredibly popular, online MSW programs aren’t necessarily for everyone. Below are the pros and cons of these programs.

Traditional MSW vs. Online MSW Programs in North Carolina

Traditional MSW ProgramsOnline MSW Programs
FormatIn-person classesOnline classes with some in-person requirements
FlexibilityLimited scheduling optionsMore flexibility in scheduling, often part-time options
LocationGeographically limitedAccessible from anywhere with internet connectivity
Learning EnvironmentClassroom-basedVirtual classroom, discussion boards, and online resources
NetworkingLocal networking opportunitiesNetworking with students and professionals from diverse locations
CostTuition, commuting, and relocation expensesGenerally lower tuition and flexibility to continue working
Hands-on ExperienceField placements and internshipsVirtual or field placements and internships arranged in the student's local area

Whether you choose a campus-based or online MSW program in North Carolina, you'll want to ensure that your degree program is properly accredited by a trusted agency such as the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Otherwise, you won’t be eligible for licensure.

Learn more about Social Work Degree options:

Getting Your North Carolina Social Work License

To get licensed in North Carolina, you must familiarize yourself with the state-specific licensure requirements, as each state has its own set of guidelines. Learn more about North Carolina’s requirements in our Guide to Social Work Licensure.

Popular Social Work Careers

Discover the specializations available to you within social work. These social work careers can help you work with diverse populations in a variety of environments.

Female social worker talking with elderly female woman

School Social Worker

School social workers provide counseling, support, and advocacy for students facing social, emotional, or behavioral challenges. They collaborate with teachers, parents, and other professionals to develop student success strategies, provide crisis intervention, and facilitate support groups.

Healthcare Social Worker

Healthcare social workers assess patients' social, emotional, and practical needs. They provide counseling and support, coordinate care with healthcare providers, advocate for patients' rights, and connect patients and their families with community resources to ensure holistic and comprehensive care.

Court Social Worker

Court social workers assess the needs of individuals involved in court cases. They develop intervention plans, provide counseling and support, monitor progress in court-ordered programs, collaborate with legal professionals, and advocate for clients' best interests in legal proceedings.

List of MSW Degree Programs in North Carolina

Boone, NC

Master's Programs
287 Rivers St
Boone, NC 28608
(828) 262-2000

Charlotte, NC

Master's Programs
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
(704) 687-2000

Cullowhee, NC

Master's Programs
Highway 107
Cullowhee, NC 28723-9646
(828) 227-7100

Durham, NC

Master's Programs
1801 Fayetteville Street
Durham, NC 27707
(919) 530-6100

Fayetteville, NC

Master's Programs
1200 Murchison Rd
Fayetteville, NC 28301-4298
(910) 672-1111

Greensboro, NC

Master's Programs
1601 E Market St
Greensboro, NC 27411
(336) 334-7500

Master's Programs
1400 Spring Garden St
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
(336) 334-5000

Greenville, NC

Master's Programs
East 5th Street
Greenville, NC 27858-4353
(252) 328-6131

Pembroke, NC

One University Drive
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510
(910) 521-6000

Raleigh, NC

Master's Programs
2101 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27695-7001
(919) 515-2011

Wingate, NC

Master's Programs
301 E. Wilson Street
Wingate, NC 28174-0159
(704) 233-8000

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

Tara Moretti, LMHC
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