New Statistics on Social Work Education

Read the newest social work program survey results from CSWE.

Written by Council on Social Work Education
December 12, 2019

The Council on Social Work Education submits an annual survey of social work programs across the United States to gather information about programs and students. Here is a summary of this year’s survey results:

  • More MSW degrees are being conferred year over year for the last 10 years with a total of 27,296 conferred in 2017-2018. The average number of degrees conferred was 111 and the survey gained responses from 246 programs. 76.20% of graduates came out of school with student loan debt and the average amount of the debt was $45,080. Graduates today have, on average, 50% more debt than graduates did 10 years ago. 

Info-graphic showing the number of MSW degrees conferred.


  • Washington State conferred 1.9% of the total MSW degrees. The highest state was New York with 11.5% and the lowest states were Montana, and Alaska with %0.1 each. The photo below shows each state's percentage. 

Map of United States showing percentage of degrees conferred


  • The top five dual degree programs offered were Law; Public Health; Public Administration/Public Policy; Business Administration; and Divinity/Theology. The top five method specializations offered were Clinical or Direct Practice; Advanced Generalist; Community Development, Organization or Planning; Administration; and Policy Practice. The top five certificate programs were School Social Work; Aging or Geriatrics; Addictions or Substance Abuse; Child Advocacy, Child Protection or Child Welfare; and Trauma. The top five field of practice specializations were Children, Youth and Families; Mental Health; Aging, Gerentology, or Multigenerational; School Social Work; and Health. 

Info-graphic showing the different specializations and degree options for MSW students.



  • Over one-third of MSW students were enrolled part-time in 2018. Of a total of 67,084 students, 43,271 were full-time and 23,813 were part-time. 

Info-graphic showing number of part-time students in 2018




  • Enrollment and conferral of MSW degrees is increasing and has been increasing over the last 10 years. Enrollment in master's degree programs has grown the most out of any program offered over the last 10 years. Master's degree conferrals have increased over one-third over the last 10 years. 

Info-graphic showing changes in enrollment and number of degrees conferred over last 10 years


Photos and data taken from 2018 Statistics on Social Work Education in the United States: Summary of the CSWE Annual Survey of Social Work Programs. 

Link to Survey