Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, Master of Social Work, Doctor of Social Work and Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work are some social work college degrees, They are commonly abbreviated as the BSW, BASW, MSW, DSW and PhD in Social Work, respectively.
There are other variations of social work degrees at each degree level, such as the Bachelor of Science in Social Work, the Master of Science in Social Administration and the Master of Research in Social Work. They are the BSSW, the MSSA and the MRes in Social Work, respectively. Theoretically, the social work degree types indicate differences in potential career paths within social work and the coursework that underlies each.
The BASW connotes a greater amount of humanities coursework within the requisite degree curriculum, whereas the BSSW entails more requirements closely related to the field of study, with fewer chances for a student to explore outside the social work curriculum. The BSW is a human service degree.
Most of the related coursework for a BSW fulfills educational and training requirements that potential employers and human services authorities mandate, such as Child Protective Services, and states that seek Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselors.
The same is not necessarily true at the graduate level. An MSSA is equivalent to an MSW. Owing to a lack of standard degree designations in social work, differences in the meaning of social work degrees are often merely semantic and a question of which institution offers the degree. However, the MRes in Social Work degree path focuses primarily on research skills, with few instructor-led courses.