Social work is a profession that applies knowledge about people and society to help persons, groups, or communities meet a diversity of needs, solve a wide range of problems, promote social justice, and assist people in becoming empowered. The baccalaureate program in social work prepares students for generalist social work practice. As beginning professional social workers, graduates typically work in the areas of child welfare, juvenile and adult corrections, public assistance, health and mental health, aging domestic violence, and chemical dependency, among others.
The undergraduate program in social work awards a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work and is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the national accrediting agency for social work. Accreditation standards require a solid core of courses on social welfare issues and policies, social work practice skills, basic social science research methods, and a broad background in the liberal arts with special emphasis on psychology, biology, economics, politics, sociology, organization, and diverse ethnic groups. In fulfilling the academic requirements for social work, students must also uphold the values of the profession of Social Work as expressed in the National Association of Social Work’s Code of Ethics.
While Pennsylvania requires a master’s degree to become a licensed social worker, some states license social workers holding a bachelor’s degree. Since requirements vary by state, please check with the licensing board in the state you intend to practice.