Social Work

Social Work Major

A Bachelor of Arts in Social Work is your first step to entering a profession* working in partnership to empower individuals and communities, advocating for social and economic justice, and having a real and lasting impact on society.

The B.A. in Social Work program at Saint Mary's places particular emphasis on the profession's call to act in solidarity with the community to address social injustice. The curriculum incorporates Saint Mary's historical commitment to ethical lives of service and leadership into generalist social work practice. This is demonstrated through our curriculum's infusion of social justice, experiential learning, and culturally responsive practice.

Your program will be challenging but well-paced, with plenty of support available. Your courses will not only provide you with a look at the history of social work and social welfare, but offer insights into:

  • human development and behavior;
  • foundational concepts and methods for engagement, assessment, and evaluation;
  • principles and processes of generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities.;
  • the impact of strengths-based, trauma-informed, and culturally responsive approaches to social work practice with historically marginalized and oppressed communities;
  • and the use of technology innovation and ethical practice to collaborate with organizations and communities as vehicles of change to promote individual and community well-being.

You will also serve and learn for a total of 400 hours over two consecutive semesters in an assigned professional practice setting under the supervision of a licensed social worker to acquire a broad understanding of and first-hand experience in the field of social work, to recognize and use generalist principles and concepts, and to assess and then select intervention methods to meet individual, group, family, and community needs.

Career Options

Professional social workers* provide a variety of services in different settings, including hospitals, schools, social service agencies, and human service organizations. Social work practitioners work with families, children in foster care, individuals struggling with addiction, those experiencing housing instability, and other vulnerable populations. Specific job titles might include:

  • Child welfare specialist
  • Social and human service assistant
  • Health educator
  • Social science research assistant
  • Case manager

You can expand your career options and impact by earning a Master of Social Work. Completing the B.A. in Social Work positions you to complete the MSW in one year so that both the bachelor’s and master’s social work degrees are achieved in five years.

High School Preparation

High school courses that will prepare you for your social work major include experience in psychology, biology, and communication.

*Accreditation and Professional Licensure

Graduation from a CSWE-accredited program is required for eligibility for social work licensure. At this time, Saint Mary's is pursuing CSWE accreditation for its B.​A.​ in Social Work program, but the program is not yet accredited and CSWE approval is not guaranteed. All prospective students should check with their state social work board to verify eligibility for licensure in their state if they graduate from a program before it is CSWE accredited. It is the student's responsibility to verify licensing requirements with their state social work board.

Please check Saint Mary’s Professional Licensure Disclosures and Resources for further updates regarding this program and professional licensure. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota cannot guarantee attainment of any professional licensure or certification, in any field, in any jurisdiction.