Message from the BSW Program Director

Exceptional preparation for generalist social work practice

The social work major prepares graduates for social work practice at the generalist level; for licensure; for graduate study; and for any career that requires a systemic perspective, critical thinking, problem-solving and exceptional communication and interpersonal skills.

Our School of Social Work recognizes two goals of generalist social work practice:

  • To restore and enhance the social functioning of systems of all sizes (individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities)
  • To promote a more just society

Our students are often drawn to the profession by their interest in making a difference in the lives of others and making a positive impact on society. The BSW program develops their skills and provides real-life experiences that prepares them to do both.

The BSW is an applied, professional degree. Our curriculum, our faculty and our field experiences create a rich learning environment that integrates theory and practice while teaching students to apply this integrated learning in real-world settings. Building on our university’s strong liberal arts foundation, our students learn to think critically and synthesize relevant research and theory from liberal arts disciplines such as psychology, sociology, biology, justice and peace studies, communications, philosophy and more. 

Our BSW faculty are actively engaged in social work practice and research, and they bring their community engagement and practice focus to the classroom. Many faculty involve students in applied research projects that provide additional opportunities for professional development. What truly sets the social work major apart, however, is the opportunity for all BSW students to apply their classroom learning during 600 hours of field placement in local agencies during their junior and senior years. Field education is called "the heart of social work education" and we are deeply committed to providing students with experiences that will foster student learning, professional development and the integration of theory and practice. 

Social work is a rapidly growing profession and the need is greater than everl! Please contact us to discuss any aspect of our program or our profession. We look forward to working with you as you explore a career in social work! 

Ande A. Nesmith, MSW, PhD, LISW
Associate Professor and BSW Program Director