Social Work, B.S.

A degree in social work gives students the skills to improve the quality of life for individuals or communities faced with difficulties such as poverty, serious illness or disability. Social workers seek to help individuals, families, groups and communities address challenges in their lives. Saint Louis University’s social work degree prepares students for generalist social work practice that integrates knowledge and skills with field experience. 

SLU’s Social Work program brings together like-minded, empathetic and justice-oriented people. The faculty cares about students and creates classroom spaces to hold critical conversations about the issues present in local and national communities."

-Christine Oppold, Class of 2022

Additional degree options include:

  • Accelerated program: High-achieving students may apply to this selective program during their junior year of study. This accelerated program allows students to earn a B.S. in social work in four years and a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) with just one additional year of study.
  • Honors courses: For students interested in the stimulating academic experiences and intellectual challenges provided by the University Honors program, social work courses can be taken for Honors as part of the major in addition to fulfilling core course requirements.
  • Minor: A minor in social work will give students an understanding of the profession and the core values of the field for students pursuing other majors.

Curriculum Overview

The social work curriculum contains 42 credits of major courses covering topics such as human behavior and the social environment, and four practice courses that address social work with individuals, families, groups, and organizations and communities. During senior year, students spend two semesters in a social service agency, supervised by an experienced social worker. The University core and electives fill the remainder of the 120 credits required for the major. 

  • Every social work student receives personalized, one-on-one support from a faculty mentor and academic advisor.
  • The curriculum allows students to explore areas of interest through projects and practicum.
  • Through fieldwork and service learning, social work students gain real-world work experience outside the classroom.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

For students interested in a global education, there are a wide variety of study abroad programs available at SLU, including a campus located in Madrid, Spain. Students majoring in social work at SLU can also enroll in a two-week experiential course in Belize, Ghana, Ireland, Cuba or India, which features concentrated study, lectures and interactions with the people of the respective country.

While completing coursework, students will also be mentored by an BSSW field instructor and work in a social work capacity in the community.

BSSW students can further specialize their studies through coursework or practicum experiences in the following areas:

  • Community mental health practice
  • Criminal justice
  • Gerontology
  • Global social work
  • Health practice
  • Nonprofit administration
  • Practice with children and youth
  • School social work
  • Substance use disorder treatment
  • Therapy with individuals and families
  • Trauma-informed practice
  • Veteran services

From strong service-learning components, students embody the University’s Jesuit mission by using the knowledge they gain in the classroom to serve others. In addition to volunteer work, students can explore different types of social work with guidance from seasoned professionals through partnerships with more than 250 social service agencies around the St. Louis area.

Careers

Social work graduates from Saint Louis University can look forward to careers in a wide variety of settings. U.S. Labor Department projections indicate a steady demand in social work jobs in the years ahead. Most social workers specialize in an area of practice, including but not limited to:

  • Clinical work
  • Child welfare or family services
  • Mental health
  • Schools
  • Policymaking and advocacy

Accreditation

The baccalaureate social work program at Saint Louis University has been continuously accredited since 1974.
 
The master of social work program at Saint Louis University has been continuously accredited since 1930.

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
1701 Duke Street, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314-3457
Phone: 703-683-8080 

  1. Graduates will be able to demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
  2. Graduates will be able to engage diversity and difference in practice.
  3. Graduates will be able to advance human rights and social, economic and environmental justice.
  4. Graduates will be able to engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.
  5. Graduates will be able to engage in policy practice.
  6. Graduates will be able to engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
  7. Graduates will be able to assess with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
  8. Graduates will be able to intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
  9. Graduates will be able to evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

B.S.S.W. Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes 

Required Social Work Courses
SWRK 1000Introduction to Social Work3
SWRK 2300Human Behavior Social Envrnmnt3
SWRK 3100Social Policy for Social Justice3
SWRK 3200Dismantling Oppression: Exploring Equity & Inclusion3
SWRK 3300Social Work Practice with Individuals3
SWRK 3350Social Work Practice with Groups3
SWRK 3440Social Work Practice with Families3
SWRK 3500Social Work Practice with Organizations & Communities3
SWRK 3600Financial Capability and Asset Building Practice3
or ECON 1900 Principles of Economics
SWRK 3700Research Methods for a Diverse Society3
SWRK 4100Social Work Practicum I5
SWRK 4150Integrative Practice Seminar I1
SWRK 4200Social Work Practicum II5
SWRK 4250Integrative Practice Seminar II1
General Electives46-49
Total Credits91-88

Continuation Standards

  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.00.
  • Minimum grade of “C” in all 1000- to 4000-level social work courses.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester. Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
CORE 1000 Ignite First Year Seminar (Must be taken in first 36 hours at SLU/ Cannot carry attributes) 2-3
CORE 1500 Cura Personalis 1: Self in Community (Must be taken in first 36 hours at SLU/ Cannot carry attributes) 1
CORE 1900 Eloquentia Perfecta 1: Written and Visual Communication (Should be taken in first 36 credit hours at SLU/Cannot carry attributes. Or semester two.) 3
SWRK 1000 Introduction to Social Work 3
General Electives 6
 Credits15-16
Spring
CORE 1600 Ultimate Questions: Theology 3
CORE 3200 Ways of Thinking: Quantitative Reasoning (Should be taken in first 45 credit hours at SLU) 3
Required Program Courses or General Electives 9
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
CORE 1200 Eloquentia Perfecta 2: Oral and Visual Communication (Should be taken in first 60 credit hours at SLU) 3
CORE 1700 Ultimate Questions: Philosophy 3
SWRK 2300 Human Behavior Social Envrnmnt 3
Required Program Courses or General Electives 6
 Credits15
Spring
CORE 3800 Ways of Thinking: Natural and Applied Sciences 3
CORE 2500 Cura Personalis 2: Self in Contemplation 0
Required Program Courses or General Electives 12
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
CORE 2800 Eloquentia Perfecta 3: Creative Expression 2-3
CORE 3400 Ways of Thinking: Aesthetics, History, and Culture 3
SWRK 3200 Dismantling Oppression: Exploring Equity & Inclusion 3
SWRK 3300 Social Work Practice with Individuals 3
SWRK 3600 Financial Capability and Asset Building Practice 3
General Electives 3
 Credits17-18
Spring
CORE 3600 Ways of Thinking: Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
CORE 4000 Collaborative Inquiry 2-3
SWRK 3100 Social Policy for Social Justice 3
SWRK 3350 Social Work Practice with Groups 3
SWRK 3700 Research Methods for a Diverse Society 3
General Electives 3
 Credits17-18
Year Four
Fall
CORE 3500 Cura Personalis 3: Self in the World 1
SWRK 3440 Social Work Practice with Families 3
SWRK 4100 Social Work Practicum I 5
SWRK 4150 Integrative Practice Seminar I 1
General Electives 6
 Credits16
Spring
SWRK 3500 Social Work Practice with Organizations & Communities 3
SWRK 4200 Social Work Practicum II 5
SWRK 4250 Integrative Practice Seminar II 1
General Electives 6
 Credits15
 Total Credits125-128

Apply for Admission

For additional admission questions please contact:
Vithya Murugan, Ph.D., M.S.W.
Program Director
School of Social Work
vithya.murugan@slu.edu  
314-977-2737

2+SLU programs are formal  transfer agreements for students seeking an associate degree at a partner institution.