Social Work (BSW)

Social work students smiling.

As a social work major at USF, you’ll acquire the knowledge, skills, and values of the profession — preparing you to graduate as a self-directed and confident practitioner! Students in our program learn through a blend of theoretical and practical experiences, which are guided by the:

  • Purpose, values, and standards of the social work profession
  • Catholic and Franciscan traditions of Faith and Reason

Your professional identity will be enhanced by the integration of Catholic social teaching. How? In its simplest form, it teaches us to honor the dignity of all people, which is an essential aspect of the profession.

Our curriculum incorporates real-world learning via team-based projects and extensive field experiences. You’ll learn in a campus setting that mirrors the professional practice and you’ll complete 525 hours of field experience at three different sites. Upon completion of the program, you’ll be prepared to take the social work licensure exam.

Learn from Experts

The treasure of the Social Work program is the faculty, especially their knowledge, experience, and willingness to help students. They prepare us to be professionals and leaders within the field. Working in the industry now, I see how highly regarded a USF Social Work degree is.

Nicholas Asher ’17
Behavioral Clinician at Meridian Health Services

Your Social Work professors know the intricacies of the field! They are all licensed social workers with the following areas of expertise: child welfare, criminal justice, mental health, health care, community development, group facilitation, victims’ assistance, and more.

Academic Plan

An academic plan is a general blueprint showing how one might complete the degree, semester by semester.

A social work student presenting on creating safe places for youth

Field Experiences and Opportunities

Social Work majors develop skills through three field practicums, working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Not only will you graduate with 525 hours of direct experience, but you’ll also learn the skills professionals use most: engagement, assessment, intervention and evaluation.

Recent Field Experiences

  • Youth Service Bureau
  • Allen County Juvenile Center
  • Kingston Residence
  • Sage Bluff Health and Rehabilitation Center
  • Positive Resource Connection
  • Wellspring Interfaith
  • Cancer Services

The professional preparation and support I received at USF were a huge part of my ability to build a career. The class assignments related to real-life situations and the field work gave me direct experience and connections with the professional community.

Kaitlyn Pozorski ’15, MSW
Medical Social Worker, Visiting Nurse and Hospice Home Association

Career Outlook & Success

100%

of USF’s Social Work graduates are employed in the profession or in a graduate (MSW) program within 6 months of graduation; most (80%), are hired before graduation!

$47,980

Median pay per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

16%

Expected job growth for social workers by 2026

Be Active!

Social Work majors are actively involved — on campus and in the community.

Join the Social Work Club and organize community service activities, like:

  • Chalk-It-Up: Awareness education for Domestic Violence Month
  • Pumpkins for Pumpkins: Fundraising event for a Salvation Army Christmas family
  • Salvation Army Christmas Family: Sponsoring a family through the Salvation Army
  • AIDS Walk: Sponsoring Walk Around the World and raising funds for children in Africa

Participate in professional development opportunities via

  • Student Professional Development Days: One-hour seminars lead by MSWs, who discuss different social work practice settings, graduate school options, and field experiences
  • National Association of Social Work, Indiana Chapter, Region III: Volunteer at the conference and attend for free.

USF sponsors the Sigma Eta chapter of Phi Alpha International Honor Society, the highest honor you can achieve as a Social Work major! Phi Alpha promotes humanitarian goals and ideals while building bonds among students.

Accreditation

USF’s bachelor of social work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

CSWE requires each accredited social work program to create and implement a program assessment plan. USF’s Bachelor of Social Work program completes this plan on an annual basis. Recent summaries of our evaluation results are available:

Ready to start?

I want to learn more

Program Director

Lori Westropp, MSW, LSCW
lwestropp@sf.edu
260-399-7700 ext. 8431