Social Work: BS, BA
Social work is a professional and academic discipline involving the pursuit of social welfare, social change, and social justice. The social work program at USU is committed to the resolution of contemporary social problems, such as poverty, racism, discrimination, and economic injustice.
USU’s social work program, which is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, prepares students to enter into a wide variety of positions in public and private social service settings, which can include work in child welfare, youth services, mental health, criminal justice, aging, and health care. Students learn how to think critically in order to intervene effectively with individuals, families, groups, and communities throughout the world. They also learn to utilize advocacy and administrative skills as a means to promote social change. Additionally, faculty members at Utah State conduct research while maintaining open availability to students.
Upon graduation, students are prepared to be licensed as social workers. In order to certify in the state of Utah, students must show proof of graduation and pass the National Basic Social Work exam and the State of Utah Law and Ethics exam.
Students desiring additional preparation for employment in the social services may complete a dual major in sociology and social work. With the help of advisors, students who will seek positions in other special areas could include appropriately related courses.
Students receive a BS by completing all required courses in the major. To receive a BA, students must also gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages.
Graduates who become certified can work as social workers in the following areas:
- Public welfare (administration and planning, case management, program evaluation, policy setting, public interest groups)
- Criminal justice/corrections (counseling/therapy, rehabilitation, probation, parole, youth services, victim assistance, courts)
- School social work (clinical social work, pupil personnel services, student advocacy, instruction)
- Child welfare (case management, advocacy, intervention)
- Family Services (adoption agencies, foster care organizations, etc.)
- Private Practice (or private social service agencies)
- Gerontology (advocacy/intervention, counseling, case management, programming, public policy)
- Clinical (counseling, therapy, community mental health centers, community residential homes, residential treatment centers, substance abuse treatment programs)
- Occupational (counseling, education, wellness promotion, employee assistance, organizational development, human resources, labor unions, health maintenance organizations (HMOs))
- Developmental disabilities (case management, program planning and evaluation, policy development)
- Health care (case management, counseling, program development, administration, research)
- Community organization (program and community development, advocacy, politics, education, planning)
Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.
In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the social work program has additional requirements:
- Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to the social work major.
- Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions and students transferring from other USU majors must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.5 and a minimum GPA of 2.75 in social work classes.
International students have additional admissions requirements.
Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs
Council on Social Work Education: This aims to promote and strengthen the quality of social work education through preparation of competent social work professionals by providing national leadership and a forum for collective action. CSWE pursues this mission through setting and maintaining policy and program standards, accrediting bachelor's and master's degree programs in social work, promoting research and faculty development, and advocating for social work education.
National Association of Social Workers: This national association is the largest organization of professional social workers in the world, with 150,000 members. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies.
Phi Alpha Honor Society: This honor society provides a closer bond among social work students and promotes humanitarian goals and ideals. Phi Alpha fosters high standards of education for social workers and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work.
Labs, Centers, Research
With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.