Social Work Bachelor's Degree (BSW)

Why Social Work?

  • Rewarding and meaningful career that adds value to society
  • Diverse job opportunities serving clients from all backgrounds
  • Opportunities to engage in research and community-based service learning
  • Hands-on experience working with children and families

Why Wheelock?

  • Unique mission to improve the lives of children and families
  • Intensive, year-long, supervised practicum experience
  • Grounded in impacting positive social change
  • Emphasis on the strengths, resiliency, and capacity for empowerment of clients

Wheelock College and Boston University have reached an agreement to merge as of June 1, 2018 and we are no longer accepting new applications. As a prospective applicant to Wheelock College, we hope you will be interested in applying to Boston University.

Social workers are committed to the alleviation of poverty and oppression, the promotion of human rights and social justice, and the development of individuals, families, groups, and communities.  At Wheelock, you will study theories and methods of the social work profession and learn how to apply this knowledge through hands-on experience. Our program incorporates many different subject areas, including psychology, sociology, and human development.

You will learn how to work collaboratively with clients, help identify and secure needed resources, and communicate effectively with people of diverse backgrounds. Our approach to service is based on an appreciation of the strengths, resiliency, and capacity for empowerment of our clients. Through course work and field experience, you will develop a solid foundation of knowledge, values, and skills that provides immediate entry into a wide range of human service professional positions.

Wheelock's undergraduate social work program is grounded in effecting positive social change. Key elements of the program include:

  • Intensive, year-long, supervised practicum experience; and
  • Emphasis on the strengths, resiliency, and capacity for empowerment of clients.

BSW Program Options & Licensure

You'll earn a bachelor's degree in Social Work (BSW), which qualifies you to take the Massachusetts social work licensing exam at the Licensed Social Worker (LSW) level.

Our versatile and flexible program can stand alone as a single major, or you may choose to add an arts and sciences major.

Hands-On Experience in the Social Work Field

As a senior in the BSW program, you will have direct field experience with clients in an intensive, year-long, supervised practicum. Internships take place in a range of settings throughout the Boston metropolitan area, including schools, community organizations, and health centers. During the Fall and Spring semesters, students attend two full days, typically Monday and Wednesday, completing a minimum of 16 hours per week.  With the consent of the Field Instructor, students may make other arrangements with the agency provided that practicum hours do not conflict with classes. Recent field experience sites include: 

  • AIDS Action Committee
  • Boston Public Schools
  • Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Franciscan Children's Hospital
  • Friends of the Children
  • Lutheran Social Services, Brockton
  • Malden Early Learning Center
  • Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
  • Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
  • On the Rise Women's Center
  • Phoenix Charter Academy
  • Smile Daycare

Sample Courses

  • Dynamics of Oppression and Privilege
  • Introduction to Social Work
  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Social Work Practice and Skills Lab

Core Competencies

  • Identify as a professional social worker
  • Apply social work ethical principles
  • Apply critical thinking
  • Engage diversity and difference
  • Advance human rights and social and economic justice
  • Engage in research
  • Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment
  • Engage in policy practice
  • Respond to contexts that shape practice
  • Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, organizations, groups, and communities

Career Opportunities for Social Work Graduates

This major will prepare you for a variety of human service positions, including:

  • Social worker
  • Family advocate
  • Child counselor
  • Case manager
  • Community resource specialist
  • Residential counselor
  • Mental health assistant
  • Early intervention specialist
  • Legislative aide
  • Patient care assistant
  • Immigrant/refugee advocate

Graduate Study

Upon completion of your BSW, you will be eligible to apply to Master of Social Work (MSW) programs with advanced standing status at Wheelock and other graduate schools. Advanced standing enables you to complete your MSW degree in a shortened timeframe.

Accreditation of Social Work Program

Wheelock is accredited by Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). See the College's Accreditation Information web pages.

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