Social Work

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Undergraduate Program

Bachelor of Social Work



Female student reviewing social work materials.

Why This Program?

Personalize your education to meet your learning and career goals.

As a social worker, you will make change possible by working with individuals, families, groups, and communities to improve their well-being in a variety of ways. Social workers are on the front lines advocating for people and facilitating positive social change.

  • Prepare for career success: A major in social work at BCU prepares you at the undergraduate level for careers in social work and for graduate social work education. Students are provided opportunities throughout the curriculum to connect with and learn from other degreed social workers. You can also collaborate with other social work students and professional social workers by joining the Social Work Club.
  • Make a difference: By the time you graduate, you'll have a network of social work colleagues and will go on to advance human rights and social and economic justice; engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research; engage, assess, intervene and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities; and so much more! 
  • Experience a historically accredited program: The social work program is designed to provide the skills needed to become a professional social worker. BCU's social work program is nationally recognized, because we care about helping social work students foster their skills for changing lives. Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1974, Briar Cliff University's social work program has been continuously accredited, with the most recent reaffirmation of accreditation in 2018.
  • Explore: Get hands on experience. Embark on mission trips across the country or internationally to Honduras and Tanzania. You and your peers will spearhead relief efforts and gain insight through culture and adventure. Students looking for experience in practicing social work in an urban setting have the opportunity to complete their practicum in Chicago with Chicago Semester.

Our program allows you to create a curriculum based on the practice areas that interest you most. With our BSW concentration options, you can design the focus of your study by choosing from a minor in Interdisciplinary Gerontology or a list of concentrations. The concentrations are a structured plan of specialty study within a major. The minimum number of credit hours for an internal concentration is 12 credit hours in addition to the core courses of the major. Students will also be required to complete their Field Experience Practicum within the area of the concentration. An internal concentration will appear on student’s official transcript. Concentration options include:

 Children, Youth and Families
A concentration in children, youth, and families prepares students for a social work career working with children and families in child welfare and family service agencies
 Behavioral Health & Addictions
A concentration in behavioral health & addictions prepares students for practice with individuals across the life span addressing mental health, addictions and co-occurring disorders.
 Faith-Based Ministry
This concentration will develop student skills in the area of social work and faith-based service. It’s focus will help students develop their talents while meeting the world’s needs in relations to God and neighbor.
 Latino Cultural Competence in Social Work
The goal of the Concentration in Latino Cultural Competence in Social Work is that students develop the cultural and linguistic skills for engaging in culturally grounded practice with Latino clients, and families.