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Social Work

Social work is concerned with enhancing the problem-solving, coping, and developmental capacities of people; promoting effective and humane service delivery systems; linking people with appropriate resources and opportunities; and improving social policy.

Social Work graduates serve as individual, family and group treatment specialists, planners, community organizers, social researchers, social work educators, and administrators in mental health clinics, hospitals, correction institutions, courts, delinquency programs, aging programs, family counseling agencies, child protective agencies, public welfare departments, child development programs, drug and alcohol abuse programs, public schools, community action agencies, settlement houses, city governments, state government planning agencies, federal administrative agencies and private research and development organizations.

The School of Social Work is nationally recognized in the area of rural social work practice and nonprofit management. Faculty regularly contribute to the field through presentations, papers, conferences, seminars, and research. The B.S.W. curriculum prepares students for entry-level practice in the social work profession. We train students to work effectively with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations. Completing a B.S.W. degree allows for immediate access to employment opportunities.

Career Profile

Social work is predicted to be one of the fastest growing professions over the next ten years. Social work education provides graduates with a wide range of interpersonal and organizational skills for employment in a variety of public, nonprofit and private-sector agencies. Settings for baccalaureate social workers include children and youth services; mental retardation/developmental disabilities services; mental health; substance abuse programs; homeless shelters; criminal justice agencies; schools (elementary and secondary); income maintenance programs; and legal services agencies. Graduates can apply their skills in many other areas, from business personnel offices to grant-making foundations to holding political office. For further information, visit the National Association of Social Workers website at

Sample Course Schedules

Wondering what your typical day might be like? We used students’ real course schedules to create these examples.

Freshman Year

PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology WVUE 191 First Year Seminar ENGL 101 Composition and Rhetoric GEOL 101 Planet Earth GEOL 102 Planet Earth Laboratory

Senior Year

PHIL 100 Problems of Philosophy SOCA 331 Sociology of Law SOWK 360 Social Work Research and Statistics SOWK 400 Legal Issues in Social Work SOWK 324 Methods 3: Organizations and Communities

English Proficiency Requirements

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements.

Accreditation Information

WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Alumni Profiles

Onick Lewis

Onick Lewis is a native of Jamaica, but grew up in the inner city of Washington, D.C. He graduated from WVU with a B.A. in sociology in 2005 and earned a master’s degree in social work with the emphasis on community policy and administration from WVU in 2008. He is now a teacher and counselor for Glenville State College’s Student Support Services Program and an adjunct faculty member teaching sociology.

Kimberly Tieman

Kimberly Tieman is the health, human services and early childhood program officer of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation in Charleston, W.Va. She offers the following advice: "Don’t ever take the easy road; take the classes and field experience opportunities that will challenge and encourage you to think outside your current comfort level. Life is not easy, so obtaining a degree should not be without sacrifice. College is about learning all you can in a safe environment before you need the skills in the real-world of helping people."

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