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Social Work Undergraduate Degree Programs and Majors

Undergraduate programs in social work can be found at the associate and bachelor's degree level. Read how to become a social work major and discover the coursework and prerequisites involved as well as potential career paths for graduates.

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Essential Information

A 2-year associate's degree program in social work can prepare graduates for some assistant-level positions, including aides to government and community social workers. Upon completion of the Associate of Applied Science in Social Work, students can transfer to a 4-year college and pursue a Bachelor of Science in Social Work. A bachelor's degree program can provide enough training for graduates to gain entry-level positions in healthcare facilities and schools.

These undergraduate programs provide students with a foundational knowledge of social work and the necessary skills to help others. All students need to apply to these programs is a high school diploma or the equivalent.

If students desire to work as clinical social workers, they will typically need to have a master's degree and licensure.


Associate of Applied Science in Social Work

An Associate of Applied Science in Social Work combines general education requirements with beginning social work courses. Those interested in becoming social workers must possess self-discipline and a desire to help people in need. The curriculum has courses tailored to social work that make the transfer to a 4-year baccalaureate program possible. Typical course topics might include:

  • Introduction to sociology
  • Marriage and family
  • State and local government
  • Statistics
  • Abnormal psychology and social psychology
  • Growth and development

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Bachelor of Science in Social Work

This degree program prepares students to solve problems and confront social issues in juvenile delinquency, child abuse, family support and help people overcome addiction and self-destructive behavior. Those interested in becoming a social worker must have an open mind and demonstrate a strong desire to help make a difference.

The student enters into the social work program in his or her junior year. By this time general education courses need to have been completed. Some required prerequisite electives include biological principles, general sociology, microeconomics and macroeconomics, government and general psychology. Those who have acquired an Associate of Applied Science degree from an accredited institution are not required to complete general education courses.

Courses might include the following:

  • Discrimination, oppression and diversity
  • Human behavior in the social environment
  • Introduction to social work research
  • Social work processes
  • Fundamentals of social work practice
  • Interpersonal skills lab

Continuing Education Information

Students can choose to pursue a Master of Social Work (MSW) and furthermore a Ph.D. in Social Work. If an undergraduate student has achieved a 3.0 or better they can apply to an advanced program, which allows the student to get a MSW in only one year.

Popular Career Options

Some popular career options might include:

  • Child welfare of family services social worker
  • Mental health social worker
  • Healthcare social worker
  • Gerontology social worker

Individuals interested in undergraduate social work programs can pursue associate and bachelor's degrees. Upon receiving a degree, entry-level jobs are available in healthcare facilities, schools, and the government.

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