Photo of Professor Bill Gilbert lecturing a social work class

Why Elms for your Social Work degree?

  • Gain 400 hours of internship experience.
  • Study social work from a variety of perspectives and disciplines.
  • Graduate with a well-rounded skill set to succeed in grad school. Approximately 90% of Elms students who apply to MSW programs have been granted advanced standing.

Changing Lives Through Social Work

Social work majors at Elms College dedicate themselves to helping others. It’s that simple.

For more than 60 years, Elms has equipped students to become social work leaders. With the oldest accredited undergraduate program of its kind in Western Massachusetts, we know what skills and competencies you need to become a force of change in your community.

Social work at Elms is an interdisciplinary field. Majors study everything from behavioral science and psychology to mental health and public policy. By analyzing human behavior through different lenses, you will gain a deeper understanding of the factors that influence life in modern society. Your classes will help you develop a versatile array of skills that empower you to counsel individuals, families, and communities.

Micro- and Macro-Level Social Work

Social work majors typically choose to focus on micro- or macro-level social work.

Micro-level social work encompasses working with individuals and families. By helping people achieve their goals and overcome challenges, you improve the well-being of society, one person — or family — at a time.

Macro-level social work includes designing and implementing community-focused programs at the local, state, or national levels. If you are interested in research and advocacy, this type of social work enables you to enact change on a larger scale.

Social workers make a difference in a wide range of fields, including:

  • Medicine and public health (working in hospitals and public health agencies)
  • Substance abuse prevention (working in rehabilitation centers, nonprofits, and more)
  • Mental health (working in mental health centers, private practices, and schools)
  • Child welfare (working in nonprofits, hospitals, and shelters)
  • Education (working at schools of all levels, or within school districts)

Internships, Professionalization, and Licensure

As a social work major you will complete 400 hours of service at an internship. Having the time you need to immerse yourself in the field and complete a capstone project will not only help you perfect your skills, but also set you apart on the job market.

In addition to full-time internships, you will also have the opportunity to conduct independent research and present your findings at professional conferences. Our students also get involved in community service programs locally and nationally, which gives you other chances to expand your professional network to new areas.

After completing your degree, you will be eligible to take the Massachusetts exam to become a licensed social worker. The majority of our graduates secure jobs in social work upon — or before — graduation. Many of our graduates choose to continue their education and complete a master’s degree.

Students who know they want to pursue a master of social work (MSW) degree are encouraged to apply to our graduate program offered in conjunction with St. Louis University, one of the top-ranked social work programs in the country.

Approximately 90% of Elms students who apply to MSW programs have been granted advanced standing, which allows them to earn their degree in just one calendar year instead of two academic years.

Quick Info

  • Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. View our assessment of student learning outcomes for 2017.
  • Oldest accredited undergraduate program in Western Massachusetts
  • Includes a 400-hour internship at one of over 60 sites
  • Local, national, and international social work experiences
  • Graduates are eligible to sit for the Massachusetts Licensed Social Worker (LSW) exam
  • Graduates are eligible for advanced standing in MSW programs

Click to view course requirements for the major in Social Work (B.S.).

Minimum at Elms College: 24 credits/Minimum GPA: 2.5

Major Requirements (69 credits)

Course #FormerlyCourse Name# of Credit Hours
PSY 1001PSY 101General Psychology3
SOC 1001SOC 101Introduction to Sociology3
BIO 1005BIO 105Biology: Human Applications3
SWK 1001SWK 101Introduction to Social Work3
HIS 1005HIS 105Early American History3
PSY 2002PSY 202Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences3
SSD 2002SSD 202American Government and Public Policy3
ECN 2101ECN 211Economics3
SWK 2004SWK 204Human Behavior in the Social Environment I3
SWK 2005SWK 205Human Behavior in the Social Environment II3
SWK 3001SWK 301Social Welfare Policies and Services3
SWK 3002SWK 302Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families3
SWK 3003SWK 303Mental Health and Mental Illness3
SOC 3005SOC 305Social Research3
SWK 3007SWK 307Social Group Work3
SWK 3105SWK 315Social Work Practice with Communities3
SWK 4001SWK 401Field Work Experience12
SWK 4002SWK 402Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, and Communities3
SWK 4004SWK 404Social Work Issues3
SOC 3106SOC 316Racial and Ethnic Groups3

Sarah Kaczenski '18

Photo of social work and sociology major Sarah Kaczenski“You can see a lot of suffering in the world, and being blessed enough to have a college education — I think that social work is a great way to use my education and lessen that suffering.”

Channeling her creativity as a musician, Sarah Kaczenski ’18 discovered original ways to empathize with and support vulnerable populations. Read Sarah’s story.