Make a difference in the lives of others.
Improve the lives of the people in your community with a social work degree. Our respected Bachelor of Social Work program helps you gain a better understanding of theories of human behavior and the social environment. You’ll develop values, ethics, and critical-thinking skills as you advise, counsel, and connect people in need with resources that can help. The Bachelor of Social Work program includes both classroom work and practicum (internship) experience. Learn about social welfare policy and planning, human behavior, and the social environment as you develop valuable research skills.
Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the Bachelor of Social Work program at Westfield State University prepares you to practice generalist social work at the entry level, as well as for graduate education in social work. Once you graduate, you are eligible to sit for the state licensure exam (LSW) and may be eligible for advanced standing in any graduate social work program in the U.S.
- On campus, hybrid, or remote synchronous learning
- Hands-on learning through community-based internships
- Supportive, collaborative, student centered community
- BSW graduates may be eligible to earn MSW degrees in less than a year
Use your knowledge to help change lives
Respected and affordable.
Westfield State University is ranked as one of the top ten New England region schools for a Bachelor of Social Work. You’ll graduate from a respected program that thoroughly prepares you for success as a social worker. Additionally, our program is also ranked among the top ten most affordable programs in the nation—a great value that pays off.
95% of graduates find a job or pursue graduate studies within three months
Graduates of our Bachelor of Social Work program are in demand. When you get your social work degree from Westfield State University, you’ll have the educational background and practicum experience you need to work with children, youth, and families, as well as individuals living with addiction and mental health issues. Many of our graduates advance their education in our MSW program.
150+ Community partners offering practicum internships
Bring academic knowledge to life with a practicum internship. Choose from a wide variety of opportunities, including child welfare, medical, educational, criminal justice, mental health, addiction, and other settings. You’ll learn generalist and advanced clinical practice from our trusted community partners.
The mission of the social work program is to prepare bachelor-level students to practice generalist social work at the entry level and to be prepared for graduate education in social work. This mission specifically includes helping students to develop:
- A sense of social responsibility;
- An appreciation for the significance of the diverse nature of the world;
- Knowledge regarding the impact of oppression in the world;
- An understanding of the key roles that social work values and ethics, knowledge and skills play in practice;
- A respect for the changing nature of the social work knowledge base.
This mission translates into a challenging curriculum founded on a liberal arts base that is focused around: (1) generalist social work practice, (2) social welfare policy and planning, (3) human behavior and the social environment, (4) research, and (5) practicum. Throughout this curriculum, the issues of diversity, culturally competent practice, promotion of social and economic justice, practice with populations at risk, the values and ethics of social work, and the changing knowledge base for social work practice are integrated. Further, students’ preparation for practice in this complex changing world is accomplished through the development and promotion of students’ critical thinking skills to enhance evidence-informed practice.
The Westfield State University BSW Program strives to be the premier public undergraduate social work program in the Northeast Region. We will achieve this through our commitment to academic excellence, to innovative and student-centered approaches to learning, and our dedication to upholding the values and ethics of social work education.
The goals of the Social Work Program at WSU were developed to reflect the program’s mission and the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards of the Council on Social Work Education. These goals are defined and specified through the Program Competencies that students are expected to develop. The competencies are presented after the goals and each competency is followed by specific Practice Behaviors that each student will develop, resulting in a demonstration of the competency.
Goal #1: Students will develop an understanding of the field of social work.
Goal #2: Students will develop critical thinking skills.
Goal #3: Students will be able to practice social work within the parameters developed in the Social Work Code of Ethics.
Goal #4: Students will develop knowledge needed to assess problems that impact client systems of various sizes.
Goal #5: Students will develop knowledge and skills to practice social work from a generalist perspective.
The accomplishment of these goals will be demonstrated by the achievement of the following competencies:
Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
Competency 2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
Competency 3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
Competency 4: Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice
Competency 5: Engage in Policy Practice
Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Competency 8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities.
What can I do with a degree in social work?
You’ll have the knowledge and experience to work with a variety of populations, including children, older persons, and people living with substance use and mental health issues, and in a variety of settings, including schools, clinics, and healthcare settings. Serve your community as a:
- Case manager
- Child protective worker
- Clinical therapist
- Community organizer
- Human resources professional
- Medical social worker
- School social worker
- Victim advocate
Admission to in the Social Work major:
Students formally apply for admission into the Social Work program during the end of the 2nd year, with 3rd year transfer students applying when admitted. Prior to submitting their application, students are required to complete 60 hours of human service activity. This experience is designed to give students an opportunity to engage in face-to-face helping activities that will allow the student to determine if s/he is well suited for a career in Social Work. Students should be enrolled in SOCW 0103, SOCW 0204, SOCW 0241, and SOCW 0340.
Requirements for Social Work Majors - 65-69 Credits
Foundation courses - 19 Credits:
- EGST 0101 - Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies
- or EGST 0102 - Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies Credits: 3
- SOCI 0101 - Principles of Sociology
- PSYC 0101 - Introduction to Psychology
- POLS 0101 - American National Government
- or HIST 0132 - United States History and Government 1865 - Present Credits: 3
- BIOL 0104 - Human Biology
- or BIOL 0106 - Biology Today Credits: 4
Major courses - 51 Credits:
- SOCW 0103 - Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare
- SOCW 0204 - Introduction to Research Methods in Social Work
- or PSYC 0219 - Research Methods in Psychology I Credits: 3
- SOCW 0241 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment I
- SOCW 0242 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment II
- SOCW 0243 - Social Welfare Policy Analysis
- SOCW 0301 - Advanced Research Methods
- SOCW 0340 - Introduction to Generalist Practice
- SOCW 0341 - Generalist Practice with Communities and Organizations
- SOCW 0342 - Generalist Practice with Individuals
- SOCW 0343 - Generalist Practice with Families and Groups
- SOCW 0351 - Social Work Practicum I
- SOCW 0353 - Senior Capstone I
- SOCW 0352 - Social Work Practicum II
- SOCW 0354 - Senior Capstone II
- SOCW 0360 - Diversity and Social Justice
Retention in the Social Work program:
To remain in the major, a student will have to receive at least a “C” in all major and foundation courses, retain at least a 2.5 grade point average in all required major and foundation courses, and retain an overall GPA of 2.5. A student who does not meet these standards will not be permitted to enroll in the fourth-year field practicum.
Get big school features with small school advantages.
We offer high-quality academics, unique learning opportunities, and a gorgeous campus—and we have small classes, accessible faculty, and one-on-one support.
You'll join fellow motivated students ready to make the most of the college experience through active participation. Become part of a caring and committed community that understands and embraces the bridge between academic study and civic responsibility.
of students receive financial aid
of grads are employed in their field
Experienced faculty support your goals.
Caring and dedicated faculty are here to support you throughout your educational experience. You’ll get individualized attention from educators who have field experience as well as classroom knowledge and community connections.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to submit SAT/ACT scores or an essay when I apply?
Westfield State University does not require an application essay, SAT and/or ACT scores, or letters of recommendation (except for special program admissions).
All first-year applicants are reviewed for admission based on their high school record. First-year applicants must meet the minimum eligibility requirements established by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) in order to qualify for admission to a state university.
Learn more about the application process and admissions here.
How much does Westfield State University cost?
Westfield State University offers a comprehensive university experience at an affordable cost—with many options for financial aid. Visit our Cost and Aid page to learn more.
Will I receive academic support?
We’re invested in your success. Whether you need a little help adjusting to college, study strategies, tutoring, or disability services, the team at the Academic Achievement Department is ready to help. Our mission is to provide you with the tools to explore academic opportunities as well as to plot strategies for continued growth.
Learn more about our student support services here.
We’re here to answer your questions and deliver the support you need along your academic journey. Please provide your contact information and area of interest, and we’ll be in touch shortly.