What is Social Work?
Social work promotes human well-being by strengthening opportunities, resources, and capacities of people and communities and by creating policies and services to correct conditions that limit human rights and quality of life, with a special focus on ending poverty, discrimination, and oppression. Using a person-in-environment perspective and respect for human diversity, social work promotes social justice on behalf of individuals, families, groups, and communities.
Social workers practice in a wide range of service areas providing a variety of services, as the following description illustrates. They work with families in economic distress, offering help with basic needs such as food and housing. They work with persons with physical and mental disabilities and with older adults, providing care management connecting these clients to resources in the community that promote their ability to live independently. They investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect, and provide counseling to families to correct these problems. They work with children in foster care, helping them adjust to new families and schools. They work with people with substance abuse problems, helping them find ways to recover from addiction and to become productive members of their communities. They work with communities to help members organize and advocate for changes that will promote a better quality of life for all. In all of these settings, social workers use the knowledge and skills acquired in undergraduate education for social work.
The University of Cincinnati has established academic success criteria for first-year applicants to bachelor's degree programs. All students are encouraged to apply. Please visit High School Student Admissions for more information about first-year student admission requirements.
Successful social workers are problem-solvers who like working with people and who are flexible, resourceful and tenacious. The helping process is rarely linear. Social workers must be willing to change their ideas to accommodate clients' experiences, aspirations, and goals. They need to understand the community where they are employed in order to make the best use of available resources. Finally, social workers need to confront bureaucratic obstacles and become vocal advocates for their clients.
Social workers are employed in both the public and private social service sectors. Social workers work in community-based agencies that provide resources to meet basic human needs. They work with people facing difficult life situations, such as homelessness and domestic violence in shelters. They provide counseling and case management services for people with mental health problems in community mental health centers, psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment centers, corrections, and family service agencies. They work with people experiencing disability and health problems in hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics. They provide support to children and their families in schools and agencies serving youth. In the child welfare field, they are employed by adoption, foster care and family preservation agencies, and protective service agencies dealing with neglect and abuse of children. Other social workers work on policy and program development in government agencies. They may advocate on behalf of causes and communities in a variety of voluntary agencies.
Advisors will be there to help you at every step of your academic journey. If you have advising related questions, please visit the College of Allied Health Sciences’ Academic Advising.
The BSW program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. A degree from this program will allow you to sit for the licensing exam in all states that require licensing at the BSW level, including Ohio.
The BSW degree will be recognized by every master's in social work (MSW) graduate program in the United States. You can receive advanced standing credit toward the MSW degree in programs that offer this option.
We work with more than 200 social service agencies in the tri-state area. As a result, you will have a wide variety of agencies to consider when deciding on a field experience.
The UC social work program participates in the Ohio Child Welfare University Partnership Program. In collaboration with the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, this program trains social workers for work in public child welfare agencies. Students selected for this program have specialized courses and an internship in a county children's services department. The program also offers a Certificate in Developmental Disabilities and a Certificate in Spanish for Social Workers in collaboration with the UC Department of Romance Languages.
If you are student who wishes to transfer from a college or university outside of the University of Cincinnati system, please visit Transfer Admissions for more information.
If you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at the University of Cincinnati (including UC Blue Ash and UC Clermont), but want to change your major to one in the College of Allied Health Sciences, please visit Transition Students for more information.
Application deadlines can be found at Admissions Deadlines.
The BSW and MSW programs are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.