Social Work

Bachelor of Social Work

Why study Social Work?

The University of Cincinnati Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program will challenge you to look inside to learn about yourself and then to look outside to find ways to be of service in the world.

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 use 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.

As a first-year student in UC’s undergraduate Social Work program, you will start your educational journey as a member of the social work learning community, learning about the profession as well as completing general education requirements. Introductory courses in social work allow for the study of social problems and to experience social work through opportunities for service learning in the community.

The required courses for the social work degree begin in the junior year. You will begin to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for the achievement of the core competencies for generalist social work practice as defined by the Council on Social Work Education. In the senior year, you will have a year-long, two days per week field placement in a local social service agency, practicing the skills you have learned under the supervision of a professional social worker.

The School of Social Work has affiliations with over 200 social service agencies in the greater Cincinnati area, providing a wealth of options for field learning. Senior-year coursework and seminars allow you to connect the theories you have studied to what you experience in the field as you reflect on your developing professional self. Unique to UC is the two-term research sequence; you will learn basic research methods and then design and carry out a research project in your field agency.

At the end of your UC education, you will be prepared for entry-level, generalist social work practice, which means that you will have the knowledge and skills needed to work with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations in a variety of settings and can become licensed as a social worker in the state of Ohio after passing your licensing exam.

You will also have the foundation education necessary for graduate study in social work. You may be admitted to the accelerated, one-year Master of Social Work program at UC or similar programs around the country.

Admission Requirements

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.  

Social workers work with individuals across the lifespan and are employed in both the public and private social service sectors. They work with people facing difficult life situations, such as homelessness, domestic violence, addiction, foster care, and the neglect and abuse of children. Other social workers are advocates for the community, working on policy and program development in government agencies.

Social Workers typically work in:

  • Mental health clinics
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Corrections agencies
  • Nursing homes
  • Community development-based organizations
  • Residential treatment centers
  • Child welfare agencies
  • Private practice

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for social workers is expected to grow 11% by 2028 (much faster than the national average) and the current median pay is $49,470 per year.

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.

Students who have earned a high school diploma or GED and have attended a college or university other than the University of Cincinnati since earning their high school credentials are considered transfer students. Please visit UC Admissions for information about applying to the university as a Transfer Student. 

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

Application deadlines can be found at Admissions Deadlines.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Master of Social Work (MSW)  programs are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Contact Information

Kelsey Huelse
Health Sciences Building
3225 Eden Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45267
(513) 558-0260
kelsey.huelse@uc.edu

Find related programs in the following interest areas:

Program Code: 35BAC-SW-BSW