The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work at St. Edward’s prepares you to make a difference in the lives of others through a career committed to human service and social justice. Students are encouraged to confront professional-level challenges through research and fieldwork that prepare them for their chosen career.
You’ll gain the knowledge, values and skills required to practice generalist social work with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. By completing this degree, you’ll be qualified to take the exam to become a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in Texas. This program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Because of CSWE accreditation, graduates of this program may receive up to a year of advanced standing in many social work graduate programs, allowing you to complete a master’s degree in one year.
Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
As a BA in Social Work major, you’ll learn to assess people’s problems and determine what social programs or treatment will best address their needs — from solving everyday issues or overcoming social challenges to coping with disabilities or life-threatening illnesses. You’ll explore topics in social justice, problem identification, intervention development and cultural awareness in working with diverse individuals and groups.
The BA in Social Work degree gives you a breadth of knowledge and expertise in dealing with challenging situations — assets that many employers value. Our alumni have gratifying careers in direct service and leadership roles for the Veteran’s Administration, AIDS Services of Austin, and a variety of child welfare and mental health organizations. With a BA in Social Work, and LSW licensure, graduates may work as case managers, mental health aides, community outreach workers or life skills counselors in eldercare or healthcare settings, local or state agencies, and rehabilitative fields. Advanced degrees are required for managerial positions that supervise staff, budgets and social service programs.
Graduates of this program often enter graduate school to specialize in child services, gerontology, mental health or substance abuse social work. Due to this program's CSWE accreditation, it's possible for graduates to earn a Master of Social Work in three semesters rather than the traditional four semesters. Close interaction with faculty at St. Edward’s — and time spent in classes, advising sessions, fieldwork and program events — allows you to learn more about career options and the choice of doing graduate work.
In addition to the general education courses required of all majors, and elective courses, BA in Social Work majors take courses from these groups:
Students who major in social work complete core courses, which include Social Policy; Social Statistics; Marriage and Family; Social Research; Human Behavior and the Social Environment; Generalist Practice; Race, Class and Gender; and Field Practicum and Seminar.
BA in Social Work majors complete supporting courses, which include Contemporary Biology, General Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Introduction to Religions of the World, and Self and Society.
Real-world experience is a substantial part of earning the BA in Social Work degree. Students complete 430 practicum hours in a social service agency, under the guidance of an experienced licensed social worker and the St. Edward’s field director for social work. Students also prepare a written portfolio and complete a comprehensive oral exam to fulfill the bachelor’s in Social Work curriculum.
SERVICE LEARNING COURSES
BA in Social Work majors complete 40 hours of community service as part of this degree’s Introduction to Social Work course.
View the Degree Plan (PDF) for sample course information for the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work.
Social Work majors at St. Edward’s have the opportunity to apply their academic experience and passion for improving lives to a hands-on field internship. Students serve in a variety of settings and help vulnerable populations through interventions that enhance their quality of life.
Internships are excellent opportunities to learn new skills and collaborate with social workers in the field. An internship is an outstanding addition to your résumé and can give you a distinct advantage for graduate school or your social work career.
Our students have gained valuable on-the-job experience in organizations such as these:
- Austin Children’s Shelter
- Austin Travis County Integral Care (ATCIC)
- Communities in Schools
- Con Mi Madre (Mothers and Daughters Raising Expectations)
- Legal Aid Society of Central Texas
- Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)
- Texas NeuroRehab Center
St. Edward’s has an active Social Work Student Association, which sponsors local service projects including the annual Well Fair — designed to raise awareness of social services and those who struggle with poverty, illness, homelessness and food insecurity.
BA in Social Work majors attend the Texas meeting of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Conference, the major professional organization in the state, with 5,700 members. Students also serve as volunteers at other professional conferences.