Find fulfillment with a career serving others

Students in the accredited Bachelor of Arts in Social Work program at St. Edward's University study a broad range of topics in preparation for a career that focuses on helping marginalized communities and improving quality of life.

Social Work at St. Edward’s is taught through a supportive and interdisciplinary educational environment where students build social work knowledge, values, and skills through academic learning in the classroom and experiential learning in the community. Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the major prepares students to enter careers in social work and related fields. Over the course of your studies as a Social Work major, you will …

  • Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior
  • Engage diversity and difference in practice
  • Advance human rights and social, economic and environmental justice
  • Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  • Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice
  • Engage in policy practice
  • Engage and intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  • Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Degree Requirements & Application

This major is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). In order to meet accreditation standards, students are required to apply for and undertake fieldwork experience, demonstrate competencies in 9 core areas, complete a portfolio, and participate in an exit interview prior to graduation. 

Major Requirements: The Social Work major requires 60 hours of coursework, which include a combination of social work, biology, sociology, and psychology. 

Electives: Students complete 12 hours of elective courses in any area of study they choose. 

General Education Requirements: The degree requires 48 hours of general education courses that students complete over four years in addition to their major courses and electives.

View and download the full degree plan for our Social Work major (PDF).

Our Faculty and Student Support Services

Faculty interact closely with students through classes, advising sessions, fieldwork and program events. Professors have a diversity of research interests and all share a passion for the field of social work and helping students succeed. 

"I am inspired by the opportunity to learn and work alongside students, faculty, and the broader community in generating understanding and action around global-minded social justice initiatives, particularly those related to violence against women, forced migration, human trafficking, and the detention of immigrant women and children fleeing violence."

– Laurie Cook Heffron, Assistant Professor of Social Work

"I view social work education as a collaboration and partnership with my students. I constantly remind students that in a few short years they will be my colleagues in the community combating issues of social injustice and inequality."

Adam McCormick, Assistant Professor of Social Work

Student Support Services

Along with personal attention and mentorship from their professors, our students have access to offices and programs outside of the classroom that support their success. We encourage students to take advantage these resources that help them thrive and excel:

  • Academic counseling and advising
  • Supplemental instruction and tutoring
  • Career preparation and advising 
  • Writing Center consultation
  • Health and wellness counseling
  • Student disability support

Learn more about these services.

Outside the Classroom & Field Education

Students majoring in Social Work can explore career paths and practical application of their studies through internships, supervised field placements, and interactions with the greater Austin community. Consult the Field Education Program Manual for additional information.

Internships and Supervised Field Placements

The Baccalaureate Practicum/ Internship will further provide each student with opportunities to:

  • Continuously develop self-awareness during intervention 
  • Enhance the strengths and well being of others
  • Help others identify and address their own opportunities for self improvement
  • Work toward the improving environmental conditions that have a negative affect on others
  • Communicating in language appropriate for the profession of social work
  • Critical assessment, implementation, and evaluation of agency policies and procedures within NASW ethical guidelines
  • Field Learning Experiences

Students will experience two semesters of supervised field placement, where they will have the following practice opportunities:

  • Learn about a specialized body of knowledge unique to the placement setting, client population, and issues addressed
  • Purposeful interviewing techniques
  • Professional growth in developing accountability in terms of time, record keeping, and writing reports
  • Participating in the casework process
  • Facilitating or co-facilitating group(s)
  • Working effectively with diverse clients
  • Interaction with other social workers
  • Gathering information about the agency
  • Appropriate use of various services and resources within the agency and community
  • Identifying gaps or limitations in the placement agency's services in relation to client needs
  • Studying and following agency policy and procedures at the placement agency and potentially influencing policy and/or procedures at the agency
  • Systematic self-evaluation 

Alumni Outcomes

Graduates of the Social Work program find careers in...

  • Public health
  • Substance abuse
  • Juvenile detention centers
  • Mental health
  • Child welfare
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Elementary and secondary schools
  • Rehabilitation facilities

Read about our successful alumni. See what they have to say about life after St. Edward’s.

Social Work Program Assessment Reports

Social Welfare Minor

Offered through the Social Work Program, the Minor in Social Welfare provides students a foundation in social welfare, focusing on social justice, human behavior and development, diversity and cultural competence. Students will learn about the history of the U.S. social welfare system, the theories of behavior used to support various social programs, and how issues of race, social class and gender intersect in the social welfare system.

Requirements for a Minor in Social Welfare:

Fighting for Immigrant Rights

Fighting for Immigrant Rights

As an expert in immigration, forced migration, human trafficking and violence against women, Assistant Professor of Social Work Laurie Cook Heffron interviews women and children once they are transferred from holding cells to a longer-term family detention center. She learns their stories so she can help those who have experienced domestic abuse, sex trafficking or other kinds of exploitation make their case for asylum. Frequently, she collaborates with immigration lawyers by providing expert testimony or a written statement for the court. Read more about the work faculty and students are doing.