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Social Work, B.S.

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Field Education Policy and Procedures Manual

A degree in social work gives students the skills to improve the quality of life for individuals or communities faced with difficulties such as poverty, serious illness or disability.

Social workers seek to help individuals, families, groups and communities address challenges in their lives. As a part of the College for Public Health and Social Justice, Saint Louis University’s social work degree prepares students for generalist social work practice that integrates knowledge and skills with field experience. 

SLU’s Social Work program brings together like-minded, empathetic, and justice-oriented people. The faculty cares about students and creates classroom spaces to hold critical conversations about the issues present in local and national communities."

-Christine Oppold, Class of 2022

Additional degree options include:

  • Accelerated program: High achieving students may apply to this selective program during their junior year of study. This accelerated program allows students to earn a B.S. in social work in four years and a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) with just one additional year of study.
  • Honors courses: For students interested in the stimulating academic experiences and intellectual challenges provided by the University Honors program, social work courses can be taken for Honors as part of the major in addition to fulfilling core course requirements.
  • Minor: A minor in social work will give students an understanding of the profession and the core values of the field for students pursuing other majors.

Curriculum Overview

The social work curriculum contains 39 credits of major courses covering topics such as human behavior and the social environment, and three practice courses that address social work with individuals, families and groups, and organizations and communities. During the senior year, students spend two semesters in a social service agency, supervised by an experienced social worker. Science, math and humanities courses and electives fill out the remainder of the 120 credits required for the major.

  • Every social work student receives personalized, one-on-one support from a faculty mentor and academic advisor.
  • The curriculum allows students to explore areas of interest through the projects they pursue and practicum.
  • Through fieldwork and service learning, social work students gain real-world work experience outside the classroom.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

For students interested in a global education, there are a wide variety of study abroad programs available at SLU, including a campus located in Madrid, Spain. Students majoring in social work at SLU can also enroll in a two-week experiential course in Belize, Ghana, Ireland, Cuba or India, which features concentrated study, lectures and interactions with the people of the respective country.

From strong service-learning components, students embody the University’s Jesuit mission by using the knowledge they gain in the classroom to serve others. In addition to volunteer work, students can explore different types of social work with guidance from seasoned professionals through partnerships with more than 250 social service agencies around the St. Louis area.


Social work graduates from Saint Louis University can look forward to careers in a wide variety of settings. U.S. Labor Department projections indicate a steady demand in social work jobs in the years ahead. Most social workers specialize in an area of practice, including but not limited to:

  • Clinical work
  • Child welfare or family services
  • Mental health
  • Schools
  • Policymaking and advocacy

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.


All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 


Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at


The baccalaureate social work program at Saint Louis University has been continuously accredited since 1974.
The master of social work program at Saint Louis University has been continuously accredited since 1930.

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
1701 Duke Street, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314-3457
Phone: 703-683-8080 

  1. Graduates will be able to demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
  2. Graduates will be able to engage diversity and difference in practice.
  3. Graduates will be able to  advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.
  4. Graduates will be able to  engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.
  5. Graduates will be able to engage in policy practice.
  6. Graduates will be able to engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  7. Graduates will be able to  assess with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  8. Graduates will be able to intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  9. Graduates will be able to evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

B.S.S.W. Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes 

Core Requirements57
Required Social Work Courses
SWRK 1000Introduction to Social Work3
SWRK 2300Human Behavior Social Envrnmnt3
SWRK 3100Social Policy for Social Justice3
SWRK 3200Dismantling Oppression: Exploring Equity & Inclusion3
SWRK 3300Social Work Practice with Individuals3
SWRK 3400Social Work Practice with Families & Groups3
SWRK 3500Social Work Practice with Organizations & Communities3
SWRK 3600Financial Capability and Asset Building Practice3
or ECON 1900 Principles of Economics
SWRK 3700Introduction to Social Work Research3
SWRK 4100Social Work Practicum I5
SWRK 4150Integrative Practice Seminar I1
SWRK 4200Social Work Practicum II5
SWRK 4250Integrative Practice Seminar II1
Select 24 credits. Electives that enhance the social work major are recommended.24
Total Credits120

Continuation Standards

  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.00.
  • Minimum grade of “C” in all 1000- to 4000-level Social Work Courses.

Core Requirements 

English & Communications
ENGL 1900Advanced Strategies of Rhetoric and Research3
ENGL 2020-2900 Literary Studies3
ENGL 4000Professional Writing3
CMM 1200Public Speaking3
HIST 1110Origins of the Modern World to 15003
or HIST 1120 Origins of the Modern World (1500 to Present)
HIST 1600History of the United States of America to 18653
or HIST 1610 History of the United States Since 1865
Philosophy & Theology
PHIL 1050Introduction to Philosophy: Self and Reality3
PHIL 2050Ethics3
THEO 1000Theological Foundations3
THEO 2xxx2000 level or higher Theology course3
Select one of the following:3
MATH 1260
Statistics Including Sports and Politics
MATH 1300
Elementary Statistics with Computers
OPM 2070
Introduction to Business Statistics
PSY 2050
Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics
STAT 1100
Introduction to Statistics
Natural Science
Select three credits of the following:3
Preferred: Human biology-related
2nd choice: Environmental science
3rd choice: non-biology science course (e.g. chemistry, physics)
Fine Arts
Select from ART, ARTH, DANC, MUSC, or THR3
Foreign Language
Students select two foreign language courses to total up to six credits. At minimum, courses can be Level I for two different languages or through Level II for one language.6
Social Science
POLS 1100Introduction to American Government3
SOC 1100Introduction to Sociology3
PSY 1010General Psychology3
PSY 4390Abnormal Psychology3
Global Health
PUBH 2100Introduction to Global Health3
Total Credits60

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
CMM 1200 Public Speaking 3
HIST 1120
or HIST 1110
Origins of the Modern World (1500 to Present)
or Origins of the Modern World to 1500
THEO 1000 Theological Foundations 3
PUBH 2100 Introduction to Global Health 3
PSY 4390 Abnormal Psychology 3
SWRK 1000 Introduction to Social Work 3
ENGL 1900 Advanced Strategies of Rhetoric and Research 3
PHIL 1050 Introduction to Philosophy: Self and Reality 3
SOC 1100 Introduction to Sociology 3
PSY 1010 General Psychology 3
Year Two
ENGL 2000+ Elective 3
Fine Arts Elective § 3
Foreign Language II * 3
General Elective I 3
Elective 3
SWRK 2300 Human Behavior Social Envrnmnt 3
Select one of the following: 3
STAT 1100
Introduction to Statistics  
MATH 1260
Statistics Including Sports and Politics  
MATH 1300
Elementary Statistics with Computers  
OPM 2070
Introduction to Business Statistics  
PSY 2050
Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics  
Science Elective 3
CCJ 3750 Statistics in Criminology and Criminal Justice 3
Foreign Language I 3
POLS 1100 Introduction to American Government 3
Year Three
SWRK 3100 Social Policy for Social Justice 3
SWRK 3400 Social Work Practice with Families & Groups 3
SWRK 3700 Introduction to Social Work Research 3
ENGL 4000 Professional Writing 3
PHIL 2050 Ethics 3
SWRK 3200 Dismantling Oppression: Exploring Equity & Inclusion 3
SWRK 3300 Social Work Practice with Individuals 3
SWRK 3600
or ECON 1900
Financial Capability and Asset Building Practice
or Principles of Economics
HIST 1600 History of the United States of America to 1865 (or HIST 1610) 3
Year Four
SWRK 3500 Social Work Practice with Organizations & Communities 3
SWRK 4200 Social Work Practicum II 5
SWRK 4250 Integrative Practice Seminar II 1
General Elective V 3
General Elective VI 3
SWRK 4100 Social Work Practicum I 5
SWRK 4150 Integrative Practice Seminar I 1
THEO 2000+ Elective 3
General Elective III 3
General Elective IV 3
 Total Credits120


Level 1 of any language 




 Level 1 or 2 of any language

Apply for Admission

For additional admission questions please contact:
Shannon Cooper-Sadlo, Ph.D., M.S.W., LCSW
Program Director
School of Social Work

2+SLU programs are formal  transfer agreements for students seeking an associate degree at a partner institution.