Department of Criminal Justice, Legal Studies & Social Work

Frequently Asked Questions

Social Work Profession
Social work is a profession that works to enhance individual, organizational, and community potential. Social workers are employed in both public and private human service agencies and work with a variety of populations including individuals, families, small groups, organizations, and communities.

If you are interested in enhancing people’s potential and believe in the worth and dignity of all individuals, then social work may be the career for you.

Who is a Social Worker?
A social worker is a person who has graduated with a professional degree in social work, either at the baccalaureate level (BSW), the master’s level (MSW), or the doctoral level (Ph.D. or DSW).

  • The BSW degree prepares graduates for entry level work in human services.
  • The MSW prepares graduates for advanced social work practice in specialized areas (e.g., mental health, family services, health care etc.).
  • The Ph.D./DSW prepares graduates for research, teaching, or administration.
Where Do Social Workers Work?
Drug treatment centers
Nursing homes
Mental health facilities
Victim service agencies
Private practice
Employee assistance programs
Community planning agencies
Home health care agencies
Domestic violence shelters
Public health departments
Headstart Programs
Correctional settings
Residential care settings
Child/adult protective services
Family service agencies
Group homes
Police departments
Homeless shelters
Rehabilitation agencies
Adoption and foster care agencies
Political offices

Knowledge, Skills, and Values

What Makes a Social Work Degree Valuable?
Receiving a degree from an accredited BSW or MSW program makes your degree valuable. An accredited degree means the social work program at that school has met specific national standards and provides students with the necessary knowledge, skills, and values needed to succeed as a social worker.

Skills Used by Social Workers:

  • Administration
  • Activism
  • Advocacy
  • Counseling
  • Training
  • Political Action
  • Public Relations
  • Social Action
  • Supervision
  • Grant Writing
  • Group Facilitation
  • Case Management
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Grass-Roots Organizing
  • Interviewing
  • Testifying
  • Program Administration
  • Direct Practice
  • Placement
  • Intervention Planning
  • Discharge Planning
  • Family Preservation
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Legislative Advocacy
  • Negotiation and Mediation
  • Outcome Evaluation
  • Support
  • Fundraising

For additional information regarding Social Work as a career please see the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Occupational Handbook” at