Studies & Degrees in Social Welfare

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Are you thinking about pursuing a career in which you can truly affect the lives of others in your community in a very positive manner?  Have you considered a career in social welfare, helping those less fortunate live fuller and more productive lives through counseling and other methods?  Social welfare programs are not only a positive aspect in societies, but in many cases, they are absolutely essential, ensuring that every person is able to tend to their most basic of needs.  However, in order to qualify for a career position in this ever-growing field, you will first need to acquire the knowledge and skills that will allow you to successfully provide this type of assistance.  This is exactly what you will gain with an undergraduate or graduate degree in social welfare.  To help you get started, below we have provided a brief description of both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs in social welfare, including some of the courses you will encounter and the eligibility requirements for admission into each of these programs.
Degree Programs in Social Welfare
Undergraduate Degree
The undergraduate or A.B. degree in social welfare is a four to five-year liberal arts major, with a focus on the social sciences and core social welfare courses.  Through this program, students will be introduced to the various societal problems that affect individuals and families, along with the methods and policies currently in place designed to help provide assistance.  The undergraduate degree in Social Welfare allows students to test their career interest in social work before seeking employment in the field or moving on to complete graduate-level professional education.  The program also serves as a flexible pre-professional major for various other fields in the social and behavioral sciences.
To qualify for admission into the A.B. degree program in Social Welfare, students must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent and achieved a passing score in a number of lower-division prerequisite courses, including:
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Introduction to Anthropology
  • Introduction to Economics
  • Political Science I
Successful candidates must also complete the Letters and Science Reading and Writing Composition requirement prior to admission into the program.
Graduate Degree
An undergraduate or A.B. degree in Social Welfare can certainly help lay the groundwork for a successful career helping others, but for students who plan to pursue employment as a Social Worker at the city, county or state level, they will first need to earn, at minimum, their Master’s degree in Social Work, or M.S.W.   This two-year program helps prepare students for advanced practice in the social welfare field, and combines classroom courses and professional fieldwork designed to teach students how to use tested knowledge, skill and research methods in their practice. 
Applicants for admission into the M.S.W. program must have a Bachelor Degree in a related field, with strong academic preparation in the liberal arts and sciences, including coursework in the social and behavioral sciences.  In addition to these requirements, students will need to take introductory coursework in social welfare and social work, with a special emphasis on current research methods and quantitative reasoning.

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