Inspire hope. Change lives.

Social workers help people cope and solve everyday problems while promoting human and societal well-being. They’re self-aware, culturally informed, critically thinking leaders committed to social and economic justice, professional values and ethics. They enhance the well-being of clients, assist in organization and community development and influence policy. They inspire hope and change lives by the very nature of what they do.

Graduates will be prepared to meet diverse needs; understand diversity and social welfare issues; promote human, organizational and community development; and advance social justice and positive social change. Students gain understanding and expertise about social work in both the non-profit and public sectors and prepare for lifelong learning.


Program type:

Major, BSW


On-Campus, 100% Online, 100% Evenings

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Bachelor of Social Work

The BSW program stresses the critical, empirical, and applied aspects of social work while incorporating a liberal arts perspective throughout the curriculum. Students are required to complete 43-credit hours of human behavior, practice, research and policy courses in social work, 30-credit hours of related area coursework and 570-clock hours of fieldwork in a social services agency, providing a strong focus on community and agency field work in a social work setting. The practicum provides students the opportunity to practice what they learn in the classroom in generalist social work practice activities.

Professional social work education enables students to integrate the knowledge, values and skills of the profession into competent practice.

Outcomes and Career Outlook

The Bachelor of Social Work program prepares students for entry-level employment in social welfare agencies, schools, hospitals, correctional institutions, social action and community organizations, day care, and geriatric rehabilitation and residential centers.

The demand for social workers will increase 13 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, making social work an in-demand career with meaning.


Median annual salary


Employment growth by 2029

Career Opportunities

  • Case Manager
  • Community Outreach Specialist
  • Crisis Intervention Specialist
  • Domestic Violence Victim Advocate
  • Employment Specialist
  • Family Services Worker
  • Foster Care Specialist
  • Hospice Social Worker
  • Housing Specialist
  • Probation Officer
  • Residential Care Worker
  • Social Service Coordinator
  • Youth Service Worker


Plan of study

All majors must meet the general education requirements of the university in addition to completing degree-specific curriculum requirements.

Review Full Degree Requirements Review Sample Four-Year Plan

Student organizations

From leadership, to cultural, to just plain fun, Recognized Student Organizations at UMSL make it easy to get involved. Students who join RSOs make new friends, learn new skills, and perform better in classes. Plus, with over 120 student organizations on campus, there’s something for everyone! You might like:

Honors College

The UMSL Honors College is a certificate program that can be paired with any major without adding extra classes or extending time to graduate. Classes in the Honors College are seminar-style, meaning that they are based in reading, writing, discussion, and critical thinking. This unique class format fosters an intellectual climate centered around democracy, diversity, civility and academic excellence.

Undergraduate research

We encourage and support students as they engage in exciting activities in and outside of the classroom that enrich their academic and professional understanding of their chosen area of study. All majors are encouraged to participate in Undergraduate Research and Scholarship to produce discipline-specific intellectual or creative innovations to their field.