The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program at Illinois State seeks to prepare generalist social work practitioners who act as agents of social change who in turn will promote individual and societal well-being.
Point of Pride
Undergraduate students in the School of Social Work receive 30 percent more hours in field practicum than what is typically required by standards and at other universities.
Why study Social Work?
Social work is a helping profession with emphasis located on the relationship between the individual and his or her environment. Social workers are community troubleshooters. Through direct counseling or referral to other services they help individuals, families, and groups cope with their problems. Social workers serve a range of client systems (individuals, families, groups, communities) as they attempt to enhance social functioning. Social work is unique given its dual focus on the person and the environment.
Applying to Illinois State
Illinois State's preferred filing period for freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!
How can I prepare to major in Social Work?
If you want to become a Social Work major when you enroll at Illinois State, plan your high school courses well to prepare for the major.
The Social Work major builds on foundation skills in math, writing, science, social sciences, history and reasoning. The more classes you can take in high school that will help you improve upon these skills, the better.
Take as much foreign language as you can. Social work is becoming very multicultural in its emphasis. For example, becoming fluent in Spanish will open many career opportunities for you. Our college, the College of Arts and Sciences at Illinois State, requires three years of the same language in high school or two semesters at college level as a minimum requirement. Take foreign languages! Become well rounded. Take good, strong college preparatory classes in as many areas as you can. Take a lot of math, science, English, and literature. Volunteer. Work as a tutor, or at a summer camp, or any place where you can work with people.
Here is a list of examples of Bloomington-Normal area social service agencies. You may find similar agencies and organizations in your local community. Complete the Volunteer Service Hours form to document your service hours.
These experiences will help you understand social services better and help you define your career goals.
If you have any questions, please contact the BSW academic advisor Jerey McKinney.