Through hard work and dedication, social workers advance human rights and create a more just society.
Professionals provide assistance and resources to the most vulnerable individuals and families in our communities. They tackle problems people face in their everyday lives, such as violence, mental illness, drug abuse, racism, and poverty.
Once you start your career, you will be able to choose the work environment that excites you. Social workers practice in a variety of settings including schools, nursing homes, government agencies, and many more.
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?
In this major and in your future social work career, you will make an impact on the world.
Our engaging curriculum and dedicated faculty prepare you to advocate for social, organizational, community, economic, and policy change. You will have all the skills and confidence needed to succeed and make people's lives better.
We focus on a liberal arts foundation which means you get a well-rounded education. You will have expertise in social work theory, practice, and research. With such broad knowledge, you will be prepared to respond to the evolving needs of people.
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!
Prepare to major in Social Work
Get Experience with a Social Service Agency
To be formally accepted into the School of Social Work, you need to have at least 25 hours of paid or volunteer experience at an approved social service agency.
Our field placement list is a good example of the types of agencies to consider. Similar organizations are likely found in your local community.
Write a Personal Essay
Length: 1-3 pages, double-spaced
The application will ask you to submit an essay. The admissions committee will use your essay to understand your interest in pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work.
You can use examples from your life, employment, or volunteer experience to illustrate your views and statements. Your essay will be evaluated by the content as well as the quality of your responses.
Essay Topics and Questions:
Describe how social work is a good fit for you. Who or what influenced your interest in the social work profession (i.e., family, friends, clergy, social worker, teacher, volunteer/work experiences, academic experiences, personal life experience, etc.)?
Identify three strengths that you possess and describe how these strengths influence your decision to pursue social work as a career.
Describe what you consider to be one of the most pressing social problems facing our country today. What, in your opinion, causes this problem? What does the social work profession have to offer in order to find a solution to this problem?
Plan Your High School Courses
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 these skills, the better.
Being fluent in a foreign language is also beneficial. As social work becomes more multicultural, the field will need people who can speak and understand different languages.
Entry into the social work program and profession is also based on legal requirements. The Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice Act and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics outline the laws around getting your license and practicing in the field.