Social Work Department

Social Work - An Introduction   
If you're looking for a career with meaning, action, diversity, satisfaction, and an abundance of options, we invite you to consider social work!  Social workers are people who care about people, who want to make things better, who want to relieve suffering, and who want their work to make a difference. Social work is a profession devoted to helping people function well in their environment.  This may be accomplished through provision of direct services or through direct therapy with individuals.  It may also include working to improve social conditions.  The phrase "in their environment" points to a distinguishing characteristic of social work, one that sets it apart form other helping professions.  Social workers help people deal not  only with how they feel about their situation, but also what they can do about it.

About the Profession

The social work profession has its own body of knowledge, code of ethics, practice standards, credentials, state licensing, and nationwide system of accredited education programs.  These equip the professional social worker to combine the desire to help others with the knowledge, skill, and ethics needed to provide that help.  For sheer variety, few occupations can match social work in terms of the broad range of opportunities and settings it offers.  Social workers are found in public agencies, private businesses, hospitals, clinics, schools, nursing homes, private practices, police departments, courts, and countless other interesting workplaces.  Social workers serve individuals, families, and communities.  They are managers, supervisors,and administrators, as well as elected political leaders.   

Educational Requirements

To be a social worker, one must have a degree in social work from a college or a university program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).  MSU holds such accreditation.  Degree programs include classroom study as well as practical field experience.  The undergraduate degree, Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), prepares graduates for entry level work.  The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree prepares graduates for more advanced practice and is required for providing therapy.  Both the Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) and Ph.D. degrees are useful for conducting research and for teaching at the university level.  Presently, MSU offers the BSW degree.   

Potential Employers

  • Adoption Agencies
  • Counseling Centers
  • Early Intervention Programs
  • Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Hospitals, Medical Centers
  • Nursing Homes
  • Prisons
  • Private Social Service Agencies
  • Senior Citizens Centers
  • Special Education


The Department of Social Work at MSU is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education-Commission on Accreditation (CSWE-COA). CSWE-COA voted to reaffirm the accreditation of the program for eight (8) years which ends in June 2023.