Social Work: A Dynamic, Versatile, and Rewarding Profession

A career projected to grow much faster than the average for all other occupations in the US*

Social workers:

  • Constantly strive to understand the person in the context of their environment
  • Assist and advocate with individuals, families, and groups to improve well-being
  • Engage in community activism and organizing to advance social change
  • Work for structural change in organizations to address power inequities
  • Advance policies for economic and social justice, and human rights

Our social justice informed curriculum prepares you for community-based generalist social work practice through rigorous course work and hands-on learning. Our graduates report being well prepared for careers in social work and graduate school.

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Ready to Transfer to SU?

Image for Is Social Work for me?

Is Social Work for me?

Social work requires a centering commitment to social justice, valuing of human diversity, and desire to engage in social change. It is challenging, and not for everyone. Social workers leverage their knowledge, values, and skills to be change agents. How do your interests, personality, skills, and passions align with the profession?

Image for What is Social Work?

What is Social Work?

The primary focus of social work is in the interaction between the person and the context of their environment. We are advocates and activists who strive to improve human well-being with a particular focus on those oppressed, vulnerable, and living in poverty. Social justice is at the heart of our work.

Image that complements Degrees & Requirements

Degrees & Requirements

Our degrees include the Social Work major, Social Welfare minor, and Social Work with Honors. Classroom experience is connected to real world practice through your field practicum. Students who seek a path to help others, improve society, and advocate for just social conditions thrive in social work and have many career options.

Council on Social Work Education

Social Work News

Back to School: Social Workers Help Students, Families, Teachers Adjust After COVID

A sea of laptops and masks swirls around a student who is trying to pull themselves up out of the mess with a rope

COVID has created a wave of hiring for school social workers, who not only have needed to help locate missing students but also help all students get resources to regain momentum—both developmentally and academically—and to get them mental health services and grief counseling if needed. But many school social workers see the problems of the “lost year” as a larger opportunity to make schools more welcoming and less punitive so students and school communities can thrive.
Oct 14, 2021

Read More about Back to School: Social Workers Help Students, Families, Teachers Adjust After COVID

Upcoming Events and Grad Fairs

Meet the MSW Directors. Dr. Estella Williamson, DSW, Field Director, Clinical Professor | Dr. Mary Kay Brennan, DSW, MSW, LICSW, MSW Director, Clinical Professor, Social Work Chair

Check out these upcoming grad fairs and MSW events!
Sep 27, 2021

Read More about Upcoming Events and Grad Fairs

Can a Court Victory Provide Refuge for Foster Youth?

A mother and son stand together, their backs facing the camera

Despite millions of dollars in funding from the Legislature to tackle the problem, the number of nights that foster children spend in hotels and offices has increased steadily over the past seven years. Between Sept. 1, 2020, and July 15, a record 233 children spent 2,016 nights in hotels and offices, according to the Washington State Office of the Family and Children’s Ombuds. A recent federal court order requires the state to finally halt the practice, which, according to advocates, further traumatizes children, leads to worsening behavior, and threatens their long-term mental and physical health.
Aug 18, 2021

Read More about Can a Court Victory Provide Refuge for Foster Youth?

Why Study Social Work?

Information Session via Zoom

November 10, 12:30-1:20

Freshman and Sophomore Social Work candidates and those interested in the Social Work Major are invited to an online Information Session to learn more about the program and profession.

Dr. Amelia Derr, Interim BSW Program Director, will host this session, answer your questions, and provide a view into your potential future.

Please RSVP to if you are attending. A Zoom meeting invite will be sent to you.


Latest News

Graduating Seniors Receive Awards

Jo Bechtold receives the Taylene Watson, MSW Social Justice Award and Emily Pacunski receives the Madeline Lovell Academic Excellence Award. Read about them here.

Reinforcing the Essential Nature of Social Work

From the National Association of Social Work, Association of Social Work Boards, and Council of Social Work Education. Read the article.

Contact Us

  • Amelia Seraphia Derr, MSW, PhD

    Amelia Seraphia Derr, MSW, PhD

    Interim Director, Bachelor of Social Work

    Associate Professor, Social Work


  • Estella Williamson, DSW, MSW, ACSW

    Estella Williamson, DSW, MSW, ACSW

    Field Director and Clinical Professor, Social Work 


  • Anna McCain

    Anna McCain

    Administrative Assistant, Social Work