Bachelor of Social Work

Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) 

If you're thinking about a helping profession, social work may be the right career for you. Social workers have a strong desire to help people of all ages and backgrounds improve their quality of life.

  • Social workers assist diverse populations of children, adults, and the elderly as they manage life's challenges.
  • They are critical thinkers, problem solvers, and advocates for social and economic justice.
  • They strive to eliminate social barriers like poverty, injustice, oppression and other conditions that limit human rights, and related factors that negatively impact human lives and communities.
  • Their clients include those who are struggling to cope with illness, overcome substance abuse, manage mental health issues, obtain affordable housing, find employment, and solve family crises.

Social workers are guided by a person-in-environment framework, multicultural perspectives, respect for all peoples, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry. Their work is actualized by enhancing quality of life for all peoples, locally and globally.

​Why choose the B.S.W. at Marian?

As a student majoring in social work at Marian, you will acquire the values, knowledge, and skills you need to be a social worker who will help make our world a better place for all people.

  • Our curriculum is rooted in the university's Catholic faith and Franciscan heritage, which focuses on dignity of the individual, peace and justice, reconciliation, and responsible stewardship.
  • You will explore these values and their relation to recognized standards for professional social workers, including the Social Work Code of Ethics established by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). 
  • You'll also study social work competencies, developing an understanding of diversity in practice and the advancement of human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice established by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). You will master CSWE's nine practice competencies for generalist social work practice.
  • Our program prepares you to successfully pursue Licensed Bachelor Social Work (LBSW) professional practice licensure through the State of Indiana. 

In addition, you will participate in hands-on learning opportunities through diverse field experiences that are woven into our curriculum, including supervised social work practicum (internship) placements at social service agencies, nonprofit organizations, or municipal and state government offices.

These are a few examples of the places where you might intern:

Upon graduation, you'll be well-prepared to apply what you've learned to help individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. You will also be prepared to serve as a community leader who makes a positive impact on others. 

  • Your journey to graduation will include multiple opportunities to strengthen your leadership skills, engage in undergraduate research projects, study abroad, explore your faith, compete in varsity and intramural athletics, and serve the community.
  • On our close-knit campus, you will engage in activities that enable you to build a professional network and personal relationships that last a lifetime. You'll find faculty who encourage, support, and challenge you to accomplish more than you ever thought possible.

What will you study?

To earn the 128-credit social work degree at Marian, you will complete general education, core, required, and elective courses.

  • Our general education curriculum is grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, so you will complete coursework that teaches you to be an excellent communicator, collaborator, and critical thinker.
  • Courses in the major provide you with a generalist foundation of the critical knowledge, skills, and values required for a career as a social work professional.
  • You will complete a senior capstone course that explores major issues and themes in the social work profession.

You will complete at least 48 credits of social work courses. Examples include:

  • SWK 110: Introduction to Social Work
  • SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology
  • PSY 101: General Psychology
  • SWK 200: Human Behavior and Social Environment
  • SWK 310: Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families
  • SWK 350: Social Work Research and Assessment
  • SWK 360, 460, and 461: Social Work Practicum I, II, and III
  • SWK 490: Senior Seminar/Capstone

 You will demonstrate mastery of learning outcomes based on CSWE competencies that include:

  • Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior
  • Engage diversity and difference in practice
  • Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice
  • Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice
  • Participate in policy practice
  • Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Broadening your knowledge of interdisciplinary, interprofessional trends can make you even more marketable and attractive to potential employers.

  • Depending on your interests and career goals, you can work with your academic advisor to add an academic minor, concentration, or double-major to your plan of study.
  • Examples include sociology, psychology, public health, peace and justice studies, criminal justice, political science, and gender studies.

If you plan to continue your studies at the graduate level and earn a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) or other degree, our curriculum will prepare you to be a competitive candidate for admisson to the program of your choice. You'll work closely with your academic advisor to complete coursework that prepares you for success in graduate school.

Sample four-year plan and checklist

​What are your career paths?

Social workers are employed in a range of professional settings:

  • Adoption agencies
  • Child and youth organizations and programs
  • Churches
  • Community and neighborhood centers
  • Criminal justice and correction agencies
  • Developmental disabilities organizations
  • Domestic violence centers and shelters
  • Family services agencies
  • Foster parent organizations or child welfare groups
  • Homeless shelters
  • Hospitals, healthcare centers, and hospice facilities
  • Mental health centers
  • Public health programs
  • Schools
  • Senior services agencies
  • Substance abuse programs

Nationally, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports strong growth for social workers and related professionals, largely due to growth in the population of elderly adults, increased demand for substance abuse treatment, and increased demand for mental health services.

Occupation Growth through 2026 Median 2018 salary 
Healthcare social worker 16 percent $49,470
Health educator and community health worker 16 percent  $46,080
Social and community service manager 18 percent $65,320 

In Indiana, also reports social workers and related professionals are in demand.

Occupation Flame ranking (out of five) Average salary
Child, family, and school social worker Four $38,940
Community and social service specialists Four$37,650 
Healthcare social worker Four $48,080
Mental health and substance abuse social worker Four $53,940
Social and community service manager Four $56,070


Pre-candidacy for baccalaureate or master's social work program by the Council on Social Work Education's Commission on Accreditation indicates that it has submitted an application to be reviewed for candidacy. A program that has attained pre-candidacy has not yet been reviewed by the Commission on Accreditation or been verified to be in compliance with the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. The Council on Social Work Education does not publicly disclose whether programs have currently attained pre-candidacy status until they are granted candidacy.

Students who enter the program while it is still in pre-candidacy will not be recognized as attending a program in candidacy unless the program attains candidacy in the academic year in which those students enter. The candidacy process is typically a three-year process and there is no guarantee that a program in pre-candidacy will eventually attain candidacy or initial accreditation. Students who enter programs that attain candidacy in or before the academic year in which they begin their program of study will be retroactively recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program once the program attains initial accreditation. Candidacy by the Council on Social Work Education's Commission on Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.

For more information about social work accreditation, go to

For admission information

Office of Undergraduate Admission
(317) 955-6300
(800) 772-7264

For program specifics

Michelle Meer, MSW
Director, BSW Program
(317) 955-6482

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