Social workers connect vulnerable and disadvantaged people with essential welfare systems, assistance programs, and resources.

Their help reaches individuals, families, and community groups struggling with disabilities, mental health concerns, addiction, violence, or trauma. Social workers also help marginalized youth, veterans, the elderly, incarcerated individuals, and unhoused, immigrant, or refugee communities.

With a social work degree, you’ll advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice. You’ll identify diverse community groups and how their identities impact social experiences. You’ll also assess and engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities while developing policy and conducting research.

Social Work Degree at King’s

We prepare our students to serve others in an ethical and holistic approach.

Our faculty are experienced leaders in their respected fields, bringing the knowledge, values, and ethical standards necessary to serve future clients and communities. Through a foundation in the liberal arts and our social work curriculum, you will expand your in-person learning with service learning and experiential education. You will integrate theory and skill at human services and social change organizations locally, regionally, and nationally with innovative field, practicum, and internship courses offered through our Shoval Center for Community Engagement and Learning and our Office of Career Planning.

Housed within the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department, this program also benefits from academic partnerships with the College’s psychology, education, law, political science, economics, and health sciences departments. Students earning a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work can also earn a minor in psychology through an additional 12 credits and/or a minor in sociology through an additional 6 credits.

Compatible Majors and Minors

Social Work Career Opportunities

What can you do with a social work degree?

Social workers practice in a broad variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, public agencies, the justice system, and private practice. Many of our alumni found inspiring careers after graduating or enrolled in social work, psychology, or counseling graduate programs.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for social work careers is currently $55,390, and overall employment is projected to grow 7% percent from 2022 to 2031, which is faster than the average for all occupations. In fact, there will be about 63,800 social work openings each year as current professionals transfer to different occupations or retire.

Social Work Degree Requirements

View a comprehensive list of social work education requirements here.

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS (18 COURSES – 55 CREDITS)

Social work foundations (34 credits):

  • SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology (3)
  • PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology (3)
  • SW 255 Principles of Social Work (3)
  • ENGL 222 Professional Writing for Social Services (3)
  • SOC 251 Probability and Statistics in Social Science (3)
  • SOC 252/252L Research Methods in Social & Behavioral Science/Lab (4)
  • SW 350 Social Welfare Policy (3) SOC 351 Sociology of Family & Marriage (3)
  • PSYC 355 Developmental Psychology (3)
  • SW 450 Counseling Modalities in Justice Settings (3)
  • SW 493 Senior Capstone (3)

Social diversity elective (3 credits)

Choose one course from SOC 341-345.

Practicum (12 credits)

  • SW 420 Juvenile Diversion (3)
  • SW 497-499 Social Work Practicum I, II, and III (9)
  • Six (6) credits of SW electives

MINOR REQUIREMENTS (6 COURSES – 18 CREDITS)

SW 255 Principles of Social Work (3)

Social science foundations – choose one (3 credits):

  • SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology (3)
  • PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology (3)

Social work foundations – choose two (6 credits):

  • PSYC 355 Developmental Psychology (3)
  • SOC 225 Social Psychology (3)
  • SOC 355 Sociology of Mental Health (3)
  • SW 350 Social Welfare Policy (3)
  • SW 360 Child Welfare Services (3)
  • SW 450 Counseling Modalities in Justice Settings (3)

Social work topics – choose two (6 credits):

  • SOC 351 Sociology of the Family (3)
  • SOC 367 Sociology of Aging (3)
  • SOC 373 Juvenile Delinquency (3)
  • SW 312 Child Abuse (3)
  • SW 315 Primary & Secondary Trauma (3)
  • SW 435 Victimology (3)

Course Descriptions

View a comprehensive list of all social work degree requirements here.

SW 255 – Principles Of Social Work (3 credits)

A survey of Social Work that considers the religious, philosophical, and historical foundations of the social welfare institution in American society. There is a special focus on the role of government in social work as well as the development of the profession. The course is designed to develop in students a commitment to social responsibility, as well as an enhanced awareness of the personal and professional values critical to a career in the field. An important part of this course involves service learning through volunteer work at a social work agency. Cross-listed as SOC 255.

SW 312 – Child Abuse (3 credits)

This course covers the history of child abuse. Emphasis is placed on the current problem, nature, and effects of abuse, how child molesters operate, and legal and social responses to the problem. Prerequisite: SOC 101, PSYC 101, or SW 255. Cross-listed as CJ 312.

SW 315 – Primary & Secondary Trauma in the Helping Professions (3 credits)

This curriculum will identify and explore primary and secondary trauma in the helping professions. Students who take this course will be able to identify common terms associated with workplace burnout and traumatic stress and to recognize this stress as an occupational hazard. Through the exploration of personal strengths, healthy cognitive thinking styles, support systems, and mindfulness techniques, strategies to enhance resilience will be explored. This course will also explore how organizations can build a trauma informed culture to minimize the effects of professional trauma and the retraumatization of employees. Trauma informed coaching principles will be reviewed, as will the role of organizational culture in mitigating or enhancing traumatic stress; staff, supervisor, and administrator responsibilities in managing traumatic stress will be identified and explored. Prerequisites: SOC 101, PSYC 101, or consent of the instructor.

SW 350 – Social Welfare Policy (3 credits)

An examination of social welfare programs in various fields of practice, such as child welfare, mental health, juvenile corrections, income maintenance, and others. The political and economic factors that influence social policy and the provision of social services are studied, as are specific social problems and the services intended to address them. The course emphasizes the legitimate role and responsibility of government in providing efficient and humane ways of meeting human needs. An important part of this course involves service learning through volunteer work at a social work agency. Prerequisites: SOC 101, PSYC 101, or consent of the instructor. Cross-listed as SOC 355.

SW 352 – Family Social Work (3 credits)

This course expands upon SOC 351, Sociology of the Family. Part II examines dating and intimacy; parenting and child-care; divisions of power and labor in families; current issues such as sexual orientation, divorce, stepfamilies, teen childbirth, and family violence; and policies and programs that respond to these issues. Prerequisites: SOC 351 or consent of the instructor.

SW 355 – Sociology of Mental Health (3 credits)

A survey of mental health issues, the history of mental illness treatment (with special emphasis on precedents for today), its various diagnostic classifications, the types of interventions, and relevant agencies. There will be a special focus on government supported agencies, the role of community mental health centers. An important part of this course involves service learning through volunteer work at a social work agency. Prerequisites: SOC 101, PSYC 101, or consent of the instructor. Cross-listed as SOC 355.

SW 360 – Child Welfare Services (3 credits)

A survey of the child welfare system, foster care, adoptions, child abuse and neglect, school social services, institutional care, and juvenile probation. To help focus the course on current issues, each student will investigate a child welfare agency and give an oral presentation. There will also be news analyses of current events related to child welfare. An important part of this course involves service learning through volunteer work at a social work agency. Prerequisites: SOC 101 or consent of the instructor. Cross-listed as SOC 360.

SW 367 – Sociology of Aging (3 credits)

Exploration of aging as a biological, psychological, and sociological event. Emphasis on aging as a social problem and examination of problematic conditions such as health, finances, the transition into retirement, individual adaptation to aging, and the society’s current inconsistent responses to aging. Prerequisites: SOC 101 or consent of the instructor. Cross-listed as SOC 367.

SW 420 – Juvenile Diversion I (3 credits)

This interdisciplinary team-taught course will examine issues surrounding juveniles and the juvenile justice system. Part I will encompass an overview of the juvenile diversion programs specifically addressing psychological and sociological developmental issues and how diversion techniques and mentoring may influence positive outcomes. Prerequisites: SOC 101 or PSYC 101. Cross-listed as SOC 420 and PSYC 420.

SW 421 – Juvenile Diversion II (3 credits)

This interdisciplinary team-taught course will examine issues surrounding juveniles and the juvenile justice system. Part II will focus on developing those skills essential to establishing a mentoring relationship with clients. Assessing and evaluating client needs, interviewing skills, rapport building will be part of the curriculum for this course. Students will also be required to lead a mentoring session during the semester and learn what is necessary to lead and direct a diverse group of mentors and mentees. Prerequisite: SW 420 and junior/senior standing in the Social Work major.

SW 435 – Victimology (3 credits)

This course views crime from the victim’s perspective. Various types of victimization are discussed along with an analysis of the putative victim. The legal rights of the victim and the victim’s relationship with the criminal justice system are explored through first person accounts and current legislation. The student leaves this course with an indepth understanding of what it means to be a true victim, as well as the criminal justice system’s responsibility to that victim. Prerequisites: SOC 101, CJ 110, or consent of the instructor. Cross-listed as CJ 435.

SW 450 – Counseling modalities in Justice Settings (3 credits)

The course examines various counseling modalities and associated techniques in social justice settings. Topics include a description of practice environments in the fields of criminal justice, adult social services, child welfare, and juvenile justice, particularly with respect to the emergent community and restorative justice models. Prerequisites: SOC 101 or consent of the instructor. Cross-listed as SOC 450.

SW 480-489 – Special Topics in Social Work (3 credits)

Offered on demand. An in-depth consideration of current topics in social work not otherwise covered by other course offerings in the department. Offered as needed according to instructor.

SW 493 – Senior Capstone (3 credits)

For this course, students develop, research, and write a capstone paper that comprehensively explores an issue or phenomenon of central relevance to social work policy or practice, and applies the principles and methods of the discipline. Required of all seniors. Prerequisites: senior standing.

SW 497/498/499 – Social Work Practicum I / II / III (3 credits)

A professional practice experience that enables the student to integrate and apply knowledge, values, ethics, and skills gained through the Social Work curriculum. The student provides direct social work services in a community social agency under supervision of a professional social worker. Prerequisites: must have (1) completed 60 college credits, (2) a minimum overall 2.25 G.P.A., (3) obtained the written approval of the academic advisor, (4) incurred no serious student conduct violations, and (5) successfully completed a pre-screening meeting with the Office of Career Planning.

Program Contacts

Bridget McKenney Costello, Ph.D., CIP
Chair, Criminal Justice and Sociology
bridgetcostello@kings.edu
Lou Palmeri, M.S.W.
Program Coordinator
louispalmeri@kings.edu
The Social Work program is affiliated with the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology; for more information about our faculty, see Criminal Justice or Sociology degree pages.

Social Work Major Resources