College of Letters & Sciences
2017 Social Work Banner

Social Work

Contact Information

Sarah Hessenauer
MSW Program Coordinator & Associate Professor
Phone: 262-472-1203
Location: Laurentide Hall 5201
Deanna Guthrie
BSW Program Coordinator & Assistant Professor
Phone: 262-472-1881
Location: Laurentide Hall 5214
Lori Trimble
Academic Department Associate 
Phone: 262-472-1137
Location: Laurentide Hall 5201

Social Work

There is perhaps no more selfless act than dedicating your life and career to improving the lives of those around you as a professional specializing in social work.

The Department of Social Work offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in social work, both of which provide a solid liberal arts foundation. The major consists of 37 credit hours of concentrated studies in social work and concludes with an in-depth field placement experience with a community agency. The program is quite diverse with its almost 500 students representing a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, ages, genders, religions, physical disabilities, and sexual orientations.

Beginning 2018-2019, the Department of Social Work will also offer a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. The MSW program accepts tradition and advanced standing students who want to advance their careers in social work in one of our concentration areas of: addictions with a mental health focus, military, or physical disabilities. Traditional students will be expected to complete 58 graduate credits and advanced standing students are expected to complete 32 graduate credits, including field experience (not including prerequisites). MSW courses are held during daytime, evenings, online and during summers to accommodate the needs of working professionals.

Faculty in the department bring to the classroom considerable experience in social work practice, teaching, and research.

Hands-on Learning
Students connect classroom theory with practical application through a required field placement practicum. This one or two-semester hands-on experience places students in community agencies where they are supervised by practicing social workers. Students learn to work with actual clients and fellow professionals, helping them make a smooth transition from college to professional employment.

Student Organizations
As one of the largest and most active student organizations on campus, the Social Work Student Organization (SWSO) is run by students with full faculty support. Students participate in social and educational events and community projects while developing organizational skills. This year is SWSO's 40th anniversary. SWSO is one of four campus organization to earn the designation Organization of Excellence for 2017-2018.

The UW-Whitewater Social Work program is proud to have a chapter of  Phi Alpha, the Honor Society for Social Work.  Phi Alpha provides a closer bond among students of social work and promotes humanitarian goals and ideas. Phi Alpha fosters high standards of education for social workers and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work. The Sigma Tau Chapter of Phi Alpha was established at UWW in 2011, and became an official campus organization in 2016-2017.

Updated 6/30/2017

Professional Program Application

Students may declare a Social Work major at any time. However, entry into the Social Work Professional Training Program is by application only and students must be formally admitted into the professional training program before they may enroll in SOCWORK 371. The professional training admission criteria include: completion of 40 or more college credits; a combined cumulative GPA of 2.50* (including all UW-W and transfer course grades); completion of GENED 130 or PSYCH 211; completion of SOCWORK 102** with a grade of C or better; concurrent enrollment or completion of SOCWORK 101 and SOCWORK 311, both with grades of C or better.

*If your GPA is below a 2.5, you may still apply, but you will need to indicate why your grade point is below a 2.5 and what you will do to improve it.

**If you are a concurrently taking SOCWORK 102, 101, and 311 the semester before you intend to take SOCWORK 371, please do not wait until you complete 102 to apply. This is not a common occurrence, but does happen with transfer students or students who declare a social work major later in their college careers.

Note: This is a new requirement and only applies to students whose AARs show "Admission to the Social Work Major" under the "Milestones: Social Work" section. See images below.

If you meet the prerequisites above and have the milestone on your AAR, click here to apply. You should apply at least two weeks before your designated priority registration time. You will receive an email about your application (acceptance/rejection) typically within a 2 week period, but in the summer it may be longer. 

Sample Milestone PDF View of AAR:

Professional Training Program AAR Milestone PDF View

Sample Milestone WINS View of AAR:

Professional Training Program AAR Milestone WINS View