Page Header Image

Social Work: The UDC Edge

Located in the heart of the nation’s capitol, the University of the District of Columbia is an affordable and high quality educational option, attentive to your needs and committed to your success. Our program is close-knit, with faculty who serve not only as instructors but mentors.

As a land-grant institution, UDC’s mission of service to the District of Columbia community infuses all aspects of campus life, which makes for a rich and fulfilling academic experience. The social work program emphasizes an appreciation for diversity, better enabling our students to serve D.C.’s urban, multicultural population. We conduct community-based research and provide professional social work services in the community.

Bachelor’s Degree (BSW) in Social Work

Do you want to effect change in your community? Many of us do, but do you want the skills and knowledge that will help you make that change a reality? Maybe it’s simply helping the people around us who need assistance living their day-to-day lives. Maybe it’s broader issues of social justice that affect the community. No matter the focus, you know we can do better as a society. At the University of the District of Columbia, we can equip you to be an agent of that change as a social work professional.

With a bachelor’s degree in social work from UDC, you are ready to tackle the problems in contemporary urban living faced by individuals and families across the District, the region and beyond. Whether you’re just out of high school or are mid-career seeking advancement or a new challenge, we will empower you to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.

Learning takes place both in and out of the classroom, including research opportunities, service learning experiences, social justice and other outreach activities and a required internship field program during senior year.

The program is accredited at the undergraduate level by the Council on Social Work Education.


Curriculum and Requirements in the UDC Social Work Program

You must complete 120 credit hours to earn the bachelor’s degree in social work, including 51 credits of mandatory professional foundation coursework in the areas below:

  • Critical Thinking in Social Work
  • Social Welfare Policy and Services
  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment
  • Social Work Practice
  • Social Work Research and Statistics
  • Social Work Field Practicum
  • Specialized practice courses

Students take required practicum courses under the supervision of an experienced professional social worker in order to obtain field experience working with key populations in urban communities, including black families, the aged, juveniles, children and families, as well as with[m1]  organizational systems such as protective services, substance abuse services, probation, family service settings, mental health settings, and foster care services, among others. 

Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

Please click here to download document.

Student Organizations and Activities in the UDC Social Work Program

The Social Work Association hosts several community service events, such as food drives and clothing drives, and campus events such as film screenings and discussions. The group also organizes activities every March for National Social Work Month, advocating for social work as a profession and taking on service projects in the community.

A campus chapter of the Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society, Nu Kappa, inducts eligible members annually.

Faculty Spotlight: UDC Social Work Program

Dr. Janet  Burton, director of the Social Work Program, studies aging and social work education.  She is currently researching the factors associated with successful aging as perceived by African American women in caregiving roles.  She is also a partner on a study led by social work colleagues at North Carolina Central exploring how millennial social work students confront the teaching/learning enterprise and identify strategies to enhance their learning. In addition, Dr. Burton conducts program evaluations for community-based service systems and partners with other UDC personnel on projects related to aging and action research.

Our program draws its instructors from a professionally diverse pool of adjunct faculty and visiting professors who either have a master’s degree in social work (MSW), a doctorate in social work or are currently are working on their doctoral dissertations. Most adjuncts have the MSW and more than 10 years or more of experience in the field.


Career Pathways and Prospects

With a bachelor’s degree in social work from UDC, you are prepared to become a social work generalist or to pursue graduate study.  Major career pathways in the field include: 

  • Child and family services
  • Child protective services
  • Mental health
  • Criminal justice
  • Juvenile justice
  • Gerontology
  • Substance abuse services
  • Public schools

Graduates report that our program has played an important role in their success at advanced levels of study. A UDC graduate who went on to receive a master’s degree in social work from Howard University in May 2012 returned to campus to thank the UDC social work faculty for all their hard work, indicating that “the professors here gave me an outstanding foundation.” 

Contact info:

Dr. Janet Burton, Program Director
E: | T: 202.274.5719 | F: 202.274.5589