Social Work: The UDC Edge

Located in the heart of the nation’s capital, the University of the District of Columbia is an affordable and high quality educational option, attentive to your needs and committed to your success.

As a land-grant institution, part of UDC’s mission is to build a community of leaders. The Social Work Program accomplishes this mission through assisting our students to demonstrate professional integrity and develop leadership skills. The primary aim is to prepare entry level professional social work generalists with the knowledge and skills required for practice with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations. Upon graduation, our students are prepared to lead and serve D.C.’s urban, multicultural population. The Social Work Program is close-knit, with faculty who serve as both instructors and mentors. We emphasize an appreciation for diversity and the unique lived experience of the residents of the District of Columbia.

Bachelor’s Degree (BSW) in Social Work

Do you want to effect change in your community, but lack the skills and knowledge that will help you make that change a reality?  Are you interested in issues such as child welfare, mental health, criminal justice or broader issues of social justice and human rights that effect children, families, and communities? 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, our faculty will empower you to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.

Student learning takes place both in and out of the classroom, including research opportunities, service learning experiences, social justice and other outreach activities.

The senior year practicum experience provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their ability to apply classroom learning to work with the aged, children, adolescents, families and key populations in urban communities, including, but not limited to, black families, those in poverty, and other vulnerable populations along with organizational systems such as child and adult protective services, and criminal and juvenile justice systems, substance abuse services, department of probation and parole, family service settings, mental health settings, and foster care services.

Our program comprises five faculty members each with a varied set of knowledge, skills and experience that help meet the needs our of our diverse student population.

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


Curriculum and Requirements in the UDC Social Work Program

Program of Study

Students 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

To view the complete list of Social Work Program requirements, click here.

Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

Please click here to download document.

Expected Educational Outcomes
The Social Work Program prepares its graduates for generalist social work practice at the BSW level through mastery of the Council on Social Work Education’s core competencies listed below.   Students are expected to demonstrate beginning level skill in ten core competencies:

  1.  Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly
  2.  Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
  3.  Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments
  4.  Engage in diversity and difference in practice
  5.  Advance human rights and social and economic justice
  6.  Engage in research-informed practice and practice informed research
  7.  Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment
  8.  Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services
  9. Respond to contexts that shape practice
  10.  Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Student Organizations and Activities in the UDC Social Work Program

The Social Work Association is a student led organization whose primary goal is to foster professional development and positive change among students. Student participation in professional social work events is encouraged including advocacy projects that educate others about the profession or that provide service to the community. The Association plans and executes community service events such as film screenings and discussions. Election of organizational officers is held annually.

The National Social Work Honor Society, Phi Alpha, aims to foster closer bonds and promote standards of excellence in scholarship and achievement among social work students. The organization emphasizes humanitarian goals and ideals. At UDC, the Nu Kappa chapter of the National Honor Society for Social Work aims to carry out the mission through excellence in service to school and community. The Nu Kappa chapter inducts eligible members annually.

Apply to Phi Alpha Honor Society

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

Register with Firebird Jobs to learn about job opportunities in social work

UDC Career Services

Contact info:

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