Advisors: Carol Hurst and Deanna Durham
Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Semester Hours: 61

The mission of the Social Work program at Eastern Mennonite University is to: 

Program goals include:

  1. Equipping students with generalist social work knowledge, values, and skills required for entry-level social work practice and/or graduate study.
  2. Providing rigorous curriculum and engagement with community learning and experiential field education.
  3. Mentoring students to engage with diverse individuals, families, communities, and organizations with self-awareness, ethical boundaries, and cultural humility.
  4. Supporting students in collaborating with diverse clients on micro, mezzo, and macro levels through respectful relationships that rebuild lives and communities and create hope for a positive future on earth.

Graduates are prepared for generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities within the context of various human service organizations.  The EMU social work program's emphasis on social justice and cross-cultural learning in domestic and international venues is distinctive. The social work major is a professional degree program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the standard-setting association for social work degree programs in the United States. Graduates qualify for Baccalaureate in Social Work (BSW) licensure exams.   Graduates may also pursue graduate degrees in social work including advanced standing admission to CSWE accredited masters’ in social work programs to finish an MSW degree on an accelerated basis.

Professional social work practice requires grounding in the core values of the social work profession: service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence, with attention to human rights and the alleviation of poverty.  Throughout the curriculum students grow in self-awareness of their own family backgrounds and their own cognitive and affective responses to trauma, injustice, and marginalization of persons.  Ethical boundaries and self-care are emphasized as students learn to provide compassionate presence and healing care to others. Practical service learning, community engagement, language study, and cross-cultural experience build capacity to care competently for diverse populations.

The required curriculum includes course sequences in the discipline's focus areas including Human Behavior and Social Environment (HBSE), policy, and practice. HBSE courses provide social scientific perspectives of patterns of human behavior. Policy courses focus on understanding organizations and government and legislative advocacy on behalf of vulnerable populations and social programs. Practice courses provide structured skills practice at the micro or direct one-to-one interpersonal level, at the mezzo or group and family interpersonal level, and at the macro or large system level requiring community and organizational leadership skills.  Students can develop knowledge in particular interest areas through class projects, choice of their elective social work topics course, and through selection of field practicum setting.

Students must apply for formal admission into the social work program after the initial social work courses.  Transfer students apply to the program after their first semester in the social work major at EMU. The social work program does not grant credit for life experience or previous work experience. Admission to and continuation in the social work program is contingent upon academic performance (a minimum of C in all social work/sociology courses required in the major and a minimum overall GPA of 2.5) as well as personal qualities essential for working with people such as a value orientation consistent with the profession, compassionate sensitivity towards others, self-awareness, and a sense of personal and global responsibility.  Students must demonstrate capacity to meet professional standards through conscientious timely attendance and follow-through in all coursework, as well as maintenance of a minimum 2.5 overall GPA, to be accepted into a practicum placement.

Foundation Requirements (15 SH)

Human Behavior & Social Environment (HBSE) Courses (14 SH)

Policy Courses (8 SH)

Practice Courses (24 SH)