Social Work

Social workers help meet the basic human needs of all people and empower those who are vulnerable, oppressed or living in poverty. A historic and defining feature of social work is the profession’s dual focus on the individual in a social context and the betterment of society. In addition, social workers are able to provide a wide array of mental health services to assess, treat, and prevent psychological, behavioral, emotional, and social problems in different environments.

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Get involved in ASSW! I knew I wanted to be a social worker before ASSW, but I really began to understand and love my future profession through my involvement.

Nicole Trautsch | Social Work Student


Comprehensive major (no minor required)
  • Social Work - Liberal Arts


  • Gerontology


  • Child Welfare
  • Gerontology

Contact Info

Leah Olson-McBride, Ph.D., MSW, Social Work
Human Sciences and Services 253
239 Water Street

Department website

Prepared for success

The curriculum is designed to prepare you for entry-level professional social work and graduate study. Graduates of our social work degree are eligible for certification as social workers in the State of Wisconsin. The accredited BSW degree from UW-Eau Claire also permits advanced standing of as many as half the credits needed to obtain a master of social work degree.

Typical positions held by our graduates include county social services, hospitals, schools, mental health facilities, child and family welfare agencies, nursing care facilities, probation and parole offices, and domestic violence shelters.

Where are our grads?

  • Social Worker, Burnett County Department of Human Services, Spooner, WI
  • Youth and Family Director, YMCA, Milwaukee, WI
  • Graduate Student, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI
  • Children’s Service Society, Eau Claire, WI
  • Americorps, Sitka, AL
  • Peace Corps

Why UW-Eau Claire


Council on Social Work Education

Experiential Learning

Students will take Social Work 290: Human Rights and Global Justice, which involves completing 30 hours of volunteer service in a social service agency to help them determine their interest in social work as a career. In their senior year, students complete a professional internship that involves working in a social service agency to develop the skills necessary to help others solve personal and environmental problems.


Unique to UW-Eau Claire are the internship and cultural immersion programs. Students can do internships in South Africa and in area correctional facilities, schools, adoption agencies, and child welfare settings. One example of an immersion trip opportunity is the Civil Rights Pilgrimage, which takes students to the South to visit historic sites that played an important role in the Civil Rights movement. In addition our student organizations are extraordinarily active, and our engagement in community programs is a win-win for the students in the program and the people of the Chippewa Valley.


The major requires 432 internship hours, as well as 30 hours of service learning. The internships provide students with valuable work experience at homeless shelters, government agencies, community correction agencies, Girl Scouts, and specialized schools.

Research Opportunities

Students conduct research with faculty in both local and faraway places. Students have worked in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, South Africa and Guatemala, and locally with correctional facilities and the Eau Claire Area Hmong Mutual Assistance Association.

Innovative Facilities

Students have access to computers campus wide, a special resource reading room and well-equipped laboratories. There are also rooms with one-way glass and modern digital equipment for monitoring and improving students’ interpersonal and interviewing skills.

Course Work / Pre-Professional Courses

In addition to a variety of general education courses in the natural sciences, social sciences, communications and humanities, social work majors are required to take the following:

  • Introduction to Social Work
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Human Rights and Global Justice
  • Generalist Social Work Practice with Individuals
  • Methods of Social Work Research
  • Human Behavior and Social Environment
  • Social Welfare Policies and Programs
  • Culturally Competent Practice
  • Generalist Social Work Practice with Groups/Families
  • Generalist Social Work Practice with Communities/Organizations
  • Social Work Internship

Special Admission Guidelines

Students must complete thirty credit hours including SW 100, SW 290, and PSYC 100 as well as meet an overall GPA requirement of 2.50 or above. 

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Degree Plans
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