College of Social Work

Social Work


Job Growth

compared to other occupations


Social Workers

serving as elected officials in national, state, and local offices



added by 2022

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Diane Loeffler headshot

Diane Loeffler, PhD, MSW

Director of Undergraduate Studies

College of Social Work

College of Social Work

Program website


  • BASW
Other programs from the College of Social Work:

As the only helping profession that emphasizes both human well-being and social justice, social workers strive to empower others to make the changes they desire in their lives and advocate to bring about social change on both individual and community levels. Social workers help communities provide maximum equality of opportunity for all; help vulnerable individuals learn to cope more effectively with their problems and needs; and seek continually to strengthen and improve the institutional systems responsible for education, justice, health, business, labor, and welfare, so that people are better served. Social workers impact all walks of life--from those who work with and advocate for the elderly, to those who work in schools with young learners.

Career Opportunities in Social Work

YOU can make a difference!

  • Administration
  • Adoption
  • Advocacy
  • Child Welfare
  • Community Outreach
  • Counselor
  • Criminal Justice
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Education
  • Foster Care
  • Gerontology
  • Immigrants and Refugees
  • International Social Work
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Medical Social Worker
  • Mental Health Case Worker
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Public Health Outreach
  • School Social Worker
  • Substance Abuse
  • Poverty
  • Public Policy
  • Veterans and Military Families
Daniel Beasley, social work student
I decided social work was the field for me because I learned early on how versatile and flexible my job opportunities would be if I completed my degree in this field. I have been humbled by the support of my peers and faculty and the collaboration and teamwork towards a shared goal of having an impact on our world.

Daniel Beasley, BASW Student

Class of 2019

Professional Social Work Program

Incoming freshmen may select pre-Social Work or undeclared/exploratory studies in Social Work as a major. Any current UK student may change their major to pre-Social Work or undeclared/exploratory studies in Social Work during major change windows. Students may drop off major change forms in the drop box beside POT 607. Students are encouraged to meet with a Social Work academic advisor to discuss potential schedule changes and update their gradution plan.

Pre-Social Work students usually apply to the professional program during their sophomore year. To be eligible to apply for the BASW program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • An overall GPA of 2.5 or higher on all college work
  • A grade of B or better in both SW 124 and SW 222, or a grade of B or better in SW 322 (or equivalent)
  • A passing grade in PSY 100, SOC 101, BIO 103, and PS 101
  • Submission of essay

Review full application instructions here.

Field Education

One of the most important and exciting components of social work education is the field practicum. The Field Education practicum ensures students learn to integrate and apply social work values, knowledge, skills, and practice behaviors in a positive learning environment. Students’ high level of involvement in their own learning creates collaborative relationships that help them grow professionally and see practice in action. The College of Social Work partners with over 200 public and non-profit organizations across central and Eastern Kentucky. BASW students earn 13 credit hours completing over 475 hours in agency settings across two practicums within the social work curriculum. As the signature pedagogy of social work education, field education provides students a real world opportunity to begin to develop their professional identity.

4+1 = MSW

Advanced Standing Master of Social Work Program

Students that have completed a bachelor’s degree of social work within the last 5 years may be eligible to apply for the Advanced Standing Master of Social Work (MSW) program. The Advanced Standing MSW program consists of 30 hours, compared to the regular 60 hour MSW program. To be eligible to apply for Advanced Standing, applicants must have received their BASW or BSW from a CSWE accredited program within the last 5 years and present Grade Point Averages (GPA) at or above the following minimums:

Undergraduate GPA 3.0
Social Work GPA 3.5
Graduate GPA (if applicable) 3.0

Advanced Standing may be completed full-time, part-time, hybrid, or online.

Candidates who are not admitted to Advanced Standing usually can be automatically considered for the Regular 60-credit program. For more information, click here.

Historical Major Sheets

2020-2021 Major Sheet

Imagine Your Future

Social and Community Service Managers

Social and community service managers coordinate and supervise programs and organizations that support public well-being.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary


per year in 2018

Number of Jobs


in 2018

10 Year Job Outlook


new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Social and community service managers work for nonprofit organizations, for-profit social service companies, and government agencies. Most work full time.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Enhancing Your Time at UK

There are countless ways to “see blue.” on campus, but the best way to maximize your journey at the University of Kentucky is by engaging in an Education Abroad opportunity.

This will allow you to gain a global perspective and enhance future employability. As you take the first step towards investing in your future, we encourage you to take advantage of all the opportunities UK has to offer. Take a look at some of the options UK Education Abroad & Exchanges office suggests to complement your major! #SeeBlueAbroad

View Major Advising Page


Diane Loeffler headshot

Diane Loeffler, PhD, MSW

Director of Undergraduate Studies

College of Social Work

College of Social Work


Other programs from the College of Social Work: