Educating graduates to be culturally competent scholars and practitioners
who are committed to social justice and social work values and ethics

The University of Iowa School of Social Work strives to develop, disseminate, and integrate excellent and compelling research-based knowledge, practice, and policy--particularly related to children, families, and older adults. We operate from strengths-based perspectives and systems perspectives. We educate our graduates to be culturally competent scholars and practitioners who are committed to social justice and social work values and ethics, and who are prepared to serve in and have a positive impact on a broad range of family-centered and community-based practice settings throughout the State of Iowa and beyond.

We offer a program of professional training accredited by the Council on Social Work Education at the baccalaureate and master's degree levels, aimed at developing effective intervention in multiple systems and using professional social work values and ethics.

Social Work Student Association

The Social Work Student Association provides educational, social, fundraising, and community activities appropriate to the social work profession. For more information or to join the Social Work Student Association, contact the School of Social Work.

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

The B.A. program prepares students for generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. It provides students with a foundation for graduate social work education and lifelong learning.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to:

  • evaluate the world through a social justice lens and act to dismantle structural oppression and social injustice, which are core to the social work profession’s mission;
  • develop the ability to think critically and solve problems affecting the individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities we work with;
  • understand how people and their environments are interconnected;
  • formulate a professional identity based on our social work values and ethics; and
  • develop an awareness of self and understand how the use of self is crucial to effective helping relationships needed to facilitate change.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum, and requirements here.

Minor in Aging and Longevity Studies

The School of Social Work administers the multidisciplinary Aging & Longevity Studies Program, through the College of Liberal Arts. The minor may be earned by undergraduate students in the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Education, Engineering, Nursing, and the Tippie College of Business. Undergraduate students may obtain a minor instead of a certificate by successfully completing 15 semester hours in Aging and Longevity Studies.

Learning Outcomes

Students minoring in Aging and Longevity Studies will:

  • learn more about aging demographics in the US and globally; and
  • enhance another degree by adding a gerontological perspective through knowledge and self-reflection.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum, and requirements here.

Minor in Social Work

Most students who opt to minor in social work do so because they have a related major (for example, sociology, psychology, political science, communications, American studies) and they anticipate working in a helping profession. Sometimes students in what may seem like unrelated fields, such as business or the sciences, see the benefit of learning more about social justice, social welfare and diverse populations in our society.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to:

  • learn more about social justice, social welfare, and diverse populations in society; and
  • enhance another degree by adding a human services / social justice perspective.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum, and requirements here.

Certificate in Aging and Longevity Studies

The Certificate in Aging and Longevity Studies takes a multidisciplinary approach to gerontology. Its coursework has been coordinated and sequenced to provide a broad background in aging for students from varied disciplines. The certificate provides students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to increase their effectiveness in working with an ever-growing population of older adults in the US and globally.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the certificate program develop:

  • knowledge of aging demographics in the US and globally;
  • awareness of personal values about aging;
  • understanding of demographic, health, financial, cognitive, physical and social forces of aging on individuals;
  • recognition of policy and services available for older adults; and
  • identify societal implications of population aging.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum, and requirements here.

Certificate in Critical Cultural Competence

The Certificate in Critical Cultural Competence will help students to develop an appreciation for their own cultural identities and become critically self-reflective in their orientation toward differences in the cultural identities of others as defined by, for example, race, ethnicity, gender, class, age, religion and sexual orientation. The certificate provides students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to increase their effectiveness in relating across cultural differences and in increasingly diverse domestic and international environments.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the certificate program develop:

  • a greater appreciation of cultural differences;
  • increased ability to interact with individuals of diverse backgrounds;
  • a philosophy of treating people fairly, equitably, and thoughtfully;
  • critical self-reflection and awareness of their own culture;
  • ability to assess and understand culture-related privilege and disprivilege; and
  • concern with issues of power and privilege, and social justice.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum, and requirements here.

Certificate in Resilience and Trauma-Informed Perspectives

Preparing students for their professional fields (social work, nursing, education, law, medicine, law enforcement, public health, etc.) with a good understanding of trauma, trauma-sensitive responses, and trauma-informed prevention and care. This certificate is ideal for undergraduate students in any college interested in understanding child health and resilience. 

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the certificate program will be able to:

  • describe Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and their impact;
  • describe why it is essential to strengthen resiliency for survivors to thrive;
  • analyze strategies to decrease or eliminate trauma in society; and
  • describe strategies to prevent ACEs in communities.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum, and requirements here.