The BA in Social Work program is only offered on the main University of Iowa campus in Iowa City.

We are transitioning to a direct admission process.  Students completing the University of Iowa’s application in fall 2024 to enroll in 2025, will be able to declare a social work major or transfer in as a social work major at the time of admission to the UI, or at any point after admission.

A social work major student must meet the criteria to enroll in the professional core social work courses.

The following criteria will be published in the UI catalog during June 2024. To enroll in the professional core social work courses, you must have successfully completed the following courses with a C or above:

  • SSW1022 Social Justice and Social Welfare in the U.S. or approved Intro to Social Work course
  • PSY1001 or transfer equivalent
  • SOC1010 or transfer equivalent

And meet these requirements:

  • 2.0 G.P.A. minimum overall
  • Completion of 45 s.h. or more
  • Submits a signed Professional Social Work Agreement form (signed after criteria is met).

When you have completed the above requirements, you will submit a signed Professional Social Work Agreement form. In it, you are asked to share your professional goals/interests, and also includes an affirmation of expectations in the professional coursework, which will explain the evaluation of Core Competencies and academic and professional behavior expectations.

Questions? Please contact

The time between fall 2023 – spring 2024 is a transition year. We have the following exceptions for the two pre-requisites: PSY1001 and SOC1010.

To enroll in the professional core social work courses in fall 2024, you may be enrolled in PSY1001 and/or SOC1010 while enrolled in the fall professional core social work courses.

You must achieve a passing grade in PSY1001 and SOC1010 to complete the major.

Students planning to enroll in professional core courses in fall 2025 and after, will be required to meet all of the criteria listed above.

  • SSW:3840 Human Behavior in the Social Environment - 4 s.h.
  • SSW:3841 Fundamentals of Social Work Practice 3 s.h.
  • SSW:3842 Interpersonal Skills Laboratory – 2 s.h.
  • SSW:3844 Introduction to Social Work Research – 4 s.h.
  • SSW:3845 Social Work Processes – 4 s.h.
  • SSW:3847 Discrimination Oppression and Diversity - 3 s.h.
  • SSW:4189 BA Generalist Practicum Seminar – 1 s.h.
  • SSW:4193 BA Generalist Practicum – 8 – 11 s.h.
  • SSW:4843 Social Welfare Policy and Practice – 3 s.h.

A student must meet all of the criteria before enrolling in the professional core social work courses.  These courses are taken in a structured sequence and start in the fall semester.

The professional core social work courses can be completed in:

  • 2 years – starting your junior year (~60 s.h.); or
  • 1 year (3 semesters – fall, spring, and summer) – starting your senior (~90+ s.h.) year.

  • POLI:1100 Intro to American Politics or  – 3 s.h. (or transfer equivalent)

The social work major also requires students to complete 12 s.h. of electives. A minimum of 6 s.h. of electives in SSW; the remaining 6 s.h. in SSW or in another approved discipline.

According to NAMI, clinical social workers are trained to evaluate a person’s mental health and use therapeutic techniques based on specific training programs. A master’s degree in social work (MSW) and licensure are required.

Earning your BA in Social Work prepares you for graduate studies. With a BA in Social Work, you can earn your MSW at UI in 36 s.h. Saving you time and tuition.

An MSW provides greater flexibility (and better pay) for future employment options.

View our Social Work Jobs posting webpage to see current employment opportunities.

Two certificates are housed in the School of Social Work:

Students who are working on a minor or a certificate may apply up to 6 s.h. toward their social work major elective requirement.

The University of Iowa offers countless other certificates that you can weave into your study plan.

Our Aging and Longevity Studies Program certificate is being discontinued after spring 2024. You may consider minoring in Aging and Longevity Studies

Between fall 2023 through summer 2024, the School of Social Work (SSW) will assist students in changing their major to Social Work after the SSW receives the student’s signed Acceptance to Complete the Major Agreement form.

Questions?  Contact

Students must maintain a 2.0 in the major to graduate with the BA in Social Work major. 

Current UI students with a declared major of “social work interest”, will be assisted by the School of Social Work to have their major changed to “Social Work” as of fall 2024.

Questions? Contact

Yes, the UI BA in Social Work program has been continually accredited since 1974.

Students complete a practicum in their final semester (spring or summer).  Students work with their practicum supervisor to create their learning plan and set their schedule.

Have questions? See contact info here.

The BA Generalist Practicum is 400 hours.

If BA Generalist Practicum is in:

  • Spring session, plan to spend approximately 27 hours per week to complete.
  • Summer session, plan to spend approximately 34 hours per week to complete. Summer session is shorter, it’s only 12 weeks.

Have questions? Contact info here.

There are a variety of resources to assist you, including Director of Practicum Education, Practicum Administrator program coordinators, and advisors.

All students will get access to a database “IPT” to search for agencies in your region that are seeking or have previously had a BA practicum student. The Director of Practicum will conduct information sessions regarding the planning process.

Planning ahead is important. We recommend communicating with your work supervisor/employer early to establish expectations and begin conversations about future work schedules. A flexible work schedule is ideal.

Visit Awards and Scholarships to view scholarships and other funding opportunities for currently enrolled social work students.

The following information is shared by our national professional organization, the National Association of Social Workers. If you want to learn more about social work as a career, please visit their informative website.

“The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic and complex needs of all people, with a particular focus on those who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty."

Social work is different from other professions because we focus both on the person and their environment. Social workers deal with the external factors that impact a person’s situation and outlook. And we create opportunities for assessment and intervention, to help clients and communities cope effective with their reality and change that reality when necessary. Social workers help clients deal not only with how they feel about a situation but also with what they can do about it.

In thousands of ways, social workers help people of every age and background, all across the country. The most well-known aspect of the social work profession is providing direct services or therapy directly to clients. We help guide people to critical resources and counsel them on life-changing decisions. We also advocate for change to improve social conditions and strengthen the social net.”

We invite you to visit our website for more information.

Transfer students must also meet all of the criteria before enrolling in the professional core social work courses.   

The professional core social work courses can be completed in:

  • 2 years – starting your junior year (~60 s.h.); or
  • 1 year (3 semesters – fall, spring and summer) – starting your senior (~90+ s.h.) year.

We do not offer an online BA in Social Work program.  The professional core social work courses are offered in classrooms on campus in Iowa City.

The professional core social work courses take place during daytime and evening hours; students must be able to do a combination of both.