There has never been a better time, or a greater need, for professionals educated in Social Work. In troubling and traumatic times, social workers help ameliorate harm by counseling individuals and families, helping people navigate complicated systems and troubled cultural waters, and problem-solving to make people’s lives better.

Social workers are front-line workers in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, prisons and criminal justice systems, homeless shelters, hospices, and human services—arguably, all of the places where both the impact of the global pandemic and the effects of systemic racism have been most painful.

Social Work has evolved so much over time. Far beyond the classic notion of a social worker, our graduates are also elected officials, journalists, department heads, and CEOs. They lead nonprofit organizations, schools, and task forces. They organize within their communities to address inequities, collaborating across disciplines and organizations to build coalitions and create systemic solutions that make life better for everyone—especially those most vulnerable populations of people who are marginalized and excluded, whether by outdated or Draconian policies or by overt White Supremacy and bigotry.

That’s what we mean when we say we are “making social justice work.”

At Iowa, your Social Work education—whether at the bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral level—will equip you with tools to help people across systems levels (individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, nations) through public policy. 

You will have the ability to specialize your studies to focus on issues you care most about, while earning a versatile degree that empowers you to follow your interests (and meet the needs you see in the world around you) as your career progresses.

You will earn a degree with a clear path to professional licensure (MSW in 50 states, BSW in 41 states) in a field that is projected to grow over the next 20 years.

You will enter a profession that has at its core a universal Code of Ethics emphasizing Service, Social Justice, Dignity and Worth of the Person, Human Relationships, Integrity, and Competence. And your colleagues in your chosen career will also understand and embrace those principles.

Welcome to Social Work.


To get a better idea of what Social Work is like in Iowa, check out these videos from NASW (National Association of Social Workers):


NASW Iowa: Pride in Social Work

NASW Iowa: You should be a social worker 

NASW Iowa: Challenges and Coping Strategies of Social Workers