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Major Maps

Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
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2021-2022

Social Work

School of Social Work

 
Program description

The goals of the profession of social work are to provide services to persons who are vulnerable due to a lack of personal, social and/or institutional resources to meet their emotional, health and economic needs. Social work practice is the application of professional knowledge, skills and values across a range of settings and populations. The focus of practice is on individuals, couples, families, groups and communities.


In addition to direct clinical social work practice, social workers are involved in the administration of human service programs, social planning, the development of social policies, research and evaluation, and teaching. In order to achieve the goals of promoting social justice and enhancing well-being for individuals, families, groups and communities, social workers provide a variety of services primarily in public and nonprofit organizational contexts. Examples of the range of settings in which social workers practice include community centers, public social services, child welfare, residential treatment facilities, schools, community mental health agencies, family and children’s service agencies, psychiatric and acute care hospitals, substance abuse treatment facilities, services for the elderly, court services and adult and juvenile rehabilitation facilities.


Social work practice is designed to enrich quality of life by enabling individuals, groups, communities and organizations to achieve their greatest potential development. The goal of the School of Social Work at VCU is to provide professional education in response to these needs.

Career opportunities

A B.S.W. enables our graduates to empower others and effect change in prevalent areas such as addiction, substance abuse and behavioral health, aging, child welfare, community development, corrections/justice, developmental disabilities, employment/occupational social work, family services/group services, health care services, homelessness/housing, international social work, mental health, public welfare, rehabilitation, and school social work. When our students enter the field as professionals, they do so equipped with a nuanced understanding of the day-to-day demands of the job and a commitment to meeting the challenges of social work with strength and compassion.

Change of major requirements
Continuing students must hold a 2.5+ cumulative GPA to be eligible for admission into the lower division. Continuing students interested in declaring the social work major must email the student success advisor at sswinfo@vcu.edu to request an academic advising appointment to discuss the change of major process.

Bachelor-level job titles
  • Child, Family, and School Social Worker
  • Community and Social Service Specialist, Other
  • Community Health Worker
  • Health Educator
  • Healthcare Social Workers
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker
  • Patient Representative
  • Probation Officer and Correctional Treatment Specialist
  • Social and Human Service Assistant
  • Social Workers
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Clinical Social Worker
  • Counselor
  • Government Agency Administrator
  • Higher Education Administrator
  • Policy Advocate
  • Supervisor
  • Therapist
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 131
Science required
  • 1-2 additional science courses
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.5+ cumulative GPA to declare, 2.0+ cumulative GPA to graduate
Department name:
School of Social Work
Building/room location:
Academic Learning Commons, Room 3102
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-1030
Email:
sswinfo@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon [View Image]
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Participate in a Safe Zone training or one of the dozens of diversity and inclusion events offered every year.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Speak with your academic advisor about pursuing an independent study in social work and research opportunities.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Engage in legislative advocacy by attending Lobby Day.
  • Update your resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Participate in Richmond Revisited.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Participate in Cultural Awareness Day hosted by ABSW.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Attend Field Education Orientation and read the Field Education Manual.
  • Complete your first semester of Field Education (field application required).
  • Meet with a career advisor to discuss your career direction and create an action plan.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and VCU Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Reach out to your instructors to ask about what experiences you should be seeking out as a student to make yourself more marketable in your future job search.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Attend a Discovery Day for the M.S.W. program.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Send thank you notes to faculty, staff, and community partners who helped you in college and ask them to help you connect with potential employers.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Social Work

School of Social Work

Concentration(s):
No concentration
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
ExploreYear 1
ExperienceYear 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Participate in a Safe Zone training or one of the dozens of diversity and inclusion events offered every year.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Speak with your academic advisor about pursuing an independent study in social work and research opportunities.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Engage in legislative advocacy by attending Lobby Day.
  • Update your resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Participate in Richmond Revisited.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Participate in Cultural Awareness Day hosted by ABSW.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Attend Field Education Orientation and read the Field Education Manual.
  • Complete your first semester of Field Education (field application required).
  • Meet with a career advisor to discuss your career direction and create an action plan.
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and VCU Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Reach out to your instructors to ask about what experiences you should be seeking out as a student to make yourself more marketable in your future job search.
ExcelYear 4
  • Attend a Discovery Day for the M.S.W. program.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Send thank you notes to faculty, staff, and community partners who helped you in college and ask them to help you connect with potential employers.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
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