Academic Catalog

School of Social Work

Dean: Sheryl Kubiak

The School of Social Work is an integral part of Wayne State University, an urban university in a culturally diverse, industrialized, metropolitan area. The School is committed to its teaching, research, and service activities to address the problems of people living in this environment. Through applied research, work in the classroom, and placements in human service organizations that are the sites for practicum education, students learn how to provide effective social services and influence social policies.

The School's specific mission lies in teaching the knowledge, values, ethics, and skills of the social work profession. Graduates of the School are expected to understand the needs of vulnerable populations and those for whom the quality of life is threatened. Through research on practice, faculty and doctoral students contribute to the social work profession's knowledge base. Both faculty and students serve the community by participating in professional societies, civic and community groups, and human service organizations.

Social Work study prepares professionals to help alleviate the challenges in living for individuals affected by poverty, racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, unemployment, as well as those experiencing emotional issues and/or physical and developmental impairments. Social work students learn theoretical perspectives and evidence-based methods of practice to guide competent intervention with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. Doctoral students master advanced research competencies required to engage in applied research for social work practice and social welfare policy. Consistent with its emphasis on serving individuals in the Detroit metropolitan area, the School shares a commitment with the University for recruiting students of minority ethnic backgrounds.

The School of Social Work offers opportunities for study at the undergraduate and graduate levels to prepare students for practice in the profession of social work. Its principal programs lead to the Bachelor of Social Work and the Master of Social Work degree.

Curriculum: The Bachelor of Social Work degree program prepares students for entry-level generalist practice. Course work in this program includes University-wide General Education Requirements as well as the core competencies for social work practice. An introductory elective course, SW 1010, is open to freshman and sophomore students interested in exploring the social work profession but not yet matriculated in the B.S.W. program. Non-degree elective courses are also available for those who have previously earned bachelor's and/or master's degrees in social work or other disciplines and wish to further their education by acquaintance with social work issues. At the graduate level, the Master of Social Work degree program includes concentrations in Interpersonal Practice and Innovation in Community, Policy, and Leadership. The School also provides continuing education institutes and workshops for persons employed in the fields of social work and social welfare.

Informational Meetings: The School holds informational meetings to acquaint prospective students with its Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work programs. Ph.D. Program informational meetings are held monthly during the fall semester of each academic year. Potential program applicants are encouraged to attend a meeting focused on the program of his/her interest prior to applying for admission.


The Bachelor of Social Work and the Master of Social Work degree programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the national accrediting body for professional social work education. There is no accreditation process for doctoral programs in social work; however, the School is a member of the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work, the professional organization that provides guidelines and oversight for doctoral degree programs in social work.

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