College of Education & Human Services

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1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg PA 17257
(717) 477-1373
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Department of Social Work and Gerontology

382 Shippen Hall
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
Phone: 717-477-1717
Department Web Site 

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Shippensburg, PA 17257
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Bachelor of

Social Work (BSW)

Social work is a dynamic profession designed for people who want to help others and make the world a better place. 

The BSW program at Shippensburg helps students develop social work knowledge, skills and values that builds on the general education curriculum to prepare them to help people. The core curriculum begins in the classroom where role-playing and simulations prepare students for real-world experiences in their work in human service agencies. Coursework builds toward an intensive field placement or internship. Students integrate what they have learned in the classroom with practice and experience to prepare for entry-level careers in social work. The Social Work and Gerontology Department offers personalized educational experiences to our students, as well as the dedication of an excellent faculty. The program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Employers in the region regularly recruit and hire our graduates because of our program’s excellent reputation. Graduates are highly likely to begin working in their chosen field immediately after graduation. According to Bureau of Labor statistics, the employment rate for social workers “is expected to grow by 25 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.” Social workers are employed in child welfare, health care settings, and programs for older citizens, behavioral health, corrections, schools, business and industry, substance abuse, domestic violence, and intellectual and developmental disabilities, to name some of the many options available.

Learn more about careers in social work at BEASOCIALWORKER.ORG. 

Get Involved

In addition to volunteer and service learning opportunities that are part of coursework, the Social Work and Gerontology Department has a variety of groups, activities, and resources that enhance the quality of life in the Department for students and faculty alike. Students are encouraged to participate in nationally recognized professional organizations and departmental clubs like the Social Work Organization (SWO) and the Social Work Research Club. SWO participates in a variety of service opportunities, fundraisers, conferences, and other events, including the Children's Fair, Earth Day, Inclusive Basketball, Inclusive Party, and several events with the Women's Center on campus. Students can follow SWO on Facebook at SWO - SU Social Work Organization.

Degree Requirements

All BSW students must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours:

  • General Education Courses: All undergraduate students are required to complete the university's general education program, which provides a variety of liberal arts courses that are the foundation for the Social Work curriculum.
  • Social Work Core Courses: A complete course listing and descriptions are located on the BSW website.
  • Optional Minor: Students are also encouraged to use their elective hours to earn a minor in a related interest area (e.g., foreign language, gerontology, disability studies, psychology, sociology, women’s studies, ethnic studies, coaching) to name a few of the options.
  • Field Practicum and Seminar: In the senior year, students participate in a field practicum/internship and an integrative seminar. Students spend 4 days a week in a human service agency under the supervision of a professional social worker. This capstone experience brings together all the course work and provides students with an opportunity to practice what they have learned in a supervised setting before obtaining a job in the "real world".