Bachelor of Social Work

Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) 

If you're thinking about a helping profession, social work may be the right career for you. Social workers have a strong desire to help people of all ages and backgrounds improve their quality of life.

  • Social workers assist diverse populations of children, adults, and the elderly as they manage life's challenges.
  • They are critical thinkers, problem solvers, and advocates for social and economic justice.
  • They strive to eliminate social barriers like poverty, injustice, oppression and other conditions that limit human rights, and related factors that negatively impact human lives and communities.
  • Their clients include those who are struggling to cope with illness, overcome substance abuse, manage mental health issues, obtain affordable housing, find employment, and solve family crises.

Social workers are guided by a person-in-environment framework, multicultural perspectives, respect for all peoples, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry. Their work is actualized by enhancing quality of life for all peoples, locally and globally.

Why choose the B.S.W. at Marian?

As a student majoring in social work at Marian, you will acquire the values, knowledge, and skills you need to be a social worker who will help make our world a better place for all people.

The mission of Marian University Bachelor of Social Work Program is to educate professional generalist social work practitioners who are guided by social work values and ethics with an appreciation of Marian’s sponsorship Franciscan values. The program promotes transformative social work leaders working in interdisciplinary environments, who are research-informed in their practice grounded in the person-in-environment framework and devoted to human rights, social and economic justice, respect for diversity and human relationships. 

  • Our curriculum is rooted in the university's Catholic faith and Franciscan heritage, which focuses on dignity of the individual, peace and justice, reconciliation, and responsible stewardship.
  • You will explore these values and their relation to recognized standards for professional social workers, including the Social Work Code of Ethics established by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). 
  • You'll also study social work competencies, developing an understanding of diversity in practice and the advancement of human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice established by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). You will master CSWE's nine practice competencies for generalist social work practice.
  • Our program prepares you to successfully pursue Licensed Bachelor Social Work (LBSW) professional practice licensure through the State of Indiana. 

In addition, you will participate in hands-on learning opportunities through diverse field experiences that are woven into our curriculum, including supervised social work practicum (internship) placements at social service agencies, nonprofit organizations, or municipal and state government offices.

These are a few examples of the places where you might intern:

Upon graduation, you'll be well-prepared to apply what you've learned to help individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. You will also be prepared to serve as a community leader who makes a positive impact on others. 

  • Your journey to graduation will include multiple opportunities to strengthen your leadership skills, engage in undergraduate research projects, study abroad, explore your faith, compete in varsity and intramural athletics, and serve the community.
  • On our close-knit campus, you will engage in activities that enable you to build a professional network and personal relationships that last a lifetime. You'll find faculty who encourage, support, and challenge you to accomplish more than you ever thought possible.

What will you study?

To earn the 128-credit social work degree at Marian, you will complete general education, core, required, and elective courses.

  • Our general education curriculum is grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, so you will complete coursework that teaches you to be an excellent communicator, collaborator, and critical thinker.
  • Courses in the major provide you with a generalist foundation of the critical knowledge, skills, and values required for a career as a social work professional.
  • You will complete a senior capstone course that explores major issues and themes in the social work profession.

You will complete at least 48 credits of social work courses. Examples include:

  • SWK 110: Introduction to Social Work
  • SWK 200: Human Behavior and Social Environment
  • SWK 270: Social Welfare Policy and Programs
  • SWK 310: Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families
  • SWK 320/SOC 320: Race and Ethnic Relations
  • SWK 325/SOC 325: Social Class, Power and Inequality
  • SWK 350: Social Work Research and Assessment
  • SWK 360: Social Work Practicum I
  • SWK 410: Social Work Practice with Groups
  • SWK 415: Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities
  • SWK 460: Social Work Practicum II
  • SWK 461: Social Work Practicum III
  • SWK 490: Social Work Senior Seminar

 You will demonstrate mastery of learning outcomes based on CSWE competencies that include:

  • Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior
  • Engage diversity and difference in practice
  • Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice
  • Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice
  • Participate in policy practice
  • Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Broadening your knowledge of interdisciplinary, interprofessional trends can make you even more marketable and attractive to potential employers.

  • Depending on your interests and career goals, you can work with your academic advisor to add an academic minor, concentration, or double-major to your plan of study.
  • Examples include sociology, psychology, public health, peace and justice studies, criminal justice, political science, and gender studies.

If you plan to continue your studies at the graduate level and earn a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) or other degree, our curriculum will prepare you to be a competitive candidate for admisson to the program of your choice. You'll work closely with your academic advisor to complete coursework that prepares you for success in graduate school.

Sample four-year plan and checklist

What are your career paths?

Social workers are employed in a range of professional settings:

  • Adoption agencies
  • Child and youth organizations and programs
  • Churches
  • Community and neighborhood centers
  • Criminal justice and correction agencies
  • Developmental disabilities organizations
  • Domestic violence centers and shelters
  • Family services agencies
  • Foster parent organizations or child welfare groups
  • Homeless shelters
  • Hospitals, healthcare centers, and hospice facilities
  • Mental health centers
  • Public health programs
  • Schools
  • Senior services agencies
  • Substance abuse programs

Nationally, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports strong growth for social workers and related professionals, largely due to growth in the population of elderly adults, increased demand for substance abuse treatment, and increased demand for mental health services.

Occupation Growth through 2026 Median 2018 salary 
Healthcare social worker 16 percent $49,470
Health educator and community health worker 16 percent  $46,080
Social and community service manager 18 percent $65,320 

In Indiana, also reports social workers and related professionals are in demand.

Occupation Flame ranking (out of five) Average salary
Child, family, and school social worker Four $38,940
Community and social service specialists  Four $37,650 
Healthcare social worker Four $48,080
Mental health and substance abuse social worker Four $53,940
Social and community service manager Four $56,070



Marian University BSW Program has achieved Candidacy for the Accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education's Commission on Accreditation.


Candidacy for a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation indicates that it has made progress toward meeting criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process. A program that has attained Candidacy has demonstrated a commitment to meeting the compliance standards set by the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, but has not yet demonstrated full compliance.

Students who enter programs that attain Candidacy in or before the academic year in which they begin their program of study will be retroactively recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program once the program attains Initial Accreditation. Candidacy is typically a three-year process and attaining Candidacy does not guarantee that a program will eventually attain Initial Accreditation. Candidacy applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.

For more information about social work accreditation, you may contact Accreditation.

2020/2021 AS 4(B) BSW program assessment outcomes.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

In compliance with the U.S. Department of Education regulation 34 CFR 668.43 (a) (5) (v) the Marian University Bachelor of Social Work Program acknowledges:

Licensure requirements vary from state to state and an individual seeking licensure other than in Indiana must comply with those state requirements. 

Students planning to relocate to another state after completion of the program are encouraged to contact their state’s licensing board to identify other requirements for licensure. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Michelle Meer, BSW Program Director, at


Junior, Nicholas Beedie has become the newest intern at Peace Learning Center. He was connected with PLC through his social work practicum.

Read more about it in their newsletter


Want to Know More?

Office of Undergraduate Admission
(317) 955-6300
(800) 772-7264

For program specifics

Michelle Meer, MSW
Director, BSW Program
(317) 955-6482

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