Why a Degree in Social Work?

A degree in social work prepares students for professional social work practice, a growing and dynamic profession in which you promote the well-being of individuals, groups, and communities. Social workers are employed by hospitals, schools, child welfare agencies, criminal justice settings, advocacy organizations, organizations that serve veterans and active duty military, mental health service providers, and more.

The degree also provides an excellent foundation in problem-solving, communication, and inter-professional collaboration, skills which are valued by many professions and graduate degree programs.

What is Social Work?

Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States, according the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Social workers follow a set of values and principles to help individuals, families, and groups restore or enhance their capacity for social functioning, and work to create societal conditions that support communities in need.

The practice of social work requires knowledge of human development and behavior, of social, economic and cultural institutions, and of the interaction of all these factors, according to the National Association of Social Workers. For this reason, social workers play an important role in policy and advocacy at the legislative level.

Guy in front of Little Hall

“Social workers promote social policy and social justice to help people overcome life challenges.”

Most importantly, social workers promote social policy and social justice to help people overcome life challenges, from poverty, discrimination, abuse, addiction, physical illness, divorce and loss to unemployment, educational problems, disability, and mental illness.

Careers in Social Work

  • Substance Misuse and Addictions
  • Aging
  • Child Welfare
  • Public Welfare
  • Justice/Corrections
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Employment/Occupational Social Work

  • Health Care
  • Research
  • Politics
  • Policy and Planning
  • International Social Work
  • Community Organizations
  • Mental Health/Clinical Social Work

Student testimonials

Picture of Madison Darling
“I’m earning my degree in social work so I can focus my career on serving others, and I am grateful to the School of Social Work’s donors for making this possible”
– Madison Darling, BSW Student
Picture of Carin Ikenberg
From start to finish, everyone in the School of Social Work is invested in you. My professors were caring, supportive, and knowledgeable in their fields.
– Carin Ikenberg (’17 MSW)
Picture of Quentin Maynard
“I chose UA’s School of Social Work because I’m able to pursue my research interests with
highly supportive professors who are leading scholars and researchers.
– Quentin Maynard, PhD Candidate

Connect with SSW

As a leader in social work education at the state’s flagship university, The University of Alabama School of Social Work is committed to providing students with the best educational experience.

We encourage prospective students to visit the School of Social Work on the beautiful campus of The University of Alabama. We offer BSW Information Sessions and MSW Information Sessions to help you to learn more about our School, meet our faculty and hear firsthand from current students about their UA experience.

Meet SSW Faculty!

Plan a Campus Visit

Campus visits are a great opportunity to see what it’s like to be a student at the UA School of Social Work. We invite you to come see why our faculty members are deeply committed to teaching, research and ensuring our students become global leaders in the field of social work.

Please go to our online form to request more information or to schedule a visit.

Financial Aid, Scholarships and Tuition

We believe students from all economic backgrounds should have the opportunity to obtain a degree in Social Work from the University of Alabama. The University of Alabama and the School of Social Work offers scholarships, grants, loans and work-study options that help students defray some of the costs associated with earning a college degree.

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Social Work Financial Aid

We offer several different types of financial aid to support your academic journey with us.

A group of students study on the quad

Tuition & Fees

UA tuition and fees are a component of a student’s total cost of attendance.

Tyler Merriweather and 4 children smile for the camera

Cost of Attendance

Your cost of attendance will vary depending on whether you are in-state or out-of-state.