social work degrees - graphic of overlapping hands

Bachelor's Degree in Social Work

Why Earn Your Social Work Degree at Saint Leo University?

Saint Leo University's Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program offers students who are physically living in Florida an innovative, full-time program at the University Campus, Tampa Education Center, and the East Pasco Education Center- Pasco Hernando Education Office (Spring Hill and New Port Richey locations, and an online Blended Option). The BSW program is based on a liberal arts foundation, which enables our graduates to analyze and solve problems from a variety of perspectives. Students will receive intensive academic advising and oversight of student progress.

The program prepares students to become professional generalist social workers in social work agencies that promote social justice, economic justice, and human rights on local, national, and global levels. Students are prepared to lead in generalist social work practice that serves diverse populations—including children, the elderly, military personnel, and those who experience discrimination and oppression.

Saint Leo's BSW degree program delivers courses during the day and in the evenings, allowing students to take classes that best fit their schedules. Students should enter the program knowing that they will be required to complete internship hours during the final term. Students who excel in the BSW program will be eligible for advanced standing for the Master of Social Work (MSW) (our 4+1 model) program, which allows traditional campus students to complete both degrees in five years, instead of six years. A student with an A.A. or A.S. degree can transfer into the university and finish the BSW program in two years and the advanced standing MSW in one year, for a total of three years.

Saint Leo’s Social Work program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). An advisory board composed of students, alumni and human service professionals guides the program, assuring the curriculum’s quality, relevance and currency.

You may declare the Social Work major when you begin coursework at Saint Leo University. However, to be formally admitted to the social work program, you must complete a major application and interview with Social Work faculty.

The BSW degree program prepares students to become professional generalist social workers in social work agencies that promote social justice, economic justice, and human rights on local, national, and global levels.

Learning Experience:
Campus Education Center
Est. Time to Complete:
4 years
Credit Hours:
120 hours

Undergraduate Social Work Program Details

The bachelor of social work curriculum emphasizes content in each of five areas: social welfare policy, human behavior in the social environment, research, practice methods, and field instruction.

Learn Your Way: 
On Campus, Hybrid, or Near You

  • Saint Leo students and instructor in classroom
  • What are the on-campus facilities like?

    Students who pursue their degrees at Saint Leo’s main campus near sunny Tampa Bay, Florida, join a community of enthusiastic learners just like them. 

    Students enjoy plenty of engaging learning opportunities both inside and outside the classroom, as well as exciting departmental events.

    Learn about the On-Campus Experience

Are education centers near you offering social work degree programs?

You may also choose to pursue your degree through one of our education centers, which merge a traditional in-person education with the flexibility to match your lifestyle. Education centers offer eight-week academic terms as well as evening and weekend classes.

Explore Education Centers

Career Outlook

No matter which learning experience you choose, you will receive plenty of professional development opportunities, industry knowledge from expert professors, and support from the Saint Leo community. All this together means that you will be ready for a successful career or continued studies upon graduation.

  • Saint Leo University students in Psychology classroom
  • How will you gain real experience?

    Classroom learning is only part of the social work degree program at Saint Leo University. We also know the value of hands-on experience. That is why internships and research projects are built into the curriculum. Saint Leo has a strong relationship with many internship organizations across the country, including Boys & Girls Club and Head Start, in addition to other programs for aging, autism, addiction, clinical research, children’s services, victim advocacy, and workforce development. 

    Plus, our Career Services center is always available to help connect you with a variety of other experiential learning opportunities to fit your individual career goals.

What skills you will learn?

  • research planning, implementation, and reporting;
  • oral presentation;
  • grant writing;
  • social work practice methods

How will you gain real experience?

Field internship

Gain hands-on experience at a social service agency for 32 hours per week during the final semester of your senior year.

Senior seminar

Taken in tandem with the field internship, the seminar provides an opportunity to discuss your field placement, present your cases, build your resume, practice interviewing and complete an integrative senior paper.

Co-curricular activities

Become a member of Phi Alpha, the national honor society of undergraduate and graduate social work students. Join other do-gooders in the Social Work Club, Samaritans, RotarAct Club, and Lions S.E.R.V.E.—our alternative spring break program. Participate in Saint Leo's Community Service Day.

Service learning

Education should be meaningful and hands-on. Saint Leo is honored to have been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll each year since it was started in 2006

What can you do with an undergraduate social work degree?

The BSW curriculum prepares students for careers in social work in various settings—nonprofit, community, child investigative services, veteran's services, and more.

What are the top social work degree jobs?

Career Growth Salary
Social Service Manager 15% (Faster than average) $69,600 per year
Social Worker 12% (Faster than average) $51,760 per year
Mental Health Counselor 23% (Much faster than average) $47,660 per year

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020.

Where are Saint Leo social work graduates now? 

Graduates of Saint Leo's BSW degree program continue their education with graduate programs, and pursue employment in various contexts - from Tampa General Hospital and Hillsborough County Aging Services to Emerald M Therapeutic Riding Center and Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of Tampa Bay.

College of Education and Social Services

  • Saint Leo University - Kirk Hall
  • Saint Leo University’s College of Education and Social Services couples a transformative liberal arts tradition with highly specialized training in the education and social services fields. Through close faculty mentorships, practical field internships, and applied learning experiences, we prepare students for careers in education, social work, criminal justice, and human services. Our faculty remain active in their respective fields as researchers and practitioners, giving students close access to a wealth of real-world knowledge and experience.

    With the ever-changing needs of today's students, we provide flexible degree programs. These include programs at University Campus and education centers with evening and weekend options, as well as online offerings. These degree programs are grooming the next generation of educators and social service specialists—a new breed of professionals with the talent and resolve to make a difference in the world.

    Explore the College of Education and Social Services

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