University of St. Francis

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Social Work Degrees at St. Francis

The University of St. Francis appears in our ranking of the 35 Best Value Christian Colleges with CSWE-accredited Programs.

Since 1974, the College of Arts & Sciences has granted the Bachelor of Social Work for University of St. Francis undergrads to find brighter purpose shining a light on injustices that hinder humanity. Coordinated by Dr. Christine Call, the 56-credit major admits juniors ready for generalist practice to make communities equitable. Professors are highly accessible in courses like General Psychology, Child Welfare, Spirituality & Franciscan Ideals, and Elderly Services that average just 16.4 learners. Seniors will complete 900 clock hours in two 16-week practicum placements, such as Aunt Martha’s Youth Center, Catholic Charities, Cook County Juvenile Court, Daybreak Shelter, and Stepping Stones. BSW majors might also attend Social Work Advocacy Day, minor in Spanish, mentor with Brother to Brother, join Kappa Rho, travel abroad to India, and shadow at Presence Health.

Belonging to the NADD, the University of St. Francis confers the Master of Social Work to produce advanced generalist practitioners who uphold Luke 6:35 by selflessly serving God’s neediest children. Directed by Dr. Alicia McLaughlin, the 62-credit, two-year degree meets the increased LCSW demand for nurturing others’ strengths holistically. Bridging gaps after CSWE-accredited training is possible with the 32-credit Advanced Standing option too. Courses like Cross-Cultural Practice Systems, Crisis Intervention, and Domestic Violence have a Friday/Saturday schedule in Joliet or 24/7 access on Canvas. MSW majors arrange one 900-hour and one 600-hour practicum in their communities from Juneau to Jacksonville. Other opportunities include adding the Gerontology Certificate, joining Social Work Club, pursuing the Post-Master’s Forensics program, publishing in Family Relations, attending the NASW-Illinois Conference, and going to the United Nations.

About the University of St. Francis

The University of St. Francis was opened in 1920 at the Motherhouse Convent by the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate, a Catholic order founded by Mother Alfred Moes in 1865. First called Assisi Junior College, it was expanded in 1930 and became coeducational in 1972. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of its university status, St. Francis now trains 1,713 on-campus and 2,453 off-campus Fighting Saints. Led by Dr. Arvid Johnson, the 2003 Charter One Excellence in Teaching Award winner, USF is endowed for $17.2 million as a private, service-oriented ACCU member of Illinois’ Chicagoland. The University of St. Francis has created 11 satellites and an online Canvas classroom to extend beyond the 22-acre Cathedral Area campus.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked St. Francis the 32nd best Midwest college and 23rd top value with the 201st best social work program nationally. On Niche, USF is America’s 359th safest campus, 260th most selective school, and 156th best small university. Eduventures named the “College of Distinction” among the 20 top private master’s choices. College Factual declared the University of St. Francis the country’s 58th best social work school with the 52nd top-paid graduates. WalletHub deemed USF the 275th best value for a 20-year net ROI of $267,000 on PayScale. In Washington Monthly, St. Francis stands out for the 71st best buck, 160th most service, and 359th best graduation rate.

University of St. Francis Accreditation Details

In February 2011, the University of St. Francis received reaffirmation of its Level V accreditation for another 10 years from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA). Located in Chicago, this regional agency is authorized in 19 states, including Illinois, by the U.S. Department of Education to judge the quality of USF’s 44 baccalaureate, 17 master’s, two doctoral, and 20 certificate programs from Palos Hills to Cicero. Specifically, the BSW and MSW degrees are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) through 2026. St. Francis is also recognized by the Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association (IAODAPCA).

University of St. Francis Application Requirements

The Fall 2016 acceptance rate of 51 percent caused Peterson’s to classify admission to the University of St. Francis as “moderately difficult.” First-year Fighting Saints can begin pre-social work courses after a high school diploma or 2250 GED score. Secondary prerequisites include three years of English, math, and foreign language. Automatic admission is extended for a 2.5 GPA, 20 ACT score or 1020 SAT score. Starting Phase I of the BSW major requires junior status with 60-65 credits graded at least “C,” including Human Behavior and Social Policy. The Master of Social Work only chooses four-year bachelor’s holders who verify a 2.75 GPA or greater. Two years of full-time employment or permission from the department is required. BSW graduates from the last seven years can receive Advanced Standing status.

The University of St. Francis has rolling admission until the final deadlines of August 1st for Fall, December 1st for Spring, and April 1st for Summer. For free, interested students can submit the freshman, transfer, or general graduate application online via the MyUSF Portal. Extra materials might be mailed to 500 Wilcox Street in Joliet, IL 60435. Please contact admissions@st.francis.edu or (800) 735-7500 for further inquiry. Social work programs typically request the following:

  • High school or college transcript request
  • Copies of prerequisite course descriptions
  • College entrance exams (ACT, SAT, or GRE)
  • One professional letter of recommendation
  • Résumé of paid/unpaid work experiences
  • One essay prompt response (250+ words)

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time BSW majors attending the University of St. Francis pay $15,575 per term or $31,150 annually. Studying part-time costs $825 per credit. Budgets must include the $200 activity fee, $100 health fee, and $20 family association fee. Living at the Joliet campus’ dorms like Marian Hall adds $9,734 per year. The annual cost of attendance equals $41,634 for residents and $36,390 for commuters. MSW graduates are charged $748 per credit for total pricing of $23,936 to $46,376. The Forensic Social Work Certificate is discounted to $680 per credit.

According to the NCES College Navigator, 88 percent of full-time USF Fighting Saints share $24.1 million in annual financial aid offers that average $16,357. Institutional funds include the Franciscan Fellows Award, Catholic School Scholarship, Merit Scholarship, Leadership Award, James McCabe Scholarship, Christine Poole Ponquinette Scholarship, and Sister Rosemary Small Scholarship. Completing the FAFSA application with code 001664 could offer up to $5,815 from the Pell and $4,000 from the FSEOG Grants. Prairie State natives can claim the Illinois Monetary Award Program or Veteran Grant. Federal Work-Study jobs provide campus paychecks of at least $8.25/hour. The University of St. Francis also reports that 322 graduates received $959,000 in tuition reimbursements in 2017 too.

Learn more about the University of St. Francis at the Social Work Program website.

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