Social Work Degree Programs in Virginia (A-M)

Social work is a swiftly growing area of the healthcare community, and there are a great many social work degree programs in Virginia offered at well-regarded colleges and universities.

The schools that offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work run the gamut from small private institutions to large public schools. There are also opportunities available to study in rural areas, as well as some of the largest towns in Virginia. Students interested in social work must be dedicated to their studies and understand that serving others in the capacity of a social worker is a challenging yet rewarding type of employment.

Presented here is the first half of our list of CSWE-accredited social work degree programs in Virginia.

Christopher Newport University

Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology

Christopher Newport University is located in Newport News, Virginia, and it’s one of the newest universities in the commonwealth. The school is named after a captain of one of the ships that transported settlers to what would eventually become Jamestown. The school is a public liberal arts university, and most of its students are undergraduates with around 5,000 undergraduates and 125 postgraduates enrolled for classes. The college was originally an extension campus of the College of William & Mary and offered courses to local students who were originally denied such opportunities because of the distance to W&M. The school became an independent college in 1992.

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

The university describes social workers as individuals who spend their careers helping other people in many areas like criminal justice, mental health, and public welfare. After graduation, students who earn a B.A in Social Work will be prepared to begin work as social workers helping everyone from individuals and couples to groups and communities. The major’s primary objective is in making sure graduates are prepared to undertake “generalist social work practice.” Coursework involves study of topics like social and economic justice, as well as the ethics and values that practicing social workers must cultivate. Some of the jobs open to graduates include those in child welfare, drug and alcohol treatment, and correctional facilities. Students who want to major in social work must apply to Christopher Newport University and gain acceptance and then apply secondarily to the social work program. To graduate, students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.75 in all social work classes.

Accreditation

  • Council on Social Work Education Office of Social Work Accreditation (CSWE)

Contact

Christopher Newport University
1 Avenue of the Arts
Newport News, VA 23606
Phone: (757) 594-7872
Email: mai.gustafsson@cnu.edu
Program Website

Eastern Mennonite University

Department of Applied Social Sciences

Founded in 1917, Eastern Mennonite University is affiliated with the Mennonite Church and is a private liberal arts university. The founders of the school wanted to offer an education to students seeking leadership in “peace and justice.” The founders also wanted to ensure that members of their communities had educational opportunities beyond the high school level. Although the college is affiliated with the Mennonites, greater than half the student body isn’t part of the church. The school has nearly 1,200 students attending undergraduate classes and approximately 320 students attending at graduate level study. In its early years, the school only admitted Mennonites, but they opened applications to everyone not long after the school was launched.

Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSW)

EMU describes its social work program as offering a broad liberal arts education, which the school believes is necessary for social workers who must rely on many diverse skills during practice. The program is designed to provide a wide variety of experiences from projects and extensive reading to specialized electives and time spent in a practicum. Students who receive their degree may expect to work in environments that range from working with individuals to entire community groups. A few of the places a social worker may find employment include refugee programs, half-way houses, mental health agencies, and youth support groups. Entry into the social work program requires that students apply and gain acceptance during their second year at Eastern Mennonite University. The curriculum is divided into several integrated themes like social work research, community learning, and human behavior. Building on these various themes, students will complete 12 credit hours for their senior practicum in social work.

Accreditation

  • Council on Social Work Education Office of Social Work Accreditation (CSWE)

Contact

Applied and Social Sciences Department
Eastern Mennonite University
1200 College Ave
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
Phone: (540) 432-4270
Email: Gloria.rhodes@emu.edu
Program Website

Ferrum College

Department of Social Sciences

Established in 1913, Ferrum College is a private college located in Ferrum. There are around 1,500 undergraduates attending classes at the college, and the school boasts one of the oldest environment science programs in the country. The college is in a rural location and encompasses 700 acres, as well as some buildings on the Virginia Historic Register. The school is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, but students don’t need to belong to the church to attend. Students may choose from 28 different degree programs, and student athletes participate in NCAA Division III athletics. The nearest large city to the college is Roanoke, which is 35 miles away.

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Graduates of the B.S.W. program at Ferrum College will be prepared to enter the workforce as social workers, as well as continue on to graduate school if they wish. The program is designed to offer a combination of theoretical foundations and generalist social work practice. Some of the classes students should expect to take include Abnormal Psychology, Social Problems, and Social Welfare Policy. While at school, students may participate in two school clubs including Alpha Delta Mu, which is the social work honor society and the Social Work Club, which features a variety of activities for students during the year. In addition to classroom learning, students will also participate in two internships. One will take place during the student’s sophomore year, and the other will occur during the senior year. Some of the jobs open to graduates include hospital social worker, child protective service worker, mental health social worker, and parole officer.

Accreditation

  • Council on Social Work Education Office of Social Work Accreditation (CSWE)

Contact

Ferrum College
Main Administration Building
John Wesley Hall
215 Ferrum Mountain Road
Ferrum, Virginia 24088
Phone: (800) 868-9797
Email: jwest@ferrum.edu
Program Website

George Mason University

College of Health and Human Services

With almost 34,000 students, George Mason University is the commonwealth’s largest public university. The school was established in 1957, and the main campus is located in Fairfax. At its start, the university was located in Arlington, but it moved to Fairfax in the early 1960s. The school was initially a satellite location for the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and its popularity eventually allowed it to transform into an independent school. Students at the main campus attend classes on a 677-acre campus. Washington D.C. is just 20 miles from the school, and the campus is within walking distance of many local attractions.

Master of Social Work Program (MSW)

The MSW program at George Mason University began in 2002 as a way to prepare students for advanced practice in social work. The program is designed to take two years with students spending the first year in foundation courses and the second year in concentrated study. Topics covered include various courses in human behavior including social policies and services, professional writing, and technology. Students participate in a supervised field experience which requires them to complete at least 1,050 hours of field experience in an area of interest to the student. The university offers students a few different ways to enroll in the program. Students who have recently graduated from a bachelor’s degree program in social work may be eligible for advanced standing. Otherwise, students may decide on a two, three, or four-year program. Students may also choose to earn a Certificate in Gerontology during their time in the graduate social work program.

Accreditation

  • Council on Social Work Education Office of Social Work Accreditation (CSWE)

Contact

George Mason University
Department of Social Work
MS:1F8
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
Phone: (703) 993-4247
Email: lwisnies@gmu.edu
Program Website

James Madison University

Department of Social Work

Located in Harrisonburg, Virginia, James Madison University was originally established as a school for women in 1908. The school was renamed to Madison College in the late 1930s and became JMU in 1977. Around 21,000 students attend classes on the 721-acre campus. The 21st century has brought significant growth to the school with new buildings constructed around campus, as well as expansion efforts in the community. The university receives a large number of applications each year with more than 22,000 applicants vying for only around 4,300 spots. The school has a high retention rate of more than 91% for students who continue with their studies after their freshman year.

Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (B.S.W.)

Like many social work degree programs in Virginia, official admittance to the social work program is only granted after students apply to the department and have already completed two classes including Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare. There is a volunteer component associated with these introductory classes that students must also satisfy before applying to the program. Once admitted, students will take classes like Ethical Decision-Making in Healthcare, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, and Social Work Research Methods. The program mission and goals include ensuring students understand the core values of social work, which include knowledge of integrity, human rights, and scientific inquiry. During the student’s senior year of study, he or she will take part in a field practicum where four days a week will be spent in a professional setting under the guidance of an agency professional. Practicum opportunities vary from adult correctional facilities to mental health services.

Accreditation

  • Council on Social Work Education Office of Social Work Accreditation (CSWE)

Contact

James Madison University
800 S. Main St.
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: (540) 568-6211
Email: admissions@jmu.edu
Program Website

Longwood University

Department of Social Work & Communication Sciences Disorders

A public university in Farmville, Longwood University was once a seminary school for women when it was founded in the 1830s. There are around 5,000 students attending classes at Longwood in its undergraduate and graduate programs. Student athletes play in NCAA Division I games as the Lancers. The campus in Farmville is approximately 154 acres, and the school bears the distinction as one of the institutions connected to the Brown v. Board of Education case. Throughout the 20th century, the school grew and increased the number of degrees it offered, but it wouldn’t be until the early 2000s when the school would finally grow large enough to become a university.

Undergraduate Social Work Program

The faculty at Longwood in the social work program have several goals and missions to impart to students including preparing students to work as generalist practitioners, as well as ensure students understand the importance of reducing inequalities in society and social justice. The coursework in the program features many topics in areas like the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics. Like many other social work degree programs in Virginia, students apply to the university first and then apply to the social work program during their second year of study. Some of the courses students will take include Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare and Social Problems and the Development of Social Policy. Students will also take part in multiple internships during the junior and senior year. After graduation, there are many environments where students may find work including foster care facilities, domestic violence shelters, and crisis intervention groups. There are also opportunities to work in social justice, substance abuse, and community planning.

Accreditation

  • Council on Social Work Education Office of Social Work Accreditation (CSWE)

Contact

Department of Social Work & Communication Sciences Disorders
Longwood University
201 High Street
Farmville, VA 23909
Phone: (434) 395-2996
Email: admissions@longwood.edu
Program Website

Mary Baldwin University

College for Women and Adult Programs

Mary Baldwin University began as a seminary in the early 1840s and is a four-year institution of higher learning for women, as well as co-educational adult degree seekers. The school is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church and has ranked highly on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best regional universities in the south. The school is located in Staunton on a small campus of 54 acres. There are approximately 2500 students attending classes at this private liberal arts women’s college. The school’s mascot is Gladys the Squirrel and students play as the Fighting Squirrels. Interestingly, each class that graduates from the school chooses its own colors.

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

The faculty at Mary Baldwin University suggests its students should have a desire for service and world change. Social workers can help improve the lives of many different people from children to the infirm, and jobs are available at many organizations in the public, private, and government sectors. For work as a generalist social worker, students must obtain a Bachelor of Social Work, and the degree at MBU satisfies this requirement. In addition to attending classes at the college’s home campus in Staunton, students may also attend classes in other cities including Roanoke, Richmond, Charlottesville, and South Boston. Some of the classes students will take include Introduction to Social Work, Child Welfare Services, and Vulnerable Populations in Film. In addition to the required classes, students will also complete 450 hours of fieldwork as part of their degree. The school also offers students the chance to meet with the Social Work Club, which offers students volunteer opportunities in the local community.

Accreditation

  • Council on Social Work Education Office of Social Work Accreditation (CSWE)

Contact

Mary Baldwin College
P.O. Box 1500
Staunton, VA 24402
Phone: (800) 468-2262
Email: admissions@mbc.edu
Program Website

Future students who want to find an occupation that serves the needs of others in a selfless and generous manner may want to consider enrolling in a social work degree program. Students may earn qualification to practice at the entry level of the profession with a bachelor’s degree, and there is also a variety of opportunities for advanced employment for students who choose to complete a master’s degree. Students residing in the Old Dominion State and the surrounding areas have the opportunity to choose from many respected social work degree programs in Virginia.

See also: Social Work Degree Programs in Virginia (N-Z)

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