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Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Become an advocate for the vulnerable.

Become that guiding voice in a dark place, a listening ear and a steady hand, and the first step for many in a path to healing. Step into the multi-faceted, ever-evolving world of social work, where you will have the unique and rewarding job of improving the wellbeing of individuals and whole communities.

Join the largest profession of mental health service providers in the country and become part of a network of students and faculty with a vision for change.  Nationally accredited by the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE), the William Woods University Social Work Program graduates go into the workforce or go on to graduate school to become skilled clinicians and administrators. Due to CSWE Accreditation and the strength of our program, many of our qualified graduates apply for advanced standing status in graduate schools which reduces the amount of coursework required to earn a Master of Social Work. Our dream is to see you succeed in the work that will not only have an impact on you personally, but on every person you meet.

9 out of 10 of our social work graduates secure employment or attend the graduate school of their choice
50 years of teaching excellence in social work
19% projected increase in jobs for healthcare, mental health and substance abuse social workers from 2016 to 2026

Unlike many other helping fields, social work will allow you to see through the eyes of those you are serving, as well as use critical thinking and action-planning on multi-systemic levels to bring compassion, intervention and justice where it is needed most. Last academic year, William Woods University students collectively provided over 5,500 hours of service to the surrounding Fulton community through the social work field practicum program, gaining hands on experience in addition to the valuable knowledge learned in the classroom and through side-by-side mentorship learning with faculty experts.

Special opportunities

  • Participate in service learning activities through various courses, as well as practice interviewing skills and gain experience in developing intervention and action plans
  • Create a professional portfolio demonstrating your mastery of the 9 core competencies and 60 practice behaviors of social work
  • Conduct research alongside our expert faculty members through the Mentor/Mentee program
  • Attend professional conferences to expand your knowledge and network with professionals in the field
  • Get hands on experience through a two semester-long field practicum during your senior year, gaining 500 hours of direct social work practice in various social service agencies across Missouri under the supervision of a qualified field supervisor
  • Join a group of like-minded individuals and participate in social work activities that serve the Fulton and Central Missouri communities through William Woods University clubs such as Students for Social Work or Phi Alpha, an honors society for Social Work majors
  • Advance your education and pursue a Master of Social Work (MSW) alongside 60 percent of our Social Work Alumni who have traveled the same successful path

Our Social Work degree at work 

Pursue an exciting career as a/an:

  • Domestic violence advocate
  • Child abuse investigator
  • Hospital social worker
  • Children’s division supervisor
  • Therapist/counselor
  • Youth treatment worker
  • Juvenile officer
  • Forensic interviewer
  • School social worker
  • And more

Our alumni have gone on to work in:

  • Medical Social Work
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Abuse
  • Adoption
  • Criminal Justice
  • Schools
  • Child Abuse
  • Veterans
  • Domestic Violence
  • Children Residential Programs
  • Juvenile Treatment
  • Elderly

Recent Employers

Our students are highly sought after by distinguished employers across the country, including:


Other employers of our recent alumni include:

  • Missouri Children’s Division
  • Hermann Area District Hospital
  • Fulton State Hospital
  • Arthur Center Mental Health
  • Missouri Division of Youth Services, Statewide residential treatment programs and State Central Office
  • New Horizons
  • Boone County Group Homes and Family Support
  • Missouri School for the Deaf
  • St. Mary’s Health Center
  • Cooke County Hospital
  • Pine Ridge Native American Reservation
  • Mexico Veterans’ Home
  • Boone County Prosecutor’s Office, Victim Services Unit
  • And more


My degree in social work from William Woods University qualified me for advanced standing at the University of Missouri. As a result, I was able to obtain my master of social work degree in one year and now I'm a licensed therapist. The small classes at William Woods and my nine-month internship gave me the education and experience to be qualified for my first job.

— Stacie Eastwood Smithee, LCSW, Director of Social Services at Mexico Veteran’s Home


The Bachelor of Social Work degree at William Woods University consists of 122 distinct credit hours for graduation—including 42 core major credits and 6 credits of required social work electives, as well as 500 hours of social work experience through the Field Practicum requirement requirement.

Courses you may take


Additional Resources


All programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education's Commission on Accreditation (COA) are required to measure and report student learning outcomes. All students are assessed using a minimum of two measures on their mastery of the nine competencies that comprise the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS). These holistic competencies reflect the dimensions (knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive & affective processes) of social work practice that all social workers are expected to master during their professional training.

Per the requirement of CSWE COA's recognizing body, the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and accreditation standard 4.0.3, programs must post this form publicly on its website and routinely up-date (minimally every 2 years) its findings. Below are the results from the WWU BSW program.

2022 Assessment Data AS4 (B) (PDF)
2021 Assessment Data AS4 (B) (PDF)

Admissions Information

Learn more about undergraduate admissions requirements, deadlines, tuition and financial aid available to you.

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