Social Work: A Dynamic, Versatile, and Rewarding Profession

A career projected to grow much faster than the average for all other occupations in the US*

Social workers:

  • Constantly strive to understand the person in the context of their environment
  • Assist and advocate with individuals, families, and groups to improve well-being
  • Engage in community activism and organizing to advance social change
  • Work for structural change in organizations to address power inequities
  • Advance policies for economic and social justice, and human rights

Our social justice informed curriculum prepares you for community-based generalist social work practice through rigorous course work and hands-on learning. Our graduates report being well prepared for careers in social work and graduate school.

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

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Is Social Work for me?

Social work requires a centering commitment to social justice, valuing of human diversity, and desire to engage in social change. It is challenging, and not for everyone. Social workers leverage their knowledge, values, and skills to be change agents. How do your interests, personality, skills, and passions align with the profession?

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What is Social Work?

The primary focus of social work is in the interaction between the person and the context of their environment. We are advocates and activists who strive to improve human well-being with a particular focus on those oppressed, vulnerable, and living in poverty. Social justice is at the heart of our work.

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Degrees & Requirements

Our degrees include the Social Work major, Social Welfare minor, and Social Work with Honors. Classroom experience is connected to real world practice through your field practicum. Students who seek a path to help others, improve society, and advocate for just social conditions thrive in social work and have many career options.

Council on Social Work Education

Social Work News

Learn About the New 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

View of Seattle across the water from Gas Works Park

Starting July 16, 2022, people who are experiencing a mental health crisis in the U.S. have a new number to call for help: 9-8-8. Learn more about the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.
Jul 20, 2022

Read More about Learn About the New 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

NASW Social Work Talks Podcast: Supporting LGBTQIA2S+ Youth in 2022

Drawing of five people standing next to each other. Each person is a different color (green, teal, blue, red, orange)

In episode 87 of the NASW Social Work Talks Podcast, social worker Caitlin Ryan, founder and Executive Director of the Family Acceptance Project, talks about how social workers can help families support their children who are LGBTQIA2S+.
Jul 7, 2022

Read More about NASW Social Work Talks Podcast: Supporting LGBTQIA2S+ Youth in 2022

Seattle University Holds First In-Person Commencement in Three Years

The Class of 2022, along with members of the classes of 2020 and 2021, got their chance to walk across the stage in traditional commencement ceremonies on June 12 at Climate Pledge Arena.
Jul 1, 2022

Read More about Seattle University Holds First In-Person Commencement in Three Years


Latest News

Graduating Seniors Receive Awards

Jo Bechtold receives the Taylene Watson, MSW Social Justice Award and Emily Pacunski receives the Madeline Lovell Academic Excellence Award. Read about them here.

Reinforcing the Essential Nature of Social Work

From the National Association of Social Work, Association of Social Work Boards, and Council of Social Work Education. Read the article.

Contact Us

  • Amelia Seraphia Derr, MSW, PhD

    Amelia Seraphia Derr, MSW, PhD

    Director, Bachelor of Social Work

    Associate Professor


  • Estella Williamson, DSW, MSW, ACSW

    Estella Williamson, DSW, MSW, ACSW

    Field Director, Social Work Department

    Clinical Professor


  • Anna McCain

    Anna McCain

    Administrative Assistant, Social Work Department