Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Social Workers Are Professional, Compassionate Problem Solvers

Detroit Mercy Social Work Students

Do you want to make a positive impact in the world?

University of Detroit Mercy's Bachelor of Social Work program prepares you for understanding the role of human diversity in a complex, multicultural world as you develop in the skills of leadership in service and in the promotion of social justice. By the end of the program, you will have gained a strong foundation in understanding human growth and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, research methods and social work practice methods and skills.

In addition to a solid foundation, you will also complete 400 hours of hands-on experience at a human service agency where you will be supervised by a qualified social worker. The program prepares you for entry-level generalist social work practice, rooted in values and ethics, and instills a commitment to knowledge development and to continuous professional life-long learning.

What are the requirements for a BSW?


    Bachelor of Social Work

    Degree: Bachelor of Social Work

    To obtain this undergraduate degree, you must fulfill the requirements of the University core curriculum, the requirements for the 68-credit-hour program major and have completed a minimum of 126 credit hours.


    Community College and College Transfer Guides

    Wayne County Community College District

    New Core [PDF]
    Old Core [PDF]

    Henry Ford College

    New Core [PDF]
    Old Core [PDF]

    Macomb Community College

    New Core [PDF]
    Old Core [PDF]

    Oakland Community College

    New Core [PDF]
    Old Core [PDF]

    Schoolcraft College

    New Core [PDF]
    Old Core [PDF]

Student Activities and Acknowledgements

Student of the Year

3rd Annual Just Walk Tournament

Detroit Mercy faculty, staff and students pose for a photo after completing the Department of Social Work's 3rd annual Just Walk Tournament

Sponsored by the Department of Social Work, the 2019 Just Walk Tournament offered fun, fitness and fundraising. Open to all faculty, staff, students and friends of Detroit Mercy, the event raised money for the Department of Social Work's text book fund.

Be part of the fun next year and sign up to be notified about our walk in March 2020.  Sign up here:



    Accreditation Status

    University of Detroit Mercy's Bachelor of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The program's accreditation date is from 1980 through June 2026.

    Accreditation of a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’ Commission on Accreditation indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process. An accredited program has sufficient resources to meet its mission and goals and the Commission on Accreditation has verified that it demonstrates compliance with all sections of the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards.

    Accreditation applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.

    CSWE is a nonprofit national association representing more than 2,500 individual members, as well as graduate and undergraduate programs of professional social work education. Founded in 1952, this partnership of educational and professional institutions, social welfare agencies, and private citizens is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in this country.


    Mission, Goals & Competencies

    Mission Statement

    The mission of the University of Detroit Mercy Social Work program is to provide academic experience and curriculum that enables students to integrate and apply knowledge, values and skills of the social work profession in order to become competent baccalaureate generalist social workers who engage in ethical practice, provide leadership in service, work with diverse client systems in a variety of settings and are committed to social and economic justice. The social work program's mission statement is an extension of the University's mission statement and provides the framework for program goals.

    Program Goals 

    The Social Work Program prepares students with a strong foundation in human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, research methods and social work practice methods and skills. The program's goals are to:

    1. To prepare BSW students for ethical, competent entry level, generalist professional social work practice, particularly in urban settings with diverse, poor, vulnerable and oppressed individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
    2. To foster a commitment to continuing education, maintaining competence in practice, and enhancing and increasing opportunities for BSW graduates for renewal and advancement within the profession.

    The Social Work Program does not grant experiential or previous work experience as a substitute for social work course credit.

    Social Work Competencies

    1. Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
    2. Engage diversity and difference in practice.
    3. Advance human rights and social economic and environmental justice.
    4. Engage in practice informed research and research informed practice.
    5. Engage in policy practice.
    6. Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
    7. Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
    8. Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
    9. Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

    Curriculum Assessment Reports


    Generalist Social Work Practice

    Definition of Generalist Social Work Practice

    Entry level to the profession of social work is considered to be generalist practice. Generalist social work practitioners work with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations in a variety of social work and host settings. The generalist practitioner views clients and client systems from a strengths perspective in order to recognize, support and build upon the capabilities of all human beings. They use a professional problem-solving process to engage, assess, broker services, advocate, counsel, educate, and organize with and on behalf of client and client systems. In addition, generalist practitioners engage in community and organizational development. Finally, generalist practitioners evaluate service outcomes in order to continually improve the provision and quality of services most appropriate to client needs. (Adapted from BPD-2006)


    Statement on Non-Discrimination

    The Social Work Program is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment that recognizes the inherent worth and dignity of all people. We are committed to foster tolerance, sensitivity and understanding, and mutual respect among our members and to offer a diverse educational experience that ensures only relevant factors are considered when determining admission, retention and performance. It is the program's policy not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, political belief, sexual orientation, gender expression, veteran's status, marital or parental status.


Evans Ebio picture

Belinda Evans Ebio
Instructor of Social Work

Joiner picture

Janet Joiner
Assistant Professor of Social Work
*Department Chair


VanCamp picture

Aloha VanCamp
Associate Professor of Social Work

Meet Our Advisory Board

Photo of Detroit Mercy Advisory Board - not all members are present.

University of Detroit Mercy Social Work Advisory Board members, from left front: Aloha VanCamp, associate professor, University of Detroit Mercy; Wendy Hooker, CEO, Care Matters;Mead Goedert '06, private practitioner/clinician; Betsey Rheume, associate director, University of Detroit Mercy Admissions Department; Hassan Hammoud, United Way for Southeast Michigan; Juliana Harper, senior vice president & chief program officer, Easterseals Michigan; and Janet M. Joiner, assistant professor, Department of Social Work chair and advisory board chair, University of Detroit Mercy.

Not pictured: Belinda Evans Ebio, social work instructor, University of Detroit Mercy;  Karon Smith, CEO, Advanced Educational Staffing (Old Redford Academy Schools) ; Carlynn Nichols, chief clinical officer, The Children's Center; Andrea Foley, director of behavioral health, Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan.

Ready for the Next Step?

Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education

Interested in Social Work?
Come Talk with Us!

Please contact Janet Joiner, Ph.D., department chair, to learn more about the Bachelor of Social Work program.

Best Social Work Degree badge