Madisyn Sheppard ’25
Social workers are compassionate, creative problem-solvers who are employed in human service settings: including children's services, mental health facilities, nursing homes, schools, corrections facilities and rehabilitation clinics.
Many social workers use their skills in either public or private counseling settings. This can include work with children, families, domestic abuse survivors and people addressing mental health issues and substance misuse.
- Area agencies recognize that Bluffton prepares knowledgeable social workers and many students have jobs lined up before they graduate.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of social workers is expected
to increase by 16 percent through 2026, more than double the projected growth for
More from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Every social work major gains hands-on experience through 448 hours of field placement in addition to quality classroom instruction. Bluffton professors are not so much teaching undergraduate students as they are “training future colleagues.”
Most agencies prefer or require their social service workers to be licensed. As an accredited social work program, our graduates are eligible to apply for the state license. Our program, which is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, meets or exceeds all necessary standards.
Bluffton social work graduates are prepared for both entry-level positions in the field or for graduate school.
- An emphasis on social justice and anti-oppressive practices
- Advisors dedicated to student success and personal mentorship
- More than 40 internship/fieldwork placement locations to fit your career goals
- Most transfer students are able to complete a social work major in two academic years
In addition to declaring a social work major, you must apply to be formally admitted to the social work program and fulfill socialization activity requirements.
- Declare a major in social work major. You will then be assigned an academic advisor from within the social work program to help you prepare to apply for admission to the social work program.
- During your sophomore year, as part of the Human Behavior and Social Environment course, you will complete the application to the social work program,
- Read more about the program and the application process in the Social Work Student Manual
Social work graduates are required to have 448 hours of field experience. Faculty will work with you to match your field experience with your career goals.
- Behavioral health
- Community outreach
- Counseling services
- Crisis-victim services
- Developmental disabilities
- Foster care/child services
- Health services
- Job and family services
- Substance abuse
- Courses for a major in social work
Guideline to complete the social work major in four years>
Social workers who wish to go into the healthcare or clinical field of social work or desire to have a private practice or supervising position will need to obtain a Masters in Social Work. Find a list of accredited schools who offer an MSW at Council on Social Work Education.
Frequently asked questions
One study predicts a critical shortage of social workers in the near future, particularly to serve the increasing needs of aging baby boomers.
NASW's Workforce Studies includes information about a national survey of licensed social workers in the United States.
To get an idea of jobs being posted, see job listings by "The New Social Worker."
Some social service agencies and professional organizations, such as the North American Association of Christians in Social Work post job opportunities on their web site.
Bluffton's social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
By being an accredited program and school, our students will be eligible for their licensure to be a licensed social worker at a baccalaureate level. Graduating from an accredited program, will put our students in advanced standing for admission into graduate schools of social work.
Every state requires some form of legal regulation of social work practice. Ohio requires social workers to be licensed. A bachelor's degree in social work is needed to be eligible to apply for the license.
Find your greater purpose
Madisyn Sheppard ’25
Kai Smith ’22
“As a social work major, it's all about getting experience and figuring out what I want to do and who I want to work with. So far, I want to work with everybody and anybody. There are so many opportunities out there.”