James Madison University

Welcome From the Department Head

PHOTO: Lisa McGuireWelcome to the JMU Department of Social Work!  As one of the newest members of the JMU community, I can promise you that this is a warm and supportive environment to learn and grow, with a wide range of opportunities both in and outside the classroom such as service-learning, field practicum and international travel.

Our Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree prepares students for beginning professional practice, and is the entry-level credential as recognized by the National Association of Social Workers.  Students who earn the BSW degree are well-prepared for careers in many areas of social services as well as graduate education in a wide variety of fields.  Our program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, qualifying our BSW graduates for consideration for Advanced Standing in MSW programs across the nation. 

In addition to the BSW degree, the social work department offers three minor programs- Family Studies, Gerontology and Non-profit Studies- designed for a variety of majors across the university, such as psychology, health services, business, political science and many others.  The Family Studies minor is designed to build knowledge about family-related issues while increasing understanding of self and relationships. The interdisciplinary minor in Gerontology is designed for any undergraduate major desiring a concentration of study in gerontology for personal understanding or career preparation in the rapidly expanding field of aging.  Nonprofit Studies minor is designed for students interested in working in the nonprofit sector providing grounding in the skills and perspectives necessary to work in one of the 1.6 million nonprofit organizations in the US today.  Each minor requires a capstone course which allows students to focus their learning in a particular area to prepare for employment and/or graduate education. 

We welcome students, alumni, friends or community partners to explore our website and join us as we work together to “Be the Change”. 

Lisa E. McGuire, MSW, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Head
Department of Social Work

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