funge-simon.jpgAre you interested in making a difference in the lives of people and their communities?

Social work may be the major for you!

As professionals, social workers are concerned with issues affecting vulnerable populations including children, older adults, the unhoused, people with mental health and substance use disorders, veterans, and a number of other marginalized groups. We are flexible enough to work with people of many ages, backgrounds, and cultures and are involved with individuals and families, groups and organizations, and even entire communities as clients.

Social work is a challenging but rewarding field!

At JMU, the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program is 120 hours, including 50 hours in the major, typically 41 hours of general education, and 29 hours of electives. Most significantly, social work students have the opportunity to practice under the supervision of a professional social worker applying what they learn in the classroom to working with clients in a community-based agency during their senior year practicum.

BSW graduates are prepared for beginning professional practice as recognized by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Our program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), qualifying our BSW graduates for consideration for accelerated 1-year Advanced Standing MSW programs. (Traditional MSW programs take 2-years to complete.)

Our social work majors are not required to earn a minor; however some choose to pursue a cross-disciplinary minor in Family Studies (with a focus on family ecology or gerontology; 18 hours) or Non-profit Studies (19-21 hours).

Our majors have the opportunity to get as involved as their time allows! You can become involved with the social work student organization, Social Work Organization (SWO), and perhaps become a member of Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Workers. Students can serve on the Social Work Advisory Committee, the Social Work Advisory Group, or as a student organizational leader. In addition, our students serve on college committees such as the Dean’s Student Advisory Committee, the CHBS Student Inclusive Excellence Committee, and are CHBS Student Ambassadors. These are all great ways to learn about social work beyond the classroom.

If you would like to meet to discuss social work as a major and a profession, please call (540) 568-6980, send an email to, or stop by the Department of Social Work in the Health and Behavioral Studies building (HBS) – 2nd floor.

We look forward to meeting you.

Simon Funge, PhD, MSW
Academic Unit Head
Department of Social Work

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