Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Skip Navigation Linksfaq


Frequently Asked Questions

​​​​​​​​1.Why study social work instead of one of the related disciplines such as psychology or sociology?

If you are interested in working with people, Social Work education focuses on helping you develop the knowledge and skills for working with people through both classroom studies and internships in actual practice settings. Unlike disciplines such as psychology and sociology in which you are learning about people and behavior, in social work you are you not only learn about people and the situations with which they struggle but also apply those understandings to real situations in which you help. Our program at Providence College includes a three-semester internship sequence, beginning junior year.

2.How do I go about declaring social work as a major?

The decision to declare Social Work as a major is a significant one and needs to be based on accurate information about the profession, knowledge of the goals and objectives of the program, and a thoughtful consideration of your interests, your congruence with the values of social work, and your compatibility with the expectations and demands of the program. Because you must take four required courses prior to the junior year—SWK 101, SWK 253, SWK254, and BIO 122, if you are considering majoring in Social Work you should arrange an appointment to talk with the Chairperson of the Department of Social Work no later than the beginning of the first semester of the sophomore year. You can contact the Chairperson of the Department of Social Work, Margaret Roderick, at 865- 2524.       

3.When should I declare the major in social work?

If you are interested in considering a major in social work or in declaring social work as your major, you should contact the Chairperson of the Department of Social Work by the first semester of your sophomore year in order to ensure that you can take the four courses required for entry into the junior year

4.What are the 4 courses that I must take before my junior year?

  • SWK101-  Introduction to Human Services
  • SWK 253- Human Behavior Across the Life Span
  • SWK 254- Behavior in Social Systems
  • BIO 122- Human Biology (This course also meets the College’s core  Natural  Science requirement)

5. Can I major in social work and study abroad?

If you are thinking about majoring in social work and studying abroad during the academic year, it would be important to talk with the Chair of the Social Work department no later than the middle of the first semester of your sophomore year so that the necessary scheduling accomm​odations can be made. Summer study abroad is always an option.          .

6.Can I major in social work and do a minor?

Yes,it is possible to do a minor. Students have done minors in Spanish, Women's Studies, Public Service, Business Studies, and other disciplines. As you evaluate your interest in doing a minor, it is important to know that that you will be using most of your free elective options to do so. It is essentially a choice between doing a minor or having the option of taking a range of special interest courses throughout your four-year program.

7.Will I have help in obtaining an internship?

The Director of Field Education for the Department of Social Work is responsible for assisting you with planning and establishing the required professional internships. The Social Work Program has training affiliations with a wide range of community organizations--schools, child welfare organizations, family stabilization programs, health and mental health organizations, courts, and community action and community planning agencies--and will work with you to establish internships that fit your interests and learning needs.

8.What kinds of jobs can I get with a BA in Social Work?

Baccalaurea​​​te level professional social workers work as

  • Case Managers in public and private child welfare and child protective settings: child abuse and neglect investigations, family reunification,foster care, adoption
  • Case Managers in support programs for teen parents 
  • Family Advocates in Head Start and Early Head Start programs: support and service coordination based on a Parent Partnership agreement
  • Case Managers in Early Intervention programs : children (0-3) with developmental disabilities and their families
  • Case Managers and Family Service Coordinators for high-risk youth in residential and community-based programs: group homes and residential treatment settings for youth, community-based youth diversionary and tracking programs, service coordination for youth transitioning from youth detention facilities back into the community
  • Group facilitators for prevention intervention programs such as anti-bullying programs, high-risk HIV/AIDS groups
  • Social Case Workers in nursing and rehabilitation settings and community-based programs for the elderly: support and service coordination, outreach to frail and isolated elderly, elder protective services
  • Victim  Advocates in domestic violence settings, courts
  • Case Managers and Community Support for the persistently and severely mentally ill
  • Project Coordinators: Independent living skills development for youth in foster care, individuals with developmental disabilities,

9.What graduate schools do your students attend?

Graduates from our program seem mostly to attend schools in the Northeast--Boston College, Boston University, Columbia University, Fordham University, Rhode Island College, New York University, Salem State College, Simmons College, University of Maryland, University of New Hampshire, University of Pennsylvania.

10.Will I be able to earn a living in the field of social work?

Baccalaureate professional social work salaries range from $28,000-38,000. MSW professional social workers generally earn $35,000-45,000

11.How can I find out more about what a social worker does?

There are several references for you to check out. The Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook provides and good overview of social work . In addition, the National Association of Social Workers has a discussion of the social work profession in their Student Center Resources ( The New Social Worker magazine offers many good articles for prospective and current social work students ( . Of course, nothing beats a one-on-one chat with a practicing social worker.​