Social workers in hospitals, clinics, agencies and private practice help people cope with issues in their everyday lives. A social work degree can be at both the undergraduate level -- Bachelor's of Science/Arts in Social Work -- and the graduate level. Because social workers deal with people with many kinds of problems, undergraduate and graduate coursework will include both classroom instruction and practice-based fieldwork. Credit hours vary from one state to another, but there are requirements common to most programs.
Undergraduate Credit Requirements
Evaluate programs in the state where you plan to work. You will have to complete all the required fields of study for state licensure and certification. If you are not certain where you plan to work, look for programs offering the widest variety and largest number of courses in social work, so your degree will apply to as many jobs as possible.
Plan to complete between 40 and 60 credit hours of social work courses. Some programs offer fewer social work courses, but expect the balance to come from related required courses in biology, social sciences and psychology, which may be taught in other departments. Expect to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours in required courses, while some schools require more.
Increase the value of your degree with related courses that may not be required. Courses in statistics and testing, often offered through the psychology or education departments, for example, add to your understanding of materials you may use in your field and other professions.
Fieldwork courses will run from 100 to 300 clock hours, generally earning three to six credit hours. You will work as a student under professional supervision. This develops your ability to apply what you are learning to the real-life situations you will face as a social worker.
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