Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.)

  • Students studying in a UAA building

    Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.)

    Discover the world of possibilities that accompany a social work degree. With a Bachelor of Social Work degree from UAA, you’ll be prepared to build a career helping others and advancing well-being, equity and social justice in Alaska’s communities.

Explore the Bachelor of Social Work degree at the University of Alaska Anchorage

One of only two Bachelor of Social Work degree programs in Alaska, UAA's B.S.W. program provides structure, support, instruction, and advising to prepare you for an entry-level, professional social work career or graduate school opportunities.

Scholarships and financial aid
As a social work major, you may qualify for program scholarships, such as the Dove Kull Social Work Scholarship, or departmental, university-wide and private scholarships. You can also work on campus in student life, peer support and other offices to earn money and gain leadership experience. Learn more about financial aid at UAA.

Faculty advisors
Program faculty provide academic and professional advising to guide you through the B.S.W. degree program and development as a professional social worker. Faculty also offer opportunities for working with them on research and community-engaged projects, as well as undergraduate networking and connections to peer universities and communities contributing to your overall professional and early career development.

Social workgroups and activities
With more than 100 student clubs to choose from, you can get involved with groups and activities that match your professional and personal interests. Join the UAA Social Work Student Coalition, UAA's student chapter of the National Association of Social Workers or the Epsilon Chi chapter of Phi Alpha, the National Honor Society of Social Work.

Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.)

Degree Type:

  • Baccalaureate

Program Length: Four Years

Availability:Anchorage campus

Accredited by: Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

Other program options: Minors in social welfare, children's mental health services; Occupational Endorsement Certificate in Interprofessional Child Welfare

Did you know..

UAA B.S.W. majors traditionally perform above the national average on the Area Concentration Achievement Test for social work and Social Work Education Assessment Project exams.

What can you do with a social work degree from UAA?

Social workers provide prevention and intervention services for people, groups, organizations and communities in need, while enhancing the well-being of diverse populations and building inclusive environments. Careers in social work are expected to increase 22 percent in Alaska by 2022, which is much higher than other career paths, making Alaska one of the states with the highest demand for trained professionals in the social services, health care and mental health care sectors.

Social work graduate programs

  • Master of Social Work: B.S.W. graduates may qualify for Advanced Standing in the UAA M.S.W. program, as well as other accredited MSW programs, allowing students to complete their graduate degree in up to half the time.

Social work careers

The Bachelor of Social Work program at the University of Alaska Anchorage prepares you for entry-level positions leading to advancement and leadership roles. Social workers are employed in many areas and settings, including: 

  • Child and family services
  • Mental health
  • Substance abuse
  • Military and veterans’ services
  • Schools
  • Basic needs, such as food and housing security
  • Juvenile and criminal justice
  • Hospitals and health care

By the numbers..

90%
UAA social work alumni who are either employed or accepted into graduate school by the time they graduate.
UAA School of Social Work

Bachelor of Social Work degree program highlights

Channel your natural capacity for empathy and compassion and combine it with hands-on experiences in and out of the classroom. In UAA's School of Social Work, you'll develop the skills you need to build a successful career helping others.

  • Join a student-centered cohort program. Learn the art of leading critical conversations with fellow students while supporting each other's success and professional development.
  • Learn from Alaska's best. UAA's talented faculty are highly experienced and educated practitioners who bring their passion for problem-solving to the classroom. Learn from those who are positively impacting Alaska's families and communities.
  • Receive instruction and training from faculty with advanced practice experience in clinical social work, program development, administration, leadership, social action and evaluation/research. UAA faculty address Alaska's most challenging social issues such as homelessness, interpersonal violence, severe and persistent mental illness and HIV prevention.
  • Conduct undergraduate, community-based research with faculty who hold doctoral degrees from leading research universities in the U.S. You can pursue individual interests and develop research skills through faculty-led projects, coursework and independent studies.
  • Work in a community agency during a senior-year internship. Gain hands-on, practical experience in social services while completing a highly rigorous internship under the supervision and mentorship of an experienced social worker.
  • Develop practical job skills through service learning and civic engagement. UAA social work majors are actively engaged in social issues while preparing for their future through direct experience, professional development and networking opportunities.
Students reading a book together

Help organize and direct social action projects. The Student Social Work Coalition leads Project Homeless Connect and also worked with the UAA community to include LGBT protections in UAA’s discrimination policy.

Student Social Work Coalition
Student writing on a piece of paper

Conduct an independent research project and fulfill other course requirements to graduate with departmental honors in social work.

Social Work Honors
Children working on computers

Funded by the Alaska Office of Children’s Services, the Child Welfare Academy offers undergraduate grant-funded research that provides specialized training for students focused on the development of strong families, client interviewing skills and service planning.

Child Welfare Academy

Bachelor of Social Work degree program curriculum

Social workers operate at the intersection of diverse local and global issues. From poverty and homelessness to climate change and public health, UAA's School of Social work will help you identify and anticipate emerging societal challenges and work toward socially just, equitable, and inclusive responses to those challenges. You will learn how to help others identify plans to address needed change, so you can serve your community as a strong advocate and social service provider assisting some of the most vulnerable and marginalized populations in Alaska and beyond.

All coursework in the B.S.W. program at the University of Alaska Anchorage focuses on practical skills and incorporates service learning, community engagement, research, ethics, and intensive writing.

Top classes for social work majors

  • Shape your career as a professional social worker by gaining direct experience in Field Education (Practicum).
  • Learn about a variety of social work practice issues through elective courses such as mental health and addictions, sustainability, interpersonal violence, child welfare, Veteran's and military family services and disability services.