Skip to main content Skip to footer
A social work student shows off his philosophy of life on a t-shirt.

Social Work

Social work is for the person who believes in the dignity and worth of individuals, embraces diversity, helps empower others, advocates for social justice, and assists people in coping with their everyday lives.

Social Work at Southern Miss: Engagement, Discovery, Integration, Transformation

As a social work major, you will learn knowledge, values and skills to prepare you to:

  • Identify as a professional
  • Use a variety of evidenced-based interventions to assist individuals, groups, families, communities and organizations in solving a broad range of problems
  • Work with people in a variety of settings such as hospitals, schools, disaster relief agencies, state and city government, child welfare, residential facilities, and nonprofit agencies
  • Work with a diverse group of people such as children, individuals who are homeless, individuals with disabilities, the aged, those in the armed forces and families
  • Enhance the quality of life for all people
  • Promote the values of social justice, economic justice and physical and mental well-being


As a BSW major, you will take courses in the General Education Curriculum (GEC), which provides you with a liberal arts foundation. An additional 32 "general" hours are taken, which are comprised of courses that extend the GEC and three introductory level courses that provide you with information about the profession, its history and human diversity.

Once you progress to the professional level courses in the BSW program, you will follow a prescribed progression plan. You will take 3 semesters of courses culminating with a 450-hour field practicum/internship and capstone seminar, where you will apply what you have learned in a practice setting.

Degree Options

There is one Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree available with this major.

More about this Major


After graduation, BSW students:

  • Go to graduate school OR
  • Become licensed and secure employees with various populations such as children, individuals who are homeless, individuals with addictions, families and individuals with disabilities; working in a variety of settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, city government, law enforcement agencies and mental health facilities, among others.
• The Southern Miss School of Social Work is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education.
• Approximately 36% of our undergraduate students go on to graduate school.
• Employment of social workers is expected to grow by 12% from 2014 to 2024, faster than average for all occupations. - Bureau of Labor Statistics
The academics in the School of Social Work are one in a million. It's so rewarding to have professors that truly want to invest in you and classmates that are supportive and encouraging.

Courses You Might Take

SWK 301: Introduction to Social Work

To introduce you to the profession of social work, you are required to take this introduction to social work class. Students are amazed at the contributions of social work pioneers to the world and the different fields in which they can work such as law enforcement agencies, hospitals, schools, corporations and the political arena.

SWK 315: Human Diversity in a Changing World

Differences/similarities among various cultures and implications for social work practice are explored in this course. Students are encouraged and required to participate in activities such as the diversity dash.

SWK 430/431: Field Education

To wrap up your educational experience in the BSW program, you will complete your two capstone courses, a 450-hour field practicum/internship and a seminar class. You will have your own clients under the supervision of a social worker.

Meet Some of Your Professors

Rachel Lahasky

Clinical Instructor

Favorite Course: SWK 451: Grief and Bereavement

Expertise: Medical Social Work, School Social Work

Karen Aderer


Favorite Course: SWK 415: Human Rights and Social Justice

Expertise: Ethics, Cultural Competence, Human Rights and Social Justice

Dr. Joohee Lee

Associate Professor

Favorite Course: SWK 315: Human Diversity in a Changing World and Methods of SWK 420: Social Work Research

Expertise: Child Welfare, Disasters, Mental Health, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in Asian communities,  exploring minority stress theory with LGBTQ military/veteran and aging populations, culturally informed practice, intergroup contact theory, and storytelling

Take the Next Steps

Let's Connect

Get in touch so we can share the information you need to learn more about your future at Southern Miss.

Come See Us

Visit our beautiful Hattiesburg or Gulf Park campuses. Seeing for yourself is a great way to get to know us better.

Apply to Southern Miss

Be aware of our deadlines, $40 application fee and other items on our checklist. Admission requirements vary for freshmen, transfers, prospective Honors College students and others.

Southern Miss undergraduate degrees are available online, at the Hattiesburg campus, at the Gulf Park campus, and/or through a hybrid delivery that includes both online and on-campus courses.