What is Social Work?
Social workers are dedicated to helping people improve their lives. Students at the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work learn the skills needed to work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities, to ensure everyone is able to flourish. Social work graduates from the University of Oklahoma work in a plethora of organizations and with a variety of people. The Anne and Henry Zarrow Hall was built in 2011 to accommodate the growing OU Social Work program. Zarrow Hall is home to high-tech classrooms, community space, and a state of the art simulation lab allowing students to hone their social work skills.
Students in the social work program gain hands-on experience through field placements in various areas of interest. In addition to the student practicum placement that spans the entire senior year, there are numerous learning opportunities through projects sponsored by the school. In the Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program, students work with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the Family Services Division to enhance the child welfare workforce. In the Social Work Aging Program, students get supervision from professionals working in the field to develop the expertise needed to serve the elderly and their caretakers. There is the opportunity for students to work at the Knee Center for Strong Families located within Zarrow Hall on community-based research projects.
So, what's my degree?
A Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) is achieved after completion of 60 satisfactory academic credit hours in the program. The BASW includes interactive experiential learning that includes “Interviewing Skills for Generalist Practice” where students learn in a supported simulated environment how to lead and actively listen during a client interview. Students will have the future opportunity to receive a competitive degree in social work and obtain a certification from with national and state organizations such as the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) and Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS).
Do my interests fit?
Social work students typically have interests in:
- Working with families and communities
- Youth advocates who want to see whole and thriving youth in the prevention of teen suicide
- Investing in the lives of children of incarcerated parents
- Advocating for social change
- Empowering people through tangible pathways to change and betterment
- Communication and research
High school preparation should include courses in the social sciences and possibly volunteer work with child welfare and early intervention organizations and adoption agencies.
How can OU Social Work help me?
The Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work has an extensive alumni presence, with networking opportunities from time to time. Students are often placed with OU alumni in their field placements. Many alumni hold leadership positions in the National Association of Social Workers Oklahoma Chapter, and there are opportunities for involvement there.
There are many options for professional social workers, and our alumni prove it. All social work students enjoy experiential and simulation as part of practicum and classroom learning. Opportunities to become involved with local agencies to carry out advocacy projects and social learning projects are common for our students. Our students don’t wait until graduation to have an impact on changing lives. Examples of recent students making a different include a student working on inclusive policies at the county and tribal level and a student forming a partnership with local public safety to serve individuals in their community.
What courses will I take?
Social work courses include:
- Social Wellfare Policy Analysis
- American Indian Behavior Health
- Generalist Practice with Individuals and Families
- Generalist Practice with Families and Groups
- Human Behavior: Individuals and Families
- Human Behavior: Organizations and Communities
- Social Work Research
- Human Diversity & Social Justice
How can I get involved?
Wait, I can have a minor?
How can I study abroad?
The School of Social Work supports students desire to study abroad. The required social work coursework is not offered in a study abroad option. Therefore, students wishing to study abroad are encouraged to look into the many opportunities offered through the university. Often times students interested in studying abroad can fulfill general education requirements through these programs. There are a number of study abroad options that are available over the summer session which would not interfere with undergraduate coursework. The University of Oklahoma and Hebrew University exchange students in an international child welfare training program, meaning our students can have international opportunities and impact.
What kind of career could I pursue?
Adoption social work
International social worker
Early childhood worker
Marriage and family therapist
Clinical social worker
Disaster management responder
Psychiatric social worker
Nonprofit executive director
Behavioral health care specialist
Pediatric, rehab, or public health social worker
How much will I make?
Visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website to explore the median pay for jobs you can pursue with this degree.
Both the undergraduate and graduate programs in the School of Social Work are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.