Department of Social Work and Gerontology

Serve others and make a difference

If serving others is your passion, social work is the perfect route for you. Students in the social work program learn about the multifaceted influences on human life and action, as well as how to analyze social issues and cultural systems. You will develop the interpersonal, research, and critical thinking skills that underscore effective social work intervention. As a student in the social work program, you'll be part of a tight-knit community of women who discuss issues, share insights, and support one another, as well as the people they serve.

  • 98%of graduates 1-year-out said Saint Mary’s prepared them very well for graduate school
  • 480hours of field placement internship
  • 98%are enrolled in grad school or employed full time

Earn advanced standing in graduate school

By completing the social work major, you will be eligible for advanced standing in nationally recognized graduate schools that actively recruit graduates from Saint Mary’s. This advanced standing allows our graduates to complete their MSW in one year, instead of two years.

Social work graduates have pursued advanced degrees at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Washington University (St. Louis), University of Illinois, the University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, NYU, and others.

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Get real experience in your area of interest

At Saint Mary’s you will work with a field placement coordinator to help determine where you will serve in the community. Together, you’ll discuss your interests and passions, where you can learn the most, and what type of social work is most exciting to you. Do you want to work in a school, with the homeless, in the medical or mental health setting? These are the questions that will guide you to the perfect fit and prepare you for your career trajectory. Students complete over 480 hours of field work, and the coordinator will work with you to ensure it is the best fit. 

Discover your inner social worker

Our students and alumnae are the best indication of what a degree in social work allows you to do and who you can be. They are passionate women who believe in the inherent dignity of each person. They want to help and serve others as diligent listeners and advocates.

Evelyn Martinez, class of 2018

“As a social worker, I want to be able to provide that comfort to the people seeking my help. I want to provide a secure environment for those who do not feel protected anywhere else.”
— Evelyn Martinez ’18

Joan Skokna, class of 2018

“I want to be a social worker so that I can provide as many people as possible with a listening ear or a helping hand, not because of what they can give to me or what I can do for them, but because of who they are.”
— Joan Skokna ’18

A nationally accredited and established program

The social work program at Saint Mary’s is accredited as a baccalaureate degree program by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) that qualifies students for state licensure examinations. In our most recent accreditation, the Saint Mary's College Social Work Program earned a perfect re-accreditation from the CWSE. This accreditation means that you will receive education and training as a social worker that is above par and in line with the College’s mission to prepare women to make a difference in the world.

Earn a minor in gerontology

Gerontology is the study of social, cultural, psychological, cognitive, and biological aspects of aging, which by its very nature spans the disciplines including: psychology, communicative disorders, sociology, social work, nursing, philosophy, and others. Demand for specialized knowledge of gerontology continues to grow. By 2030, experts predict that 72.1 million people will be over the age of 65, nearly double the number today. With this minor, you'll demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the aging population that complements your major.

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