Minor in social work

Western Michigan University students with other majors can obtain a 15-hour minor in social work. This minor allows students the opportunity to learn about the profession, about social justice, and some basic interpersonal skills that will be helpful in any profession. Required courses for the social work minor can be found in the undergraduate catalog.

Please note that a minor in social work does not meet requirements for social work licensing or accelerated MSW programs. For more information about the social work minor, please consult with a College of Health and Human Services academic advisor. Call (269) 387-2656 to schedule an appointment.

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Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Minimum hours required for graduation: 122 hours

Western Michigan University's undergraduate professional program is designed to prepare students for beginning generalist social work practice and to provide preparation for graduate training in social work and related professions. Emphasis is placed on a conceptual framework of systems theory, the ecological model, and a strengths-based approach to problem solving. Generalist social workers are taught to address a range of social issues, to work in a variety of practice settings, and to facilitate positive change that will enhance the social function of individuals, groups, families, organizations and communities.

The Bachelor of Social Work program utilizes the development of knowledge and skills in the areas of human behavior in the social environment, social work practice, research, social policy, diversity, ethics and values. A personalized instructional approach is used to engage students in a learning process that promotes critical thinking and self-reflection. Commitment to educating students to work towards the creation of a more just and humane society by advocating for services and resources for oppressed, vulnerable, and other at-risk populations is a main emphasis of the program.

Becoming a social work major requires a departmental application and admission to the program. Click below for more info on admissions requirements, deadlines, and to start your application.


Students enrolled in the undergraduate social work curriculum are required to complete a major consisting of 35 hours, a guided interdisciplinary minor of 22 to 24 hours, and six hours of research, totaling 63 to 65 hours. 

Compatible minors

The BSW degree leaves plenty of room for student to take electives of their choice. While a minor is not required, they are one way to meaningfully use those electives towards developing a knowledge base that complements an interest in particular areas of social work practice.

The list below is NOT an exhaustive list of available minors at WMU, however, they are minors that many of our students have selected in the past, or that may be relevant to your future career. If you are interested in adding a minor to your degree, contact CHHS advisor Jill Hamilton to adjust your degree plan.

Transferring to WMU

To transfer, you must apply to the university and apply to the social work major.

The School of Social Work has approved some introductory social work courses from other colleges and universities to satisfy requirements in the WMU BSW program, including full associate-to-BSW transfer agreements with Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Kellogg Community College.

Transfer guides:


Field Education

As part of the program, Students in the social work major complete two consecutive semesters of field education (SWRK 4100 and 4110) in a human service agency for a total of 400 internship hours. This internship provides students with opportunities to learn and apply generalist knowledge and beginning level skills in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.  Field education and the courses taken concurrently, SWRK 4010 and 4020, are open only to students formally admitted to the B.S.W. program. Students pursuing a social work minor do not complete field education.