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Social Work

Service is Our Mission

Studying Social Work at Elizabethtown College means committing yourself to becoming an advocate for social change. Social workers help individuals, groups, and communities find solutions to problems in areas such as education, employment, health care, drug and alcohol abuse, child maltreatment, personal relationships, and aging. From your very first Social Work class, you are in the field working with people through service learning. At Etown, we show you how, you’ll show the world.

Social Work majors at Etown graduate with more than 700-hours of field work experience. This far exceeds the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation requirements, which mandates 400-hours. From agencies to local community organizations, you will have opportunity for real-world experience both domestically and abroad which will make you highly employable.

Meet Our Faculty Course Catalog

social worker in practice

What Can I Do With a Degree in Social Work?

Etown social work graduates have high levels of success in graduate school and the job market. 100% of social work seniors were accepted to graduate school or employed within one month of graduation in 2021. The high number of field hours combined with the academic quality of the program make our students stand out. Popular graduate school locations for our graduates include:

  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Michigan
  • Columbia University

Social Work students can complete their bachelor’s degree in the traditional four years or on an accelerated three-year plan. That means if you qualify for advanced standing for a master’s program, you could earn both a BSW and MSW in just four years!

Student Learning Outcomes:

Our students can expect these outcomes upon completion of their Social Work degree:

  • Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior
  • Engage diversity and difference in practice
  • Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice
  • Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice
  • Engage in policy practice
  • Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  • Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  • Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  • Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
Assesment of Student Learning Outcomes
social work students

Learn by doing

Through introductory classes, students complete a total of 45-hours of service learning. Sites include after school programs, homeless shelters, and senior centers. In their junior year, students complete a 40-hour internship each semester where they shadow a social worker in an area of their choice. This allows students to continue to get information about the different areas of social work, gain practical experience in the field, as well as network with professionals. Etown students choose their locations and secure placements to ensure they are entering a final field experience that is both meaningful to them and related to their long-term goals.

student reading in library

Senior Internships

Seniors complete a 600-hour internship combining 200-hours in the fall and 400-hours in the spring, typically with the same agency. Alternatively, students can complete their fall internship in another country and return to campus for the spring internship. Internship sites have included Children and Youth Services, Masonic Villages, The Bair Foundation, adoption and foster care services, Milton Hershey School, Dauphin County prison, and York Hospital. Students in the past have completed international social work internships in locations including Fiji, England, Ecuador and New Zealand.

student studying in library


Students in the Social Work program work with faculty who believe in relationship-centered learning. From day one our professors provide comprehensive advising, mentoring, and exploration opportunities to help you determine your best career path and ignite your passion. Elizabethtown College’s Social Work program is one of the longest-running and most established in Pennsylvania. We have maintained continuous accreditation since 1977 and were one of the earliest BSW programs to receive accreditation.



Human Services Minor

Our Human Services minor is designed to provide students with an inter-disciplinary overview of social issues in the United States, including human development, multicultural knwoeldge and the development of U.S. social welfare institutions. Our Human Services minor provides an inter-disciplinary education that teaches students about social issues that they may encounter in their future careers and how to integrate this knowledge into their own profession to help address them. This minor enables our students to graduate fully prepared for a life of purposeful work.

A Global Student Community

Our students participate in clubs, organizations and experiences with both interdisciplinary interests as well as those with field focus.

Study Abroad

Many Social Work students choose to study abroad while at Etown. Students can also participate in semester-long or short-term service learning trips led by faculty to become well-rounded professionals and gain a global perspective. Etown is one of the few programs in the country to offer students the ability to complete their social work internships abroad. Students have completed placements in locations like India, Mexico, and New Zealand, as well as short-term learning experiences in places like Southeast Asia.

Social Work Student Association (SWSA)

An informational and co-curricular service club for both social work majors and non-majors, SWSA introduces students to social services and social problems. It also offers opportunities for fundraising and volunteer projects that benefit community social services. SWSA has elected student officer positions allowing our students to gain valuable leadership experience.

National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

This national organization reinforces and strengthens professional commitment, expertise, and social action. It also provides affirmation to employers that you are committed to the ethical practices that guide social work as a profession. Etown students are encouraged to join and receive discounted membership sponsored by the College.

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