Student faces the camera and is talking to a student who's back is to the camera.
Assistant Professor Ren Winnett leads the SOCW 360 course, Thursday, April 6, 2023, in Hauge at PLU. (PLU Photo / Sy Bean)

Social work is a profession dedicated to helping people.

In the Department of Social Work at PLU, we prepare you for a fulfilling career in community care for others, including children, youth, and families; working with marginalized and disenfranchised populations; addressing community behavioral health needs; and bringing about social change. Learn from passionate experts in the field, gain hands-on experience through local agency practicums, and be prepared to enter the workforce directly or pursue graduate studies.

PLU’s Department of Social Work offers:

Minor in Social Work

Explore our minor in social work

Undergraduate program

Explore our Bachelor in Social Work (BSW)

Graduate program

Explore our Master of Social Work (MSW)


You can find PLU graduates from the Department of Social Work in hospitals, schools, and community health centers, providing support for illness, therapy, and youth services. Witness their impact in rehabilitation centers for prisoners and drug and alcohol support; experience outreach and long-term care in nursing homes and shelters. From aiding military members and veterans to leading nonprofits and shaping policies, social workers make a difference in diverse roles across communities.


PLU’s BSW is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The MSW is in the process of being accredited and plans to enter candidacy in 2024.

Community Partnerships

100% of BSW students get hands-on learning experiences through over 400 hours of field practicum.

Pathway to MSW

PLU’s BSW graduates can be directly admitted with advanced standing to PLU’s MSW program and automatically receive a 10% tuition discount for the MSW.


View the latest news about social work at PLU.

Confronting mental health

How the PLU community is demonstrating transformative care.

A mother brushes her daughter's hair with a yellow background
Recent graduates

Social work major and working mom Teranejah Lucas ’23 explores the politics and power of Black hair in her capstone.

Two students talk to each other while looking at iPads.
New graduate program

PLU launches new Master of Social (MSW) degree.


Small class size ensures a stronger sense of community and support from students and faculty, giving you a more personalized learning experience.

Our rigorous curriculum focuses on local and global challenges in health and behavioral health.

We train ethical leaders committed to advocacy, social justice, and professional service. They drive change for just, equitable, and empowerment-focused service provision, policies, and systems globally and locally.