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“The primary purpose of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being. Social workers help meet the basic human needs of all people and empower those who are vulnerable, oppressed or living in poverty. A historic and defining feature of social work is the profession’s dual focus on the individual in a social context and the betterment of society. Social workers help people identify and manage the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living.” (National Association of Social Workers (NASW), 2002)

Social work, as a helping profession, involves working with people in a variety of situations. Social workers assist individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities in the areas of child and family welfare, corrections, health, mental health and a variety of other social service settings.

The social work curriculum at Northeastern is designed to prepare you for entry-level professional social work and for graduate study. You will build knowledge of human behavior, and develop the skills needed for helping individuals, families, small groups, organizations or communities in a diverse society.

Northeastern Illinois University’s Social Work program is fully accredited by the Council of Social Work Education, assuring the program’s excellence in preparing students for future employment in the field.

Because of the program’s national accreditation, students are eligible for membership in the National Association of Social Workers.

Students at Northeastern benefit from small classes and a low student-faculty ratio.

Northeastern hosts the only public undergraduate social work program in the Chicago area. Because of our commitment to the highest-quality social work, education graduates from our program go on to graduate school and excel.

Department Website

Admission to the Program 

To declare a major in social work, you must contact the Office manager, Melissa Ramos, at (773) 442-4760 to schedule an appointment with an advisor.

For general Northeastern admission requirements, the Admissions Office helps new and returning students through the application process. In addition, the Transfer Center assists transfer students and students who are veterans to transition to Northeastern.

Degree Requirements 

To declare a major in social work, you must contact the Office manager, Melissa Ramos, at (773) 442-4760 to schedule an appointment with an advisor.

For general Northeastern admission requirements, the Admissions Office helps new and returning students through the application process. In addition, the Transfer Center assists transfer students and students who are veterans to transition to Northeastern.

Required Courses

  • ANTH-212 Cultural Anthropology
  • BIOL-100 Introduction to Biology
  • PSYC-100 Survey of Psychology
  • PSYC-110 Life Span Development
  • SOC-100 Introduction to Sociology
Required Social Work Courses for Majors
  • SWK-200 Introduction to Social Work
  • SWK-207 Social Welfare Policy I
  • SWK-303 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I
  • SWK-304 Social Work Practice I
  • SWK-305 Social Work Practice II
  • SWK-306 Human Behavior & the Social Environment II
  • SWK-309 Research & Quantitative Application in Social Work
  • SWK-310 Research Practicum I
  • SWK-311 Research Practicum II
  • SWK-353 Field Seminar I
  • SWK-354 Field Seminar II
  • SWK-355 Field Practicum I
  • SWK-356 Field Practicum II
  • SWK-357 Social Welfare Policy II
Social Work Knowledge and Values Electives
  • SWK-202 Community Analysis
  • SWK-203 Analysis of Cross-Cultural Interaction
  • SWK-208 Human Sexuality and Social Work
  • SWK-250 Issues in Social Service Delivery
  • SWK-307 Child/Adolescent Services
  • SWK-308 Social Work Practice and Policy with Immigrants and Refugees
  • SWK-312 Women and Social Work
  • SWK-314 Social Work Advocacy
Social Work Skills Electives
  • SWK-324 Social Work with Latino Communities
  • SWK-327 Social Work Practice with Families
  • SWK-328 Social Work Practice with Groups
  • SWK-329 Administration and Planning in Social Work
  • SWK-330 Social Work Practice in Community Settings

NOTE: Social work majors are required to take one (1) elective from the Skills offerings and one (1) from the Knowledge and Values offerings.

Careers & Employment 


Throughout Chicago and the surrounding area, internship opportunities are available at many agencies and organizations.


Looking to go beyond local opportunities? The Social Work Department organizes annual educational tours abroad to places such as Ghana, West Africa; Guanajuato, Mexico; and Hyderbad, India. Find out where we’re going next by speaking with our department chair for further information

Research Opportunities

Students are able to engage in many research opportunities sponsored by the social work faculty both within and outside of the classroom. Students are able to gain invaluable knowledge and skills through their work with social work faculty in the area of policy, research and practice. Students are also selected to work with student-faculty research projects sponsored by the Provost’s Office and COR grants.

Career Opportunities

Our faculty supports your pursuit of a professional career in social work. Career opportunities are available in a variety of industries and subfields. Through our program explore the various areas of direct and indirect social work practice, prepare to pursue graduate studies in social work or a related field or begin to prepare for an entry-level social work position. Our faculty can provide you with more information to fit your specific needs.

Program Contact Information 

If you are interested in pursuing a social work major at Northeastern, please contact our Office manager, Melissa Ramos, at or (773) 442-4760,  or  Professor Jade Stanley, chair, at or (773) 442-4764.



Field Education Information

Jacqueline Anderson, Ph.D.,  is the coordinator of field education. The coordinator of field education is responsible for developing potential field placements and ensuring their eligibility as outlined in the criteria for selection of agency and supervisor. The coordinator meets with each potential field supervisor to evaluate the agency and the field supervisor and inform them of the requirements, objectives and assignments of the field practicum. This meeting takes place preferably in person but may be developed over the phone and through ongoing correspondence and discussions. The coordinator arranges the required annual field supervisor meeting in late summer or early fall to address concerns, discuss the initial progress of the students and plan for any changes in the forthcoming academic year.

The coordinator of field education maintains working contact with all field supervisors and students throughout the placement experience to ensure ongoing compatibility and adherence to Northeastern Illinois University Social Work Program and CSWE practicum standards. This includes responsibility for placing all students in the field and conducting a Spring Student Orientation. In addition to providing field practicum placements and administering the field practicum, the coordinator is responsible for ensuring integration of the field practicum through classroom teaching of the field seminar.

All BASW students  are required to complete a 512-hour practicum in the final year of study. Students will spend three days a week in an agency placement and will be on campus for a field seminar and other required classes at least one day per week.

In the spring of the previous year of beginning the field practicum experience, the director of field education will host a mandatory meeting to introduce students to the placement process. Each student will meet with the director or one of the field liasions, individually to discuss areas of interest and identify possible placement sites. Students will then interview at agencies and make final decisions on placements while working directly with the director of field education prior to beginning the field practicum in the fall.

Field Site

The field site contains the most up to date information about your field experience.

Note: All students who are in the field practicum must be members of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). You can find the member application at

On this site you will also find information about the NASW TRUST, where you will find information on purchasing social work student liability insurance/assurance you will need while a student in your field placement.

Arts and Sciences

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