You have the ability - we'll give you the resources - to be the force of change in the world.

A social work degree is one of the most marketable degrees in the country – and the Department of Labor projects significant job growth in the future. Few occupations can compete with it, as a degree in social work offers a broad range of opportunities. You not only graduate with a degree, but a profession that can lead to a licensure.

The Illinois Placement Plan is the cornerstone of social work education at the School of Social Work, and it’s what prepares our BSW and MSW students for success.  As a result of the Illinois Placement Plan, our graduates gain rich learning experiences as they are immersed in a full-time internship in an agency.

Here, we place a high premium on the internship experience. We want students to fully engage in the type of work they will be doing once they graduate from Illinois.  That’s why students spend a minimum of 30 hours per week in an internship and participate in a seminar class under the tutelage of our faculty who are specifically devoted to field education. That level of involvement and that depth of experience provides our graduates with the confidence, skills, and perspective they need to succeed.

Call it a dress rehearsal. Call it preparing for success.  We call it the Illinois Placement Plan and, as a result, our students graduate with knowledge, a professional work experience, and a professional reference.  They are confident, experienced and prepared to dive into the field of Social Work.

Career Trajectories for BSW Students

As a BSW graduate, you are prepared to enter various career trajectories, including:

  • Generalist social work practice
  • Advanced standing in graduate social work education
  • Career opportunities and graduate education in other areas such as communications, corrections, education, government, business, health care, human resources, law, nonprofit organizations, religious studies, and public service

Career Trajectories for MSW Students

Our MSW program prepares students to be problem solvers, critical thinkers and advocates. The program emphasizes utilizing the latest research to inform best practice, understanding the reciprocal interactions of people and their social environment, and respecting diversity. We give MSW students the opportunity to specialize in various areas of social work.

We offer concentrations in Advanced Clinical and Leadership & Social Change. Within the Advanced Clinical concentration, students may choose a focus area in health care, mental health, school, or children, youth and family services. Not only do our MSW students graduate with advanced practice skills, but they graduate with specialized knowledge in a particular area of social work.

Our MSW graduates pursue careers as innovative leaders, policy advocates, strategists, case managers, therapists and counselors, program directors and managers, supervisors, interventionists and consultants.

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