What You’ll Study

Through a mix of classroom experiences, field work, community engagement, and work crew assignments, you’ll learn the workings of different social systems and develop professional problem-solving skills to help you make positive changes in the lives of others.

Topics You’ll Cover

  • Developing empathy and cultural sensitivity for people of different ages, classes, cultures, races, sexual orientations, and beliefs
  • Advocating for client access to social services and resources
  • Learning effective methods of intervention, and how to decide when to intervene
  • Applying social work ethical principles to your professional practice

Field Internship

Social work majors complete their coursework with a semester-long field internship at a local social service agency. You’ll work with a supervisor to practice social work, helping real clients and interacting with agency professionals.

Some Recent Field Internship Agencies

  • Buncombe County Department of Social Services
  • Children First Family Resource Center
  • Pisgah Legal Services
  • BeLoved Asheville
  • Bounty and Soul
  • Asheville Racial Justice Coalition
  • Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness
  • Mountain Area Residential Facilities

What can I do with a social work major?

With a bachelor’s degree in social work, you can make a difference for society’s most marginalized populations, like the poor, homeless, children, teenagers, elderly, mentally ill, people with physical and developmental disabilities, LGBTQIA, people of color, and refugees.

The major can also be useful if you’re looking to pursue graduate school in social work or if you’re interested in a related service field like public health, recreation, city planning, public administration, or policy development and analysis.

As a qualifying social work graduate, you can enter a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program as a second-year student with Advanced Standing status, thus completing the two-year advanced degree in one year rather than two. Our graduates have completed MSW programs at such institutions as UNC Chapel Hill, Columbia University, Western Carolina University, University of Chicago, University of California Berkeley, Tulane University, among others.

Manuals, Accreditation & Assessment

Social Work Program Policy Manual

Social Work Field Education Manual

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Form AS 4(B) Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

Read more about Warren Wilson College’s accreditation.

Explore Classes in This Program

SWK 4300

Field Education

In this field study for social work majors, you’ll spend four days a week embedded in a social service agency, practicing the skills you’ve built in classes and making a real impact on people’s lives by serving an active role in your agency’s work.

SWK 2020

Skills for Communication and Partnering

You’ll learn to establish and build relationships with the people you serve through active listening, empathy, verbal and non-verbal communication, and problem solving. Through community engagement, you’ll interact directly with others and reflect on your experience in a helping role.

SWK 2100

Resist. Reform. Revolt: History of Social Welfare

Explore the history and development of the social work profession and social welfare systems in the US within a contemporary global context. You’ll focus on how and why certain societal values and beliefs led us to our current welfare policies and programs. Working with community partners, you’ll be exposed to current, local policy issues and you’ll reflect on the role of policy practice in generalist social work. 

Meet Our Faculty

I am committed to preparing new generations of social work professionals who are critical thinkers and competent practitioners through rigorous academics that integrates civic engagement and practical experience.

Lucy Lawrence, Ph.D.
Professor Lucy Lawrence lectures
Lucy Lawrence, Ph.D.
Sarah Himmelheber

Warren Wilson students awareness of social justice issues supports their capacity for systems-thinking at all levels of social work practice. Our community partnerships allow students to dig in, contributing to creative, respectful, and collaborative change efforts.

Sarah Himmelheber, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.
Sarah Himmelheber
Sarah Himmelheber, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.
Professor Lucy Lawrence lectures
Professor Lucy Lawrence has led four Warren Wilson College study abroad trips to Cuba since 2012.
Distinctive Learning

Learning from the Inside Out

The scene resembles any college classroom: Students trickle in and find a seat as the professor prepares for today’s discussion. At first glance, this could be any creative writing class at any university in America. But look again and a peculiarity comes into focus: Half the students wear identical sea-green cotton shirts and jeans issued by the N.C. Department of Corrections. Those in green uniforms are inmates at the Western Correctional Center for Women, but for the next hour and a half, they’re also Warren Wilson College students. In class, they learn alongside undergraduate classmates from outside the fences. The unusual tableau was orchestrated by the innovative Inside-Out program between Warren Wilson College and the NCDOC, the first of its kind in the state.