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Social Work

“I wish there was some way I could help.” If you’ve ever seen a fellow human struggling or in crisis and wanted to connect them to the resources they need to start thriving, McDaniel’s Social Work major is for you. We’ll equip you with the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to make a difference.

Degree Types
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements
Graduate School Preparation
Get ready for your MSW

The nationally accredited Social Work program at McDaniel College prepares you for entry-level, culturally sensitive, generalist practice with individuals, families, small groups, communities and organizations. You’ll be provided with the knowledge, skills, values and training needed to work effectively with vulnerable and at-risk populations. We offer multiple service-learning experiences throughout the Social Work curriculum.

Hands-on Helping

In your senior year, you’ll be placed in a human service agency under the supervision of a master’s level social worker two days a week for a two-semester internship. By the completion of the social work major, you’ll be capable of asserting leadership in the establishment, provision, and delivery of human services at the local, state, national, and international levels.

Future Career Paths

About 75 percent of all recent graduates are employed in social work or related human service jobs. Many also pursue graduate study at such institutions as the University of Maryland, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, New York University, and Catholic University.

Recent Internship Placements for Social Work Majors:

  • Department of Social Services
  • Carroll Lutheran Village
  • Youth Services Bureau
  • Family and Children Services
  • Hopewell Cancer Support Center
  • Carroll County (MD) Human Services Program

Distinctive Courses

SWK 2217 - SW & Marginalized Populations

An overview of social work and social welfare in America with an emphasis on historical development and current institutional nature. The student will learn to identify social problems and analyze social welfare programs, especially at the federal level. International social welfare programs will also be analyzed. The main focus of the course is on the impact of social problems and social programs on marginalized populations. Students will become familiar with the NASW Code of Ethics and its application to social work generalist practice.

SWK 2225 - HBSE: Early to Late Adulthood

HBSE (Human Behavior and the Social Environment) courses examine the richness and diversity of the human experience over the life span from a person-in-environment perspective. Theoretical frameworks ranging from Freud to Feminism are examined. Functional and dysfunctional patterns of coping and adaptation are identified. SWK2225 focuses on the period between early and late adulthood. It can be taken before, after, or concurrently with SWK2214. Social issues such as domestic violence, substance abuse, and age-related dementia are explored within a sociohistorical context.

SWK 3349 - Methods of Social Work Research

This course provides an introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methodology within social work practice. Techniques of social research will be applied to the study of social work problems and programs. The evaluation of social work practice will be emphasized and ethical issues will be explored from a researcher’s perspective and students will critically examine existing research studies.

SWK 4422 - Social Work Practice with Families and Small Groups

This course is the third in the Social Work Practice sequence designed to enable students to work with families and small groups in a manner appropriate for a generalist social worker. Students will explore variations of family development and behavior in regard to diversity as well as maladaptive coping and adaptation patterns on the part of individuals within families and families in interaction with their environment. Critical thinking skills (predict, evaluate and explain) will also be emphasized.  Students will also be introduced to assessment concepts appropriate for a generalist social worker and will make recommendations for potential interventions/services for clients.

Senior Capstone

Emily Gebhart, a Social Work major from Sykesville, Md., whose capstone field placement took her to Paul’s Place, a community center providing programs, food, clothing, services and support to families and individuals in Southwest Baltimore.

Social Work Program Requirements

Special Opportunities

Here are just a couple things that help make our program one of the best in Maryland.

Students volunteer at the annual Spring Clean-Up

The Private College Experience

McDaniel’s Social Work program is one of only two programs at private colleges in Maryland accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Graduates of the program are eligible for licensure at the baccalaureate level in Maryland and in other states that have licensure for BSW.

Students planting trees.

Social Work Action Team

The Social Work Action Team (SWAT) gives students opportunities to organize community activities ranging from a Hunger and Homelessness Awareness campaign in the local community to the annual “Walk a Mile” fundraiser for the local Rape Crisis Intervention services. Students raised over $5,000 and won the County award in 2012.

new students at orientation

Specialized Training

All Social Work majors at McDaniel are equipped with skills that will support them during field work and after graduation. In addition to their academic learning, they are trained in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and the administration of Narcan (used to treat narcotic overdoses). "I believe that the MHFA training provides a good foundation for understanding some of the mental health issues that people experience, as well as their subtle nature, and guidance on how to intervene," says Social Work Professor Cathy Orzolek-Kronner.

The McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

A student in a striped sweater sits in front of a window with a a laptop covered in stickers.

Social Work Alum Class of 2024: Amber Chenoweth Real-World Experiences

"My senior [Social Work] internship was with Frederick County Residential Crisis Services (RCS) at Sheppard Pratt, where I worked in tandem with the treatment coordinator to help facilitate assessments, treatment planning, and case management for our clients. I also had the opportunity to attend Common Ground on the Border during Jan Term, where we learned about the process of seeking asylum in the U.S., the state of the Border Patrol, and took trips into Mexico to see the conditions refugees lived in while awaiting their asylum decisions."

Wayne Young leaning on table flipping through pages of a book in front of a white background.

Alumni Spotlight Class of 2019: Wayne Young Jr. Social Work and Women’s Studies

Wayne Young Jr. ’19 truly made the most of his time on campus. He was a resident assistant and the founder of the McDaniel College Debate and Speech Club, among many other accomplishments. Now he’s headed to the University of Maryland School of Social Work with Advanced Standing and will graduating with his master’s in 2020.

Ginger Bandeen posing in front of a bridge.

Impressive Outcomes Ginger Bandeen ’00 Social Work and Technology

In her years as a social worker, Ginger Bandeen ’00 noticed there was a widening gap between data systems and social services that had to be filled. To do so, Bandeen founded Mission Driven Data to assist humanitarian organizations in utilizing their data in mission-specific ways.