Social Work

I have always known that I want to help people, and the social work professors are helping to teach my fellow classmates and me how to become supportive and caring members of society. We are all united for one huge purpose: making a difference in people's lives, which can be very challenging at times but also very inspiring and rewarding.

— Lara Bacon '17

Embracing Difference, Empowering Lives

The primary objective of the social work major at Luther is to prepare students for employment in beginning generalist social work practice. Social work is a career where knowledge of the liberal arts serves as a base for lifelong learning. The Luther College social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

The social work major is based on three closely related segments of Luther's curriculum: the basic requirements for the bachelor of arts degree, the specific coursework required for the social work major, and the elective courses chosen by the student in consultation with an academic advisor.

Within the context of the liberal arts program at Luther College, the social work major includes nine areas of emphasis:

  • Social work values and ethics
  • Social welfare policy and services
  • Human behavior and the social environment
  • Social work research
  • Social work practice
  • Field practicum
  • Promotion of social and economic justice
  • Populations at risk
  • Diversity

These do not necessarily represent specific courses but, rather, clusters of facts, ideas, and skills that are needed for effective beginning generalist social work practice.

Between the extensive hands-on experience, helpful professors, and quality relationships developed among peers, I have truly enjoyed my entire experience within the social work program here at Luther. As I look ahead to pursuing my M.D. after graduation, I feel that the program has fully prepared me and given me the tools I need to succeed.

— Carissa Sternhagen '16