The Department of Sociology and Social Work is made up of two related but distinct programs. While sociology majors study to understand how human beings relate to each other, social work majors focus on changing and improving lives, working to empower people to achieve their full potential. Both disciplines are concerned with advancing social justice and human rights. Not only do both disciplines focus on understanding contemporary social issues and policies, they also investigate ways to alleviate social problems.

The Department of Sociology and Social Work offers majors in social work and sociology. We offer minors in nonprofit leadership, gerontology, leadership and civic engagement, socio-psychology and sociology.

100% LSW Licensure Pass Rate (Licensed Social Worker in Ohio) *For Spring 2021 Graduates
31 Years The MSJ Social Work Program has been Accredited Since 1991 by the CSWE
100% Master of Social Work Graduate School Acceptance Rate *For Spring 2021 Graduates

Social Work at the Mount

  What is Social Work?

As practitioners, social workers are trained to help people address personal and systemic barriers to optimal living. They are employed to effect positive change with individuals, families, groups, and entire communities.

As a profession, social workers frequently use their collective power to pass laws and establish policies that give more people access to community services and benefits, improving the quality of life for everyone.

Social work is the only helping profession that requires social justice advocacy as part of its professional code of ethics and is, therefore, a large workforce mandated to advance the rights of the most vulnerable in society. For more than 120 years, the social work profession in the United States has helped bend the arc of justice, making our nation a more equitable and inclusive place.

There are more than 700,000 professional social workers employed in the United States and more than three million worldwide. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics continues to identify social work as one of the fastest-growing professions in the United States.

Other government sources report there are more clinically trained social workers providing mental health and behavioral health services than any other professional discipline in the nation.

Social workers are on the front lines, helping people overcome crises. In fact, social workers are everywhere people need help navigating tough life challenges. They contribute to interdisciplinary care teams in schools, hospitals, mental health centers, nonprofits, corporations, the military—and in local, state, and federal government. Many social work professionals also own private consultation practices.

  Mission Statement of the MSJ Social Work Program
The mission of the Mount St. Joseph University's social work program is to prepare students to have the knowledge, values, and skills of generalist social work practice in order for them to competently and ethically provide service to society’s most vulnerable people as well as leadership in the social service agencies that work to alleviate poverty, injustice, and oppression. Through emphasis on service, excellence in teaching, and applied research, the program aims to develop graduates who value diversity and who understand the need for life-long learning in the changing local, national, and global contexts of social work practice.
  MSJ Social Work Program Goals
  1. To prepare social work students to competently serve client systems at the micro, mezzo, and macros levels of practice, with the ability to work in varied contexts of the social work profession, and to recognize the changing nature of these contexts by incorporating new research and evidence-based techniques into their practice settings.
  2. To enhance social work students' intercultural competence, particularly students' ability (1) to engage in diversity and difference in practice, and (2) to advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.
  3. To promote the application of social work competencies in ongoing community engagement, service to others, and social responsibility.
  4. To prepare students to apply the knowledge, ethical principles, values, and competencies of a generalist practice social worker within various community settings.

Field Education

  What is it?

Real-World Learning:

Fieldwork provides on-the-job learning experience under close supervision by a faculty member and an agency professional. A variety of agencies in the Greater Cincinnati region serve as fieldwork sites, including mental health facilities, crisis centers for domestic violence, homeless shelters, community service agencies, foster care programs, and nursing homes.

As a part of the BSW experience, students have the unique opportunity of putting what they have learned into action. Field Education sets Social Work from other helping professions, as this is not just an internship but an opportunity to work under the guidance of a Social Worker and demonstrate competency in the areas of focus while in the field.  This experience provides the student real social work experience prior to graduation and allows them to explore the populations they may want to work with in the future.  This is where you get start making social change even before you graduate.

  Community Partners

Students have had the honor and privilege of partnering with various community partners during their time in practicum.  These community partners serve a wide variety of individuals, communities, and systems.  These partners are pivotal to social work education and we are thankful for their ongoing investment in our students and our communities.

Be Concerned
Brighton Center
7316023-logo.jpg Catholic Charities of South West Ohio- Refugee Resettlement Services
Cincinnati-State-Logo.png Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
cmc_web_logo.jpg Community Matters
Brand_4color.png Department of Public Advocacy Kenton County
easterseals-logo-330.png Easterseals Serving Greater Cincinnati
logo-foy.png Focus on Youth
Glad House Logo Glad House
HCESC-Horizontal-360.jpg Hamilton County ESC
JFS_Logo_Color_Full_Horizontal.jpg Higher Educator Mentor Incentive - HEMI
JFS_Logo_Color_Full_Horizontal.jpg Job and Family Services - Hamilton County
1200px-The_Salvation_Army.svg.png Salvation Army
St. Vincent Depaul Logo St. Vincent DePaul of Cincinnati
Talbert House Logo Talbert House
YCWA Logo YWCA of Greater Cincinnati


Social Work Programs

  Behavioral Science Major

The major is customizable and can be crafted according to each student’s unique interests and career aspirations. Students will select from an array of psychology, sociology, and criminology courses and have flexible scheduling options including day, evening, blended, and online course offerings. They can, through their elective courses, develop a curriculum that works towards their academic strengths and interests.

Behavioral Science Major

Major in Behavioral Science - Bachelor of Science Degree

  Social Work Major

While working toward your BSW,  you will have an opportunity to take courses that will increase your knowledge and prepare you to apply the functional knowledge of the Social Work profession. These classes take on hard questions about diversity, social change, ethical interactions, inventions, and engagement with people, communities, and systems.

Social Work Major

Social Work Program Requirements

  Addictions Minor

Have you ever thought about helping those who are living with a substance use disorder? Is there a possibility that you may engage an individual who is living with a substance use disorder in your future professions?  Are you interested in learning the answers to questions like “Why can’t they just stop?” or “What does the brain really look like on drugs?”  Then this may be the minor for you.

Addictions Minor

Addictions Minor Program Requirements
  Gerontology Minor

The gerontology minor provides students with knowledge of the aging process and aging resources. It uses an interdisciplinary approach to both understand and assist older adults. Students planning to work as direct service providers to older adults, such as social workers, nurses, therapists, and other positions in the behavioral, social and health sciences as well as administrators and support staff will find that knowledge of this population is advantageous. In addition, the information within the gerontology minor is beneficial to all students on a personal level in assisting aging family members and relatives with physical and mental health issues in making decisions and determining appropriate courses of action.

This program is especially relevant when looking at the trends in the population growth of older adults in the future. According to the Administration on Aging, the U.S. older adult population is expected to grow to 21.6% by 2040. The 85+ population is expected to increase to 14.4 million in 2040 (a 123% increase from 6.5 million in 2018). The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the number of older adults will increase from 35 million in 2020 to 94.7 million in 2060. 

Gerontology Minor

Gerontology Minor Program Requirements

  Sociology Minor

The sociology minor allows students to explore a wide range of topics, including social groups, pressing social problems, major social institutions, and key social inequalities. The courses provide multiple viewpoints, from studying the intimate interactions of families and small groups, to the complex interactions of global economies and political alliances. Requiring a minimum of 18 credits in sociology, including Our Social World (SOC 103), Race, Class, and Gender (SOC 202), and Sociological Theories (SOC 370), students have considerable flexibility in choosing a set of courses that best fit their career interests and intellectual curiosities.

Sociology Minor

Sociology Minor Program Requirements

Student Clubs


Phi Alpha:

Social work students are encouraged to join Phi Alpha Honor Society, a national social work honor society that connects social work students, faculty, and practitioners. Phi Alpha promotes humanitarian goals and ideas, fosters high educational standards for social workers, and encourages membership from those who pursue excellence in scholarship and achievement within social work.

During the 2021-2022 academic year, Zeta Tau—the Mount St. Joseph University Chapter of Phi Alpha—will be creating a peer mentorship program at the Mount for incoming and transfer students.

For more information on Phi Alpha, click here.


Social Work Club:

Social Work Club provides a closer bond and connection among Mount students, promotes humanitarian goals and ideals on campus and in the community, and develops the talents of students in service to and for the greater good of the campus and surrounding community.