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Socially Conscious

A deep understanding of the values and ethics that guide social workers helps improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities. 

Associate Degree

Social Work, ASW


Social Work, BSW


Social Work, MSW

Doctoral Degree

Social Work. DSW

Department of Social Work

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Social Work is to prepare culturally competent generalist and advanced generalist level social work practitioners who are guided by professional values, ethics, and evidence-based practice towards a purpose to enhance the quality of life for individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. They provide service and leadership by implementing prevention and intervention services to diverse client systems and they advocate for social and economic justice in practice, policy, and research in a global society.


The Department of Social Work provides the profession with social workers who fully comprehend and have internalized social work’s core values, including, but not limited to, service, social justice, dignity, and ethics, and who are capable of employing the latest evidence-based research findings to intervene with and on behalf of individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations.  The Department prepares competent practitioners who have the knowledge, skills, and values to assume leadership roles on the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.  These leaders develop and improve services to clients and advocate for policies and programs that enhance the quality of life for all people, locally, nationally and globally.


The Department of Social Work has adopted five constructs that underpin and support its mission and purpose and powerfully inform the department’s explicit and implicit curricula. These perspectives, itemized below, are also included on the Department’s website and in the MSW Student Handbook and Field Manual. 

  1. A Black Perspective for Social Work Practice – “A prototype for understanding the unique experiences and world views associated with being of African genetic origin in the United States that can be used in practice with other oppressed clients.”
  2. Strengths Perspective – “Internal or external features and assets that, if identified, mobilized or enhanced, may be used by a client system to achieve positive change.”
  3. Empowerment Perspective – “The process the social worker applies in order to help individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities obtain power so that they gain greater control over their well-being presently and in the future.”
  4. Rural Perspective – “The understanding that people who are nurtured and live in rural communities have unique folkways and mores that shape some of their expectations and behaviors differently than people from other milieus.” 
  5. Global Perspective – “An approach to helping that embraces the commonalities and differences that exist personally, communally, culturally and religiously that all citizens in the world share regardless of their place of birth or citizenship.”

The program provides an academically challenging, socially relevant curriculum designed to equip students with the knowledge, values, and skills necessary for careers in social work. Graduates of the Bachelor’s program will be qualified for entry-level positions in service areas such as addictions, child welfare, mental health, and gerontology, and in a variety of settings, including, schools, hospitals, non-profit agencies, and juvenile detention centers. Graduate program alumni are prepared for advanced positions in agencies, schools and NGOs locally, nationally and globally.

The hands-on curriculum allows students to gain practical experience through internships and service-learning opportunities. These are valuable resume builders for future employment. Students will have the opportunity to start networking immediately by joining the Student Social Work Club, the National Association of Social Workers as well as the Phi Alpha, if eligible.

Other Social Work Organizations that may be of interest:

NASW also provides links to other social work organizations that may be of interest. These include Christian Social Workers, Group Work Social Workers and School Social Workers.

Social Work Licensure

In order to practice in most states social workers need to be licensed. Every state is different, some have multiple levels of licensure and applications, fees, and exams are required. The most current information is always on the state web site of the state that you wish to practice in. You are eligible to be licensed in more than one state if you choose. The examinations are developed by and processed nationally by the Association of Social Work Boards but the person who wants to be licensed contacts the state in which they want to be licensed. Additional information on professional licensure in Delaware can be obtained at the through the  Commercial site listing all state information, no guarantee on currency of the site.

Delaware State University’s BSW and MSW Programs are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and our graduates meet the requirements to take the licensure examination as social workers in all states and territories in the United States where licensure is required.

Career Moves

The social work major is a strong foundation for professional careers in various organizations including Child Welfare, Corrections, Health Care, Policy and Planning, Private Non-Profits, and non-governmental agencies (NGOs). According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics the profession is growing faster than most and the U.S. Government has loan forgiveness programs to help social workers with some of their student loans. FAQs