Can I Get a Minor in Social Work?

It is quite possible to get a minor in social work through many online and on-campus colleges and universities. Certain academic programs encourage students to pursue a minor in social work because it empowers them to enter certain fields and perform exclusive jobs. A minor in social work will go well with a major in psychology, sociology, family studies, applied gerontology, behavior analysis, criminal justice, drug counseling, community leadership and rehabilitation studies.

Program Basics

Social work programs are designed to introduce students to a wide variety of social service professional practices, systems and settings. Graduates are prepared to understand and work with diverse populations. Most programs are based on the Council on Social Work Education’s academic standards, so students learn conceptual frameworks through quality curriculum. Students learn how to maintain ethical and appropriate relationships with staff, colleagues and clients.

Some programs may include classroom work and field instruction opportunities, such as internships and tours of local social service agencies. Social work programs are designed for students who a strong desire to help others help themselves as they resolve their own social, personal, mental health and environmental problems. Programs will look for students with a sharp intellect, empathetic attitudes, interpersonal skills and a commitment to social justice and empowerment.

Program Curriculum

Social work programs prepare students to assume important roles in molding people, solving problems and shaping a better community. Students will learn how social welfare policies, practices and decisions have a profound influence on clients’ quality of lives and living circumstances. The curriculum contains various theories and models that help students gain a deeper understanding of how humans think and behave in social environments. Students learn the importance of evidence-based research to efficiently guide and help clients.

Classes on interpersonal skills cover relationship building, strength and weakness assessments and strategic planning between various professionals. Classes may teach students how to advocate on the behalf of those who lack money, employment, power and influence. Common curriculum themes include diversity perspectives, economic justice and multicultural competence. Curriculum goals include the abilities to exhibit skills in critical thinking, appreciate diversity and differences and conduct oneself in respectful and accountable ways.

Recommended Majors

As mentioned in the introduction, certain academic majors go well with a minor in sociology. For example, applied gerontology prepares graduates to work with the elderly in hospitals, nursing homes, senior centers and assisted living facilities. A behavior analysis major will focus on how an individual’s conduct is affected by social events and the physical environment. A criminal justice major will explore topics related to law enforcement, corrections and probation.

A family studies major will focus on how to enhance the well-being and human development of children and families. Drug abuse or addictions programs will teach students how to help individuals overcome addictions in treatment facilities. A community leadership major will focus on the operation of nonprofit organizations, which includes grant, fundraising and volunteer management. A psychology major is broad enough to encompass the comprehensive science behind the workings of the mind and human behavior.

Anyone who wants to learn more about becoming a social worker can visit the BLS’ Occupational Outlook Handbook page for social worker and the Council on Social Work Education’s website to learn about licensing and accreditation.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Online Social Work Degree Programs