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Social Work

Bachelor of Science


Nazareth University has a long legacy of excellence in social work education. Because of this, graduates are sought after by local employers. At graduation, nearly 100% of Nazareth social work majors are employed, committed to an experience such as the Peace Corps, Americorps, or accepted by a graduate program.

The program provides hands-on experiential learning as well as the knowledge, values, and skills needed for all areas of social work. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the division of Professional Education, New York State Education Department.


First-year students
  • Nazareth offers more extensive practicum opportunities than other colleges and universities, emphasizing hands-on experiences both junior and senior year. Placements are available in settings ranging from schools and hospitals to government and community-based grassroots agencies. 
  • Credit-bearing social work courses include local and global service opportunities.
  • Study abroad for a semester or choose a short-term trip with a group through a service-learning course or cultural immersion course, such as to Jamaica, India, or Finland.
Transfer and adult students
  • Flexibility: Choose from daytime, evening, and online courses. You can attend part-time or full-time.
  • Timing: Students with an associate's degree can start in August and complete the bachelor's degree in two years with no summer courses.
  • Incorporate your own job: If you are working in the social work field, the program offers flexibility in field placements. Junior year placements can be at your place of employment, and senior year placements offer a combination of employment and field placement hours.

Child Life Specialist Track

If you want to work with children and families experiencing stress and/or trauma relating to illness and injury, you can choose the child life specialist track to complete the academic requirements for Child Life Specialist certification. 


Student competency evaluations by senior field instructors and by graduating students are consistently above the program benchmarks. See the latest assessment data.

Program Evaluation

The Nazareth University BSW program consistently collects feedback from its stakeholders such as students and field instructors for the purposes of self-evaluation and continuous improvement.

  • Feedback collected via a graduating senior exit questionnaire suggests the program consistently exceeds internally-set performance benchmarks. In particular, in recent years, seniors indicate that the program's faculty and field placements are two program strengths.
  • Recent field instructor feedback suggests a very high level of community satisfaction with the contributions and performance of Nazareth University social work students. Field instructors state that our students are particularly impressive in areas such as compassion, self-reflection, and commitment to ongoing professional growth and development.
  • Most students graduating from the Nazareth University undergraduate program go immediately on to paid employment or graduate education in the social work field.

The Bachelor of Science in Social Work degree program and the Master of Social Work degree program are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the accrediting body for all baccalaureate and graduate-level social work programs in the United States.

The undergraduate social work program at Nazareth received its initial accreditation by CSWE in 1977. Graduates of the program may apply for admission to advanced-standing programs in graduate schools of social work. The Nazareth University MSW program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) as of February 2020, having been previously part of a CSWE accredited collaborative program for 20 years.

Both programs are also registered with the Division of Professional Education, New York State Education Department.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

Nazareth University curriculum meets the accreditation standards for the CSWE-accredited bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work. Additionally, the master’s degree meets educational requirements to apply for the LMSW examination in New York upon graduation. The master’s degree also provides all the clinical content necessary to apply for the LCSW examination in New York. The LCSW license carries additional requirements of clinical hours in post-degree employment accompanied by clinical supervision. At this time, Nazareth University cannot determine if the MSW program meets the licensing requirement for every state. You will want to contact the licensing board in the state in which you intend to pursue licensure for their requirements.

To obtain information for the social work license, please contact the Association for Social Work Boards

For questions regarding the undergraduate program please contact: Leanne Wood Charlesworth, Ph.D., LMSW,

NOTE: Nazareth University highly recommends that you contact the appropriate state licensing board in the state or locality in which you wish to practice or be employed to determine whether the program you are considering will meet that state’s licensing requirements as we are unable to determine that state licensure requirements are met in states outside of New York. It is each individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to national certification/licensure exams for the state in which they intend to practice as educational requirements may vary widely including, but not limited to, the number of clinical hours required by the state as well as specific coursework. State boards may also require additional information, including, but not limited to, documentation verifying citizenship and/or right to work (i.e. social security number) as well as criminal background checks/fingerprinting.

What social workers do

    Program Details

    Degree: Bachelor of Science

    Course Offerings »

    Related Programs


    4+1 Option

    A fast-track option enables you to go directly into Nazareth's accredited M.S.W. degree program: Complete your MSW at Nazareth in one additional year of full-time study. (Part-time MSW options are also available.)

    CASAC 350-hour certificate

    Undergraduate majors who complete the track in substance abuse prevention and treatment fulfill the educational requirements for New York state Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) certification.

    Fully immersed

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    Get hands-on experience in schools, hospitals, and government/community agencies

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    Get certified to work with children/families and in substance abuse prevention

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    Study abroad in South America, Europe, or Asia

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    Go directly into Nazareth's social work master's program with the 4+1 option

    Example internships/field experiences

    • Rochester Regional Health
    • Strong Memorial Hospital
    • Schools throughout Monroe and surrounding counties
    • Monroe County Office of Probation, Monroe County courts
    • Center For Youth


    Unique to Nazareth, our SPARK Grant provides $1,500 for you to pursue internships, research, and study abroad, plus up to $2,500 in a tuition scholarship for summer SPARK-eligible experiences that earn credit. SPARK stories »

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    Your life's work

    Jobs are expected to grow 12% from 2020-2030, faster than average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Median annual pay for social workers in 2020: $51,760.


    • Child welfare
    • School social work
    • Child life specialist
    • Social work in health care, nursing home and hospice settings
    • Substance abuse treatment
    • Mental health counseling
    • Policy analysis and advocacy
    • Service coordination
    • Community organizing
    • International social work


    • Rochester Regional Health
    • Hillside Family of Agencies
    • Monroe County Department of Human Services
    • Monroe County school districts
    • Strong/University of Rochester Medical Center
    Denise Hynson, alumna of the social work major, bachelor's degree program at Nazareth College NY

    Alumni Spotlight

    Denise Hynson '11, '14G

    "One of the many things I believe makes Nazareth's social work programs amazing is the faculty have current lived experiences that they can share with the students that are relevant to today's world."

    Denise, a licensed clinical social worker, is a social worker at Villa of Hope and a therapist at Tree of Hope Counseling who strives to support people to heal from various forms of trauma.