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Admission to the Social Work Major

All potential social work students enter the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare as intended majors. (The School offers degrees in social work and criminal justice.) Once in the School, a student must submit a separate application to enter the social work major.

Requirements for acceptance into the social work major:

  • Completion of English and math requirements
  • Junior standing (58+ credits)
  • Having attended UWM for at least one full-time semester, or its equivalent
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher, including transfer work
  • Completion of 75 hours of documented volunteer experience or paid work in the human services field.

When and How to Apply for the Social Work Major

  • Applications to the social work major are accepted from September 1 to October 1, February 1 to March 1 and May 1 to June 1.
  • Click here to fill out the online application. Applications should be filled out electronically, printed, then submitted during one of the accepted application periods listed above.
  • A student who is considering a social work major should contact an advisor in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare – at 414-229-4851 – if they are considering a social work major or are prospective transfer students.
  • Once students are in the major, an advisor will help them plan courses, stay on track, and locate on-campus support if needed (such as for tutoring, financial aid, etc.).

Graduation Requirements

    • Minimum of 42 credits in the social work major
    • Minimum of 120 total college credits, including all degree requirements
    • Cumulative UWM grade point average or 2.0 or better
    • Maintenance of a B average or better in social work methods and field courses.



Field Work

All students must complete two consecutive semesters (5 credits each) of fieldwork at a single agency. Each semester of fieldwork totals 256 hours, and averages 16 hours per week for 16 weeks.

During fieldwork, students become increasingly aware of professional standards of behavior and develop the skills necessary for beginning social work practice. They hone their abilities to interview, observe, record, understand group dynamics, problem solve and make decisions.

Students can apply for field placement after being formally admitted to the social work major and completing Social Work Methods I (SW-310) with a grade of B or better.

Click here for more information about the Social Work Field Program.