Hillsdale College does not offer professional training for social services. Students interested in employment as social workers or in related social service occupations are advised to consider graduate study in social work. The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree is a significant competitive advantage in pursuing such employment, and is often explicitly required. Appropriate preparation for graduate study in social work mixes the broad liberal arts emphasis of Hillsdale's core program with a strong background in social and behavioral sciences. We recommend a major either in psychology or in sociology and social thought (SST), and a minor in the other discipline. More important than the choice of major and minor, based on the admission requirements of most MSW programs, the student should be able, on completion of the bachelor's degree, to present the following:
1. Background in human biology. (This will normally be met by completing the core science courses at Hillsdale, plus PSY 314.)
2. 20 to 30 credit hours in social and behavioral sciences. (This is met by following the major and minor guidelines above. If you do not plan to major in either field, it is still a good idea to consult with departmental faculty regarding course selection.)
3. Courses in statistics and social science research methods. (This is met by completing the research sequence in either the psychology major or the SST major. Some MSW programs require a minimum grade in these courses.)
4. A minimum GPA of 3.0 (during the junior and senior years for many programs, or overall for some of the most competitive programs.)
5. Demonstration of ability and interests in social services through volunteer work or internship. (Internships can be arranged through the department of psychology and sociology.)
6. Language competence at the level required for the B. A. degree. (Some graduate programs especially recommend Spanish.)
Regardless of specific major or minors, the following courses should be considered indispensable background for students interested in social work:
PSY 314: Biological Psychology
PSY 350 Developmental Psychology I
PSY 370 Developmental Psychology II
PSY 385: Social Psychology
PSY 450: Abnormal Psychology
SOC 317: Microsociology
SOC 319: Macrosociology
SOC 327: Deviance
ECO 202: Microeconomics
ECO 203: Macroeconomics
POL 353: American Government
POL 354: American Politics
PSY 455: Counseling Psychology
TAS 255: Speech Communication
Students interested in potentially pursuing this career option are invited to consult with faculty in the Psychology and Sociology Departments.
This file is provided to students for informational purposes only, and is not intended as an official statement of policy, either by the Department of Psychology and Sociology, or by Hillsdale College. Consult the current Hillsdale College Catalog for requirements.
Thanks to Janel Apps Ramsey for research assistance in preparing this guide.
© 2007-09 Hillsdale College. All rights reserved.