Social Work

Why study social work?

Students who study social work will join a profession that seeks positive change for individuals, families, groups and communities through enhancing problem-solving and coping capacities while removing institutional policies that are barriers to those individuals and groups.

  • The Harriet Emily Scott Social Work Program curriculum prepares students for generalist social work practice in both public and private settings with an array of clients.
  • The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree focuses on preparing practitioners who link individuals, families and communities with systems that provide them with resources, services and opportunities they may previously not have been able to access.
  • Students in the program are provided with two semesters of real-world field practicum experience in preparation for their transition to the social work profession.
Social Work Majors


Course Descriptions

Major Map




Latest News

Augustana University is offering social work as a minor this fall, followed by all Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) courses for the major beginning in the fall of 2024 — part of Augustana’s Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030 strategic plan to establish new academic programs grounded in the liberal arts that challenge the intellect while responding to the needs and interests of students. 

After more than 15 years, Augustana University has decided to bring back its social work program within the Sharon Lust School of Education — naming it after the former Director of Augustana’s Social Work program and Assistant Professor Emerita of Social Work Dr. Harriet Emily (Johnson) Scott ‘59.


Social Work


Graduates establish diverse career paths that include school social work, substance abuse treatment, wraparound programs, medical social work, child protective services, supportive housing, community organizing and activism, as well as policy analysis. Students who pursue a graduate-level degree are able to attain advanced practice positions, such as a play therapist, private clinical practitioner, substance abuse counselor, public officer, grant specialist or executive director.

Hands-On Learning

Field practicum opportunities may include:

  • Community Mental Health
  • Domestic Violence Shelter
  • Substance Abuse Program
  • Medical Social Worker
  • Policy Advocacy
  • Child Protective Services
  • Group Home/Residential settings

Social work students study away in:

  • Washington, D.C. — with the Lutheran College Washington Semester (LCWS)
  • Norway — focusing on international social work with AU faculty

Courses & Organizations

Students majoring in social work have considerable flexibility to take electives that allow them to tailor their education to their career goals. Social work also pairs well with a variety of other majors. Many students choose to complete a double major, particularly in psychology and sociology. The social work major pairs well with a minor in aging studies, gender studies or children & youth.

Social work students may participate in:

  • Serving and Learning Together (SALT)
  • Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA)
  • Augie Green
  • Peace Club
  • Encompass Humanity
  • Augie Feminist Equality Movement (FEM)
  • Phi Alpha Honor Society