BA Programs

The BA in Social Work at Iowa is ranked in the top 5% of undergraduate degree programs in the US. (thebestschools.org)

We prepare students for culturally intelligent, generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities and provides students with a foundation for graduate social work education and lifelong learning. The degree is offered both in Iowa City and Des Moines.

The BA Program has a strong base in the values and ethics of the social work profession and has a liberal arts focus. BA students must complete the general education requirements which help them to develop the knowledge, attitudes, critical thinking, and means of communication that are characteristic of a broadly educated person. As they complete these requirements, students gain an understanding of their own cultural heritage in the context of other cultures and an introduction to expressions of culture such as art, literature, science, history, and philosophy. They are exposed to the methods and limitations of various systems of inquiry, and are encouraged to develop critical thinking skills. Students’ knowledge of social, psychological, and biological determinants of human behavior and of diverse cultures, social conditions, and social problems are developed through a required course in human biology and through three required courses in the social sciences.

Consistent with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) standards, the dimensions of diversity are understood as the intersectionality of multiple factors including age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, political ideology, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Students learn that, as a consequence of difference, a person’s life experiences may include oppression, poverty, marginalization, and alienation as well as privilege, power, and acclaim.

The program is designed for students who have either earned their associate degree, or have completed two years of undergraduate coursework. The program is sequenced and begins each fall.

The School of Social Work seeks to maintain a heterogeneous student body by enrolling students who represent diverse backgrounds and cultural perspectives. A limited number of students are admitted to the major. The application deadline is February 15 for the Iowa City program. Applications are accepted year-round for Des Moines.