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School of Social and Behavioral Science

Social Work Overview

Social Work is a profession for those with a strong desire to help and improve people's lives.

According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Bureau Statistics, employment of social workers is expected to increase by 22 percent during the coming decade, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. 

What do social workers do:

  • Provide counseling to individuals, families and groups
  • Help people obtain needed resources and services
  • Develop programs and work with communities to meet peoples' needs
  • Address problems related to: child abuse, mental illness, poverty, illness or disability, substance abuse, discrimination, family conflict or violence, job jeopardy and aging
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Career Opportunities

The B.S.W. Program is career-oriented and gives students ample field work and faculty mentorship opportunities to prepare them to begin their careers in this rewarding and growing field. 

Graduates with a B.S.W. are prepared to work in a variety of areas such as:

  • Mental health clinics
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Substance abuse programs 
  • Nursing homes
  • Family and children's services
  • Criminal justice
  • College counseling 
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Private practice
  • and many more

Master of Science in Social Work programs can accept undergraduate social work credits and apply those toward a graduate degree. Earning your degree faster saves time and money by letting you fast track your professional career.

What You'll Get

  • Knowledge and skills to serve diverse populations and needs with sensitivity, creativity and professional courage

  • Respect for an integration of professional ethics and values into their practice

  • Commitment to, and contribute to improving unjust or oppressive social conditions and policies and towards promoting effective and humane agency/organization practices and programs

  • Ability to pursue graduate studies or entry-level  generalist social work practice including interventions with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities

Full-Time Faculty

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Carolyn Hanesworth Assistant Professor
Social Work
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Emily Murphy Assistant Professor
Social Work
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Raquel Warley Associate Professor
Social Work

Program Director, Social Work

Part-Time Faculty

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Lekeisha Dawkins Adjunct Associate Professor
Social Work
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Patricia Hamill Adjunct Instructor
Social Work
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Dolores Margolis Adjunct Professor
Social Work
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Maria Provenzano Adjunct Assistant Professor
Social Work

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does earning a degree take?

Full-time students can complete the 120-credit degree program in four years.

How do I apply to the program?

Freshmen and sophomores intending to apply for admission to the social work program should declare pre-social work as their major. Students usually enter the social work program at the beginning of their junior year, in the fall semester, following completion of the application process and acceptance for admission to the program.


Students must apply for admission to the social work major by the end of their sophomore year. They should contact the director of the social work program for information and application procedures for admission to the major.


Transfer students are encouraged to contact the social work program for application materials at the same time they are applying for admission to the College. 

Students applying to the social work major should:


1.       Have completed at least 45 credits.

2.       Have achieved, at least a cumulative grade point average of 2.60 (on a 4.0 scale)

3.       Have an interest in or demonstrated capacity to provide help to people.

4.       Demonstrate the aptitude for and/or motivation to enhance skills in clear oral and written expression and the ability to think conceptually and analytically.

5.       Meet for an individual interview with the social work program director, or designate.

During the interview, the student and program director will explore the student’s interests, experience skills and goals and discuss the requirements of the social work major. This meeting includes acknowledgment on behalf of the student of the demands and time requirements of the senior-year field practicum.


In its review, the program admissions committee will take into account all aspects of the student’s application and presentation. The committee has the authority to make any exceptions to its admissions policy in accepting an applicant and makes the final decision on an applicants’ suitability.


After completing the application process, the admissions committee will determine if the student:

  • Is admitted to the social work program.
  • Offered provisional admission, indicating the specific criteria the student must meet for full admission.
  • Denied admission.


The student will receive a formal letter from the program director informing him/her of the committee’s decision.

Are department faculty available for academic advising?

Yes, faculty are always ready to help students with questions about what courses to take, the sequencing of courses, and career opportunities, including internships and cooperative education.

What is the mission of the Social Work Program?

The mission of the Social Work Program at Mercy College is to prepare students for generalist social work practice and to serve diverse and at-risk populations. The Program seeks to provide students with an education that will prepare them with the knowledge and skills to deal with the professional, societal and ethical issues they will face in contemporary social work practice. The Program is also dedicated to the enhancement of the quality of life for people, to effecting change by addressing adverse conditions that impede the achievement of social justice and to educating students to act humanely and with integrity. The Program is committed to providing a high level of education and attentiveness to our students and to creating and enhancing their opportunities to contribute to their communities and the profession.

Are many students from the program accepted into graduate schools of social work?

Yes. Our students have a very high rate of acceptance into the advanced standing programs of the many graduate schools of social work, with sites in New York City, Westchester and Rockland counties. They are able to obtain their Master's degree in social work in as little as eight months.

Program Details & Curriculum

Curriculum Overview

General Liberal Arts and Sciences
General Education Requirements: 60 Credits

Major Concentration
Social Work: 42 Credits
Open Electives: 18 Credits

Total: 120 Credits

For a full curriculum listing visit our catalog. 


Program Outcomes

Program Outcomes/CSWE Competencies

  • Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
  • Competency 2: Engage diversity and difference in practice
  • Competency 3: Advance human rights and social, economic and environmental justice
  • Competency 4: Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice
  • Competency 5: Engage in policy practice
  • Competency 6: Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities
  • Competency 7: Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities
  • Competency 8: Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities
  • Competency 9: Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities


Download a copy of the CSWE Assessment Outcomes

Handbook and Field Education Manual

Learn more about the Social Work program and download your copy of the:

Academic Program Sequence Map

Download a copy of the sequence map for: