Make a difference helping others.

Mercyhurst University’s degree in social work provides students with the opportunity to pursue their desire to make a positive difference, support others, and advocate for social change. Students explore value based and ethical issues, and build a strong foundation of knowledge and skills that effectively prepares them for advanced degrees and a broad array of social work careers. Some of the growing career paths available include working in the medical arena, schools, criminal justice, mental health, child welfare, gerontology, chemical dependency, residential settings, and services for  veterans.  The social work major, accredited by the Council of Social Work Education, offers students the opportunity to gain “advanced standing” in graduate schools; thereby reducing the amount of time required to complete a master of social work degree.

Fast Facts

  • Our curriculum encompasses: human diversity, populations at risk, human behavior and social environment, social and economic justice, social work research, social welfare and policy, social work values, skills and practice

  • Social Work students recently produced a documentary film titled “Let It Begin with Me: Putting an End to Youth Violence in Erie” to encourage unity and dialogue in the face of violence in our community

  • The social work senior seminar is an opportunity for students to discuss the challenges of their internship as well as the ethics, theory, research and policy involved

  • Mercyhurst’s social work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education

  • Studying social work combines theory with practice, giving students first-hand experience with populations often served by social workers

State Authorization

This program may fulfill a portion of the requirements leading to licensure within this field. Please visit the State Authorization webpage to review the requirements for licensure by state or program.

Mercyhurst University’s Baccalaureate Social Work Program has been fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) since 1980. Our most recent accreditation process was successfully completed in June, 2020, and our accreditation has been reaffirmed through June 2027. As a requirement of CSWE, as well as an internal evaluation of our social work program, we complete yearly assessments to determine how successful our students are at demonstrating the EPAS competency standards (Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards). View our most recent assessment results, which reports the competency benchmarks established for Mercyhurst University's Student Learning Outcomes.

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is a nonprofit national association representing more than 2,500 individual members, as well as graduate and undergraduate programs of professional social work education. Founded in 1952, this partnership of educational and professional institutions, social welfare agencies, and private citizens is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in this country.

Visit CSWE's website.

CSWE's Commission on Accreditation (COA) is responsible for developing accreditation standards that define competent preparation and ensuring that social work programs meet them. In accordance with the requirements of CSWE's recognition body, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, the CSWE Office of Social Work Accreditation (OSWA) administers a multistep accreditation process that involves program self-studies, site visits, and COA reviews.


Contact Us

Laura Lewis
Chair, Department of Applied Sociology/Social Work
Office: Preston 108
Phone: 814-824-2359