Whether you’re interested in working with children and families, veterans, older adults, individuals with special needs, immigrants, community organizations, or running for political office, or just working better with your future team, you’ll benefit from a social work degree. In fact, if you want to help people, social work needs you! 

Social workers are advocates for social justice and are needed now more than ever to advocate for human rights and socio-emotional, economic and environmental justice for all. 

When you choose Dominican University’s nationally accredited social work degree, you’ll be exposed to contemporary social issues through exciting and engaging activities, including travel to professional conferences, participation in Legislative Education and Advocacy Day in Albany, NY, and conducting advocacy-based research studies for local agencies. 

And, unlike many large programs, our small class sizes also enable us to help you more rapidly develop critical hard and soft skills through student-centered teaching approaches, to stand out from the crowd when it comes time to secure your dream job.

To supplement your classroom and field education, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Join our chapter of the Phi Alpha honor society, which provides “a closer bond among students of social work” and “promotes humanitarian goals and ideals”.
  •  Join the Dominican University Social Work Club, which is designed to promote awareness of the social work profession, perform community service, and raise awareness about social welfare issues taking place locally, nationally and internationally. 

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A specialized education to help you strive for a socially just world

The highest levels of personal support

Staff who are committed to your success

The finest small-university athletic program in the region

A spirited campus environment

Close proximity to New York City and three major airports

The Dominican Difference

It doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter what sport you play, or what club you’re in, everyone in this school is a family and we all love to live together and be a part of this campus.

Jonathan Brown ’14

Over 15,000

Full-time Faculty

Miles from NYC

100% of first-time,
full-time freshman receive financial aid

Job Opportunities

Some of the students in our social work program, which is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, move into rewarding and successful careers in various areas of generalist practice at the baccalaureate (BSW) level after being awarded their social work degree.

Approximately 75% of our graduates each year go on to pursue a master’s degree in social work (MSW) — the majority with an advanced standing placement that enables them to begin their MSW as a second-year student.

Whether you think you’ll want a job straight out of college or are thinking about further study, here are the kinds of jobs you might pursue:

  • Case Management Aide
  • Caseworker
  • Family Service Worker
  • Habilitation Specialist
  • Rehabilitation Case Worker
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Mental Health Assistant
  • Veteran’s Affairs Social Worker
  • Residential Case Manager
  • Activity/Workshop Director
  • Professor of Social Work
  • Social science researcher
  • Behavioral Management Aide
  • Community Outreach Worker
  • Community Service Manager
  • Juvenile Court Liaison
  • Probation officer
  • Eligibility Worker
  • Human Services Specialist
  • Director of Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Therapist
  • Social Work Administrator
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Counselor
  • Social Work Policy Analyst
  • Social Work Planner
  • Executive Director of a nonprofit organization
  • Hospice Social Worker
  • Mental Health Counselor
  • School Counselor
  • School Social Worker

What You’ll Learn

By the time you complete our social work degree, you’ll have developed profound insights into the biopsychosocial development of individuals as well as social factors that affect cultures and communities including social justice, economic equality, and cultural awareness.  Major theories, skills and self-awareness are incorporated into our program to provide you with a rich foundation in the field of social work. Our curriculum will provide you with a foundation in the liberal arts, a core of knowledge from the social and behavioral sciences, and the special body of knowledge that forms the base of professional generalist social work practice.

Whether you minor or major in social work, our program will:

  •  Prepare you to qualify as a beginning-level generalist social work professional
  •  Help you promote an environment which honors diversity and advances social justice
  •  Help you develop an appreciation of lifelong learning
  •  Prepare you for advancement in graduate-level social work education

Degree Details


The cost of attendance is an estimate of what it will cost to attend Dominican University for an academic year.

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Course structure

You’ll graduate our social work degree with 126 credits of study which will include your choice of liberal arts courses (60 credits) and 36 credits-worth of social sciences courses comprising:

  • Core and elective units from your chosen primary social science concentration (18 credits)
  • Nine semester hours in each of two supporting areas elected out of the remaining social sciences

Program of Study

The curriculum design provides a foundation in the liberal arts, a core of knowledge from the social and behavioral sciences, combined with the special body of knowledge that forms the base of professional generalist social work practice. The program is designed to meet the requirements of a Bachelor of Social Work degree and includes a minimum of 60 semester hours in liberal arts. The Social Work Program requires 36 semester hours in the Social Sciences. The student completes 18 semester hours in one area of emphasis in the social sciences (namely, Sociology, Political Science, History, Economics, Criminal Justice, Psychology), and nine semester hours in each of two supporting areas elected out of the remaining social sciences. The student graduates from the program with 126 credits. A student may choose to complete the Bachelor of Social Work degree with a focus on criminal justice, child welfare, gender studies, ethnic studies, gerontology, as well as a number of liberal arts areas. Further information and program planning may be obtained from the Social Work faculty.

The following content areas in the humanities and social sciences are recommended as foundations for social work training.

  •  American History
  •  English (Writing Placement Examination required of all students)
  •  Foreign Language
  •  General Psychology II (prerequisite for SW 451)
  •  Introduction to Sociology (prerequisite for SW 451)
  •  Speech
  •  Political Science
  •  Statistics
  •  MA113 OR Introduction to Critical Thinking OR Logic is required (Math Placement Examination required for all students)

Admission to the Program

The Social Work Program is an upper-division program available in the day session. Pre-admission counseling and advisement are provided. Admission to the program occurs in a series of planned stages as a necessary part of the advisement process. Freshmen interested in preparing for a career in social work consult with a social work faculty advisor. Students indicating an interest in declaring social work as a major program of study may begin to take social work electives in the sophomore year. In the junior year, students have a further opportunity to test their interest and capacity for continued study in social work through foundation courses and participation in an individualized field instruction course in a social service delivery system. In the fall of their junior year, all students must complete an Admission to Junior Field Work Application and meet with a Social Work advisor. Admission to the senior-level practice courses and field instruction is based on the student’s ability to maintain a 2.3 cumulative index, demonstration of professional standards, and the recommendation of the social work faculty advisor. No grade lower than “C” in the Social Work core or Social Sciences concentration is accepted. Social Work core courses may only be taken over once and must be taken on campus, even though it may mean postponing graduation to complete the requirement. If a student receives less than a “C” in three Social Work courses, they must step out of Program for one year.

Transfer Students

All students transferring to the University with an interest in social work must contact the University Admissions Office first and be accepted by the University. A prompt appointment with the social work faculty for a personal interview provides an opportunity for clarification regarding courses to be taken and acceptance into the program. Credits earned at the community college level are accepted toward the baccalaureate degree in accordance with the admissions policy of Dominican University of New York. Academic credit for life experience and previous work experience will not be given, in whole or in part, in lieu of the field practicum or of courses in the professional foundation. To standardize evidence of competence in written communication and math, the Writing and Math placement examinations are required. Students whose performance on a College-administered placement examination is below an acceptable standard are required to take and pass the English and Math courses specified (see English curriculum, “College English Requirements” and Mathematics curriculum). Administration dates for the placement examinations are posted, and it is the responsibility of the student to arrange for taking the examination before the second semester of the junior year.

Summary of Requirements

Program Goals, Mission, and Objectives


The mission of the Dominican University of New York Social Work Program, in service to and collaboration with its multiple communities, is to develop generalist social work professionals committed to excellence, leadership and service by:

  •  promoting social justice;
  •  engaging in ethical practice;
  •  engaging in research-informed practice and practice-in-formed research;
  •  advocating for social policies responsive to diverse human needs; and
  •  advancing knowledge through reflective understanding of self and compassionate involvement with others.


The Bachelor of Social Work Program is an upper-division undergraduate program which has as its primary goals:

  •  to prepare students to qualify as beginning-level, generalist social work professionals;
  •  to promote an environment which honors diversity and advances social justice;
  •  to provide the foundation for an appreciation of lifelong learning and advancement in graduate level social work education.


Graduates of the Dominican University Social Work Program will demonstrate:

  •  the application of critical thinking skills;
  •  proficiency in communication and analysis, including reading, writing, listening, speaking, and quantitative skills;
  •  the integration of bio-psycho-social-spiritual sources of human development;
  •  an understanding of the impact of societal stress on diverse and vulnerable populations
  •  analytic skills to assess client systems of all sizes;
  •  political skills to engage in advocacy and promote social justice;
  •  interactional skills to empower consumers, build helping relationships, develop networks and coalitions;
  •  values clarification skills to recognize ethical issues in a range of client systems;
  •  skills in identifying, analyzing and implementing evidence-based intervention to client system goals;
  •  a capacity to evaluate and advance one’s own practice through the application of empirical principles;
  •  professional behavior distinguished by the NASW Code of Ethics.

The Social Work Program is fully accredited at the undergraduate level by The Council on Social Work Education (C.S.W.E.). CSWE, 333 John Carlyle Street, Suite 400 Alexandria, VA 22314


To complete a Bachelor of Social Work at Dominican University, you’ll need to develop a primary specialization in one of the following ‘areas of emphasis’ and secondary specializations in at least two of them:

  •  Sociology
  •  Political science
  •  History
  •  Economics
  •  Criminal justice
  •  Psychology
  •  Child welfare
  •  Gender studies

CSWE Accreditation

The Dominican University Bachelor of Social Work degree program is accredited at the undergraduate level by The Council on Social Work Education (C.S.W.E.), located at 333 John Carlyle Street, Suite 400 Alexandria, VA 22314.
Accreditation of a baccalaureate social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process. An accredited program has sufficient resources to meet its mission and goals and the Commission on Accreditation has verified that it demonstrates compliance with all sections of the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards.
Accreditation applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.
For more information about social work accreditation, you may contact Accreditation.

CSWE Accreditation

Department Staff

Melody L. Hyppolite, Ph.D., MSW

Melody L. Hyppolite, Ph.D., MSW

Director of Field Education and Associate Professor of Social Work

Lucinda Acquaye-Doyle, Ph.D., MSW

Lucinda Acquaye-Doyle, Ph.D., MSW

Director of Social Work Program and Associate Professor

Sandra Countee, BS (OT), MPA, Ph.D.

Sandra Countee, BS (OT), MPA, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor of Social Work

Professor Katrina Roberts, BSW, MSW

Adjunct Professor of Social Work

Maureen Aitchison, BA (English)

Maureen Aitchison, BA (English)

Program Assistant

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