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Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare

Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare

Since 1942 Berkeley Social Welfare has offered the undergraduate major in Social Welfare leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree, under the jurisdiction of the College of Letters and Science ("L&S").

The Social Welfare undergraduate major emphasizes an educational experience that is grounded in the liberal arts rather than specialized training in the profession of social work–thus its designation as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, and not the professional Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. 

Berkeley Social Welfare’s undergraduate major reflects our goal to provide Berkeley undergraduate students with a broad-based introduction to America’s social welfare problems and social policies within a social science context. Students gain knowledge of organized networks of public and private social services, and the basic practice methods associated with the social work profession. In doing so, students acquire the knowledge needed to understand, address, and actively participate in the amelioration of critical social problems in American Society.

Social Welfare is a popular major, and prerequisites and enrollment controls for required courses are in place to manage student demand. Students interested in declaring the Social Welfare major should:

  • Thoroughly explore the Social Welfare field as a major, and become familiar with the curriculum and its required sequence.
  • Complete the prerequisite entry requirements as soon as possible.
  • Be aware of priority deadlines to declare the major, and file the Petition to Declare a Major as soon as all of the prerequisites have been completed.

Explore the Social Welfare Undergraduate Major