Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare

Berkeley Social Welfare’s undergraduate major offers Berkeley undergraduate students a broad-based introduction to America’s social welfare problems and social policies within a social science context.

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 is a designated “group major” grounded in the liberal arts, rather than specialized training in the profession of social work. Students who successfully complete the major program are awarded the Bachelor of Arts (BA) 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. The curriculum, as reflected in the core major courses, focuses both on the history and institutions of social work as a field of activity and on the welfare state as a collective enterprise addressing human need. 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.

Undergraduate Major Advising

101 Haviland Hall

To make an appointment with the Undergraduate Major Adviser, please email swundergrad@berkeley.edu.