Bachelor of Social Work

Earn your bachelor of social work online at Saint Joseph's College of Maine.Our academically rigorous, socially relevant curriculum equips students with the knowledge, values, and skills necessary for careers in social work or other diverse fields such as healthcare, education, government, human resources, criminal justice, and the nonprofit sector. The online Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program at Saint Joseph’s College prepares students for entry-level generalist practice in positions such as case manager, discharge planner, mental health and behavioral health technicians. In addition, this degree prepares students for entry-level generalist practice as a social worker and provides a strong foundation for graduate work in a Master of Social Work (MSW) program.

The online BSW program benefits from strong faculty presence and a cohort structure, which naturally fosters peer-support and facilitates the learning process. Students will have the opportunity to participate in the SJC Social Work program through optional virtual meetings and events as well as the Phi Alpha National Honor Society for Social Work if eligible.

CSWE Accreditation

Council on Social Work Education’s Board of Accreditation logoSaint Joseph's Bachelor of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s Board of Accreditation.

Accreditation of a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Board of 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 Board of 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.

Students are encouraged to verify license eligibility in the state(s) they plan to practice as a social worker.

At a glance

  • CSWE accredited and available at a distance
  • Learn from engaged instructors who are passionate about the profession
  • Hone your skills through practice with classmates and student-selected internship experiences at a location near you
  • Strong preparation for career and graduate studies, including the potential to qualify for advanced standing in other colleges’ MSW programs
  • Graduates may be qualified to become licensed* as a social worker, depending on state licensing laws

*Saint Joseph’s College of Maine cannot know nor guarantee where our coursework will meet requirements for professional licensure, endorsements, or license renewal in states outside of Maine. If you are planning on using our coursework towards a license or credential in your state, we recommend that you consult with the appropriate licensing agency or board in the state for which you seek to obtain licensure.

How much will this program cost?


*Excludes textbooks and fees. Assumes no transfer of credit, and, at the graduate level, that all preparatory requirements have been met. Prices are subject to change. Click here for full tuition and fee details.

How long will it take?

Contact an admissions counselor now to see how long it would take you to earn this degree!


Required courses for the Bachelor of Social Work degree include human behavior, policy, research, practice, and field internships, as well as other closely aligned social science content. One course focuses on equipping social work practitioners with skills to assess and serve diverse populations, including those distinguished by race, ethnicity, culture, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, physical or mental ability, age, and national origin.

Students will gain practical experience through two internships, including a full-year placement -- a process that is facilitated with the Field Placement Coordinator. The Field Placement Coordinator will work alongside the student to locate placements that are of interest to them and in a geographical location near the student’s place of residence. The College works with many types of agencies and organizations, including hospital systems, private non-profits, schools, drug rehabs, and other community agencies.

Many students explore declaring a minor in criminal justice, psychology, health administration, business, or theology. BSW students will work one-on-one with an academic advisor to select courses, stay on track, and navigate college resources.

Social Service Profession Minor
The Social Service Profession minor is designed to augment majors in the helping profession like sociology, psychology or criminal justice.

Some of our faculty

Caitlin Eldridge, MSW
Caitlin Eldridge, MSWProgram Director, Assistant Professor
MSW, University of New England
BA, Bates College
Rebecca Brown, MSW, LCSW
Rebecca Brown, MSW, LCSWAssociate Professor, Social Work
MSW, Boston College
BA, Gettysburg College
Leah Lazzaro, MSW
Leah Lazzaro, MSWOnline Adjunct Faculty, Social Work
PhD candidate, Kutztown & Millersville University
MSW, Monmouth University
BA, Pennsylvania State University

Student stories

Matthew Lara '23 Online social work

Matthew Lara ’23 Social Work

“I did a lot of research before deciding on SJC’s online social work program. Of all of the CSWE accredited online programs that I looked into, SJC was the most affordable per credit tuition, didn’t require any on-campus commitments, and was wholly asynchronous. The fact that it is a Catholic based education was the cherry on top.”

Career moves

The social work major is a strong foundation for professional careers in various organizations including Child Welfare, Corrections, Health Care, Policy and Planning, Private Non-Profits, and non-governmental agencies (NGOs). According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics the profession is growing faster than most and the U.S. Government has loan forgiveness programs to help social workers with some of their student loans. Individuals with a BSW are prepared for entry-level direct practice within the field. Most states will require licensure. Additional information on professional licensure can be obtained at the Association of Social Work Boards and through the State of Maine Board of Social Work Examiners.

What is SARA?

SARA seal

Saint Joseph's College of Maine has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts. For further information, please visit the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) website at

Maine’s Acting Education Commissioner, Bill Beardsley says, “SARA facilitates Maine’s interface with education opportunities across the country while bypassing the old case-by-case burdensome course approval system. Maine students benefit and state red tape is minimized with no loss of accountability. It is a state consortium approach we value.”

Professional Licensure

It is important to note that NC-SARA does not deal with professional licensing board approval for any courses or programs leading to professional licensure.  Saint Joseph’s College of Maine cannot know nor guarantee where our coursework will meet requirements for professional licensure, endorsements, or license renewal in states outside of Maine.  If you are planning on using our coursework towards a license or credential in your state, we recommend that you consult with the appropriate licensing agency or board in the state for which you seek to obtain licensure.

NC-SARA Professional Licensure Directory:

Links to Professional Licensure Boards/Requirements

National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards

U.S. Department of Education


Social Work

→ View our Social Work Program Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes (updated June 2022).

Consumer Grievance Information

The following are links to consumer information notices and disclosures provided in accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act with the reauthorized Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.

Consumer Grievance Contact Information
Consumer Grievance Form and Release