Social Work

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Program Details

  • 90% of 2022 social work grads reported firm plans of being employed or heading to grad school
  • 96% of employed 2022 social work grads are in positions directly related to their career goals
  • 100% of 2022 social work grads engaged in applied learning experiences during undergrad


Take advantage of the unique environment of small class sizes, close faculty and student collaboration, and a diverse student population in UMBC’s Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. Students extend beyond the undergraduate classroom as well, more than 80 percent of graduates going on to graduate and professional schools. Our fully-accredited program is responsible for preparing social work professionals in generalist practices that explore every angle of individuals, families, groups, and communities through hands-on field placement and community outreach. With support from our faculty and experience from a wide variety of field placements, many of our alumni work at mental health and addiction agencies, schools, shelters, community-based programs, prisons, and health care and advocacy organizations.

Students enrolling in the Bachelor of Arts program in Social Work at UMBC-Shady Grove will complete approximately 45 – 70 credits study prior to entry and complete the remainder of their upper-level credits with UMBC-Shady Grove. Students may transfer a maximum of 70 credits from a community college and 90 credits from a four-year school to UMBC. Please visit UMBC’s Social Work Program Student Guide to learn more about the social work curriculum and the field education component of our program.

B.A. in Social Work Information Request

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Complete the recommended prerequisites in sociology, psychology, English, biology, statistics, political science, or economics
Contact UMBC-Shady Grove for advising requirements, check your transfer credits, and the major requirements
Take advantage of field experience and experiential learning with a local agency
Review opportunities for licensure and/or graduate education
Complete your major requirements, and total 120 credits including 45 upper level credits and graduate

More About the Program

Program Highlights

One unique aspect of the UMBC Social Work Program is the field placement program, which provides an experiential learning opportunity for students to work in a local agency under the supervision of a social worker. The social work degree also provides a pathway to licensure at the bachelor’s level and opportunities for graduate studies with the optional advanced standing that recognizes the successful completion of an undergraduate social work degree. You can learn more about all the opportunities the UMBC Social Work Program affords by downloading the Social Work Program Highlights PDF.

Suggested Transfer Pathways

Our Social Work program is currently articulated with the following community college partners:

Montgomery College
Prince George’s Community College

Recommended Prerequisites

UMBC-Shady Grove provides upper-level coursework for transfer students who have completed or are near completion of lower-level course requirements. As such, only upper-level courses are offered at UMBC-Shady Grove specific to each of our undergraduate programs. Most students transferring into UMBC-Shady Grove have completed at least 45-50 credits prior to transferring and many students have earned their Associate Degree. Please note that the Social Work Department requires a minimum 2.5 GPA for transfer to UMBC-Shady Grove. The Social Work Department also strongly encourages you to complete the following courses prior to transfer:

  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • English Composition
  • General or Human Biology (with Lab)
  • Statistics
  • Political Science or Economics

In addition to the above courses, the following courses must be completed prior to graduation from UMBC. Ideally, a student will complete as many of the courses below as possible prior to transferring to UMBC-Shady Grove. Given that these courses are lower-level, they must be taken at an institution other than UMBC-Shady Grove:

  • 3 Arts and Humanities courses (from at least two different disciplines)
  • 1 Science (lab or non lab)
  • World Language Intermediate-Level (consult advisor about exceptions)

Questions about our prerequisites? Please contact Ms. Katie Morris, LCSW-C, Program Director, at or 301-738-6312.

Major Requirements

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree must complete university requirements. Progress toward completion of university requirements is evaluated by means of the Transfer Credit Report (TCR) which is available online to students via myUMBC once admitted to the university. Progress toward major completion is evaluated in the academic departments. University requirements include:

General Requirements:
  • Minimum of 120 academic credits
  • Minimum of 2.0 grade point average (2.5 required for social work major)
  • 45 Upper Level Credits
Major Requirements:

Major Requirements Specific to Social Work

Additional Advising Resources

View additional Shady Grove Advising Resources. For more information on degree requirements, please contact the UMBC-Shady Grove Coordinator of Undergraduate Recruitment and Advising at 301-738-6281.

Visit USG’s website to learn which classes will be available during the upcoming semester.

Minor Requirements

In addition to completing a major, UMBC social work students must complete a minor to supplement their coursework.

Please click on the links below for University requirements specific to minors requiring course work available at UMBC-Shady Grove. Other minor options may be explored as well. You should meet with your academic advisor to discuss how your minor of interest may best fit your degree plan. Visit USG’s website to learn which classes will be available during the upcoming semester.

Minor Requirements:


Smiling woman with glassesDr. Katie Morris, LCSW-C
Program Director

Department: Social Work
Phone: 301-738-6312
Office: Bldg III, Room 4141



Katherine (Katie) J. Morris, Ph.D., LCSW-C, Program Director for USM-Shady Grove Center in Rockville, MD. Dr. Morris has a B.A. in psychology from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, her M.S.W. from the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate from UMBC’s Language, Literacy and Culture Program. Prior to her employment with UMBC, she worked as a therapist providing cognitive behavioral and motivational enhancement therapy to individuals with alcohol and substance dependence in Philadelphia. In 2001 Dr. Morris moved to Maryland and worked as a therapist at a mental health rehabilitation program in Prince George’s County, where she worked with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness in individual and group settings. She currently teaches Introduction to Social and Methods I in the methods sequence.  Dr. Morris’ dissertation work was a phenomenological inquiry examining the lived experiences of Latina social workers and what they carry in their call to social work. Her dissertation work informs her teaching as she works to help students cultivate what they carry from their lived experiences while learning essential social work skills, knowledge, and values.


Courses: SOWK 250: Introduction to Social Work; SOWK 397 (Methods 1)
Research/Clinical Interests: Enhancing student writing and student success among first generation and bilingual students

Dr. M. Nicole Belfiore
Department: Social Work
Phone: 301-738-6282
Office: Bldg III, Room 4135
Courses: SOWK 260: Introduction to Social Welfare, Social Policy, and Social Work and SOWK 360: Social Welfare, Social Policy, and Social Work II
Research/Clinical Interests: Social work and societal ethics, social work education, community service and service learning in higher education, poverty

Lisa Harfoot
Courses: SOWK 389: Human Behavior 2; SOWK 372: Social Work and Healthcare
Research/Clinical Interests: Aging and healthcare

Jeanette Hoover
Department:S ocial Work
Phone: 301-738-6108
Office: Bldg III, Room 4137
Courses: SOWK 388: Human Behavior and the Social Environment 1; SOWK 481:Social Work Methods 2; SOWK 438: Social Work Methods 3; and SOWK 386: Social Work Practice with Families

Kathleen Leiser
Department: Social Work
Phone: 301-738-6304
Office: Bldg III, Room 4139
Courses: SOWK 480: Field 1;  SOWK 482: Field 2

Natalie Sanchez
Department: Social Work
Phone: 240-665-6478
Office: Bldg III, Room 4139
Courses: SOWK 480: Field 1 and SOWK 482: Field 2
Research/Clinical Interests: Educational access and its impact on social and economic justice

Samantha Taylor
Courses: SOWK 388: Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Research/Clinical Interests: Spirituality, culture, healthcare, and geriatrics

Dr. Laura Ting
Courses: SOWK 397: Methods 1; SOWK 470: Social Work Research
Research/Clinical Interests: Intimate partner violence, cross cultural issues, and substance use

Priscilla Villavicencio
Courses: SOWK 250: Introduction to Social Work
Research/Clinical Interests: Trauma, domestic violence, and children’s mental health

What's Next?

Are you thinking about graduate school and wondering what steps to take? First, visit the Council on Social Work Education to learn more about the accredited social work programs to which you can apply. Then watch the Next Steps video which will help answer your questions and prepare you for what comes next in your social work career!