Social Work Program Overview

As a social work major at Franciscan University you will learn how to help men and women help themselves and overcome the obstacles, both personal and environmental, that exert a negative impact on their lives. You will learn how to communicate effectively, build relationships with clients and constituents, and utilize research to support your practice.

Additionally, you will analyze government policies and understand how they aim to assist the vulnerable and at-risk among us. You will also learn to embrace the values that undergird the social work profession and how to effectively and competently serve diverse populations while honoring their dignity.

Franciscan University is committed to the teachings of the Catholic Church. In the course of your studies, you will learn what the Church teaches about human rights, as well as social, environmental, and economic justice, and how these principles can help guide your practice as a professional social worker.

Training for your Future

Becoming a confident and competent Catholic social worker is a process—one that includes field experience and classroom skills training.

In addition to your coursework, you will complete internships in various settings, including medical, mental health, and faith based facilities, working with a diverse spectrum of people in need. You will learn to be confident in your training, and prepared for state licensure exams, graduate education, and a professional career.

The Social Work Degree Program at Franciscan University will prepare you for licensure as a social worker in the state of Ohio. The education you receive as a Franciscan student is unparalleled; however, states other than Ohio may have additional licensing requirements. Students wishing to attain a social work license in other states should seek more information from the Association of Social Work Boards. For more information about the educational and licensure requirements in other states, please see the updated licensure requirements disclosure.

Social Work Program Goals

The program will prepare students:

  • To become competent generalist practitioners who can effectively intervene with client systems at all levels of intervention
  • To conduct themselves ethically, in congruence with social work values, and in a manner that honors the dignity of all persons.
  • To be able to consume and produce research to inform generalist practice.
  • To be aware of the influence of culture, context, and diversity on social work practice and policy development

Franciscan University is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education which means your education meets the highest standards in the field of social work education. To graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Franciscan University you need to complete 54 credit hours of course work in social work which includes 400 clock hours of internship work during your senior year at various agencies throughout the area. You also complete 3 hours in sociology, 6 hours in psychology, 6 hours in natural sciences, 6 hours in philosophy and at least 12 credit hours in theology.

Your social work classes will cover topics such as: social work policies, theories of human behavior, integration of the biological, sociological and psychological variables that impact human behavior, issues of social justice, working with children and the elderly, death and dying and the institutions such family, religion, media, government and the educational systems that influence human behavior.

The Social Work Program at Franciscan takes a holistic approach in dealing with human beings and their problems. Our program incorporates the biological, sociological, psychological and spiritual components in understanding human behavior as well as the treatment of various difficulties one may have in living life. When you graduate you will be prepared to take the state license exam where Ohio state law permits it.

Academic Catalog

View the Social Work Program on the Undergraduate Catalog

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Alumni Profiles
Beyond the Classroom
Instruments of Peace Club

The Instruments of Peace is a club for Franciscan University of Steubenville Social Work Majors. Students support one another, engage in their interests, and dive deeper into their future careers.

Phi Alpha Honor Society

Join Franciscan University of Steubenville's chapter of Phi Alpha, the national honor society for students, faculty, and practitioners of social work! If invited, you will form important relationships, share in excellent scholarship, and work towards creating a better world.

Austrian Semester Abroad

Grow, develop, and be formed into a more mature student by spending a semester in Franciscan’s Austrian program. You’ll expand your major in unbelievable ways by traveling to places such as Rome and the holy sites of Christendom, and through courses taught at a 14th-century monastery that also serves as your home.

Social Work Accreditation

The Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). For additional information about CSWE, please see For information about bachelor-level social work licensure, please refer to the appropriate state licensing board website for the state in which you intend to pursue licensure.

Ethically Formed. Prepared to Serve. Trained to Lead.
Social Work Program Faculty
Dr. Ricardo Chaparro-Pacheco

Dr. Ricardo Chaparro-Pacheco

Assistant Professor
Director of Social Work

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Katherine Holler

Prof. Katherine Holler


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Fr. Luke, cropped image

Fr. Luke Robertson


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