Social Work

Bachelor's Degree Program

Earn your degree in social work at UAF and prepare for rewarding careers empowering others.

Our mission is to educate generalist social work practitioners to promote the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities, emphasizing the diversity and uniqueness of rural Alaska. The program includes an intensive 400-hour senior practicum that gives you the opportunity to engage in direct social work practice experiences under the supervision of a social worker in a social service agency.

In addition to being offered at our main campus in Fairbanks, Alaska, the social work degree is available via distance delivery, enabling students from across Alaska to complete their bachelor’s from their home communities. Distance education is provided through a cohort model specifically designed for rural Alaska students, who are either working in or have experience with the social service field.

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Why Study Social Work at UAF?

As a social work major at UAF, you’ll find numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth, as you face the challenges and experience the rewards of professional social work.

Engage in direct social work practice experiences

  • As part of your senior year coursework you’ll have the opportunity to work with individuals, groups and communities in a social service agency and complete a 400-hour practicum. You’ll work under the direct supervision of an agency social worker who teaches, guides and monitors your direct practice experience.

Earn your degree in social work from anywhere in Alaska

  • Distance classes are conducted primarily through audio-conferences, replicating the reality of practice in bush Alaska. Classroom instruction, held on-site in Fairbanks, are held at the beginning and end of each semester.
  • Distance courses maintain the same curriculum content, structure and accreditation standards as the campus-based program. In some cases, assignments are tailored to meet the village communities’ unique needs.

Make connections with other social work majors

  • Our unique cohort model allows rural students to form a bond and build an educational support network with fellow classmates, while receiving course instruction not only from the university instructor, but an Alaska Native Elder as well. This method of instruction has been highly successful as it incorporates both western and traditional approaches to learning. 

Take part in social work clubs and events

  • Opportunities include the Organization of Student Social Workers, the Alaska Native Social Worker Organization and the National Association of Social Workers Alaska Chapter. Annual events and conferences are held in Fairbanks and statewide.


What Can You Do With a Social Work Degree?

Majors in social work can look forward to joining a fast growing job market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of social workers is projected to grow 16% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Alaska has the highest concentration of jobs for child, family and school social workers of any state in the nation. It is also one of the top states for jobs for mental health and substance abuse social workers.




Get Started on Your Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work

Take the next step toward earning your bachelor’s degree. We have the resources to help you get started.