Skip to main content


Global Option in Social Work

U.S. social workers are frequently called upon to handle problems that have international dimensions that will be resolved only by coordinated global efforts. Social workers at the local level face the realities of people who are displaced as refugees or migrate for economic benefit. At the national level, social work promotes global economic and social justice. Internationally, social workers serve in organizations that provide relief, combat human rights violations, or promote indigenous land rights and fair trade. Social work students must develop an understanding and appreciation of both the diversity that exists internationally and the global nature of social problems in order to conduct culturally competent, effective practice in today’s world.

The Global Option in Social Work (GO Social Work) is a curriculum enhancement program through which social work students will combine international components with their major in order to strengthen their global perspective and gain global skills in order to perform at a higher level of cultural awareness. GO Social Work students are also exposed to the global content that is infused throughout the traditional undergraduate curriculum. Students participating in GO Social Work will plan an individual program comprised of courses, research, international experiences, and reflection in order to constitute an achievement beyond the standard requirements for the social work degree.

GO Social Work components are structured in a manner that will allow completion during the two years that constitute the professional social work program. The GO Social Work programming is thus completed in place of, or as part of, the 14-credit hours of social work electives required in the major. In addition, Global Option students will complete the 10-credit hour Field Placement required of all social work students either in an international agency or U.S. organization that provides international services.

For more information, contact Andréa Severson at