where academic investigation +
christian faith +
service to others unite

The La Sierra Advantage

Studying social work at La Sierra University offers:

  • Small classes (eight to 18 students) to facilitate better student/faculty interaction and learning.
  • Hands-on-training, providing students with practical experience.
  • The only accredited B.S.W. degree in the Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
  • Evening classes to accommodate work schedules.
  • Faculty members who are involved, caring, and easily accessible.
  • Many of our graduates go to graduate schools with advanced standing, thus having an opportunity to complete a Master in Social Work (M.S.W.) degree in one year.
  • One hundred percent of our recent graduating social work students received a social work job offer.

Employment outlook

Overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of child, family, and school social workers is projected to grow 15 percent; employment of healthcare social workers is projected to grow 27 percent; and employment of mental health and substance abuse social workers is projected to grow 23 percent.

What I liked about the social work program was learning to develop basic practice intervention skills with individuals, families, groups, and organizations through being introduced to theories that are used in understanding human behavior. I also liked how the program focused on building basic assessment skills to help gain a better understanding of human behavior through a biological, psychological, social, and spiritual lens. The social work program taught me how to be- come a positive change agent by helping me learn how to solve problems, use knowledge-based skills to understand others, advocate and confront injustices in society, and empower others. It has increased my level of compassion to care for and help people, which has contributed to me becoming the professional social worker I am today.

Lindsey Young, 2011 Graduate

We offer the following:

Why Study Social Work At La Sierra University?

If you thrive on making a difference in people’s lives, then a career in social work may be for you! at La Sierra University, you can become a social worker with a variety of specializations:

  • Child, youth, and family services
  • Aging/gerontology
  • Health care
  • Mental health care
  • Criminal justice
  • Substance abuse
  • Community
  • Social action, and many more

Even if you specialize in just one of the many areas within the field of social work, your new career will be incredibly flexible. Social workers enjoy the added benefit of challenging new circumstances every day. If you have always had trouble picturing yourself doing only one thing for the rest of your life, social work is the career for you!

Social Work Undergraduate Program

Social Work Bachelor of Social Work

Social workers help people deal with a wide range of problems. They help individuals and families cope with mental illness and problems such as inadequate housing, unemployment, substance abuse, or antisocial behavior. Social service workers have a wide scope of specialties, including medical, welfare, industrial, crisis intervention, psychiatric, administrative, corrections, child welfare (adoption), research/teaching, family counseling, and alcohol and drug abuse. La Sierra University prepares students for this demanding career with an excellent faculty and plenty of practical experience.

Fast Facts Social Work Program

Average completion time4 Years
Program Units75

Phi-Alpha Honor Society Student Organization

The Social Work department is proud to sponsor the Iota Theta Chapter of the Phi alpha Honor Society, a national honor society for outstanding social work students. Phi alpha fosters high standards of education for social workers. It invites into membership those who have demonstrated excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work.

The strengths of our program include:

  • Small classes (16:1 student faculty ratio)
  • Interactive learning
  • Engagement with faculty outside of class
  • Academic and professional mentoring by full-time faculty
  • Diversity of our students    

These strengths provide a rich environment for our students to gain the knowledge, values, and skills needed to become successful social workers.

Jill Rasmussen, Department Chair

Gain Practical Experience While In School

An important part of to social work education is the application of values, knowledge, and skills gained in the classroom during their senior year. Students participate in 480 hours of hands-on training in an agency setting where they work directly with clients under the supervision of a professional social worker. Practicums may take a variety of forms including direct practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and/or communities.

Meet our Faculty

Daphne Thomas
Jill K. Rasmussen
Marni M. Straine

Paying for College

The Student Financial Services office is here to help with financial aid processes. The staff also keeps up to date on scholarships that could benefit La Sierra students.

Choosing Classes

First-year students meet with their academic coach/advisor each week for their first two quarters. Then they are assigned an advisor from their major department who will help them choose the classes they need to complete their program.

Beyond Class

A lot of learning takes place outside of the classroom. The Division of Student Life is headquarters for student government, activities, organizations, spiritual life, and much more to enhance your college experience.

Career Center

We want you to find a good job after you finish your degree at La Sierra. A new Career Center, located in the Zapara School of Business, is expected to open before the end of fall quarter.

University Studies

All undergraduate students at La Sierra University participate in a comprehensive general education curriculum called University Studies, which is rooted in the concept of liberal education as a formative and transformative process. University Studies offers an integrated curriculum that:

  • stimulates the meaning-centered development of its students.
  • familiarizes students with the various academic disciplines.
  • exposes students to intercultural, international and inter-ethnic concerns.
  • encourages students to recognize the importance of developing a personal value system to distinguish between right and wrong.

Contact and Location


(951) 785-2915
Gladwyn Hall, Room 222