Social Work

Social Work at Viterbo

Social work is a rewarding and dynamic profession for those with a strong desire to help individuals and families improve their lives. Social workers work with people and collaborate with other organizations or practitioners to discover solutions to problems in everyday lives that improve relationships and resolve personal and family challenges. Students who major in social work learn how to work with a variety of groups including children, families, people living with physical or mental health challenges, victims and perpetrators of crimes, persons with addictions, and the elderly. 

Social work majors at Viterbo University learn from highly skilled faculty with extensive experience as social work practitioners. Students learn interviewing techniques, shadow social workers, and observe intake at the Salvation Army. All students complete a 450-hour field education placement (30 hours a week for one semester) in a social service setting mentored and supervised by an agency-based social worker and a social work faculty liaison.

With a social work degree from Viterbo University, graduates will be ready to work with a variety of age groups to help improve their daily life.

Apply or plan a visit today to get started on your education and a career in social work.

Program Highlights

  • 100% of Viterbo University students passed the National Association of Social Work Board licensing exam in 2014
  • Participate in the National Association of Social Workers Advocacy Day joining hundreds of other social workers for a day at the capitol in Madison
  • Course-related field trips to treatment centers, funeral homes, the Hmong Cultural Center, and regional social services conferences
  • Active chapter of the National Social Work Honor Society, Phi Alpha
  • Active social work club that sponsors events, engages in community service, and raises money for local causes
  • Opportunities for undergraduate research mentored by social work faculty


Debra Daehn Zellmer
Professor/Program Director/Assistant Dean, College of Nursing, Health, and Human Behavior

 MRC 521

Featured Alumni

Keith Lease

"What I liked best about Viterbo were the small class sizes and the close relationships I had with my advisor and the social work faculty. I was able to sit down with my advisor and develop an academic plan. That made me comfortable and confident in the direction I was going and in my ability to succeed.”

Keith Lease '02
Retention Coach
Western Technical College

Career Examples

  • Adult mental health case manager
  • Case manager for elderly and disabled
  • Child protective services worker
  • Disabilities benefit specialist
  • Obstetrics and pediatric social worker
  • Special needs adoption worker
  • Treatment foster care worker

Graduate Schools/Employers of Alumni

  • Columbia University
  • Coulee Council on Addictions
  • Gundersen Health System
  • La Crosse County Human Services
  • Mayo Clinic Health System
  • New Horizons
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Western Technical College