Social Work courses were first offered in the Department of Sociology in 1970. A full social work major began in 1973. The Program has been affected by several reorganizations of the University. In 1974 it was placed in the College of Professions, in 1976 it was in the Division of Public Services, and in 1979 it was placed in the School of Arts and Behavioral Sciences where it has remained although the name School was changed to College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences in 1987.
In 1983, the Program at SVSU was fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, is currently accredited through 2020. The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree that is offered is a professional degree that is recognized by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) for full membership and by the State of Michigan for registration as a social worker. At the end of the 2000-2001 academic year, the program celebrated its 20th year of accreditation and graduated its 1000th BSW social worker.