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The Department of Social Welfare was established with the aims of theoretical development of social welfare through social welfare research and cultivating professionals in social welfare who can effectively solve various social problems caused by capitalism and industrial society to improve the quality of human life.

In 1981, the Department of Social Work was established under the College of Theology. Since then, in order to respond to changing social needs, the department was renamed to the Department of Social Welfare and transferred to the College of Social Science in 1995. Graduates of this department are experts in various social welfare fields such as professors of social welfare, researchers at social welfare research institutions, social welfare hospitals, rehabilitation centers, social welfare non-government organizations and other related organizations.

Currently, this department consists of nine faculty members and, In 1984, master and doctoral programs were established in Yonsei (Regular) Graduate School and graduate students began to engage in research activities. In 1995, the Social Welfare major was established at the Graduate School of Public Administration. In 2001, the Professional Graduate School of Social Welfare, the first of its kind in Korea, opened with a focus on cultivating a professional social welfare workforce. Since 2001, the Professional Graduate School of Social Welfare has promoted the systematic development of the theory and practice of social welfare. Toward the goal of furthering social welfare research, the school affiliated ‘Social Welfare Research Center’ was established in 1990. In an effort to apply the theories of social welfare and problem solving techniques in real life scenarios, we have jointly managed the "Gayang 4 Comprehensive Social Welfare Center" since 1996.

Specific Major and Focus Areas

1. ‘Social Welfare Policy’ is the study of the concept and background of the theory and method, form, and contents of social welfare policy. Based on this analysis, we look into social welfare policies, consider the possibility of policy alternatives, and propose direction for future of social welfare policy in Korea.

2. ‘Social Welfare Administration’ lectures on the concept, historical background, significance, organization and basic principles of social welfare administration as a scientific and professional administrative science and strives to understand the operating condition of facilities and institutions in Korea.

3. ‘Social Welfare Practice’ focuses on understanding areas such as family welfare, worker welfare, elderly welfare, disability welfare, mental health and medical social welfare and developing intervention plans through knowledge about overall social welfare practices and the social welfare practice model for individuals, families, and groups.

Prospects and Career Paths Post-Graduation

A large number of graduates continue their academic studies in social welfare upon graduating from the undergraduate program. After completing their undergraduate studies, they go on to graduate school or advance into social welfare research institutes and work toward the development of systems and professional skills that suit the reality of Korean society. Alternatively, you may be able to understand and help more people by working in the field rather than in the library or lab. In the field related to social welfare in general, various direct service organizations including community welfare centers understand the needs of residents and strive to solve social problems.

Graduates who have taken the Public Administration Examination serve in various fields as civil servants and employees of public enterprises such as the Korea Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service and others serve as experts in various social contribution organizations, international organizations, non-profit organizations, as lawyers after going to law school, and as journalists.

In addition, they can provide financial resources to patients and their families who have difficulties in treatment due to economic circumstances or who are experiencing psychological shock due to a sudden accident or illness by entering medical settings such as hospitals and mental health centers. In this way, they can help relieve the psychological impact and restore normal life in a short period of time.

Social welfare is an academic discipline that targets society and the human experience and plays a wide role in understanding and solving social problems. It is a study emphasizing the value of social integration and social justice that should be upheld in all areas in order to further develop our society.

More Information

1. Scholarship System
External Scholarships
  • Kim Eunmi (Class of ‘81) Scholarship: Each semester this 10 million KRW scholarship is awarded to a students of this department who come from a difficult family environment and show a fervor for social welfare studies.
  • Other Scholarships: Each semester various scholarships, to include the Seoncheon Scholarship Welfare Association Scholarship, Noyeop Cultural Foundation Scholarship, and the Worak Scholarship Cultural Foundation Scholarship, are awarded to students of our department.
Internal Scholarships
The college assigned scholarship is awarded to students who took at least 15 credits, and earned a minimum GPA of 2.5 in consideration of academic performance and family circumstances.
2. Research and Social Relief Centers

As a concrete method of supporting the realization of academic values and achieving our goals, the Department of Social Welfare operates a research center and community welfare center. We domestically supply materials necessary to social welfare education through extensive research activity and by operating an institution that directly provides social welfare services in low-income areas we have the opportunity to provide on-site training and education materials vital to our curriculum as well as fulfill our commitment to society.

3. Clubs and Academic Societies

There are four active academic societies within the Department of Social Welfare: ‘Parangsae’, ‘Damjaeng’, ‘SanSaram’, and ‘barrier-free.’

4. Social Worker Certification

The purpose of the social worker qualification system is to provide professional and systematic welfare services to those in need of protection, such as children, adolescents, the elderly, the disabled, and families, by granting qualified individuals who possess the necessary knowledge and skills to take charge of these operations with certification as social workers..

In accordance with changes in the education system, to include the undergraduate and multi-major systems, this qualification program was changed from major focused to curriculum focused requirements. Applicants from 2-year or 4-year colleges must complete a total of 14 subjects, including 10 compulsory subjects and four electives. Additionally, in order to enhance the professional skills of social workers, since 2003, rank 1 social workers were determined the passing of a national examination. In the second round of social worker rank 1 certification, graduates of our department have seen great success, and we boast a 100% acceptance rate.

Reference - Required subject to achieve social worker certification since 1999:

Compulsory Courses (10):
Social Welfare Theory, Human Behavior and Social Environment, Social Welfare Policy Theory, Social Welfare Legislation, Social Welfare Practice Theory, Social Welfare Practical Skills Theory, Social Welfare Survey Theory, Social Welfare Administration Theory, Community Social Welfare Theory, Social Welfare Fieldsite Practical
Elective Courses (Minimum of 4 from the Following):
Child Welfare Theory, Adolescent Welfare Theory, Elder Welfare Theory, Disability Welfare Theory, Women’s Welfare Theory, Family Welfare Theory, Industrial Welfare Theory, Medical Society & Business Theory, Education Society & Business Theory, Mental Health Theory, Correctional Welfare Theory, Social Security Theory, Social Issue Theory, Volunteerism Theory, Mental Health Social Welfare Theory, Social Worker Guidance & Supervision Theory, Program Development and Evaluation, History of Social Welfare Development, Ethics and Philosophy of Social Welfare
5. Revised Courses for Rank 1 Social Worker Examination
  • ① Social Welfare Foundation (Human Behavior and Social Environment, Social Welfare Survey Theory)
  • ② Social Welfare Application (Social Welfare Practice Theory, Social Welfare Practical Skills Theory, Community Social Welfare Theory)
  • ③ Social Welfare Policy and System (Social Welfare Policy Theory, Social Welfare Administration Theory, Social Welfare Legislation Theory)

In effect since the 2005 3rd National Examination, unlike previous examinations elective courses have been removed and there are a total of eight pre-determined courses..