Students Succeed With NASW, From Campus to Career
Joining the National Association of Social Workers while you are a student helps you build a strong and satisfying social work career. Students who join NASW while in school gain real-world knowledge of the profession and the communities social workers serve that goes beyond a textbook and class.
Through membership, students can learn and experience social work at the national, state, and local levels—NASW membership includes both national and chapter memberships.
COVID-19 & Students: We’re Here for You
Students are facing challenges in completing course and field requirements. NASW has been working jointly with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) to develop solutions that are creative and flexible to manage the current disruption in education. NASW also is working hard to ensure policy changes that help and protect social workers and social work students during the pandemic, including advocating for flexible telehealth options, safety of the workforce, and widespread economic relief.
COVID-19 Resources for Students
We need you as an NASW member to continue this work.
Top Reasons Students Join NASW
NASW membership helps social work students every day. Student members access resources that complement their studies, further their learning, and prepare them for professional life.
#1 Learn What You Don't Learn in School
NASW membership takes learning beyond the classroom and provides students with resources professional social workers use every day to help them be the best social workers possible and to help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives. Students who join NASW have access to the experience, insights, best practices, and knowledge of established social workers. Most of these resources are free or discounted for students.
Back your thesis with evidence-based research found at NASW’s online Research Library. Student members have unlimited access to databases from leading research institutions, think tanks, and advocacy organizations.
Examine current social problems and evaluate new techniques and research. Student membership includes an online subscription to
Social Work journal. Students also receive discounted subscription rates on
NASW's specialty journals, which provide articles on innovations in practice, interdisciplinary efforts, research, program evaluation, policy, and planning.
NASW's award-winning bimonthly magazine, Social Work Advocates
, carries in-depth feature articles about social work trends and issues. Student membership includes online access. Visit the Social Work Advocates archives
to catch up on issues you missed prior to joining as an NASW member
Hear from experts on topics that social workers care about. Self-care and PPE, social distancing and mental health, violence, bullying, LGBTQ support, social media and video games, immigration, social work salaries – the topics go on and on.
Prepare for your future private solo or group practice by familiarizing yourself with issues and updates affecting clinical social work practice in these settings. "An Hour With Private Practice" is a free, members-only question-and-answer session held every other month on selected topics. Just dial-in to join each session.
NASW's Social Work Online CE Institute offers students hundreds of courses on a variety of topics—at discounted rates or free of charge. Take your schooling beyond the class with webinars, webcasts, podcasts, and presentations on topics affecting today's social workers.
#2 Belong to a Community of Social Workers That Looks Out for You
NASW membership includes membership in your state NASW chapter, at no additional cost. This dual membership gives you that much-needed connection to social work where you live or study. Meet other students and practicing social workers at chapter-run events.
The MyNASW online member community is a fast way to connect with social work students and practicing social workers across the country. Join or start a discussion, ask questions, find mentors, and more. Search discussions on supervision and licensing exam preparation as you transition from student to new professional.
Focus your learning by joining an NASW Specialty Practice Section (SPS). SPS tailors resources, information, and education to meet the needs of social workers in 11 practice areas. As an added bonus, SPS members can participate in their corresponding MyNASW subcommunity, at no extra charge:
- Children, Youth, and Schools, which is exclusively for members of the School Social Work; Child Welfare; and Children, Adolescents & Young Adults Specialty Practice Sections.
- Clinical Social Work, Aging, and Health, which is exclusively for members of the Aging; Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs; Health; Mental Health; and Private Practice Specialty Practice Sections.
- Social Justice, Administration, and Courts, which is exclusively for members of the Administration/Supervision, Social and Economic Justice & Peace, and Social Work and the Courts Specialty Practice Sections.
#3 Prepare for Professional Life
NASW helps students prepare for their careers in social work while they are still in school. NASW membership opens doors for establishing satisfying and successful careers in social work.
Well before graduation, students across the country check in with the NASW Career Center to explore the many career paths in social work and to get job outlook information. Students find career tips and learn how to stand out among other candidates applying for the same jobs and internships. And when it's time to search job openings, NASW students can search social work positions in NASW's JobLink database, receive job-opening alerts, and upload their resumes to a candidate database for employers.
Professionalize your undergraduate experience. Students who want to demonstrate a professional commitment to the profession to employers; develop leadership, teamwork, and communications skills; and open career doors volunteer at the NASW national and chapter levels. Volunteer for committees and task forces, write for your chapter's newsletter, help plan events, and more. Meet the student members on the NASW national board of directors and chapter boards of directors.
#4 Take Action
Student members roar as one through advocacy organized at the NASW national and chapter levels.
NASW national’s Advocacy listserv keeps students current on legislation in Washington, DC, and in their own state capitols. In seconds students can add their names to prewritten e-communications to politicians to advance legislation that supports our profession, our clients, and our communities, or to stop or change harmful legislation. Sign up for legislative alerts.
Visit your state capitol with your NASW chapter and hear from your state legislators. Learn about your chapter’s advocacy efforts and get insights into issues facing people in your state. See how policy is created.
NASW provides voter participation training and has been working with allied organizations such as Rock the Vote, Young Invincibles, and the Brennan Center for Justice to eliminate barriers to voter registration and turnout, build young people’s political power, protect voting rights, and shield the voting process from hacks and breakdowns.
#5 Get Help With Education Costs
From tuition to books, education costs can add up and take years to pay off. Through NASW membership, students have access to resources to help them with those costs and student loan management.
The NASW Foundation hosts scholarships and doctoral fellowships established to assist students pursuing a variety of social work specialties. Apply for fellowships in health care and scholarships involving work with African American communities and with American Indian and Latino populations. Check eligibility and apply at naswfoundation.org.
NASW connects you to student loan management tools and resources. Compare and enroll in a student loan repayment program that is best for you.
At NASW, we understand the cost of a social work education. That's why we discount student member dues by up to 75% off regular dues. To keep your discounted student rate, simply renew by your Membership Renewal Date. Renew on time during your student years and we'll continue discounted dues for you the first years after you graduate so long as you maintain continuous NASW membership throughout.
#6 Access Dedicated Support
NASW student members facing ethical dilemmas related to their fieldwork practicum and social work-related legal issues can talk privately with NASW ethics and legal staff. These are free services that are highly valued by our student members.
NASW's ethics and legal teams also provide self-serve resources to help student members uncover ethics considerations, apply the profession's Code of Ethics appropriately, and understand the social work perspective in legal matters.
Practice Expert at National Level
When you join NASW, you help ensure that there’s a dedicated practice expert at the national level who advocates for you and for the populations and communities you want to serve. Our practice experts work to get you practice tools that discuss and make recommendations about today's social work challenges and successes and help prepare you for your professional social work career.
#7 Protect Yourself From Complaints and Lawsuits
Malpractice Insurance for Students
As you approach field practice assigned by your school of social work, make sure that you obtain the comprehensive field placement malpractice coverage offered by the NASW Risk Retention Group. Whether you are in the beginning of your social work education or are pursuing an advanced degree, individual coverage is a critical start to your professional advocacy and risk management plan. NASW Assurance Services (ASI) offers malpractice insurance (also called professional liability insurance) created for social work students. ASI has drawn on its experience in protecting members to greatly enhance its coverage and provide you with broader protection.
ASI sponsors free risk-management educational workshops co-sponsored by NASW chapters and other hosts. These workshops cover social work malpractice issues, such as the extent of personal and organizational liability and recommended strategies for reducing your exposure to a social work malpractice suit.