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 and 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
COVID-19 Social Work Resources
Get the latest on COVID-19-related advocacy efforts, social worker safety, self-care, workforce issues, and more.
Understand and Manage Your Student Loans
Student loan borrowers can apply for income-driven repayment plans if their income is reduced as a result of COVID-19.
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.
NASW Research Library
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.
NASW Social Work Journal
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.
Social Work Advocates Magazine
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 before joining as an NASW member.
Social Work Talks Podcast
Hear from experts on topics that social workers care about. Topics include self-care, immigration, , social work salaries, and more.
An Hour With Private Practice
"An Hour With Private Practice" is a free, members-only question-and-answer session held every other month on selected topics. Prepare for your future private solo or group practice by familiarizing yourself with issues and updates affecting clinical social work practice.
NASW's Social Work Online CE Institute offers hundreds of courses on a variety of topics, at discounted rates or free of charge. Take your education beyond the classroom with webinars, webcasts, podcasts, and presentations on topics affecting today's social workers.
2. Belong to a Community of Social Workers
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 locally. Meet other students and practicing social workers at chapter-run events.
MyNASW Member Community
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.
Specialty Practice Sections
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, exclusively for members of the School Social Work; Child Welfare; and Children, Adolescents & Young Adults Specialty Practice Sections.
- Clinical Social Work, Aging, and Health, 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, 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.
NASW Career Center
Explore the many career paths in social work and to get job outlook information. Get career tips and learn how to stand out among other candidates applying for the same jobs and internships. Search social work positions in NASW's JobLink database, receive job-opening alerts, and upload your resume to a candidate database for employers.
Professionalize your undergraduate experience. Develop leadership, teamwork, and communication 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. Run to be a student member on NASW's national board of directors or your chapter board of directors.
4. Take Action
Move Social Work Legislation Through Congress
Student members roar as one through advocacy organized at the NASW national and chapter levels.
Sign up for alerts to stay current on legislation in Washington, DC, and in your own state capitol. Add your name to prewritten letters to politicians to advance legislation that supports our profession, our clients, and our communities, or to stop or change harmful legislation.
Attend Student Advocacy Day With Your Chapter
Visit your state capitol with your NASW chapter and hear from your state legislators. Take part in local advocacy and get insights into issues facing people in your state. See how policy is created.
Increase Voter Participation
NASW works 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.
Apply for NASW Foundation Scholarships and Fellowships
The NASW Foundation offers scholarships and doctoral fellowships to assist students pursuing a variety of social work specialties.
Understand and Manage Your Student Loans
NASW connects you to student loan management tools and resources. Compare and enroll in a student loan repayment program that works for you.
Save on Next Year’s Dues
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. Get Dedicated Support
Ethics and Legal Consultations
Members facing ethical dilemmas related to their fieldwork practicum and social work-related legal issues can talk privately with NASW ethics and legal staff.
NASW's ethics and legal teams also provide online resources to help student members with ethics considerations, apply the profession's Code of Ethics appropriately, and understand the social work perspective in legal matters.
Our practice experts develop practice tools that help prepare you for your social work career. 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 will serve.
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 insurance 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 draws 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.