High school marks the beginning of many interests, often including the decision of a college major. A career in social work can be indicated while a student completes a high school diploma. Becoming a successful social worker requires a passion for helping others. Courses that may benefit students as undergraduate social work majors are requirements for high school graduation, but a core of electives can help students build a firm foundation in a social work career.

English/Language Arts

The ability to effectively apply written communication is important for the social work professional. These skills are learned through English/Language Arts classes. Report writing is a major task for social workers. For example, those who work in adult and child protective services are required to interview witnesses and clients and compose reports on cases. Since these accounts become a permanent part of a case file, they must be written clearly and free of grammatical and punctuation errors.


The study of how society functions allows social workers to apply theory behaviors and social phenomenon. In high school. Future social workers will find a basic overview of how sociological elements such as gender roles, cultural norms and social stratification apply to the field. An area found in the profession is the study of the family. Studying the sociology of family helps social workers understand the types of families in society and how they differ.


Psychology allows social workers to get a mental picture of the client. For those interested in working in the mental health and mental retardation areas, psychology allows students to see how biology and psychology connect. The American Psychological Association oversees the content of high school psychology courses. High school-level psychology coursework mandated by the APA that could be helpful in the social-work career includes psychological disorders, biological basis of behavior, cognitive learning, and personality and assessment.

Family and Consumer Sciences

Consumer economics, human development, food and nutrition, family relations, and clothing and textiles are areas that fall under the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) umbrella. High school students are able to taste their first experience in social work through FCS coursework. A background in consumer economics can lead the social worker to the career of budget planner for families. A social worker with a master's or higher-level degree can use family relations to counsel problematic families and individuals.

United States History

Students are provided with the background in creation of the social-service system in the United States. History tells future social workers that Social Security was created through President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. In addition, the health programs Medicare and Medicaid were created by the Great Society of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Finally, the foundation of the United States' first "social welfare" institution was Jane Addams' Hull House in Illinois. Students will understand why these programs exist.