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Social Work (B.S.W.)

Website: School of Social Science and Human Services
Website: Social Work Program

About the Major

Application Process

Application to the Program

The Mission of the Social Work Program

The Social Work Program’s principal mission is preparing students for beginning level, professional generalist social work practice in a culturally diverse society and an increasingly global environment. Central to this mission is preparing students for a profession dedicated to assisting individuals, groups, families, communities, and organizations in their quest for well-being. The program is committed to teaching students to work for the development of a society which promotes equality, social justice, respect for human diversity, and adequate sustenance for all its members. The program seeks to train and encourage its students to be active, personally and professionally, in taking leadership roles in addressing social problems and challenging social, economic, and environmental injustice. The program is committed to developing students’ skills in culturally competent social work practice, research, social service and social policy formation, and political advocacy in order to further this mission.

About the Major

The Social Work major is offered by the School of Social Science and Human Services and leads to a Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) degree.  In addition to preparing students for beginning generalist social work practice, the program also provides preparation for graduate social work education. The Social Work curriculum, taken in conjunction with the School of Social Science and Human Services’ Core program is designed to provide students with an understanding of:

  • social issues
  • cultural diversity
  • environmental sustainability
  • social thought
  • social welfare history
  • social services and human needs
  • social work values and ethics
  • human behavior and the social environment
  • social, economic and environmental justice
  • at risk populations
  • social policy
  • research methods
  • generalist social work practice skills

Supervised field work is a major component of the Social Work curriculum.  Over a two-year period, students work 500 hours in field placements that are designed to teach generalist social work practice skills and to integrate social work theory with professional practice. The Social Work Program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Students may also co-major in psychology, sociology, economics, political science, and minor in the areas of gerontology, substance use disorders, women’s studies, Africana studies, or ethnic studies.

Beginning in the 2020-2021 academic year, a Substance Use Disorders track will be available to BSW students.  This enables BSW students to complete the CADC requirement of 270 academic hours of substance use and counseling specific content through two Substance Use Disorder courses and the required content of the BSW program.  The two required courses are:

SWRK 251: Introduction to Substance Use Disorders

SWRK 338: Counseling for Substance Use Disorders II

Program Policy on Transfer Courses, Life Experience,
and Previous Work Experience

Transfer credit will not be granted for any course in the program’s professional foundation sequence unless it is an equivalent course taken in an accredited CSWE program. The Social Work Program does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience.

Admission into the Social Work Program

Students may declare an interest in being a Social Work major prior to their admission into the College or during their first or second years. However, students are not officially Social Work majors until they formally apply to the program and receive formal admission into the program.  This usually occurs just prior to the beginning of their third year. In order to be eligible for acceptance into the Social Work Program students must meet the following requirements:

Successful completion of all 100 Level General-Education requirements and

  • SOSC 110 Social Science Inquiry OR HNRS 110 Honors Social Science Inquiry
  • SOCI 101 Introduction to Sociology OR SOCI 232 Sociology of the Family
  • PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology
  • Any BIOL or SCIN Course
  • ECON 102 Introduction to Macroeconomics or SWRK 202 Political Economy of Social Welfare (To be completed prior to graduation)

Completion of the following two social work prerequisite courses with a combined average grade of B.

  • SWRK 222 History and Philosophy of Social Welfare
  • SWRK 225 Introduction to Social Work (which includes 20 hours of pre-professional fieldwork)

Completion of 60 academic credits

A minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.75 is needed.

Application Process

Students who meet the above criteria and wish to enter the Social Work Program must submit an application for admission into the Social Work Program during the semester in the academic year prior to their planned entrance into the program. The application includes a completed application form and academic transcripts.  The Social Work Convening Group Admissions Committee, consisting of members of the Social Work faculty, reviews all applications for admission into the program. The faculty examines each candidate’s application and academic record, including observations made by Social Work faculty who have taught the candidate in the prerequisite Social Work courses.

In addition to a student’s intellectual capacity, attention is given to the student’s personal qualities and suitability for the profession. Consideration is given to areas such as motivation and interest in social work and social work education; demonstrated aptitude through life experience; receptivity to new approaches and ideas; the ability to be self-reflective; concern for helping others  and solving social problems; the potential to form and sustain effective helping relationships with client systems; and the ability to function in an agency under supervision. The faculty may, in some cases, request a personal interview with the applicant before making its decision.

The applicant is notified by letter of the social work faculty’s decision. Students who are accepted are given instructions on how to proceed in the major. Students who are rejected for admission to the program are given the specific reasons as to why they were not accepted. Students who are denied admission into the Social Work Program may reapply at a later date.

Transfer students should consult with the BSW Convener as early as possible prior to applying for admission into the program.

A minor in social work is not available.

Outcomes for the Major

Bachelor of Social Work Program Goals

Program Goals are linked to the required competencies identified by the Council on Social Work Education (CWSE).

Goal 1: To prepare undergraduate students, firmly grounded in an interdisciplinary liberal arts education, with social work values and ethical standards, and an understanding of the social work profession’s history, purpose, and philosophical tenets to engage in a culturally diverse society.

Competency 1: Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.

Competency 2: Engage in diversity and difference in practice.

Goal 2: To prepare students with the necessary competency skills, including research-informed approaches, for generalist beginning level professional social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations.

Competency 4: Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.

Competency 6: Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Competency 7: Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Competency 8: Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Competency 9: Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Goal 3: To prepare students with the knowledge, values, and skills to be competent social work professionals who can effectively advocate for the development of social policies and social service delivery systems that advance human rights and improve the well-being of client systems, the alleviation and eradication of social issues, and the promotion of global, social and economic justice.

Competency 3: Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.

Competency 5: Engage in policy practice.

Requirements of the Major
  1. Transfer students who have 48 or more credits accepted at the time of transfer are waived from the courses marked with a (WI) below.  Waivers do NOT apply to Major Requirements.
  2. Double counting between General Education, School Core, and Major may be possible.  Check with your advisor to see if any apply.
  3. Writing Intensive Requirement (five courses):  two writing intensive courses in the general education curriculum are required: Critical Reading and Writing II and Studies in the Arts and Humanities the other three courses are taken in the major.
  4. Not all courses are offered each semester.  Please check the current Schedule of Classes for semester course offerings.
  5. The Career Pathways Program requirements must be completed prior to graduation.  Visit the Cahill Career Center.
  6. A GPA of 2.75 or higher must be maintained to remain in the BSW program.

* Prerequisites for admission to the Social Work Program.

** Must be admitted to Social Work Program to enroll in this coursework.

Note: A 2.75 GPA in the major is required for graduation.