Social Work Major (B.S.)

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The Department of Social Work's undergraduate program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and must meet rigorous academic standards to retain this accreditation.  Social work majors pursue a program that encompasses the professional social work competencies of professional identity, critical thinking, knowledge of diversity and human rights, social, environmental and economic justice, social welfare policy and services, social work practice with all client system sizes, human behavior in the social environment, research, and ethics.

According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), "The social work profession provides ethical, practical, and compassionate leadership to help people confront and resolve personal and social challenges" through their work with individuals, families, small groups, organizations, and communities. All social work majors complete a field internship under the direction of a qualified supervisor.

The Department of Social Work's undergraduate program offers both a major and a minor in social work. It is a specialized degree that prepares graduates for generalist social work practice with a solid foundation in the liberal arts and in the knowledge, skills, and value base of social work. Through the mastery of core competencies, social work graduates apply their education working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. In addition, the program prepares qualified students to pursue graduate education in schools of social work and related fields.

To connect the theoretical and conceptual content of the classroom with the practice world, students must complete 40 hours of volunteer service in an approved agency/program setting by the end of the semester prior to applying to the field. Twenty of the forty hours must be in the same agency/program. The remaining hours may be across multiple sites/programs. This experience may be paid or volunteer and must be pre-approved by the student's faculty adviser. The service hours must be completed post high school and by the end of the semester prior to field application. In addition, students complete a 450-hour internship over two semesters during the senior year. This is the senior capstone experience. The field placement in the final year of the baccalaureate program is arranged between the student and the field education coordinator. Evaluation of this senior field placement is one tool that measures student achievement of program competencies. Students are required to pay a liability insurance fee for their off-campus field education experience. In compliance with CSWE accreditation standards, the B.S. in social work program does not grant social work course credit for life or work experience.

Social work majors earn a B.S. degree in social work. Graduates are eligible for practice in a variety of social work settings throughout the United States. In addition, qualified graduates are eligible to apply for advanced standing in M.S.W. programs that offer advanced standing. Depending upon the program, this can mean earning the M.S.W. in one calendar year versus two academic years.

Academic Program

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of the social work major. Social work majors are required to take:

Required Courses
SW 424Introduction to Social Work4
SW 525Social Welfare Policy: History of Social and Economic Justice4
SW 550Human Behavior and Social Environment I4
SW 551Human Behavior and Social Environment II4
SW 601Research Methods in Social Work4
SW 622Social Work Practice: Interventions with Individuals and Families4
SW 623Social Work Practice: Interventions with Groups, Organizations and Communities4
SW 625Social Welfare Policy in a Global Context4
Senior Capstone Course Sequence
SW 640Social Work Field Experience I5
SW 640ASocial Work Field Experience I: Seminar3
SW 641Social Work Field Experience II5
SW 641ASocial Work Field Experience II: Seminar3
Total Credits48

Students must maintain a 2.0 and earn a C or better in the 12 social work major courses. In addition, students are expected to successfully complete four additional courses as part of a liberal arts foundation for the major. Students choose one course from an approved list of courses in two different categories: anthropology/sociology and zoology and then must choose two additional courses from an approved list of diversity courses. These four courses may also satisfy University Discovery requirements. Students wishing to minor in social work are required to take:

SW 424Introduction to Social Work4
SW 525Social Welfare Policy: History of Social and Economic Justice4
Select any three other courses offered by the department 112
Total Credits20

Excluding SW 640 Social Work Field Experience I, SW 641 Social Work Field Experience II.

Students interested in either a major or minor in social work should consult with the undergraduate program coordinator, Martha Byam, Pettee Hall, Room 231, (603) 862-1077.