Bachelor of Social Work
The requirements for the Bachelor of Social Work degree are designed to give the student an opportunity for integrated, nonrepetitive learning. A total of 122 semester hours is required. These may include credit by examination and a maximum of 16 hours elective courses taken on the pass/fail basis. All students must complete the requirements for the major and must complete at least 60 semester hours in residence at the University. These 60 hours must include at least 24 semester hours in social work. A completed degree program must include at least 43 semester hours of upper-division coursework, of which 24 semester hours must have been taken in residence. No more than 60 semester hours in social work may be counted toward the degree.
Each student must complete a sequence of prescribed work; major requirements, which include the field practicum; and special requirements, which include electives.
The prescribed work provides the liberal arts base for the social work curriculum. Interdepartmental courses and credit by examination may be used to meet these requirements. Unless otherwise indicated, a course taken to meet the requirements of one area may not also be used to fulfill the requirements of another area; however, a single course may be used, unless otherwise indicated, to fulfill both an area requirement and a major requirement. No course used to fulfill area or major requirements, other than the field practicum, may be taken on the pass/fail basis.
The Bachelor of Social Work program offers basic courses designed to provide students with concentrated and in-depth educational experience combining social work knowledge and practice skills. No course used to fulfill major requirements, except Social Work 645C and 645D, may be taken on the pass/fail basis. Students are advised to complete the core curriculum, the skills and experiences flags, the foreign language requirement, and all lower-division major requirements before taking upper-division courses. In developing their degree plans, students must also pay careful attention to the sequencing of social work courses to ensure that prerequisite requirements are met.
Academic credit cannot be granted for life experience or previous work experience, and such experience cannot be substituted for any of the courses in the professional foundation areas or the field practicum. Students who believe they have the qualifications to receive credit by examination for a social work course other than the practice sequence coursework (Social Work 312, 332, 333, and 334) and the field practicum may submit a written request to the assistant dean for undergraduate programs. The assistant dean will review the request and determine whether or not the student should be permitted to take the examination.
- The following courses are required:
- Students must complete a three-semester-hour introductory course in psychology. Psychology 301 fulfills this requirement and may also be counted toward the social and behavioral science requirement of the core curriculum.
- Students must complete a three-semester-hour introductory course in sociology. Sociology 302 fulfills this requirement and may also be counted toward the social and behavioral science requirement of the core curriculum.
- Students must complete a three-semester-hour course in human/environmental biology: Biology 301E, 302D, 302E, 302F, 302G, 311C or the equivalent. If biology coursework is not used for science and technology part I, any of these courses may be used to fulfill the science and technology part II requirement.
- Students must complete three semester hours in economics. Certain economics courses may also be used to fulfill the social and behavioral sciences requirement of the core curriculum.
- Students must complete three semester hours in child psychology or child development. Psychology 304 or Human Development and Family Sciences 313 accompanied with HDF 113L may be used to fulfill this requirement.
- Students must complete at least nine semester hours of upper-division coursework in the social and behavioral sciences (applied learning and development, anthropology, economics, educational psychology, government, history, human development and family sciences, kinesiology, psychology, sociology, Social Work 360K topics) in addition to other major requirements. Six of these nine hours may be upper-division social work electives.
The social work program requires that students complete 30 clock hours of supervised service learning related to social work and be approved by the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program in order to advance to the practice sequence. These service learning hours may be used to meet course requirements inSocial Work 312.
Field Practicum Requirements
Students must complete 480 clock hours of fieldwork as part of the course requirements in Social Work 645C and 645D. Students have the opportunity in these courses to develop the professional skills needed for entry-level social work positions as generalist practitioners. Adequate time is built into this professional program through Social Work 645C, 645D, and 445 to provide students with opportunities to test their developing skills in social services agencies and programs. At the same time, faculty members evaluate the student’s professional development within the context of the educational objectives established for the experience. The goals are for the student to learn real-life practice, to develop skills, to relate concepts to skill development, to remain motivated to continue to learn, and to evaluate personal performance.
To enroll in Social Work 645C, 645D, and 445, students must meet the following requirements: (1) approval to advance to the practice sequence in social work; (2) a University grade point average of at least 2.00; and (3) both a grade point average of at least 2.50 for the following group of courses and a grade of at least C in each course in the group: Social Work 310, 312, 313, 318, 323K, 325, 327, 332, 333, and 334.
Following the student’s admission to the field practicum, the student's work is reviewed periodically by the student, the field faculty, and the field agency supervisor. Should the student have trouble meeting the professional or academic requirements of the program, the review process will bring the difficulty to the student’s attention and assist the student in seeking appropriate resolution. The student may make use of counseling and advising services at any time. If difficulties cannot be resolved, the field director may conduct an administrative review, which may result in a decision to terminate the student’s field placement. The student is notified of this decision in writing.
All social work students enrolled in the field practicum in Social Work 645C and 645D are required to purchase professional malpractice coverage through the University. The field office will inform students about the group insurance plan and required procedures.
Elective Requirements and Limitations
In addition to the area and major requirements given above, the student must take elective coursework to complete the 122 semester hours required for the Bachelor of Social Work. No more than 16 hours can be taken on the pass/fail basis, 36 hours in any one field of study other than social work, and 60 hours in social work may be counted toward the 122-hour requirement.
Minimum Scholastic Requirements
- The student must fulfill the University-wide graduation requirements and the requirements of the Steve Hicks School of Social Work given earlier in this section.
- To apply for advancement to the social work practice sequence, a student must have earned a grade of at least C in each of the following courses: Social Work 310, 312, 313, 318 and 325. The student must also have a University grade point average of at least 2.00 and a grade point average of at least 2.50 in all the courses he or she has completed that are part of the social work major requirements. Additional requirements are given in the section Advancement to the Practice Sequence.
- Following the student’s advancement admission to the practice sequence, the student’s coursework is reviewed periodically by the student and the academic advisor. Students must maintain a University grade point average of at least 2.00; they must also earn a grade of at least C in each course listed as a social work practice sequence coursework and must maintain a grade point average of at least 2.50 in these courses. If the student has trouble meeting the professional or academic requirements of the major, the review process delineated in Student Standards for Social Work Education, available online, will bring the difficulty to the student’s attention and assist the student in making appropriate resolution. The student may make use of counseling and advising services at any time.
- The Steve Hicks School of Social Work follows Undergraduate Policies for Scholastic Probation and Dismissal.
- All students who seek to reenter the Steve Hicks School of Social Work after having been placed on enforced withdrawal or academic dismissal must have the approval of the assistant dean for undergraduate programs.
- Any student who has a grade of C or higher in a course may not repeat the course and use the second grade to improve grade point average without permission of the assistant dean for undergraduate programs. If a student repeats a course, all grades received for the course are included in the grade point average.
Order and Choice of Work
A social work major may fulfill the requirements for advancement to the practice sequence in four or five long-session semesters, depending on the number of hours completed each semester. After advancement to the practice sequence, students complete a three-semester professional sequence and additional requirements needed for the BSW degree.
The student must also complete all other remaining required coursework before the field practicum, including electives needed to provide the total of 122 semester hours required for the degree. No other courses may be taken concurrently with the field practicum courses.