Social Work, B.S.W.
The College of Social Work offers a four-year undergraduate program on the Columbia campus leading to a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). This BSW program has been fully accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) since 2012.
The Mission of the BSW Program
The mission of the BSW program is to prepare graduates to become competent and ethical generalist practitioners who promote social and economic justice, social well-being, and an appreciation of diversity among vulnerable populations across South Carolina and beyond. This is accomplished through the program’s emphasis on teaching, research, creative activity, and community engagement.
- Graduates will engage individuals families groups organizations and communities. Graduates will be able to: Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment and other multidisciplinary frameworks to engage with Use empathy & reflection and interpersonal skills to effectively engage diverse clients.
- Graduates will intervene with individuals families groups organizations and communities. Graduates will be able to critically choose and implement interventions to achieve practice goals apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment and other multidisciplinary frameworks in interventions.
- Graduates will assess individuals families groups organizations and communities. Graduates will be able to: Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment and other multidisciplinary frameworks in the analysis of assessment data. Develop mutually agreed upon goals and objectives based on the critical assessment of strengths needs and challenges. Select appropriate intervention strategies based on the assessment.
- Graduates will demonstrate ethical and professional behavior. Graduates will able to: Make ethical decisions by using the standards of the NASW Code of Ethics and other models for ethical decision making. Use reflection and self-regulation to manage personal values and maintain professionalism. Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior appearance and communication. Use supervision and consultation to guide professional judgment and behavior.
- Graduates will engage diversity and difference in practice. Graduates will be able to: Apply and communicate the importance of diversity and difference in shaping life experiences. Present themselves as learners and engage clients and constituencies as experts of their own experiences. Apply self-awareness and self-regulation to manage the influences of personal biases.
- Graduates will engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research. Graduates will be able to: Use practice experience and theory to inform scientific inquiry. Apply critical thinking to engage in analysis of quantitative and qualitative research methods. Use and translate research evidence to inform and improve practice.
- Graduates will engage in policy practice. Graduates will be able to: Identify social policy that impacts social well-being service delivery and access to social services. Apply critical thinking to analyze and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social and economic justice.
- Graduates will advance human rights and social economic and environmental justice. Graduates will be able to: Apply their understanding of social economic and environmental justice to advocate for human rights. Engage in practices that advance social economic and environmental justice.
- Graduates will apply critical thinking to evaluate social work practice. Graduates will be able to: Select and use appropriate methods for evaluation. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment and other multidisciplinary frameworks to evaluate outcomes. Critically analyze monitor and evaluate intervention and program processes and outcomes. Apply evaluation findings to improve practice effectiveness.
Students are subject to attendance regulations of the University as described in the University of South Carolina Undergraduate Bulletin. In addition, students are expected to attend all required orientations and advisement sessions so they are prepared for all social work courses, including field education courses. Concerns related to attendance are addressed in BSW course syllabi and the field education manual.
A student who has been suspended or who has withdrawn from the BSW Program and subsequently readmitted will be subject to the current academic standards of the University and the BSW Program.
Credit for Life Experience
In accordance with the mandates of the Council on Social Work Education, no credit is given for life experiences. Students will not receive academic credit for life experience or previous volunteer, service learning activities or assignments, or work experience in social work.
Academic credit will not be granted for life experience or previous work experience, and such experience will not be substituted for any of the courses in the professional foundation areas or the field practicum.
Transfer of Credit
Although the USC Office of Admission may grant students semester hours for transfer credit for completed work in another social work program, the BSW Program will determine whether the course meet the requirements of the BSW degree in the College of Social Work. Any student wishing to transfer credit must submit a course syllabus that includes learning objectives, assignments, and the titles and authors of textbooks to the BSW Program Coordinator. If it appears that the requisite competencies, knowledge, and skills have been acquired, the student will be exempted from the BSW course.
Entrance and Progression Requirements
In order to be admitted to the BSW Program, students must meet all University and college admission requirements. Transfer students must meet all such requirements and have an overall GPA of 2.50 or better. Enrollment in lower division Social Work courses does not guarantee acceptance into the upper division BSW Program.
Admission to the Upper Division
The admission policy for the BSW degree program applies to every applicant. All applicants must fulfill the general admission requirements of both the University and the College of Social Work. Students must submit a completed College of Social Work BSW Program application by the announced due dates published each year. The College of Social Work is committed to diversity in its student body. Admission is limited and competitive.
Minimum requirements for admission include:
- An institutional undergraduate GPA of 2.50 (on a 4.00 scale).
- A grade of C in their English Carolina Core course requirements.
- Verified completion of 39 hours of Carolina Core and College Requirements at the time of application.
- Verified completion of 54 hours of Carolina Core and College Requirements at the time of progression to upper division.
- Verified completion of SOWK 201, or equivalency for transfer students.
- At least three letters of reference submitted by individuals who can attest to the student’s potential for undergraduate study and social work practice.
- A personal statement that addresses the student’s interests, resiliencies, and community service.
- An interview may also be required.
- Meeting with a social work advisor to receive information about and discuss the application process.
To remain in the BSW Program, students must make satisfactory academic progress toward the degree. A student who fails to make satisfactory progress will be placed on academic probation or terminated from the program. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.50 in the major and must earn a grade of C or higher in all major courses. Students will be notified by the program when their GPAs fall below 2.50. A meeting with the Program Coordinator may be required.
Students may attempt a social work core course a maximum of two times to fulfill a major requirement. A grade of W (Withdrawal) will be recognized as an attempt. A student may repeat a maximum of two core courses. In addition, all students are subject to the regulations on probation, suspension, and readmission stated in the Academic Standards Policies section of the Undergraduate Academic Regulations Bulletin.
Degree Requirements (120 hours)
Program of Study
|1. Carolina Core||31-43|
|2. College Requirements||3-15|
|3. Program Requirements||2-26|
|4. Major Requirements||60|
Founding Documents Requirement
All undergraduate students must take a 3-credit course or its equivalent with a passing grade in the subject areas of History, Political Science, or African American Studies that covers the founding documents including the United State Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation and one or more documents that are foundational to the African American Freedom struggle, and a minimum of five essays from the Federalist papers. This course may count as a requirement in any part of the program of study including the Carolina Core, the major, minor or cognate, or as a general elective. Courses that meet this requirement are listed here.
1. Carolina Core Requirements (31-43 hours)
CMW – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Written (6 hours)
must be passed with a grade of C or higher
- any CC-CMW course
ARP – Analytical Reasoning and Problem Solving (6 hours)
- STAT 201
- One of the following:
SCI – Scientific Literacy (7 hours)
Two approved Carolina Core Scientific Literacy courses, including at least one with a laboratory selected from Biology
GFL – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Foreign Language (0-6 hours)
A score of two or better on the foreign language placement test or equivalent Carolina Core GFL course(s).
GHS – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Historical Thinking (3 hours)
- any CC-GHS course
GSS – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences (3 hours)
- any CC-GSS course from Psychology (PSYC) or Sociology (SOCY)
AIU – Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding (3 hours)
- any CC-AIU course
CMS – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Spoken Component1 (0-3 hours)
- any overlay or stand-alone CC-CMS course
INF – Information Literacy1 (0-3 hours)
- any overlay or stand-alone CC-INF course
VSR – Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility1 (0-3 hours)
- any overlay or stand-alone CC-VSR course
Carolina Core Stand Alone or Overlay Eligible Requirements — Overlay-approved courses offer students the option of meeting two Carolina Core components in a single course. A maximum of two overlays is allowed. The total Carolina Core credit hours must add up to a minimum of 31 hours. Some programs may have a higher number of minimum Carolina Core hours due to specified requirements.
2. College Requirements (3-15 hours)
Economics (3 hours)
Additional College of Social Work Requirements (12 hours)
These requirements may be satisfied as part of the Carolina Core requirements:
|POLI 201||American National Government||3|
|Select one 200-level or above literature course selected from a list of approved courses (see advisor for details)||3|
|Select one philosophy course||3|
|Select one cultural awareness course (A wide variety of courses can be considered under the general category of “cultural awareness.” Students are to consult with their advisors for approved courses.)||3|
|Total Credit Hours||12|
3. Program Requirements (2-26 hours)
Electives (4-26 hours)
The B.S.W. requires a minimum of 60 semester hours outside of the major requirements. Students with fewer than 60 hours outside of the major must take enough electives to fulfill the 120-hour minimum. No elective courses of a remedial and developmental nature may apply as credit toward the 120-hour minimum.
4. Major Requirements (60 hours)
A minimum grade of C is required in all major courses.
|SOWK 201||Introduction to Social Work Profession and Social Welfare||3|
|SOWK 222||Social Welfare Institutions, Policies, and Programs||3|
|SOWK 311||Foundations of Social Work Practice||3|
|SOWK 312||Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families||3|
|SOWK 322||Social Policy Analysis||3|
|SOWK 331||Diversity and Social Justice in Contemporary Society||3|
|SOWK 341||Theories for Understanding Individuals, Families, and Groups||3|
|SOWK 352||Social Work and Scientific Inquiry||3|
|SOWK 382||Introduction to Field Education||3|
|SOWK 411||Social Work Practice with Groups||3|
|SOWK 412||Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities||3|
|SOWK 422||Advocacy for Social and Economic Justice||3|
|SOWK 441||Theories for Understanding Organizations and Communities||3|
|SOWK 481||Practicum I: Field Education||3|
|SOWK 482||Practicum II: Field Education||3|
|SOWK 483||Practicum Seminar||3|
|Select three SOWK electives||9|
|Total Credit Hours||60|
A major map is a layout of required courses in a given program of study, including critical courses and suggested course sequences to ensure a clear path to graduation.
Major maps are only a suggested or recommended sequence of courses required in a program of study. Please contact your academic advisor for assistance in the application of specific coursework to a program of study and course selection and planning for upcoming semesters.