Social Work, B.S.W.


Entrance Requirements for the BSW Program 

University of South Carolina admission requirements and processes for freshmen, transfer students, and former students seeking readmission are managed by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.  Once admitted to the University of South Carolina, students may declare social work as their major at any time and are assigned to the Undergraduate Academic Advisor in the College of Social Work.  The Undergraduate Academic Advisor works with the student throughout the program of study.

The BSW program is structured so that most of the social work major courses are taken in a sequence beginning in the fall of the junior year.  Before entering the major sequence that begins with SOWK 311, students must apply online for entry and attain verification from the program coordinator that they have met the following requirements:

  • Students must have completed 54 or more hours of degree-applicable course credits at entrance to the major sequence (beginning with SOWK 311). 
  • Students must have an institutional GPA of 2.50 or higher.
  • Students must have completed and earned a grade of C or higher in ENGL 101 and ENGL 102, or transfer equivalency.
  • Students must have completed and earned a grade of C or higher in SOWK 201, or transfer equivalency.  If a transfer student lacks the SOWK 201 equivalency, they must enroll in SOWK 201 in their first semester at UofSC.
  • Students must have completed and earned a grade of C or higher inSOWK 222 or must take SOWK 222 and SOWK 311 concurrently.  Transfer students must enroll in SOWK 222 in their first semester at UofSC if they lack an equivalency.

Application to the Major Sequence

In the spring of the sophomore year, students must apply for entrance into the major sequence, which begins in the fall of the junior year with SOWK 311.  An application checklist based on the above requirements is completed by the student online and is checked by the academic advisor.  The program coordinator works in consultation with the academic advisor and is responsible for clearing students for admittance.  The coordinator notifies students of decisions regarding application in writing.   

Students may be conditionally admitted to the major sequence if the GPA is 2.4 or above but must raise the GPA to 2.5 or higher by the end of junior year fall semester.

Students who are denied admittance to the major sequence will have an appointment with the program coordinator.  Students may choose to continue to work on other course requirements and re-apply for admission the following spring, or students may work with the undergraduate student advisor to be reassigned to the University Advising Center for further career counseling and advisement outside of social work.  Students may only apply to the BSW major sequence twice.

It should be noted that any admittance to the major sequence of the BSW program does not guarantee the field placement needed for completion of the degree, as application to field is a separate process.

Progression Requirements

To progress through the major sequence of the BSW Program, all students must maintain an institutional GPA of 2.50 or higher and must earn a grade of C or higher in all social work courses.  A student may repeat no more than two (2) social work courses to complete a course with a grade of C or higher.  If a student in the major sequence fails to earn a grade of C or higher on a repeated degree-applicable course, the student is terminated from the BSW program and is reassigned to the University Advising Center for further career counseling and advisement.

If a student in the major sequence falls below the required institutional GPA of 2.5, the student is on academic probation within the BSW program and has one semester to bring the GPA to 2.5 or higher.  If this does not occur, the student is terminated from the BSW program and reassigned to the University Advising Center for further career counseling and advisement. 

All BSW students are also subject to all University regulations regarding probation, suspension, and readmission. 

Degree Requirements (120 hours)

Program of Study

Requirements Credit Hours
1. Carolina Core 31-43
2. College Requirements 0
3. Program Requirements 17-29
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​

ARP – Analytical Reasoning and Problem Solving (6 hours) 

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) 

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)

CMS – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Spoken Component1 (0-3 hours)

INF – Information Literacy1 (0-3 hours)

VSR – Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility1 (0-3 hours)


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 (0 hours)

No college-required courses for this program

3. Program Requirements (17-29 hours)

Supporting Courses (6 hours)

These requirements may not also fulfill Carolina Core requirements:

  • One economics course (ECON - 3 hours)
  • One philosophy course (PHIL - 3 hours)

Electives (11-23 hours)

The BSW requires a minimum of 60 semester hours in academic subjects for the Carolina Core and College Requirements.  Students with fewer than 60 hours in Carolina Core and College Requirements 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.

Course Title Credits
Major Courses
SOWK 201Introduction to Social Work3
SOWK 222Social Welfare Policies and Programs3
SOWK 311Foundations of Social Work Practice3
SOWK 312Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families3
SOWK 322Social Policy Analysis3
SOWK 331Diversity and Social Justice in Contemporary Society3
SOWK 341Theories for Understanding Individuals, Families, and Groups3
SOWK 352Social Work and Scientific Inquiry3
SOWK 382Introduction to Field Education3
SOWK 411Social Work Practice with Groups3
SOWK 412Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities3
SOWK 422Advocacy for Social and Economic Justice3
SOWK 441Theories for Understanding Organizations and Communities3
SOWK 481Practicum I: Field Education3
SOWK 482Practicum II: Field Education3
SOWK 483Practicum Seminar3
SOWK 484Capstone3
Major Electives
Select three SOWK electives 300-level or above9
Total Credit Hours60

Major Map

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.

Social Work, B.S.W.