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 clients; use empathy, reflection, and interpersonal skills to effectively engage diverse clients
- 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 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 demonstrate ethical and professional behavior. Graduates will be 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 University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions may grant students semester hours for transfer credit, the BSW Program will determine whether the course meets the requirements of the BSW degree in the College of Social Work. Transfer credits for field education and practice courses must be from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). 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, skills, and cognitive and affective processes have been addressed, the student will be exempted from the BSW course.
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.
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
|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
- 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)
- One 200-level or above CC-AIU course literature 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)
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.
|SOWK 201||Introduction to Social Work||3|
|SOWK 222||Social Welfare 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 300-level or above||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.