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School of Social Work College of Health & Human Services

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Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

The Social Work Program

The overriding goal of the Undergraduate Program is to prepare students for entry-level generalist social work practice. The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work Program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education

The objectives of the Undergraduate Program are based upon the following sections of the CSWE Curriculum Policy Statement:

  • The purpose of undergraduate social work education is to prepare students for generalist social work
  • The Baccalaureate is the first level of the professional education for entry into the profession. The Baccalaureate level social worker should attain a beginning professional level of proficiency in the self-critical and accountable use of this social knowledge and integrate this knowledge with the liberal arts perspective and the professional foundation
  • Students who receive a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited social work program should possess the professional judgment and proficiency to apply, with supervision, the common professional foundation to direct service systems with client systems of various sizes and types.

The curriculum of the Undergraduate Program is based upon these goals and reflects a commitment to impart the ethics and standards of professional practice as well as the skills which are essential for beginning level proficiency in professional practice. Curriculum is developed in accordance with standards of the Council on Social Work Education, the National Association of Social Workers, and the considered judgment of the faculty members of the Division of Social Work.

BSW Program Goals

  1. Leadership: Provide leadership in the development and delivery of services responsive to strengths and challenges within the context of human diversity, human rights, oppression and social justice with special attention to BASW practice
  2. Competencies: Prepare ethically-driven, critically thinking, competent beginning professional social workers with a generalist perspective and skills as applied to specific and emerging areas of
  3. Curriculum: Provide curriculum and teaching practices at the forefront of the new and changing knowledge base of the theory and research in social work and related disciplines as well as the changing needs of our diverse client
  4. Global Perspective: Analyze, formulate and influence social policies that develop and promote a global as well as local perspective within the context of the historical emergence of Social Work practice regarding human rights, oppression and social
  5. Accessibility: Structure and offer programs and curricula in a way that provides availability and accessibility (weekend, night classes) that meet the needs of our diverse student body as well as complies with CSWE accreditation
  6. Diversity: Recruit, develop and retain diverse students and faculty who will through multi-level practice contribute special strengths to our programs and profession

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

The curriculum plan of the Undergraduate Social Work Program of the Division of Social Work begins with the liberal arts (General Education) completed during the freshman and sophomore years. During the junior year, Social Work majors commence the professional foundation and beginning generalist curriculum.

General Education Requirements

Students complete courses as follows to satisfy General Education requirements:

  • Area A Basic Subjects - (9 units)
  • Area B Physical Universe and Its Life Forms (12 units)
  • Area C Arts and Humanities - (12 units)
  • Area D Individual and Society - (15 units)
  • Area E Undergraduate Personal Development - (3 units)

Social Work students should complete courses in Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Biology, Ethnic Studies, and Women’s Studies.

Graduation Requirements

  • American Institutions
  • English Composition
  • Foreign Language
  • Race & Ethnicity in American Society
  • Writing Intensive*

*All students must complete their GWAR requirement prior to enrolling in their Writing Intensive course. The GWAR can be completed in three different ways:

  1. Passing the Writing Placement for Juniors (WPJ) exam
  2. Submitting the GWAR Portfolio
  3. Successfully passing ENGL 109M/W

After successfully completing the GWAR requirement, students can enroll in their Writing Intensive Course. The School offers two writing intensive courses as part of our Social Welfare & Human Behavior courses (electives): SW 126 Theories of Criminal Behavior and SW 191 Exploration of Veterans Studies.

Pre-Major for the BASW Program

Students who want to declare Social Work as their major must complete the following Pre-Major requirements as part of their General Education requirements. To declare your major, you must earn a grade of a “B” or better (“B minus” is not acceptable) and must have at least 2.5 Sac State and Cumulative GPA. These requirements are effective for the Fall 2019 catalog year. To verify your pre major requirements, please contact the Division of Social Work advisor.

Area B2 Life Forms (at least 3 Units)

Select one of the followings:

  • BIO 1 Biodiversity, Evolution, and Ecology
  • BIO 10 Basic Biological Concept
  • BIO 20 Biology: A Human Perspective
  • ANTH 1 Introduction to Biological Anthropology

Area D Foundation in Social and Behavioral Sciences (at least 3 units)

Select at least one of the followings:

  • ECON 1A Introduction to Macroeconomic Analysis
  • ECON 1B Introduction to Microeconomic Analysis
  • PSYC 2 Introductory Psychology
  • SOC 1 Principles of Sociology

Area D Major Social Issues of the Contemporary Era (at least 3 units)

Select one of the followings:

  • CRJ 1 Introduction to Criminal Justice and Society
  • GERO 100 Aging Issues in Contemporary America
  • SOC 3 Social Problems
  • SOC 10 Issues in Crime and Social Control

Undergraduate Field Practicum

Social Work education provides students with a unique opportunity to apply what they are learning in the classroom to practice in the field. Working in a social work field agency allows students to leverage classroom theory and knowledge to develop their professional competence and identity, as well as begin their commitment to serving clients and communities.

Field Practicum is a core requirement of the BASW and MSW programs. It is an integrated course involving human service organizations, professional Social Work practitioners who are "teachers" in the field, and the faculty of the Division of Social Work. Field Education is the "heart of social work education." The profession of Social Work uses field education as the avenue through which it “professionalizes” its members. It is through a field placement that the student learns how to think and act like a professional social worker. For more information, visit our Field Practicum website.


  • Have questions about general education and graduation requirements? Visit the Academic Advising Center for more information.
  • Have questions about the Undergraduate Program? Contact Dr. Susanna Curry, Undergraduate Program Director