Undergraduate Catalog 2015-2016


Social Work (SOK)

Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.)

8 Semester Plan

120 Credit Hours

CIP Code: 44.0701

College of Behavioral & Community Sciences


Major Description

The University of South Florida offers a program of study leading to a Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) degree in the School of Social Work, College of Behavioral & Community Sciences. The B.S.W. has been developed in accordance with the guidelines of the Council on Social Work Education, the national accrediting body for social work education programs, and in accordance with the recommendations of the National Association of Social Workers. The B.S.W. program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and is a limited access program.

The primary objective of the B.S.W. program is the preparation of the graduate for beginning level professional practice as a social work generalist.

The secondary objectives of the B.S.W. program are to:

  1. Provide for the social work human resources needs of the university service district (the central Florida west coast area), the State of Florida, and the Southeast Region;
  2. Prepare graduates for additional professional training at the graduate level in social work or in related human service professions;
  3. Provide an exposure to social work as a profession and to contemporary issues in the social welfare field.

In preparing the B.S.W. graduate for beginning professional practice, the curriculum provides students with an opportunity to develop a knowledge base and skill base as a "generalist" practitioner. Students will develop an understanding of various methods of intervention and skills in their application to a variety of client systems. For example, intervention methods may take the form of individual and group counseling, resource development, consultation, teaching, advocacy, etc. Client systems may be individuals, families, groups, organizations, or communities. The student will develop an understanding of the dynamics of human behavior in individual, group and organizational contexts and the influences of the socio-cultural environment upon those behaviors. The student will learn about the development of social welfare systems and institutions and the social, economic, and political processes affecting policy development and program implementation. The student will develop an understanding of the utilization of basic social research skills particularly related to the processes of problem-solving, planning, and evaluation.

The student will also become aware of the value base of the profession and engage in a self-examination process as it relates to the development and reflection of ethical and effective professional practice. The B.S.W. program places great emphasis on the development of a professionally responsible graduate in terms of one's obligations to the client system served, the profession itself, the organization in which one works, and to the general public which ultimately provides any profession with legitimacy.

Limited Access - This major has additional admissions requirements as listed in this section.

The Social Work Program is a limited access program that requires a separate application to the School of Social Work. Students are admitted to the undergraduate program only in the Fall and Spring terms and slots are limited.

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites

Students intending to transfer to USF may complete the A.A. degree at a Florida College System institution. Some prerequisite courses may also meet General Education Requirements thereby transferring maximum hours to the university. If students transfer with fewer than 60 semester hours of acceptable credit, the students must meet the university's entering freshman requirements including ACT or SAT test scores, GPA, and course requirements. The transfer student should also be aware of the immunization, foreign language, exit requirements, extra credit hour surcharge and continuous enrollment policies of the university.

A transfer student must successfully complete the following courses, by earning a "C" or better. A grade of "C-" is not acceptable as a passing grade.

    One course in each of the following cognate areas:
  • POS X041 or POS X042 or PUP X099 American Government
  • BSC X005 or BSC X085 or BSC X010 or PCB X099 Human Biology
  • ECO X000 or ECO X023 Economics
  • PSY X012 or PSY X020 Psychology
  • SYG X000 or SYG X010 Sociology

(Incoming transfer students may refer to "State Mandated Common Prerequisites for Students Transferring from a Florida College System Institution" section for clarification of acceptable transfer courses.)

Total Major Hours: 45 Hours

Major Core

A major in Social Work requires 45 credits in a lock-step (pre-set) schedule. 

Major Core Courses - 45 Hours

Students must take the following courses during their first semester admitted in the program (18 credit hours):

  • SOW 3203 Introduction to Social Work
  • SOW 3101 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I
  • SOW 4341 Multi-Methods of Social Work Practice I: Micro-System Intervention
  • SOW 3401 Research and Statistics for Social Work
  • SOW 4522 Multicultural America in a Global Society
  • SOW 3210 The American Social Welfare System

Once the above courses have been successfully completed, students must take the following courses during their 2nd semester in the program (15 credit hours):

  • SOW 3102 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II
  • SOW 4343 Multi-Methods of Social Work Practice II: Macro-System Intervention
  • SOW 4414 Social Work Data Management
  • SOW 4315 Social Work Case Management with Special Populations
  • SOW 4233 Social Welfare: Policy and Program

Once all above courses have successfully been completed, students must take the following courses (12 credit hours):

  • SOW 4602 Social Work Practice in Mental Health and Health Care
  • SOW 4510 Integrative Seminar

Additional Major Requirements

Major Requirements

One course in each of the following cognate areas:

Complete a formal application to the BSW program during the semester of finishing all requirements for eligibility into the major including the foundation class, SOW 3203 Introduction to Social Work.  Consideration in the admissions process includes GPAs, reference from SOW 3203 professor, essay and volunteer/paid experience related to human services. 

There is a maximum of 2 semester application reviews for admission to the BSW program.

SOW 3203 Introduction to Social Work is the only social work foundation course required for eligibility into the major. It is open to all students.  

Major GPA Requirement

Admission to the University and a minimum USF/Overall GPA of 2.75.

Students must also maintain a minimum GPA of 2.75 in core courses in the major while enrolled in the program and demonstrate behaviors that are congruent with professional standards and values as described previously in order to remain in the major.

Major Course Grade Requirement

SOW 3203 Introduction to Social Work requires a minimum grade of "B" for eligibility into the major (a grade of "B-" is not acceptable). This course may be attempted a maximum of two times for eligibility into the major.

Major Grade Requirement

Completion of 15 semester hours of common program prerequisites with min. "C" grade in each course.

Students must successfully complete their courses, by earning a "C" or better. A grade of "C-" is not acceptable as a passing grade.

If Introduction to Social Work is completed at another institution the student must earn a grade of “B” or better.  If the student does not meet this minimum GPA, the course may be repeated one time at USF for eligibility.  A syllabi must be provided by the student and reviewed in the School of Social Work prior to approval of any transfer of social work courses

Major Foreign Language Requirement

Two years of high school, same foreign language is required.

Major Internship Opportunities

Hands-on, practical experience is integrated in the core curriculum through the 460 hours of field placement that students complete during their final semester in the program.  The School of Social Work has partnerships for the field experiences with an abundance of agencies in the surrounding communities. Students have many choices for the populations and environments in which they would like to develop their skills and prepare for professional employment. Internship (field placement) areas include child welfare, substance abuse, medical social work, mental health, children and adolescent services, forensic mental health, domestic violence, veteran's services, court/justice system, crisis center, elder care, hospice and homelessness. 

  More About this Major

  Honors Program

This major has an optional component designed for the academically superior student who embraces challenge and wishes to go the extra mile.

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  Research Opportunities

There are research opportunities associated with this major.

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  Internship Opportunities

There is internship information associated with this major.


  Additional Requirements

There are additional requirements for this major such as grade, GPA, foreign language, and/or general education requirements.


  Additional Information

There is more information available for this major such as faculty, advising, and/or accreditation information.

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