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Social Work Major (B.S.W.)

Program Overview

The undergraduate program in social work prepares students for beginning generalist social work practice at the undergraduate level, which involves the capacity to apply knowledge, skills and values to assess a range of situations and the ability to work with individuals, groups, larger organizations, and communities from a wide variety of perspectives. Students will complete course work in human behavior and the social environment, social welfare history and policy, research, social work practice methods, and field instruction. As students progress, they will develop the skills for intervening at a generalist level with individuals, groups, organizations, families and communities. Upon graduation, students will be prepared as a baccalaureate-level social work practitioner with a strong foundation in liberal arts. The program has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1974.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program:

  • The student will be able to demonstrate ethical and professional behavior. 
  • The student will be able to engage diversity and difference in practice. 
  • The student will be able to advance human rights  and social economic, and environmental justice. 
  • The student will be able to engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice. 
  • The student will be able to engage in policy practice. 
  • The student will be able to engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. 
  • The student will be able to assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. 
  • The student will be able to intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. 
  • The student will be able to evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. 

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission

Students may designate "presocial work" major within the College of Health Sciences and Professions in their application to Ohio University. This allows the student to be assigned an advisor within the social work program during their first semester at Ohio University. There are no additional selective or limited admissions requirements to be admitted as a presocial work major beyond those required by the University and the College of Health Sciences and Professions.

Change of Program Policy

Admission to the major is divided into two stages: premajor and major. First year students may be admitted as premajors, other Ohio University students and transfer students from other institutions, are required to submit a fully completed "Application for Major Status" online which includes a personal essay, and documentation of human service experience by the Friday of the second full week of fall or spring semester. To be considered for admission, students are required to have a minimum overall GPA of 2.5. In addition, they must have completed the following:

  1. SW 1000 and SW 2601C with a minimum grade of C (2.0) in both courses
  2. BIOS 1030 or BIOS 1300MATH 1200 or math placement 2, PSY 1010, PSY 2110 or 1110, and PSY 2410 or EDEC 1600, as well as one of the following areas NOT used to fulfill the pre-major requirement: economics, political science, or sociology
  3. Written Communication (ENG 1510) and quantitative reasoning requirements
  4. A paid or volunteer experience in the area of social work (20 hours)

The director of the undergraduate program will review applications during the third full week of each semester. Notification of acceptance/rejection will be emailed to a student's OU email address by the fifth week of the semester. Meeting minimal requirements does not insure admission to the major. Acceptance is determined based on consideration of the following: academic GPA, hours completed, courses completed, experience in human services, and personal statement.

A student seeking to enroll in the senior-level practice sequence (SW 4801, SW 4802SW 4921, SW 4922, SW 4923 and SW 4924) must have been admitted to the major by spring semester of the junior year. In addition the student is expected to:

  1. have maintained an overall GPA of 2.5.  If a student has not maintained a GPA of 2.5, he or she will NOT be permitted to enter the senior-level practice sequences including field placement, regardless of admission status.
  2. have completed the junior sequence (SW 3602, SW 3701, SW 3801, SW 3870) to be eligible for the senior placement

If not accepted at initial application, a student may reapply online at the next application date. A student may reapply only twice. Students may add a social service minor by meeting with an advisor in the social work program to plan required course work and by notifying the College of Health Science and Professions.

External Transfer Admission

For students applying to the College of Health Science and Professions as premajors, no requirements beyond University/College of Health Sciences and Professions admission requirements are necessary. However, if a student is applying to social work as a major, at the same time they apply for admission to the University, they must follow guidelines as set out in the "Change of Major" policy.

    Opportunities Upon Graduation

    A bachelors degree in social work allows the graduate to pursue employment in many different fields, including child welfare, mental health services, foster care and residential treatment and adoption services, and in nursing homes, schools, governmental agencies, and medical facilities. Social workers at the bachelors level may work with many different populations, including children, adolescents, families, adults, and elderly persons. People with mental health/behavioral health issues, developmental disabilities, veterans, individuals experiencing domestic violence and chronic illness, and many other individuals and groups frequently seek services from agencies where social workers are employed. Additionally, social workers may be employed in agencies that advocate for clients and develop and implement social policy based on client and case needs. Social workers are also employed as administrators in many social service agencies and organizations. Surveys of graduates show high levels of satisfaction with the educational program and high employment rates in the field of social work and human services.

    Academic Catalog

    The academic catalog provides additional information about curriculum and courses for this major.
    Academic Catalog

    Program Details

    Bachelor of Social Work


    Administrative Contact

    Warren Galbreath, contact person