The UA School of Social Work is currently the only social work program in the state of Alabama that offers social work bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The primary goal of the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree program is to prepare students for generalist social work practice. Graduates are prepared to assist people of all ages, from all walks of life, with all kinds of problems, in a variety of settings. As generalist practitioners, graduates are prepared with skills to assist individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities in achieving goals and solving problems. The program also prepares students to be ready for graduate study.
Interests and Skills
Social work students are usually interested in a wide variety of topics related to social justice, human rights, social policy, mental health, and community organizing. Often, underlying those interests is a concern for persons who are vulnerable, oppressed, underserved, and living in poverty. Students interested in social work typically have strong oral and written communication skills, an interest in solving social problems, and an enjoyment of working with people from diverse backgrounds.
A social work student graduates with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. The BSW is considered the entry-level professional social work degree. Many graduates of the BSW program continue their education and pursue a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. Students who earn an undergraduate Social Work degree from the UA School of Social Work may be admitted into an MSW program with advanced-standing status, which allows a student to complete the MSW degree in three semesters.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States. Social workers are employed in a variety of career settings, including schools, hospitals, colleges and universities, mental health clinics, senior centers, nursing homes, elected offices, private practices, prisons, military systems, public defender and criminal court systems, corporations, and numerous public and private agencies that serve individuals and families in need.
The BSW Program has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) since 1974. Accreditation recognizes the program’s adherence to CSWE’s educational policy and standards and it allows graduates to sit for a licensure exam. In Alabama, only those who pass the licensure exam can be called social workers and be hired for social work jobs. Social work students complete a rigorous academic program, grounded in the liberal arts, and also provide many hours of supervised service to state and local agencies. Students complete service projects in many of their classes, in their student organizations, and as part of their 9-credit hour field education experience. During the past academic year, BSW students provided over 24,000 hours of service in local communities.
Social Work (SW)
|Semester 1||Semester 2|
|EN 101||EN 102|
|PY 101||SOC 101|
|FOREIGN LANGUAGE||FOREIGN LANGUAGE|
|FRESHMAN SEMINAR or FREE ELECTIVE||MATH CORE|
|SW 100||FINE ARTS CORE|
|Semester 3||Semester 4|
|BSC 109||COM 123|
|EC 110 or PSC 101||SOC 205 OR PY 372|
|HY 101 or 102||HY 101 or 102 or LIT COURSE|
|SW 200||SW 351|
|LITERATURE CORE||SW ELECTIVE|
|Semester 5||Semester 6|
|APPROVED STAT COURSE||SW 401|
|PY 358||SW 411|
|SW 410||SW 441|
|SW 440||SW 442|
|NATURAL SCIENCE||GY 110 OR ANT 102|
|Semester 7||Semester 8|
|SW 490||FREE ELECTIVE|
|SW 443||SW ELECTIVE|
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