May 27, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Bulletin

Social Work Major, B.S.W.

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College of Liberal Arts  >> Social Work  

54 hours; 2.75 cumulative GPA and 2.75 major GPA required

The Bachelor of Social Work program prepares students for entry into social work positions within local, state, and federal social service agencies and programs. The program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Students graduating from the program possess a solid liberal arts foundation through Core 39 integrated with professional social work knowledge. The principal educational objective of the program is to prepare students for beginning competency-based social work practice. The focus of the program is to prepare generalist bachelor’s level practitioners with the knowledge, skills, and ethical principles needed for work with diverse populations. Students will be prepared to work with a variety of client systems including individuals, families, groups, organizations, institutions, communities, and society in general.

A carefully constructed curriculum exposes students to the following core knowledge areas:

  • social welfare issues and policies
  • human behavior in the social environment
  • social systems theory
  • knowledge and skills in conducting social work research
  • problem-solving theory and methodology
  • generalist intervention model
  • knowledge of client populations
  • knowledge of social service programs and agencies
  • human diversity
  • oppression and discrimination
  • at-risk populations
  • promotion of social and economic justice
  • professional social work values and ethics
  • practice/intervention skills and integrative field experience


The philosophy of the program prepares the highest-quality professionals for the social work field. Therefore, students interested in a major in social work must be admitted into the program. The students must satisfy the following requirements for admission:

NOTE: The program does not grant academic credit for life or work experience in lieu of social work courses or field content.

Students must complete all Core 39 requirements to complete the BSW program. Although not required for admission to the program, to complete the BSW program students must also complete the following requirements:

The evaluation process focuses on academic standards and additional criteria, including evidence of a commitment to social work values, basic understanding of social work, professional attitude, and evidence of good writing and oral communication skills.

All eligible students are invited to apply. The program actively encourages minorities and students from diverse backgrounds to apply. The program does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, marital status, political belief, or disability.

Upon completion of the application process, students receive notification of the admission decision in writing. There is a “cap” on admissions; only a limited number of qualified students are admitted each year. Students who are admitted into the program must achieve a C+ or better in all social work classes, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75, and a minimum major GPA of 2.75. Students who fail to progress in their coursework for more than one semester will be required to reapply to the program. Students not enrolled for two fall/spring semesters, or longer, will be required to follow degree requirements in effect at the time they re-enter.

Social Work transfer credit (residency requirement)

All required 300- and 400-level SOCW courses must be completed at the University of Southern Indiana. Transfer credit is limited to Core 39 coursework, 100- and 200-level pre-admission SOCW courses, and electives. 

Exceptions may be made for students accepted into the USI BSW Program who completed upper level courses in other CSWE accredited social work programs. These students should meet with the BSW Program Director to discuss their individual course requests. The BSW Program Committee will then make the final decision on the eligibility of the coursework. If exceptions are given, a maximum of 12 credit hours of 300-level SOCW transfer coursework could be applied toward the program. There will be no exceptions for 400-level SOCW transfer coursework (i.e., capstone and field); these courses must be completed at USI.

Transfer courses must meet the program’s minimum grade requirement.

Social Work Major (54 hours)

Required Pre-Admission Courses (9 hours)

A grade of C+ or better is required in the following courses:

Optional Addictions Counseling Concentration (9 hours)

The optional concentration in addictions counseling will prepare students to work with clients and agencies that provide services for substance abuse and other addictive disorders. The course work and internship requirements are designed to meet the educational requirements for addictions counseling in Indiana.

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