Social Work BSW

General Education Requirements

Majors must satisfy the university and college general education requirements, although proficiency in a foreign language is recommended but not required.

Courses required for the BSW degree may not be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis except SOC WK 4800 and SOC WK 4850.

Admission Requirements

Students entering UMSL as freshman and as transfer students should indicate a pre-social work major. Students must apply to the program concurrently with SOC WK 3100. Admission to the program is conditional upon the successful completion of all necessary requirements.

Requirements for Admission to the Social Work program:

  • Junior standing
  • GPA of 2.75 or higher in social work related areas and an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Submission of:
    • Application for admission to the social work program.
    • Two letters of reference: one from a college or university professor and one other from a work or volunteer experience supervisor.
  • Completion of SOC WK 2000, SOC WK 2001, and SOC WK 2200 or their equivalents or completion of an A.A. in Human Services,
  • Completion of PSYCH 1003 and SOC 1010 with a C- or better.
  • Attendance at Professional Development Workshop held in the School of Social Work.

Applicants may be asked to meet with the Social Work Admissions Committee.

Degree Requirements

Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 in social work and related-area requirement courses to enter field practicum. Candidates for this degree program must complete the core requirements including the following social work courses:

SOC WK 2000Social Work and Social Issues3
SOC WK 2001Social Work and Social Issues Lab1
SOC WK 2200Social Welfare as a Social Institution3
SOC WK 3100Introduction to Strategies for Social Work Practice3
SOC WK 3210Social Issues and Social Policy Development3
SOC WK 3410Research Design in Social Work3
SOC WK 3510Human Behavior in the Social Environment3
SOC WK 3700Diversity and Social Justice3
SOC WK 4110Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups3
SOC WK 4300Social Work Practice with Communities3
SOC WK 4350Human Service Organizations3
SOC WK 4800
SOC WK 4850
Supervised Field Experience in Social Work I
and Supervised Field Experience in Social Work II
SOC WK 4801
SOC WK 4851
Integratve Field Experience Seminar I
and Integrative Field Seminar II
Total Hours43

A minimum of 43 hours or a maximum of 50 hours must be taken in social work. A minimum of 30 hours is required in related area departments.

Evaluation of social work transfer credits will be done by a social work adviser on an individual basis.

Related Area Requirements

The following courses, or their alternatives, are required:

ECON 1000Economics in Everyday Life (MOTR ECON 100)3
or ECON 1005 Family Economics and Household Development
POL SCI 1100Introduction to American Politics (MOTR POSC 101)3
PSYCH 1003General Psychology (MOTR PSYC 100)3
Select one of the following:3-4
General Biology (MOTR BIOL 100)
Human Biology (MOTR LIFS 150)
Human Physiology and Anatomy I
Human Physiology and Anatomy II
SOC 1010Introduction to Sociology (MOTR SOCI 101)3
SOC 2160Social Psychology3
Select one of the following:3-4
Social Statistics
Psychological Statistics
Statistical Analysis In Criminology And Criminal Justice
At least 9 additional hours must be taken in social work, sociology, political science, psychology, gender studies, anthropology, criminology and criminal justice, economics, gerontology, or child advocacy studies at the 2000 level or above. 9
Total Hours30-32

Hours taken in social work will apply toward the maximum of 50 hours that may be taken in social work courses. The Social Work program may require students to pass a placement test to enroll in the next level course, provided this test or its equivalent is administered to all students seeking to enroll in that course.

Social work majors must have a grade of C- or better and maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or better in all course work specifically required for the major, with satisfactory grades in practicum.

Note: Anthropology, biological sciences, economics, and Spanish courses are strongly recommended by graduate schools of social work.

 Latin Honors Requirements

In accordance with the University's Latin Honors policy, candidates graduating from the School of Social Work in the 2020-2021 Academic Year must meet the following GPA qualifications:

Summa Cum Laude3.984
Magna Cum Laude3.884
Cum Laude3.645

Objectives of the BSW Program

The BSW program has the following educational outcomes. Students who graduate with a BSW will be generalist practitioners who:

  • Identify as professional social workers and conduct themselves accordingly.
  • Understand the values and ethics of the social work profession and the relationship between personal beliefs and values, professional values and ethics, and professional social work practice.
  • Utilize critical thinking, capacity building, and analytical and communication skills to synthesize and analyze information to inform social work practice.
  • Understand the importance of diversity, difference, power, and privilege in shaping life experiences for diversity-competent practice.
  • Possess the knowledge and skills to fight effectively against human oppression, discrimination, and social inequity and to formulate and foster social change initiatives to advance social and economic justice.
  • Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research to evaluate professional practice and /or the professional practice of others.
  • Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment to guide assessment and intervention.
  • Understand major social and welfare policies and analyze and formulate policies to advocate for social and economic justice.
  • Use leadership skills to respond to the changing context of social work practice.
  • Utilize skills of engagement, assessment, intervention and evaluation, including theory and practice skills, across all levels of practice.

Sample Four Year Plan

First Year
BIOL 10123ECON 1000 or 10053
SOC 10103BIOL 11023
ENGL 11003MATH 1020 or 10303
PSYCH 10033General Education3
General Education3Elective or minor3
 15 15
Second Year
SOC WK 20003SOC WK 22003
SOC WK 20011PSYCH 22503
POL SCI 11003Social Science elective13
General Education6General Education 3
Elective or minor3Elective or minor3
 16 15
Third Year
SOC WK 31003SOC WK 32103
SOC WK 35103SOC WK 37003
SOC 3220, CRIMIN 2220, or PSYCH 22013-4SOC WK 41103
ENGL 31003SOC WK 34103
Social Science elective13Social Science elective13
 15-16 15
Fourth Year
SOC WK 43003SOC WK 48504
SOC WK 43503SOC WK 48512
SOC WK 48004Elective or Minor9
SOC WK 48012 
Elective or minor3 
 15 15
Total Hours: 121-122

Please Note: This plan is an example of what a four year plan could look like for a typical student. Placement exam scores in math as well as the completion of coursework may change the plan. It should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are required to meet with their advisor each semester. All requirements are subject to change.