Social Work, School of

http://socialwork.illinois.edu

Dean of the School: Dean Wynne Korr
Director of BSW Program: Brenda Lindsey
1010 W. Nevada St.
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 244-5246
E-mail: undergradsocialwork@illinois.edu 

Overview of Curriculum and Requirements

The purpose of undergraduate social work education at the School of Social Work is to provide a comprehensive educational experience for students that is grounded in a liberal arts tradition and prepares graduates for excellence in the areas of social work practice, policy, social engagement and leadership.

Upon degree completion, graduates will be prepared for entry into generalist social work practice, advanced standing in graduate social work education, and a multitude of career opportunities. These can include careers in communications, corrections, education, government, health care, human resources, law, non-profit organizations, religious studies, and public service. Obtaining an undergraduate degree in Social Work gives students the opportunity to pursue a License of Social Work (LSW).  A BSW degree also makes students eligible to pursue Advanced Standing status in many masters of Social Work (MSW) programs.  The advanced standing status enables BSW graduates to receive a MSW in only one year.

The focus of undergraduate curriculum delivery is through a student-centered strengths-based educational model that fosters student understanding by providing a challenging, yet supportive environment of high expectations that encourage the development of well-informed and engaged citizens.

Degree title: Bachelor of Social Work

The social work major prepares practitioners for generalist social work practice with individuals, groups, families and communities. The curriculum requires a minimum of 120 hours for graduation.  Minimum required course work in the major equates to 50 course hours of core professional education, including 8 hours for an agency-based field practicum (internship) where students receive additional supervision and training 4 days per week for one semester.

Departmental Distinction

The top 10% of the BSW graduating class will graduate with distinction.

Admission Requirements for Freshman

The following requirements must be met for consideration for admission as a freshman into the BSW Program:

  • University of Illinois application-The application includes a major selection, an essay, a list of activities, work experience, community service, honors and awards, and an accurate email address
  • Application fee
  • Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR)
  • Official test scores-Standardized test scores are required for admission review: either ACT (code 1154) or SAT I (cod 1836) scores are accepted
  • English proficiency
  • We do NOT accept letters of recommendation

For more detailed information regarding application requirements and the application process, please visit the University of Illinois Admissions website at: www.admissions.illinois.edu

Admission Requirements for Transfer and Inter-College Transfer Students (ICT)

The following requirements must be met for consideration for admission into the BSW Program:  

  • Completion and documentation of a minimum of 50 (fifty) hours of volunteer1 or paid work experience prior to submission of the BSW application.  These hours must be completed by working with or for an underrepresented population or population in need.  All volunteer hours must have been completed within 2 calendar years of application date.  
  • Cumulative minimum GPA 2.5 or higher
  • Evidence of strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Evidence of personal attributes that are suitable for the profession of social work
  • Successful completion of the application process for entry https://socialwork.illinois.edu/academics/bachelor-of-social-work/admissions-information/bsw-application/.
1

Volunteer hours can be completed through service learning projects completed for course requirements, as well as, through volunteer experiences with community organizations, registered student organizations, Greek organization affiliation, etc.   The office of Volunteer Programs at the University http://union.illinois.edu/get-involved/office-of-volunteer-programs/programming  is a good resource for ideas on how to get involved.

Application Deadline: The Admissions deadlines are March 1st for the Fall semester and October 15th for the Spring semester.

General Education

Communication Skills and Composition
CMN 101
RHET 105
Public Speaking
and Writing and Research
6-7
or CMN 111
CMN 112
Oral & Written Comm I
and Oral & Written Comm II
Advanced Composition - SOCW 300 will meet the Advanced Composition Requirement3-4
Language other than English
Complete of the third level or equivalent is required for graduation. American Sign Language is also acceptable.0-9
Humanities and the Arts
Literature and the Arts3
Historical and Philosophical Perspective3
Social and Behavioral Science
Any course that has been approved as a Social and Behavioral Science course from the General Education course list.9
Cultural Studies
Western cultures 3
Non-Western/ U.S. minority 3
Natural Sciences and Technology
Life Science3
Physical Science3
Quantitative Reasoning
Intro Stat for Social Work
Statistics
Economic Statistics I
Elements of Statistics
Intro to Social Statistics
Intro to Statistics
From the approved campus list3

BSW Requirements

SOCW 200Introduction to Social Work3
SOCW 300Diversity: Identities & Issues3
SOCW 401Practice I4
SOCW 402Practice II3
SOCW 403Practice III3
SOCW 410Social Welfare Pol and Svcs3
SOCW 427Social Work Research Methods3
SOCW 451HBSE I: Human Development3
SOCW 461Professional Practice Seminar I4
SOCW 470Field Practicum & Professional Seminar II15
Social Work electives:9
UG Research Assistance
Social Work Services for Older Adults
Social Entre & Social Change
International Development with Grassroots Organizations
International Perspectives
Social Work and the Military
Current Topics in Social Work (may be repeated)
Hispanics in the U.S.
Child Welfare Issues & Trends
Independent Study
Subst Use in Social Context
Intl SW & Development
Social Work with Women
Undergraduate Research Abroad
UG Research Project
Total SOCW hours53
Minimum hours required for graduation120

The Social Work Minor is designed for students interested in combining a primary academic area with social welfare and professional social work content. It emphasizes synthesis and application of social work theories, policies and research in the development of comprehensive solutions to major social problems.

E-mail:  undergradsocialwork@illinois.edu

Minor required courses:12
Introduction to Social Work
Diversity: Identities & Issues
Social Welfare Pol and Svcs
HBSE I: Human Development
Choose Two:6
Death & Dying
Asian Families in America
UG Research Assistance
Social Work Services for Older Adults
Social Entre & Social Change
International Perspectives
Social Work and the Military
Current Topics in Social Work
Hispanics in the U.S.
Child Welfare Issues & Trends
Independent Study
Subst Use in Social Context
Intl SW & Development
Social Work with Women
Undergraduate Research Abroad
UG Research Project
Total Hours18

SOCW Class Schedule

Courses

SOCW 101   SOCW Orientation Seminar   credit: 2 Hours.

Informational orientation seminar for Social Work majors to enhance their understanding of college life and social work as a profession.

SOCW 199   Undergraduate Open Seminar   credit: 1 to 4 Hours.

Approved for letter and S/U grading. May be repeated.

SOCW 200   Introduction to Social Work   credit: 3 Hours.

Broad survey of the field of social work; introduction to social services, social welfare organizations, major social problems and target population groups, and the methods used in working with individuals, groups, and communities; includes the range of personnel and skills in social work agencies, and the means of education and training for social work professionals.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Social Sciences

SOCW 225   Intro Stat for Social Work   credit: 3 Hours.

Introduction of basic concepts in statistics with emphasis on the application of statistical methods in social work research. Topics include: descriptive statistics, probability theory and distributions, point and interval estimation, hypothesis testing, central tendency, variability, independence, contrasts, correlation and regression, non-parametrics, concepts of levels of measurements, and statistical vs. practical significance. Priority will be given to Social Work majors. Credit is not given for SOCW 225 if credit for a college level introductory statistics course has already been earned.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Quant Reasoning I

SOCW 240   Death & Dying   credit: 3 Hours.

This course will focus on various aspects of death and dying. Content will examine different types of death, impact of death throughout the lifespan, cultural beliefs and practices regarding death and dying, grief, healing after loss, legal and ethical issues related to death, and the roll of social workers at the end of life. Students will be encouraged to examine their own thoughts, values, feeling, and beliefs about death and dying.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Social Sciences

SOCW 297   Asian Families in America   credit: 3 Hours.

Offers a comparative analysis of Asian families as they cope and adapt to American society. Examines: 1) how families from four major Asian-American groups (Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Korean) function in American society; 2) how these families compare to families in their country of origin; and 3) how these families are similar to or different from the 'typical American' family. Includes visits to Asian cultural institutions and with Asian families. Same as AAS 297 and HDFS 221.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Social Sciences
UIUC: US Minority Culture(s)

SOCW 298   Social Work Experiential Learning Fees   credit: 0 Hours.

This is a shell course to assess fees to support the cost of providing student learning experiences in social work practice settings. Additional fees may apply. See Class Schedule. Approved for S/U grading only. Prerequisite: The SOCW Admissions and Records Officer will manually add this course to student schedules.

SOCW 299   Study Abroad   credit: 0 to 18 Hours.

Lectures, seminars, and practical work in an approved study-abroad program in Social Work appropriate to the student's course of study. Approved for letter and S/U grading.

SOCW 300   Diversity: Identities & Issues   credit: 3 Hours.

This introductory course explores multiple dimensions of diversity in a pluralistic and increasingly globalized society. Using a social work strengths perspective as well as historical, constructivist, and critical conceptual frameworks; the course examines issues of identity, culture, privilege stigma, prejudice, and discrimination. The social construction and implications of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other dimensions of difference is examined at individual, interpersonal, and systems levels. Students are expected to use the course material to explore their personal values, biases, family backgrounds, culture, and formative experiences in order to deepen their self-awareness and develop interpersonal skills in bridging differences. Finally, students apply learning from the course to identify characteristics of effective social work and other health and human service provision among people culturally different themselves; and to identify opportunities for change contributing to prejudice reduction and cross-cultural acceptance at home, work and in society.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Advanced Composition
UIUC: US Minority Culture(s)

SOCW 310   UG Research Assistance   credit: 0 to 3 Hours.

Assist departmental faculty in on-going research. Topics and nature of assistance vary. Capstone paper required. Approved for Letter and S/U grading. May be repeated in separate terms up to 6 hours. Prerequisite: Evidence of adequate preparation for such study; consent of faculty member supervising the work; and approval of the department head. Majors only.

SOCW 315   Social Work Services for Older Adults   credit: 3 Hours.

Focus on the aging process, special needs of older adults, and the role of social work in addressing these needs. All levels of social work intervention are considered, direct practice with older persons and their families, service delivery systems in local communities, and state and national policies. Special attention is given to the needs of caregivers, person-centered care, diverse vulnerable populations and resources for older adults to age in place.

SOCW 321   Social Entre & Social Change   credit: 3 Hours.

Intended for undergraduates who have an interest in creating programs and products that have social values for communities. Features social entrepreneurship as an approach to social development and will consider its application and related change strategies to a wide array of social problems. Social entrepreneurship has emerged as a change approach that features the application of entrepreneurial practices to social ventures. Social entrepreneurship is similar to business entrepreneurship in its emphasis on selected program development and management principles and processes, but social entrepreneurs have the primary goal of creating social value in communities rather than personal or shareholder wealth. The initial part of the class will emphasize instructing students in broad concepts and principles related to entrepreneurship, while the latter portion of the course will feature students working on teams to design social projects.

SOCW 325   International Development with Grassroots Organizations   credit: 3 Hours.

This course engages students to think critically about international aid and development by cultivating an awareness of moral and ethical dilemmas that often go unconsidered by young professionals. It intends to help students develop greater cultural awareness and humility by recognizing differences in equity and global social, economic, and political structures. The course is a second eight-week offering and uses a blended learning approach with asynchronous online content combined with in-person classroom educational activities. Students apply the knowledge learned through the course by working directly with an international grassroots social organization during a 4-8 week immersion experience abroad. Course is an 8 week pre-departure training is required. Students complete a service learning placement in summer with an international grassroots organization.

SOCW 330   International Perspectives   credit: 3 to 6 Hours.

This course provides cross-cultural learning experiences within the context of international community-based service learning. Students will explore human service delivery through direct involvement with international social service institutions. This cultural immersion course is a collaborative partnership between the University of Illinois School of Social Work and selected international universities. Countries visited, varies by semester. May be repeated in separate terms up to 12 undergrad hours if topics vary.

SOCW 360   Social Work and the Military   credit: 3 Hours.

This course provides an overview of military social work practice including: military culture, issues and needs of soldiers and their families, ethical considerations, and the roll of social workers. Prerequisite: For majors only.

SOCW 380   Current Topics in Social Work   credit: 3 to 6 Hours.

Presents and analyzes special topics related to current social work practice, policy and research. Topics vary; see Class Schedule for current offering. May be repeated in the same or separate terms.

SOCW 400   Generalist SW Practice Methods   credit: 4 Hours.

Foundation methods course that is a prerequisite for all advanced methods courses. Overview of generalist social work practice and intervention with individuals, groups, organizations and communities; introduction to core concepts, value base and ethical principles of the profession. Emphasis is given to the bio-ecological framework, person-in-environment and systems theory. Skills in developing beginning professional relationships are addressed via a skills lab component. Students begin the process of professional self-awareness to begin to identify how the personal values and beliefs they hold impact upon their interactions. 4 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Admission to MSW program.

SOCW 401   Practice I   credit: 4 Hours.

Overview of generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Designed to introduce core concepts, values, and ethical principles of the profession as well as to provide basic skills, and knowledge related to generalist social work practice with a broad array of client systems. Emphasis is give to the biological-psychological-social-spiritual framework, person-in-environment, strengths perspective, and system theory. Skills in developing beginning professional relationships, which are characterized by mutuality, collaboration, empowerment, and client self determination within the problem-solving process are addressed. 3 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. Prerequisite: SOCW 200.

SOCW 402   Practice II   credit: 3 Hours.

Provides students with culturally responsive, micro-level skills development for working with and on behalf of individuals, families, and groups. Builds on the basic helping skills learned in SOCW 401 and offers further practice on interviewing skills, more emphasis on ethical decision-making, assessment, and intervention, evaluation applied to individuals, families, and groups. 3 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. Prerequisite: SOCW 401.

SOCW 403   Practice III   credit: 3 Hours.

Provides knowledge and skills about the theory and practice of planned change in communities and organizations using a generalist model of social work practice. Builds on the foundation knowledge and skills gained in SOCW 401 with emphasis on assessment, planning, intervention, and evaluation skills for macro-level practice. 3 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. Prerequisite: SOCW 401.

SOCW 410   Social Welfare Pol and Svcs   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Examination of social welfare within a historical context, addressing the economic, political, social and ideological influences that have shaped the social welfare system and programs. Critical study of the income maintenance system in the United States as a response to the problems of inequality of opportunity and income, poverty, and income security; consideration of alternative approaches with discussion of the social worker's role in the system. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

SOCW 412   Hispanics in the U.S.   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Hispanics constitute a growing population in the United States. The size and heterogeneity of Hispanics raises complex issues in crafting public policy and in designing and delivering social services. This course offers an extensive portrait of Hispanics in the United States. Students will explore questions and demographic characteristics, language and religious practices, education, criminal justice, neighborhood and economic restructuring, immigration, social service systems, and community action in the context of creating an effective public policy agenda. Same as LLS 412. 3 or 4 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours.

SOCW 416   Child Welfare Issues & Trends   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

This course examines theoretical and programmatic aspects for child welfare practice. Emphasis is placed on the roles and functions of child welfare workers, including engagement, assessment, intervention and permanency planning. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: SOCW major.

SOCW 418   Independent Study   credit: 1 to 4 Hours.

Independent study of a topic of special interest in the field of social work. 1 to 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

SOCW 420   Subst Use in Social Context   credit: 3 Hours.

Introduces students to the problem of substance abuse and its impact on society. Examines the physiological, psychological, social, and cultural aspects of substance abuse. At the individual and familial levels, the course examines the causes, development, prevention, and treatment of substance abuse. At the societal level, the course examines public policy efforts to regular and control substance use from both historical and contemporary perspective. Implications for social and economic justice are also examined. 3 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit.

SOCW 427   Social Work Research Methods   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Basic principles of social science research and importance for social work practice: overview of research principles including the stages of a research project, design of research; quantitative and qualitative methodologies, design of questionnaires, methods of data collection and preparation of reports. Introduction to various research designs such as the survey, program evaluation, single subject design, quasi-experiments, and experimental design. Enrollment preference given to students in the MSW program. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

SOCW 436   Intl SW & Development   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

This online course introduces students to policy and practice issues associated with international social work. It emphasizes ethical dilemmas, with the goal of sensitizing students to the importance of culturally sensitive practice for marginalized populations in global contexts. Weekly online discussion sessions use the Blackboard Online Platform. Students must have high speed internet connection and headset with microphone for course interaction. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

SOCW 451   HBSE I: Human Development   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Examination of the major theories that inform social work's understanding of human behavior in a variety of social contexts. A bio-ecological systems framework, together with a developmental approach in understanding the ways in which individuals, families, groups, organizations, institutions, and communities interact, is presented. Issues of gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability and sexual orientation are introduced so students can gain understanding of how these components affect and influence development across the lifespan. Enrollment preference given to students in the MSW program. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

SOCW 455   Social Work with Women   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Focuses on women and now cultural belief systems related to gender are instantiated through the differential treatment of females and males in our education, mental health, social welfare and health care systems; and the consequences of such practices through the lifespan. Includes consideration of policies and practices that support women emphasizing issues of special concern to women of color, lesbians, older women, impoverished women and disabled women. Same as GWS 454. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

SOCW 461   Professional Practice Seminar I   credit: 4 Hours.

The goal of this course is to begin the process of integrating all the foundation knowledge of generalist social work that students have learned and begin applying it to real life situations. Students will complete a portfolio and a service learning experience that will help them being to make the connection between the core competencies, theories and applications to real life experiences. During this course students will begin the process of being matched with the agency where they will serve their internship during the last semester of their senior year. 4 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. Prerequisite: SOCW 401.

SOCW 470   Field Practicum & Professional Seminar II   credit: 15 Hours.

This course is a supervised field practice experience and seminar where students apply knowledge and skills in social work engagement, assessment, planning and interventions to individuals, groups, families, organizations, and communities. Students are expected to promote sustainable social change through planned problem solving and empowerment to enhance the well-being of others. The practicum consists of 32 hours/week for 16 weeks. 15 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. May be repeated; instructor approval required. Prerequisite: SOCW 461. SOCW majors only.

SOCW 475   Undergraduate Research Abroad   credit: 1 to 4 Hours.

Students assist in research under faculty supervision at a location outside of the United States. Topics and type of assistance vary. 1 to 4 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. May be repeated in separate terms up to 6 hours. Prerequisite: Evidence of adequate preparation for such study; consent of faculty member supervising the work (who will have examined the proposed research plan); and approval of department. Not available to freshman.

SOCW 480   UG Research Project   credit: 0 to 3 Hours.

Conduct research study under the supervision of a departmental faculty member. Topics and nature of assistance vary. Capstone paper required. 0 to 3 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. Approved for letter and S/U grading. May be repeated in separate terms up to 6 hours. Prerequisite: Evidence of adequate preparation for such study; consent of faculty member supervising the work; and approval of the department head. Majors only. Not available to freshman and sophomores.