Social Work, BSW

for the degree of Bachelor of Social Work Major in Social Work

School of Social Work Office: 1010 W. Nevada St., Urbana, IL 61801

Director of BSW Program: Carol Wilson-Smith


phone: (217) 244-5246

school website:

school faculty: School of Social Work Faculty

overview of school admissions & requirements: School of Social Work

The Bachelor of Science in Social Work can be completed through our traditional program on the Urbana campus or through our upper-level completer program. The traditional program is open to freshmen, off-campus transfers, and inter-campus transfers. Courses are taken on the Urbana campus. The iBSW Program is open to junior-level transfer students. The iBSW program is a two-year degree completion program that allows students to earn their Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree while residing in students' home communities.

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, healthcare, 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 an 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.

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. 

for the degree of Bachelor of Social Work Major in Social Work (on campus & online)

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

Minimum required major and supporting course work: A minimum of 53 course hours of social work coursework, which includes 15 credit hours of combined agency-based field practicum (internship) and field seminar.

Communication Skills and Composition
CMN 101
RHET 105
Public Speaking
and Writing and Research
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
U.S. Minority cultures3
Western cultures 3
Non-Western cultures3
Natural Sciences and Technology
Life Science3
Physical Science3
Quantitative Reasoning
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 Entre & Social Change
International Development with Grassroots Organizations
International Perspectives
Social Work and the Military
Social Work and Disability Studies
Current Topics in Social Work (may be repeated)
Social Work Case Management Practice
Hispanics in the U.S.
Child Welfare Issues & Trends
Dementia Care for Older Adults
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