Social Work (B.S.W. Program)

Admissions Process

Credit, Academic, and Work/Life Experience


Degree Requirements, B.S.W.

Honors Option, School of Social Work

Leave of Absence, Student

Nondiscrimination Policies

Pre-Social Work Preparation


Social Work Courses (S W)

Withdrawal from Degree Programs

The Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) degree program prepares stu­dents for entry-level generalist social work practice during the junior and senior years of undergraduate matriculation. The B.S.W curricu­lum is comprised of approximately two-thirds professional social work undergraduate core courses and about one-third corequisite and elective courses. The Field Practicum is an integral part of the B.S.W. curriculum. It is required that the student enroll in the entire professional component of the curriculum during the senior year if the student is enrolling in the traditional program or the final semester of the senior year if matriculated in the online WOW! Program

The B.S.W. program features full-time or extended part-time study. Instruction is classroom based (traditional), hybrid - a combination of classroom and online instruction, and a fully online cohort instruction (WOW! Program). The exception is the required field practicum in which students are required to be present In the agency. The School offers admission to the B.S.W. program each fall term to students who wish to attend classes on the WSU Detroit main campus or at the University Center Macomb, located on the Macomb Community College Center Campus. The School also offers January (winter semester) admission to students interested in the online B.S.W. Where Online Works (WOW!) program.

Admissions Process

Applications for admission to the B.S.W. program may be submitted after the student has completed sixty (traditional) or sixty four (WOW!) semester credits in undergraduate course work or its equiv­alent at the freshman and sophomore levels. Applicants must have earned a minimum overall grade point average of 2.5 and completed social work pre-professional courses. Completed applications are given careful review in order to admit students who show evidence of suitability and fitness for the profession of social work and the ability to pursue successfully undergraduate professional education in social work.

First time Wayne State University students must complete an online application, and submit all required supporting documentation and applied fees. All B.S.W. applicants, regardless of prior WSU admis­sion status, must complete the supplemental School of Social Work admissions application online and submit the following supporting documentation required for consideration of admission to the B.S.W. Program:

1) Upload transcripts from all institution(s) attended.

2) Submit two references (academic and professional) using the School of Social Work Reference form and following the process indi­cated in the application guidelines.

3) Submit a 2-3-page Personal Interest Statement following guide­lines for statement.

4) Submit an educational resume following the template guidelines as provided.

Application Due Dates: 

B.S.W. - Traditional program begins in the Fall term

Priority Processing date: February 1
Deadline date: April 1

B.S.W. - WOW (Where Online Works!) begins in the Winter term

Priority Processing date: October 1
Deadline date: November 15

All applicants are encouraged to submit applications as soon as pos­sible as admissions will close once program capacity has been reached. Applications may be submitted up to one year prior to the start of the beginning term of the selected program

Although students may be admitted to the B.S.W. program prior to completion of all admission requirements, admission is conditional until all requirements are completed. The student must present a transcript verifying completion of sixty (traditional) or sixty four (WOW!) semester credits, grade point average, and completed pre-professional coursework. The letter of admission does not constitute a contract; admission may be withdrawn if a student fails to meet pro­gram requirements.

Macomb University Center: Students wishing to enroll in the Bach­elor of Social Work degree full-time program offered at the Macomb University Center may apply for September registration, but enroll­ment is limited. Please note: courses are only offered on Wednes­days. Applicants who begin their study at the Macomb University Center must complete their program at that site. The applicant may be required to attend an individual or group interview as part of the application process.

Transfer of Undergraduate Credit: No more than sixty-four semes­ter credits from two-year colleges may be applied toward the B.S.W. degree. A maximum of twelve Technical, Vocational, or Applied Prac­tice credits (designated ‘TVA') in the human service areas (for exam­ple, mental health, child care, gerontology, empathy training, human services and substance abuse) will count toward the degree. Any such transfer credits will be counted as general elective credit. Social work courses from programs not accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) also will be transferred as ‘TVA' general elective credit. See page Admission, Transfer of this Bulletin for the University transfer policy.

Nondiscrimination Policies

The School is bound by and actively endorses University policies of nondiscrimination respecting all persons regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital status or physical or mental disability, and which expressly forbid sexual harassment or discrimination in hiring (see page Equality of Opportu­nity Policy, University for these policies). The School prohibits dis­crimination against individuals because of political orientation. Copies of School and University nondiscrimination policies may be obtained in the Office of the Dean.

Credit, Academic, and Work/Life Experience

No academic credit for life experience or previous work experience will be awarded in the Bachelor of Social Work or Master of Social Work degree programs, in whole or in part, in lieu of the field practi­cum or of courses in professional foundation areas.

Leave of Absence, Student

A student who is in good standing in the Bachelor of Social Work degree program may request a leave of absence from course and field work in the School for up to one year. In order to be considered in good standing, a B.S.W. student must maintain grades of 'C' or better in classroom courses in the B.S.W. (professional) component of undergraduate study, and must not earn marks below Satisfactory in field work. Upon return from an approved leave of absence, a stu­dent's revised plan of work is based on the time in the academic year when the leave of absence was granted. If a student leaves at or before mid-semester, then she or he will have to repeat course or field work. Specific information on the procedure for requesting a leave of absence is available in the Office of Admissions and Student Services.

Withdrawal from Degree Programs

A student who has been admitted to the Bachelor of Social Work degree program or the Master of Social Work degree program shall be considered to have withdrawn if he/she is not enrolled in a course or field work during any semester of an approved planned program of study. In order to withdraw in good standing from any degree pro­gram, a student must formalize the withdrawal from the program with the Director of Admissions and Student Affairs. A copy of the proce­dure for withdrawal may be obtained from the School of Social Work 's Office of Admissions and Student Services.


Students who have been enrolled in a planned program leading to the Bachelor of Social Work degree, who have withdrawn from the program, and who wish to be considered for readmission to complete degree requirements, must follow regular procedures for admission to the School. Generally, the B.S.W. curriculum requires that stu­dents complete two continuous terms of field practicum when actively enrolled in the program. Readmitted students who previously com­pleted only one term of field work in the senior year will be required to repeat this term, and may be required to enroll concurrently in a course or courses in social work practice methods or a Directed Study in social work. Students who have withdrawn from the program and wish to be considered for readmission, may be required to obtain a physical and/or mental health assessment from a health profes­sional approved or selected by the School.

Pre-Social Work Preparation

To qualify for admission to the Bachelor of Social Work program in the School of Social Work, sixty semester credits (or its equivalent) must have been completed at the freshman and sophomore levels of undergraduate study. The required credits must be distributed according to one of the curricular patterns cited below. The General Education Requirements of the University must be met at the same time.

Many pre-social work courses also help satisfy the University Gen­eral Education Requirements. These courses are indicated by paren­thetical two-letter prefixes to their titles. For a definition of the General Education Requirements and a list of courses that satisfy each of them, see General Education Program.

As outlined below, students may also select elective curriculum cred­its at the freshman and sophomore levels of undergraduate study from professional schools such as the School of Business Adminis­tration, the College of Education, the College of Nursing, and the School of Social Work.

Preprofessional Requirements

Some of the following subject areas are prefixed with two-letter par­enthetical codes. These codes indicate General Education catego­ries which may be satisfied (entirely or in part) by the corresponding requirement in the pre-social work curriculum. For a definition of the General Education Requirements and a list of courses which satisfy each of them, see General Education Program.

A. Social Sciences: The following distribution of courses is required.

1. (SS) Cultural Anthropology: 3-4 credits
   (Note: Physical Anthropology does not meet this requirement.)
2. (HS) History: 3-4 credits
3. (AI) Political Science: 3-4 credits
4. (SS) Introductory Sociology: 6-8 credits

B. Natural Sciences: The following distribution of courses is required, including a laboratory course in one of the LS or PS areas designated below.

1. (LS) Biology: 3-4 credits
2. Introductory Psychology: 6-8 credits
3. (PS) One course (3-4 credits) to be selected from the following: Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Astronomy.

C. Humanities: The following distribution of courses is required.

1. (PL) Philosophy/Letters: 3 credits
2. (VP) Humanities: 3 credits

D. English: The following distribution of courses is required.

1. (BC) Freshman Composition: 4 credits
2. (IC) English Elective (2000 level or above): 3 credits

E. (OC) Communications: 2-3 credits

F. Electives: Recommended: Select electives from General Educa­tion Requirements in Foreign Culture (FC), and Critical and Analytic Thinking (CT). Electives should be selected in conjunction with the School's Academic Services Officer.

Degree Requirements, B.S.W.

The Bachelor of Social Work degree requires satisfactory completion of a minimum of one hundred twenty credits. The sixty credits in the freshman and sophomore years include prerequisite courses (see Pre-Social Work Preparation, above) for admission to the profes­sional component of the program, sixty credits in the junior and senior years, and forty-nine credits in field work and field-related courses. Electives are available to complete the required one hun­dred and twenty credits for graduation.

Grade Point Average: To be awarded a Bachelor of Social Work degree, the student must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.0, and a grade point average of 2.0 during the junior and senior years. A minimum of thirty credits must be earned in residence in the School of Social Work, and the student must be in residence during the final semester prior to graduation.

General Education Requirements: University-wide General Educa­tion Requirements apply to all undergraduate students seeking bac­calaureate degrees from Wayne State University. These requirements include group requirements in basic disciplines, and competency requirements in written communication, mathematics, oral communication, computer literacy, and critical thinking (compe­tency examinations in each of these areas are available). For a detailed explanation of these requirements see the General Informa­tion section of this Bulletin, page General Education Program; and consult an undergraduate advisor regarding the pre-Social Work pat­tern and General Education courses.

Student Professional Conduct Requirements: Any breach of the values and ethics of the social work profession articulated in the Pro­fessional Code of Ethics as established by the National Association of Social Workers (1994; 2006) may result in termination from the B.S.W. or M.S.W. program. Student violations of the Wayne State University Student Code of Conduct will be forwarded to the Univer­sity Student Conduct Officer for review and disposition. Students who apply with past, current and/or pending legal charges of record may be eligible and admitted to the B.S.W. program, however, an inter­view with Director of the Office of Admissions and Student Services and the Director of Field Education is required during the admissions process to review the circumstances and disposition of such legal charges. Legal charges of record may have implications for Field Agency Placement and Social Work Licensure. An agency place­ment is a non-negotiable requirement for Field Education to complete the B.S.W. Program. Social Work Licensure is required for B.S.W. graduates to identify and practice as Social Workers.

Honors Option, School of Social Work

Social Work students of high achievement are eligible to participate in the University's Honor Option, available in connection with speci­fied social work courses during the junior and senior years. All Hon­ors Option course work is to be completed with a previously-approved social work professor, and will include work beyond normal course requirements. Students interested in the Honors Option must present a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 or better and develop an academic plan of work with the School of Social Work Academic Services Officer. Application forms for the Honors Option are available in the Office of Admissions and Student Services. The application form must be signed by the instructor and the Academic Services Officer and must be returned to the Office of Admissions and Student Services by the end of the second week of classes. It is the student's responsibility to make sure that the instructor receives and turns in near the end of the semester an additional form that includes the grade for the student, in both the course and on the spe­cific Honors-level work agreed upon. Students are required to com­plete a minimum of twelve credits under the Honors Option and maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.30. The Hon­ors Option is available in designated sections of the following courses: S W 3710, 4710, 4810, and 4997. Additional information is available from the Academic Services Officer.


The undergraduate social work curriculum is structured to provide the knowledge, values and skills essential for entry-level generalist social work practice. It is comprised of five curricular areas: human behavior and the social environment, research, social work practice, social welfare policy and services, and field education. In addition, the following four themes intersect with some or all curricular areas: values and ethics, social justice, oppression and discrimination, and populations at risk. The professional component of the curriculum is built upon a liberal arts foundation in the social and behavioral sci­ences, the humanities, English, mathematics, and the natural sci­ences. Students are required to enroll in selected courses in anthropology, economics, English, foreign culture, history, human biology, philosophy, political science, humanities, psychology, sociol­ogy and speech/communications.

Students enrolled in field education are placed in a wide variety of social service agencies and work with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Emphasis is placed in providing social work services in urban areas with the poor and oppressed, persons of color, and other at-risk populations that represent many ethnic, racial and cultural groups. Field work stresses both ameliora­tion and prevention of personal, interpersonal and social problems, as well as improvement of the human condition.

All students are required to file an educational Plan of Work with the School of Social Work Academic Services Officer and to update this plan on a regular basis.

Online Program: The B.S.W. degree is also offered as a fully online program of study during the junior and senior year. Online curriculum requirements are identical to the traditional B.S.W. classroom "on campus" program option. Students interested in matriculating in the online program must have access to an updated computer system and related software necessary for successful completion of all courses. Curriculum requirements are listed below.

The admissions process is the same as the traditional program with the exception of the following: Admission to the online program is in the winter term only, and the program utilizes the cohort model struc­ture. Once enrolled, students may NOT register for any B.S.W. courses offered in a campus classroom setting. Interested students should visit the School website for additional information at:

Required Professional Content

Junior Year

First Semester

MAT 0900 -- Essentials of Mathematics: Cr. 3 (No degree credit)
S W 3010 -- Social Work Practice Method I: Cr. 4
S W 3110 -- Diversity, Oppression and Social Justice: Cr. 3
S W 3510 -- Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Cr. 3
S W 3710 -- Social Welfare and the Social Work Profession:
   History, Trends and Basic Concepts: Cr. 3

Second Semester

MAT 1000 -- (MC) Mathematics in Today's World: Cr. 3
S W 3020 -- Social Work Practice Method II: Cr. 3
S W 3410 -- Foundations of Ethics and Values in Social Work: Cr.3
S W 3810 -- Research Methods, Data Analysis, and Practice Evaluation I: Cr. 3

Senior Year

First Semester

S W 4010 -- Social Work Group Theory and Practice: Cr. 3
S W 4441 -- Field Education Seminar I: Cr.1
S W 4710 -- Social Welfare in the U.S.: Current Programs: Cr. 3
S W 4810 -- Research Methods, Data Analysis, and Practice Evaluation II: Cr. 3
S W 4998 -- Field Practice in Social Work II: Cr. 5

Second Semester

S W 4020 -- Social Work Macro Theory and Practice Cr. 3
S W 4442 -- Field Education Seminar II: Cr 1
S W 4997 -- (WI) Integrative Seminar in Social Work: Cr. 3
S W 4998 -- Field Practice in Social Work II: Cr. 5

Prerequisites and Electives

Electives: Electives must be selected in consultation with the School of Social Work Academic Services Officer.