2022-2023 Catalog 
    May 26, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work, BSW

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The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) prepares graduates for professional and ethical Generalist Social Work Practice. An emphasis is placed on preparing entry-level social workers who can work across all client systems at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. The curriculum trains social workers to promote human rights and individual, community, and global well-being by practicing in complex, diverse, and dynamic settings and environments.

BSW Mission

The Bachelor of Social Work exemplifies the social work core values in preparing students for ethical and competent entry-level generalist practice across multiple populations at micro, mezzo, and macro levels of practice.

BSW Goals

  • Educate bachelor level social workers with knowledge, values, and skills necessary for ethical and competent practice across multiple populations with a focus on diversity and difference [Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Competencies 1 & 2]
  • Engage students in a process of practice-informed research and research-informed practice (CSWE Competencies 4 & 7)
  • Prepare students to provide regional leadership in the development and implementation of policies, programs, and services that support human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice (CSWE Competencies 3 & 5)
  • Develop social workers who exemplify a commitment to the social work core values while engaging, intervening, and evaluating practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities (CSWE Competencies 6, 8 & 9)

The BSW program provides a strong foundation for students who wish to pursue social work education at the graduate level as well as those who plan to work as generalist, baccalaureate trained social workers.

Admission Criteria

Students may declare social work as their major at any time following admission to the University; however, declaration of the social work major does not guarantee admission into the BSW program. Generally, first- and second-year Social Work Majors complete general education requirements and lower-division social work courses.

After successful completion of 60 credit hours, students with a social work major may apply to the Bachelor of Social Work program. After admission to the social work program, third- and fourth-year Social Work Majors complete upper-division courses and a supervised field practicum in a social service agency. 

Requirements for admission to the Bachelor of Social Work major include:

  • Evidence of 60 completed credit hours (in-progress coursework will be considered)
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.4 for current UCCS students and transfer students
  • Successful completion of three prerequisite courses
    • SWRK 1001, SOC 1110, PSY 1000 (or equivalent SOC, PSY courses)
  • Submission of a writing sample used to evaluate your writing skills and your readiness for admission to the BSW program.
    • BSW program writing samples should be submitted online via the link on the BSW program webpage.

    • For the writing sample, please choose and respond to one of the following three questions; list the question and then your response. Your answer should demonstrate your interest in and commitment to social work, social justice, and social change. Responses should be double spaced and no more than 500 words.
      1. Beyond your personal desire to help people, why have you chosen social work as a profession over another profession or major?
      2. How have your life experiences and identities shaped your understanding of power and privilege?
      3. Reflect upon a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged. How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your belief?

Upon successful completion of the application requirements, the student will be admitted to the BSW program, their Academic Advisor will activate the BSW Subplan through the student’s Degree Audit, and the student will then be permitted to complete upper-division social work courses.

General Requirements

The degree requires completion of 120 credit hours, including:

  • 47 credit hours of general education requirements as outlined in your degree audit
  • 45 major credit hours, including 36 required social work core credit hours (6 of which constitute the field practice sequence), and 9 credit hours of social work electives (6 of which must be in an elective cluster)
  • 12-24 credit hours to complete any undergraduate minor or certificate
  • 10-16 other elective credit hours

Students must also meet the following requirements:

  • A minimum of 27 credit hours must be upper-division major courses
  • A minimum of 400 hours of field education completed in SWRK 4111 and SWRK 4112*
  • A grade of C or better in each undergraduate course applied to satisfy major requirements
  • Major requirements may not be taken pass/fail

*Students must complete all field practicum site clearance requirements, which may include background checks, drug screens and immunization record reviews. Field placements are not guaranteed for students who cannot successfully pass these requirements.

The BSW program does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience.

Upper-Division Requirement

Students must complete at least 45 credit hours of upper-division work (courses numbered 3000 and above) to be eligible for the bachelor’s degree. Students may register for upper-division courses if they have met the course prerequisites or obtained BSW Director approval. Courses transferred from a junior/community college carry lower-division credit.

Course Requirements

Core Courses

Minors or Certificates

BSW students will complete at least one 12-24 credit hour cross-disciplinary certificate and/or minor. While students may complete any undergraduate certificate or minor to fulfill this requirement, recommended certificates/minors include: Child and Family Studies Certificate, Disability Studies Certificate, Gerontology Certificate, Latino/a Studies Certificate, Native American and Indigenous Studies Certificate, Social Dimensions of Health and Health Care Certificate, Sociology of Diversity Certificate, Criminal Justice Minor, and Sociology Minor.


Complete 9 hours of additional Social Work courses.

Compass Curriculum

The BSW Compass Curriculum requirements will be met through general education and major courses.

Component Course
Gateway GPS 1010
Explore1 - Arts, Humanities and Cultures PHIL 1120
Explore1 - Society, Behavior and Health SOC 1110
Explore1 - Physical and Natural World See degree audit
Navigate2 See degree audit
Summit3 SWRK 4112
Writing Intensive Course (WIC)3 SWRK 3003 and SWRK 4002
Inclusiveness3 SOC 3250 (major requirement)
Sustainability3 SOC 2260
1 Explore must be outside major and area requirements.
2 Navigate must be outside major requirements.
3 Can count towards other requirements within the Compass Curriculum or within a student’s degree program.

Policies and Procedures

Refer to the School of Public Affairs General Information section  of this academic catalog for the eligibility criteria, policies, and procedures relevant to this program.

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Accreditation Competencies

  1. Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
  2. Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
  3. Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
  4. Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice
  5. Engage in Policy Practice
  6. Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  7. Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  8. Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  9. Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Commitment to Cultural Diversity and Social Justice

As stated in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics and the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) for BSW Degree Programs in Social Work Education, UCCS Social Work faculty and students shall:

  1. “Act to prevent and eliminate domination of, exploitation of, and discrimination against any person, group, or class on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin [or ancestry], color, sex [gender], sexual orientation, age, marital status, political belief, religion [creed], mental or physical disability, or socio-economic status” [NASW Code of Ethics, 6.04(d)].
  2. Practice within the defining principles of “service, social and economic justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships and integrity and competence” (CSWE, 1.0).
  3. “… Enhance human well-being and alleviate poverty, oppression, and other forms of social injustice” (CSWE, 1.0).
  4. “… Develop and apply practice in the context of diverse cultures” (CSWE, 1.0).

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