University Bulletin 2019-20

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Social Work (BSW)

Majors in Arts and Sciences may be completed with a minimum of 120 semester hours unless designated otherwise. At least 30 hours of course work, which represents 25% of the required 120 hours, must be at the upper division level in order to fulfill the University’s residency requirement. At least 15 of the 30 upper-division hours must be in the major or concentration area. An overall grade-point-average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for graduation. In addition, a minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in the student’s major or concentration area.

Social work admission policy and procedures

The social work program has a policy and procedures for admission to the major that are consistent with the goals of the BSW program. The policies and procedures insure that students have a liberal arts base, demonstrate a beginning knowledge of social work and identification with the profession, have content in diversity, populations-at-risk, and social and economic justice, and can demonstrate effective communication skills prior to entry into the professional foundation.

Admission policy

Students who want to major in social work are admitted to the pre-professional social work major and remain in the pre-professional major until they meet requirements to be admitted into the social work major. The policy is applicable to all students: new freshmen, transfer students, students seeking a second bachelors degree, and students changing their major. In order to be admitted into the social work major, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a 2.60 overall GPA in courses taken at USA.
  • Have completed SW 200, SW 214, and SW 220 with a grade of "C" or better.
  • Have completed the BLY 101/102 or BLY 121/122 sequences with labs or BLY 101 or 121 and a second lab science with a grade of "C" or better in both courses and labs.
  • Have completed EH 101 and EH 102 with a grade of "C" or better.
  • Have completed the Math requirement.
  • Have completed a minimum of 56 credit hours.
  • Have completed the Statistics requirement (ST 210).
  • Meet all requirements specified by the program for demonstrating behavior consistent with the NASW Code of Ethics.

Students who are considering pursuing a major in social work should consult with a social work advisor at the earliest opportunity. Students entering the pre-professional social work major who have 50 or more credit hours are strongly encouraged to take SW 200, SW 214, and SW 220 in their first semester. Students are also encouraged to consider the Spanish sequence to complete their foreign language requirement. There may be factors in a student's past that could affect the ability to obtain a professional social work license. Examples of factors that may need to discussed with the advisor might include conviction of a felony or misdemeanor, or the revocation or surrender of another professional license.

Admission procedures

Once the student has completed the specified requirements, the student must submit the application for admission to the social work major. Students who meet the minimum prerequisite requirements are not guaranteed admission into the social work major. The application process is competitive and admission is dependent upon available space. Complete applications are reviewed annually at the end of the Spring semester. Applications submitted at other times may be reviewed depending upon available space.  Students are encouraged to consult with their social work advisor prior to submitting this application.

The student's application for admission to the major will be reviewed by the BSW program faculty and a determination will be made on whether or not the student will be admitted to the major. Following this determination the student will be notified in writing concerning the faculty decision.
Once the student is admitted to the major, the program will initiate a change of major to the university. The criteria for continuation as a major include:

  • Maintain a 2.50 grade point average in social work courses.
  • Maintain an overall 2.60 grade point average at USA.
  • Demonstrate acceptable professional conduct, personal integrity and emotional stability requisite for effective social work practice.
  • Demonstrate identification with the profession of social work.
  • Demonstrate behavior consistent with Code of Ethics for the National Association of Social Workers.

Students who have not been admitted to the major may not enroll in SW 201, SW 300, SW 301, SW 302, SW 401, SW 402, SW 412, or SW 414.

Social work as a second bachelor's degree

Students who already have an undergraduate degree and wish to pursue the Bachelor of Social Work as a second degree must meet the following requirements.

  • Meet the general education requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Meet the general education requirements specific to Social Work including:
    • Biology
    • Statistics
  • Complete the following courses in the major:
    • SW 200
    • SW 214
    • SW 220
    • SW 201
    • SW 300
    • SW 301
    • SW 302
    • SW 401
    • SW 402
    • SW 412
    • SW 414
    • SW Elective
    • SY 220
    • SY 381 & SY 382

Total: 54 Semester Credit Hours

Transfer students

In order to receive a degree in social work from the University of South Alabama, the student must complete SW 401, SW 402, SW 412, and SW 414 and meet the university residency requirements.

Social work course credit will only be granted for courses transferred from programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education or in CSWE Candidacy. The program director will evaluate social work transfer credits to determine equivalency. No credit will be given for life or prior work experience.

Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work website

Departmental mission statement

The Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work seeks to equip students with conceptual tools to enhance their social and cultural awareness and with methodological tools to obtain empirical knowledge to empower them to engage in improvement of social conditions. Acknowledging the inextricable link between teaching and scholarly research, we strive for excellence in both areas to unite students and faculty in a common experience of learning and discovery through pure and applied research to prepare students for service through careers and civic engagement.

Undergraduate programs

Sociology is the scientific study of social behavior and social phenomena. Our program seeks to provide students with knowledge and insight about why groups, institutions, organizations, and societies (and the people in them) behave in the ways they do. Popular courses within the program address such diverse social phenomena as Drug Use, Marriage and Family, Culture, Religion, Crime and Deviance, Medicine, Disasters, Race, Gender, and Aging. We also focus on equipping students with the tools of social research methods and statistics - two very highly-sought-after skills in today's labor market.

Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present. To understand the full sweep and complexity of cultures across all of human history, anthropology draws and builds upon knowledge from the social and biological sciences as well as the humanities and physical sciences. A central concern of anthropologists is the application of knowledge to the solution of human problems. Historically, anthropologists in the United States have been trained in one of four areas: archaeology, biological/physical anthropology, sociocultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. Anthropologists often integrate the perspectives of several of these areas into their professional lives.

Social work is a social science and a profession devoted to helping people solve problems and issues in their lives. Social workers, help individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities to achieve an effective level of psychosocial functioning and  seek social reform to improve societal well being, with an emphasis upon marginalized and oppressed communities. Social work is founded upon the ethical principles of service; social and economic justice; personal dignity and worth; the importance of human relationships; integrity; and competence.

All first-time freshmen must successfully complete CAS 100: First Year Experience as a degree requirement. Students must enroll during their first term at USA, except for summer-entry students who must enroll in the fall semester following entry.

SY 382 will fulfill the technology proficiency requirement for Sociology and Social Work majors.

AN 454 will fulfill the technology proficiency requirement for Anthropology majors.