Jul 21, 2024  
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2024-25 
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2024-25

Social Work Major (B.S.W.)

Major code BS6605

College of Health Sciences and Professions  
Department of Social Work  
Morton Hall 416
Athens, OH 45701
Phone: 740.593.1269

Warren Galbreath, contact person

Program Overview

The undergraduate program in social work prepares students for beginning generalist social work practice at the undergraduate level, which involves the capacity to apply knowledge, skills, and values to assess a range of situations, as well as the ability to work with individuals, groups, larger organizations, and communities from a wide variety of perspectives. Students will complete course work in human behavior and the social environment, social welfare history and policy, research, social work practice methods, and field instruction. As students progress, they will develop the skills for intervening at a generalist level with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Upon graduation, students will be prepared as a baccalaureate-level social work practitioner with a strong foundation in liberal arts. The program has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1974.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program:

  • The student will be able to demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
  • The student will be able to engage diversity and difference in practice.
  • The student will be able to advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.
  • The student will be able to engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.
  • The student will be able to engage in policy practice.
  • The student will be able to engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • The student will be able to assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • The student will be able to intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • The student will be able to evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission

Students may designate the “Pre-Social Work” major within the College of Health Sciences and Professions in their application to Ohio University. This allows the student to be assigned an advisor within the Social Work program during their first semester at Ohio University. There are no additional selective or limited admissions requirements to be admitted as a Pre-Social Work student beyond those required by the University and the College of Health Sciences and Professions.

Change of Program Policy

Admission to the major is divided into two stages: pre-major and major. First-year students may be admitted as pre-majors; other Ohio University students and transfer students from other institutions are required to submit a fully completed “Application for Major Status” online which includes a personal essay, and documentation of human service experience by the Friday of the second full week of Fall or Spring semester. To be considered for admission, students are required to have a minimum overall GPA of 2.5. In addition, they must have completed the following:

  1. SW 1000  and SW 2601C  with a minimum grade of C (2.0) in both courses,
  2. BIOS 1030  or BIOS 1300 , PSY 1010 , PSY 1110  or 2110  or MATH 1500 , and PSY 2410  or EDEC 1600 , as well as one of the following areas NOT used to fulfill the pre-major requirement: Economics, Political Science, or Sociology,
  3. Written Communication (ENG 1510 ) and quantitative reasoning requirements, and
  4. A paid or volunteer experience in the area of social work (20 hours). (Those that completed SW SW 2601C  at Ohio University will meet this requirement with the successful completion of the course. Those that have credit for SW 2601C  through transfer will need to document 20 hours of volunteer experience.)

The director of the undergraduate program will review applications during the third full week of each semester. Notification of acceptance/rejection will be emailed to a student’s OHIO email address by the fifth week of the semester. Meeting minimal requirements does not ensure admission to the major. Acceptance is determined based on consideration of the following: academic GPA, hours completed, courses completed, experience in human services, and a personal statement.

A student seeking to enroll in the senior-level practice sequence (SW 4801 , SW 4802 , SW 4921 , SW 4922 , SW 4923 , and SW 4924 ) must have been admitted to the major by Spring semester of the junior year. In addition, the student is expected to:

  1. have maintained an overall GPA of 2.5. If a student has not maintained a GPA of 2.5, he or she will NOT be permitted to enter the senior-level practice sequences including field placement, regardless of admission status.
  2. have completed the junior sequence (SW 3602 , SW 3701 , SW 3801 , SW 3870 ) to be eligible for the senior placement.

If not accepted during the initial application process, a student may reapply online at the next application date. A student may reapply only twice.

External Transfer Admission

For students applying to the College of Health Sciences and Professions as pre-majors, no requirements beyond University/College of Health Sciences and Professions admission requirements are necessary. However, if a student is applying to social work as a major, at the same time they apply for admission to the University, they must follow guidelines as set out in the “Change of Major” policy stated above.

Opportunities Upon Graduation

A bachelor’s degree in social work allows the graduate to pursue employment in many different fields, including child welfare, mental health services, residential treatment, foster care and adoption services, as well as in nursing homes, schools, governmental agencies, and medical facilities. Social workers at the bachelor’s level may work with many different populations, including children, adolescents, families, adults, and elderly person. People with mental health/behavioral health issues, developmental disabilities, veterans, individuals experiencing domestic violence and chronic illness, and many other individuals and groups frequently seek services from agencies where social workers are employed. Additionally, social workers may be employed in agencies that advocate for clients and develop and implement social policy based on client and case needs. Social workers are also employed as administrators in many social service agencies and organizations. Surveys of graduates show high levels of satisfaction with the educational program and high employment rates in the field of social work and human services.


University-wide Graduation Requirements

Ohio University requires the completion of a minimum of 120 semester hours for the conferral of a bachelor’s degree. This program can be completed within that 120-hour requirement. For more information on the minimum hours requirement and other university-wide requirements, please review the Graduation Requirements – University-wide  page.

Arts and Sciences Requirements

Complete all of the following Liberal Arts and Sciences Distribution Requirements for Social Work, except the foreign language requirement.

Liberal Arts and Sciences Distribution Requirement for Social Work

View the Liberal Arts and Sciences Distribution for Social Work  

Pre-Major Course Requirements

In order to apply to the social work major, you must complete all the pre-major requirements and achieved and overall GPA of at least 2.5.

Quantitative Skills Requirement

Complete one of the following courses:

Complete one course from at least two of the following areas:

Economics (ECON)
Political Science (POLS)
Sociology (SOC)

Complete these SW courses with at least a C (2.0) or better grade:

Volunteer or Paid Work Experience

Complete at least 20 hours of volunteer or paid social work experience.

Extradepartmental Requirements

Complete the following course:

Complete one course from one (1) of the following areas not used to fulfill pre-major requirements

Economics (ECON)
Political Science (POLS)
Sociology (SOC)