2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Dec 06, 2023  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived]

Social Work

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Chairperson: Dr. Robin Bonifas

Department Office: Health and Human Services Building, room 440
Web site: https://www.indstate.edu/health/department/social-work
Facebook:  Indiana State University – Department of Social Work

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Program at Indiana State University is committed to contributing to the profession of social work through teaching, research, and community service. The focus of the BSW Program is on the promotion of social and economic justice and on the development of competent and skilled social work professionals.  Students are educated to recognize social work as a discipline with a broad mandate and to accept that they have a dual responsibility to work with designated clients as well as to work toward a society that reflects economic and social justice.


The BSW curriculum includes courses in the liberal arts (Foundational Studies) and in the social work profession, and integrates theory and practice through a variety of classroom experiences and agency settings. The professional foundation includes course work on social work values and ethics, diversity, social and economic justice, human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, social work practice, research, and the field practicum. Field placement experiences help students develop observational, communication, and assessment skills while providing opportunities to work with individuals, small groups, families, organizations, and communities. The BSW Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Degree Offered

Students graduating with the BSW degree are prepared to pursue a master’s degree in social work, as well as to enter the workforce as a generalist practitioner. Entry-level social work positions provide services relating to case management, children and youth, aging, mental health, family services, corrections and criminal justice, physical and mental disabilities, alcohol and substance abuse, medical health care, community and neighborhood services, occupational social work, schools, and income maintenance.

Pre-Social Work

Students interested in social work will declare the Pre-Social Work major upon admission to the University.  By doing so, students benefit from course planning to assure the opportunity to qualify for the four-year graduation guarantee.

To apply to the social work major, students are required to meet the following criteria:

        1) 2.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA)

        2) minimum of C in all courses in the social work major

        3) successful completion or currently enrolled in SOWK 130, SOWK 240, and SOWK 241

        4) submit the application to the major in the spring semester prior to enrollment in fall semester junior level curriculum

            (SOWK 382 and SOWK 384)

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Students must maintain the following requirements:

 1) 2.5 cumulative GPA,

 2) 2.5 GPA in the social work major, and

 3) minimum of C in all courses in the social work major

An application to the BSW major must be completed by February 1, of the sophomore year for full consideration.  Applications from transfer students are encouraged as quickly as possible upon admission into the university.

To complete the BSW degree, students are required to successfully complete the University requirement of a minimum of 120 credits, including Foundational Studies course work.

Advising is a central component of the social work major. All social work majors must meet with an advisor to develop an academic plan upon entry into the major and also prior to registering for any semester of classes. Each student must notify her/his advisor of all scheduling changes made by the student. Each student who drops a class, fails a class, or earns below a C in any course in the social work major must contact her/his advisor to adjust the academic plan. It is the responsibility of each student to keep regular contact with her/his advisor to ensure the proper sequencing of courses.

Experiential Learning

Social Work majors interact with practicing professionals and engage in service-learning and field experiences throughout their program.  During an undergraduate career, majors complete a total of 450 field experience hours during three semesters of field education. The experience includes generalist social work practice with a local social welfare agency as well as a weekly field seminar.


BSW students may participate in a number of co-curricular activities. Students have the opportunity to participate in the BSW Student Social Work Association, the Black Social Work Association, the Phi Alpha Honor Society for social work students, study abroad, University Honors Program, Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, local and state professional conferences, and experiential education.

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