2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Dec 04, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Social Work

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs by Department

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 Department of Social Work at Indiana State University is committed to contributing to the profession of social work through teaching, research, community service, and continuing educational opportunities. The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Program at Indiana State University focuses on the promotion of social and economic justice and on the development of competent and skilled generalist social work professionals.  Students are educated to recognize social work as a profession with a broad mandate and to acknowledge their dual responsibilities to work with designated clients and to work toward societal change 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 classroom experiences and internship experiences in community agency settings. The professional foundation includes course work on social work values and ethics, human diversity, social and economic justice, human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, generalist social work practice, research, and field internship. Field internship experiences help students develop observational, communication, and assessment skills while providing opportunities to direct social work practice opportunities 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 or other degrees in the helping professions and social sciences, as well as to enter the workforce as a generalist practitioner. Entry-level social work positions include the provision of services related to case management and supportive counseling in practice areas such as working with children and youth, older adult services, community 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 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 a 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 the fall semester junior level curriculum, which consists of SOWK 382 and SOWK 384.

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Students in the BSW program must maintain the following requirements:

 1) 2.5 cumulative GPA

 2) 2.5 GPA in the social work major, and

 3) Minimum of a C in all courses in the social work major

An application to the BSW major must be completed during the sophomore year by the deadline posted on the Department’s website for full admission consideration. Transfer student applications are encouraged to be submitted 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 again prior to registering for classes in any semester. 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.  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 beyond the field internship.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs by Department