Jul 19, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2014 - 2015 
Undergraduate Catalog 2014 - 2015 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work, B.S.W.

Minimum hours required for the degree:  120

Minimum Hours Required for the Major: A student must satisfactorily complete 49 credit hours in core Social Work courses.This does not include the University/College’s General Education/Liberal Arts requirements.

Accreditation: The undergraduate Social Work Program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation, Council on Social Work Education. Students matriculating in the program are eligible for student membership in the National Association of Social Workers and the National Association of Black Social Workers. Graduates of the Program are eligible for full professional membership in both organizations.

Social Work Licensure: Students graduating from the Program are eligible to take the Ohio Social Work Licensure Examination (LSW). Only students graduating from a fully accredited undergraduate program in social work are eligible to take the Ohio Social Work Licensure Examination. The LSW is required to practice social work in most health and human services organizations and agencies. Some public agencies do not presently require the licensure. Individuals who refer to themselves as social workers must hold the LSW and/or LISW.

Honors Program: The Honors Program in social work is designed to develop a closer identification with social work scholars, practitioners and academicians. Social Work majors during the junior/senior year of study are eligible for this program. In order to qualify, social work majors need a 3.25 cumulative GPA in all courses in the university, and a 3.5 GPA in social work courses.

Admission to the Major
Application to the Social Work major may be submitted by students following their attendance at a School of Social Work orientation. The School conducts orientation sessions each semester that are designed to do the following: provide information about the social work profession, its history, fields of practice, current trends and social issues, the mission of the school; and the admission and curricula requirements for majors. The prerequisites for entering the School of Social Work core curriculum for the major require students to:

  • Have a cumulative 2.2 GPA and have completed the following courses: Introduction to Social Work (SWK 200 ), American Government (PSC 111 ), and one course in Human Biology. The following courses in Human Biology at Cleveland State University will meet the School of Social Work and the Commission on Accreditation requirements: BIO 100 , BIO 102 , or BIO 106 , as well as SOC 101  and PSY 101 . The School of Social Work will consider human biology courses from other colleges and universities that fulfill the above requirement.
  • Submit one letter of reference from a teacher/professor, employer, religious leader, social worker, or a health or human services professional. The letter of reference should be written on official letterhead, and the writer should clearly identify her/his relationship to applicant.
  • Submit a completed college checklist from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS).

Major-Field Requirements

1. GPA Requirements for the Major

A Social Work major must maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA in the Social Work core curriculum and a 2.2 cumulative GPA overall in the university. During the first two years at Cleveland State University, students are encouraged to focus on completing their general education/liberal arts requirements. Transfer students may bring these requirements with them. The social work professional foundation curriculum builds vertically and horizontally on the liberal arts/general education foundation.

The practice sequence courses are restricted to social work majors. All social work majors are required to complete the prescribed curriculum. No course credit is granted by the School of Social Work for life experience. Additionally, no transfer credit is granted from an institution that does not have an accredited Social Work Program.


* Students must have completed or be taking concurrently the following Social Work courses prior to SWK 350: SWK 200, SWK 201, SWK 300, SWK 302, SWK 303, and SWK 304.

**All the above requirements must be taken prior to SWK 385, with the exception of SWK 305, which can be taken concurrently.

The completion of a major in Social Work depends upon successful completion of two semesters of student practicum in a professional health or human services agency or organization.

Students are required to obtain a grade of B or better in Interventions I and II, Field Practicum I and II, and Field Seminar I and II. Students receiving less than a B in the aforementioned courses may not proceed in the major without an assessment by the School of Social Work Admissions and Continuance Committee.

Honors Program/University Scholars Requirements

The School of Social Work’s undergraduate BSW Program has three alternatives for social work majors in the Honors Program or the University Scholars Program. Each of these alternatives would be designed to fulfill the eight credit hours of the Honors Program or University Scholars Program standards.  These eight credit hours can be completed within one of these three alternatives, or via a combination of these alternatives.  For example, a student may take SWK 300 and SWK 304 as Honors Courses, and also perform a two-hour Readings Paper (SWK 396); or take SWK 494, SWK 493, and SWK 304; and so forth.

1. BSW Course Contracting: This alternative would have the student complete the designated courses within the major, though the course work itself would be modified to meet the more rigorous Honors/Scholars expectations. BSW Program Courses designated:  

  • SWK 300 (Social Welfare Policy, 4 credit hours) *Policy Brief increased from draft work to stakeholder advocacy paper *White paper on state or local policy concern (additional)
  • SWK 304 (Research Methods I, 3 credit hours) *Research Article Analyses are increased by 30% *Annotated Bibliography Assignment increased by 50%
  • SWK 305 (Research Methods II, 3 credit hours) *Qualitative Research Report modified from a cross-sectional study to a longitudinal (or more rigorous) research design *Take home examination is expanded by 30%
  • SWK 493 (Child Welfare I & II) *Assessment Paper and Presentation will be 30% additional sources and outcome length

2. Independent Study: This alternative would be an individualized student plan working with the BSW Program Director.  This plan would be a self-directed readings and/or research project tailored to the student’s area of interest. The Director would be the faculty instructor for all independent study courses; no assignment to other faculty or instructors would occur. This could take place during one or more semesters during the junior and/or senior year.  Credit hours would be commensurate with breadth and depth of the project.  These credit hours would be taken as additional elective hours within the major.

  • SWK 396 (Readings in Social Work)
  • SWK 496 (Independent Study in Social Work)
  • SWK 497 (Independent Study in Juvenile or Criminal Justice)

3. Elective Courses: Within the Social Work major a number of graduate level elective courses are available and cross-listed in the undergraduate schedule.These graduate level courses are available to a limited number of undergraduate students.  The higher graduate level expectations of these courses would meet the standards for the Honors and University Scholars Programs.The student would sign up for these cross-listed courses as an undergraduate.  If the student later entered the MSW Program, he or she would not be granted permission to take the course a 2nd time for MSW credit (all courses here are electives within the MSW Program).The courses would be listed separately as an “HON” course, so that the transcripts represent this accordingly.

  • SWK 494 (Substance Abuse: Theories and Practice, 3 credit hours)
  • SWK 493 (Healthcare Practice, Planning, and Policy, 3 credit hours)
  • SWK 357 (Social Work Values and Ethics, 3 credit hours - certificate earned)
  • SWK 499 (The India Experience - Study Abroad, 3 credit hours)
  • SWK 475 (Alternative Health Systems, 3 credit hours)