May 29, 2023  
Undergraduate Catalog 2013 - 2014 
Undergraduate Catalog 2013 - 2014 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work, B.S.W.


Contact Information: For further information contact the Bachelors of Social Work Program Director: Dr. Christopher Mallett @ (216) 523-7514, E-mail:, website

Minimum Hours Required for the Major: A student must satisfactorily complete 48 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.

Study Abroad Program: The Social Work Program has two Study Abroad Programs: (1) Africa Experience in Zimbabwe, see course description SWK 398 , and (2) India Experience, see course description and SWK 499 .

Student Organizations: There are four student organizations in the School of Social Work. Social Work in Action (SWA) is a student-managed organization that provides orientation and opportunities for its members to become involved in community service projects, internal and external to the university. Community participation is in keeping with the historical service tradition of the social work profession. Also, the organization provides students with the opportunity to provide input, by serving on various committees, in the governance of the School of Social Work. Membership in SWA is open to all social work majors. Delta Zeta Chapter of Phi Alpha, a National Honor Society for Social Work Students. This organization is open to students majoring in social work with an overall GPA of 3.25. Each year the Delta Zeta Chapter of Phi Alpha awards a scholarship to one of its members with the highest GPA. The student branch of the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) takes responsibility for furthering the Chapter’s goals in Northeast Ohio. North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW) is an interdenominational and international organization that emphasizes Christian beliefs, human relationships, responsibilities, and social work practice.

Social Work Mission:Our mission is to prepare and engage students in competent, generalist social work practice that will promote health and human well-being, social and economic justice, and equality within a diverse learning environment. We are committed to generating research and scholarship that promote collaboration with lay and professional communities to ensure an effective quality of life for all people in Northeast Ohio, the State, and internationally.

Graduates of the program are competent generalist social work practioners, who may practice in all fields of social work and/or may pursue higher education.


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).

Following the orientation and the submission of the application to the major, the student is assigned a faculty adviser.


Majors are assigned a faculty adviser to individually guide and direct the student to ensure that the optium benefit is gained in the pursuit of the socialwork degree. Pre-major advising is available during regular office hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. A faculty member is available at all times to meet with students to discuss their interest in the major. Students considering the major are encouraged to visit the School of Social Work prior to the regularly scheduled orientation dates. All majors in the program are assigned a faculty adviser to assist in planning their course of study, especially course sequencing, as they progress through the major. Students must maintain regular contact with their advisers.



A minimum total number of 128 credit hours are required for every student in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. All degree seeking, CLASS students must complete a specific number of General Education (GenEd) requirements which are comprised of University and College requirements.  This is in addition to the credits for their major field of study. Students are responsible for ensuring the appropriate selection of courses to satisfy GenEd requirements. Students are highly encouraged to consult with both their general education advisor and faculty advisor regarding the applicability of selected courses each semester. A comprehensive description of Cleveland State University’s General Education Requirements for undergraduate students is available online at

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 :

 ,  ,  ,  ,  , and  .

**All the above requirements must be taken prior to

 , 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.