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Social Work

College of Health and Human Services

CSULB students have a classroom discussion

Social Work - Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (code SW__BA01) (120 units)

Note: Please be advised, information below has been altered from the official print version of the CSULB 2009-2010 Catalog.

The Department of Social Work offers, in conjunction with the general education requirements, a professional program leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW). The goals of the BASW program are to prepare students for entry level, professional, generalist social work practice and for graduate social work education, including advanced standing. Students learn to practice as professional social workers with persons and groups representing the range of human diversity and with systems of all sizes (individuals, families, groups, communities and institutions).

Social Work majors should consider taking courses as electives or for fulfillment of general education requirements in the ethnic studies, women’s studies and gerontology programs in the Colleges of Health and Human Services and Liberal Arts. The Department can make recommendations concerning those courses which would be most useful to students interested in acquiring broader information closely allied to professional social work practice.

Admission Under Impaction

To be eligible for admission to Social Work, applicants must demonstrate the following prior to the semester for which the application is submitted. The number of applicants who can be admitted is limited by space availability. Eligible applicants will be selected for admission based on review of the entire application packet. Applicants must have met requirements for admission to the university as a freshman or transfer student. Applicants must have completed the following prerequisite courses with a minimum grade point average of 2.50: BIOL 205, PSY 100, SOC 100, ANTH 120 or their equivalents, and a course in elementary statistics such as HDEV 250, MATH 108, PSY 210, or SOC 250 or their equivalents. Applicants must submit a supplemental application to the department by the third Friday in February for the fall semester. The application includes statements of biographical and educational background and a description of community and/or social work experience. Each applicant must submit 2 letters of reference, one academic and one professional. The number of applicants who can be admitted is limited by space availability. Eligible applicants will be selected for admission based on review of the entire application packet.

Admission Under Impaction for Continuing Students

Students who indicate a Social Work major when they enter as freshmen will be assigned a pre-social work major code. Acceptance into the pre-major by the university does not imply or assure subsequent acceptance into the major by the Department. Students who are not accepted into the major cannot continue as pre-social work majors.

Admission Under Impaction for Transfer Students

Students must be eligible for admission to the university as transfer students and must apply for admission to the university no later than November 30 for admission the following fall. Students who are not admitted to the major will not be admitted to the university unless they have listed a second choice of major on the application form.

Additional Requirements

To be allowed to continue in the major, students must complete the following during the first two semesters in the major courses:

  • A. Pass Abnormal Psychology
  • B. Fulfill the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)

Students can contact the Department's admissions office for academic advising concerning the requirements for admission into the BASW program.


The field sequence has an integral role in the BASW curriculum providing an opportunity for students to apply social work knowledge and practice skills in an agency based educationally focused fieldwork internship. Students complete 450 hours of field placement (SW 495A/B) in their senior year for which they earn 14 academic units. Students complete 16 hours per week in an assigned agency placement. A variety of agencies in the surrounding communities are used, and the Department’s field faculty select the most appropriate field placement site for students.

Sequence of Required Social Work Courses

Full-time students will take the following sequence of courses starting with:

  • First Level (fall): SW 220, 221, 330, 350
  • Second Level (spring): SW 331, 340, 341, 351
  • Third Level (fall): SW 440, 442, 495A
  • Fourth Level (spring): SW 441, 465, 495B

Part-time students will take the following sequence of courses

  • First Level (fall): SW 220, 221
  • Second Level (spring): SW 330, 350
  • Third Level (fall): SW 331, 351
  • Fourth Level (spring): SW 340, 341
  • Fifth Level (fall): SW 440, 442, 495A
  • Sixth Level (Spring): SW 441, 465, 495B

All Social Work courses must be completed with a grade no lower than a “C” in classroom courses or a “CR” for practicum or field experience. If a student earns a grade lower than a “C” in a classroom course or a “NC” in a practicum or field experience course, the student must repeat the course. All courses must be taken in sequence.

CalSWEC BASW Program

California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) is a unique partnership between social work education and the publicly supported child welfare agencies. A goal of the CalSWEC program is to recruit and prepare a diverse group of social workers for careers in public child welfare. CalSWEC provides financial support to BASW students in exchange for a commitment to work in a public child welfare agency after graduation. The intent of the program is to strengthen and enhance the quality of practice by professionally trained and educated public child welfare social workers.

The IV-E stipends provide support for full-time students enrolled in the BASW program. A CalSWEC reimbursement program is available for part-time students currently employed with the County Social Services department that provides child-welfare or assistance benefits eligibility functions. All part-time applicants must provide a letter of support from their agency administrator/director. Financial supports for awarded part-time students will include actual cost of full tuition and fees, book costs as well as a travel allowance.

Application Process

Students must first be admitted into the BASW program. Students are required to submit a CalSWEC application. The application is supplemented with various questions designed to ascertain their interest and level of commitment to a career in public child welfare. Once accepted into the program students must undergo pre-screening for county employment including fingerprinting and participation in the criminal clearance process. The student is required to sign a contract to secure full-time employment in a public child welfare agency after graduation.

Priority is given to applicants representing diverse population groups currently served by child welfare gencies in California. Fluency in a high demand language is also given priority. Years of service and other child welfare experience also weigh significantly into the selection process. Students in the program must be U.S. citizens or have a permanent visa.

An Awards Committee, made up of representatives of the CSULB Department of Social Work and representatives of public child welfare agencies from counties surrounding the University, will review and finalize selection of candidates to whom the award will be offered.


Students participating in the program must meet all the following criteria:

  1. Successful BASW admission;
  2. Maintain a C (2.0) average;
  3. Attendance at mandatory seminars/trainings on specialized topics;
  4. Have a valid driver’s license and secure use of a car as required for fieldwork;
  5. Undergo pre-screening for county employment;
  6. Complete required health screenings;
  7. Fulfill work commitment upon graduation; Students participating in the full time program sign a contract to render two years of continuous and satisfactory full-time employment in a public child welfare agency. Students in the part time program sign a contract to render one year of full time employment in their home agency for each year of IV-E education support;
  8. Students must reimburse CalSWEC if they are unable to successfully complete any of the program requirements.