Overall Degree Requirements

The curriculum for the BSW degree consists of a minimum of 120 credit hours attained through required and elective courses. Of these 120 credit hours, 42-45 credit hours are devoted to general/supportive liberal arts courses and 52 credit hours to social work courses (see individual campus supplements). The remaining required credits are earned through elective courses. Students are free to select elective courses, a certificate, or a minor of their choice.

The BSW program is offered on five IU campuses: Bloomington, East, Gary, Indianapolis and South Bend. Students come in through application to the School of Social Work. Application deadlines vary by campus.  Students in the BSW program must have at least a “C” in core social work courses and complete all required 100, 200, 300 level social work courses, before enrolling in the 400 level course work.

Credit for Life Experience

Academic credit for life experience and previous work experience is not given in whole or in part toward the social work degree.

General Education Requirements

Degree requirements are divided into four areas. General education, support courses, required courses and electives. General education course requirements vary by campus. Students are expected to meet the general education requirements specific to the campus to which they are applying.

The BSW Program has basic educational requirements consistent across campuses. The BSW course requirements are listed below. Work with your BSW Academic Advisor to ensure you meet both the campus and BSW general education requirements.

Program Support Courses

  • Professional Writing Skills OR a writing course approved by the student’s campus
  • Public Speaking
  • Modern American History
  • Human Biological Science
  • American Government
  • Introductory Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • A 3 credit 300 or 400 level Social Work elective, Psychology, or Sociology course

Social Work Required Courses

  • SWK-S 102 Understanding Diversity in a Pluralistic Society (3 cr.)

    Pre or Corequisite: Elementary Composition

    This course covers theories and models that enhance understanding of our diverse society. It provides content about differences and similarities in the experiences, needs, and beliefs of selected minority groups and their relation to the majority group.

  • SWK-S 141 Introduction to Social Work (3 cr.)

    Pre or Corequisite: Elementary Composition

    This course covers theories and models that enhance understanding of our diverse society. It provides content about differences and similarities in the experiences, needs, and beliefs of selected minority groups and their relation to the majority group.

  • SWK-S 221 Human Growth and Development in the Social Environment (3 cr.)

    This course assists the undergraduate social work student in building a foundation for understanding human behavior and development in diverse contexts across the life course.

  • SWK-S 251 History and Analysis of Social Welfare Policy (3 cr.)

    This course is designed to provide a historical perspective on the evolution of social welfare policies and programs and allow students to develop beginning policy analysis skills so that students will be able to identify gaps in the service delivery system and inequitable or oppressive aspects of current policy delivery.

  • SWK-S 322 Small Group Theory and Practice (3 cr.)

    Prerequisite: SWK-S 221

    The course examines the significance of the small group as both the context and means for social development of individuals and as a vehicle for generalist practice. It includes discussion of the individual as a member of a variety of groups, including the family.

  • SWK-S 331 Generalist Social Work Practice I: Theory and Skills (3 cr.)

    Pre or Corequisite: SWK-S 221 and Elementary Composition

    This course focuses primarily on the application of basic generalist social work skills that demonstrate an understanding and application of the continuum of social work practice in the helping relationship.

  • SWK-S 332 Generalist Social Work Practice II: Theory and Skills (3 cr.)

    Prerequisite: SWK-S 331 and SWK-S 251

    Pre or Corequisite: SWK-S 322 and SWK-S 352

    This practice course examines the middle and ending phases of the helping process and related skills

  • SWK-S 352 Social Welfare Policy and Practices (3 cr.)

    Prerequisite: SWK-S 251

    This second course in social welfare policy builds on S251 by exploring in depth the current social welfare delivery system through policy analysis using a variety of frameworks and developing policy practice skills. The course also develops beginning policy practice skills so that students will know how to work toward social change congruent with social work ethics and the profession’s commitment to social and economic justice.

  • SWK-S 371 Social Work Research (3 cr.)

    Prerequisite: Junior standing according to the social work curriculum.

    The general goal of this basic social science research methods course is to introduce and develop skills needed to conceptualize a problem, make use of available literature, design a research strategy, evaluate, organize, and integrate relevant data (both existing and new), derive useful solutions based on knowledge, and communicate those solutions to clients and colleagues.

  • SWK-S 423 Organizational Theory and Practice (3 cr.)

    Pre or Corequisite: SWK-S 322

    This course provides the theoretical and conceptual foundation for understanding organizational functioning and behavior, and introduces the knowledge and skills necessary for generalist social work practice and leadership within an organizational context.

  • SWK-S 433 Community Behavior and Practice within a Generalist Perspective (3 cr.)

    Prerequisite: All 300-level social work courses.

    Corequisite: SWK-S 472 and SWK-S 482.

    This course provides the theoretical foundation for community functioning and behavior and the knowledge and skills of community interventions designed to mitigate social, political and economic injustice and bring social change.

  • SWK-S 442 Practice-Policy Seminar in Fields of Practice (3 cr.)

    Prerequisite: All 300 level courses

    Corequisite: SWK-S 423 and SWK-S 481.

    Variable course topics include:

    • SWK-S 442 Practice-Policy Seminar in Field of Practice: Addictions (3 cr.)

      This course focuses the student upon a specific field of social work practice in increased depth, provides further opportunity for synthesis of student learning from previous courses, and seeks to integrate social welfare policies and policy analysis with social work practice. Case management exists within the broad area of social welfare and social services, and requires knowledge about the human condition, problems in living, the delivery of human services, and the institutions that comprise today’s social welfare system.

    • SWK-S 442 Integrated Practice/Policy Seminar: Case Management (3 cr.)

      This course focuses the student upon a specific field of social work practice in increased depth, provides further opportunity for synthesis of student learning from previous courses, and seeks to integrate social welfare policies and policy analysis with social work practice. Students will be expected to integrate the theoretical content from previous coursework and the content presented in this course with opportunities for practical application. The course emphasizes the value base of social work practice and its commitment to social and economic justice as students identify and analyze ethical dilemmas found in generalist practice. Students will be expected to explore the recent literature to build knowledge for the demonstration of research-informed practice in a specific area.

    • SWK-S 442 Integrated Practice/Policy Seminar: Children and Families (3 cr.)

      This course focuses the student upon a specific field of social work practice in increased depth, provides further opportunity for synthesis of student learning from previous courses, and seeks to integrate social welfare policies and policy analysis with social work practice. Students will be expected to integrate the theoretical content from previous coursework and the content presented in this course with opportunities for practical application. The course emphasizes the value base of social work practice and its commitment to social and economic justice as students identify and analyze ethical dilemmas found in generalist practice.

    • SWK-S 442 Policy-Practice Seminar in Field of Practice: Health Care (3 cr.)

      This course focuses the student upon a specific field of social work practice in increased depth, provides further opportunity for synthesis of student learning from previous courses, and seeks to integrate social welfare policies and policy analysis with social work practice. Students will be expected to integrate the theoretical content from previous coursework and the content presented in this course with opportunities for practical application. The course emphasizes the value base of social work practice and its commitment to social and economic justice as students identify and analyze ethical dilemmas in generalist practice.

    • SWK-S 442 Integrated Practice/Policy Seminar: Public Child Welfare (3 cr.)

      This course focuses the student upon a specific field of social work practice in increased depth, provides further opportunity for synthesis of student learning from previous courses, and seeks to integrate social welfare policies and policy analysis with social work practice. Students will be expected to integrate the theoretical content from previous coursework and the content presented in this course with opportunities for practical application. The course emphasizes the value base of social work practice and its commitment to social and economic justice as students identify and analyze ethical dilemmas found in generalist practice. Students will be expected to explore the recent literature to build knowledge for the demonstration of research-informed practice in a specific area.

    • SWK-S 442 Integrated Practice/Policy Seminar in Selected Field of Practice: Aging (3 cr.)

      This course focuses the student upon a specific field of social work practice in increased depth, provides further opportunity for synthesis of student learning from previous courses, and seeks to integrate social welfare policies and policy analysis with social work practice. Students will be expected to integrate the theoretical content from previous coursework and the content presented in this course with opportunities for practical application. The course emphasizes the value base of social work practice and its commitment to social and economic justice as students identify and analyze ethical dilemmas found in generalist practice.

  • SWK-S 472 Social Work Practice Evaluation (3 cr.)

    Prerequisite: All 300 level courses

    Corequisite: SWK-S 433 and SWK-S 482.

    This course provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to evaluate their own practice and the effectiveness of social service programs within which they work, as well as to become critical consumers of the professional literature to guide their practice.

  • SWK-S 481 Social Work Practicum I (6 cr.)

    Prerequisite: All 300 level courses

    Pre or Corequisite: SWK-S 423 and SWK-S 442.

    Field education provides the opportunity for social work students to demonstrate competency in practice, integrating knowledge, values and skills gained in the professional education curriculum. The first practicum experience in the Bachelor of Social Work program allows the student to develop and demonstrate beginning practice competency, laying the foundation for the final field experience (SWK-S 482). Students spend 15 hours per week for the 16-week semester in the agency and receive weekly supervision from an approved agency-based field instructor.

  • SWK-S 482 Social Work Practicum II (7 cr.)

    Prerequisite: SWK-S 481, SWK-S 423, and SWK-S 442

    Pre or Corequisite: SWK-S 433 and SWK-S 472.

    This course is the continuation of SWK-S 481 agency-based field experience which provides opportunities for students to demonstrate the practice behaviors outlined in the competencies defined by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in preparation for professional practice at the BSW level. The SWK-S 482 practicum placement continues at the same agency as arranged for SWK-S 481 with the student increasing the practicum time to 20 hours per week for the 16-week semester, with continued weekly supervision from an approved agency-based field instructor.