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USF 2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog - USF Sarasota-Manatee - Pages 214 - 215

Social Work (SOK)

The University of South Florida offers a program leading to a Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) degree in the School of Social Work, College of Arts and Sciences. This program has been developed in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Council on Social Work Education, the national accrediting body for social work education programs, and in accordance with the recommendations of the National Association of Social Workers. The B.S.W. program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The primary objective of the B.S.W. program is the preparation of the graduate for beginning level professional practice as a social work generalist.

The secondary objectives of the B.S.W. program are to

  1. Provide for the social work human resources needs of the university service district (the central Florida west coast area), the State of Florida, and the Southeast Region;
  2. Prepare graduates for additional professional training at the graduate level in social work or in related human service professions;
  3. Provide an exposure to social work as a profession and to contemporary issues in the social welfare field.

In preparing the B.S.W. graduate for beginning professional practice, the curriculum provides the student with an opportunity to develop a knowledge base and skill base as a “generalist” practitioner. The student will develop an understanding of various methods of intervention and skills in their application to a variety of client systems. For example, interventive methods may take the form of individual and group counseling, resource development, consultation, teaching, advocacy, etc. Client systems may be individuals, families, groups, organizations, or communities. The student will develop an understanding of the dynamics of human behavior in individual, group and organizational contexts and the influences of the sociocultural environment upon those behaviors. The student will learn about the development of social welfare systems and institutions and the social, economic, and political processes affecting policy development and program implementation. The student will develop an understanding of the utilization of basic social research skills particularly related to the processes of problem-solving, planning, and evaluation.

The student will also become aware of the value base of the profession and engage in a self-examination process as it relates to the development and reflection of ethical and effective professional practice. The B.S.W. program, as any professional program, places great emphasis on the development of a professionally responsible graduate in terms of one’s obligations to the client system served, the profession itself, the organization in which one works, and to the general public which ultimately provides any profession with legitimacy.

Enrollment in the B.S.W. program is limited. Students may apply for admission to the School for the B.S.W. program after having satisfied the admission criteria described below.

However, the completion of the prerequisites does not guarantee the student’s admission to the program. Limited state funding places constraints on the size of the social work faculty and in order to maintain a high quality of instruction, it is necessary to achieve an appropriate faculty-student ratio. This means that it may be necessary to deny full admission to the B.S.W. program solely on the basis of no available space. Any student applying for full admission to the program should be aware of this possibility.

A student must maintain a GPA of 2.75 minimum in social work courses while enrolled in the program and demonstrate behaviors that are congruent with professional standards and values as described above in order to proceed in the major. Any student who fails to maintain at least a 2.75 GPA in the social work major and/or demonstrates behaviors that are incongruent with the standards and values of the profession may not proceed in the major.

A social work major receiving a grade of less than “C” in a core course will be required to repeat the course. A grade of “C-” is not considered acceptable and a student receiving a “C-” in a core course must repeat the course. Furthermore, no student will be allowed to enter field placement with a “C-” grade or below in any SOW core courses, even if the student’s GPA is 2.75 or above with the inclusion of the a “C-” grade of below.

Admission to the B.S.W. program is a three stage process, i.e., common prerequisites, provisional courses, and core curriculum. Any student who holds a minimum of sophomore standing and is completing common prerequisite work in political science, biology, economics, psychology and sociology (see specific requirements below) may declare a social work major. At this stage, students may file a declaration of major form with the College of Arts and Sciences, Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies. All majors will be assigned to an advisor within the School who will assist the student in selecting courses. Many students will have already taken most of the common prerequisite courses as part of general education at USF or in their course of study at a community college. After completion, a student will be ready for courses in the provisional social work major, a final step in applying for full admission to the B.S.W. program as a full major. It is necessary to be admitted as a full major before taking core social work courses.

Admission requirements for the social work full major are as follows:

  1. A student must have completed a minimum of one semester as a provisional social work major.
  2. A student must have completed required common prerequisites and provisional courses (see listing).
  3. A student must complete an application for full admission and file it with the School of Social Work before the beginning of the semester in which admission is sought; dates will be announced in provisional courses.
  4. A student may be asked to complete an admission interview with a favorable action from the Undergraduate Committee.
  5. A student must achieve a grade of “B” or better in SOW 3302, “Introduction to Social Work” and SOW 3203, “The American Social Welfare System,” to be considered for full admission. A grade of “B-” is not acceptable in either “Introduction to Social Work” or “American Social Welfare.”
  6. A student must have successfully completed CLAST.

A student must achieve a GPA of 2.75 in all Social Work courses to enroll in field placement and subsequently graduate with the B.S.W. degree.

Requirements for the Major in Social Work

Prerequisites (State Mandated Common Prerequisites)
Social Work is a limited access program. Students wishing to transfer to USF may complete the A.A. degree at the community college. Some courses required for the major may also meet General Education Requirements thereby transferring maximum hours to the university. If students transfer with fewer than 60 semester hours of acceptable credit, the students must meet the university’s entering freshman requirements including ACT or SAT test scores, GPA, and course requirements.

The transfer student should also be aware of the immunization, foreign language, and continuous enrollment policies of the university.

If possible, students enrolled in community colleges should take their college equivalents of common prerequisite courses (P) and cross-cultural provisional course (P*) before entering USF. All courses must be passed with a “C” or better. A grade of “C-” is not acceptable as a passing grade in any of the common prerequisite courses or the cross-cultural course.

SOW 3302 Introduction to Social Work and SOW 3203 American Social Welfare must be taken at USF or another accredited institution and must be completed, earning a grade of “B” or better. A grade of “B-” is not acceptable as a passing grade for either course.

State Mandated Common Prerequisite Courses (P)
A student must successfully complete the following courses, by earning a “C” or better. A grade of “C-” is not acceptable as a passing grade.

One course in each of the following cognate areas

At USF, the following courses are recommended to meet this requirement (one course in each area):

American Government





Foundation Courses (F*) for Social Work Majors (May be completed after transferring to USF).

  1. A student must successfully complete by earning a “C” or better one of the following cross cultural courses or equivalency. A grade of “C-” is not acceptable as a passing grade for any of the following courses.

    African American Studies:



    Women’s Studies:

  2. Both of the following Social Work courses, earning a “B” or better:

Social Work Core Courses

  1. Human Behavior and Social Environment Courses
    SOW 3101 (4)     SOW 3102 (4)

  2. Social Welfare: Policy & Program Course
    SOW 4233 (4)

  3. Social Research Course
    SOW 3401 (4)

  4. Social Work Practice Courses
    SOW 4341 (5)     SOW 4343 (5)

  5. Directed Field Experience
    SOW 4510 (3)     SOW 4510L (6)

  6. Multi-cultural America
    SOW 4522 (3)

  Core Courses 29 hours
  Field Experience 9 hours
  TOTAL 38 hours

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Office of Undergraduate Studies
Effective Date: Semester I, 2004