Jun 22, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work

Mary Kay Brennan, DSW, MSW, LICSW, Director

Mission and Competencies

The Bachelor of Social Work Program mission is to prepare undergraduate students to become competent and effective entry-level, generalist social work professionals who value and respect diversity, anchor economic and social justice and human rights as central to their practice, and seek to use their knowledge based on scientific inquiry and skills to improve and community human well-being. A social work major prepares students to analyze social inequities, oppression and discrimination, effectively advocate for social change, and practice competently with diverse populations. Generalist social work practice involves the use of social work knowledge, professional values, and an array of skills that can be adapted to work with diverse client systems of all sizes in a variety of settings.

Generalist social work practitioners are prepared to employ critical thinking to flexibly choose among practice skills and roles employed through a process of planned change to intervene with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations and a variety of social problems. A BSW degree is a nationally recognized and highly versatile practice degree, as social workers are found in a variety of settings (i.e., medical, school, child welfare, nonprofits, mental health) performing a range of roles.

The curriculum (course work and 450-hour practicum) prepares students to meet the following Council on Social Work Education competencies:

  1. Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
  2. Engage diversity and difference in practice.
  3. Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.
  4. Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice
  5. Engage in policy practice
  6. Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  7. Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  8. Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  9. Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities


Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

General Program Requirements

Upon admission to Seattle University, students may declare social work as a major. Students are social work major candidates (SOCW.CAND) until they formally apply to the program during the fall of their junior year. During candidacy, students must enroll in the foundation course, SOCW 1510 Introduction to Social Work and earn a C or better. They are also advised into several upper division social work courses that are required for the major and minor. Declaring candidacy in the major as early as possible is encouraged so that students may be accurately advised and mentored. Once admitted to the program, students take additional advanced required courses in theory, research, practice, social policy, and a 450 hour field practicum.

All Social Work majors, including candidates, must obtain a minimum grade of C (2.00) or better in required courses (SOCW 1510, 2010, 3010, 3020, 3040, 3050, 3110, 4010, 4020, 4030, 4110, 4120,   4610, 4620, and 4630).

Academic Progression in Social Work

Major degree candidates (SOCW.CAND) are required to internally apply to the program for admission in order to progress toward a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. The program disseminates application packets to all eligible candidates in the fall and are due January 15th. Application eligibility requirements include:

  • SU admitted and declared social work major candidates
  • Junior level standing (90 credits)
  • Overall GPA of 2.50
  • Completion of Module I of the Core
  • SOCW 1510 - Introduction to Social Work   with a C or better

Acceptance to progress as a social work degree major is based on faculty review of completed applications which contain a personal statement, academic program evaluation, three letters of reference, and a criminal background check. Students are referred to the Social Work Program Student Handbook and an Application packet for a more detailed description of the application process. Eligibility to progress in the major and receive the BSW degree is contingent on acceptance.

Students complete a 450-hour Field Practicum (SOCW 4510, 4520, 4530) during their senior year. Students are placed at social service agencies and are supervised by approved social work professionals. The Social Work Program Handbook provides a more detailed description of the Program’s Field Education.

Extensive advising about social work as a career, the BSW program, and admissions procedures is available to all interested students from the program director. Please contact the director or the program administrative assistant for more information.


Social Work, BSW  
Social Work with Departmental Honors, BSW 
Social Welfare Minor  


    Undergraduate MajorUndergraduate Minor