May 30, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work, BSW

Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Social Work
Mary Kay Brennan, MSW, LICSW Director


The bachelor of social work program prepares students for positions as generalist social work practitioners in human services agencies, who are:

  Strongly committed to the goals, values, and ethical standards of the social work profession;

  Able to provide quality services that promote the optimal well-being of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities; and

  Committed to redress social inequities.

The program also seeks to provide a sound academic foundation for students who choose to pursue graduate study in social work.

Building on the foundations of the university’s liberal arts core, its history of Catholic social teaching, and the Jesuit educational mission, the program seeks to prepare its students with the knowledge and skills to analyze social inequity and oppression in its manifest forms. Building on the collaborative nature of the department and college in which it is situated, the program fosters an interdisciplinary approach to the understanding of social and economic injustices and how they have developed over time, how social forces influence human lives and in turn how individual and community initiatives can work toward the common good and the well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.

The major also strives to prepare students for practice in a diverse and increasingly global environment by promoting openness to, learning from, and respect for people of all faiths, cultures, and traditions.


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 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, 3110, 4010, 4020, 4030, 4110, 4120, 4340, 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 transcripts, three letters of reference, and a Washington State Patrol 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.

II. College of Arts and Sciences Requirements

  • Modern Languages 1150, 1250, 1350, or equivalent (15)


All students with a major in the College of Arts and Sciences must demonstrate competency through the level of 1350 in a language other than English. This competency is ordinarily achieved by successful completion of the three-course sequence: 1150, 1250, and 1350. Because these courses are a college requirement, no course in the sequence may be taken on a pass/fail, correspondence, or audit basis. Placement into other than the beginning course of the sequence is achieved by acceptable performance on the Modern Language Competency Examination. See the Modern Languages and Cultures Department for details on the examinations. Courses used to satisfy the College of Arts and Sciences modern language requirement may not be used to fulfill major requirements.


In order to earn the bachelor of social work degree, students must complete a minimum of 180 credits with a cumulative and a program/major grade point average of 2.00, including the following: