Bachelor of Social Work Degree

SOCW 151 Introduction to the Profession of Social Work 3 credits
SOCW 210 Social Welfare Policy: History and Programs 3 credits
SOCW 220 Human Behavior and Social Environment 3 credits
SOCW 240 Communication and Counseling Skills 3 credits
SOCW 260 Diverse Populations: Human Rights & Justice 3 credits
SOCW 356 Generalist Practice with Individuals 3 credits
SOCW 376 Junior Integrative Seminar 2 credits
SOCW 386 Junior Field Experience 2 credits
SOCW 410 Social Welfare Policy: Analysis and Advocacy 3 credits
SOCW 455 Generalist Practice with Families and Groups 3 credits
SOCW 456 Generalist Practice with Organizations and Communities 3 credits
SOCW 475 Senior Integrative Seminar I 3 credits
SOCW 476 Senior Integrative Seminar II 3 credits
SOCW 485 Senior Field Experience I 4 credits
SOCW 486 Senior Field Experience II 4 credits
Additional Required Course
PSY 110 General Psychology 3 credits
SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology 3 credits
One of the following research methods sequences:

  • SOCW 365 Research and Statistics: Methods
  • SOCW 366 Research and Statistics: Implementations
  • SOC 319 Research Methods I: Quantitative Survey Analysis
  • SOC 320 Research Methods II: Data Analysis
  • PSY 201 Statistical Methods
  • PSY 202 Research Methods in Psychology
6 credits
TOTAL (Minimum) 51 credits

Students who wish to major or minor in social work must declare this intention with the university registrar and complete the departmental admissions process. Current students who have already been admitted to Valparaiso University and wish to declare social work as a major or minor should complete the following forms:


Criteria for Formal Admission

Valparaiso University Social Work (VUSW) acts as a gatekeeper for the profession and, as such, enacts a Formal Admission process after students are accepted into the university and declare their intention to major in Social Work with the University Registrar. The VUSW Formal Admission process applies to all students, including transfer and international students.  VUSW has five major criteria for admission:

  1. Strong desire to serve while exhibiting signs of professional readiness to promote human and community well-being.
  2. Cumulative overall university grade point average of 2.0.
  3. Cumulative grade point average of 2.5 for all VU Social Work classes.
  4. Completion of all documentation included in the Formal Admission materials found above.
  5. Formal interview with a member or members of the social work faculty.

A student who does not yet meet all five of these criteria may be admitted to the department with contingencies and a Remediation Plan to address any improvements needed to meet the criteria for admissions. In these cases, students must demonstrate that they meet the five major criteria for admission no later than the end of the Fall semester of the student’s junior year, prior to moving forward into the junior field placement.


All students who wish to major in social work must do the following:

  1. Assert this intention with the University Registrar using a Curriculum Change Form, found on the Registrar’s website at: under the subtitle of “Change to Program of Study”; and
  2. Complete the Formal Admission documentation, found above.

Evaluation begins after a student both declares intent to major in Social Work with the university registrar and completes Formal Admission documentation. In order for students to stay on track with completion of major requirements, the program follows this timeline for evaluation:

  • Action: Student completes the university process for declaring a social work major
    Completion Date: Must be completed by September 1st of the junior year.
    This deadline gives the VUSW faculty member serving as the Professional and Academic Advisor a chance to evaluate the student’s plan of study, and if needed, advise the student to enroll in all foundation courses prior to the end of the fall semester drop-add period.
  • Action: Student completes the VUSW Formal Admission documentation for faculty evaluation.
    Completion Date: Must be completed by September 15th of the junior year.
    This deadline provides enough time for the Director of Field Education to be notified about any junior students who seek to join the junior field cohort.
  • Action: Student completes the VUSW Formal Admission interview and evaluation
    Completion Date:
    Must be completed by September 30th of the junior year.
    This deadline provides sufficient time for the student to be added to the VUSW community blackboard site and the VUSW community email list to further embed the student into the VUSW community. This deadline also provides time for the student to complete documentation and activities related to junior field.

These comprehensive fees cover costs for required classroom activities and co-curricular events, as well as field education. This amount is based on a student’s year in school and the experiences in which each student will partake for that upcoming year. Currently, these fees are set at:

  • $90 each year for first and second year students
  • $350 each year for third and fourth year students

Because students graduate from the Department of Social Work with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree, students wishing to have a major in addition to social work must declare social work as their first major. Those who desire to enhance their learning by pursuing co-curricular plans of a double major or minor are encouraged to do so.