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BSW Advising

Overview | Mission | Curriculum | Field Education | FAQs | Advising | Forms & Resources

The BSW advising process facilitates ongoing student engagement in the UGA Core and BSW program curricula. Students and advisors meet regularly to discuss programs of study and course sequencing, track course credits, outline semester courses, approve changes to courses, and facilitate student socialization into the profession of social work. BSW program faculty and advising staff encourage and expect all BSW majors to take initiative during the advising process and to be knowledgeable and up to date about UGA and BSW curricula requirements. Please consult the UGA Bulletin.

Listed below are several results of verbatim advising questions asked by BSW students Each question is followed by a BSW Program response. These FAQs are classified according to the student’s year of study. However, these FAQs and their responses are informative for all BSW students. Please read these carefully and use them as a first entry point screening tool for your advisement process. These FAQs will be updated annually to reflect calendar and curriculum changes.

General Advising Questions

Who is my advisor?

Contact the BSW Program Coordinator, Trelle McGinnis Turner,, 279 Williams Street, Room 127, 706-542-5420 for this information.

What are the purposes for advising in the social work program?

Advising serves several purposes. First, it assists, guides, and supports students in ensuring their completion of the UGA Core Curriculum. Second, it allows for consultation with students during their BSW program of study. Third, advising assists students with personal, and/or professional concerns they may encounter in their time at UGA. Fourth, advisors serve as resources for students needing advice or direction in academic difficulties or personal difficulties.

How do I prepare for advising?

The best way is to bring a list of written questions and concerns directly to your advisor. Also, check the courses offered for the next semester, so that your advisor can review with you the projected course schedule. Be familiar with your Degree Works, course credits and courses needed, so read this document carefully.

How frequently should I meet with my advisor?

You should meet with your advisor at least once a semester, minimally. Other meetings may be necessary as needs, concerns, issues or questions arise. The best way to contact your advisor is by email first, then by telephone.

Will I have the same advisor all the time?
Each fall semester, students are notified via a BSW listserv of their advisor. At times, a different advisor may be assigned as a way to stream line the distribution of advisees to advisor.

What do I do if I think my advisor is incorrect or misinformed about something?
If you think your advisor’s information is inaccurate, ask another advisor in the department or the BSW Program Director Dr. Leon Banks, .



Year One Students

What does the BSW major entail?

The BSW major ensures the obtainment of a degree in the social work profession. A combination of liberal-arts, pre-professional, and professional-based courses set a foundation for knowledge, practice and research skills, and an understanding of social work values and ethics. The BSW major currently requires completion of 127 credit hours with an overall UGA GPA of 2.5. Students who major in the BSW degree must achieve a grade of B- or better in all social work courses. The curriculum also includes a field practicum during the senior year which provides supervision, client contact, opportunities to develop skills and apply theoretical knowledge, and ongoing evaluations. Refer to the updated BSW Admissions Web site for more information.

Who can I speak to about majoring in social work?

Here are three persons you can talk with:
• Trelle McGinnis Turner, BSW Academic Advisor,, 279 Williams Street, Room 127, 706-542-5420.
Dr. Leon Banks, BSW Program Director,, 279 Williams Street, Room 246, 706-542-5749 or 706-542-2585.
Jeff Skinner, Senior Academic Professonal Associate,, 279 Williams Street, Room 105, 706-542-5474.

What do social workers do?

Social work focuses on assisting persons and oppressed individuals to achieve their maximum human potential. The profession is concerned with social justice and providing an environment conducive for growth and opportunities. Social workers practice in a variety of human service settings such as hospitals, juvenile corrections, nursing homes, mental health centers, and child protective services. Many of these settings are where you may have your BSW field education internship during your senior year. Among many tasks within these settings, social workers provide clients with resources and connections to community support, counseling, crisis intervention, case management, and advocacy. See the National Association of Social Work (NASW) for more information and The New Social Worker at

What is the difference between an intended major and professional major in social work?

The intended major is what first, second, and some third year students declare on their advising forms. A professional major in social work is officially declared with a BSW academic advisor and when students have completed the pre-professional requirements. The declaration of professional major in social work usually takes place during the latter part of the third year. Admission into the professional courses requires completion of pre-professional courses, a minimal overall GPA of 2.5, and a written narrative. See the BSW Curriculum for specific course information.


Year Two Students

What are some formative professional social work organizations?
There is a scholastic society, Phi Alpha ,which can be found at Students are encouraged to become student  members in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), which also includes membership in the Georgia Chapter of NASW. The BSW Program also sponsors a BSW Club, which is open to all BSW majors. Please contact the BSW Program Office for more information:

Is it possible to minor in social work?

There is no minor in social work. However, presently any UGA student may take three social work courses, SOWK 2154, SOWK 2154L, SOWK 2155, and SOWK 2156, without declaring social work as an intended major. For more information about minoring in other disciplines at UGA, you can go to the UGA Bulletin.

May I declare a major in social work and a minor or major in another area?

Yes, students often minor or major in disciplines such as Spanish, Child and Family Development, Public and International Affairs, Psychology, Religion, and others. When minoring or majoring in another discipline, it is important students carefully map and sequence all of their programs of study with their advisors.

May I take classes for my major which are not specifically named?

Yes, academic advisors can assist students in taking electives which complement their BSW program of study or may enrich their intellectual, and/or professional interests.

Are there classes I must take prior to the end of my second year?

Although not required, the School of Social Work prefers students to have completed SOWK 2154 and SOWK 2155 by the end of the second year. In order to enter the senior year, students must complete all pre-professional and UGA Core curriculum courses. Please consult your advisor for questions about sequencing of courses and refer to the BSW Curriculum.

What are study abroad opportunities at the School of Social Work?

We currently offer study abroad opportunities in Ghana and Northern Ireland. All trips involve cultural immersion and contact with social service agencies abroad. Contact David Okech, Director of Global Programs at the School of Social Work,, for more information and consult the following websites:

School of Social Work International Programs

Office of International Education (OIE)


Year Three Students

How can I find out if I am on the right track for obtaining my BSW degree?

You can discuss your past and current coursework with your advisor to determine if you are on the right track. You may also view the Degree Works on Oasis, which will outline the remaining courses needed to obtain the BSW degree.

What are some helpful electives to compliment the BSW major?

Social science electives in psychology, sociology, religion, School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), women’s studies, speech communication, and classes related to cultural diversity can augment the BSW major. You may wish to consult with your advisor about additional electives offered annually.

Can you begin your fourth program year before finishing all required course work?

No, all required pre-professional and course coursework must be completed before beginning the senior year. The senior year is composed of social work courses and field education (i.e., internship), thus leaving minimal time to work on other courses.

What are the senior year like and the field education internship?

Presently, classes meet on Wednesday and Friday. There are 17 hours of coursework each semester, including field education at a social service agency. Students work at their internships three days a week, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and are required to complete 20 hours/week or 280 hours/semester. After a few months, students learn to manage these demands successfully, and typically find their internships to be one of their most beneficial learning experiences. Also, prior to entering the senior year, students participate in an orientation session to the senior year program. See this link for more information on the BSW Field Education Program:

Is it possible to complete the BSW degree on a part-time basis?

Presently, there is no established arrangement for completing the senior-year portion of the BSW degree on a part-time basis. However, it is possible, upon formal request from the student, to alter the senior program into two years whereby all on-campus courses are taken one year and only field education is taken the following year. Such a request must be made to the BSW Program Director.



Year Four Students

Where can I find out about jobs after graduation or about graduate education in social work?

The School of Social Work has bulletin boards on the first and second floor that display and post job openings. The UGA Career Center provides a job-search engine and holds an annual spring non-profit job exposition. Students who are members of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) can view job postings on the Web site for the Georgia Chapter of NASW. Other helpful databases include and Each fall the BSW program provides workshops for students applying to graduate schools to obtain their MSW degree.

What courses and electives are typically offered during the final two remaining semesters in the BSW professional course of study?

Generalist Practice 2 and 3, Social Work Research, Social Work Policy, seminars corresponding with the field practicum, and electives related to current and topical issues in social work (e.g., substance abuse, gerontology, child abuse and neglect, social work with disabilities). The latter may vary annually.

Can I work part-time and still do well in my fourth year?

Most students do not work in their fourth year. However, students who are organized and have developed time-management skills may be able to work part-time and can do well academically in their fourth year.

How different is the senior year in social work in comparison to other majors on campus?

Most BSW seniors describe the senior year as very different and demanding, but fulfilling. There is little “down time.” Most students are resilient and adapt to the demands. Students in their senior year only have classes twice a week and work on-site at their field practicum three days a week. [The internship is 20 hours per week on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. On campus courses are held Wednesday mornings and Wednesday afternoons. The field integrative seminar and elective courses are held on Friday mornings]. Other UGA departmental majors on campus often do not consolidate classes to two days a week, allowing students the opportunity to have an internship off-campus. Most social work courses are writing-focused versus exam-focused, and students often complete assignments during the evenings and weekends due to their class and practicum schedule.

How do you make sure you have all of your classes completed so you can graduate?

You should meet with your academic advisor to discuss graduation requirements and also check your progress via Degree Works through the Office of the Registrar's website to make sure all courses have been completed. Also, during the beginning of the spring semester, each senior student’s course of study is reviewed for meeting university and BSW Program requirements.