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BSW Frequently Asked Questions

Please read the following questions and answers carefully and use them as a first entry point screening tool for understanding our program and requirements. These FAQs are divided into three categories (FAQs About Social Work and the BSW Program, Lower-Division Questions, and Upper-Division Questions) and will be updated annually to reflect calendar and curriculum changes.

FAQs About Social Work and the BSW Program

1. What is social work?

Social work is “a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people… Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledge, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing."* The principles of social work included social justice, human rights, collective responsibility, respect for diversities, respect for the inherent worth and dignity of human beings, and doing no harm.

(*Adapted from the International Federation of Social Workers (ISFW) “Global Definition of the Social Work Profession”)

2. What do social workers do?

Social work focuses on assisting persons and oppressed individuals to achieve their maximum human potential. The profession is committed to social justice and providing an environment conducive for growth, opportunities, and well-being. Social workers practice in a variety of human service settings in the U.S. and globally, including but not limited to:

Hospitals Government agencies Mental health centers
Child protective services Domestic violence services Schools
Criminal Justice Homeless services Community organizations
Nursing homes Military Aging and elderly services

Many of these settings are they types of agencies 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) at: for more information.

3. What does the BSW major and program entail?

The BSW is a competencies-based major. Successful completion of the BSW major requirements ensures the obtainment of a professional social work degree. 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 120 credit hours with an overall UGA GPA of 2.5. 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 program website for more information.


4. Who can I speak to about majoring in social work?

You can contact the Social Work department by:

5. Is it possible to minor in social work?

There is no minor in social work. However, presently any UGA student may take four social work courses (SOWK 2154 (3), SOWK 2154S (1), SOWK 2155 (3), and SOWK 2156 (3)) without declaring social work as an intended major. For more information about minoring in other disciplines at UGA, visit the UGA bulletin website.


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

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


7. 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.


8. 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 you degree audit at, which will outline the remaining courses needed to obtain the BSW degree.


9. 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, public health, criminal justice, and classes related to cultural diversity can augment the BSW major. Consult your advisor for a detailed list of relevant electives, or visit our Forms and Resources page.

10. Is there an arrangement for doing the BSW degree on a part-time basis?

Presently, there is no arrangement for completing the senior-year portion of the BSW degree on a part-time basis. Academic advisors are available to help you determine your educational options.


Lower-Division Questions

11. Must I declare my major as intended social work during my first year if I wish to graduate within four years?

It is possible to complete the University and BSW requirements without starting in social work as a freshman.


12. 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 BSW Curriculum website.


13. Why can’t I take social work electives prior to my senior year?

Only two social work “electives” are available to BSW students, and they are both typically taken during a student’s senior year. The senior year consists of 5000-level designated courses in the BSW curriculum. These courses cannot be taken until completion of lower division coursework, core coursework and meeting departmental requirements including application to the upper division professional program.


14. Can you begin your senior coursework before finishing all pre-professional requirements?

No, all required pre-professional and core 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.


Upper-Division Questions

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

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.


16. 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 website for the Georgia chapter of NASW, Other databases such as and are helpful. Each fall the BSW program provides workshops for students applying to graduate schools to obtain their MSW degree.


17. What courses are offered during the final two remaining semesters in the BSW professional program?

The following chart outlines the courses that students typically take during their fourth year:

BSW - Senior Year Courses

18. 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..


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

Students in their senior year only meet for classes two days per week (Wednesday and Friday). Each of the three 3-credit classes meet once weekly for three 3 hours each. Students work on-site at their field practicum the other three days a week (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday). Other 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.


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

You must meet with your academic advisor to discuss graduation requirements and also check your degree audit on DegreeWorks 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.


21. What is “Advanced Standing” and how do I know if I’m eligible?

By completing our BSW Professional Program, student have the opportunity to achieve an “Advanced Standing” status which may be applied to a future Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. As part of our BSW program, student complete 40 credits of 5000-level courses that equate to one year of a graduate school. Advanced Standing means that student who graduate from our BSW program can then receive their MSW with only one additional year (11 months) of schooling. In less that 5 years, students are able to earn their BSW and MSW. To qualify for Advanced Standing, student must successfully complete their BSW with a minimum overall GPA of 3.2. Advanced Standing status is valid for 5 years after graduation.