This program prepares students for beginning generalist professional practice in social work at the baccalaureate level and has been granted full accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education. All students are expected to abide by the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers.

No academic credit toward field experience or coursework is given based on previous work or life experience. Students are required to successfully complete 450 hours of supervised field practicum in agencies approved by the Department of Social Work. The Department of Social Work will make reasonable efforts to work with a student to secure an appropriate field placement, but it does not guarantee a placement. The social work program does not offer all of the required courses during the evening hours, so students should meet with their academic advisor to develop a plan to complete coursework for the degree. Field placements generally require availability during regular daytime hours.


Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the social work program, a student must have

  1. completed at least 45 credits with a GPA of 2.50 or higher;
  2. completed or be registered in:
    BIOL 103Introductory Biology I (Mason Core)4
    ENGH 101Composition (Mason Core)3
    SOCI 101Introductory Sociology (Mason Core)3
    PSYC 100Basic Concepts in Psychology (Mason Core)3
  3. earned at least a C in:
    SOCW 200Introduction to Social Work3
    SOCW 357Methods of Social Work Intervention I3
    SOCW 361Methods of Social Work Intervention I: Laboratory3
    And at least two of the following courses:
    SOCW 311Building Professional Social Work Skills3
    SOCW 312Knowledge Building for Helping Professionals3
    SOCW 375Human Behavior and the Family Life Course (Mason Core)3
    SOCW 380Changing Social Policies and Systems3
    SOCW 390Analytic Methods for Social Work Research3
  4. be enrolled in all other required 300-level SOCW courses; and 
  5. submitted an application for the social work major and the senior field practicum by the deadline stated on the BSW admissions website.

The student's application for admission to the social work major is reviewed for action by social work faculty members. A personal interview may be required.

There is no admission to the social work program in the summer. Students who have not met all criteria for admission to the major will not be considered for admission until the next academic year.


For policies governing all undergraduate degrees, see AP.5 Undergraduate Policies.

Program Requirements

To earn a bachelor's degree in social work, students must earn a grade of C or above in all Social Work classes applied to the major and must achieve a GPA of 2.50 overall. Class attendance is required in all Social Work courses. Before beginning SOCW 495 Field Practicum and Seminar I, students must successfully complete all required 200- and 300-level courses with a grade of C or above.

The Social Work faculty evaluates student performance periodically and may require students to withdraw from the program when, in their judgment, performance is not satisfactory. The decision is based on the quality of academic and field performance, as well as on personal fitness for the profession of social work. Students have the right to appeal.

A student with a criminal history may find it difficult to obtain a field placement or employment in a human service agency depending on the specific charge. It is possible that a student with a criminal background may not be able to be placed in a field practicum or complete their degree program. The Criminal Background Policy is available on the Social Work Department website.

Immunization and Fees

All students who are enrolled in a course that requires a field placement (SOCW 495 Field Practicum and Seminar I and SOCW 496 Field Practicum and Seminar II) must have an annual tuberculosis screening (PPD). In addition, students must complete the entire hepatitis B immunization series in accordance with current U.S. Public Health Service recommendations. The cost of immunizations is the responsibility of the student. The majority of agencies used for field placements require fingerprinting, a criminal background check (may be more extensive than the university requirement), and a child protective services check. Any cost related to these requirements is the responsibility of the student.

Writing Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in the 300 level or above. Students majoring in social work fulfill this requirement by successfully completing SOCW 471 Research in Social Work.

Banner Code: HH-BSW-SOCW

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 120

Mason Core

Written Communication
ENGH 101Composition (Mason Core)3
ENGH 302Advanced Composition (Mason Core)3
Oral Communication
Any Mason Core Oral Communication course3
Quantitative Reasoning
Any Mason Core Quantitative Reasoning course3
Information Technology
Any Mason Core Information Technology course3-7
Any Mason Core Literature course3
Any Mason Core Arts course3
Natural Science
BIOL 103Introductory Biology I (Mason Core)4
One 3 or 4 credit approved Mason Core Natural Science course3-4
Western Civilization
HIST 100History of Western Civilization (Mason Core)3
or HIST 125 Introduction to World History (Mason Core)
Global Understanding
Any Mason Core Global Understanding course3
Total Credits34-39

Required Courses

PSYC 100Basic Concepts in Psychology (Mason Core)3
SOCI 101Introductory Sociology (Mason Core)3
Select one from the following:3-4
Analytic Methods for Social Work Research
Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (Mason Core)
Statistics in Psychology
Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)
Total Credits9-10

Social Work Major

SOCW 200Introduction to Social Work3
SOCW 311Building Professional Social Work Skills3
SOCW 312Knowledge Building for Helping Professionals3
SOCW 357Methods of Social Work Intervention I3
SOCW 361Methods of Social Work Intervention I: Laboratory3
SOCW 358Methods of Social Work Intervention II3
SOCW 362Methods of Social Work Intervention II: Laboratory3
SOCW 375Human Behavior and the Family Life Course (Mason Core)3
SOCW 380Changing Social Policies and Systems3
SOCW 471Research in Social Work (fulfills writing intensive requirement)3
SOCW 472RS: Integrative Methods in Social Action and Social Change (Mason Core)3
SOCW 495Field Practicum and Seminar I5
SOCW 496Field Practicum and Seminar II5
Total Credits43


Select 32-34 credits of electives 132-34
Total Credits32-34


SOCW 357 Methods of Social Work Intervention I and SOCW 361 Methods of Social Work Intervention I: Laboratory (only offered in the fall semester) are prerequisites to SOCW 358 Methods of Social Work Intervention II and SOCW 362 Methods of Social Work Intervention II: Laboratory (only offered in the spring semester). Graduation may be delayed if courses are not taken in proper sequence.

Selected Social Work electives are offered each semester on a rotating basis.

Bachelors of Social Work in Social Work Sample Plan of Study

The sample plan below is a recommended sequencing of courses based on pre-requisites and scheduling. This may not fit every student's needs and is a guideline, not a requirement. Students should confirm major requirements with their academic advisor and with PatriotWeb Degree Evaluation to ensure they enroll in the proper courses and are on track to graduate.

First Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
BIOL 1034Natural Science (lab or non-lab)3-4
ENGH 101 or Oral Communication 3ENGH 101 or Oral Communication 3
Quantitative Reasoning3Literature 3
SOCI 1013HIST 100 or 1253
UNIV 100 or elective 1Elective 3
 14 15-16
Second Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
Global Understanding 3ENGH 3023
PSYC 1003SOCW 2003
Information Technology 3Arts3
Elective 3Elective 3
Elective 3Elective 3
 15 15
Third Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
SOCW 3113SOCW 3123
SOCW 3573SOCW 3583
SOCW 3613SOCW 3623
SOCW 3753SOCW 3803
Elective 3SOCW 390, STAT 250, SOCI 313, or PSYC 3003-4
Elective 1 
 16 15-16
Fourth Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
SOCW 4955SOCW 4965
SOCW 4713SOCW 4723
SOCW Elective (400 level)3SOCW Elective (400 level)3
Elective 3Elective 3
Elective 1Elective 1
 15 15
Total Credits 120-122

Detailed four year plans and degree planning checklists can be found at