School of Social Work
BA in Social Work
The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (commonly referred to as a BSW) prepares the student for professional practice of social work at the entry level. Students with a BSW can become licensed at the LSW level in the State of Maine.
The major in social work consists of 46 credits in required social work courses. In addition, 30 credits of foundation courses must be completed in other departments. Some of these foundation courses may also be used to satisfy the Core curriculum requirements as appropriate. Students shall not be eligible to repeat a class more than once without the written permission of the director of the School of Social Work.
To major in social work, all students must maintain a 2.5 over all cumulative grade point average, and a grade of C (2.0) or better in all major and foundation classes. In order to prepare for the field work component in the School of Social Work, students must take SWO 393 Methods of Social Work Practice I in the spring semester preceding their field work year.
To qualify for enrollment in SWO 393, students must: 1) have at least 60 credits by the time of completion of the fall semester preceding SWO 393; they must have successfully completed English composition, statistics (MAT 120, PSY 201 or LOS 120), SOC 100, PSY 100, POS 101, ECO 101, HRD/SBS 200 or PSY 220, SWO 201 and SWO 250; and 2) continue with a 2.5 cumulative GPA overall; (3) students must take SWO 365 and SWO 370 as a pre or co-requisite with SWO 393 in order to take the course. For transfer students who have met core requirements, they must take SWO 201 and SWO 250 as pre-requisites, and they need SWO 365 and SWO 370 as pre-requisites or co-requisites with SWO 393. All students are required to maintain the 2.5 GPA and achieve a grade of C or better in all social work and required foundation courses to complete the major. Please see the Student Handbook and Field Work manual on our website (http://usm.maine.edu/swo) for additional information about requirements of field work. All required courses with their pre-requisites can be viewed there.
During the field work year which occurs in the student's last academic year, each student is placed in a community social service agency approved by the School of Social Work. Placements begin only in the fall semester and continue throughout the academic year. By the end of the spring semester, each student will have completed 480 hours of field work. All students should refer to School guidelines governing field work for more information and directions.
Required Social Work Courses
Please refer to the BSW course listings for course pre-requisites located at: http://usm.maine.edu/swo/
SWO 150 Professional Writing Laboratory for Social Workers
SWO 201 Introduction to Social Work
SWO 250 Introduction to Social Welfare
SWO 333 Social Work Research I
SWO 334 Social Work Research II
SWO 350 Social Welfare Policy
SWO 365 Examining Oppression and Valuing Diversity
SWO 370 Human Behavior in the Social Environment
SWO 393 Methods of Social Work Practice I
SWO 403 Methods of Social Work Practice II
SWO 404 Methods of Social Work Practice III
SWO 411 Field Work I
SWO 412 Field Work II
* 1 SWO Elective
Required Foundation Courses in Other Departments
ENG 100 College Writing
ECO 101 Introduction to Macroeconomics
POS 101 Introduction to American Government
PSY 100 Introduction of Psychology
An introductory statistics course (MAT 120, PSY 201, or LOS 120)
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
HRD/SBS 200 Multicultural Human Development
or PSY 220 Psychology of the Lifespan
Three intermediate-level (200-399) social science electives. These electives may be from sociology, psychology, criminology, SBS, anthropology, geography, political science, economics, food studies, or women's studies courses.* These elective courses should be selected in consultation with the student's advisor. These may not all be in the same discipline, with the exception of either external transfer students or Lewiston-Auburn College students.
* A student may take a second social work elective (SWO), in which case only two (2) intermediate-level social science electives are required.
Recommended Course Sequence
During the first years at the University, with the assistance of professional advisors, students enroll in a combination of classes fulfilling their Core curriculum requirements, required foundation courses for social work (classes in other fields required by the major), and the major itself. Once students earn 54 credits, social work faculty advisors work with students to plan for social work major courses. Because many classes are prerequisites for other classes, students must carefully sequence their courses with help from their advisors. The model below indicates the desired program for social work majors; starred (*) classes indicate the class is a prerequisite for other social work requirements.
Year 1 (30 credits)
Core Entry Year Experience (EYE)
Core College Writing
Core Creative Expression
Core Cultural Interpretation
MAT 100 Mathematics Bridge
POS 101 Introduction to American Government*
PSY 100 Introduction of Psychology*
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology*
HRD/SBS 200 Multicultural Human Development* or PSY 220: Psychology of the Lifespan
Year 2 (30 credits)
Core Science Exploration
Core Electives or Minor
ECO 101 Introduction to Economics*
Statistics (MAT 120, PSY 201 or LOS 120) (fulfills Core Quantitative Reasoning)
SWO 150 Professional Writing Lab
SWO 250 Introduction to Social Welfare*
SWO 365 Examining Oppression and Valuing Diversity (fulfills Core Diversity)
Upper Level (200+) Social Sciences (see acceptable options below)
Year 3 (30 Credits)
Core Ethical Inquiry
SWO 333 Social Work Research I* (fall semester)
SWO 334 Social Work Research II (spring semester)
SWO 350 Social Welfare Policy
SWO 370 Human Behavior and Social Environment
SWO 393 Social Work Methods I (spring semester) *
Upper Level (200+) Social Science
General electives or Minor
*Prerequisites for SWO 393 include:
- Students must have at least 60 credits at the completion of the fall semester before taking SWO 393; they must have successfully completed English composition, statistics, SOC 100, PSY 100, POS 101, ECO 101, HRD/SBS 200 or PSY 220, SWO 201 and 250 at the time of enrollment; students must take SWO 365 and SWO 370 as pre or co-requisites with SWO 393 in order to take the course. For transfer students who have met core requirements, they must take SWO 201 and SWO 250 as pre-requisites, and they need SWO 365 and SWO 370 as pre-requisites or co-requisites with SWO 393.
- All students must have a minimum of a 2.5 cumulative GPA.
**Social Sciences include courses in sociology, psychology, criminology, SBS, anthropology, geography, political science, economics, food studies, or women's studies (or one additional upper level SWO elective).
Year 4 (30 Credits)
SWO 403 Social Work Methods II (spring semester)
SWO 404 Social Work Methods III (fall semester)
SWO 411 Field Work I (fall semester)
SWO 412 Field Work II (spring semester)
Social Work Elective
General electives or Minor (to reach the required minimum of 120 credits)
To assure consistency and avoid confusion, it is important that social work majors meet with their advisors on a regular basis. Students receive advising from a designated professional advisor for the social work major until they earn 54 credits, at which time they should start meeting regularly with their assigned social work faculty advisor. Professional and social work faculty advisors collaborate closely to support students. Advising in the School of Social Work is a mutual process of exploring career objectives, reviewing School requirements, designing the best possible combination of required courses and electives, determining proper course sequencing, and facilitating a collaborative relationship between the student and the School.
For the best overall Financial Aid package, submit your USM application and complete your FAFSA by January 15. However, you can apply at any time. Undergraduate applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.