Bachelor of Social Work

Please see upcoming BSW recruitment events here:


The UNC Charlotte BSW Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the national accrediting body for social work education programs.  The BSW degree prepares graduates for generalist social work practice.  Generalist practice relates to utilizing multiple types of intervention that would be useful for different types of social systems and client populations.  Emphases are placed on the following: 

  • development of therapeutic working relationships with clients
  • assessment of client systems from a diversity-affirming, ecological systems perspective
  • establishment of accurate and appropriate problem definitions and goals for intervention
  • utilization of varying intervention approaches, depending on the unique characteristics and needs of diverse client systems; linkage with resources
  • empowerment through identifying client strengths and enhancing client problem-solving, coping, and developmental capacities
  • application of baccalaureate-level research and evaluation methods 

All of these emphases related to generalist practice are centered in professional social work values and ethics within an increasingly global environment and are designed to affirm the human rights of diverse groups of people, especially populations-at-risk and groups which have historically been oppressed due to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, age, and ability.

UNC Charlotte BSW graduates are employed in a variety of areas such as child protective services, substance abuse treatment, hospitals, youth and children services, criminal justice, adoptions/foster care, hospice, and long term care.  They work from the coast to the mountains of North Carolina as well as all across the United States.

Comments from BSW Students:

"As an adult student in the BSW Program at UNC Charlotte, the staff and faculty were supportive and respectful.  During classes, open communication was always encouraged and my life events were valued and kept confidential.  As a non-traditional student in the BSW Program, it is still possible to make lifetime connections."  Lakeysha Sawyer, Class of 2015, President of Social Work Club

"The Social Work Club has become an opportunity for me as a Criminal Justice major and Sociology minor, to embrace my community by advocating for better community outreach.  Carpe diem."  October Evans

"I'm excited to explore everything this program has to offer.  Social work as a whole is great to be involved in and I look forward to spreading its positive message of uplifting various communities."  Chanel Pratt, Secretary of the BSW Club, 2015-2016

BSW Upper Division Progression

Upper Division Progression

Students must apply for Upper Division BSW admission through the School of Social Work.  Once accepted and admitted as an Upper Division student, students will matriculate through a rigorous academic course of study.  Please see BSW Admissions to learn more about the admission process.  Students accepted into the program, must adhere to the following social work degree requirements:

  1. Grade Point Average 

Students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.25 in the social work major.  Failure to maintain minimum GPA requirements will result in dismissal from the major.

  1. Course Grades

Students must receive a grade of C or better in every Upper Division SOWK course and a grade of P in every field practicum course. Students who receive two grades of D or F during matriculation in Upper Division will be dismissed from the major.

  1. Course Repeat

Students who earn a grade of D or F are permitted one course repeat (i.e., students may pursue a course repeat on one occasion only during matriculation in Upper Division).   Students who repeat a course and achieve a grade of C or higher may continue to progress in Upper Division.  Students who receive a grade of D or F for a course repeat will be dismissed from the major.

  1. Field Repeat

Students are permitted to apply to repeat a field practicum course only once.  The Field Committee will review the student’s application to repeat field, as well as their overall performance in the Program, and then render a decision as to whether the student will be permitted to repeat the field practicum course.  Field Committee denial decisions for repeating a field practicum course will result in a student’s dismissal from the major.  In addition, a student who is permitted to repeat a field practicum course and does not achieve a grade of P will be dismissed from the major.

Program Mission and Goals 

Consistent with the mission, vision and values of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the College of Health and Human Services, the BSW Program educates generalist social work professionals to be able to:  1) promote community well-being by seeking social and economic justice; 2) pursue the elimination of poverty; 3) prevent conditions that limit human rights; and 4) seek to enhance the quality of life for all.  A person and environment construct, a global perspective, respect for human diversity, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry drive the curriculum.

The curriculum of the BSW Program emphasizes effective social work practice in North Carolina's largest urban area, a rapidly growing multi-county setting where numerous vulnerable people, families and groups reside.  The Charlotte region includes the nation's third largest public nonprofit healthcare system as a feature of its unique historical, social, and cultural milieu(1).  The educational program promotes a secure learning environment, accomodates a diverse student body including many first generation college students, and transfer students.


1.  Graduates of the UNC-Charlotte BSW Program will be able to:

     a.  Use a wide range of prevention and intervention methods in their practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities;

     b.  Apply ethical principles, critical thinking, and incorporate diversity in their practice;

     c.  Recognize, support, and build on the strengths and resiliency of all human beings; and

     d.  Engage in research informed practice, respond proactively to the impact of context on professional practice, and integrate all of the BSW Program's core competencies in practice.
2.  Graduates of the UNC-Charlotte BSW Program will practice generalist social work in a manner that values service, social justice, the dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, integrity, competence, human rights, safety and scientific inquiry.
(1)Carolinas Healthcare System.  2014). About us.  Retrieved from


BSW Academic Plan of Study

The school highly advises that all interested students and current students thoroughly review the BSW Academic Plan of Study.  It contains a program summary, program requirements, minimum criteria for admission, a summary of credit hours, and suggested plan of study.

BSW Student Program Handbook

Comprehensive information about the BSW Program curriculum and policies can be found in the BSW Student Program Handbook.  All BSW students are responsible for adhering to the policies and requirements of the Program as delineated in the Handbook.

BSW Degree Requirements

The major in Social Work is based on a liberal arts foundation, augmented by social work and social work-related courses.  In addition to completing all University general education requirements, the BSW major requires that students complete 65 credits made up of 44 credits in required SOWK courses and 21 credits in required courses from other disciplines.  The core SOWK courses for the social work major are: SOWK 1101, 2182, 2183, 3120, 3133, 3181, 3182, 3184, 3199, 3201, 3202, 3482, 3484, 3900, and 3988. Other required courses for the social work major are SOCY 1101, BIOL 1110, BIOL 1110L; PSYC 1101, POLS 1110, and PSYC 3151. Students must acquire a minimum of 120 total credits in order to graduate from UNC Charlotte.

BSW Course Descriptions

SOWK course descriptions are listed here.  Descriptions for required related-discipline courses may be found in the University Undergraduate Catalog.

SOWK 1101 The Field of Social Work (3)
Students will learn about the social work profession, including its history, values, and areas of professional practice.  (Fall, Spring, Summer).

SOWK 2182 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (3)
Prerequisite: BIOL1110, BIOL 1110 Lab, SOCY 1101, and PSYC 1101. Prerequisite or corequisite: SOWK1101. Students will focus on human development within the biological, psychological and social structure as it occurs throughout the life span.  (Fall, Summer).

SOWK 2183 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II (3)
Prerequisite:  SOWK 2182. Students will learn the foundational frameworks for understanding human interaction between individuals, families, communities, and larger social systems.  (Spring, Summer).

SOWK 3120 Diversity and Populations-at-Risk (3)
Prerequisite: Upper Division standing. Students will analyze issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, and ability within social work practice.  (Fall).

SOWK 3181 Practice Methods I (3)
Prerequisite: Upper Division standing.  Corequisite: SOWK 3900, 3202. Students will develop competencies in generalist social work practice methods with an emphasis on working with individuals.  (Spring)

SOWK 3182 Practice Methods II (3)
Prerequisite: Upper Division standing, SOWK 3181.  Corequisite: SOWK 3482. Students will develop competencies in generalist social work practice methods with an emphasis on working with families and groups.  (Fall)

SOWK 3184 Practice Methods III (3)
Prerequisite: Upper Division standing and SOWK 3182.  Corequisite: SOWK 3484. Students will develop competencies in generalist social work practice methods with an emphasis on working with communities and large systems. (Spring)

SOWK 3201 Foundations of Social Welfare (3) (W)
Prerequisite: Upper Division standing. Corequisite: SOWK 3202. Students will learn about the history of and current trends in social welfare, as well as values and conflicts that influence social welfare programming.  (Fall)

SOWK 3202 Social Welfare Policy (3) (W)
Prerequisite: Upper Division standing and Prerequisite: SOWK 3201. Students will learn to critically analyze social welfare policy, including policy development and reform processes and outcomes.  (Spring)

SOWK 3133 Community Engagement and Outreach (3)
Prerequisite: Upper Division standing.  Corequisite: SOWK 3120 and SOWK 3199. Students will engage in experiential learning in order to effectively prepare them for social work practice with vulnerable populations, and specifically to enhance their ability to build relationships and facilitate access. (Fall)

SOWK 3482 Field Practicum I (5)
Prerequisite: Upper division standing, SOWK 3181. Corequisite 3182. Students will complete an approved supervised field experience 16 hours per week. Students concurrently participate in a field seminar to reinforce and enhance their field experience. (Fall)

SOWK 3484 Field Practicum II (6)
Prerequisite: Upper division standing, SOWK 3182 & SOWK 3482.  Corequisite: SOWK 3184. Students will complete an approved supervised field experience 24 hours per week. Students concurrently participate in a field seminar to reinforce and enhance their field experience. (Spring)

SOWK 3900 Social Work Research I (3)
Prerequisite: Upper Division standing. Students will be introduced to scientific and ethical approaches to building knowledge while focusing on quantitative and qualitative research methods, research design and sampling techniques.  (Spring).

SOWK 3988 Research II (3)
Prerequisite: Upper Division standing, SOWK 3900.  Corequisite: SOWK 3182 & SOWK 3482. Students will comprehend quantitative and qualitative research and understand scientific and ethical approaches to building knowledge. (Spring)

SOWK 3199 Professional Behaviors, Ethics, & Communication (3)
Prerequisite: Upper Division standing.  Corequisite: SOWK 3120 & SOWK 3133. Students will explore issues related to professional values, professional identity, continual learning, and best practices for social workers in a variety of practice situations. (Fall)

Approved Population Courses  

Courses not on the approved list can be submitted for approval by filling out the populations group form.

Population Groups Form

Students are required to complete four 3-hour courses examining varying population groups of interest to social work.  Please click on the link for a listing of preapproved population courses.

Field Placement and Education

Field education is a critical component of the BSW major and occurs during the fall and spring semesters of the senior year.  Students are required to complete an application for field education during the semester prior to entering field placement. The Director of Field Education reviews all applications and meets with students to plan their field education experience.  To the extent feasible, efforts are made to place students in field settings that are congruent with their professional social work practice interests.  All field placement agencies must be located within a 50 mile radius of the University.  In addition, all field placement settings must provide generalist practice learning opportunities and meet the UNC Charlotte School of Social Work requirements for BSW field instruction. Students are not permitted to make contacts with potential field agencies or potential field instructors without the approval of the Field Director.  All placement arrangements must be initiated by the Field Director.   Please click on Field Education (hyperlink here) for additional information about the Field Education program and requirements.

BSW Program Contacts 

BSW Program Director:
Diana Rowan, Associate Professor, School of Social Work
CHHS 498


School of Social Work Office of Admissions:


Clinical Assistant Professor and Interim Field Director:

Dr. Ticola Ross, MSW, LCSWA, CHHS Building, 489A
CHHS Building, 489B


Assistant Director of Field Placement:

Ms. Heather Douglas, M.S.W., LCSW, School of Social Work
CHHS Building, 499A


Contact for Additional Information

For information about the BSW degree, academic advising, and pursuing the BSW major, Contact:

Ms. Na'Cole Wilson, 704-687-7922,

CHHS Academic Advising Center - College of Health and Human Services - Room 103


For Information about applying for admission to UNC Charlotte, contact:

Office of Admissions
Cato Hall
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28223-0001
Phone:  704-687-2213


Additional Resources:

  1. Central Academic Advising Website (
  2. College’s Advising Center Website
  3. General Education Requirements (
  4. Undergraduate Catalog (
  5. Graduate Catalog (
  6. Final Exam Schedule (
  7. Official University Academic Calendar (
  8. University Career Center (
  9. Office of Registrar (
  10. Writing Resource Center (
  11. Tutorial Services, Supplemental Instruction, Other Academic Support (
  12. Student Scholarships


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