Social Work Major

Requirements

Coursework for the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) covers topics such as clinical interviewing and case management skills, human rights and social justice, community transformation and leadership, child welfare, group dynamics, and more.

A total of 68-73 units is required for the major, and a minimum 2.5 grade-point average (GPA) is required in all major courses, including specified General Education courses. Students must pass all required courses with a C or higher, and must maintain a 2.5 GPA to remain in the major.

Specified General Education Requirements9
General Psychology 1
Introduction to Sociology 1
Social Justice Foundations for Human Rights 2
Biology Requirement3-8
Select one of the following: 3
Fundamentals of Biology 4
General Biology I 4
Cognitive Neuroscience
Human Anatomy
and Human Physiology
Core Requirements
MATH 130Introduction to Statistics 53
SOCW 250Introduction to Social Work 63
SOCW 251Social Welfare Policy and Service3
SOCW 310Human Behavior and the Social Environment I3
SOCW 311Human Behavior and the Social Environment II3
SOCW 332Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families3
SOCW 350Aging: Implications for Policy and Practice3
SOCW 351Child Welfare3
SOCW 360Soc Work Practice with Groups3
SOCW 466Field Internship I4
SOCW 468Field Internship II4
SOCW 467Senior Practicum Seminar I 7, 83
AND
SOCW 469Senior Practicum Seminar II 73
SOCW 478Social Work Research Methods 73
SOCW 479Writing 3: Social Work Research Project 93
Select one of the following:3
Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations 7
Community Transformation 10
Social Work Electives 116
Select one of the following:
Understanding International Social Problems and Services through Study Abroad
Grant and Proposal Writing
Family Violence
Substance Use Disorders: Assessment and Intervention
Suffering: Theological and Practical Perspectives on Disabilities
Introduction to International Development
Introduction to Nonprofit Management
Readings in Social Work
Select another course from the above group or one of the following:
The Asian American Experience
The African American Experience
The Chicano(a)/Latino(a) Experience
Principles and Practice of Community Engagement (available only through study away) 6
Ministry Organization and Administration
Christian Values and Human Sexuality
Abnormal Psychology
Psychology of Exceptional Children
Intervention Strategies with Children
Counseling
Human Diversity 2
Immigrant L.A. (only available through L.A. Term.)
The Sociology of Gender
Social Movements
Crime and Delinquency
Social Stratification
Total Units68-73

Suggested Plan of Study

A minimum of 120 units are needed to graduate. This includes units toward General Education, major, and/or minor requirements.

Plan of Study Grid
Year I
FallUnits
GE 100 First-Year Seminar (Required first term) 3
WRIT 110 Writing 1: The Art and Craft of Writing 3
MIN 108 Christian Life, Faith, and Ministry 3
PSYC 110 General Psychology 3
SOCW 250 Introduction to Social Work 3
 Units15
Spring
BIOL 101
Fundamentals of Biology
or General Biology I
or Cognitive Neuroscience
or Human Anatomy and Human Physiology
3-8
SOC 120 Introduction to Sociology 3
PHIL 100 Introduction to Philosophy 3
UBBL 100 Introduction to Biblical Literature: Exodus/Deuteronomy 3
GE Humanities: Fine Arts 3
 Units15-20
Year II
Fall
UBBL 230 Luke/Acts 3
Foreign Language Requirement 1 1 4
Writing 2: Genre, Evidence and Persuasion 3
SOCW 251 Social Welfare Policy and Service 3
SOCW 310 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I 3
 Units16
Spring
SOCW 311 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II 3
Upper Division Bible Course 3
COMM 111 Public Communication 3
GE Humanities: Literature 3
Foreign Language Requirement 1 4
 Units16
Year III
Fall
MATH 130 Introduction to Statistics 3
SOCW 275 Social Justice Foundations for Human Rights 3
SOCW 332 Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families 3
SOCW 351
Child Welfare
or Aging: Implications for Policy and Practice
3
Theology 3
 Units15
Spring
SOCW 333 Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations 3
SOCW 350
Aging: Implications for Policy and Practice
or Child Welfare
3
SOCW 360 Soc Work Practice with Groups 3
GE Humanities: History 3
Physical Education 1
 Units13
Year IV
Fall
SOCW 467 Senior Practicum Seminar I 3
SOCW 466 Field Internship I 4
SOCW 478 Social Work Research Methods 3
Social Work Elective 3
Minor or Elective Units 3
 Units16
Spring
SOCW 469 Senior Practicum Seminar II 3
SOCW 468 Field Internship II 4
SOCW 479 Writing 3: Social Work Research Project 3
Social Work Elective 3
 Units13
 Total Units119-124

Field Internships

Field education is a required component of the BSW curriculum. The field application and placement process occurs during the term prior to the onset of field internships. Over the course of the program, students complete a 400+-hour internship, with a focus on applying and integrating professional social work knowledge, values, and skills in a supervised community agency setting. Students are concurrently enrolled in field seminar during field internship terms. Field credit is not given for life experiences or for previous or current work experience. Students are required to obtain their own malpractice insurance prior to entering their field internship. Information regarding insurance is available through the BSW program. Students are responsible for ensuring they have reliable transportation to and from field internship agencies.

Field education faculty select field internship sites using strict criteria consistent with accreditation standards set forth by the Council on Social Work Education, including the congruence of field agency mission and goals with professional social work ethics and standards. Field agencies must also provide student supervision consistent with accreditation requirements.

Transfer of Credits

Students transferring from CSWE-accredited undergraduate social work programs may submit to their advisor a list of social work courses completed within the last five years for evaluation for transfer of credits. Each course will be evaluated by the department on a case-by-case basis for compatibility with program requirements. General Education requirements for the major will be assessed by the One Stop | Registrar. Students who leave the BSW program must reapply for admission to the BSW program if the absence is two years or more.

Social Work Student Conduct Code

In addition to maintaining academic standards, students must demonstrate adherence to the Department of Social Work conduct code. Violation of the code may result in probation or termination from the program. Refer to the BSW Student Handbook (PDF) for the full description of the conduct code and appeals process.

SOCW 250, Introduction to Social Work, 3 Units

This course introduces students to the social work profession, social welfare system, and policies in the United States. The course examines the requirements for social work practice, articulates the identity of the profession, and discovers the various settings of social work practice. Meets the General Education Requirement: Civic Knowledge and Engagement. 

SOCW 251, Social Welfare Policy and Service, 3 Units

This course examines social welfare policies and programs developed to meet human needs in American society. The course explores diversity of political, cultural, historical, economic, and ideological influences on social welfare policy. The course explores how critical thinking advances social and economic justice and delivery of effective social work services.

SOCW 275, Social Justice Foundations for Human Rights, 3 Units

The Social Justice Foundations in Human Rights course will examine assumptions and biases in regards to race, age, social class, religion, gender, sexual orientation and ability. This course will evaluate causes of community concern in the areas of civil rights, immigration, poverty, human trafficking, disabilities and war. It will review issues of oppression and discrimination. This course will have students gain insight and self-awareness in their interactions with individuals of from different cultural backgrounds. Students will practice developing action plans to promote social justice in targeted groups. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence. 

Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing

SOCW 310, Human Behavior and the Social Environment I, 3 Units

This course is a study from a multi-theoretical perspective of the interaction of cultural, biological, psychological, social, spiritual, and environmental reciprocal interactions. This course focuses on human development from birth through adolescence. The knowledge of human behavior and the social environment will be applied utilizing bio-psycho-social-spiritual frameworks to guide the process of assessment, intervention, and evaluation.

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing, recommended SOC 120 and PSYC 110

SOCW 311, Human Behavior and the Social Environment II, 3 Units

This course is a study from a multi-dimensional perspective of the interaction of cultural, biological, psychological, social, spiritual, and environmental influences that promote or deter the development of individuals from young adulthood through old age and death. This course builds upon the material presented in HBSE I, and further explores theoretical models for understanding and assessing macro systems.

Prerequisite: SOCW 310 and Sophomore standing

SOCW 332, Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families, 3 Units

This is the first of a two-semester, three-course practice sequence wherein the student will identify professional generalist social work practice behaviors. The course will develop the student's ability to think critically and apply social work ethical principles to guide practice. The course uses evidence-based practice methods in practice which engage, assess, intervenes, and evaluates individuals and families.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: Application and acceptance into the Social Work Major

SOCW 333, Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations, 3 Units

Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations is another course in the generalist social work practice sequence. The Course will focus on macro social work practice, community organizing, and development. The course will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed for ever-changing contexts and the social service delivery systems used to respond to such contexts.

Prerequisite: SOCW 250, SOCW 332

SOCW 335, Community Transformation, 6 Units

This course offers a formal and experiential study of the transformation of urban, multicultural communities with the goal of developing a service ethic through a semester-long internship. Involves directed reading, reflective papers, a service practicum, and group discussions-- aimed at both the transformation of the student community and the wider L.A. community. Course is available only through the L.A. Term Program.

SOCW 350, Aging: Implications for Policy and Practice, 3 Units

This course offers an introduction to social work practice with older adults with attention given to current research, policies, and problems faced by the elderly, and the impact of the older adult population on society. Resources, programs, and services which focus on the well-being for the older adult population will be introduced.

Prerequisite: SOCW 251 or instructor consent

SOCW 351, Child Welfare, 3 Units

Students explore programs and policies that have been developed to meet the well-being of children and families. The issues affecting these programs and policies are studied to determine how policy impacts the delivery of child welfare programs.

Prerequisite: SOCW 250, SOCW 251 or instructor consent

SOCW 360, Soc Work Practice with Groups, 3 Units

Social Work Practice with Groups is another course in the generalist social work practice sequence. This course introduces students to utilize group theories and leadership skills in social work practice. Students will demonstrate mezzo practice knowledge and skills by identifying, analyzing, and implementing evidence-based interventions designed to achieve client goals.

Prerequisite: SOCW 250, SOCW 332

SOCW 380, Understanding International Social Problems and Services through Study Abroad, 3 Units

This course teaches about social problems and services in international settings with a focus on social welfare systems in a particular country other than the United States. Countries such as China, England, Kenya, Russia, or Mexico may be chosen for study. It is taught as a May-term course. For one week students read a text on international social work practice and materials about social problems and services in the country to be visited. For the remaining 10 days to 2 weeks students have an experiential learning experience in the country itself and a time of debriefing the experience at APU. The accent is on a global perspective of social welfare, enriching cultural experiences and a comparison of domestic and international methods of addressing human needs and social policies and programs.

Prerequisite: SOCW 250 or instructor consent

SOCW 400, Grant and Proposal Writing, 3 Units

Grant and proposal development continue to be an activity in the operations of human service agencies. Agencies must assess the need for services, determine their priorities, and develop strategies for funding their programs. Today, grants and proposals serve as primary means by which many agencies receive resources. This course is aimed at creating an understanding of the process and tools needed for translating a desire to respond to human need and problems into a realistic plan of action. It acquaints students with program design and planning techniques, which consider client/consumer group characteristics. The course culminates in the student's development of a human service program proposal aimed at responding to a need or problem.

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing or instructor consent

SOCW 410, Family Violence, 3 Units

Family violence is an in-depth study from a system's perspective of violence that occurs in families. This course provides an overview of child abuse, spousal abuse, abuse between intimate partners, and elder abuse. The course explores the theory and research as to the causes of abuse, including individual and family factors, elder abuse, gender issues, community and societal influences, and cultural factors. This course explores the policy and programs developed to deal with these crises. Finally, methods of assessment and intervention are investigated as applicable to both professional and personal situations.

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing or instructor consent

SOCW 415, Substance Use Disorders: Assessment and Intervention, 3 Units

This course provides an overview of substance use disorders from a bio-psycho-social-cultural-spiritual perspective. Unique issues relative to children/adolescents, women, people with disabilities, LGBT individuals, the elderly, and minorities are explored. The course focuses on a review of various types of substance use disorders; theory on the etiology and process of substance use disorders and their treatment; information on assessment, referral, and treatment resources; and exploration of the historical and current responses to substance use disorders in the community as well as in the Church.

Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing or instructor's consent

SOCW 420, Suffering: Theological and Practical Perspectives on Disabilities, 3 Units

This course examines theological perspectives to understand the role of suffering in the human experience. Focusing on persons with disabilities, students explore their personal values, gain understanding of bio-psycho-social-spiritual components of disability, access available resources, and develop strategies to help churches/agencies develop inclusive programs.

Prerequisite: 3 units of UBBL and Junior standing

SOCW 425, Introduction to International Development, 3 Units

This course provides students with an opportunity to consider the theories and "on the ground" issues concerning international development. In addition, because non-governmental organizations are the primary organisms through which international development is conducted, students will familiarize themselves with the strengths and limitations these organisms bring to the development process.

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Standing

SOCW 430, Introduction to Nonprofit Management, 3 Units

Students go out into the world and work for nonprofit organizations. The goals of the course are to enrich student perspective regarding nonprofits, to give them opportunity to apply their knowledge to the analysis of nonprofit managerial situations and to provide them with an understanding of the opportunities and power of nonprofit management.

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Standing

SOCW 466, Field Internship I, 4 Units

This social work practicum provides a setting for the development of practice skills and an opportunity for the integration of knowledge, skills, and values in social work. Students complete a minimum of 400 hours in an approved agency.

Prerequisite: SOCW 310, SOCW 311, SOCW 333 or SOCW 335, SOCW 360,

Corequisite: SOCW 467

SOCW 467, Senior Practicum Seminar I, 3 Units

This seminar course integrates the generalist practice knowledge and skills of a social work professional. Students learn how to identify and conduct themselves as professional social workers in their respective internship contexts. Evidence-based practice skills are developed to help students engage in research-informed practice and learn how practice shapes research. This course comprises the first semester of a two-semester course sequence. Meets the General Education Requirement: Integrative and Applied Learning. 

Prerequisite: SOCW 310 (C or above), SOCW 311 (C or above), SOCW 333 or SOCW 335, SOCW 360.

SOCW 468, Field Internship II, 4 Units

This social work practicum provides a setting for the development of practice skills and an opportunity for the integration of knowledge, skills, and values in social work. Students complete a minimum of 400 hours in an approved agency.

Prerequisite: SOCW 466, SOCW 467

Corequisite: SOCW 469

SOCW 469, Senior Practicum Seminar II, 3 Units

This final Social Work Seminar will focus on integration of learning and practice in preparation for beginning generalist social work practice for students currently in field placement. Students will identify, critique, and apply evidence based practice models in field practice. Emphasis will be placed on practice skills of engagement, assessment, intervention and evaluation according to the NASW Code of Ethics.

Prerequisite: SOCW 310 (C grade or above), SOCW 311 (C grade or above), SOCW 333 or SOCW 335, SOCW 360, SOCW 466

SOCW 478, Social Work Research Methods, 3 Units

This course prepares students for evidence-informed practice and research by introducing a range of social science research methods, skills in research evaluation and critique, and development of a social science research proposal informed by their field internship practice experience.

Prerequisite: MATH 130.

Corequisite: SOCW 466, SOCW 467

SOCW 479, Writing 3: Social Work Research Project, 3 Units

In this course, students prepare for evidence-informed practice and research by conducting an empirical study based on the research proposal completed in the Social Work Research Methods course (SOCW 478). Students learn to apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgment through the process of data collection, data analysis, and writing a research report. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines. 

Prerequisite: MATH 130, SOCW 478, Writing 2;

Corequisites: SOCW 468, SOCW 469

SOCW 496, Senior Seminar: Ethics in the Helping Professions, 3 Units

This course facilitates the integration of Christian faith and values with careers in the helping profession. This is accomplished through examining religious and spiritual experiences, as well as ethical dilemmas often confronted by social workers, nurses, counselors, and others in the helping profession, as they exist within the context of one's cultural, social, and physical environment. Attention is given to the process of faith development, historical perspectives, and the diversity of spiritual experiences. Meets the General Education Requirement: Integrative and Applied Learning. 

Prerequisite: Senior standing, completion of Writing 3 (HIST 300 or POLI 300).

SOCW 497, Readings in Social Work, 1-4 Units

This is a program of study concentrating on assigned readings, discussion, and writing arranged between, and designed by, a student of upper-division standing and a full-time professor. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.

SOCW 499, Special Topics, 1-6 Units

Special topics courses offer undergraduate-level content that will augment the set social work curriculum. These courses include a wide range of specialized topics relevant to professional social workers. The unit value of these courses range from one to six unit credits, depending upon the specific contact hours and course workload.

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Standing; Acceptance into the Social Work program