BSW in Social Work

Degree Program Description

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Program is a professional program that prepares students for immediate entry into direct human service professional positions, graduate-level education, and life-long learning. BSW-level social workers assist individuals, families, small groups, organizations, and communities to effectively resolve problems, deal with their relationships, and function optimally within their environment. Graduates are employed in many different settings, including nursing homes, hospices, hospitals, home care agencies, family service agencies, children and youth services, aging services, residential treatment programs, domestic violence shelters, criminal justice agencies, schools, and legal services agencies.

Major Program Requirements

Required Entry-Level Courses:  Specific liberal arts requirements for graduation are listed below (* denotes a prerequisite course to the BSW professional program that must be completed before beginning social work core courses).

Students must complete all university requirements, including general education, in addition to the degree requirements below. 

Students must earn and maintain a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA in all college-level coursework. Students must complete all BSW Program Prerequisites and BSW Program Requirements with grades of C- or higher and may have no more than two grades of C+ in the BSW courses.

BSW Program Prerequisites
ENGLSH 1000Writing and Rhetoric *3
MATH 1100College Algebra (or equivalent) *3
or MATH 1050 Quantitative Reasoning
BIO_SC 1010General Principles and Concepts of Biology *3
or BIO_SC 1500 Introduction to Biological Systems with Laboratory
or BIO_SC 1030 General Principles and Concepts of Biology with Laboratory
Anthropology (student’s choice) (Recommend ANTHRO 1300, ANTHRO 1350, ANTHRO 2030) *3
PSYCH 1000General Psychology *3
SOCIOL 1000Introduction to Sociology *3
American History/American Government *3
ECONOM 1014Principles of Microeconomics *3
or ECONOM 1015 Principles of Macroeconomics
or ABM 1041 Applied Microeconomics
COMMUN 1200Public Speaking *3
Philosophy (student's choice) (Recommend PHIL 1000, PHIL 1100, PHIL 1200) *3
BSW Program Requirements
History or Political Science (student's choice, but must be selected from the subject area not chosen for American History/American Government)3
PSYCH 2310Social Psychology3
or SOCIOL 3310W Social Psychology - Writing Intensive
SOC_WK 3320Understanding Personality in a Social Context3
or PSYCH 2320 Introduction to Personality
Exploration of Power, Privilege, & Oppression (PPO) coursework: 16
3 additional hours of approved PPO coursework 2
Professional BSW Core Courses
SOC_WK 2220WHuman Behavior in the Social Environment - Writing Intensive (May be taken before or during the professional phase.)3
or SOC_WK 2220 Human Behavior in the Social Environment
SOC_WK 4710Social Justice and Social Policy3
SOC_WK 4730Introduction to Social Work Practice3
SOC_WK 4740Introduction to Community and Organizational Processes4
SOC_WK 4750Interaction Skills Workshop3
Social Work Elective (4000-level) in a field of practice3
SOC_WK 4310Social Statistics3
SOC_WK 4711Social Justice and Social Policy II3
SOC_WK 4720Variations in Human Behavior3
SOC_WK 4760Theory and Practice of Social Group Work3
SOC_WK 4951Research for Social Work Practice3
SOC_WK 4770Strategies of Direct Practice3
SOC_WK 4952Research Methods for Social Work3
SOC_WK 4970Senior Professional Seminar3
SOC_WK 4971Undergraduate Field Practicum6
Recommended Courses
Social Work Electives
SOC_WK 1110Introduction to the Social Work Major1
SOC_WK 1115Social Welfare and Social Work3

Exploration of Power, Privilege & Oppression: Social Work BSW majors are required to take SOC_WK 2000 or SOC_WK 2000W to count for three credit hours of the six credit hours requirement.   Students should select one additional course that reflects the cultural diversity of our society; often selected from social work, sociology, anthropology, peace studies, English, religious studies, human development and family science, black studies, and women and gender studies. Students can find a complete list on the School of Social Work website.


Students cannot double-count BSW Program Prerequisite, BSW Program Requirement, or field of practice elective courses with Exploration of Power, Privilege and Oppression (PPO) courses (e.g., ANTHRO 1350 can count toward the Anthropology program requirement OR the PPO requirement, but not both).

Capstone Requirements   

All students accepted into the professional BSW program must take SOC_WK 4971 Undergraduate Field Practicum and SOC_WK 4970 Senior Professional Seminar to complete their capstone requirement. Please note: As a student, if you have acquired any criminal background history which includes misdemeanors or felony charges your choices of placements may be affected. In an effort to assist you we strongly encourage you to make an appointment with the Director of the Undergraduate Program to assist in facilitating options for your completion of educational requirements.                                               

Back to Top

Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
ENGLSH 1000*3MATH 1100*3
BIO_SC 1010*3SOCIOL 1000*3
BIO_SC 10202ANTHRO 1300*3
PSYCH 1000*3COMMUN 1200*3
SOC_WK 1110 (Elective)1SOC_WK 1115 (Elective)3
History (Constitution)*3 
 15 15
Second Year
PHIL 1100*3ECONOM 1014*3
PSYCH 23103Humanities 3
SOC_WK 2000W3SOC_WK 2220W3
Political Science3SOC_WK 33203
 15 15
Third Year
SOC_WK 47103SOC_WK 43103
SOC_WK 47303SOC_WK 47113
SOC_WK 47404SOC_WK 47203
SOC_WK 47503SOC_WK 47603
Field of Practice Elective3SOC_WK 49513
 16 15
Fourth Year
SOC_WK 4770W3Power Privilege & Oppression3
SOC_WK 49523Elective3
SOC_WK 49703Elective3
SOC_WK 49716Elective3
 15 14
Total Credits: 120

Back to Top

Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree. 

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner. Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, click on the Academic Progress Tile, then select Request Degree Audit. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress. This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to

Back to Top

Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities. For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center. No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

Back to Top