May 20, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work, B.A.

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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.

Program Requirements

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 overall 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 ENG 102   (WRI2), statistics (MAT 120 , PSY 201  or LOS 120 ), SOC 100 , PSY 100 , POS 101 , ECO 101 , HRD 200 /SBS 200  or PSY 220 , SWO 201 SWO 250 , SWO 365  , and SWO 370  ; and 2) continue with a 2.5 cumulative GPA overall; (3)  For transfer students who have met core requirements, they must take SWO 201 , SWO 250 SWO 365  and SWO 370  as prerequisites. 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 ( for additional information about requirements of field work. All required courses with their prerequisites can be viewed there.

During the fieldwork 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 400 hours of field work. All students should refer to School of Social Work guidelines governing field work for more information and directions.

Three intermediate-level (200-399) social science electives.

These electives may be from sociology, psychology, criminology, SBS, anthropology, geography, political science, economics, food studies, race and ethnic 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.

Model Schedule

Year 1 (30 credits)

Year 2 (30 credits)

Year 3 (30 Credits)

  • Core Ethical Inquiry
  • Credits: 3 * (fall semester)
  • Credits: 3 (spring semester)
  • Credits: 3
  • Credits: 3
  • Credits: 3
  • (spring semester) *

    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 ENG 102, 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 prerequisites in order to take the course. For transfer students who have met core requirements, they must take SWO 201, SWO 250, SWO 365, and SWO 370 as prerequisites.
    • All students must have a minimum of a 2.5 cumulative GPA.


  • Upper Level (200+) Social Science
  • General Electives or Minor (if applicable)

Year 4 (30 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 of Social Work.

USM Core Requirements

The USM Core Curriculum is a coherent, integrative, and rigorous liberal education that enables our graduates to be world-minded, intentional, life-long learners and captures your general education degree requirements. 

Please Note: Core requirements may be part of your major and/or minor, and Core may have been fulfilled with transfer credit. Please consult your MaineStreet Degree Progress Report (DPR) and review your degree progress with your Advisor.  For additional information, access the USM Core webpage.

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