Nov 30, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

School of Social Work

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Purpose and Focus

The objective of the Bachelor of Social Work degree is to prepare students for beginning level generalist social work practice.

Program/Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Social Work degree, BSW students will:

  1. Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior
  2. Engage diversity and difference in practice
  3. Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice
  4. Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice
  5. Engage in policy practice.
  6. Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  7. Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  8. Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  9. Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Bachelor of Social Work Systematic Outcome Measures

The School of Social Work assesses outcomes through course outcome measures, exit surveys, field evaluation, alumni surveys and successful completion of the Social Work Licensure Exam.


Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities,
Council on Social Work Education (CSWE),

Undergraduate Major

Social Work

Admission to the Major

Minimum GPA: 2.50

Admission Policies

Students will be assigned a Pre-Social Work major (Pre-SW) designation until they have completed the following pre-major requirements:

  1. PRE-SW core: SW 101, 315, 410, one course in multicultural or international studies.
  2. UNLV general education core courses (46-49 credits total)
    • ENG 101 and 102 and literature (9 credits)
    • U.S. and Nevada constitutions (3-6 credits)
    •   (3 credits)
    • MATH 124 or higher Must earn a C or better (3 credits)
    • Social Science: SOC 101, PSY 101, ANT 101 (9 credits)
    • Fine Arts: Three-credit intro, survey, or appreciation course; approved Multicultural or International studies courses in fine arts may also be used (6 credits)
    • Sciences: BIOL 100 and one three-credit non-lab course (7 credits)
    • Humanities: COM 101 and one three-credit course in Humanities
    • Multicultural or International studies courses in Humanities may also be used  (6 credits)

Students may declare PRE-SW as a major at any time during their academic career; however, students must apply for admission to the major during the last semester of their sophomore year. Students may be admitted to the Social Work program upon completion of a minimum of 60 credits of university core, including Pre-SW requirements as outlined above 40 hours of volunteer or work experience in a social service agency, and have a minimum overall GPA of 2.50 Applications for admission are available in the Social Work office and online.

School Policies

Field Practicum Requirements

In order to enroll in field practicum (SW 419 and SW 429), a student must have senior standing (90 credits), have completed the required prerequisites, be admitted to the full major, and have completed an application for field placement in consultation with the field education staff and/or practicum instructors. SW 419 must be taken concurrently with SW 420. SW 429 must be taken concurrently with SW 421.


Students who declare social work as a major will be assigned a career advisor by the School of Social Work. Upon declaring social work as a major, a student must contact the Urban Affairs Student Advising Center for academic advising. Students are expected to schedule appointments with both the academic and BSW program advisor at least once per semester in order to plan course scheduling and to monitor professional progress.
Social work majors receive three advisors:

  1. Career Advisor (Full-time social work faculty member)
  2. BSW Program advisor (BSW coordinator)
  3. Urban affairs Academic Advisor (academic advisor located in the Student Advising Center)

Career Advisor

Career Advisors are full-time social work faculty members who are available to answer questions that pertain to student life, career choices, graduate degree options, and social work licensing requirements. STUDENTS RECEIVE A CAREER ADVISOR ONCE THEY HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED INTO THE PROGRAM.

BSW Program Advisor

The BSW Program Advisor, known as the BSW Coordinator, is a full-time social work faculty member who assists students in their overall acclimation into the BSW program. The BSW Coordinator helps students select social work courses and related electives. The BSW Coordinator socializes students into the nature of required social work courses. The BSW Coordinator is the point of contact for completing school and university petitions, appeals, independent study requests, and other BSW paperwork. The BSW Coordinator conducts information sessions for prospective BSW students. THE BSW COORDINATOR IS AVAILABLE TO ALL STUDENTS IN THE MAJOR (PRE-SW, SW).

Urban Affairs Academic Advisor

Urban Affairs academic advisors are available to students throughout the course of their entire UNLV matriculation. Urban Affairs advisors are the primary point of contact in the selection of courses. Urban Affairs advisors maintain and record students’ academic checklists, assist students in their preparation of BSW application material (e.g., transcript review), review and certify transfer credits, and prepare graduation applications.

Sequencing Policy

The School of Social Work is committed to designing and implementing a course plan that is best for the academic preparation of beginning generalist social workers. Students are, therefore, required to enroll in and complete courses as specified in the course-sequencing policy of the School. Students will not be permitted to take courses out of sequence. Thus, students may have to minimize or eliminate some personal and professional commitments in order to adequately complete the required sequence of courses.

Students who fail a social work core course must re-enroll in the course and obtain a passing grade prior to enrolling in subsequent courses. Prior to enrollment, students with “medical incompletes” must first meet with their instructor and the BSW Coordinator so that a comprehensive review of their situation can be made.

Sequencing of SW 420 and SW 421

Co-enrollment in SW 420 and SW 421 is not permitted. Those students who fail 420 cannot be granted permission to enroll in 421. The assumption is that a student who receives a failing grade is not ready to progress to the next level without first repeating the material not previously mastered.

Exceptions to this policy will be granted only to those students who receive a medical incomplete (“I”) in SW 420. Under special permission, these students may complete unfinished assignments while simultaneously enrolled in SW 421.

For students without a medical excuse, unfinished work from 420 must be submitted prior to the date established by the university as the “last day to withdraw from a class and receive a 100 percent refund.” (This date is typically within the first week of the semester.) Students who do not meet the deadline will be withdrawn from their second senior block courses (SW 429, 421, and 481).

Courses for Social Work Majors

With the exception of social work electives and multicultural and international courses, SW 401 through SW 495 are for full social work majors only. Non-admitted students and pre-social work majors will not be permitted to enroll in these courses.

Independent Study Policy

The School of Social Work supports students’ desires to study one on one with an instructor of their choice when the proposed course is intended to satisfy an elective, ethnic studies, or foreign culture requirement. An independent study intended to fulfill a core school-required course is not permitted. Exceptions should be brought to the attention of the BSW Coordinator via the petition process.

Minimum Competency Policy

The School of Social Work is committed to ensuring that students graduating from our program possess and demonstrate the ability to fulfill their professional obligations to the client, the agency, the community, the society, and the profession of social work. Students are, therefore, required to earn a final semester grade of at least a C (not a C-) for all core social work courses (e.g., all department courses and a couple pre-req/required courses: MATH 124, ECON 180 (or alternatively ECON 102, 103, 104, or 190) SW electives, and SW Independent Study). Students who do not earn the minimum grade must repeat the course. In some courses, the lack of a C grade or better will prohibit students from sequencing into the next set of core classes.

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