Social Work, Bachelor of Social Work
Are you passionate about social justice and social change? Do you want a rewarding career working with the disenfranchised, vulnerable, and oppressed? Are you interested in providing assistance and support to diverse individuals, groups, and communities? A social work degree will help you accomplish these academic and professional goals. Our accredited BSW degree enables you to become a licensed generalist social worker in many states.
The social work degree will provide you with opportunities to learn the professional knowledge, values, and skills needed to help people experiencing overwhelming life challenges such as substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, homelessness, and death, as well as mental, behavioral, and physical illness or disability. Social workers approach their work with people from the strengths perspective, while also looking at the individual within their environment.
The social work profession is dedicated to enhancing human well-being and to help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. The intent of this program is to educate competent generalist social workers for practice with diverse populations and multi-level social systems, while developing skills for facilitating the planned change process.
This program at Northern Arizona University is focused on practice with rural and Indigenous populations of the Southwest; addressing poverty, structural racism, and oppression; providing leadership in promoting human rights and social and economic justice; and service with vulnerable and underserved populations.
This program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
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Career Accordion Open
Career opportunities that might be pursued:
- Child and youth services
- Disability services
- Family support services
- Health care services
- Elder care services
- Military/veterans services
- Community advocacy
- Case management services
- Victim advocacy
With further education, one of these paths is possible:
- Hospital care coodinator
- Employee assistance counselor
- School-based interventionist
- Expert witness
- College or university faculty
University Requirements Accordion Closed
To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.
- All of Northern Arizona University's liberal studies, diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
- All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
- At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
- At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
- A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
Overview Accordion Closed
In addition to University Requirements:
- At least 75 units of major requirements
- Up to 9 units of liberal studies can have the same prefix as the major. Contact the Social Work program for information about liberal studies courses that are specific to this major.
- Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units
Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.
|Minimum Units for Completion||120|
|Highest Mathematics Required||MAT 114|
|Additional Admission Requirements||Required|
|University Honors Program||Optional|
|AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-A||Recommended|
|Progression Plan Link||View Progression Plan|
This program may lead to licensure.
The mission of Northern Arizona University Social Work Program, grounded in the history, purpose, and values of the profession, is to educate competent generalist social workers for practice with diverse populations and multi-level social systems in local, regional and global contexts.
The generalist practice for which we educate is based on social work knowledge, values, and skills; geared to practice with rural and Indigenous populations of the Southwest; and, focused on addressing poverty, structural racism, and oppression; providing leadership in promoting human rights and social and economic justice; and service with vulnerable and underserved populations locally, regionally, and globally.
The mission of our social work program to educate competent generalist social workers is expressed in the following goals:
- to prepare competent generalist social workers with the knowledge, values, and skills for engaging in individual, family, group, organization, and community planned change processes with diverse rural, vulnerable, and underserved populations locally, regionally, and globally;
- to promote identification with the profession, continued professional development, and enhancement of knowledge, values, and skills for generalist social work practice; and
- to provide service to the community and promote social and economic justice.
Student Learning Outcomes
- To prepare competent generalist social workers with the knowledge, values, and skills for engaging in individual, family, group, organization, and community planned change processes with diverse rural, vulnerable, disenfranchised, and underserved populations locally, regionally, and globally.
- apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments;
- apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice
- respond to contexts that shape practice;
- engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
- apply ecosystems and strengths perspectives in practice across client systems;
- apply knowledge of the biological-psychological-social-cultural-spiritual components of human behavior and the social environment;
- differentially apply engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation skills and strategies in practice with diverse rural, vulnerable, disenfranchised, and underserved populations;
- advance human rights and social and economic justice;
- engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services;
- employ scientific inquiry and research to inform and evaluate the effectiveness of practice; and
- utilize the various forms of information technology for effective agency functioning and professional practice.
- To promote identification with the profession, continued professional development, and development of knowledge and skills for generalist social work practice.
- identify and articulate the evolution of social welfare as an institution and social work as a profession and their current structures and issues;
- question and evaluate their own needs, values, strengths, and challenges, and how these affect their professional identity and use of self in practice; and
- question and evaluate their professional performance and take responsibility for continuing educational and career development.
- To provide service to the community and promote social and economic justice. Social work program faculty, students, and graduates will:
- advocate for social change to advance social and economic justice and access to services of social work for all people, with a focus on populations experiencing and vulnerable to discrimination and oppression, and
- participate in community service activities and processes.
Details Accordion Closed
Additional Admission Requirements
- Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Take the following 75 units:
Professional Courses (60-61 units)
- SW 220 (3 units)
- Research (6-7 units):
- Policy: SW 320W, SW 420 (6 units)
- Human Behavior and the Social Environment: PSY 240, SW 295 and SW 427 (9 units)
- Information Technology Literacy: ISM 120 (3 units)
- Generalist Practice: SW 321, SW 422, SW 423 (9 units)
- Crisis Intervention: SW 401 (3 units)
- Contemporary Topics in Social Work: SW 450 topics (6 units)
Only one grade of "D" in the professional core courses is permitted.
Behavioral Science Cognates (15 units)
Select one course from each of the following areas:
- Ethnicity, select one from: SOC 215, SOC 360, ES 300 (3 units)
- Gender, select one from: HIS 295, POS 355, SOC 204, CCJ 360, PSY 491, or any WGS course (3 units)
- Human Biology, select one from: BIO 310, SW 310 (3 units)
- Indigenous Populations of the Southwest, select one from: SOC 315, ANT 306, ES 160, HIS 396 (3 units)
- Social and Economic Justice, select one from: ECO 280, ECO 285, SOC 210, or SOC 353 (3 units)
A Social Work advisor's approval is necessary for any courses not listed above.
Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.
You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.