Department of Social Work

Chair: Dr. David E. Pollio

The baccalaureate social work program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and prepares graduates for employment at the beginning level of professional social work practice as well as for graduate-level professional education. The mission is to educate undergraduate students from a social science perspective in both problem-solving skills and social work values to prepare them for generalist practice with diverse populations in an increasingly complex and interconnected world, emphasizing social and economic justice for populations at risk. The program encourages social work career development through affiliation with professional organizations, pursuit of graduate education, and involvement in continuing education.

Students seeking to formally declare Social Work as a major must officially apply to the Social Work Professional program.  Upon submitting the application and a signed academic check sheet all applicants are expected to submit a four question essay which will be evaluated by Department of Social Work faculty to determine admission. 

Required course work includes acquisition of social work knowledge, values, and skills essential to social work practice, research, and policy. The curriculum culminates with a full-time, one-term field practicum.

No minor is required for social work majors. Instead, selected social and behavioral science courses provide a foundation for the professional courses. These foundation courses include:

HY 121The United States Since 18773
EC 210Principles of Microeconomics3
or EC 211 Principles of Macroeconomics
PY 101Introduction to Psychology3
PSC 101Foundations of American Government3
or PSC 221 American State and Local Government
SOC 100Introduction to Sociology3
ANTH 101Introduction to Cultural Anthropology3
AAS 200 or other approved minority studies course3

These courses must be completed with a grade of C or better. Additionally, students are required to take at least one biology course and laboratory that includes content about human beings (BY 101 or BY 123), also completed with a grade of C or better. This requirement may be taken as part of the Core Curriculum.

Bachelor of Science in Social Work

Required Social Work Courses
SW 100Introduction to Social Work3
SW 200Professional Communication in Social Work3
SW 203Social Welfare History3
SW 222Social Work Values Lab4
SW 302Social Welfare Policy Analysis3
SW 313Human Behavior and The Social Environment I3
SW 314Human Behavior in the Social Environment II3
SW 320Introduction to Research Methods3
SW 321Statistics for Social Work Research3
SW 322Social Work Practice I4
SW 422Social Work Practice II4
SW 490Practicum in Social Work/SL9
SW 494Practicum Seminar3
Social Work Elective
Select three hours from SW courses3
Total Hours51

Additional Requirements

General Electives

Students must take general electives to reach the 120 semester hour requirement.

Proposed Program of Study for a Major in Social Work

First TermHoursSecond TermHours
EH 1013EH 1023
MA 1103HY 1213
HY 1203SOC 1003
PY 1013SW 1003
Core Curriculum Area II: Fine Art13Core Curriculum Area II: Humanities3
 15 15
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
SW 2003SW 2224
SW 2033ANTH 1013
BY 101
BY 102
4Core Curriculum Area III: Natural Science with Laboratory4
EC 210 or 2113Core Curriculum Area II: Humanities or Fine Art3
Core Curriculum Area II: Literature23 
 16 14
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
PSC 101 or 2213SW 3023
General Electives 9SW 3133
Minority Studies33SW 3224
 SW 3203
 General Elective3
 15 16
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
SW 3143SW 4909
SW 321 or SOC 4103-4SW 4943
SW 4224 
Social Work (SW) Elective3 
General Elective3 
 16-17 12
Total credit hours: 119-120
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
SW 320 (SW 320 Honors Research )3SW 496 (Honors Seminar)3
 3 3
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
SW 498 (Honors Independent Study)1SW 494 (Honors Practicum Seminar)3
 1 3
Total credit hours: 10

Select One: ARH 101, ARH 203, ARH 204, ARH 206, MU 120, THR 100, THR 105 or THR 200.


 Select One: EH 216, EH 217, EH 218, EH 221, EH 222, EH 223 or EH 224.


 Select One:  SW 207, SOC 220, SOC 250, SOC 490 (must take 3 times), or WS 100

 Minor in Social Work

Required Social Work 1.
SW 100Introduction to Social Work3
Social Work Electives15
Select fifteen hours from SW courses 2
Total Hours18

 Online option is available.


 Social Work Electives: 200, 201, 203, 205, 206, 207, 208, 222, 302, 304, 305, 309, 313, 314,320, 321, 322, 339, 422, 428, 454, 478, 490, 494, 498, 499

Grade Requirement

A C or better is required in all courses applied to the minor.


The Social Work Honors Program will provide preparation for graduate study or professional careers in Social Work.  The program is designed to enhance students’ problem solving skills, critical and independent thinking, and application of research/evidence-based practice.


  • Honors students will benefit from one-on-one mentoring with faculty in the department, professional presentations and exposure which will enhance the student’s understanding of the field and practice of social work;
  • Students who complete the program will graduate “With Honors in Social Work."

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  • Completion or currently enrolled in the following required social work courses (SW 100, SW 200, SW 203, SW 222);
  • Declaration and acceptance into the social work major (application can be in the process of being reviewed at the time of submission);
  • Must have a minimum 3.5 overall GPA and a minimum 3.8 GPA in required social work courses.

Application Process

Submit application material to the Department of Social Work office.

The application deadline(s) are as follows:

  • Fall Admission:  No later than 2nd Friday in March
  • Spring Admission:  No later than 2nd Friday in November

Submit a “Social Work Honors Program Application” with the following documents:

  • A Honors Program Application Form*
  • An unofficial copy of transcript
  • A recommendation letter from an instructor of SW 100,SW 200, SW 203, or SW 222**
  • A resume

*NOTE: The application must be typed.

**A recommendation letter must be sent directly to Ms. Walker (

Review Process

  • Review of application by faculty members
  • Interview with the Honors Program Director


To complete the departmental honors program, students must earn 10 honors credit hours and must maintain a minimum 3.5 overall GPA and a minimum 3.8 GPA in required social work courses and honors courses through graduation. Honors sections will be offered in the following courses:

  • SW 320 Honors (3 credits)
  • SW 494 Honors (3 credits)*
  • SW 498 (1 credit)**
  • SW 496 Honors Seminar  (3 credits)
  • Note: We will be requesting a new course number

 *Must be taken as the required social work elective

**Additional course for Honors Program students only


SW 100. Introduction to Social Work. 3 Hours.

This course introduces students to the value-based profession of social work. Students will have the opportunity to learn about social work's history, mission, professional values and theoretical frameworks (e.g. the systems/ecological perspective). Furthermore, students will explore areas in generalist practice and the varied roles and responsibilities of the social work profession. Students will be afforded the opportunity to examine their own personal values and how those values influence their views on social welfare problems and issues.

SW 200. Professional Communication in Social Work. 3 Hours.

This course introduces the techniques of professional writing for social work practitioners. The course is designed to enhance professional and academic writing skills. Students will study how to craft narratives for funding applications, case records, and advocacy materials. Students will be introduced to the APA style. Additionally, students will complete a technology module focusing on information technology skills such as word processing, using presentation software, and communication skills with digital and social media. This is a writing intensive course.

SW 201. Evidence-Based Social Work Practice. 3 Hours.

This course introduces the concepts and the process involved in evidence-based and empirically based social work practice. It will cover the skills, values, and ethics necessary in this process and field, concentrating on the identification,analysis, and implementation of evidence, as well as empirically based social work practice, which promotes the effectiveness of practice in intervention at the individual, family/group, organization and community levels.

SW 203. Social Welfare History. 3 Hours.

This course provides an opportunity to review the history of U.S. social welfare and its relationship and impact on current social work practice. Additionally, the course explores, within a social justice context, the historical impact of social welfare policies on the well-being of individuals, especially vulnerable populations, and communities.

SW 207. Racism, Sexism and Other Isms. 3 Hours.

This course is intended to provide students with opportunities to examine various aspects of culture and cultural diversity as those aspects impact on the delivery of social services. The course also examines the impact of discrimination and oppression on various social service consumer populations.

SW 208. Disaster Preparedness. 3 Hours.

This course uses a multi-disciplinary perspective on aspects of domestic disaster preparedness and response for natural and man-made disasters. This course provides review of current recommendations on disaster preparedness, local, state and federal response networks and organizations, and psychosocial aspects of response including sheltering, crisis intervention and psychological first aid. This course does not cover international issues.

SW 222. Social Work Values Lab. 4 Hours.

This course offers an introduction to the helping profession of social work with service learning opportunities in local social service agencies. A didactic classroom and service learning lab that integrates field observation with self-awareness related values, professionalism and ethical practice. At the successful conclusion of this course, students may apply for social work major status. (SL).

SW 302. Social Welfare Policy Analysis. 3 Hours.

This course introduces analytical frameworks with which to evaluate contemporary U.S. social welfare policy. It is designed for students with basic knowledge of the history of social welfare. The course also examines the relationship between current policy and the practice of social work today. Additionally explored is the real-world impact of current policy on the well-being of individuals and communities, within a social justice context.
Prerequisites: SW 203 [Min Grade: C]

SW 305. Social Work in Perinatal Settings. 3 Hours.

This course covers issues facing families in perinatal settings, providing an overview of the social work role from a generalist practice model. This course covers practice issues related to services to families during pregnancy, delivery and childbirth, and the neonatal period. Topics will be covered from a multidisciplinary perspective, highlighting the impact of culture and diversity during specified times of life transition, including medical and psychosocial issues. Social Work interventions will be discussed using an evidence-based framework.

SW 313. Human Behavior and The Social Environment I. 3 Hours.

This course, the first of two required courses in Human Behavior and the Social Environment, is designed to prepare students to understand human development across the different levels of social systems. The course explores theories, concepts, and knowledge from conception through early adolescence. Content also includes discussion of how factors such as social class, sexual orientation, gender, physical ability, age, race, ethnicity, and culture influence human development and behavior.

SW 314. Human Behavior in the Social Environment II. 3 Hours.

This course, the second of two required courses in Human Behavior and the Social Environment, is designed to prepare students to understand human behavior across the life cycle. The course explores theories, concepts, and knowledge from early adolescence through death. Students acquire knowledge and understanding of human beings as individuals, as members of families, and other social groupings, and as members of organizations, communities, and larger societal and cultural collectives. Content includes discussion of how factors such as social class, sexual orientation, gender, physical ability, age, race, ethnicity and culture influence human development and behavior.
Prerequisites: SW 313 [Min Grade: C]

SW 320. Introduction to Research Methods. 3 Hours.

This course introduces students to research theory, methods and tools; and to expand their appreciation of the quintessential role of research in guiding practice. Qualitative and Quantitative research methodologies, sampling, data collection, and data analysis, as well as skills in critiquing research studies will be taught in the context of ethical standards governing evaluation and research as set forth in the NASW Code of Ethics. This course is a part of the core curriculum of the social work program. Quantitative literacy is a significant component of this course. Honors students will have additional research related assignments.

SW 321. Statistics for Social Work Research. 3 Hours.

This course provides the context for understanding the analysis and interpretation of quantitative data. Descriptive and inferential statistics will be covered, along with hypothesis testing and statistical significance. Students will become more familiarized with research-informed practice and practice-informed research. Quantitative Literacy is a significant component of this course.
Prerequisites: SW 320 [Min Grade: C]

SW 322. Social Work Practice I. 4 Hours.

This course provides generalist model application of social work with concentration on the micro-level that provides the student with the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills, understanding and competence needed for interventions at the beginning professional level. This course includes a service learning lab that allows students to practice a solution-focused relationship with emphasis on self-awareness, cultural-awareness, active listening, interviewing, and recording skills at all systems levels. (SL) Instructor's permission is required.
Prerequisites: SW 222 [Min Grade: C]

SW 339. Child Welfare in Social Work. 3 Hours.

This course addresses issues children face in today’s society and identify possible intervention strategies. This course will also identify current trends in service delivery and relevant policy issues concerning the health and well-being of children. Students will have the opportunity to examine the diversity of families in today’s society to better understand and appreciate the roles children play in their family systems.

SW 422. Social Work Practice II. 4 Hours.

This course focuses on generalist model application of social work practice at the mezzo and macro levels. The course emphasizes systems theory and strengths perspectives to examine groups, communities and organizations, and gives students the opportunity to discuss and practice necessary skills for practice. This course includes a service learning lab that allows students to practice working with groups, communities and organizations in local social service agencies, using ethical and professional standards based on NASW Code of Ethics. (SL). Instructor’s permission is required.
Prerequisites: SW 322 [Min Grade: C]

SW 428. Medical and Mental Health Social Work. 3 Hours.

This course provides an introduction to and overview of working with people called “patients” in medical and mental health. Through this course, students will obtain a basic understanding on how to effectively assist individuals, groups, families, and communities impacted by various illnesses. The role of the social worker on the care team in various settings will be examined. The course also examines special population groups, resource allocation, service delivery, and legal and ethical considerations.

SW 454. Working in Addiction and Recovery. 3 Hours.

This course examines the impact of substance use disorder on individuals, families, groups, organizations, institutions and communities. This course is recommended for students who want to expand their knowledge and sensitivity for understanding the special problems that substance use disorder brings to society. Course content includes identification of the various drugs of abuse, major theories of addiction, and examination of the psychological and physiological consequences of substance use disorder.

SW 478. Special Topics in Social Work. 3 Hours.

Study of current issues in social work.

SW 490. Practicum in Social Work/SL. 9 Hours.

This course integrates social work knowledge and values with application of professional helping skills. Students participate in a full-time placement in approved social service agencies under supervision of master's-level social workers. This is taken concurrently with SW 494.
Prerequisites: SW 494 [Min Grade: C](Can be taken Concurrently)

SW 494. Practicum Seminar. 3 Hours.

This capstone course in Social Work is an integrative seminar that must be taken concurrently with SW 490 (Practicum in Social Work). The seminar reviews basic social work tools that will enhance the students' work with client systems by providing opportunities to increase their knowledge of the social work profession, practice collegiate collaboration for the benefit of clients, and engage in strategies for problem-solving. The seminar also provides a forum to review students' practicum experiences, discuss social work practice issues, and reflect on the relationship of these experiences to their overall social work education program. Social Work Honors Students will be required to complete an additional 100 hours involved in community based research.

SW 496. Social Work Honors Seminar. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to enhance students’ problem solving skills, critical and independent thinking, and application of research/evidence-based practice. Faculty mentors will assist students in exploring social work practice interest areas and will provide preparation for graduate study and/or professional careers in Social Work. This course is required for all Social Work Honors students.

SW 498. Independent Study I. 1 Hour.

This course provides opportunities for Honors students to initiate their research project and receive one-on-one mentorship. Social Work Honors students will attend a monthly seminar session to present their progress on projects. This independent study is required for all Social Work Honors students. Instructor’s permission is required.

SW 499. Independent Study II. 1-3 Hour.

This course provides opportunities for student to pursue their specific interests in social issues and topics. Students will work closely with a faculty member to design readings, assignments, and/or activities to meet their learning goals. Instructor’s permission is required.


Baker, Lisa, Associate Professor, 2005, B.A. (Georgia), M.S.W. (Florida International), Ph.D. (Georgia)
Batey, David Scott, Assistant Professor , 2015, B.S., M.S.W., Ph.D. (Alabama)
Gilbert, Margie G., Visiting Assistant Professor, 2014, B.S.W. (UAB), M.S.W. (Alabama)
Hitchcock, Laurel, Assistant Professor, 2013, B.A. (Wisconsin-Madison), M.P.H. (UAB), M.S.W. (Alabama), Ph.D. (Alabama)
Lee, Yookyong, Associate Professor and BSW Program Director, 2013, B.A., M.S.W. (Michigan), M.A., Ph.D. (Columbia)
Moak, Stacy C., Professor, 2016, B.S. (Southern Mississippi), J.D. (Loyola), Ph.D. (New Orleans)
Pollio, David, Distinguished Professor and Chair, 2014, B.A., M.S.W. (Virginia), Ph.D. (Michigan)
Sims, Omar T., Assistant Professor, 2015, A.B., M.S.W., Ph.D. (Georgia)
Walker, Chris D., Assistant Professor and Director of Field Education, 1999, B.S.S.W., M.S.W. (Alabama)