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Social work education is based upon a specific body of knowledge, values and professional skills. The baccalaureate program offers course work and field studies that prepare individuals committed to the elimination of poverty, oppression and injustice for entry-level generalist practice. The goal of professional social work practice is to enhance the functional capabilities of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities by building on each system’s unique strengths. The baccalaureate program may also prepare individuals for entry into graduate level education.
Both the baccalaureate and master’s programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The baccalaureate level prepares individuals for generalist social work practice and the master’s level prepares individuals for advanced generalist social work practice.
Bachelor of Social Work
The bachelor of social work degree includes course and field work that prepare students for entry-level professional social work practice. By combining course work and field experience, students learn the professional foundation of knowledge, theories, skills and values that enable them to function as social workers in areas such as public assistance, child welfare, mental health, rehabilitation, corrections, community development, planning and administration, aging, and health care.
The student is required to complete 45 units in the major, 39 in required courses. The remaining six units are social work electives and should be selected in consultation with an advisor. An additional 24 units are required in courses outside the School of Social Work.
Additionally, students who major in social work must meet one of the two following requirements:
- Complete school-required options in cultural diversity–specific course(s) to be determined in consultation with the student’s academic advisor; OR
- Complete a fourth-semester college course in a foreign language.
Undergraduate students interested in the social work degree may declare major status after completing 30 units with a 2.5 overall GPA and completion of SW 101 with a “C” or higher. Students enrolled in the School of Social Work as premajors, or those who have been accepted into the major, must have their courses reviewed by an advisor before registering. The admission and retention of students in the program are subject to the professional judgment of the social work faculty.
To complete the degree requirements, students must apply and be accepted into the social work professional sequence. Students will typically apply to the professional sequence during their junior year. The professional sequence is comprised of a series of senior level classes pedagogically linked to a 450-hour internship in a community agency.
Students must apply for admission to the professional sequence by January 15th for the following fall semester. Admission materials are available online at http://www.unr.edu/social-work
To be considered for admission to the professional sequence, students must meet the following requirements:
- Complete 84 units with a 2.5 or higher grade-point average;
- Complete SW 101 , SW 310 and SW 321 with a “C” grade or higher in each course;
- Submit a formal application;
- Submit essays addressing their: a) interest in entering the social work profession and professional goals; b) discussion of social issues/problems; c) understanding of professional ethics in social work practice; and d) understanding the role of “self-awareness” in the professional helping relationship;
- Submit a resume depicting employment and volunteer experiences;
- Submit two satisfactory references: one from the applicant’s SW 321 volunteer experience supervisor;
- Submit a current copy of the Academic Advising Report (AAR or RADS) if available; otherwise, students must submit up-to-date unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended;
- Be declared a social work major;
- Completion of the University and departmental core with the exception of the capstone courses.
Requirements for graduation with a social work degree include completion of at least 120 units and completion of all required social work courses with a “C” grade or higher in each course.
The program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education at the baccalaureate level. Graduates are eligible to apply for Social Work licensure with the State of Nevada.
University of Nevada School of Social Work and Great Basin College 3 + 1 Program
In collaboration with Great Basin College (GBC), the University School of Social Work has developed a 3 + 1 program for students who reside in rural Nevada and are interested in pursuing a BSW degree. Through this program, students are able to complete the equivalent of the first three years of academic study at GBC and their final year as social work majors through UNR. Students in this program will be able to complete most of the University and Departmental core through GBC. Upon being accepted to the University of Nevada, Reno, students will apply to the professional sequence. Once accepted, students will complete the professional sequence through UNR (no less than 30 units). Social work major courses will be provided to students through distance education.
Students who are interested in the University/GBC 3 + 1 program should follow the same sequencing of courses as do students enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno. Please refer to the Curriculum Plan and the Transfer Core Curriculum form for information regarding required courses and their sequencing.
Students attending GBC may obtain academic advising through GBC.