University General Course Catalog 2020-2021 
    Jun 07, 2023  

Social Work, B.S.W.

Social work is a profession for those with a strong desire to help improve people’s lives. Social workers enhance the fit between people’s needs and capabilities and the demands and resources of their environments. Social workers help clients identify their strengths and concerns, consider effective solutions, and find reliable resources. Through community organizing, program development, and political advocacy, social workers strive to enhance environments to be socially and economically just for all people. For sheer variety, few occupations can match social work, which offers a broad range of opportunities and settings.  Social workers are found in public agencies, private businesses, hospitals, clinics, schools, nursing homes, private practices, the military, legislative bodies, police departments, courts, and countless other interesting workplaces. People who are conscientious, empathetic, caring, dedicated, and passionate will do well within this profession.

For information about career opportunities in social work and voluntary credentials for social workers, contact: National Association of Social Workers (NASW), 750 First St. NE., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20002-4241. Internet:

For a listing of accredited social work programs or to order a Directory of Colleges and Universities with Accredited Social Work Degree Programs for a nominal charge, contact: Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), 1725 Duke St., Suite 500, Alexandria, VA 22314-3457. Internet:

Information on typical salaries and job outlook for social workers, visit: The Bureau of Labor Statistics

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.
  • apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
  • apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
  • engage diversity and difference in practice.
  • advance human rights and social and economic justice.
  • engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
  • apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
  • engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
  • respond to contexts that shape practice.
  • engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • assess with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • evaluate individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Contact Information

School of Social Work 
523 Ansari Business Building
Candace Bortolin
(775) 682-8722/(775) 784-6542

Division of Health Sciences Advising Center
(775) 682-5930

Transfer to the University of Nevada, Reno

Use the transfer agreement  and the degree planner (available by clicking Print degree planner icon at the top right of this page) to build your plan for graduation with your advisor. Course substitutions not identified on the transfer agreement require UNR advisor approval.

If a major-to-major transfer agreement is not available for your transfer institution, please check the General Core agreement  if available. If neither is available, access Transferology to assist in your planning.

Admission Requirements

Students may declare the social work major after completing 30 credits with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 (or higher) and after completing

  with a C (or higher). The social work curriculum is divided into two sequences: the pre-professional sequence and the professional sequence. The pre-professional sequence is comprised of those classes that may be taken prior to application to the professional sequence and field. These courses are designed to provide introductory knowledge, skills and values necessary for later practice as well as to provide students an opportunity to explore the social work major prior to applying to the professional sequence. The professional sequence encompasses a series of classes tied to a 450 hour internship at an approved site. These classes, in conjunction with the internship, are designed to provide the professional socialization, knowledge, values, and skills needed for entry level social work practice. An emphasis on professional practice distinguishes the professional sequence from the other required and elective social work classes.

Social work students are expected to submit a competitive application to the professional sequence. Students who meet the following requirements may apply for admission to the professional sequence:

  • Declaration as a social work major
  • Completion of Core Objectives C01-C08
  • Completion of the following Departmental Core requirements: Biology 100, Sociology 100, Core Humanities 203, Anthropology 101, Economics 100 or 102, Psychology 101
  • Completion of 90 earned credits or more prior to beginning professional sequence
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 overall (or in the last 30 credits). Faculty may occasionally consider an exception for students who do not meet the 2.5 GPA requirement but who, in the professional judgment of the faculty, demonstrate a strong commitment to and potential for the social work profession as evidenced by extraordinary achievements and leadership
  • Completion of  ,  ,  ,   with a grade of “C” or higher

Admission to the professional sequence is competitive, selective and not guaranteed. Students accepted to the professional sequence are expected to be ready to engage with clients, to practice within the boundaries and scope of the profession and to behave in manners congruent with the profession’s values and ethics.

To apply to the professional sequence, students must complete an application packet. Admission materials are available online at Students interested in applying to the professional sequence who meet the aforementioned requirements should submit a completed application packet to the School of Social Work by 5:00 p.m. on or before January 15. If this date falls on a weekend or holiday, the complete application must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on the Friday prior to January 15. Complete application packets include:

  • BSW Application
  • Essay responses
  • Two completed BSW Recommendation forms
  • Most recent Academic Advising Report

Graduation Requirements

  • Total Units | 120
  • Cumulative GPA | 2.0
  • University GPA | 2.0
  • Major GPA | 2.0
  • Residency Requirement | 30 Upper-Division Units at UNR
  • Major Residency Requirement | 15 Upper-Division Units in the major at UNR
  • Upper-Division Requirement | 40 Upper-Division Units
  • Half Program Units/4 Year Institution | 60 Units

I. Core General Education Requirements (24-27 units)

NOTE: Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter of this catalog for information regarding the “Core English and Math Completion Policy  .”

Students in this major must meet all Core Objectives (CO1 through CO14). Courses satisfying Core Objectives are designated (e.g., CO9) in General Catalog curricula and course descriptions.

A. Composition & Communication; Critical Analysis & Use of Information (3-6 units) - CO1, CO3

B. Quantitative Reasoning (3 units minimum) - CO2

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO2 courses .

C. Physical & Natural Phenomena (6 units minimum) - CO4, CO4L

D. Cultures, Societies, & Individuals (3 units) - CO6

E. Artistic Composition, Interpretation, & Expression (3 units) - CO7

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO7 courses .

F. History & Culture; Constitution (6 units) - CO5, CO8

II. Additional Core Requirements (3 units maximum)

Students must take courses that satisfy the following Core Objectives. Some or all of these Core Objectives may be satisfied in the Major Requirements (Section IV).  Refer to the Core Curriculum  chapter in this catalog.

A. Science, Technology & Society Course - CO9

B. Diversity & Equity Course - CO10

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO10 courses . (advisor approved units are counted in the Major Requirement)

C. Global Context Course - CO11

D. Ethics Course - CO12

The following courses count in the Major Requirement:

E. Capstone Integration & Synthesis Course - CO13

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO13 courses .

F. Application Course - CO14

III. Additional Division Requirements (0 units)

IV. Major Requirements (84 units)

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.

C. Additional Department Requirements (30 units)

V. Minor Requirements (0 units)

VI. Electives (6-9 units)

VII. Recommended Schedule

In order to complete the BSW degree requirements (120 credits) in four years, you must enroll in an average of 15 credits per semester.  The suggested sequence is outlined below.

A. First Year

B. Second Year

C. Third Year

Fall Semester (15 units)

Spring Semester (15 units)

D. Fourth Year