1. What is social work?
According to the Council on Social Work Education (2015), "The purpose of the social work profession is to promote human and community well-being. Guided by a person-in-environment framework, a global perspective, respect for human diversity, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry, the purpose of social work is actualized through its quest for social and economic justice, the prevention of conditions that limit human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the enhancement of the quality of life for all persons, locally and globally" (p. 5). A degree in social work allows individuals to develop the skills necessary for helping individuals, groups, and communities in countless ways.
2. What do social workers do?
"Social workers help individuals, families, and groups restore or enhance their capacity for social functioning, and work to create societal conditions that support communities in need." Social workers also "help people overcome some of life's most difficult challenges: poverty, discrimination, abuse, addiction, physical illness, divorce, loss, unemployment, educational problems, disability, and mental illness. They help prevent crises and counsel individuals, families, and communities to cope more effectively with the stresses of everyday life" (National Association of Social Workers, n.d.).
For more information about social work, visit one of the links below.
National Association of Social Workers
3. What is the difference between psychology, sociology, and social work?
While psychology focuses on the study of the individual mind or the behavior of small groups, and sociology focuses on societal behavior and social relationships, social work combines the two with an emphasis on practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro level. Social workers take the clinical knowledge from psychology, and the environmental/societal knowledge from sociology to better understand persons in their environment as well as groups and communities at large. They then use helping skills to work alongside people and assist them in enacting positive change.
4. Where can I find more information on the degree requirements?
Degree requirements can be found on the Garland School of Social Work website as well as in the Baylor University Undergraduate Course Catalog. If you have already declared pre-social work or social work as your major, then you can run your degree audit in Bearweb at any time to see your progress towards meeting the degree requirements. The Garland School of Social Work BSW Degree Requirements as well as the Baylor University Undergraduate Catalog can be found at the links below.
BSW Degree Requirements
Baylor University Undergraduate Catalog
5. What types of courses will I take?
You can find the complete list of social work courses as well as a brief description of each here: BSW Course Descriptions
To see a sample degree plan, which outlines the order in which these courses are taken, you may click here: BSW Degree Requirements
6. Who can I speak to about the social work major?
If you would like general information about the major and/or the field of social work, you may speak with a member of our recruitment team. They can be contacted by email or phone.
7. What do I do if I want to change my major to social work?
If you would like to change your major, you may follow the steps outlined by University Advisement, which can be found at the link below. Once you have submitted your Change of Major Request, Kayla Mize, the academic advisor in the Garland School of Social Work, will contact you. If you are unsure about changing your major you may contact Kayla Mize by phone or email with any questions you may have.
8. How do I apply to the major?
Students may apply to the major in the spring of their sophomore year. The process for applying to the major is outlined in the SWO 2321 course, Introduction to Social Work. You may find the BSW Admission Requirements at the link below. BSW Admission Requirements
9. I am transferring from an outside institution and would like to apply to the BSW program, what are my first steps for applying?
Upon acceptance to Baylor University, students will need to select Pre-Social Work as their major and register for Introduction to Social Work (SWO 2321) which is offered in both the fall and spring semester. In order to receive your BSW in four years, students will need to complete the course and apply to the major no later than the spring of their sophomore year (Your classification is determined by how many transfer hours are accepted). The process for applying to the major is outlined in the SWO 2321 course, Introduction to Social Work. Click here to view the BSW Admission Requirements.
10. What is field?
The BSW degree requires an internship which consists of two semesters of 240 hours in a field placement, for a total of 480 hours. This internship (or field placement) is required in the senior year. Field Education is the core element within a BSW program. The goals and objectives of the internship experience focus on operationalizing the core program goals and competencies of the Garland School of Social Work (GSSW). Field internship learning contracts and evaluation tools are centered on the core generalist practice competencies and behaviors, both of which are tailored to the agency contexts of the students’ internship placements. For more information about the field experience or the field office, please visit the link below.
11. Can I pursue a minor if I major in social work?
Absolutely! Many students in the Garland School of Social Work pursue minors. A typical minor is 18 hours, so it depends on how much room or flexibility a student has in their schedule. If you are interested in adding a minor, you may contact your academic advisor or look through the list of available minors at Baylor.
Baylor Majors and Minors
12. What is Advanced Standing?
Advanced Standing is a term used relative to the graduate social work program. Students who hold a BSW from Baylor, or another accredited social work program, may enter the MSW program as an "Advanced Standing" student. These students are only required to complete one additional year of course and field work to graduate with a master’s degree in social work. This is because advanced standing students have already received the education that a standard MSW student receives in their first "foundation" year.
13. What is the 5-year program?
Undergraduate students who apply to the social work major have the opportunity to indicate on their application that they intend to participate in the 5-year program. If a student is admitted to the BSW program, and meets all requirements for entering the graduate program, they receive automatic acceptance to the MSW program. This means the student is not required to complete a separate application to the graduate program if they intend on continuing straight into it. The student then graduates in 5 years with a BSW and MSW.
Council on Social Work Education (2015). 2015 Educational policy and accreditation standards for baccalaureate and master’s social work programs. Retrieved from https://www.cswe.org/getattachment/Accreditation/Accreditation-Process/2015-EPAS/2015EPAS_Web_FINAL.pdf.aspx
National Association of Social Workers. (n.d.). Social Work Profession. Retrieved from https://www.baylor.edu/registrar/index.php?id=86538