Program Requirements


The mission of the Dominican University Social Work Program, in service to and collaboration with multiple communities, is to develop generalist social work professionals committed to excellence, leadership and service by:

  • promoting social justice;
  • engaging in ethical practice;
  • engaging in research-informed practice and practice-informed research;
  • advocating for social policies responsive to diverse human needs; and
  • advancing knowledge through reflective understanding of self and compassionate involvement with others.


  • The Bachelor of Social Work Program is an upper-division undergraduate program which has its primary goals:
  • To prepare students to qualify as beginning-level, generalists social work professionals;
  • To promote an environment which honors diversity and advances social justice;
  • To provide the foundation for an appreciation of lifelong learning and advancement in graduate level and social work education.

The Social Work Program is fully accredited at the undergraduate level by The Council on Social Work Education (C.S.W.E.).
CSWE, 1701 Duke Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 223143421

Program of Study

The curriculum design provides a foundation in the liberal arts, a core knowledge from the social and behavioral sciences, combined with the special body of knowledge that forms the base of professional generalist social work practice. The program is designed to meet the requirements of a Bachelor of Social Work degree and includes a minimum of 60 semester hours in liberal arts. The Social Work Program requires 45 semester hours in the Social Sciences. The student completes 18 semester hours in one area of emphasis in the social sciences (namely, Sociology, Political Science, History, Economics, Criminal Justice, Psychology), and nine semester hours in each of two supporting areas elected out of the remaining social sciences. The student graduates from the program with 126 credits.

A student may choose to complete the Bachelor of Social Work degree with a focus on criminal justice, child welfare, gender studies, ethnic studies, gerontology, as well as a number of liberal arts areas. Further information and program planning may be obtained from the Social Work faculty.

The following content areas in the humanities and social sciences are recommended as foundations for social work training.

  • American History
  • Introduction to Physiology (REQUIRED)
  • English (English Placement Examination REQUIRED of all students)
  • Foreign Language
  • General Psychology II (prerequisite for SW 451)
  • Introduction to Sociology (prerequisite for SW 451)
  • Speech
  • Political Science
  • Statistics
  • MA113 OR Introduction to Critical Thinking OR Logic is required (Math Placement Examination REQUIRED of all students)

Admission to the Program

The Social Work Program is an upper-division program available in the day session. Pre-admission counseling and advisement are provided. Admission to the program occurs in a series of planned stages as a necessary part of the advisement process. Freshmen interested in preparing for a career in social work consul with a social work faculty advisor. Students indicating an interest in declaring social work as a major program of study may begin to take social work electives in the sophomore year. In the junior year, students have further opportunity to test their interest and capacity for continued study in social work through foundation courses and participation in an individualized field instruction course in a social service delivery system. In the fall of their junior year, all students must complete and Admission to Junior Field Work Application and complete the “spontaneous essay.” Admission to the senior-level practice courses and field instruction is based on the student’s ability to maintain a 2.3 cumulative index in social work courses, demonstration of professional standards, and the recommendation of the social work faculty advisor. No grade lower than “C” in the Social Work core courses may only be taken over once and must be taken on campus, even though it may mean postponing graduation to complete the requirement. If a student receives less than a “C” in three Social Work courses, they must step out of the Program for one year.

Transfer Students

All students transferring to the University with an interest in social work must contact the University Admissions Office first and be accepted by the University.

A prompt appointment with the social work faculty for a personal interview provides an opportunity for clarification regarding courses to be taken an acceptance into the program.

Credits earned at the community college level are accepted toward the baccalaureate degree in accordance with the admissions policy of Dominican University. Academic credit for life experience and previous work experience will not be given, in whole or in part, in lieu of the field practicum of courses in professional foundation.

To standardize evidence of competence in written communication, the English placement examination is required. Students whose performance on a College-administered placement examination is below an acceptable standard are required to take and pass the English course specified. Administration dates for placement examinations are posted, and it is the responsibility of the student to arrange for taking the examination before the second semester of the junior year.

Summary of Requirements

:: The Social Work Core (45 credits)

Day Sessions
Junior Year (Fall) (9 credits)
:: SW 200 Introduction to Social Work (3)
:: SW 451 Person in Environment I (3)
:: Social Work Elective (3)
*(Students may choose to take SW200 sophomore yr.)

Spring (12 credits)
:: SW 452 Person in Environment II (3)
:: SW 454 Social Work Practice I (3)
:: SW 455 Social Work Junior Field Education and Seminar I (3)
:: SW 462 Social Policy: Perspectives on Race, Class, and Gender (3)

Senior Year (Fall) (12 credits)
:: SW 461 Methods of Social Research I (3)
:: SW 463 Social Work Practice II (3)
:: SW 465a Social Work Senior Field Education and Seminar II a (3)
:: SW 465b Social Work Senior Field Education and Seminar II b (3)

Spring (12 credits)
:: SW 464 Social Work Practice III (3)
:: SW 466a Social Work Senior Field Education and Seminar III a (3)
:: SW 466b Social Work Senior Field Education and Seminar III b (3)
:: SW 467 Methods of Social Research II (3)

*One Social Work Elective REQUIRED. Students may choose to take elective courses during any semester beginning in their sophomore year.