Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) Overview

General Information

The B.S.W. program is designed to prepare students for ethically-guided, generalist social work practice at the entry level of professional employment and for graduate professional education. Satisfactory completion of our undergraduate curriculum means that you would be eligible for up to one year advanced standing in Master of Social Work degree programs. With some post-degree work experience, you can be licensed as a social worker in the State of Michigan. This degree program can be completed in the evening on an extended basis.


The Social Work Degree Program

The social work curriculum is based on the premise that as a social worker you need a well-integrated program of liberal arts courses, professional foundation courses, and professional core courses. The curriculum is, therefore, interdisciplinary in nature. It includes 46 credit hours in social work core courses and 30 credit hours in professionally related courses in the social sciences, biology and philosophy. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, no minor is required.

If you are entering Marygrove as a first year student, then the program of study leading to the B.S.W. degree generally consists of a minimum of four years of full-time study. If you already have an associates degree or are transferring into Marygrove with junior standing, you can generally complete all requirements for the B.S.W. degree in two years of full-time study.

It is not mandatory that you attend the College full-time to pursue the B.S.W. degree. Part-time students are also welcomed into the program.

The professional core courses are concentrated in the junior and senior years. Therefore, you are advised to complete general education requirements before your junior year, or as soon as possible.

In accordance with CSWEs Accreditation Standard 3.2.5 for baccalaureate social work programs, the Marygrove BSW program has a written policy indicating that it does not grant social work credit for life experience or previous work experience.

Social Work Advisor and Student Handbook

After admission to the College, you will be assigned a social work faculty advisor who will help you plan your academic career at Marygrove and consider the many professional social work career possibilities. Your advisor will provide you with a Social Work Department Student Handbook. This includes general information about the social work profession and specific information regarding the Marygrove BSW programs mission, goals and objectives, together with its policies and procedures. It is highly recommended that you meet with your advisor every semester in order to help ensure that you are taking the courses you need and in the required order.

Acceptance into the B.S.W. Degree Program

After you are admitted to the College, your advisor will explain the self-assessment, application and screening process required of you in order to be granted formal acceptance into the B.S.W. degree program. This process starts with your enrollment in one or more introductory social work courses, which you should elect as soon as you complete all prerequisites to the course(s). In these courses, you will assess your aptitude for, and clarify your interest in social work.

You will be ready to submit an application for formal acceptance into the social work program once you have:

  • decided that you want to attain the B.S.W. degree
  • achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.3 (C+)
  • completed SW 312 with a grade of C or better
  • demonstrated successful progress in SW 314

An application packet is available in the Social Work Department Office. Details of the application process are outlined in the application packet, in the Social Work Department Student Handbook, and in SW 312:

Introduction to Social Work. Each student is responsible for submitting to the Social Work Department Office the entire admissions application, including the application form, personal interest statement and reference letters, by the deadline posted each semester.

Applications are reviewed by the Social Work Admissions Sub-Committee. You will be notified of the Admissions Sub-Committees decision by the end of the semester in which you apply.

A contractual agreement between the student and the Social Work department must be signed upon admission to the program. Admission to the program is valid for six (6) years. If this time period has expired and you have not successfully progressed toward degree completion, then you must re-apply to the program.

No grade below a C will be accepted in any required core social work course. If you earn below a C in a core social work course, you must repeat that course. Only two core courses may be repeated. If more than two core courses must be repeated, as a result of a final grade lower than a C, then you may not continue in the social work program.

An overall GPA of 2.3 must be maintained by social work students. Continuance in the program is contingent upon maintenance of this GPA requirement, as well as upon personal and professional behavior that is consistent with the NASW Code of Ethics.

Decisions about program admission, discontinuance and repeating of course work will be handled on an individual basis. If you wish to appeal a decision or a policy, please refer to the academic appeals procedures described in the Social Work Department Student Handbook and in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.

The program reserves the right to require volunteer experience or a pre-professional practicum on an as-needed basis.

You must be formally accepted into the program before you can enroll in:

SW 350 Social Work Practice I
SW 450 Social Work Practice II
SW 455 Field Practicum

Admission to Field Education Program

An integral part of the BSW Program is its Field Education Program.

To be admitted to the field education program, a student must:

  • Have been admitted to the social work program
  • Have completed SW 325 with a grade of C or higher
  • Attend a mandatory field education meeting
  • Submit completed Application for Admission to Field Education
  • Submit completed Student Field Education form
  • Submit Course Check List signed by advisor verifying students readiness to graduate at conclusion of fall, (Block placement), or winter semester of internship year
  • Be evaluated by social work faculty as being professionally and academically ready for admission to field education
  • Successfully complete SW 350 with a grade of C or higher during the winter or summer semester immediately prior to the beginning of the field placement

Decisions about field education admission, denial and/or discontinuance will be handled on an individual basis. If you wish to appeal a decision or policy, please refer to the academic appeals procedures described in the Social Work Department Student Handbook and in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.

Field Practicum

The core of the field education program is an educationally planned, professionally guided field practicum in an agency or facility where professional social workers are employed. As a social work intern, you will be engaged in the delivery of social services to individuals, families, groups, organizations and/or communities, generally two to three days per week. Marygroves social work program has two practicum models.

The Academic Year practicum model is the main practicum format and is the model that open to all students admitted to field education. You are enrolled in the field practicum course and working in the assigned agency two semesters, for a total of 12 credit hours. This enrollment occurs during both the Fall (6 credits), and Winter (6 credits), academic terms. You graduate in May at the conclusion of that academic year.

The second practicum model is called the Block Placement model, in which you are enrolled in the field practicum course and working in the assigned agency during the Summer term (3 credits), and Fall term (9 credits), for a total of 12 credit hours. You graduate in December at the conclusion of the Fall semester. The majority of students are not eligible to follow this Block Placement practicum model. In order to be considered for a Block Placement, you must:

  • Be admitted into the Field Education Program by conclusion of the Fall term which precedes the Summer term in which the Block placement practicum will begin
  • Have a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.2
  • Provide a written rationale stating why you believe you are capable of completing a Block Placement in light of the heavy academic and professional requirements social work which this model places on students, especially during the Fall semester when you must complete 9 credits of field practicum work
  • Present a clear and realistic plan demonstrating how you will complete all the requirements of the field practicum, as well as all of your requirements for graduation by December of the same calendar year in which you complete your second semester field practicum
  • Be graduating in December of the same calendar year as the year in which you conclude your field practicum.*

*The field director has been given the authority by the faculty to determine whether students plans are realistic and if they will be able to handle the demands of a Block placement. This decision about readiness for a Block Placement will be made by the field director in consultation with the social work faculty. Approval or denial of requests will be given in writing. If a student wishes to appeal the decision, she or he should refer to the academic appeals procedures described in the Social Work Department Student Handbook and in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.

**Although a student meets the qualifications and receives approval to complete the Block placement model, this does not guarantee that the program will be able to accommodate all specific needs or requests. At Marygrove, your field practicum agency is specifically selected for you by the Field Director, with your consultation, from the many and diverse agencies in the tri-county area. The field practicum provides you with invaluable experience and preparation for employment in entry-level social work practice. Because the field practicum, together with required coursework, places high demands on your time and energy in the senior year advance planning is required. The Field Director reserves the right to delay, interrupt and/or terminate the field practicum experience. The Field Director may also require that you complete additional field practicum hours beyond the required 450 hours of practicum work, on an as needed basis.

As we subscribe to and aim to cultivate the values of the social work profession, it is expected that you will respect and promote the dignity, integrity and self-determination of every person in the field agency, on campus, in the classroom and in related interactions, as well as conduct yourself according to the NASW Code of Ethics at all times.


To complete the social work program, you are required to take the following courses or their equivalents in these areas:

A. General Education Requirements

The general education requirements for the B.S.W. degree are more specific than those for the Bachelor of Arts.

The B.S.W. general education requirement under Scientific Inquiry is BIO 139, BIO 201 or BIO 257. These are approved as a laboratory science of four credit hours for social work majors.

The B.S.W. requires 25 credits in the social sciences, including courses in psychology, sociology, political science and economics. Several of these requirements also meet the College general education requirements in the area of Social Environment.

The B.S.W. degree requires a course on values or ethics, either PHL 126 or PHL 225, which also serves as the College general education requirement under Religious and Philosophical Traditions.

To fulfill the College requirement for computer literacy, each social major must submit at least one required paper in SW 312, for which the students computer skills have been documented by a staff member of Marygroves Writing Center or pass with 70% the specially designed social work computer test in the STI C lab. A copy of this documented paper or test results must also be submitted to the academic advisor for inclusion in the students advising folder.

Thus, of the courses designated for College general education credit, these specific courses are required for the Social Work Program.

BIO 139  Principles of Biology
-OR -
BIO 201  Ecology and the Environment
-OR -
BIO 257  Human Anatomy and Physiology
ECN 200  Introductory Macroeconomics
-OR -
ECN 202  Economic Dimensions
PSY 205  Introductory Psychology
SOC 201  Sociological Perspectives
-OR -
SOC 202  Social Problems
PHL 126   Persons and Values
-OR -
PHL 225   Ethics


B. Professional Foundation Curriculum

These related courses are taken prior to and/or concurrent with the professional core.

PSY 240          Developmental Psychology
POL/SOC 385   Community and Organizational Change
SOC/POL 306   Ethnic and Racial Diversity
-OR -
SOC/POL 307   Introduction to Ethnic and Cultural Studies
PSY/SOC 346   Aging Individual in Society
-OR -
SW 410           Working With Older Adults
SOC/SW 345    Sociology of the Family
-OR -
SW 200B         Working with Children and Families social work 195


C. Professional Core Curriculum

The following courses constitute the professional core.

SW 312   Introduction to Social Work
SW 314   Social Welfare Policy
SW 325   Professional Communication with Individuals and Groups
SW 340   Human Behavior and the Social Environment I
SW 350   Social Work Practice I
SW 355   Social Research
SW 365   Research and Statistics for Social Workers
SW 440   Human Behavior and the Social Environment II
SW 450   Social Work Practice II
SW 455   Field Practicum I
SW 455   Field Practicum II
SW 496   Social Issues and Policies: Senior Seminar

All required Social Work (SW) courses taken at Marygrove or at another CSWE accredited undergraduate program have a limit of 6 years, except for SW 350: Social Work Practice I, SW 450: Social Work Practice II, and SW 455: Field Practicum. These courses must be taken at Marygrove. Also, SW 455 must be started within six months of completing SW 350. SW 450 must be taken concurrently with SW 455. If a student has not completed the entire field practicum, (SW 455), within 12 months of completing SW 450, then SW 450 must be retaken. A grade of C (2.0) or better must be achieved in all core social work courses, and a minimum grade point average of 2.5 must be maintained in the professional core.  Successful completion of all your core courses with a grade of C or higher, maintenance of the GPA requirement, and attainment of the goals and objectives of the field practicum as measured in your final field evaluation, will demonstrate your readiness for a career as a professional social worker.


D. Electives

SW 200A       Special Topics: Working with Substance Abuse
SW 200B       Special Topics: Working with Children and Families
SW 200C       Special Topics: Working with Mental Illness
SW 237/537  Physical Aspects of Aging
SW 268         Child Welfare Policies and Services
SW 299         Pre-professional Practicum
SW 312L       Introduction to Social Work Laboratory
SW 378/578  Policies and Services for Older Persons
SW 410/610  Working with Older Adults
SW 491        Independent Study

Other recommended electives:

ART 235      Introduction to Art Therapy
ART 337      Readings in Art Therapy
BIO 141       Nutrition Through the Life Cycle
CJ 110         Introduction to Criminal Justice
CJ 351         Restorative Justice
CJ 352         Women in the American Criminal Justice System
HIS 306       The World in the 20th Century
HIS 310       Metro Detroit Through Three Centuries
HIS 311       History of Blacks in America to 1865
HIS 312       History of Blacks in America since 1865
HIS 314       Native American History I
HIS 315       Native American History II
HIS 330       Michigan: History and Politics
HIS 335       Women in U.S. History
HIS 359       History of Civil Rights
PHL 276      Critical Thinking
PHL 325      Special Topics in Moral Philosophy
POL 308      Contemporary Indian Issues
POL 309      Ethnicity in Urban America
POL 149      American Political Systems
POL 315      Third World Politics
POL 318      Global Womens Issues and Policies
POL 358      Law and Society
PSY 320      Psychology of Women
PSY 330      Psychology of Adjustment
PSY 343     Adolescent Psychology
PSY 348     Death and Dying
PSY 360     Social Psychology
PSY 365     Group Dynamics
PSY 435    Abnormal Psychology
SOC 311    Deviant Behavior
SOC 320    Juvenile Delinquency
SOC 393    Urban Social Issues
SPA 150    Elementary Spanish I

Social Work Overview

Social Work Overview

Social work isn't a job—it's a calling. Marygrove prepares you for this calling with team-based teaching and student-driven courses.

Student Organizations

Student Organizations

Marygrove's Social Work student organizations offer more than just the opportunity to learn and make friends. They empower you to create change—to better the world through action.

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