Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)
About the Program
At UC, we believe that education for social work should challenge you to look inside to learn about yourself and then to look outside to find ways to be of service in the world.
As a first year student in the BSW program, you will start your educational journey as a member of the Social Work Learning Community, learning about the profession as well as completing general education requirements. Introductory courses in social work allow for the study of social problems and to experience social work through opportunities for service learning in the community.
The required courses for the BSW degree begin in the junior year. You will begin to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for the achievement of the core competencies for generalist social work practice as defined by the Council on Social Work Education. In the senior year, you will have a year-long, two days per week field placement in a local social service agency, practicing the skills you have learned under the supervision of a professional social worker.
The School has affiliations with over 200 social service agencies in the greater Cincinnati area, providing a wealth of options for field learning. Senior-year coursework and seminars allow you to connect the theories you have studied to what you experience in the field as you reflect on your developing professional self. Unique to UC is the two-term research sequence; you will learn basic research methods and then design and carry out a research project in your field agency.
Also unique to UC is the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program, offered in collaboration with other social work programs at public universities in Ohio. Students in this program have a specialized curriculum in the senior year and a field placement in a public child welfare agency. They learn the skills of working with families in distress to prevent and correct situations of abuse and neglect. Some financial assistance is available to students who complete the program and enter employment in this field.
In September 2013, a collaborative effort between the School of Social Work and Department of Romance Languages and Literature resulted in the development of a Certificate in Service Learning in Spanish for Social Workers and Health Care Services, allowing undergraduate social work students to expand their cultural competency and skills to be able to serve the often underserved Spanish-speaking population.
Not all learning takes place in the classroom or field. The undergraduate Bearcat Social Work Students Organization provides opportunities for learning and service, including Advocacy Day in Columbus, where you can lobby your state legislators about issues important to you.
The College of Allied Health Sciences Tribunal is the students’ voice in UC Student Senate and with college and university administration. Leadership opportunities await students who have energy and passion for working on the “big picture” on campus and off.
At the end of your UC education, you will be prepared for entry-level, generalist social work practice, which means that you will have the knowledge and skills needed to work with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations in a variety of settings and can become licensed as a social worker in the state of Ohio after passing your licensing exam.
You will also have the foundation education necessary for graduate study in social work, and if your academic record is outstanding, you may be admitted to the accelerated, one-year Master of Social Work program at UC or similar programs around the country.