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The mission of the Social Work Program is to prepare students for beginning professional generalist social work practice in a wide range of settings, and with diverse population through education, research, and service with special appreciation for the peoples and institutions of West Virginia, Appalachia, and other rural areas. The program has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1974. The accreditation applies to beginning level generalist social work practice. Upon completion of the requirements for the Bachelor of Social Work degree, the National Association of Social Workers will accept graduates as regular members of the Association. Additionally, graduates will be allowed to sit for the Social Work Licensure Exam.

Graduates of the four-year program will be prepared for:

  • Beginning level professional generalist social work practice;
  • Graduate social work education.

A basic arts and sciences education is essential to professional social work education. There is no foreign language requirement. All courses require letter grades except SOWK 4601/SOWK 4602, Field Instruction, which is a pass-fail evaluation due to the nature of field experience. There are no provisions for awarding academic credit for life experience, or previous work experience, in lieu of the field placement requirement or to fulfill any of the foundation course requirements.

Beginning with the introductory class, there are opportunities for field experience in many of the required social work courses.

Educational Requirements for State Licensure Report

Why Major in Social Work?

The Social Work profession focuses on issues of equality, social and economic justice while working to strengthen individuals, families, and communities. Here at Concord University, you will develop the knowledge and learn the skills to work in a variety of settings. 

Our professional social work education includes courses on social work values and ethics, diversity, social and economic justice, populations-at-risk, human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, social work practice, research, and field practicum. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and upon graduation, students are qualified to become licensed social work practitioners.

What Can The Social Work Program Do for Me?

Concord's Social Work program offers a specialized degree that prepares its graduates for immediate entry into professional social work positions or graduate school. Graduates of our program are well prepared to enter the field. In fact:

  • Graduates are either employed in the social work field (most either during or after completion of their internship) or accepted to graduate school.
  • Public Service Scholarships are available, and upon graduation provide direct access to jobs with the state-wide Department of Health and Human Resources.
  • Students may be eligible for assistantships to work with faculty on research projects.
  • Continuous and ongoing contact with community agencies and organizations.
  • BSW’s are given special consideration for civil service ranking.
  • Graduates are allowed to take the Social Work Licensure Exam.
  • Fully Accredited since 1974 by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). 
What Will I Learn?

Graduates of the social work program are trained as generalist practitioners through a wide range of courses enabling them to work effectively with a variety of issues and people.

Core Courses Include:

  • Introduction to Social Work
  • Group Dynamics and Interviewing Skills
  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • Social Policy and Services
  • Human Diversity
  • Social Work Research Methods
  • Field Instruction Internship

Elective Courses Include:

  • Health and Human Resources Administration
  • Working with Children and Adolescents
  • Gerontology and the Field of Aging
  • Health Care
  • Corrections
  • International Social Work Addictions
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
What Type of Jobs Can I Get as a Social Worker?

Social workers are highly sought after in a wide variety of occupations. Generalist social work practitioners can work in a variety of fields and settings dealing with human behavior. Below are just a few of the many career choices that are possible with a degree in social work.

  • Abuse Centers
  • Adoption and Foster Care
  • Adult and Child Protective Services
  • Advocacy Organizations
  • Civil Rights and Social Justice Services
  • City and County Departments of Social Services
  • Community Action Agencies
  • Community Planning and Development
  • Corporate & Industrial Settings
  • Correctional Institutions
  • Counseling
  • Department of Health and Human Resources
  • Developmental Disabilities (Children & Adults)
  • Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Programs
  • Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centers
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Employment Counseling
  • Family Social Services
  • Hospice Programs
  • Hospitals (Medical & Psychiatric)
  • Human Relations Work
  • Juvenile and Adult Probation
  • Juvenile Services
  • Nursing Homes
  • Public Assistance Programs
  • Public Housing Authority
  • Public Schools
  • Rehabilitation and Vocational Services
  • Substance Abuse
  • Veteran's Affairs
Admission to the BSW Program

Students are eligible to apply for admission after they have completed the required 18 credit hours of designated courses at Concord (see list below). Application into the Social Work program must be submitted prior to enrolling in Social Work Research Methods, SOWK 370.

Admissions and Retention Committee meetings are held several times throughout each semester. The Admissions Application is to be completed and submitted to the Social Work Department office, room 107 Marsh Hall or you may email your completed application to Ms. Vanessa Howell at Students will be notified of a time and date for their interview with the Admissions and Retention Committee, which consists of all full-time social work faculty. It is necessary that students attend their scheduled interview session once registered to do so. Failure to comply may result in the delay of admission to the Social Work program.

Prerequisite Required Courses

  • English 101
  • English 102
  • Psychology 101
  • Sociology 101
  • Social Work 161
  • Social Work 229
Admission to BSW/MSW Program under the 5 Year Plan

Students who plan to pursue their graduate degree in social work, Master of Social Work (MSW), may complete both their BSW and MSW program in five (5) years by applying to the 5 year plan. Under the 5 year plan, students apply for admission to the MSW program when they apply for admission to the BSW program. Thus, positioning the student for completion of both the BSW and MSW in five years. Letters of reference submitted for admission to the BSW program will also be used for admission to the MSW program. Hence, letters of reference are submitted only once for students under the 5 Year plan. Similarly, the graduate application fee is waived for students under the 5 year plan. GPA and ethical standards must be maintained throughout the first four years of the program for admission to the MSW program under the 5 year plan.

BSW/MSW (5 Year) Application Requirements

  • Complete and submit BSW Application
  • Completed the following classes and have 2.0 in the courses listed below with a 2.5 GPA required in the two SOWK classes. (no grade less than "C" can be accepted for SOWK 161 and 229)
    • English 101
    • English 102
    • Psychology 101
    • Sociology 101
    • SOWK 161 
    • SOWK 229
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • Two Academic (one can be from a social work faculty member)
  • One Professional (Exclude letters from Friends, relatives, and class mates)
  • Biographical Reflection
    • Describe your basic belief system, career goals, and the things which have contributed to your decision to pursue a study in social work. 
    • What are your perceptions regarding a social issue?
    • What is your perceptions of social and economic justice in rural settings?
    • Why are you pursuing the MSW Degree?
  • Complete the Letter of Intent/Acceptance for the MSW Program when you start BSW field.

Students following the 5 year plan can be admitted directly to the MSW program. During the Student's last semester in the BSW program, the student under the 5 year plan, submits the Notice to Continue to the MSW Program. 

Apply for Admission to the BSW Program

BSW Application Requirements

  • Complete and submit BSW Application
  • Completed the following classes and have 2.0 in the courses listed below with a 2.5 GPA required in the two SOWK classes. (no grade less than "C" can be accepted for SOWK 161 and 229)
    • English 101
    • English 102
    • Psychology 101
    • Sociology 101
    • SOWK 161 
    • SOWK 229
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • One Academic (other than social work faculty)
  • Two Professional (Exclude letters from Friends, relatives, and class mates)
  • Biographical Reflection - Describe your basic belief system, career goals, and the things which have contributed to your decision to pursue a study in social work. 

If you are interested in the Applying to the Bachelor of Social Work program, please apply online or download and complete the PDF application.

Social Work Organization

CSWO Fall 2020 Officers

Madyson Kennedy

Destiny Clemins

SGA Representative
Madyson Kennedy

Vice President
​Madison Berg

​Shara Morris

Sarah Smith

Once you are admitted into the Social Work program, you are invited to become a member of the Concord University Social Work Organization (CSWO). CSWO combines fun and fellowship with service and governance. CSWO is a service based organization that strives to 'be the change' and seeks members who have a passion to help our community, our college, and our nation.

This student organization was formed in 1975 and has been officially recognized as a Campus organization since 1976. The primary purpose of the organization is to give the students an opportunity to organize on their behalf.

There are many opportunities to become involved in the CSWO. Leadership positions and committee memberships are always encouraged. Some ways the students in this organization participate include:

  • Serving on the Curriculum Committee, which acts in an advisory capacity in the Social Work Department
  • Participating in service projects and fundraisers
  • Attending conferences together
  • Playing a role in governance of the campus community by working with the Student Government Organization

For meeting dates and times, visit the CSWO Facebook page.

Dr. Joan Pendergast

Concord Social Work Organization By-Laws (PDF)
Concord Social Work Organization Core Competencies (PDF)
Outstanding Graduate Award - Social Work
Each year the Outstanding Social Work Graduate of the Year is awarded to the graduating Social Work student achieving the highest standard of academic excellence. The Outstanding Social Work Graduate of the Year not only has the highest Grade Point Average (GPA) of all graduates, but also exhibits superiority in the areas of service to others, community involvement and leadership.


Maria Harer
Social Work & Sociology Major


Hannah Barker
Social Work Major


Michelle Shrewsberry
Magna Cum Laude • Social Work Major 


Katie Ratcliffe
Summa Cum Laude • Social Work Major

Savannah Halverson
Magna Cum Laude • Social Work Major & Minor in Psychology

Britany Hopkins

Rebecca Gouty

Nola Gum

Jennifer Crowe

Lucretia O'Dell

Gloria Beverage & Jennifer Justice

Chedella M. Ware

Patricia Lynn Good

Amanda Pendry
Summa Cum Laude • Social Work & Psychology Double Major

Ann Reed

Kaitlyn Begg & Chasity Owen

Marsha Edwards

Jessica Kennedy

Carol Jackson

Ruschelle Smiroldo

Erin R. Luzader


Programs of Studies


Course Description

Contact Information

For questions about the BSW Program, please contact our BSW Director:

Dr. Joan Pendergast
BSW Program Director
Associate Professor of Social Work

BSW Program Forms

Online ApplicationPaper Application

5 year BSW Program Forms

Online ApplicationPaper ApplicationLetter of Intent/Acceptance for MSW Program