Bachelor of Social Work



Bachelor of Social Work

“There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life” ~Mary Rose McGeady

The mission of the Department of Social Work is to prepare our BSW students for beginning generalist social work practice in a wide range of settings, and with diverse populations 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 take the Social Work Licensure Exam.

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 fjeld 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.


BSW Degree Requirements

CSWO Cat WiskersThe degree of Bachelor of Social Work requires the successful completion of 120 semester hours, including (1) the Program of General Studies, which includes the designated liberal arts content; (2) the social work program listed below; and (3) a program of electives worked out with the student’s adviser. Students must also attain a grade point average (GPA) of 2.50 or better on all courses listed below under Social Work Program. Students are formally accepted as social work majors after having been admitted by the Social Work Admissions and Retention Committee. Detailed admissions requirements and procedures are presented in the Social Work Student Handbook (PDF).

The Social Work program use the BSW Progression Sheet to keep track of the courses that students have taken towards the degree requirement. Download it below.

Download BSW Program Brochure Button
BSW Progression Sheet (PDF)

Required Social Work Courses

55 Credit Hours

  • SOWK 161 Introduction to Social Work (3)
  • SOWK 229 Group Dynamics and Interviewing Skills (3)
  • SOWK 236 Human Behavior and the Social Environment Theories (3)
  • SOWK 237 Human Behavior and the Social Environment Across the Lifespan (3)
  • SOWK 301 Social Policy and Services History (3)
  • SOWK 302 Human Diversity (3)
  • SOWK 303 Social Policy and Services Analysis (3)
  • SOWK 370 Social Work Research Methods (4)
  • SOWK 307 Practice with Individuals and Families (3)
  • SOWK 308 Practice with Groups (3)
  • SOWK 309 Practice with Communities and Organizations (3)
  • SOWK 4601 Field Instruction
  • SOWK 4602 Field Instruction
  • SOWK 451 Social Work Issues Seminar
  • Six hours of Social Work electives

Required Liberal Arts Courses

  • BIOL 101 General Biology I (4)
  • BIOL 102 General Biology II (4)
  • MATH 105 Elementary Statistics (3)
  • PSY 101 General Psychology (3)
  • SOC 101 People and Their Social Environment (3)
  • SOSC 2701 Introduction to Academic Research (1)

Social Work Electives

  • SOWK 318 Health and Human Resources Administration (3)
  • SOWK 321 Working with Children and Adolescents (3)
  • SOWK 322 School Social Services (3)
  • SOWK 324 Gerontology and the Field of Aging (3)
  • SOWK 327 Health Care (3)
  • SOWK 336 Corrections (3)
  • SOWK 320 Special Topics in Social Work (1-3)
  • SOWK 470 Advanced Community-Based Research (3)

Concord Social Work Students at 2011 West Virginia Legislative Day

Additional Requirements

Additionally students must complete one 3 hour credit course in each of the following cognate areas (for a total of 9 credit hours).

Human Behavior and the Social Environment Cognate (3 credit hours/one course):

  • PSY 322 Peronality (3)
  • SOC 201 Social Problems (3)
  • SOC 221 Sociology of Gender (3)
  • SOC 301 Sociology of Families (3)
  • SOC 307 Social Psychology (3)
  • PHIL 316 Ethics (3)
  • PHIL 360 Biomedical Ethics (3)

Policy Cognate (3 credit hours/one course)

  • POSC 202 State and Local Government (3)
  • POSC 204 Public Administration (3)
  • POSC 319 Political Geography (3)
  • GEOG 319 Political Geography (3)

Diversity Cognate (3 credit hours/one course)

  • SOC 310 Cultural Anthropology (3)
  • SOC 321 Popular Culture (3)
  • GEOG 321 Advanced Cultural Geography (3)
  • APST 101 Introducation to Appalachian Studies (3)
  • APST 200 Special Topics in Appalachian Studies (3)
  • RTM 226 Inclusive Services in Recreation and Tourism (3)

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 (link sends e-mail). 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 5 Year BSW/MSW Program (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.


Apply for Admission to the BSW Program

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

Online BSW Application
BSW Paper Application 

Admission to BSW/MSW Program under the 5 Year Plan

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. 

Online BSW/MSW Application
5 Year BSW/MSW Paper Application
Letter of Intent/Acceptance for MSW Program 

Contact Information

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

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