The BASW Program

BASW program

The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) was initially accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in 1973. It has been continuously reaffirmed since that time and has been ranked among the top undergraduate social work programs in the country. The BASW Program now offers both a Major in Social Work (BASW) and a Social Work minor.

The BASW Program prepares its graduates to engage in entry-level generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, communities, and/or organizations within a multicultural society. Professional practice settings for entry-level generalist practitioners include child welfare, family preservation, mental retardation and mental health, drug and alcohol, juvenile justice, aging, shelters for battered women, homeless shelters, community food banks, neighborhood citizen organizations, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers, among many others. Since 2001, the BASW Program has offered the Child Welfare Education for Baccalaureates (CWEB) program as an educational opportunity for undergraduate social work majors to prepare for employment in one of Pennsylvania's 67 public child welfare agencies.

The School of Social Work is also committed to developing undergraduate professionals and supporting agencies to serve older adults through its Aging Initiatives & Programs.

The BASW Program is offered as an upper-division (i.e., junior and senior years only) academic major, underscoring the program's commitment to a strong liberal arts base. Learn more about degree requirements, full- and part-time enrollment options and class schedule, and field education for BASW students.

The Social Work Minor is open to undergraduate students throughout the university (see minor requirements).

What makes Social Work different from Psychology and Sociology? Read about your different career options

Browne Leadership Fellows Program

Interested in community engagement and social justice? Browne Fellows receive $3,000 for the summer.  Freshman, sophomores and juniors from all academic majors are encouraged to apply!

Program Goals

The Goals of BASW Program are to prepare students to competently engage in generalist social work practice. As such, it is our goal that by completion of the program, students will be prepared to:

  1. Use their liberal arts foundation and their understanding of bio-psycho-social-spiritual-cultural development to engage in evidence-based generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations within a multicultural society (EP 2.1.1, EP 2.1.3, EP 2.1.4, EP 2.1.6, EP 2.1.7, EP 2.1.8, EP, 2.1.9, EP 2.1.10). 
  2. Practice according to the principles, values, and ethics that guide the social work profession (EP 2.1.1, E.P.2.1.2).
  3. Advocate for human rights and social and economic justice. (EP 2.1.3, EP 2.1.4, EP 2.1.5, EP 2.1.8, EP 2.1.9). 
  4. Continue formal education in either graduate social work education or other graduate disciplines (EP 2.1.1).

The BASW Program Faculty have defined "generalist practice" as:
The application of knowledge, values, and skills of the general method of problem-solving, which spans the processes of engagement, data collection, assessment, intervention, evaluation, and termination. Preparation in the general method focuses on the application of the method to client/consumer systems of various sizes (individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations). Key to this problem-solving approach is its applicability to multi-cultural contexts, focusing on the strengths inherent in clients/consumers' and systems. The ethics and values of the social work profession anchor this practice.

The BASW Program has also identified a number of more specific and measurable objectives that allow us to document progress toward attaining our goals. We expect graduates from the BASW Program to practice in a manner consistent with social work traditions, values, and ethics, as expressed in the NASW Code of Ethics.

See BASW Student Handbook (PDF).