Social Work

Social Work Undergraduate Degree Program (B.S.W.)

About the Bachelor of Social Work

Develop your abilities to make a difference in the world.

If your goal is to help others and make the world a better place, the study of social work can be your pathway. In the Bachelor of Social Work degree program at California University of Pennsylvania, you will learn how to work with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities to restore and enhance social functioning.

After completing your classes and hands-on fieldwork, you'll be well prepared to begin a fulfilling career as a social worker.

Improve the quality of life for those at risk in our region.

The fully accredited bachelor's degree program at Cal U, a public university, is specially designed to:

  • Help social work majors focus on how to improve the quality of life for at-risk people in the nearby Mon Valley region and throughout Pennsylvania.
  • Enable social work majors to participate in a one-semester practicum in a social services or human services agency.
  • Ensure full understanding of the role of a social worker by placing you in the field for 480 hours in your last semester.
  • Encourage you to practice your interpersonal skills in our lab and be videotaped for feedback from your peers and faculty in the program.


In the field
You'll complete 480 hours of field education in one term at a social services agency or organization in the community where social services are provided. This practicum is an immediate and direct introduction to a career in social work.

In addition to required bachelor's degree program courses, recommended electives enable you to round out your major with gerontology, abnormal psychology, contemporary social problems, elements of economics and an introduction to political science.

The bachelor's degree in social work at Cal U is one of the oldest undergraduate social work programs in Pennsylvania. It has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1976.
Cal U social work undergraduates go on to earn their master's degrees in social work at Cal U, University of Pittsburgh, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and other top universities. elsewhere.
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Degree Benefits

Cal U's bachelor's degree in social work prepares beginning social work practitioners to work with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities to:

  • Improve the quality of life for at-risk people in the surrounding Pennsylvania region and broader global society.

  • Foster social and economic justice, human rights and respect for diversity.

  • Enhance existing social services through research, continuing education and service.

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Graduate Outcomes

Cal U social work students report they are well prepared to enter the workforce and the profession. Cal U graduates hold career positions in a wide range of organizations in the region and throughout Pennsylvania at:

  • Washington County Children and Youth Services.
  • Veterans Administration.
  • Auberle.
  • Community Action Southwest.
  • Mon Valley Hospital.
  • American Red Cross of Western Pennsylvania.
  • Southwestern Pennsylvania Human Services Inc.
  • Twin Lakes Center for Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation.
Bachelor of Social Work

Career Edge

Graduates of the Cal U bachelor's degree in social work program are eligible for membership in the National Association of Social Workers and for advanced standing in many accredited graduate social work programs.


Phi Alpha

The Phi Alpha National Honor Society recognizes and promotes scholastic achievement in the social work program. Eligible students (3.0 GPA overall and 3.25 GPA in the social work major) are inducted in their junior or senior year.



Cal U's Bachelor of Social Work Association gives students opportunities to do volunteer and fundraising activities, and to attend local and national social work conferences.

Bachelor of Social Work Courses and Related Programs

As an accredited bachelor's degree, the social work degree program offers all social work practice and policy courses, and general education courses.


Course Credits
Freshman Year  
First Semester 16
ENG 101 English Composition I** 3
PSY 100 General Psychology* OR SOC 100 Principles of Sociology** 3
SOW 150 Introduction to Social Work* 3
UNI 100 First-Year Seminar** 1
General Education Courses 6
Second Semester 15
ENG 102 English Composition II** 3
SOC 100 Principles of Sociology** OR PSY 100 General Psychology* 3
General Education Courses 9
Sophomore Year  
Third Semester 15
SOW 201 Interviewing for the Human Services* 3
SOW 208 Diversity in a Changing World* 3
SOW 215 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I: Life Course* 3
General Education Courses 6
Fourth Semester 15
SOW 302 Social Work Practice with Individuals*  3
SOW 316 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II: Groups, Organizations and Communities* 3
General Education/Elective Courses 9
Junior Year  
Fifth Semester 15
SOW 304 Social Work Practice with Families* 3
SOW 360 Social Welfare History, Policy Analysis and Social Service Delivery* 3
Social Work Special Interest Course* 3
General Education/Elective Courses 6
Sixth Semester 15
SOW 303 Human Sexuality and Society** 3
SOW 345 Social Work Practice with Groups* 3
SOW 370 Policy Practice in Social Work* 3
Social Work Special Interest Course* 3
General Education/Elective Course 3
Senior Year  
Seventh Semester 15
SOW 405 Social Work Research Methods* 3
SOW 349 Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities* 3
Pre-Practicum Orientation 0
General Education/Elective Courses 9
Eighth Semester 15
SOW 425 Field Education* 12
SOW 435 Field Education Seminar* 3
Total 120

* Required major and related courses
** Required and recommended General Education

Special Interest Courses
SOW 306 Social Work in the Rural Environment
SOW 330 Child Welfare
SOW 340 Poverty and Related Social Problems
SOW 350 Social Work with the Aging
SOW 364 Juvenile Delinquency
SOW 410 Social Work in Mental Health
SOW 495 Seminar in Special Topics


Related Programs

Related Links

View the assessment of student outcomes and program competencies

View the BSW Student Handbook

View the BSW Field Manual

Social Work Faculty

Ann Bergamasco
MSW/BSW Field Coordinator

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Dr. Azadeh Block
Assistant Professor

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Dr. Sheri Boyle
Department Chair/MSW Program Director/Associate Professor

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Dr. Selina Matis

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Dr. Carolyn Wass

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Dr. Bonnie Young Laing
BSW Program Director / Associate Professor

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Jane Zupancic
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