Through course work and professional experience in CMU’s social work program, you’ll learn how to think about people and the obstacles they face and how their world helps or hurts their problem-solving skills. You’ll learn to help people positively advance their lives and improve the way society treats them. During your senior year, you’ll put your new skills into practice beside an experienced professional in a social work setting.
Points of Pride
- CMU social work students have been elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Social Workers, and CMU social work faculty members regularly hold national leadership positions.
- The majority of CMU social work graduates have gone on to pursue graduate degrees, including Ph.D. programs and law school.
- Alumni have become officers in the Army or Marine Corps, and many have elected to serve others through the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps or Teach for America.
Put Your Degree to Work
CMU’s bachelor’s degree in social work is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education, which makes graduates eligible to become licensed social workers in Michigan. Careers include child welfare worker, community mental health case manager, advocate for persons with disabilities, domestic violence advocate, hospice or gerontology case manager, juvenile court worker, Peace Corps or AmeriCorps volunteer, probation officer, social justice activist, or substance abuse counselor.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data
|Job||Median Pay||Job Growth through 2022|
|Social worker||$44,200 per year||19% (114,100 per year)|
|Social and human service assistant||$28,850 per year||22% (81,200 per year))|
|Health educator||$41,830 per year||21% (21,400 per year)|
The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.
(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)
Social Work Major
The social work major on the BSW degree plan prepares students for generalist practice in the field of social work. The core competencies are learned through a blend of theory, practice, research and policy courses and implemented during the 400 hour practicum that students complete in their final two semesters.
Students intending to apply to the social work program should make an appointment with a social work advisor early in their academic career to assure they understand the requirements for admissions. Application for admission to the program is typically completed in the spring semester of the traditional sophomore year. Students should consult their advisor about applying. Students should declare a major by the end of their sophomore year. Declaring a major does not guarantee admission to the Bachelor of Social Work Program. A minor in Social Work is not available.
Total: 48 semester hours
Note: The student will enroll in SWK 470 AND SWK 480 consecutively within two years of completing the course prerequisites.
Required Courses I
Note: SWK 450 is approved for offering as WI.
Systematic introduction to the field of sociology, its theories, concepts, and methods. Explores social relationships within the context of social structure. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. (University Program Group III-B: Studies in Social Structures)
Introduction to Social Work
Principles and values of social work, community resources and social service agencies, helping methods, and the role of the professional social worker. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format.
Social Welfare Policies and Services I
History of social welfare and social action. Analysis of American social welfare systems. Links between social policy and needs and impacts on vulnerable groups. Prerequisite: SWK 100.
Social Work Generalist Practice I
Generalist communication skills through interviewing and information exchange with micro, mezzo and macro client systems. Develop ability to assess information obtained. Prerequisites: Must have minimum of 2.5 GPA; signed Social Work Major; applied to the Social Work Program; SWK 100; completion of 50 credit hours. Pre/Co-requisites: SWK 250; SWK 350. Co-requisite: SWK 374.
Social Work Generalist Practice II
Knowledge, skills, and values for social work generalist practice within micro, mezzo, and macro client systems. Emphasis on culturally- competent and evidence-based practice. Prerequisites: Admitted to the Social Work Program; all SWK program required volunteer hours completed; SWK 315, 374. Co-requisite: SWK 375.
Social Work Generalist Practice III
Generalist social work practice with micro, mezzo and macro systems continued from SWK 315 and SWK 321 with emphasis on the strengths perspective. Writing Intensive. Prerequisites: Admitted to the Social Work Program; all SWK program required volunteer hours completed; SWK 315, 321. Co-requisite: SWK 470.
Social Work Research Methodologies
Data collection methodologies and issues for evidence-based practice and applied social work research including: experiments/single subject design, program evaluation, interviewing, community studies. Prerequisite: SWK 100; SOC 200 or PSY 211 or STA 282, with a C or better. Pre/Co-requisites: SWK 250 or SOC 221 or 302.
Social Work and Human Behavior I
Critique and analysis of theory explaining human behavior in individuals and families. Use of theory in social work practice with diverse and/or oppressed populations. Prerequisites: Must have minimum of 2.5 GPA; signed Social Work Major; applied to the Social Work Program. Pre/Co- requisites: SWK 250; BIO 151 or HSC 211.
Social Work and Human Behavior II
Theories explaining human behavior in groups, organizations, communities, and global systems. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. Prerequisites: Admitted to the Social Work Program; C or better in SWK 374. Co-requisite: SWK 321 OR completion of 86 hours in Bachelor of Science with an Option in Community Development.
Social Welfare Policies and Services II
Analysis and evaluation of social policies welfare services. Emphasis on social action, social and economic justice and impact on at-risk groups. May be offered as Writing Intensive. Prerequisites: Admitted to the Social Work Program; SWK 250; SOC 221 or 302; SWK 470. Co-requisites: SWK 480.
Social Work Practicum I
200 hours of supervised experience in a social work setting. CR/NC only. Prerequisites: Admitted to the Social Work Program; SWK 321, 375. Co- requisite: SWK 331, 471.
Social Work Practicum Seminar I
Students consciously and critically integrate knowledge with direct practice observed in a field agency and compare generalist practice as implemented in different agencies. Prerequisites: Admitted to the social work program; Co-requisite: SWK 470.
Social Work Practicum II
Continuation of 200 hours of supervised experience in a social work setting. CR/NC only. Prerequisites: Admitted to the Social Work Program; SWK 470, 471 with a B- or better. Pre/Co-requisite: SWK 450. Co- requisite: SWK 481.
Social Work Practicum Seminar II
Students consciously and critically integrate knowledge with direct practice as performed in a field agency and compare generalist practice as implemented in different agencies. Prerequisites: SWK 471 with a B- or better, SWK 470. Pre/Co-requisite: SWK 450. Co-requisite: SWK 480.
Required Courses II
Select one of the following:
Explores the nature and extent of major social problems. Examines structural, institutional, constructionist and normative elements, and encourages critical engagement with types of proposed solutions. (University Program Group III-B: Studies in Social Structures)
Class, race, and gender and other forms of social strata. The bases, consequences, and correlates of position in the system of stratification. Prerequisites: SOC 100 or 201 or 221; or SOC/ANT 101 and a signed Global Justice Minor.
Required Courses III
Select one of the following:
Introduction to Psychological Statistics
Basic descriptive and inferential statistics are considered, including measures of central tendency and variability, the normal distribution, the t-test, ANOVA, correlation, and chi-square. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. Quantitative Reasoning. Prerequisites: PSY 100 and completion of Mathematics Competency.
Introduction to Social Research and Analysis
First in a two-part methods sequence with SOC 350. Basic research issues. Univariate, bivariate, multivariate analysis techniques in sociology and social work. Computer applications. Prerequisites: SOC 100; completion of math competency.
Introduction to Statistics
Descriptive statistics, probability, sampling distributions, statistical inference, regression. Course does not count on major, minor in mathematics. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses: STA 282, STA 382, STA 392. Quantitative Reasoning. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. Recommended: MTH 105 or competency.