Bachelors of Arts in Social Work


The 65 unit undergraduate Social Work major is designed to apply to a wide variety of social work practice settings. The preparatory course work for this major includes a basis in the liberal arts requiring classes in human biology, economics, public health, psychology, sociology, statistics and Social Work.
The upper division curriculum is intensive and exciting. It encompasses course work in Social Work practice, human behavior, cultural pluralism, social policy, macro level practice, and research. Elective seminars are available in specialized fields such as child welfare, aging, alcohol and other drugs, and family studies. A field work practicum experience is also required. The minor in Social Work consists of 24 units and is strongly recommended to all students with majors in the social and behavioral sciences who wish to broaden their competencies in a related discipline.

Download the 2023-2024 BASW Prospective Student Information Packet (pdf)

BSW Program Mission Statement

The mission of the BASW program is to prepare generalist social work practitioners for ethical, professional, and evidence-informed social work practice. The program focuses on entry-level social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities and is the foundation for advanced social work education. The program is committed to advancing equity and social justice, promoting human rights, and engaging in social action to enhance individual and community well-being in the diverse US-Mexico border-connected region, Tribal and Indigenous communities, and beyond.

Pre-major Criteria

All new students to this program are considered pre-majors and are assigned the pre-major code. The code will stay in effect until students complete the 21 unit preparation for the major coursework described in the Handbook and Catalog. Pre-majors may also enroll in the upper division out of department electives, and SW 350 and SW 360 as long as they reach 60 units. The approved “out of department electives” are described in the social work undergraduate handbook.

Two of the pre-major courses (SW 110 and SW 120) are available to community college students through “cross enrollment.” SDSU currently has an articulation agreement with San Diego City College for these courses (HUM 110 and HUM 120) and Cuyamaca College for SW 110 and 120. The BASW Program is a block program,  meaning  almost all of the courses are offered once a year and it is very important to stay in sequence.    If all 21 pre-major requirements are not met prior to beginning your studies at  SDSU, it is very likely that it will take three years to graduate.

All pre-major courses must be completed before declaring a major. Students must complete a change of major form in order to take SW 370, SW 382, SW 361, SW 381 and SW391. Students must change to the major code prior to registration or the computer will not permit access to any social work course.

Students who have current or past involvement with the criminal justice system, please note: We cannot guarantee you an internship site as we have limited choices for those in this situation. Also, students who legally use marijuana may not pass drug tests that many of our agencies require. We work with students to the best of our ability however some students may end up having to switch majors if they are unable to be approved by an internship agency. If you think you won’t be able to pass a background check, please notify Advisor Jennifer Cosio to discuss options. Please notify the Field Office as well if you think this may be an issue for you, well before applying for an internship.

Program Goals:

Consistent with the Mission of the School, the Baccalaureate Program of the School of Social Work prepares generalist practitioners for responsible, competent, entry-level social work practice with diverse populations in the Southern California area, in public and nonprofit social service agencies. It also provides the necessary foundation for advanced social work education. The goals of the Baccalaureate Program are to prepare graduates to:

  1. Function effectively as entry-level professionals in beginning social work practice.
  2. Demonstrate sensitivity to the diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural background of the Southern California border region and are able to work effectively in a variety of roles to meet the needs of the region’s varied communities.
  3. Understand and use social work values and ethics throughout their professional practice.
  4. Identify, evaluate and apply existing research evidence to guide their practice decision-making.
  5. Understand the contexts and purposes of social work practice, the changing nature of those contexts, and the nature and the dynamics of organizational behavior.
  6.  Demonstrate commitment to lifelong professional growth and learning.

Degree Learning Outcomes for SDSU BASW Program: 

The Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) adopted a competency-based framework for baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in social work education in the United States. The curricula for BASW degree within the SDSU School of Social Work are based on the nine competency-centered learning outcomes and are designed to build capacity for student achievement. 

  1. Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
  2. Advance Human Rights and Social, Racial, Economic, and Environmental Justice
  3. Engage Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ADEI) in Practice
  4. Engage in Practice-Informed Research and Research-Informed Practice
  5. Engage in Policy Practice
  6. Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  7. Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  8. Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  9. Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Additional Program Graduation Requirements

Please see the SDSU General Catalog for additional information about graduation requirements such as: graduation writing assessment, foreign language, and general education.

Contact Us

SDSU Social Work

Hepner Hall room 119
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-4119