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Bachelor of Social Work

Preparing students for entry-level professional practice in social work and advanced graduate-level academic work.

Program Overview

Social work is an exciting, challenging, and dynamic profession. No matter what the political climate or the changing nature of personal or social needs, social workers will be in demand. The BSW Program provides students with the knowledge, values, and skills to respond competently to:

  • The aspirations and service needs of diverse client populations.
  • The contexts that shape the needs of clients and service delivery systems throughout the state and beyond.

Social workers are employed in a variety of settings including health care, mental health, child welfare, public welfare, addictions recovery, public schools, and various public, private, and nonprofit organizations. Social Workers provide services to the aging and individuals with developmental disabilities, and many other populations in public and private settings. In each of these areas there is a need for professional preparation, and the BSW graduate will be equipped to embark upon a career in their chosen area. All states, including North Carolina, have licensing or certification procedures for social work practice.

The final semester of the BSW degree program is comprised of a 420-hour Agency Practicum Internship and a three-hour weekly Practicum Seminar. For details, see “What to Expect from Your BSW Practicum Internship.” For questions, please contact Dr. Stephanie Francis, Director of Practicum Education.

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) standards do not allow students to receive academic credit for life or work experience.

Are you interested in learning about the daily lives of social workers? Get the information directly from our students! Check out our video below…

Please see the Social Work Curriculum here!

BSW Degree Requirements can be found on the official University Catalog or in the tables below:

Course Requirements
Foundation CoursesUpper Level Courses
SW 201: Introduction to Social Work (4)SW 320: Social Work Practices I (Individuals)* (4)
SW 290: Social Welfare Development in US (3)SW 405: Social Work Practice II (Families and Groups)* (4)
SW 300: Social Work Research Methods (3)SW 408: Social Work Practice III (Organizations and Communities)* (3)
SW 307: Social Welfare Policy Analysis & Advocacy (3)SW 480: Preparation for Field Work* (1)
SW 310: Human Behavior for Social Work (3)SW 490: Field Work in Social Services* (3)
SW 312: Multicultural Social Work (3)SW 491: Community-Based Field Practicum* (9)
Social Work Electives (3)
*Residency Requirements: A minimum of 34 credits hours, including three practice courses, practicum preparation, and practicum work, must be completed at NC State’s School of Social Work BSW Program*
Graduation Requirements: A grade of C- or better is required in all major courses (with the exception of SW 480 which is taken pass/fail).
Course information, including descriptions, can be found on NC State Class Search.
Social Work Electives
Course CodeCourse Name
SW 412Social Work in Schools
SW 413African American Families: History, Tradition, and Community
SW 415Child Welfare
SW 416Addiction Recovery and Social Work Practice
SW 417Direct Practice with Older Adults
SW 420The Legal Aspects of Social Work
SW 425Hunger and Homelessness
SW 440International Learning Experience in Social Work
SW 495Special Topics in Social Work

The Change of Degree Application (also known as CODA) can be found on this page.

How do I know if Social Work is right for me?

Social Work is for you if your answer is yes to all of the following questions;

  • Do you like working with underrepresented populations (minorities, children, reformed convicts, older adults, etc.)?
  • Are you a people person?
  • Are you an open-minded individual who welcomes the opportunity to work with all kinds of people in various places?
  • Do you get satisfaction from helping others?

What can I do with a degree in Social Work?

Social Work is a very versatile degree. Many students enter the line of social work because they think that they want to go into counseling, but that is just one possible career choice. A counselor is just one type of social worker. Social workers also work in public health, substance abuse, mental health, child welfare, veteran affairs, sports, schools, case management, social services, clinical therapy, community development, criminal justice and corrections, developmental disabilities, employee assistance, lobbying, policy making, etc.

Where can I learn more about Social Work?

Click here to learn more about Social Work!

How will college-level credit transfer to NC State?

Each student’s credits will transfer differently depending on where the credits transfer from. You can see how your courses will transfer in to the Social Work Program by checking the NC State Transfer Course List. If you do not see your course listed, please check with the Academic Advising Coordinator.

Can I take Social Work classes if I am not a Social Work major?

Yes, you may take a limited number of classes as an NDS (non-degree student) or as a student in another major. Keep in mind that not all classes are open to non-Social Work Majors. For a full list of social work classes and when they are offered please visit the course catalog. If you would like to see which social work courses are being offered in this and upcoming terms, visit the class search.

I have a lot of questions concerning transferring from a community college/other university to NC State, is there someone that I can speak to and see how long it would take for me to get my BSW?

Yes, our Academic Advising Coordinator is always happy to meet prospective students and discuss potential degree plans!

The BSW Student Handbook can be viewed here.

Need help with advising? You can view our BSW Advising page here.

The BSW Program Mission & Goals

Our BSW Program has a proven track record as one of the nation’s first accredited programs. We’ve been training BSW students for more than 30 years to help them prepare for the next step in their social work careers.

The NC State University BSW Program mission is to prepare students for entry-level professional generalist practice with diverse populations. BSW students acquire knowledge, social work professional values, and skills necessary to respond competently to (a) the service needs of diverse populations and (b) the social and political environments that influence the needs of individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. The program emphasizes human and social well-being, human rights, social and economic justice and empowerment of individuals, families, groups, and communities that experience oppression and discrimination.

  • Goal 1: Prepare students for entry level generalist practice with diverse client systems at micro, mezzo and macro levels.
  • Goal 2: Prepare students for ongoing professional development that may include graduate education.
  • Goal 3: Prepare students for professional leadership in social and economic justice.


Our program was reaccredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in 2021. The CSWE Commission on Accreditation is the sole body authorized to accredit social work education programs in the United States.

Students participate in Dr. Andrew DiMeo’s Biomedical Engineering Senior Design class in Engineering Building III on Centennial Campus. Photo by Becky Kirkland.