Catalog 2013-2014

Social Work

Within a program that is firmly based in the liberal arts, the social work major is designed to prepare students for beginning professional social work practice and further study in social work. Social work has both a heavily multidisciplinary-based body of knowledge and its own continuously developing knowledge base. The complexity of social issues and social problems that confront the modern-day social worker require this broad theoretical perspective. Social workers are involved in areas that are influenced by political, economic, social, psychological, and cultural factors. To that end, the program stresses an understanding of social science theories and methods. The curriculum provides a foundation for understanding the interaction of individual, family, and community systems, as the basis for generalist practice. Students learn a multi-method approach to social work practice that enables them to address a wide range of individuals, families, groups, community and organizational needs. Students enhance their commitment to informed action to remove inequities based on race, ethnicity, culture, gender, social class, sexual orientation, disability, and age.

Admission to the Social Work Program

Students seeking the Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work must first apply and be accepted into the program. The social work program welcomes diversity and invites interest and applications from persons who seek to participate in a profession committed to helping people, now and in the future. Students may begin taking social work courses before being admitted to the program, but only admitted students are allowed to take 400-level courses. Students will be admitted to the Social Work Program for fall semester only. The priority date for applications is April 10, though applications will be accepted until available positions are filled. Enrollment is competitive based on intended graduation date.

Admission is determined by faculty evaluation of student applications on the basis of the following criteria:
  • Transcript that documents the completion of at least 40 semester hours of prescribed course work with a minimum grade point average of 2.75. In addition, the student must show successful completion of the following prerequisites: ANTH 102 or 334, BIOL 111, PSYC 101, SOCI 101, WRIT 101, and the PLU math entrance requirement. (Note: grades below C- do not transfer);
  • A personal essay which addresses: (a) interest in social work as a career, (b) life experiences shaping an interest in social work, (c) professional social work goals, and (d) an evaluation of personal strengths and limitations (details may be obtained from Social Work Program);
  • A summary of work and volunteer experience;
  • Two letters of recommendation that evaluate and document the applicant’s potential for success in social work education and practice;
  • Washington State Patrol Criminal History clearance (Applicants with a criminal record will be urged to explore their prospects for registering as a counselor or later being licensed as a social worker with the State of Washington);
  • Written agreement to comply with the National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics (a copy of which is available from the Social Work Program);
  • Personal interview (may be requested).

Any falsification in the application for admission is grounds for dismissal from the program. Applicants who are not admitted to candidacy for the degree may reapply without prejudice.

Application materials are available directly from the Social Work Program in Xavier Hall, may be requested by calling 253.535.7295 or are available on the Social Work home page at the PLU Web site.

Continuation Policies

To remain in the program, a student must: (a) maintain a 2.75 grade point average in social work courses and a 2.50 overall grade point average, (b) demonstrate behavior which is consistent with the NASW Code of Ethics and University Code of Conduct, and (c) average 80% or better on benchmark assignments used to assess competence for practice.

Major in Social Work
semester hours, including

  • SOCW 245, 250, 350, 360, 460, 465, 475, 476, 485, 486, 498, and 499
  • 12 semester hours in sociology, including SOCI 101, 232; STAT 233 (must be completed at PLU)
  • 4 semester hours in elective SOCI or SOCW

Social Work majors are required to have the following prerequisites prior to entry to the program: ANTH 102 or 334, BIOL 111, PSYC 101

18 Semester Hours, including:
  • SOCW 101 (190) or 201
  • 8 semester hours from the following: SOCW 245, 250, 350 or 360
  • 4 semester hours from the following: SOCI 232, 330, 362 or STAT 233 (Sociology)
  • 2 semester hours of SOCW 375