Dec 09, 2023
At its core, Social Work requires a passion for helping people and a commitment to social justice. Our graduates help people and communities tackle problems rooted in poverty, racism, ageism, violence, or illness. The U.S. Department of Labor has identified Social Work as one of the fastest-growing professions. EMU Social Work students graduate with a Bachelor of Social Work degree. The EMU BSW program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, making our graduates eligible to earn licensure and Advanced Standing in accredited MSW programs.
Building on a broad liberal arts foundation, BSW students learn about frameworks for understanding human behavior and development in the context of a social system, and a strengths-based approach to positive change for individuals and groups. Students also learn about social policies and social change from social justice and empowerment perspectives. Appreciation of human diversity in all dimensions is a strong program theme.
Hands-on volunteer or paid experience in a human services context is an admissions requirement for the BSW program. Within the program, all BSW students are required to complete a field placement in an affiliated public or non-profit agency. All placements require 16 hours per week— 200 hours per semester for 400 hours total. Career opportunities for Social Workers are in varied settings such as child welfare, mental health, substance abuse, adoption, foster care, senior services, schools, rehabilitation, law enforcement, shelters and other services to the poor, neighborhood centers, and adolescent and youth services.
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In addition to completing the University’s General Education requirements, social work students complete a series of seven specific liberal arts courses in a variety of related disciplines (listed below as Liberal Arts Requirements) in order to build a foundation for their social work studies. Social work intent students also complete four pre-major social work courses (listed below as Required Courses: Pre-Major) prior to being admitted to the Major.
Admission requirements are as follows:
- Students must complete a Social Work Admissions application. These are distributed in SWRK 251 .
- Students must earn a grade of C or higher in the following pre-major social work classes (again, listed below as Required Courses: Pre-Major):
- Students must complete a reflective essay in SWRK 251 . The essay is designed to assist students in assessing their own “goodness of fit” with the values and ethics of the School of Social Work and the social work profession.
- Students must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.3 or higher at the time of admission into the BSW program.
- Students must complete 40 hours of volunteer service, internship experience, or employment within a human service setting.
Grade Point Requirements
Once admitted into the BSW Program, a student must maintain a 2.3 overall GPA. If the GPA falls below a 2.3, the student must meet with a BSW Program academic advisor to develop a plan to raise the GPA to the required 2.3 minimum.
A student who fails to achieve the 2.3 minimum by the time they are to start field placement will be placed on BSW Program academic probation. Students who are on academic probation cannot begin field placement. The student then has two additional semesters to raise the GPA to the 2.3 minimum. Failure to raise the GPA by the end of two semesters will result in dismissal from the BSW Program.
Individual Course Grade Requirements
A BSW major must achieve a minimum grade of “C” in all required social work (SWRK) courses to remain in and graduate from the BSW Program. A student who receives a grade in a required social work course below a “C” can repeat that course one time only. A student can repeat no more than two different courses in which they have failed to achieve a “C” grade. A student who receives a grade below a “C” in a social work course they are repeating will be dismissed from the BSW Program.
A student who receives a grade below a “C” in a second social work course will be placed on BSW Program academic probation. A student will be dismissed from the BSW Program if they receive a grade below a “C” in a third social work course. A student may be dismissed from the BSW Program without ever being on academic probation. This would be the case if the student earned three grades of C- or lower during the same semester or received a C- or lower in the same course twice.
These individual course grade requirements apply to SWRK 488L4 and SWRK 489L4 as to all other SWRK courses.
Note: If a student’s grade deficiency stems from extenuating circumstances, the Student Services Coordinator and BSW Program Director may assist the student with a late or retroactive course withdrawal.
Liberal Arts Requirements: 24-26 hours
Required Courses: 18-20 hours
Restricted Elective Courses: 6 hours
Students are required to take six credits in cross-cultural related courses. Completion of any two General Education-Perspectives on a Diverse World courses (with the exception of ANTH 135 ) will meet this requirement. Other courses not approved for Perspectives on Diversity may also count towards this requirement with departmental permission.
Major Requirements: 57 hours
Required Courses: Pre-Major: 10 hours
Required Course: Major: 44 hours
Social Work Elective: 3 hours
Any SWKE course or courses totaling three credit hours.
This major does not require a minor.
Students must earn a minimum total of 120 credits at the 100-level or above.
Critical Graduation Information
Each undergraduate student will be responsible for fulfilling the requirements (or their equivalents) of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration at a college or university or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.
In the event an undergraduate student does not complete the degree requirements within seven years of the date of their original registration at a college or university, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their major/minor in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.
Minimum requirements for all bachelor’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University
Some majors and minors require more than the minimum in one or more of the areas below; students are urged to consult this catalog for the requirements of their particular programs.
- Earn a minimum total of 120 credit hours at the 100-level and above.
- Courses numbered below 100 are not counted toward this degree requirement.
- At most, eight credit hours of physical education (PEGN) activity courses are counted toward this requirement.
- Meet the requirements of the General Education program (see information below), including completing a Writing Intensive (GEWI) course in the student’s major.
- Earn a minimum of 60 credits from a four-year college or university; courses taken at community colleges cannot be used to meet this requirement (Some formal program-to-program articulation agreements modify this requirement. See specific agreements for details).
- Earn a minimum of 30 credits from courses taken at EMU.
- Complete 10 of the last 30 hours for the degree from courses taken at EMU.
- Have a minimum of 30 unique credit hours in their major and 20 unique credit hours in their minor for a total of at least 50 unique credit hours between them. Some majors that require 50 or more hours themselves do not require a minor. A double major automatically satisfies the need for a minor unless one of the two majors requires a specific minor. Students should check the requirements of the selected major in the undergraduate catalog to see if a minor is required.
- Earn no more than 60 credit hours in one subject area (prefix). Credits over the 60 maximum will not be counted toward the minimum of 120 credits required for a bachelor’s degree.
- Earn the minimum number of credits in 300-level and above courses in each major and minor as specified below - these credits must be earned in distinct courses; that is, no course can be used to fulfill this requirement in more than one major or minor.
- Earn a minimum of 6 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each minor
- Earn a minimum of 9 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that requires a minor.
- Earn a minimum of 15 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that does not require a minor
- Transfer credit will be awarded for courses taken at colleges and universities that are accredited by one of the recognized regional accrediting bodies only if the courses are college-level (equated to 100-level or above at EMU) and the student earned a “C” (or 2.0 on a 4 point scale) or better. Transfer credit may be awarded on a case-by-case basis for college-level courses in which a “C” (2.0) or better was earned at institutions outside the U.S. or at non-accredited U.S. institutions; individual departments/schools conduct the internal review of such courses within EMU, and additional documentation may be required. Please note: EMU awards only credit for transferred courses; grades are not used to calculate an EMU GPA.
- Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in courses taken at EMU to graduate. In addition, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 must be reached in each major and minor. Only courses a student takes at EMU and those applied to their major or minor are used to calculate their major and minor cumulative GPAs. (Note: some programs may require a higher GPA - check with your program advisor.)
General Education Requirements - EMU’s General Education Program requires students to choose from a menu of approved courses in several different areas; do not assume that other courses in the same department or similar names will fulfill these requirements. A detailed description of General Education requirements is available in the General Education section of the catalog.
Students who transferred to EMU may have modified general education requirements based on Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) or articulation agreements; consult your academic advisor for additional information.