Jul 16, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog [Current Academic Year]

Social Work [BSW]

Location(s): In-person/hybrid

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.

Additional Information

Transfer Agreements   

School Information

Social Work 323 Marshall, 734.487.1418 

Andrea Zakrajsek, PhD, Interim Director

Advisor Information

David Evoy, 315 Marshall, 734.487.0393

Program Admission

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. Before being admitted to the Major, social work intent students also complete four pre-major social work courses (listed below as Required Courses: Pre-Major).

Admission requirements are as follows:

Program Requirements

Grade Point Requirements

Once admitted into the BSW Program, a student must maintain a 2.3 overall GPA. If the GPA falls below 2.3, the student must meet with a BSW Program academic advisor to develop a plan to raise their 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 only repeat that course once. Students can repeat no more than two 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 (see the process below). 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; for example, a student earned a grade of C- or lower in three classes 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.

Procedures for Handling Academic Performance Issues

The BSW Director will notify a BSW major (via email to the student’s emich address) of their academic status regarding academic probation or dismissal. If a student is placed on academic probation, they must meet with the Social Work Student Services Coordinator or BSW Advisor to discuss academic performance issues.

A student dismissed from the BSW Program because of an academic performance deficiency will receive a written email notification after final semester grades are posted.

A student dismissed from the BSW Program because of an academic performance deficiency may request that the School Director review the dismissal. The student must submit the request in writing (email or hand-delivered letter) to the Director of the School of Social Work within 15 calendar days of being notified by email of the dismissal. This written appeal will address why the student was unsuccessful in their studies and describe how the student plans to rectify these issues. The School of Social Work Director will schedule a meeting with the student, the Student Services Coordinator, and the BSW Program Director as soon as possible. A mutually agreed-upon date for the meeting will be determined.

If the student cannot be reached and/or does not respond to the notification of dismissal so that a meeting can be held within a reasonable length of time (within 15 calendar days of the letter of dismissal being sent) or if the student fails to attend a scheduled formal meeting, the School Director will determine whether the dismissal is upheld. This decision is final and may not be appealed.

The School Director may uphold or reverse the dismissal. The Director may consider extenuating circumstances that led to the student’s academic dismissal (e.g., serious health concerns, family problems, financial constraints) and whether those circumstances have been resolved. The Director may also establish conditions for the student’s readmission (e.g., developing an academic plan of study that includes goals, periodic review of the student’s progress, etc.).

The School Director will notify the student in writing within two weeks of the review meeting regarding their decision. The Director of the School of Social Work’s decision is final and may not be appealed.

General Education Requirements:

For specific requirements, see General Education  or view the General Education Worksheet [PDF] .  

Liberal Arts Requirements: 24-26 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

The coursework below is offered primarily face-to-face/in-person. Coursework may also be offered in hybrid, hyflex, and online (synchronous or asynchronous) modes. In some cases, a course may only be offered entirely online. Click on the courses below to see when and how they are offered.


Minor Requirement:

This major does not require a minor.

Program Total:

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.