Core BSW Courses

All students will complete a total of 45 credits in required social work courses, including the practicum/internship. Each social work course was designed to meet identified needs for entry-level practitioners. Courses MUST be taken in a proper sequence to assure compliance with accreditation standards and the necessary background to complete the next course. BSW students receive guidance regarding course sequencing during academic advising sessions; students must meet with the BSW academic advisor once per term.

Course Plan by Semester – BSW 2019

A brief explanation of each course follows:

SW 1010 – Social Work and Social Welfare: The Profession and Institution
This course provides undergraduate students with an introduction to the history and development of the social work profession, as well as the development and role of the social work profession in the social welfare institutional system. In examining the history and development of the social work profession, the course will examine the social work principles and values associated with working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. In examining the development and role of the social work profession in the social welfare institutional system, the course will examine historical and contemporary social, political, economic, and cultural issues (i.e., poverty, racism, discrimination, child welfare, domestic violence, chronic illness, mental illness, substance abuse, crime, unemployment, and homelessness) in society. The course will also examine how public- and private-based human and social service institutions have/are attempting to alleviate or eliminate these social issues in society.

SW 2100 – Human Behavior and the Social Environment
This course employs theory and research findings to understand and assess functioning of individuals and families in their social environment. It emphasizes social systems approach for analyzing the impact of various social forces on individual and family dynamics.

SW 3000 – Applied Social Work Statistics (QB/QI)
This class prepares the student to setup, maintain, and use agency-based databases. Specifically, the student will learn how to analyze data to answer questions about clients to make clinical decisions; to provide outcome information to obtain funding; and to answer hypotheses to improve treatment.

SW 3110 – Social Work Practice I: Individuals and Families
This social work practice course introduces students to the values, knowledge, and skills essential for generalist social work practice. This course focuses on the integration of theory, methods, and skills as they apply to practice with individuals and families. This course provides students with an in-depth examination of the problem-solving process within individual, familial, and ecosystem developmental frameworks. This course emphasizes the engagement of clients in a professional working relationship with a focus on intra- and inter-personal communication skills and case-management assessment and treatment planning (i.e., identifying issues, problems, needs, resources, assets, and planning for service delivery). This course also gives special attention to understanding, affirming, and respecting people of diverse backgrounds.

SW 3550 – Social Diversity and Cultural Understanding (DV)
This course explores the many different definitions of diversity and the different realities and impact of how diversity functions in the United States. It will explore how certain individuals, groups, and communities in the United States have experienced unique social, economic, and political subordination relative to the institutional frameworks of the dominant majority. Consistent with the social justice traditions of the social work profession, this course will look at the ways in which practitioners seek to deal with the abuses experienced by individuals and families and to ensure that all individuals have an equal opportunity to develop and prosper free of discrimination, oppression, privilege, victimization, and exploitation. Additionally, this course will examine the adaptive capabilities and strengths of exploitation and the adaptive capabilities and strengths of marginalized groups and how such capabilities and strengths can be used in effective social work practice.

SW 4100 – Global Community-Based Research (IR)
Teaches the necessary skills in preparing students to conduct community based research in developing countries using participatory monitoring and evaluating techniques. The techniques used focus on working collaboratively with local program/organization stakeholders and participants to identify areas of concern that can be answered by research. The course will provide students with the structure to understand and co-create an evaluation process that is mutually beneficial to all involved entities.

SW 4301 – Social Welfare Policy and Services
The course examines political and legislative processes that influence the development of social policy and services. Emphasis is on policy analysis skills at the agency and societal level.

SW 4430 – Social Work Practice II: Groups
This social work practice course introduces students to knowledge, values, and skills essential for generalist social work practice. This course focuses on the integration of theory, methods, and skills as they apply to practice with groups. This course provides students with an in-depth examination of treatment and task groups utilizing an ecosystem developmental framework. This course emphasizes the problem-solving process included in planning, preparing, conducting, and evaluating the effectiveness of treatment and task groups. This course also gives special attention to understanding, affirming, and respecting people of diverse backgrounds.

SW 4440 – Social Work Practice III
Focuses on generalist social work practice with organizations and communities. Special emphasis on the role of social workers in empowerment of diverse populations and victims of social and economic injustice and institutional oppression. Includes content on practice/program evaluation.

SW 4401 – Social Work Research and Evaluation (QI)
This course strengthens students’ capacity to use a scientific and analytic approach to knowledge building. It includes knowledge, skills, and values needed to be an effective consumer of research as well as to evaluate one’s social work practice. Covers qualitative and quantitative research methods and the use of appropriate technological systems to analyze, store, and retrieve information.

SW 4444 – Advanced Social Work Writing (CW)
Professional writing is an integral part of the Social Work profession. This course will offer students an opportunity to improve their writing skills within the context of professional social work documentation. This course provides a hands-on academic learning experience with the principles of organizing, developing, writing, and revising documentation for different professional social work settings. Teaching methods will include discussion, writing exercises, and group editing sessions. Students will be required to participate in active discussions, writing, editing, proofreading, and presenting written assignments.

SW 4702 – Social Work Practicum
This provides structured supervised learning experiences enabling students to enhance and further integrate their practice knowledge, skills, and values in multiple settings.

SW 4782 – Social Work Practicum Seminar
The Seminar assists students to integrate practicum experiences with classroom work. It allows opportunity for collective problem solving and consultation.


(Specific course numbers and semester offered may vary for some of these electives – please check class schedule)

SW 5535 – Social Justice Advocacy
Advocacy Training provides the tools for people to start engaging in the advocacy process, and is thus designed to: inform a diverse audience of potential advocates about advocacy and its methods; build some basic skills in advocacy; increase the use of available data to inform the advocacy process; give confidence to those who are embarking on advocacy efforts; encourage the democratic process by providing people with the skills to make their voices heard. Many different techniques and training will be used.

Impact of Child Abuse
This course involves an intensive study of child abuse and the developmental aspects included in evaluating abused children and their families. An overview of the brief history of child abuse in the United States is examined as well as the implications of major policy in the relation to child welfare. The course will also examine the causation, typologies of abusers, characteristics of abused children and adults, assessment and diagnostic skills, crisis intervention and effective treatment approaches.

Dialogue Models/Creating Inclusive Communities through Dialogue
One of the marks of an educated person should be that the person is capable of having a nonviolent conversation and cooperative relationship with anyone in their local or global community. Every high school in the USA probably has a debate team, but few if any have a dialogue team. Yet dialogue is a process that is much more likely to help students in their future personal and professional lives, and is an effective method of helping humans bridge the differences that divide us and form inclusive local and global communities. Thus, in debate, there is always a “winner” and a “loser”; in dialogue, everyone “wins”. In this class, students have the opportunity to learn dialogue skills, knowledge, and values. In this largely experiential, “flipped” class, students invite groups from the community to dialogue with them in the classroom. Students bring in groups that are especially challenging, including people who claim, for example, various religious, political, racial, sexual, or cultural identities that conflict with most students in the class. Students have the opportunity to facilitate and participate in these dialogues, as they practice listening for understanding and speaking with respect.

DSM-V and Mental Illness
This course is designed to familiarize case managers with the DSM-V and mental illness within the context of society, to understand the etiologies, to recognize symptoms, and to realize the impact of these behaviors upon the individual, family, and community. Dysfunctional behavior from childhood to adulthood is described, discussed, and assessed. The course also describes and assesses the impacts of various treatment models.

Undergraduate Research
With the mentorship and instruction of a College of Social Work faculty member, conduct research relevant to the field of social work.

Additional Elective Courses are offered each semester and listed in the course schedule as SW 5830. Courses are offered on a variety of social work-related topics, such as human trafficking, homelessness, restorative justice, and more. Social Work elective courses listed as SW 5830 are open to all students at the University of Utah.

Last Updated: 11/13/18