College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2013-2014

Department of Sociology and Social Work

Social Work, Bachelor of Social Work

The social work profession is dedicated to enhancing human well-being and to help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. The intent of this program is to educate competent generalist social workers for practice with diverse populations and multi-level social systems, while developing skills for facilitating the planned change process.
The program is focused on practice with rural and Indigenous populations of the Southwest; addressing poverty, structural racism, and oppression; providing leadership in promoting human rights and social and economic justice; and service with vulnerable and underserved populations.

This program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).


What Can I Do with a Bachelor of Social Work in Social Work?

Are you passionate about social justice and social change? Do you want a rewarding career working with the disenfranchised, vulnerable, and oppressed? Are you interested in providing assistance and support to diverse individuals, groups, and communities?  A social work major will help you accomplish these academic and professional goals.
The social work major will provide you with the professional knowledge, values, and skills needed to help people experiencing overwhelming life challenges such as substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, homelessness, and death, as well as mental, behavioral, and physical illness or disability. Social workers approach their work with people from the strengths perspective, while also looking at the individual within their environment. Our accredited BSW degree enables you to become a licensed generalist social worker in many states.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Child and family services
  • Disability services
  • Health care services
  • Military/veterans services

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Psychiatrist
  • Educator
  • Employee assistance counselor
  • Expert witness

University Requirements

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's liberal studies, diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • At least 75 units of major requirements
  • Be aware that you may not use courses with an SW prefix to satisfy liberal studies requirements. Contact the Social Work program for information about liberal studies courses that are specific to this major.
  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units

Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 114
Additional Admission Requirements Required
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Research Required
University Honors Program Optional
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Major Requirements
  • Take the following 75 units:

    Professional Core (60-61 units)
    • SW 220 (3 units)
    • Research (6-7 units):
      • SW 450 must be repeated, with different content, for at least 6 units
      • SW 418 may be used to fulfill one of the required Topics Courses.
    • Field Education: SW 408 (12 units)
    • Senior Seminar: SW 498C (3 units)
    Only one grade of "D" in the professional core courses is permitted.

    Behavioral Science Cognates (15 units)

    Select one course from each of the following areas:
    A Social Work advisor's approval is necessary for any courses not listed above.
General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit. 

    You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability

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