Jul 18, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work, BSW

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Program Coordinator: Abby Schwartz (114 Rivers Building; 252-328-4209; schwartza15@ecu.edu)

The Social Work, BSW is a program of classroom study and fieldwork. The program supports the concept that professional social work practitioners in human services have a strong professional knowledge, skill, and value base from which they offer services. Thus, the Social Work, BSW ensures graduates master the following nine generalist practice social work competencies:

  1. Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
  2. Engage diversity and difference in practice.
  3. Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.
  4. Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.
  5. Engage in policy practice.
  6. Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  7. Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  8. Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  9. Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

The Social Work, BSW requires the completion of 63 semester hours of social work core/tier and elective courses. The program trains generalist practice social workers who have a broad range of knowledge and skills, who draw on several practice theories and models, and who can move with minimal difficulty from one field of practice to another. The social worker utilizing the generalist perspective is able to focus on a variety of factors that may contribute to problems in social functioning. The generalist social worker is prepared to work with a variety of client systems from individuals to organizations.

Mission and Goals

The BSW program aligns with the School’s mission of preparing graduates with the knowledge, skills, and professional values and ethics necessary to inspire positive change and to succeed in a global, multicultural society.  Based on the profession’s values and ethics, and social work education’s generalist practice competencies, graduates of the BSW program are prepared to:

  1. Recognize the importance of human relationships and dignity and worth of the person by valuing difference;
  2. Use knowledge based on scientific inquiry to provide ethical and effective social work services at all practice levels;
  3. Engage and collaborate with stakeholders, colleagues, community members, and organizations to enhance overall health, wellness, and quality of life;
  4. Advocate for social and economic justice for marginalized, oppressed, and vulnerable individuals in our region and beyond; and  
  5. Dedicate themselves to continued professional development and self-reflection in social work practice.

The goals of the BSW program include:

  1. Provide a strong educational program capable of producing knowledgeable and effective beginning generalist practitioners.
  2. Provide leadership in initiating and maintaining partnerships with social work and community organizations with service recipients.
  3. Take a leading role in promoting initiatives enhancing social justice and decreasing oppressive conditions affecting poor and otherwise oppressed people in the region and state.


Admission to the Social Work, BSW is by application only.  Application to the program is made in the academic year preceding upper-division courses. Admission decisions are made in the spring semester preceding fall admission into the major. Students may be admitted provisionally.  

Admission Requirements

A student is eligible to apply for admission to the Social Work, BSW program when the following conditions are met: completion of a minimum of 32 s.h. of general education credit; an overall 2.5 GPA; and completion of SOCW 1010 and SOCW 2010 with a 2.5 GPA in these courses. Students not meeting the required GPA may apply for provisional acceptance to the major. The BSW Admissions Committee will review provisional admissions and submit recommendations to the program coordinator.

Students who plan to transfer to East Carolina from an institutionally accredited university or college must meet the following conditions for admission into the BSW program: admission to ECU; completion of a minimum of 32 s.h.; an overall ECU GPA of 2.5; and completion of the equivalent of SOCW 1010 and SOCW 2010 with a 2.5 GPA in these courses. Students who plan to transfer to East Carolina from a junior or community college are encouraged to take a four-year college preparatory curriculum that includes human biology. The Social Work, BSW program will not accept or substitute major core upper-level courses (numbered 3000 and 4000 at East Carolina) taken at a junior or community college. If transferring from a four-year college or university, the BSW program coordinator will determine the applicability of upper-level courses taken at senior colleges in meeting the Social Work, BSW degree requirements.

Academic Performance (Progression Requirements)

Students must maintain an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher once accepted into the Social Work, BSW program. Failure to maintain a 2.5 GPA will result in probation and possible dismissal from the program. If a student earns lower than a C (2.0) in a tier/core course, they will remain on probation and be required to retake the course. If upon retaking the tier/core course the student fails to earn a 2.0 or higher, they will be dismissed from the program.

Degree Requirements

The degree requires a minimum of 120 s.h. as follows: 

4. General electives to complete requirements for graduation.


Students will be encouraged to choose electives which will strengthen their total program.

Licensure/Certification Requirements in North Carolina

The curriculum for all ECU Certificates, Degrees, and Minors  have been designed to meet the licensure/certification requirements in North Carolina and prepare students to sit for licensure/certification exams in North Carolina. The various licensure boards in each state are responsible for setting requirements for licensure/certification in their state. Other states have their own requirements, and you’ll want to make sure your program meets criteria in your home state (or state where you intend to work) before you apply. Search our state  Licensure Dashboard to see if the program you’re interested in meets the educational requirements for licensing/certification in your home state (or state where you intend to work).

Professional Performance (Ethics)

The Social Work, BSW program fully subscribes to and is guided by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics. Applicants and students are expected to demonstrate professional behavior which reflects a commitment to the values and ethics of the social work profession as exemplified in the Code of Ethics. Behavior and statements contrary to these ethics or the technical standards for professional and ethical behavior may be cause for denial of the applicant’s admission to or a student’s dismissal from the programs. Examples of behavior which would warrant a review include, but are not limited to, derogatory oral and/or written statements toward students, staff, faculty, agency representatives or clients. Derogatory statements concerning racial, ethnic, cultural background, ability status, religion, socio-economic background, gender or gender expression, sexual orientation, or other status may also warrant review. Social workers work with people from a variety of backgrounds and with a wide range of issues and concerns. It is important that the social work student not permit personal issues and/or conditions to interfere with this role.

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