The social work program in the School of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, and required courses are organized to provide an environment where students can develop competencies needed for professional social work practice. The social work courses assume that students have a strong liberal arts background including courses in psychology, sociology, political science, biology and economics. Social work courses include content on practice with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations; human behavior in the social environment; diversity; social policy; and research. Students apply the knowledge, skills and values learned in the courses to a practicum experience where students demonstrate their proficiency in the required practice competencies.
The close sequencing of social work courses taken in the junior and senior year requires regular academic and professional advising once a student is admitted into the BSW program, usually in the first semester of the junior year. Students who are interested in an undergraduate major in social work are strongly advised to declare a pre-major in social work as soon as they enter UMSL and to work with an advisor in the School prior to applying to the BSW program.
Students admitted to the BSW and MSW programs must meet with a social work adviser for advisement each semester, and must set up an appointment with the practicum office and attend a series of pre-practicum orientation sessions one semester prior to enrolling in the practicum.
The Social Work Bulletin provides a detailed list of program requirements and course descriptions.