The Bachelor of Social Work degree requires satisfactory completion of a minimum of 120 credits. These consist of 60 credits in the freshman and sophomore years, including University General Education requirements, and social work prerequisite course for admission to the professional component for the program. The remaining 60 credits in the junior and senior years include 51 credits of required social work courses and field work and 9 credit hours of general education elective course offering.

BSW course format

4 Year Plan

Social Work Pre- Professional Coursework

  • Anthropology (SS) (Cultural)
  • History (HS)
  • Political science (AI)
  • Sociology (SS) (Introduction)
  • Biology (LS)
  • Physical Science (PS) (Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy or Geology)
  • Psychology (LS) (Introduction)
  • Philosophy and Letters (PL)
  • Visual and Performing Arts (VP)
  • English (2 Courses: Basic composition-BC & Intermediate composition-IC)
  • Speech (OC)

(Either Biology or Physical Science must be taken with a lab)

General Education Requirements
University-wide General Education requirements apply to all undergraduate students seeking baccalaureate degrees from Wayne State University. The group requirements include selected courses in the following list.  Some requirements are also prerequisites for admissions.

  • Physical science
  • Life science
  • Historical studies
  • Social science
  • Foreign culture
  • Philosophy and Letters
  • Visual and Performing Arts 
  • Competency requirements must be met in oral communication and critical thinking (competency examinations in each of these areas are available).

Note: Equivalencies from community colleges or other institutions can be verified at

Professional Curriculum
The undergraduate social work curriculum is structured to provide the knowledge, values and skills essential for entry level generalist social work practice. It is composed of five curricular areas:

  • Human behavior and the social environment
  • Research Methods
  • Social work practice
  • Social welfare policy and services
  • Field education

In addition, four themes intersect all curricular areas: values and ethics, social justice, oppression and discrimination, and populations-at-risk.

Field education takes place in a wide variety of social service agencies and students may work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, or communities. Emphasis is placed on working in urban areas with the poor and oppressed, persons of color, and at-risk populations representing a variety of ethnic, racial and cultural groups. Field work stresses both amelioration and prevention of personal, interpersonal, and social problems, as well as improvement of the human condition.

Suitability and Fitness for the Profession
Student must show suitability and fitness for the profession of social work. Any breach of the values and ethics of the profession embodied in the Code of Ethics established by the National Association of Social Workers may result in termination from the BSW program.

150 years in the heart of Detroit