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 Plan of work

The plan of work is subject to change without notice.

Social Work pre-professional coursework

  • Intro to Social Work and Social Welfare: 3 credits
  • American Government: 3 - 4 credits
  • Introduction to Sociology: 3 credits
  • Human Biology: 3 - 4 credits
  • Introduction to Psychology 3 credits

General education requirements

Effective Fall 2018, the university has adopted major revisions to the general education curriculum. While aspects of the new curriculum are shared with the old curriculum, existing topics were revised and new topics created to specifically align with university's mission and strategic plan. This includes commitments to global learning, diversity, equity and inclusion, and support for students' transition into the Wayne State University academic community. The General Education Requirements for students matriculating or graduating under the 2018-19 University Bulletin are organized into the categories below.

  • Civic Literacy (CIV)
  • Cultural Inquiry (CI)
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Inquiry (DEI)
  • Global Learning Inquiry (GL)
  • Natural Scientific Inquiry (NSI)
  • Laboratory Requirement
  • Social Inquiry (SI)
  • Quantitative Experience (QE)

Information regarding the courses that fulfill the various General Education Requirements can be found on this website: General Education Requirements. Please contact your academic advisor if you have questions about General Education Requirements specific to your academic plan of work.           

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
  • Practicum education (internship)

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

Practicum 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. Practicum 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.