BSW, Social Work

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) students are provided a range of opportunities to develop a broad knowledge and skills base consistent with the systems and strengths perspectives. They are expected to practice using core social work values and to examine and resolve ethical dilemmas. Classroom and field experiences prepare students to be competent in the use of new technologies and in culturally sensitive, generalist social work practice.  The program is fully accredited by the  Council on Social Work Education. All students are expected to abide by the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Students are required to successfully complete 450 hours of supervised field practicum in agencies approved by the Department of Social Work. Undergraduate students also have the opportunity to work in our Social Work integrative Research Lab (SWiRL), which provides them with the opportunity to engage in research projects and experience mentoring relationships with graduate students and faculty.

Program Requirements

Complete information on program requirements is available in the university catalog online. The Student Handbook for Bachelor of Social Work Majors (pdf) is also available online.

Declaring Major In Social Work

Students interested in the social work field usually declare social work as a major when applying to the university; however, declaring social work as a major does not automatically admit the student to the social work program. Students must be admitted to the major before being considered for senior field placement. The Admission to Major application is described on the Admissions page. If you are interested in declaring social work as your major, please contact the BSW Program Director, Dr. Emily Ihara, to schedule an appointment.

Mission

Our mission is promoting human well-being by ensuring economic and social justice, as well as human rights for all. We work to meet these goals:

  1. By providing an academically rigorous education that develops social work leaders and practitioners who engage in critical thinking. We seek to develop effective social work leaders, scholars and practitioners who both challenge injustice and institute interventions grounded in theory and science. With a campus located in an area of enormous cultural plurality, we seek to train leaders, practitioners and scholars equipped to serve diverse populations.
  2. Conducting applied social science research that aims to solve personal and social problems, and investigates systemic inequities in power and unequal access to resources. We seek to identify and develop effective interventions based on scientific theory.
  3. Engaging in public service that cultivates community partnerships, enhances capacity, and provides technical expertise to human service organizations caring for diverse local, national and global communities.

We build upon a foundation of generalist social work knowledge and skills that emphasizes empowerment, inclusion, and systems transformation.

Core Competencies (Council on Social Work Education, 2015)

  1. Demonstrate Ethical & Professional Behavior
  2. Engage Diversity & Difference in Practice
  3. Advance Human Rights & Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
  4. Engage in Practice-Informed Research & Research-Informed Practice
  5. Engage in Policy Practice
  6. Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, & Communities
  7. Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, & Communities
  8. Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, & Communities
  9. Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, & Communities

Questions?

For questions about the program and admissions process, contact:

Le Anne Wisnieski
Admin. Assistant for Student Affairs
10340 Democracy Lane #300
Fairfax, VA 22030
E-mail: lwisnies@gmu.edu
Phone: 703-993-4247
Fax: 703-934-2193

Emily Ihara

Director

Dr. Emily Ihara
Director, BSW Program
10340 Democracy Lane #317
Fairfax, VA 22030

E-mail: eihara@gmu.edu
Phone: 703-993-2023
Fax: 703-934-2193