The Pre-Social Work Program
If a student expresses interest in the BSW program at Southern Miss, it is important that they follow the advisement degree plan (see plan on our website). Students will enter the University as Pre-Social Work majors until prerequisites have been completed and they have been admitted to the BSW program (see the undergraduate bulletin).
- Requirements for the BSW Program
In order to become a BSW (undergraduate social work) major, students must meet the following requirements:
- Earn a cumulative USM GPA of at least 2.5 or above
- Have only 6-9 hours of prerequisite courses remaining from the USM and Social Work Core (see the Advisement Degree Plan used during advisement for a list of all required courses)
- Complete the three Pre-Social Work courses: (a) SWK 301 which requires a 40 hour volunteer field placement at a social service agency that is arranged with the help of their instructor, (b) SWK 300 and (c) SWK 315
- Complete the Human Growth and Development/Developmental Psychology course (PSY 275) and the Human Sexuality Requirement (CHS 430)
- Earn a grade of “C” or better in each course that counts toward the BSW degree
- Complete MAT 100 or higher
Applying to the BSW Program
Once prerequisites have been met, a student can apply to the BSW Program. The process consists of an online application that includes a personal statement, letters of recommendation from a non-relative and the social worker who supervises the 40hr. volunteer experience as part of the SWK 301 course. Finally, the student is scheduled for an interview with the BSW Admissions Committee. The applicant will be required to respond to a case vignette where they must assume the perspective of a social worker and assess the situation.
Applications for the fall semester in Hattiesburg are submitted during the preceding spring semester. Applications for the spring semester are submitted during the preceding fall semester. Applications for the Gulf Park BSW program are submitted during the spring and summer semesters and a new cohort of BSWs are only launched in the fall of each academic year. After a student is accepted into the BSW program, they will progress through the curriculum with a cohort. The curriculum is relatively rigid and predefined. Courses must be taken according to the following schedule:
1st Semester (9hrs)
SWK 329 – Interviewing and Recording
SWK 330 -- Social Work Practice I
SWK 340 – HBSE I Transitions in Early Life
SWK 410 - Social Work Theory and Best Practice
2nd Semester (12 hrs)
SWK 331 – Social Practice II
SWK 341 -- HBSE II Transitions in Adulthood
SWK 420- Social Work Research
3rd Semester (12hrs)
SWK 400 – Social Welfare Policy Analysis
SWK 415 – Human Rights and Social Justice
SWK 493 – Crisis Intervention
4th Semester (12hrs)
SWK 430 – Field Education
SWK 431 – Field Education Seminar
Students must keep in mind that SWK electives can be taken at any point after the 1st semester in the BSW program with the exception of non-practice electives. All other SWK courses are offered in the fall and spring semesters ONLY. To maintain a full time status and receive financial aid, 12 hours are required in the fall and spring and 9 hours in the summer. If students still have 6-9 hours remaining from the Degree Plan at the time they are admitted to the BSW Program, they can take those courses while in the BSW program. Students can only take SWK 430/431 in their final semester of the program and no other courses can be taken during that final semester.
- Transfer of Credits
An official transcript evaluation will be completed after all the required official documents necessary for the applicant’s admission to the university have been received by the Office of Admissions.
Any additional substitution of courses for USM equivalent courses or social work courses from a CSWE accredited university is done by the faculty advisor and/or BSW Coordinator, at the student’s request (if appropriate). There must be strong evidence that the courses are equivalent. To do this, the student should provide the current transcript, a catalog description of the class, and upon request, a syllabus of the class. A standard substitution form will be filled out and forwarded through the appropriate channels for a decision.
Policies and procedures concerning the transfer of credits for individuals applying to The University of Southern Mississippi may be found at http://www.usm.edu/admissions/transfer-requirements.
There are many courses that will transfer into the social work program (see list below). In order for a course to count towards our degree plan, a grade of “C” or better must be earned. No more than 62 hours can be transferred in from a community college and to become eligible for a bachelor’s degree, 25 percent or the last 32 hours of your course work must be completed from USM.
Social Work Requirements (that are transferable)
3 hrs – English Comp I
3 hrs -- English Comp II
3 hrs – College Algebra
8 hrs – 2 lab sciences (any course listed as it is on Category II in the current University bulletin)
3 hrs -- World Literature
3 hrs – World Civ I or II
3 hrs -- World Civ I or II or World Religion or Intro to Philosophy
3 hrs – Intro to Psychology/General Psychology
3 hrs – Speech Communication/Oral Communication
3 hrs – Intro to Computers (or similar computer course)
3 hrs – Business Communication/Business Management
3 hrs – Spanish I
3 hrs – Spanish II
3 hrs – Social Problems (Sociology course)
3 hrs – Marriage and Family (Sociology or Family Studies course)
3 hrs – Abnormal or Social Psychology
3 hrs – Human Growth and Development/Developmental Psychology
3 hrs – Human Sexuality
Credit for Life Experience
Please note that academic credit for life experience and previous work experience is not given in lieu of the field placement or any other required social work course