Advising

Other Advising Resources

Four Semester Plan

Our Undergraduate curriculum

Courses you must take to earn your B.S.W.

The lower-division courses

Before beginning the upper division (300-level and 400-level), or in the first semester one begins taking such courses, students ought to complete  “course work in general psychology, sociology/anthropology, political science, and statistics.”  Many various courses can count toward this requirement; and some students might be able to save some money and time by using CLEP exams to demonstrate your competency in the areas covered by such courses. Sometimes students put off taking statistics until late in their studies. If you are contemplating the B.S.W. program whilst studying at an Illinois community college, or if you are enrolled as a freshman or sophomore at UIS, please try to cover these courses or equivalent courses as you work through your general education requirements in social sciences and maths:

  1. Statistics (most entry-level statistics course, including ones taken at community colleges, count. Many of our students take Statistics for Criminal Justice (CCJ 342, 3 credit hours) to meet this requirement.
  2. An introductory course in psychology, usually something like (Principles of Psychology PSY 201, 3 credit hours) is not directly required, but is usually necessary for students before taking advanced social work courses (specifically, our program “requires course work in general psychology, sociology/anthropology, political science, and statistics”).
  3. An introductory course in sociology/anthropology, usually something like (Introduction to Sociology SOA 101, 3 credit hours) is not directly required, but is usually necessary for students before taking advanced social work courses (specifically, our program “requires course work in general psychology, sociology/anthropology, political science, and statistics”).
  4. An introductory course in political science, usually something like (Introduction to the American Political System PSC 201, 3 credit hours) is not directly required, but is usually necessary for students before taking advanced social work courses (specifically, our program “requires course work in general psychology, sociology/anthropology, political science, and statistics”).

Core Social Work Courses

The Council on Social Work Education gives us guidance on what we must teach students earning a B.S.W. at UIS, and these are the courses we have all our students take as they accumulate 44 credit-hours of core social work courses in order to earn their BSW:

  1. Introduction to Social Work (SWK-322, 3 credit hours), sometimes an equivalent course is transferred in.
  2. Introduction to Social Work — Lab (SWK-323, 1 credit hour), sometimes an equivalent experience is transferred in.
  3. Human Behavior in the Social Environment (SWK 333, 4 credit hours).
  4. Social Work Practice I (SWK 344, 4 credit hours). This is sometimes informally referred to as “micro practice.”
  5. Social Welfare Policies and Services (SWK 355, 4 credit hours).
  6. Culture, Diversity, and Social Work (SWK 366, 4 credit hours).
  7. Social Work Practice II (SWK 377, 4 credit hours). This is sometimes informally referred to as “group practice.”
  8. Social Work Research Methods (SWK 430, 4 credit hours).
  9. Social Work Practice III (SWK 433, 4 credit hours). This is sometimes informally referred to as “macro practice.”
  10. Senior Seminar (SWK 434, 4 credit hours).
  11. ECCE Field Work (SWK 450, 4-8 credit hours). This is taken in two consecutive semesters, and students earn a total of 8 credit hours across the two semesters.

Engaged Common Core Experience Courses (ECCE, or upper division general education)

In order to assure that a UIS bachelor’s degree has some common educational experience shared by all graduates, our university requires students to earn 10 credit hours in various types of courses.  As the Field Work course for social workers gives them many credit hours in one type of ECCE course (Engaged Experience), our social work students generally only need two additional courses to earn their degrees.  These are:

  1. ECCE: Speaker Series (UNI 301, 1 credit hour). This course is only required once, but you may take it twice if you need an additional credit hour and want to do this course twice.
  2. Any ECCE course that is either: (1) designated as Global Awareness or else (2) designated as U.S. Communities. Popular courses for social work students include: ECCE: Conviction of the Innocent LES 488, 3 credit hours; ECCE: Addiction MPH 408, 4 credit hours; ECCE: Working USA and the 99% SOA 235, 3 credit hours; ECCE: Introduction to Women and Gender Studies, SWK 382, 4 credit hours; ECCE: History of the Family, SWK 454, 4 credit hours; ECCE: International Social Work, SWK 461, 3 credit hours; and ECCE: Women of Color and Minority Women, SWK 462, 4 credit hours.  These are just examples of popular courses for social work students to earn their ECCE credits; any courses with an ECCE designation that are in the Global Awareness or U.S. Communities category can be counted.

Other Requirements (electives)

After taking the 44-credit hours of core social work courses and the additional 4-5 credit hours of required ECCE courses, students may have 48 to 49 upper-division credit hours. This meets the UIS requirement that students earn 48-credit hours of upper division course work (300-level and 400-level courses).

UIS also has a residency requirement of 30 credit hours earned at UIS.  If students transfer into our program from some other BSW program, they may not have met the residency requirement after completing core social work courses, and they would need to be mindful of the necessity of earning 30 credit hours at UIS.

UIS requires students who earn a bachelor’s degree to earn 120 credit hours of college course work. If a student transferred into UIS with, for example, only 60 credit hours of lower-division work completed (for example, with an associate degree from an Illinois community college), after completing the core social work and ECCE courses, they would still need 11-12 credit hours to meet the 120 credit hour requirement, and those 11-12 courses would be the electives they could take.

Many BSW students at UIS decide to meet their elective course requirements by taking courses in the Child Advocacy Studies training program.  Such courses include: Perspectives on Child Maltreatment and Advocacy PAD 481; Global Child Advocacy Studies  PAD 482; The System’s Response to Child Maltreatment PAD 483; and Childhood Trauma: Risk and Resiliency PSY 484.

Other courses offered as electives through our social work program or cross-listed with other programs at UIS include: Violence Against Women and Children SWK348, 3 credit hours; Social Work and Substance Abuse SWK 425, 4 credit hours; Children and the Law SWK 438, 4 credit hours; Poverty, Law, and Justice SWK 441, 3 credit hours; Family Law SWK 446, 3 credit hours; and hopefully coming soon, once it is approved by various curriculum committees: ECCE: International Social Development SWK 462, 3 credit hours.