School of Social Work

  • Laura Curran, Dean, Ph.D., M.S.W.
  • Paula Nieman, B.S.W. Program DirectorPh.D., MSSW, LCSW

The Social Work major is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and perspectives needed to engage in generalist social work practice. The bachelor’s degree in social work (B.S.W.) is a practice based professional degree that prepares students for both entry-level practice and admission to a graduate master of social work (M.S.W.) degree program. In addition to classroom courses, the major requires 400 hours of supervised field internship experiences which provide valuable professional preparation for work with individuals, groups, families, organizations and communities. Graduates will be prepared for work in schools, healthcare, community organizations, advocacy and activism, addressing issues such as poverty, homelessness, human rights and social justice.

This major can only be completed on the Hartford Campus.

The University’s general education requirements are listed in the General Education Requirements section of this Catalog. University general education requirements should be completed by the end of the sophomore year. In addition to fulfilling the University’s general education requirements, all students in the School of Social Work must satisfy the following competency requirements.

Writing Competency

All students will be required to successfully complete one writing intensive (W) course within the School of Social Work. The W course in the major will develop writing skills specific to the content area domain, as well as be consistent with the practices of professionals in the area of social work practice.

Information Literacy Competency

The information literacy competency requirement for the major will be fulfilled by the completion of the W course within the School of Social Work and SOWK 3100, 3200, 3201, and 3350.


Students must furnish their own transportation and cover cost of travel and parking to the field agencies.

Admission Requirements

The School of Social Work is a professional school. Students begin their junior-senior programs after completing at least 54 credits in a school or college other than the School of Social Work. Students complete their first two years in another school or college within the University (at either Storrs or one of the regional campuses) or a two or four-year accredited college or university other than the University of Connecticut. The maximum enrollment in each program is determined by the Dean in consultation with program administrators. Applications for admission to the School of Social Work are available on at

Students not currently attending the University of Connecticut must submit an additional University admission application to Transfer Admissions ( Students transferring to the University with less than 54 credits should fulfill requirements in a school or college other than the School of Social Work and later make an application to the School of Social Work. These students initially complete only the University application. The faculty of the School of Social Work seek to actively recruit students from underrepresented groups. Admission to the School of Social Work is competitive.

The social work bachelor’s program annually admits for the fall semester. Students are advised to submit a completed Application for Admission to Upper Division Programs and all supporting materials after completion of their third semester, and before February 1st, to be considered for admission for the following fall semester. Successful applicants to the social work program generally have completed sufficient credits to be eligible for consideration, submitted a resume, have written a strong essay, have earned a competitive cumulative grade point average, and have applied by the annual deadline of February 1st.

Advisement Information

Because the major in social work takes place at the School of Social Work in the junior and senior years, prospective applicants complete two or more years of study in a school or college other than the School of Social Work. Most students participate in the services offered by the Academic Center for Exploratory Students (ACES) during their first and sophomore years declaring a pre-social work major. Pre-social work students should seek the most recent information at the earliest opportunity. Non pre-social work students are eligible to apply for the BSW program. Admission information, including a list of faculty advisors, program guidelines and semester sequences are available on the School of Social Work’s website. Academic support is available at the following locations: The Academic Center for Exploratory Students (ACES) located in the Rowe Center on the Storrs campus, as well as at the Office of Student Services in the Hartford Times Building ( or the School of Social Work, both located on the  Hartford campus. Students are invited to meetings each semester to discuss School of Social Work programs. Students who declare themselves as pre-social work majors should register through the Academic Center for Exploratory Students (ACES).

Major Course Requirements

Social work majors are required to complete 52 credits in the major. These include SOWK 3000, 31003101, 3200, 32013250, 33503501, 3502, 350337003701, 38003801, 4100W and two electives.

Students are reminded that the University requires a total of 120 credit hours, minimum to be eligible for graduation from the University. The 54 credits required before entering the program, along with the 52 credits of Social Work major requirements, only total 106 credits. Therefore, students must register for an additional 14 credit hours to meet the minimum of 120 credit hours. It is important that students discuss course options with their academic advisor prior to finalizing course registrations.

Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

Upon the recommendation of the faculty, the degree of Bachelor of Social Work is awarded by vote of the Board of Trustees to students who have met the following requirements: (1) earned a total of 120 degree credits, (2) earned at least a 2.5 grade point average for all calculable course work, (3) met all the requirements of the School of Social Work and University General Education Requirements. Students must have grades of C (2.0) or higher in all field education placements.