Bachelor of Social Work

Learn to provide much-needed social services and support for individuals, families, and communities.

About this Program

Human dignity and social justice are the watch-words for social workers. Wherever there are people, social workers are present. UM's Bachelor Degree of Social Work prepares students to step into the exciting career of Social Work with all of the needed tools to help transform lives.

Social work majors can expect a dynamic and engaging college experience focused on developing a strong foundation in human services. Through a blend of coursework and internships, students majoring in social work can expect hands-on learning opportunities and a supportive community dedicated to honing the skills needed for compassionate and impactful social work practice.

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    Program Information

    Program Type


    Area of Study

    Health and Social Services


    4 Years


    B.S.W. in Social Work

    Program Location






    Required Credit Hours


    Required Coursework

    Find information on the Bachelor's Degree in Social Work here. For a full description, visit the online catalog.

    In addition to the General Education/Core Curriculum for the School of Applied Sciences, students majoring in social work must complete an additional 18 hours in the following related subjects:

    Social science electives can come from anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, sociology, or social work classes. 

    Social work majors must take the following core courses:

    The BSW Internship

    The final semester in the B.S. Social Work degree includes a student internship comprised of the following courses:

    • SW 495: Social Work Internship (9 hours)
    • SW 496: Internship Seminar (3 hours)

    The Internship carries a Z or pass-fail grade; the seminar carries a letter grade.

    After collaboration among students, agency staff, and faculty, assignment of the grade is the responsibility of Field Education Director and/or the Field Liaison.

    Internship is for social work majors only

    Internship settings, throughout Mississippi and Shelby County in Tennessee, are chosen based upon the setting’s compatibility with the mission, goals, and objectives of the Department of Social Work.

    • The setting must provide an educationally directed field experience, directed by qualified field instructors who will facilitate the student’s learning according to the student-university-agency learning contract.

    Key points to remember about the Internship:

    • All other degree requirements, including GPA of 2.0 must be met prior to beginning Internship.
    • The Field Education Director will arrange for the placement; students DO NOT initiate their own placements.
    • Internship is a thirteen-week, 40 hour per week experience, excluding the hours spent in the Internship Seminar, for a total of 480 hours.
    • Internships may be completed in any approved setting in Mississippi or in Shelby County in Tennessee, with consideration for the professional interests and geographic needs of the student.
    • Oxford has VERY FEW placement opportunities. Priority for Oxford area is given to physically challenged students, non-traditional students with children, and other local residents.
    • Having a lease in Oxford is not reason to merit a placement in Oxford.
    • Malpractice insurance and automobile liability insurance are required (if auto is to be used in Internship). Malpractice insurance is available through National Association of Social Workers, but students must become members of the organization to be eligible to acquire the malpractice insurance. Acquiring insurance is explained, in SW 450 Fields of Social Work, prior to the Internship.

    The process of arranging for the Internship is as follows

    • Apply for NASW membership no later than second semester of the junior year. (Applications are available in the Department of Social Work in Longstreet 211).
    • First semester of the senior year, complete application for degree.
    • Semester prior to Internship while enrolled in SW 450 Fields of Social Work, file request for field of practice and preferred geographic location, submit application for malpractice insurance and pay a $50.00 Internship Lab fee (effective spring 2010).
    • Students enrolled in the SW 450 Fields of Social Work course will receive a pass/fail grade of “Z”/”F”.
    • Toward end of semester prior to Internship, the Field Education Director will arrange for a pre-placement visit with the agency.
    • Students are required to arrange an interview with the Field Instructor of the Internship assigned by the Field Education Director.  This must be completed prior to the semester the students plan to enter Internship.
    • Students will make all arrangements about relocation, living, paying of tuition, etc.

    Process and Procedures for students during Internship – The Internship usually proceeds as follows:

    • Pre-placement visit by the Field Education Director and signing of contract
    • Agency orientation during the first two weeks (varies from agency to agency)
    • Agency staff will model agency activity and procedures
    • Student will gradually enter into agency activity
    • Regular conferences with agency field instructor (1 hour per week required)
    • Two evaluation conferences with field liaison
    • Student will submit weekly written reports to field liaison
    • Complete all written assignments as described in Internship Manual
    • Periodic (40 hours) integrative seminars on campus
    • Final evaluation of students and grading

    The Social Work Minor is for students interested in learning about the helping professions, even if they aren't planning to be social workers themselves! This program will teach you the "whys" and "hows" of helping others:

    • Understanding the "why": You'll learn the history, values, and different ways social workers think about helping people.
    • Building your "how-to" toolbox: You'll develop skills to work with people from all walks of life and with different needs.
    • Doing the right thing: You'll learn the ethical guidelines that social workers follow to ensure they're helping people in the best way possible.

    By completing the Social Work Minor, you'll gain valuable skills for working with others and making a positive difference in your community!


    Students must complete a total of 18 hours, earning a minimum of “C” in each course. Total number of hours for minor/(courses): 18 hours (3 required courses, 6 courses total)

    Students must complete a total of 18 hours, earning a minimum of “C” in each course. Total number of hours for minor/(courses): 18 hours (3 required courses, 6 courses total)

    Core courses (3 Courses, 9 hours required) Offered each fall and spring in Oxford, and in the fall semester for the Desoto and Tupelo campus.

    • SW 201 and SW 330 are offered online in the fall semester. All other offerings are face-to-face.
    • SW 201: Introduction to Social Work
    • SW 216: Social Welfare Policy I
    • SW 330: Human Diversity in Social Work Practice

    Examples of Electives (3 Courses, 9 hours required)

    This list of courses have been pre-approved by the department.

    • SW 220: Foundations in Child and Maternal Health
    • SW 325: The Helping Professional in Health Care Settings
    • SW 326: Gerontology: Social Welfare Aspects
    • SW 327: Compassion Fatigue: Strategies
    • SW 402: Child Welfare Policies
    CollegeSchool of Applied Sciences
    ProgramBachelors of Social Work
    Program Licensure Outcomes

    The Bachelors of Social Work program at The University of Mississippi is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

    Individuals must meet state regulations, determined by occupational settings, for the state in which they wish to practice. Compliance with state regulatory requirements is mandatory, and the only avenue towards legal practice.

    Program Regulated by every state licensure / certification board

    This program meets the educational requirements for licensure in the state of Mississippi.

    We have not determined if the program curriculum meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in the other US states, territories or the District of Columbia.

    College Program Contactsocialwork@olemiss.edu
    More information

    All 50 states and the District of Columbia require that a social worker sitting for a licensing exam be a graduate of a CSWE-accredited program.

    Contact information for individual state licensing boards can be found on the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) website at www.aswb.org or through an internet search for a licensing board for a particular state.

    Date of Last Revision2/8/2022

    What does Social Work look like in the job market?


    Median income for Housing Specialists in 2022.


    Median income for Advocacy Managers in 2022.


    Jobs for Substance Abuse Counselors in 2022.


    Jobs for Social Workers in 2022.

    Connect with a Social Work major

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    Sequoia Burdette

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    Graham Gustafson

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    What jobs can you get with a social work degree?

    • Habilitation Specialist
    • Case Manager
    • Program Specialist
    • Child Welfare Specialist
    • Activities Director
    • Substance Abuse Counselor
    • Social Worker
    • Behavioral Health Professional

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