Admission Requirements: Students may declare a major in the School of Social Work upon admission to the University or with permission of the School.
Illinois State University School of Social Work completes criminal background checks for all BSW candidates and reserves the right to deny admission based on application materials, previous academic record and records of past conduct, including but not limited to the results of a criminal background check or registration of a sex offense.
Any offers of admission are contingent upon successfully completing and passing a national background check. The school may refuse or revoke admission for the following: misrepresentation of self, criminal behavior, results of the national background check, and/or behavior that interferes with performing professional duties.
If admitted to the BSW program, any applicant or student with a criminal background may not be eligible for some field instruction placements. In addition, the applicant or student may not be eligible for licensure after completing the requirements for the BSW degree. Many agencies require criminal background checks as a condition for accepting a placement in their program. It is the student’s responsibility to inquire with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation or other professional licensure boards to determine their licensure eligibility.
Once admitted to the BSW program, students must report any new information or criminal convictions and adhere to the Professional Standards of the University and the School of Social Work. Students must meet the criteria for professional and ethical behavior as set forth by the School of Social Work.
NOTE: The School of Social Work reserves the right to maintain a balanced enrollment. This may restrict the numbers of freshmen, transfer students, and internal transfers who wish to be Social Work majors.
- Most Social Work courses are restricted to Social Work majors with the exception of SWK electives.
- The School does not offer a minor in Social Work.
- Only Social Work students may take required courses.
Academic credit for life experience and/or previous work experience is not given, in whole or in part, in lieu of any Social Work course. All Social Work majors must also be formally admitted to the program. The admission process is a prerequisite for taking any 300-level Social Work course. In order to be formally admitted, students are required to make formal application before their enrollment in SWK 223.
To be accepted, students must have satisfied the following requirements:
- At least 30 hours of credit with a minimum 2.50 overall GPA
- Grade of C or better in all courses required for the major
- Successful completion of at least 25 pre-approved hours of volunteer or paid work experience in an appropriate social service agency within the past 2 years.
- 15 hours required in an introductory social work course and liberal arts courses: SWK 170; ECO 103; PSY 110, PSY 350; SOC 106.
- 12 hours required in General Education courses which include: ANT 185; BSC 101 or BSC 145 or BSC 170; POL 101 or POL 106; a category QR course chosen from ECO 138 or PSY 138 or POL 138 or MAT 150 or MQM 100.
- All General Education courses must be completed prior to admission to the BSW program. Exceptions may be made for students who demonstrate potential for academic success in Social Work.
Exceptions are granted upon the recommendations of the Social Work Admission Committee and the Director or designee of the Social Work program.
The School of Social Work offers honors work for superior students majoring in Social Work. In order to qualify, the student must be a member of the University Honors Program, have completed a minimum of 12 hours for honors credit, and achieve a cumulative University GPA of 3.30 or better, and have a GPA of 3.50 or better in Social Work. Students pursuing this option should contact the School’s Director of Student Services.
For more information on Honors in Social Work, including admission and retention standards, please visit the Honors website.
The School of Social Work contributes to the Interdisciplinary Studies Program. For more information on interdisciplinary minors, please visit the Interdisciplinary Studies Program section.
Major in Social Work
Special Concentration and Certificates
Concentration in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: This 12-hour concentration has been designed for social work majors who wish to integrate a working knowledge of gender issues and their intersections with the undergraduate BSW degree. SWK 329 pre-practicum must be with an organization focusing on gender issues. Students interested in any of the below programs/concentrations should contact the Director of Student Services in the School of Social Work.
Child Welfare Concentration
This concentration has been designed for students who wish to enhance the social work major by integrating a working knowledge of child welfare practice with the undergraduate social work degree.
Gerontology Certificate and Minor
This special program has been designed for students who wish to enhance the social work major by integrating a working knowledge of gerontological issues with the undergraduate social work degree.
The School reserves the right to enforce professional standards of practice as specified in Section 6369 of the Clinical Social Work and Practice Act. These standards may be taken into consideration in decisions related to program retention. Additionally, students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 and a grade of C or better in all major required courses and completion of all general education requirements to proceed into SWK 394 and SWK 398a10.
The Baccalaureate Degree in Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The principal educational goal is to prepare students for beginning generalist social work practice.