Social Work, B.A.
Department of Social Work Education
Dr. Martha Vungkhanching, Department Chair
Professional and Human Services 128
Degrees and Programs Offered
BA in Social Work, B.A.
MSW in Social Work, M.S.W.
PREB in Pre-Social Work
The profession of social work is dedicated to meeting the diverse social service needs of special populations of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. As a practice-oriented profession, social work deals with social concerns that range from societal oppression to people's emotional/behavioral problems. The social work practitioner helps at-risk populations which typically include people of color; women; people who are recent refugees; those who are older adults, poor, and/or homeless; children and adults who are abused/neglected; people who have chronic mental illness; those who are developmentally disabled; those who have physical illnesses or disabilities; and those who abuse substances or engage in criminal activities.
In focusing on disadvantaged groups, social workers use a range of traditional and nontraditional methods to promote well-being, personal growth, and social justice. These methods include client and systems policy advocacy, brokering, and consulting, as well as indi-vidual, family, and group counseling/psychotherapy. Other methods include education, research, and professional supervision.
While the discipline of social work is deeply rooted in a rich, 100-year history of service, what social workers "do" is no longer traditionally defined. The role of the social worker is constantly expanding into innovative service fields wherever a compassionate response to human need is indicated.
The Department of Social Work Education offers two degree programs to educate beginning and advanced social work practitioners who can meet complex client needs in a broad range of public and private human service settings and who can perform in a variety of roles using a multisystems approach. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program prepares students for beginning generalist social work practice as well as for graduate study in the human service field, including social work. The Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) prepares the learner for advanced multisystems social work practice as well as for doctoral study in social work and related human service arenas. Both the B.A. and the M.S.W. programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
The Bachelor of Arts Program
The bachelor's degree program prepares students to enter supervised professional social work practice and/or pursue admission to a range of graduate study programs and professional schools. This includes graduate study in social work leading to a master's in social work.
The bachelor's degree program in social work is a sequenced program that requires four consecutive semesters to complete. All prerequisites must be completed prior to entry into the social work program. A cohort of social work students begins the program in the fall semester of an academic year. No social work students are permitted to begin the program in the spring semester. Students majoring in social work must complete the following prerequisites, including successful completion of the pre-social work major, before being permitted to enroll in restricted and sequenced 100-level social work courses.
a. Complete all lower-division General Education courses.
b. Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.7.
c. Formally apply for upper-division social work major status.
d. The following eight prerequisite courses in the pre-social work major must be completed prior to entry into the social work program:
G.E. Area A1 (COMM 3, 7, or 8) (3 units)
G.E. Area A2 (ENGL 10/ENGL 5B) (3 units)
G.E. Area A3* Critical Thinking (3 units)
G.E. Area B4* Quantitative Reasoning (3 units)
G.E. Area D2 American Government (PLSI 2) (3 units)
G.E. Area D3 Social Science (ECON 25, 40 or 50) (3 units)
G.E. Area E Life-long Understanding (PH 90) (3 units)
SWRK 20 (3 units)
Total (24 units)
* See lower-division General Education list for university approved courses. Each prerequisite must be completed with a minimum C grade CR/NC grades are not acceptable. A GPA of 2.7 or above is required in the eight prerequisite courses.
Students may apply for upper-division social work major status in the Social Work Education Department office during the semester in which they expect to successfully complete the above prerequisite requirements. Approval will be contingent upon satisfactory fulfillment of these requirements.
Social Work, B.A. Requirements
1. Major requirements (42 units)
SWRK 20, 123, 135, 136, 160, 161 (or 161S), 170, 171, 180, 181, 182, 183
Note: Students must attain a minimum grade of C in each required course in social work major Students who receive a grade of less than C in any of the above courses must meet with their Social Work Education academic advisor and develop a plan for repeating the course and continuing the major. Refer to the Undergraduate Advising Booklet for complete information on policies. See Advising Notes.
Additional requirements (18 units)
May also count toward General Education
- Select one: GERON 100, 103; PHIL 1, 20 (3 units)
- Select one: GERON 134, 139; PHIL 120, 131, 150 (3 units)
- Approved upper-division electives (see list in department office) (9 units)
Cultural Diversity Ethnic Studies including Africana Studies and American Indian Studies; Chicano and Latin American Studies, Asian American Studies, or Women's Studies (3 units)
Six units from two of the following areas: Anthropology, Criminology, Psychology, or Sociology (6 units)
- Select three units from the following: SWRK 124, 125, 128, 129, 137, or 152 (3 units)
2. General Education requirements (49 units)
3. Other requirements (6 units)
Upper-division writing and Multicultural and International (MI)
4. Sufficient elective units to meet required total units (varies)
(See Degree Requirements); may include a double major or minor
5. Total units (120)*
* G.E. and MI courses can be double-counted with major requirements. The writing requirement may be met by taking the upper-division writing exam. . See advisor for details.
- Foundational social work major courses must be taken in the sequence specified below:
- Junior year (semester 1): SWRK 123, 135, and 160
- Junior year (semester 2): SWRK 136, 161/161S, and 170
- Senior year (semester 1): SWRK 171, 180, 181
- Senior year (semester 2): SWRK 182, 183, and SWRK elective
- Approved course listings are available in the department office and on the Web. Consult your faculty advisor for assistance in selecting a pattern of courses to fit your particular interests and goals.
- CR/NC grading is not permitted in the social work major with the exception of SWRK 181 and 182.
- General Education, additional requirements, and elective units may be used toward a double major or minor (see Double Major or departmental minor). Consult the appropriate department chair, program coordinator, or faculty advisor for further information.
- Senior year internships are arranged by the field coordinator. Applications must be filed and interviews with the field coordinator and interviews for agency selection must be completed in the semester prior to entering the field.
- Students who have prior knowledge of Spanish or Southeast Asian languages but lack fluency are encouraged to take additional coursework in the languages.
- A booklet describing the program more fully is available in the department office and on the Web.
The faculty members of the department represent a wide spectrum of theoretical orientations and approaches to professional social work practice. All have substantive practice experience and many engage in active research programs and social policy interests. In addition to the on-campus facilities of the university, the department uses the San Joaquin Valley's unique urban-rural configuration of people, agribusiness and social-political institutions, and the accompanying host of social service needs as the setting for field internships. Numerous public and private social service agencies in our region make their facilities and professional social work staff available for the internship element of the department's programs. Internship experiences are available in the schools and mental health, probation, and social services departments in the counties of Fresno, Kings, Madera, Tulare, and San Luis Obispo. A representative sample of other settings include Community Regional Medical Centers of Central California, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, Children's Hospital of Central California, Fresno Unified School District, and Kings County Human Services Agency.
For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.
For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.
Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
A Roadmap identifies the specific set of courses students must complete in their major in sequential order. Information on corequisites or prerequisites is listed along with other pertinent information to assist students in completing courses towards the major.
Please note: Roadmaps are not a guarantee of course availability.
If you are looking for archived roadmaps, please click here.
The profession of social work is dedicated to meeting the diverse social service needs of special populations of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. As a practice-oriented profession, social work deals with social concerns that range from societal oppression to people's emotional/behavioral problems.
What You Can Earn
Social Worker (MSW)
$57,406 (in our region)
Social Worker (BSW)
$48,562 (in our region)
Source: HR Reported data from salary.com as of December 2012
What You Can Do
The undergraduate social work program prepares students to enter supervised professional social work practice and/or pursue admission to a range of graduate studies programs.
Interesting Classes You Might Take
- SWRK 128 Child Welfare
- SWRK 129 Treatment of Chemical Dependency
- SWRK 137 Cross Cultural Human Services
What You Can Learn
While the discipline of social work is deeply rooted in a rich, 100 year history of service, what social workers "do" is no longer traditionally defined. The role of the social worker is constantly expanding into innovative service fields wherever a compassionate response to human need is indicated. The department educates beginning (B.A. in Social Work) and advanced practioners (M.S.W) who can meet complex needs, perform a multiplicity of social work roles, promote intstitutional change, and enhance the problem solving capacities of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and commuties.
About the College
The College of Health and Human Services offers a broad range of fully accredited post-secondary and graduate educational programs to more than 2100 students each year. The College includes the Departments of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies, Gerontology, Kinesiology, Nursing, Physical Therapy, Public Health, Recreation Administration, and Social Work Education.
Residents and communities in the Central California region continue to face serious issues within the health and human service environment that will require continuing generations of well-prepared health and human service professionals.
College Contact Information
2345 E. San Ramon
Fresno CA 93740-8031
Phone: (559) 278-4004
FAX: (559) 278-4437
Department Contact Information
Department of Social Work
5310 N. Campus Drive PH102
Fresno CA 93740-8019
Professional Human Services Room 128