Social Work, B.A.


Department of Social Work Education

The Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements Social Work 

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 application/admission, before being permitted to enroll in restricted and sequenced 100-level social work courses. Students who begin at Fresno State as freshman will enter the major after demonstrating competence and fit through success in the pre-health major. The application date for native students and transfer students will be available on the Department of Social Work Education website.

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 must be completed:

G.E. Area A1 (COMM 3, COMM 7, or COMM 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 Social Science (ECON 25, ECON 40 or ECON 50) (3 units)
G.E. Area E Life-long Understanding (PH 90) (3 units)
American Government & Institutions (PLSI 2) (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 enroll in upper-division social work major status in the Social Work Education Department office upon successful completion of the above prerequisite requirements. Eligibility for enrollment will be contingent upon satisfactory fulfillment of these requirements.

1. Major requirements (42 units)
SWRK 20, SWRK 123, SWRK 135, SWRK 136, SWRK 160, SWRK 161 (or SWRK 161S), SWRK 170, SWRK 171, SWRK 180, SWRK 181i, SWRK 182I, SWRK 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

2. General Education requirements (48 units)

3. Other requirements (9 units)
American Government and Institutions (PLSI 2), Multicultural and International (MI), and
Upper-division writing

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. See advisor for details.

Advising Notes

  1. Foundational social work major courses must be taken in the sequence specified below:
    Junior year (semester 1): SWRK 123, SWRK 135, and SWRK 160
    Junior year (semester 2): SWRK 136, SWRK 161/SWRK 161S, and SWRK 170
    Senior year (semester 1): SWRK 171, SWRK 180, SWRK 181i
    Senior year (semester 2): SWRK 182i, SWRK 183, and SWRK elective
  2. 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.
  3. CR/NC grading is not permitted in the social work major with the exception of SWRK 181i and SWRK 182i.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Students who have prior knowledge of Spanish or Southeast Asian languages but lack fluency are encouraged to take additional coursework in the languages.
  7. 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, 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 requirements of the programs. Internship experiences are available in the schools, healthcare settings, behavioral health, probation, and social services departments in the counties of Fresno, Kings, Madera, Tulare, and San Luis Obispo. A representative sample of settings include Community Regional Medical Centers of Central California, Valley Children’s Hospital, Fresno Unified School District, Focus Forward, 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.

Click here for roadmap.

Please note: Roadmaps are not a guarantee of course availability.

If you are looking for archived roadmaps, please click here.


Social work practitioners

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 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 practice (M.S.W) who can meet complex needs, perform a multiplicity of social work roles, promote institutional change, and enhance the problem solving capacities of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

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
M/S MH26
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 
Phone: 559-278-3992 
Fax: 559-278-7191

Office Location:

Professional Human Services Room 128