Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Bachelor of Social Work - BSW Degree

Become a Social Worker

Exciting News! We are in the early stages of the accreditation process for a new social work degree program (BSW).  In February 2017, we entered pre-candidacy with the Council on Social Work Educations’ Commission on Accreditation to offer a new bachelor of social work degree that, once accredited, can put you on a path to becoming a social worker.*

We anticipate a positive accreditation review as early as 2020, well before the time our Fall 2017 entering freshman class would be ready to graduate in 2021. Once Initial Accreditation is obtained, graduates of our BSW program will be eligible to become social workers who are prepared to make a real and lasting difference in the lives of others.*

The GMercyU Difference

GMercyU’s planned social work degree (BSW)* will be a practical, hands-on program for those who want to dedicate their lives to helping others. As a student in GMercyU’s social work degree program, you will gain the knowledge and skills needed for generalist social work focused on economic and social justice concerns, ranging from homelessness to community violence, substance abuse, organizational diversity and child welfare, to name a few.

Offered through the School of Arts and Sciences, our bachelor of social work degree will provide a holistic approach to addressing the social and economic needs of individuals and communities in urban, suburban and rural areas.  

Other benefits of choosing GMercyU include:

  • A BSW program that addresses social problems and social and economic justice issues in keeping with our Catholic identity and the critical concerns of the University’s founders, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
  • Co-curricular organizations, such as Best Buddies, Mercy Works, Peer Mentoring, and Sigma Phi Sigma that provide experiential service learning opportunities to BSW students
  • Alternative Spring Break and other service learning programs where you can gain practical hands-on experience before you graduate
  • More than 60 years of experience preparing  Distinctive Mercy Graduates to become leaders in their chosen professions
  • Fulfilling and exciting real-world learning opportunities in both suburban and urban locations
  • Courses taught by experienced faculty who take the time to mentor and engage their students
  • Advanced standing in CSWE master’s degree programs, which means you can complete your MSW in just one year

*Gwynedd Mercy University’s Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program is currently in Pre-Candidacy for Accreditation by the Council on Social Work Educations’ Commission on Accreditation.

Pre-Candidacy for a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation indicates that it has submitted an application to be reviewed for Candidacy. A program that has attained Pre-Candidacy has not yet been reviewed by the Commission on Accreditation or been verified to be in compliance with the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. The Council on Social Work Education does not publicly disclose whether programs have currently attained Pre-Candidacy Status until they are granted Candidacy. Students who enter the program while it is still in Pre-Candidacy will not be recognized as attending a program in Candidacy unless the program attains Candidacy in the academic year in which those students enter. The Candidacy Process is typically a three-year process and there is no guarantee that a program in Pre-Candidacy will eventually attain Candidacy or Initial Accreditation. Students who enter programs that attain Candidacy in or before the academic year in which they begin their program of study will be retroactively recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program once the program attains Initial Accreditation. Candidacy by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of the students graduating from the program.

Social Work Degree Candidacy Requirements

When you begin your social work degree program you will be in pre-candidacy. To enter Candidacy, you will need to:

  • Complete a Social Work Candidacy application
  • Complete three designated social work courses with a GPA of 2.67 or better
  • Earn a 2.5 overall GPA or better
  • Submit criminal background checks required to practice with children and adults
  • Complete and sign a Volunteer Service Form verifying that you have performed at least 30 hours of volunteer service in the last 3 years.  Volunteer service must be completed at a non-profit agency.  Day camp counselor, babysitter, or errand runner are not appropriate volunteer activities.
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from a non-family member stating that you have the qualities for success as a social worker
  • Submit a 3- to 5-page self-assessment paper describing the qualities that will make you a good social worker

Provided you meet the above requirements, you will be able to enter Candidacy as early as the first semester of your sophomore year. More detailed information on the candidacy application process will be provided by your advisor.

Curriculum

Students in our planned bachelor of social work (BSW) program can choose to earn a Bachelor of Science+ or a Bachelor of Arts degree. In addition to required general education courses, BSW students must complete the following courses in order to earn their social work degree.

SWK201 Intoduction to Social Work
SWK202 Human Behavior in the Social Environment
SWK203 Difference and Diversity
SWK204 Marriage and Family Systems
SWK205 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II
SWK301 Generalist Social Work Practice
SWK302 Counseling and Communication Skills
SWK303 Group Processes
SWK304 Social Work Policy and Administration
SWK401 Mental Health Practice
SWK402 Social Work Research Methods
SWK403 Field Placement I (5 credits)
SWK404 Field Seminar I (1 credit)
SWK405 Field Placement II (5 credits)
SWK406 Field Seminar II (1 credit)
SWK407 Capstone

Social Work Electives (Choose 2)

SWK305 Case Management
SWK306 Death and Dying
SWK307 Issues in Gerontology
SWK308 Addictions, Dynamics and Interventions
SWK309 Dementia
SWK408 Advanced Research Methods
SWK409 Child Welfare

Social Work Prerequisites

PSY100 Introduction to Psychology
SOC100 Introduction to Sociology
PSY111 Statistics

+Bachelor of Science students must complete 9 credits in math, science or computer information science (CIS)

Credit Requirement

A minimum of 124 credits is required for the bachelor of social work (BSW) degree

Undergraduate Minors

Increase the value of your degree by adding an undergraduate minor. GMercyU offers a wide variety of minors so you can choose the one that best meets your personal and professional goals.

Graduate Studies

Once the program receives CSWE accreditation, graduates of GMercyU’s BSW program will have advanced standing in CSWE masters programs, which will take a full year off the time to complete your masters of social work (MSW).  You may also choose to pursue a graduate degree in pastoral counseling, school counseling, clinical counseling, and applied behavioral sciences. GMercyU offers an accelerated master’s of school counseling.

Our Outstanding Faculty

Career Outcomes

Social Work Careers

Job growth in the field of social work is expected to grow by 12% between 2014- and 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is higher than average for all careers.  Some social work careers, such as healthcare social workers and substance abuse counselors, are expected to grow at ever higher rates, making a social work degree an excellent choice if you’re looking for a rewarding career in a growing field.

Occupational Title 2015 Median Pay Anticipated Job Growth
Social Worker $45,900 12%
Health Educators and Community Health Workers $43,840 13%
Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists $43,190 19%
Social and Human Services Assistants $30,830 11%
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors $39,980 22%

 

Possible Careers for Social Work Majors

Case Worker
Family Support Worker
Child Abuse Worker
Youth Worker
Social Service liaison
Residential Counselo0r
Intake Interviewer
Eligibility Counselor
Social Work Assistant
Alcohol Counselor
Adult Day Care Worker
Drug Abuse Counselor
Life Skills Instructor
Care Manager
Client Advocate

Neighborhood Worker
Residential Manager
Social Service Aide
Crisis Intervention Counselor
Social Service Tech
Probation Officer
Community Outreach Worker
Parole Officer
Rehabilitation Case Worker
Child Advocate
Community Action Worker
Juvenile Court Liaison
Halfway House Counselor
Group Home Worker
Community Organizer

This is not a complete list and is not meant to limit you. Some careers require advanced education.