Baccalaureate of Social Work (BSW)

Program overview

A BSW degree from Binghamton University prepares students for generalist practice and will focus on understanding social work values, ethics and professional behavior. Through a generalist lens, students will gain the knowledge and skills they need to work with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Students will:

  • explore historical oppression, structural inequality and work towards navigating complex systems;
  • increase their awareness of social injustices and the impact that social injustice has on access to education, resources, and services; and
  • learn how to maximize the empowerment of clients and communities to reduce clients' and communities' experiences of oppression and institutional violence.

The curriculum is designed to create explicit linkages between practice, policy and research. Students will:

  • build knowledge around basic concepts and principles of research and create an understanding that for social work practice to be effective, it is important that social workers be both consumers of, and contributors to, research efforts that aim to build knowledge and improve social work practice;
  • gain knowledge about human development across the lifespan and become familiarized with a variety of frameworks for interpreting the interactions among human biological, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual systems as they affect and are affected by human behavior; and 
  • be provided with a foundation for understanding social problems and social welfare policies in order to prepare them to become informed and competent providers of social welfare systems.

Explore our program vision, mission, philosophy and goals.

Degree offered

Baccalaureate of Social Work (BSW) 

Pathways to a Baccalaureate of Social Work (BSW)

I am/ I have 

Choose this path

A high school graduate (recent or not) who has never been in a college/university before  Traditional freshman (CCPA undeclared) 
Completed one or less than two years of coursework at an accredited college or university (not Binghamton) but do not have a bachelor's degree in any field  Traditional transfer (CCPA undeclared) 
An associate's degree in liberal arts or human service field  Traditional transfer (into Baccalaureate of Social Work program)
A current Binghamton University student who is, NOT in the CCPA, in the spring semester of their sophomore year Intra-university transfer (into Baccalaureate of Social Work program) 
A current Binghamton University student who is in the CCPA Change of major (see your advisor)

Undeclared major, matriculation, transfer, application 

Undergraduate students interested in the Baccalaureate of Social Work (BSW), but not yet accepted into the major, will be enrolled in the College of Community and Public Affairs with an undeclared major. To matriculate into the BSW program, students must complete the application process, which includes group or individual interviews. Applications will be accepted in the spring semester of the sophomore year and students will enter the program in the fall semester of the junior year. Transfer students who have completed an Associate's Degree or the equivalent number of credits should apply during the spring of the year for which they are seeking fall admission.

Alumni

Alumni of the Binghamton University BSW program will become advocates for the systems they serve and learn how to build on individual, family and community strengths and then utilize those strengths to empower change.

Coursework

Once accepted into the BSW major, students will take the following courses:

  • SW 303 Diversity and Oppression, 4 credits
  • SW 304 Foundations of Scientific Inquiry with Social Systems, 4 credits
  • SW 305 Human Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE), 4 credits
  • SW 315 Social Welfare policy and Programs, 4 credits
  • SW 410 Generalist Social Work Practice with Individuals, 4 credits
  • SW 411 Generalist Social Work Practice with Groups and Families, 4 credits
  • SW 412 Generalist Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities, 4 credits
  • SW 495 Field Instruction Integration Seminar I, 2 credits
  • SW 496 Field Instruction Integration Seminar II, 2 credits

Internship experience

Field Education is the social work profession's signature pedagogy and a pivotal part of the BSW curriculum. All students in the BSW program will complete an internship in their senior year of the program that runs concurrently with courses and a field seminar. Students will spend 15 hours a week in their internship for a total of 510 hours for the year (240 hours in the fall semester and 270 hours in the spring semester).

Students will receive weekly supervision through a licensed social worker throughout their internship experience. Students may be placed in a variety of agencies (child welfare, criminal justice, substance use, healthcare, mental health, schools, etc.) throughout a 100-mile radius of the University.

Students will have opportunities to serve the local communities and will work directly with individuals, families, groups and organizations.

Degree requirements

The BSW degree requires the completion of 126 credits, including general education requirements and social work major requirements. Social work upper division major requirements total 52 credits including 12 credits in generalist practice (with individuals, with groups and families, and with organizations and communities), 4 credits in foundations of scientific inquiry with social systems, 4 credits in social welfare policy and programs, 4 credits in human behavior and the social environment, 4 credits in diversity and oppression, 12 credits in field instruction and field instruction integration seminars, 8 credits in social work major-restricted electives, and 4 credits in upper-division social sciences electives.

Students need a grade of P (pass) in SW 491, Field Instruction I, to move onto SW 492, Field Instruction II. In order to receive the degree, students need a grade of P (pass) in SW 492, Field Instruction II, and a grade of C or better in SW 495, Field Instruction Integration Seminar I, and SW 496, Field Integration Seminar II.

In line with the SUNY Transfer Path requirements, the prerequisites for admission to the BSW program include versions of Introduction to Social Work, Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, Human Biology and Introduction to Statistics.