2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Social Work

Social work is one of the human service professions. Social workers help individuals, groups and communities solve or relieve life problems using a variety of professional skills. The educational program integrates liberal arts courses with preparation for professional practice. The primary objective of the department is to prepare students as generalist practitioners for entry to beginning social work practice. An additional objective is to prepare students for admission to graduate schools of social work (eligible for advanced standing in most master’s degree programs).

The curriculum includes content in social welfare policy and services, human behavior and the social environment, social work practice, research and field education. It focuses on values and ethics, populations at risk and diversity. Concurrent with their academic work, students are provided service-learning opportunities in several classes. During the senior year, students complete a concurrent placement (12 academic hours) of field education (internship) in two semesters in a public or private social agency selected in accord with the student’s area of social work interest and educational needs.) Graduation with a BSW requires a “C” or better in all social work courses.

The Department of Social Work and the social work major (not the minor) are fully accredited at the baccalaureate level by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

TCU’s Department of Social Work does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, handicap, veteran status, political beliefs or sexual orientation.


The social work profession has the legal and ethical responsibility to protect both society and the profession by assessing students’ readiness to work with clients. This gatekeeping responsibility is outlined in the BSW Handbook and is based on adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics. The faculty discusses students’ professional development and readiness to interact with clients during the field application process, which reinforces the gatekeeping process.

Admission to BSW Field Education

Students may declare the social work major at any time. Admission to advanced standing in the Department of Social Work and field education requires that students:

  • Have attained junior status;
  • Have a 2.25 or higher overall GPA;
  • Complete or be enrolled in SOWO 10833, 30833, 30843, 30853, 30863, and 30883.
  • Have a 2.5 GPA in social work and a “C” or better in all SOWO courses; and
  • Make written application and receive faculty approval based on the application to evaluate readiness for field education. Field Education may be postponed or denied if the faculty finds the student insufficiently prepared or lacking required knowledge, skills or values.

Honors College

Social Work majors who plan to pursue Departmental Honors must be members of the Honors College and should enroll in SOWO 30003 during the spring semester of their junior year and SOWO 40003 during the fall semester of their senior year.

Interdisciplinary Studies

Students may undertake an interdisciplinary program with a double major in Social Work and another major, even when different degrees are involved (BA and BS). Programs such as Social Work and Religion Studies, Social Work and Psychology, and others require faculty advisers in both fields to coordinate course and degree planning.

Transfer Credit

Most core curriculum and related coursework from accredited universities will transfer. However, all courses used to satisfy the cultural awareness, global awareness, or citizenship and social values components of the TCU Core Curriculum must be taken at TCU. Social work courses from CSWE- accredited social work programs may be accepted toward the social work degree upon review of the syllabi from the transfer college/university.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad. The Department of Social Work expects that students take SOWO 30833 and 30883 in the junior year prior to their internship year at TCU, so they should schedule study abroad accordingly.

Social Work Honor Society

The department sponsors the Iota Xi chapter of Phi Alpha, the national Social Work Honor Society. In accordance with the criteria set by the Phi Alpha Honor Society, invitation is extended to students in the top 35% of their class at the end of their junior year.

Social Work Licensing

BSW students have the option to take Texas State Licensing Examination in their final semester in order to be licensed as LBSWs in Texas. Licensing may be transferable to other states. Additional information can be found about licensure at the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council site for the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners https://www.bhec.texas.gov/texas-state-board-of-social-worker-examiners/index.html

Student Association of Social Workers (SASW)

The Student Association of Social Workers (SASW) is a recognized organization of the University with membership open to all TCU students who are interested in social work. SASW offers an opportunity for BSW, MSW and other students to get involved in activities around campus and in the community. The organization began in the spring of 1978 in order to: Promote knowledge about social work at TCU, facilitate communication among students and between students and faculty, provide mutual support among students, and promote social action and community service.