Social Work

The mission of the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (B.A.S.W.) program at Fordham University is to educate students to promote human rights and social justice and improve the well-being of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities through culturally competent, evidence-informed, generalist social work practice embedded within an agency context. The school’s commitment to excellence in education and scholarship is built on professional social work values and the Jesuit educational tradition with its focus on social justice. The B.A.S.W. program builds upon a strong liberal arts core to establish the social work competencies necessary to effectively serve diverse populations.

The program builds on students’ strong liberal arts experience and combines classroom and field education with a strong student advising and support system. Following admission into the major, students participate in classes and activities of the Graduate School of Social Service, a social work program of national stature. This design provides a challenging and stimulating educational environment.

The baccalaureate program was granted full national accreditation in November 2001 by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education. The program received reaffirmation of its accreditation in 2006. and most recently in 2014. Students completing the social work program are eligible to apply for advanced standing at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service, and/or other graduate schools of social work. If accepted, advanced standing will substantially shorten the time needed to complete a Master of Social Work degree.

Early Admission to Master’s Program

Within five years of completion, students graduating with a B.A. in social work from the program are eligible to apply for advanced standing at Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service or to other graduate programs in social work that consider advanced standing applications.

The evaluation of applications for advanced standing in the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service leads to one of the following decisions:

  1. Acceptance to the Graduate School of Social Service with advanced standing: The school grants advanced standing. Students enter the advanced level of study and choose from one of the advanced concentrations of study.
  2. Rejection: The school rejects the application for admission and does not offer matriculation to the applicant.

Program Activities

Once admitted to the social work major, students will be assigned an adviser during their first and second years of the program. This will provide support over the course of the program.

Students will have access to all student activities open to graduate social work students.

For more information

Visit the Bachelor of Social Work program web page

SOWK 2600. Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare. (4 Credits)

Introduction to values, knowledge and skills of social work professions. Focus on historical and contemporary rules and relations of social work profession. Also includes social welfare history and policy. Four-credit courses that meet for 150 minutes per week require three additional hours of class preparation per week on the part of the student in lieu of an additional hour of formal instruction.

SOWK 2999. Tutorial. (2 Credits)

SOWK 4999. Tutorial. (1 to 4 Credits)

SOWK 6005. Contemporary Social Welfare Policy. (3 Credits)

Students will learn that human rights and justice drive social welfare policies and their implementation at the international, federal, state, and local levels. The course introduces students to the underlying values, assumptions and philosophical perspectives that have influenced the development of the US social welfare system, its goals, policies and programs. Students will learn about policy formulation, analysis, and the role of social work in policy development and implementation within their practice settings at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. The course introduces students to the historical, social, cultural, political, economic, organizational, environmental, and global influences that affect social policy.

Prerequisites: SOWK 2600 or SSCI 2600 or SOCI 2600.

SOWK 6040. Integrating Human Rights and Justice in Practice. (3 Credits)

Every person regardless of position in society or geographic location has fundamental human rights such as freedom, safety and security, privacy, an adequate standard of living, health care, and education. This course introduces students to how social workers may conceptualize the global intersections and interconnections of justice, equality and human rights. Students are introduced to an integrated practice framework that promotes human rights and justice and identifies the root causes of global social issues. They will explore theories that address human need, social, economic, and environmental justice, intersectionality, diversity, and oppression and discrimination. In this course, students learn how to recognize the extent to which a culture’s structure and values, including social, economic, political, and cultural exclusions, may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create privilege and power. Students learn to engage in advocacy to advance human rights social, economic, and environmental justice domestically and internationally.

Prerequisites: SOWK 2600 or SSCI 2600 or SOCI 2600.

SOWK 6305. Social Work Skills Lab. (3 Credits)

This skill-based course is anchored in the knowledge of generalist social work practice. Students will develop competency in performing essential social work skills via simulations, role-plays and peer activities. These skills will be applied to working with client systems including individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations. Case scenarios developed for this course will reflect the realities of contemporary social work practice. The emphasis will be on student performance in using the engagement and intervention skills with various client systems.

Prerequisites: SOWK 2600 or SSCI 2600 or SOCI 2600.

SOWK 6320. Social Work Practice With Organizations and Communities. (3 Credits)

This course uses a generalist framework to prepare students for direct social work practice with organizations and communities. Learners explore the theories, knowledge and fundamental skills necessary to practice successfully with organizations and communities. Students will learn the multiple phases of practices from engagement through termination. Students will be introduced to the ethical and legal obligations that guide social work practice with organizations and communities.

Prerequisites: SOWK 2600 or SSCI 2600 or SOCI 2600.

SOWK 6323. Social Work Practice With Individuals Across the Lifespan. (3 Credits)

This course uses a generalist framework to prepare students for direct social work practice with individuals. Learners explore the theories, knowledge and fundamental skills necessary to practice successfully with individual clients. Students will learn the multiple phases of practices from engagement through termination. Students will be introduced to the ethical and legal obligations that guide social work practice with individuals.

Prerequisites: SOWK 2600 or SSCI 2600 or SOCI 2600.

SOWK 6324. Social Work Practice With Families and Groups Across the Lifespan. (3 Credits)

This course uses a generalist framework to prepare students for direct social work practice with families and groups. Learners explore the theories, knowledge and fundamental skills necessary to practice successfully with families and groups. Students will learn the multiple phases of practices from engagement through termination. Students will be introduced to the ethical and legal obligations that guide social work practice with families and groups.

Prerequisites: SOWK 2600 or SSCI 2600 or SOCI 2600.

SOWK 6440. Advanced Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis. (3 Credits)

The course builds on the skills, values, knowledge and processes of the generalist curriculum, serving as a bridge between generalist and advanced assessment theory and practice. Specifically, the course extends the person-in-environment assessment perspective of Generalist Practice with the addition of more intensive assessment of the individual’s inner world, including psychodynamic conflicts processes and ego defenses. The course is entitled “Advanced Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis” rather than “Psychopathology” to remind students that clinical assessment need not lead to a diagnosis of mental illness. The course covers practitioner self-awareness; the relationship between mental health and mental illness; risk and resilience; bio-psycho-social-spiritual assessment; a strength-informed cooperative assessment process; a critical use of the DSM-5, and major types of mental illness and their evidence-supported treatments.

Prerequisites: SOWK 2600 or SSCI 2600 or SOCI 2600.

SOWK 6803. Applied Social Work Research and Evaluation. (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to social work research. It focuses on the scientific method from the process of developing knowledge to critically evaluating research. Students will learn about formulating a research question; research methodology, including study design, sampling, measurement, and data collection methods; ethical issues in research; and understanding how to read and understand research reports and publications.

Prerequisites: SOWK 2600 or SSCI 2600 or SOCI 2600.

SOWK 6901. Fieldwork and Integrative Seminar 1. (4 to 5 Credits)

Actual practice with a limited work load under close supervision designed to assist the student in applying theory to practice and to enable the student to master fundamentals of generalist practice. Includes 10 two-hour seminar sessions. Fourteen hours per week from September through July; 21 hours per week from September through May.