Bachelor of Social Work

Bachelor of Social Work


Do you consider yourself a people person? Are you interested in helping individuals, families, groups and/or communities to enhance their individual and collective well-being?

East Carolina University's Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program prepares students for beginning professional generalist practice and for graduate study in social work. Students will take courses in human behavior and diversity, social work practice with individuals, families, groups and communities, assessment, problem-solving, critical thinking, social policy and research, as well as complete a semester-long internship. Most of these courses are taught through hands-on and experiential methods, as well as traditional teaching modes.

Social work students at ECU have many career options upon graduation, including working with communities, organizations, families and individuals through a variety of human service settings and governmental agencies. Graduates' roles include, but are not limited to, case managers, counseling service providers, behavioral and/or mental health care providers, child welfare workers, family-related service providers, adult protective service workers, correctional officers, medical social workers, geriatric social workers, advocates, community organizers, social planners and policymakers. In addition, students may become candidates for school social work licensure by completing three courses and a one-semester internship in a public-school setting.

Program Mission & Goals

The BSW program aligns with the School’s mission of preparing graduates with the knowledge, skills, and professional values and ethics necessary to inspire positive change and to succeed in a global, multicultural society.  Based on the profession’s values and ethics, and social work education’s generalist practice competencies, graduates of the BSW program are prepared to:

  • Recognize the importance of human relationships and dignity and worth of the person by valuing difference;
  • Use knowledge based on scientific inquiry to provide ethical and effective social work services at all practice levels;
  • Engage and collaborate with stakeholders, colleagues, community members, and organizations to enhance overall health, wellness, and quality of life;
  • Advocate for social and economic justice for marginalized, oppressed, and vulnerable individuals in our region and beyond; and
  • Dedicate themselves to continued professional development and self-reflection in social work practice.

The goals of the BSW program include:

  • Provide a strong educational program capable of producing knowledgeable and effective beginning generalist practitioners.
  • Provide leadership in initiating and maintaining partnerships with social work and community organizations with service recipients.
  • Take a leading role in promoting initiatives enhancing social justice and decreasing oppressive conditions affecting poor and otherwise oppressed people in the region and state.

Program Option

The BSW program is offered as an on-campus, face-to-face program.

Admission Requirements

  • 32 semester hours of course work with a minimum GPA of 2.50
  • Completion of SOCW 1010 and 2010 with at least a 2.50 GPA  in these courses
  • Complete application for acceptance into the BSW program.
  • Applications must be submitted by February 15th. This application date will allow you to preregister for social work courses if accepted into the program. Change of majors and transfer student applications must be received no later than June 30th. Transfer students are encouraged to apply for the spring or summer admission term when applying to the university. This will allow transfer students a term to establish the required 2.50 ECU GPA needed to submit application.

Complete admission requirements can be found here.

Four Year Course Plan of Study

  • General Education (40 s.h.)
  • Cognates – Social & Behavioral Science Core (15 s.h.)
  • Social Work Tier Core Courses including 2 Social Work Electives (57 s.h.)
  • Electives of Student’s Choice (8 s.h.)

Field Education

Field education is the signature pedagogy of social work education. BSW students will complete field education during their final semester. Students are required to spend 32 hours per week in their field placements, for a minimum of 448 hours.

Refer to the BSW student handbook for additional program details and policies.

Accreditation Information
The BSW degree is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

East Carolina University has determined that its Bachelor of Social Work program meets the requirements for professional licensure in all states within the continental United States.