Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit Any changes will appear on our errata page.

BASW Program Faculty and Advisors: Hermoso, Lee, Lenz-Rashid, Levy, Redman, Shapiro, and Takahashi.

Eligibility Requirements

Admission to the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work major is limited to students at the upper division level (60 units or more). Applicants must be either a current SF State student or be eligible for admission to undergraduate studies at San Francisco State University

The BA in Social Work is a two year (four semesters) cohorted program designed for full-time study. Students are admitted during the fall semester only. As a cohort group, students typically begin and end the program at the same time. Students are expected to complete their BASW degree in two years.

Prior to entering the program, students are expected to have completed all General University requirements pertaining to the admission of undergraduate students. Students must have completed all SF State Lower Division General Education requirements (or equivalent) and have junior standing (60 units or more) at San Francisco State University. Students must have an all college total GPA of 2.0 or higher at the time of application. Students must also complete and pass the four required prerequisites with a grade of C- or higher prior to admission into the BASW Program:

  1. Introductory-level course in Human Biology (BIOL 100 or equivalent; lab not required for Social Work program)
  2. Macro Economics (ECON 102 or ECON 305 or equivalent)
  3. Introductory Psychology (PSY 200 or equivalent), and
  4. Introductory Sociology (SOC 105 or equivalent)

The School of Social Work strongly recommends that students complete ENG 214 (Second Year written composition-English) or equivalent prior to entering the BASW program.

Application Procedure

Students already enrolled at SF State and meeting the Eligibility Requirements described above can visit the School of Social Work website at to access the application forms/documents.

Prospective transfer students must submit two separate applications. They must be admitted into San Francisco State University Undergraduate Studies and the School of Social Work:

  1. First, they must complete the SF State Application for Admission online using the CSU Mentor portal and must be accepted by the university.
  2. Second, they must complete the School of Social Work application. Access to the School of Social Work application is made available by the Undergraduate Admissions Office after the applicant completes and submits the University application.

To determine if the School of Social Work prerequisites have been met, the articulation agreement between SF State and any California’s public college or university can be accessed at, {“an online student-transfer information system that shows how course credits earned at one public California College or university can be applied when transferred to another. ASSIST is the official repository of articulation for California’s public colleges and universities and provides the most accurate and up-to-date information about student transfer in California” ( website).

The School’s admissions evaluation is based on prior academic performance, including completion of the four prerequisite courses, human biology, introductory psychology, introductory sociology, and macroeconomics. Other considered factors include potential for professional social work practice as demonstrated by previous employment/volunteer experiences; and knowledge of and experiences with historically oppressed, under-served, and under-represented individuals, families, groups, and communities. In determining admissions, reviewers also consider the congruence between the applicant’s educational objectives and the School’s mission and objectives.

Students are required to maintain a C minimum grade in all courses within the major. Students not maintaining this average will be dropped from the Social Work program.

Freshmen and sophomore students planning to major in Social Work should consult with an advisor in the College of Health and Social Sciences Student Resource Center before enrolling in courses that fulfill General Education requirements.

Note: The field education coordinator works with students to find field placements. Before entering field internships, students must have completed 24 units of their junior year courses with a grade of C or better.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

The School of Social Work is committed to enhancing all students’ ability to communicate in an effective and professional manner, both orally and in writing. Further, the School promotes efforts to ensure that all forms of communication are culturally sensitive and appropriate.

To prepare practitioners for the challenges and responsibilities of advocacy within professional settings, the School of Social Work pursues a rigorous writing proficiency standard in the BASW and MSW programs. Formal writing assignments are integrated into the structure of classes with the expectation that students progressively expand and refine their mastery of organizing ideas and expressing purposeful thinking. Written communication is a core competency in both the BASW and MSW degree programs.

Social Work majors who successfully complete S W 301GW in Spring 2010 or thereafter will have satisfied the University Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). S W 301GW is offered the second semester of the junior year. Per University requirement, second year written composition, ENG 214, is a prerequisite to the upper division Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) course in the major, therefore the School of Social Work strongly recommends that students complete ENG 214 or equivalent prior to entering the BASW program.

Social Work (B.A.) — 44 units

BASW Course Requirements

Prerequisites for entering the Social Work program:

• Introductory Psychology
General Psychology (or equivalent)
• Introductory Sociology
Sociological Perspectives (or equivalent)
• Human Biology (lab not required for SW program)
Human Biology (or equivalent)
• Macroeconimics
Introduction to Macroeconomic Analysis
Economic Analysis for Non-Majors (or equivalent)
Plan of Study Grid
Fall SemesterUnits
S W 300 U.S. Social Welfare: Past, Present, and Future 3
S W 302 Introduction to Social Service Organizations 3
S W 352 Gender, Sexism, and Social Welfare 3
S W 410 Human Development and the Social Services 3
Spring Semester
S W 301GW U.S. Social Welfare II: Problems, Policies, and Programs - GWAR 3
S W 400 Social Work Practice I 3
S W 402 Interviewing Skills in Social Work 3
S W 470 Social Differences and Social Work Practice 3
Fall Semester
S W 350 Services to Children, Youth, and Their Families 3
S W 401 Social Work Practice II 3
S W 456 Urban Community Organizing and Citizen Action 3
S W 502 Seminar on Field Experience I 2
S W 503 Field Experience in the Social Services I 2
Spring Semester
S W 450 Introduction to Research in Social Work 3
S W 504 Seminar on Field Experience II 2
S W 505 Field Experience in the Social Services II 2
 Total Units44

Complementary Studies

Students completing a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) degree must complete 12 units in Complementary Studies in courses bearing a prefix other than S W, and not cross-listed with S W. The courses required of all students who are admitted to the BASW program will also satisfy the CS requirement: Introductory Sociology (SOC 105 or equivalent); Introductory Psychology (PSY 200 or equivalent); Macroeconomics (ECON 102 or equivalent) or Economics Analysis for Non-Majors (ECON 305 or equivalent); and an introductory-level course in Human Biology (BIOL 100 or equivalent, Lab not required).

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication I LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Written English Communication II LD 3 A4
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Humanities: Literature LD 3 C3
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Social Sciences: US & CA Governement LD 3 D3
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD or UD 3 E
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), in a major or minor, or may be an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities (AERM) LD or UD 3
Environmental Sustainability (ES) LD or UD 3
Global Perspectives (GP) LD or UD 3
Social Justice (SJ) LD or UD 3

Note: LD = lower division; UD = upper division.

First Time Student Roadmap (4 year)

This 2016 - 2017 roadmap opens in a new tab.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California government
    • a 2nd-semester course in written English composition

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), go to Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower division major requirements for this major
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 units/90 quarters required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper division transfer (for example, if course was not passed on first attempt, or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California community college of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower division general education in areas C and D until after transfer in order to focus on preparation courses for the major. (This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.)

Transferring from institutions other than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower division General Education requirements. As described above, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3 and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (GE A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. Review more information about the A3 requirement here.

Identify and complete a 2nd-semester written English composition course before transfer. This is usually the next course after the typical “freshman comp” course, with a focus on writing, reading and critical analytical skills for academic purposes, and developing skills in composing, revising, and the use of rhetorical strategies.

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.

All students must meet the transfer eligibility requirements outlines below for admission. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.

  • Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units
  • Earn a college grade point average of 2.00 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended
  • Complete 30 semester units (45 quarter units) of general education, including four basic skills courses:
    1. One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE area A1)
    2. One course in written composition (same as CSU GE area A2)
    3. One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE area A3)
    4. One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning, with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite (same as CSU GE area B4)
  • The four basic skills courses and minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a "C" or better grade in each basic skills course.