Skip to main content

Social Work Course Listings

Traditional UG Format Course Title and Description Degree Completion Format

SW 120

Helping People: An Introduction to Social Work (3 units)

By means of readings, lectures, guest speakers, videos and discussion, students develop an overview of social work as a helping profession. Beginning with a definition, theory and value base of the servant model of helping, students explore a number of fields of social work practice, as well as micro and macro social work methods. The course introduces social work values and ethics.

SW 122

SW 300

Human Behavior in the Social Environment (3 units)

This course provides a basic understanding of the nature of human behavior from a life-span perspective, using systems theory. It enables the student to explore the interrelationship of biological, psychological, social/cultural, and spiritual systems to discover how they affect human growth, development, and behavior throughout the life cycle. Course content is designed to help students integrate the various developmental theories, understand diversity, and consider their implications for social work practice.

SW 301

SW 320

Theory and Practice with Families (3 units)

An introduction to relationships, marriage, and family as social institutions which are part of American culture and society. Using a systems theory approach, students study families across the lifespan, from different cultural, ethnic, and religious perspectives.

SW 321

SW 350

Urban Society and the Welfare State (3 units)

As America has become an increasingly urbanized society, growing numbers of people have become dependent upon governmental assistance to meet certain basic human needs. The result has been the gradual evolution of a welfare state, welcomed by some, resisted by others. This course promotes understanding of the polies that direct the societal response to human need, social and economic justice, and oppression.

SW 351

SW 360

Social Problems and Public Policy (3 units)

This course acquaints students with the major social problems that have emerged over time and familiarizes them with the social policies that government has devised in an attempt to alleviate or remedy those problems. In so doing, it seeks to stimulate a concern about the justice and equity of such policies on individuals and groups in our society. It is designed to prepare social work students for working in the community, with individuals and groups affected by the social problems and public policies established to deal with them.

SW 361

SW 400

Foundations of Social Work Practice (3 units)

This course introduces the basic concepts of the generalist and ecological approaches to social work practice and familiarizes students with specific social work models, theories and techniques. Additionally, students learn the knowledge and skills upon which helping relationships are founded. It provides advanced practice training in case management and interviewing. Reinforces an understanding and awareness of diversity in all its aspects.

SW 401

SW 410

Social Work with Groups (3 units)

Students experience the group process by forming small groups. The class then uses this experience, along with readings, experiential exercises, and lecture/discussions, to understand the stages of a group, as well as leadership, planning, assessment, and evaluation of the group process. Finally, each student practices what he or she has learned by co-leading a group for at least one class session under the supervision of the instructor.

SW 411

SW 420

Becoming a Change Agent (3 units)

Using a task-group process and the generalist social work method, students take on the role of change agents, using themselves to systematically identify, explore and plan a change project. Interspersed with the project are a series of readings, lectures, and discussions aimed at facilitating the change project, as well as understanding the range of change agent practice: community development, social planning, social action, organization development, social administration, social research, and social policy.

SW 421

SW 430

Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice (3 units)

Cultural competence in social work practice requires that social workers be aware of and sensitive to the breadth of diversity found in the world. This course offers students an opportunity to obtain education about and seek to understand the nature of social diversity and oppression with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, and mental or physical disability.

SW 431

SOC 461

Introduction to Social Science Research (3 units)

Familiarizes students with the methods and processes of conducting social science research, including the identification of problems, review of literature, collection and analysis of data and presentation of findings. The major focus is to integrate the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to understand and engage in research. In addition students are expected to become knowledgeable consumers of research.

SW 462

SW 480

Senior Seminar in Social Work (3 units)

Weekly seminars focus on the integration of social work theory and generalist practice in conjunction with the student's field instruction. Professional competency is deepened by means of videos and lecture/discussions in how to present and conduct oneself in an agency; use one's skills in counseling, group work and social assessment; organize and manage one's work; deal with one's feelings and stress; and refine one's career goals. Weekly journals, as well as, the presentation of at least one case, are required.

SW 493-496

SW 481

Senior Thesis (3 units)

Usually taken concurrently with Senior Seminar and Field Experience. Students must have successfully completed Introduction to Social Science Research in which they created their research proposal before taking this course. Having completed their research proposal students learn how to complete their research project and write their senior thesis. Students learn to conduct qualitative and quantitative research projects. They obtain IRB approval if necessary. They then conduct the chosen research, analyze their findings and write their results and discussion sections. After completing those sections, they combine all of the elements of their thesis paper from the fall and spring semesters into an integrated whole with references, appendices, and acknowledgments. The final project is turned in as a culminating experience in conjunction with an oral presentation.

SW 493-496

SW 482

Field Instruction in Social Work (8 units)

Field instruction is the culmination of a student's social work education. Each student is placed in an agency mutually agreed upon by the student, field coordinator and field agency. The student works in the agency as a social work intern for 448 total hours in the semester. He or she performs such tasks as individual counseling, working with groups as a co-leader, making referrals, writing social assessments and managing a small caseload under the supervision of an MSW social worker.

SW 493-96