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Grace Abbott School of Social Work
School of Social Work

Bachelor of Science in Social Work

The Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) Program has received continuous accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education since 1975. The BSSW program prepares graduates for beginning social work practice within a variety of social service settings. This degree qualifies graduates to receive the Certified Social Worker credential (CSW) in the state of Nebraska. Other states with licensure and certification of BSSW level social workers will also recognize this degree for licensure or certification. It also prepares students for advanced graduate social work education (the MSW degree).

The curriculum for the degree is divided into two segments – the pre-professional social work curriculum and the BSSW Program.  An undergraduate student who selects a social work major takes the following courses during their freshman and sophomore years:

Pre-professional courses
SOWK 1000 (3 cr) Introduction to Social Work
SOWK 1500 (3 cr) Social Work and Civic Engagement
(30 hours of volunteer work required)
ENGL 1150 (3 cr) English Composition I
ENGL 1160 (3 cr) English Composition II
SPEECH 1110 (3 cr) Public Speaking Fundamentals
PSYCH 1010 (3 cr) Introduction to Psychology
PSYC (3 cr) 3000 or 4000 level course
SOC 1010 (3 cr) Introduction to Sociology
SOC (3 cr) 3000 or 4000 level course
PSCI 1100 (3 cr) Introduction to American National Government
ECON 1200 (3 cr) Introduction to the U.S. Economy
HIST 1120 (3 cr) American History since 1865
BIO 1020 (5 cr) Principles of Biology
SCI (3 cr) Another Natural or Physical Science Course
MATH 1310 (3 cr) Intermediate Algebra
SOWK 3000 (3 cr) Applied Statistics
Humanities (9 cr) See approved courses for general education list.
Global Diversity (3 cr) See approved courses for general education list
Electives or minor (15 cr)  

Advisement Worksheets are available to assist you in developing your plan of study by clicking the link below.  This two-sided form lists all the required courses needed to obtain the BSSW degree.  The first side identifies the pre-requisite courses to the program, while the second side lists the required social work courses taken your junior and senior years as well as general electives.  Transfer students can transfer in most of the core requirements from other colleges.

University of Nebraska at Omaha
Metropolitan Community College
Iowa Western Community College
Southeast Community College
Northeast Community College
Central Community College

UNO pre-professional social work students are required to meet with an advisor prior to registering for classes for the following semester.  Students can contact Ellen Rice, the pre-social work student advisor at or 402-554-4928 to schedule an appointment.

Admission to the School of Social Work

Social work majors who desire to pursue the professional Bachelor of Science degree in social work must apply for acceptance during the second semester of the sophomore year or after the student has earned approximately 50 credit hours. The deadline for application is January 15 for admission for the following fall semester (the start of your junior year).  Admission to the BSSW Program is competitive, based on a combination of the following criteria:

  • Completion of most pre-requisite courses with a cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.50 or higher (the average GPA of admitted students is 3.4).
  • Successful performance in the two pre-professional social work courses (SOWK 1000 and SOWK 1500) with a grade of B or better.
  • Positive references and a well written personal statement evidencing potential for successful practice in the field of Social Work.
Required Social Work courses (after formal admission to SOWK)
SOWK 2120 (3 cr) Race, Class and and Gender in the U.S.
SOWK 3010 (3 cr) Human Behavior and Social Environment I (NBSEI)
SOWK 3320 (3 cr) Practice I
SOWK 3890 (3 cr) Writing
SOWK 3020 (3 cr) Human Behavior and Social Environment II (HBSE II) (fall semester only)
SOWK 3350 (3 cr) Social Work Practice II (fall semester only)
SOWK 3110 (3 cr) Social Welfare Policy Analysis
SOWK 4360 (3 cr) Social Work Practice III
SOWK 4400 (3 cr) Research Methods Social Work in Practice
SOWK 4410 (5 cr) Practicum I (plus lab)
SOWK 4420 (3 cr) Practicum II
SOWK 4450 (3 cr) Senior Social Work Seminar (spring semester only)
Choose one of the following four minority content courses for a total of 3 credit hours::
SOWK 4010 Social Work with American Indians
SOWK 4020 Social Work with African American Families
SOWK 4030 Social Work with Latinos
SOWK 4040 Working with Minority Elderly
Choose one of the following two electives electives for a total of 3 credit hours:
SOWK 4640 Social Work in Child Welfare
SOWK 4650 Social Work in Mental Health with Intellectural Disabilities
Choose one CPACS elective for a total of 3 credit hours.

To find out more about the BSSW program view the following documents:
Admissions Information and BSSW Application
Program Goals and Objectives

Certificate in Gerontology

The Certificate in Gerontology represents a specialization at the undergraduate but is not a degree. Students may complete the requirements for the certificate within their social work program. To obtain a Certificate in Gerontology, students must complete 15 credit hours of course work in gerontology, and 6 credit hours of practicum.

Learn more about the Gerontology Certificate.

Students also have an option to minor in Gerontology. Click here for more information.

Please note students must complete the application form and pay a $45 application fee.