School of Social Work

Undergraduate Program

  • Nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
  • Graduates qualify to take the Social Work State Licensure Board Examination.
  • All full time faculty members have Doctorates and are nationally and internationally recognized for their scientific and professional contributions.

The Social Work Major

The Social Work Major prepares students as beginning-level generalist social work practitioners. The program offers students the values, knowledge, and skills necessary to meet human needs and improve the social conditions in which persons grow and develop. Graduates are eligible for membership in the National Association of Social Workers and/or National Association of Black Social Workers, and they are eligible to take the social work licensure exam in Ohio. The program is fully accredited at the baccalaureate level by the Council on Social Work Education.

For students majoring in other fields or preparing for graduate study, social work offers a basic understanding of the social welfare system as it addresses current social concerns. The social work core prepares students for practice in diverse settings and varied roles in child welfare, public welfare, health, mental health, community organizations, developmental disabilities, rehabilitation, aging, criminal justice, and other areas of human service practice.

Career Opportunities in Social Work

  • Options: Career opportunities for individuals with a social work degree include work in corrections, family and child welfare, health, aging; alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; child welfare, children, adolescents, and young adults; health; mental health; school social work, social and economic justice and peace, and juvenile and adult criminal justice.
  • Training: A bachelor's degree can help one gain access to a variety of entry-level jobs in social work. Relevant work or volunteer experience in an area of interest is advised. The Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW) is sometimes necessary for advancement in the social work field.
  • Personal Characteristics: A desire to help others overcome problems, gain insight into themselves and develop their capacities is essential for a career in social work. Compassion, patience, and stamina are also necessary.

Admission to the Major:

The School of Social Work BSW Program Coordinator conducts orientation meetings to acquaint pre-majors with the profession of social work and the BSW course of study at Cleveland State University.  The goals of the orientation are to 1) provide information regarding the social work profession, such as its history, fields of practice, licensure and social work opportunities; 2) inform students of matriculation requirements; 3) clarify the required course of study; and 4) share with students the standards for academic and non-academic performance.

At the time of application, a student needs to have an overall grade point average of 2.2 or higher, and have completed the major pre-requisite courses (SWK 200, SOC 101, PSY 101, and a BIO course and lab). In addition, the student will provide the following to the BSW Program Coordinator:

  1. A completed Social Work Major Application.
  2. One letter of reference is required. The letter may be from a teacher or professor, employer, religious leader, volunteer experience supervisor, or health and human services professional.  Letters of reference from CSU social work faculty are not accepted.  It should be on letterhead with a legible name, telephone number, and signed.
  3. A completed checklist from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) Advising Center.

Upon acceptance into the major, a faculty adviser is assigned.  Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 in the social work major courses. 

Student Organizations:

  • The student organization Social Work in Action has sponsored various activities in the past. They have been involved in Food Drives, Clothing Drives, and Clean Land Ohio.

    Students are encouraged to join Social Work in Action and become involved in activities that will help share information about classes, professors, and career interests. A variety of speakers and workshops pertinent to social work careers are provided. It is an active part of the networking system of Social Work students, and can help in the transition from being a student to becoming a social work professional in the community. Social Work in Action officers may be contacted through the Department of Social Work.

  • CSU hosts the Delta Zeta Chapter of Phi Alpha, a national honor society for Social Work Students.


Forms (PDFs and Word documents)