Social Work, BA

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (H75000BA)

More on the Social Work major

Contact Information

The School of Social Work and Family Sciences, Polsky 411:

Janice Steinmetz
Pending Social Work Student Adviser

Dr. Timothy McCarragher

***Students pursuing a Social Work Degree desiring licensure as an LSW should be aware that felony convictions may negatively affect eligibility for licensure. To inquire whether individual situations affect licensure, write to:

Counselor, Social Worker & Marriage & Family Therapist Board
50 West Broad Street, Suite 1075
Columbus, Ohio 43215-5919
phone (614)466-0912 or email***

Program Description

Consistent with the mission of The University of Akron and the College of Health and Human Sciences, the mission of the undergraduate social work program is to prepare students for competent and effective generalist practice. The goals of the undergraduate social work program are to: 1) prepare students to integrate the knowledge, values and skills of the social work profession for competent and effective generalist practice with diverse client systems in various practice settings; 2) prepare students to identify the strengths and abilities of diverse client systems to foster empowerment toward social justice and systematic well-being; and 3) prepare students to utilize theoretically-based social work research, knowledge and critical thinking skills for effective and ethical social work practice. The social work major is an accredited undergraduate professional program preparing students for entry-level practice positions in social service agencies employing Social Workers. Elective courses are available in such areas as health, child welfare, mental health, grant writing, family service, corrections, etc. Certificate programs in Pan-American Studies, Addiction Services, Gerontology (Aging), The Resilient Child, and Victim Studies can be scheduled within the elective framework of the curriculum. 

The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in social work requires completion of 14 credits of a foreign language (Spanish is recommended; sign language as well as other foreign languages are accepted). The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work degree does not require a second language. Both degrees require 120 hours. Students who complete an associate degree program with a social services emphasis can complete either the B.A. or B.A./S.W. curriculum in social work by completing the required courses.

Students wishing to major in social work must request an intercollege transfer to the School of Social Work and Family Sciences from their current college. A 2.75 grade point average and 30 credit hours are required for admission to the School. Once admitted to the School, a separate admissions packet must be completed with the School in order to be admitted as a social work major in good standing.

Job Description

Job titles include caseworker, family worker, group worker, community organization worker, outreach worker, rehabilitation worker, probation worker, community health worker, counselor, child welfare worker, employment community service worker, fair housing coordinator, human relations worker, consumer services worker, etc. Job titles are varied but all relate to human needs in the area of social-emotional adjustment, development, or protection, in the context of the individual, family, group, or community. Opportunities exist in the public and non-public sectors.

A Bachelor’s degree is preparation for an entry-level position and for graduate study in Social Work. A student is encouraged to consider graduate-level study to further his/her career opportunities. The University of Akron offers a Master’s degree program at three campuses (Akron, Lakewood, and Wayne). The Bachelor and Master of Social Work Programs are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

All Social Workers in the state of Ohio are licensed by the state.

Salary Level

Depending on one’s qualifications, experience, creativity, and, interests, there is a wide range of salaries possible at the entry-level, and upward mobility for the professional worker is fairly rapid. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2021, social workers in Ohio have an annual mean wage of approximately $42,000 - $59,000. The job outlook is good with openings growing at a faster than average pace.

The following information has official approval of The School of Social Work and Family Sciences and The College of Health and Human Sciences, but is intended only as a supplemental guide. Official degree requirements are established at the time of transfer and admission to the degree-granting college. Students should refer to the Degree Progress Report (DPR) which is definitive for graduation requirements. Completion of this degree within the identified time frame below is contingent upon many factors, including but not limited to: class availability, total number of required credits, work schedule, finances, family, course drops/withdrawals, successfully passing courses, prerequisites, among others. The transfer process is completed through an appointment with your academic advisor. 



General Education Requirements36
Social Work Core40
Foreign Language Requirement14
Additional Credits for Graduation *24
Total Hours120

Bachelor's degrees require a minimum of 120 credit hours for graduation.

Recommended General Education Courses

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree must complete the following General Education coursework. Diversity courses may also fulfill major or Breadth of Knowledge requirements. Integrated and Applied Learning courses may also fulfill requirements in the major.
Students are not required to enroll in the specific courses listed below. However, to facilitate successful degree completion, the academic department strongly encourages completion of the following recommendations.
Academic Foundations12
Mathematics, Statistics and Logic: 3 credit hours
Statistics for Everyday Life
Basic Statistics
Speaking: 3 credit hours
Writing: 6 credit hours
Breadth of Knowledge 22
Arts/Humanities: 9 credit hours
Natural Sciences: 7 credit hours
Natural Science: Biology
Social Sciences: 6 credit hours
Government & Politics in the United States
Introduction to Psychology
Human Relations
Introduction to Sociology
Domestic Diversity
Introduction to Sociology
Diversity and Social Work
Global Diversity
Integrated and Applied Learning2
Select one class from one of the following subcategories:
Complex Issues Facing Society
Review the General Education Requirements page for detailed course listings.
Total Hours36

Social Work Core

SOWK:401Social Work Practice I3
SOWK:402Social Work Practice II3
SOWK:403Social Work Practice III3
SOWK:404Social Work Practice IV3
SOWK:405Practice I Skills Lab3
SOWK:421Field Experience Seminar I2
SOWK:422Field Experience Seminar II2
SOWK:425Social Work Ethics3
SOWK:430Human Behavior & Social Environment II3
SOWK:442Social Work Research3
SOWK:445Social Policy Analysis for Social Workers3
SOWK:452Social Work in Mental Health3
SOWK:493Field Experience: Social Agency I3
SOWK:494Field Experience: Social Agency II3
Total Hours40

Foreign Language Requirement

The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Social Work requires completion of two years of a language requirement; Spanish is recommended. 114
Total Hours14

A student may also take the following sequence in Sign Language to meet the foreign language requirement:


Complete six credit hours:6
Social Work Electives
Total Hours6

Recommended Sequence 

Plan of Study Grid
1st Year
Fall SemesterHours
Statistics for Everyday Life 1
or Basic Statistics
POLIT:100 Government & Politics in the United States 1,3 3
SOCIO:100 Introduction to Sociology 1,3 3
SOWK:275 Introduction to Social Work Practice 1 3
English Composition I Requirement 2 3
Spring Semester
BIOL:103 Natural Science: Biology 1,4 4
Introduction to Psychology 1,3
or Human Relations
SOWK:270 Diversity and Social Work 1 3
SOWK:276 Introduction to Social Welfare 1 3
English Composition II Requirement 2 3
2nd Year
Fall Semester
SOWK:427 Human Behavior & Social Environment I 1 3
Humanities Requirement 3
General Electives 6 3
Speaking Requirement 3
Select one of the following: 3-4
Beginning Language I 5
SLPA:101 American Sign Language I
Spring Semester
Natural Science Requirement 4 3
Arts Requirement 3
Global Diversity Requirement 3
Complex Issues Requirement 3
Select one of the following: 3-4
Beginning Language II 5
SLPA:102 American Sign Language II
3rd Year
Fall Semester
SOWK:401 Social Work Practice I 3
SOWK:405 Practice I Skills Lab 3
SOWK:442 Social Work Research 3
SOWK:xxxSocial Work Elective 3
Select one of the following: 3
Intermediate Language I
SLPA:201 American Sign Language III
Spring Semester
SOWK:402 Social Work Practice II 3
SOWK:430 Human Behavior & Social Environment II 3
SOWK:445 Social Policy Analysis for Social Workers 3
SOWK:452 Social Work in Mental Health 3
Select one of the following: 3-5
Intermediate Language II 5
SLPA:202 American Sign Language IV
4th Year
Fall Semester
SOWK:403 Social Work Practice III 3
SOWK:421 Field Experience Seminar I 2
SOWK:425 Social Work Ethics 3
SOWK:493 Field Experience: Social Agency I 3
SOWK:4xxSocial Work Elective 3
Spring Semester
SOWK:404 Social Work Practice IV 3
SOWK:422 Field Experience Seminar II 2
SOWK:494 Field Experience: Social Agency II 3
Arts or Humanities Requirement 3
General Electives 6 4
 Total Hours120-125

Preadmission Requirements – must be completed prior to admission into the Social Work major.


While not required for transfer to the School of Social Work and Family Sciences, the student must complete a General Education Mathematics, Statistics and Logic and English requirements prior to full admission to the Social Work major. Any General Education Mathematics, Statistics and Logic is accepted, but Statistics is recommended in preparation for Social Work Research I & II.


SOCIO:100, POLIT:100, and PSYC:100 or SOWK:230, are requirements and will fulfill the Social Science requirement.


Natural Science courses, including one human biology course, are required. This biology requirement can be met by completing BIOL:103; the remainder of the requirement may be met by several courses. Consult your adviser and appropriate General Education guide.


The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Social Work requires completion of two years of a language requirement; Spanish is recommended. A student may also take the following sequence in Sign Language to meet the foreign language requirement:

  • SLPA:101 American Sign Language I;
  • SLPA:102 American Sign Language II;
  • SLPA:201 American Sign Language III;
  • SLPA:202 American Sign Language IV, (all sequential and 3 credits each); and
  • SLPA:222 Survey of Deaf Culture in America, 2 credits, no prerequisite.

General Electives: These may be chosen from the following suggested disciplines: Anthropology (ANTH), Economics (ECON), History (HIST), Family & Consumer Sciences (FCSC), Political Science (POLIT), Psychology (PSYC), and Sociology (SOCIO) or foreign language/Sign Language coursework taken from the Bachelor of Arts with a major in Social Work degree.

A student may transfer to the School of Social Work as a pending major after completion of 30 credits and an overall GPA of at least a 2.50. Please note: admission to the School of Social Work does not mean admission to the social work major. 

Alert: By the end of your first 48 credit hours attempted, you should have completed your General Education Writing, Mathematics, Statistics and Logic. and Speaking requirements