Social Work

Bachelor of Science in Social Work
College of Health and Human Services

Social Work is a profession dedicated to assisting individuals, groups and communities by helping people obtain tangible services, providing counseling, aiding in social and health care services, and participating in legislative processes. Fields of practice include health, mental health and rehabilitation facilities, agencies that serve children and families, the criminal justice system, and public and private social service agencies.

Career Opportunities

The functions of social workers vary depending on the field of practice. Students who choose family and children’s services may provide family counseling or work in foster care and adoption. Others may work in child abuse and neglect prevention programs. Some choose health, mental health or rehabilitation fields in hospitals, clinics or hospice agencies.

Graduates may also serve as probation officers or counselors in juvenile and adult corrections, possibly within a prison setting. Some governmental opportunities are also available in community development, such as social planning and community organizing. Gerontological services, occupational social work, drug and alcohol agencies and a variety of governmental and non-governmental positions offer additional employment settings.

Careers in social work are likely to increase at a faster than average rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


The Social Work degree program involves learning about the human condition and developing skills to work with individuals, families, groups and communities. There is an emphasis on human behavior theory and a strong liberal arts foundation. Core courses include human behavior in the social environment, social welfare policy, research methods and a one-semester practicum.

Entry into the degree program requires a minimum of 30 semester hours, completion of two pre-social work courses and an overall GPA of 2.5. Students usually complete general education requirements before applying to the degree program, but it is not required. Core Social Work courses are taken during the last two years of study. Faculty advising is an integral part of the student planning process.

Program Features

The Social Work degree program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Graduates are eligible for licensure (LSW) in the state of Ohio as well as other states which currently have licensure laws that include bachelors level social workers.

Social work students become involved in a variety of social service programs within the community while taking classes. Students are encouraged to work with faculty for independent research study and participate in presentations through local and state conferences.

The capstone course for all students is a one-semester field practicum taken with an integrative seminar. Students work under the direct supervision of a licensed social worker in an agency selected jointly by the student and faculty.

Students are also encouraged to join the Student Organization of Social Workers, which provides many opportunities for service and increased learning. The social work degree program has the Phi Iota Chapter of the Phi Alpha Honor Society.

College Highlights

BGSU’s College of Health and Human Services was the first collegiate unit in northwest Ohio devoted exclusively to academic programs in health and human services.

There are 8 active student organizations with many connected to their national professional affiliation. Each degree program emphasizes hands-on opportunities through practical experiences and laboratory courses.

The college sponsors a Health Sciences Residential Community where students benefit from learning and socializing with other students taking similar classes, increased contacts with faculty in the health-science academic majors, and academic advising and career exploration that takes place within the residence hall.

Preparation for College

Social work students need a broad educational background. Special emphasis should be placed on developing both written and oral communication skills. Since social workers deal with people of all racial, ethnic and cultural levels, students should take courses in sociology and anthropology, if available. Also, students should be familiar with the structure and functions of government. Spanish is a good second language for a social worker.

Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU, but only finishing the minimum coursework will leave you unprepared for college. Consider taking four years of mathematics instead of the three that are required. Two, three or even four years of the same foreign language is excellent preparation for college. You will also benefit from competency in computer use. Courses that provide exposure to or training in the visual and performing arts are excellent choices.

Core Courses

There are 78 credit hours of required core courses in which grades of “C” or higher are required. In addition to courses in biology, psychology, sociology, economics, government, statistics, and communication, the following courses make up the key Social Work and Department of Human Services courses:

For Further Information

Internet Access

BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at

The University

Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.

NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Social Work, please check the undergraduate catalog online at: