Mar 02, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work

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Winona: 250 Maxwell Hall
Rochester: ST 130
Social Work website
Charissa Eaton, Chairperson, BSW Program Director


Ruth A. Charles, Professor; BA, Gordon College; MSW, PhD, Syracuse University; 1997 -
Charissa Eaton, Professor; BS, MSW, University of North Dakota; PhD, University of Minnesota; 2010 -
Cathleen Jo Faruque, Professor; BS, Winona State University; MSW, San Diego State University; PhD, North Central University; 1997 -
Mary M. Kirk, Assistant Professor; BA, Marquette University; MSW, University of Iowa; DSW, University of St. Thomas/St. Catherine; 2016 -
Robert Jay Palmer, Professor; BS, California State University-Fullerton; MSW, California State University-Long Beach; PhD, University of South Carolina; 2007 -
Anne Vande Berg, Associate Professor; BA, Macalester College; MSW, University of Minnesota; DSW, University of St. Thomas/St. Catherine; 2013 -


The WSU Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree program prepares students for beginning, generalist professional Social Work practice. The BSW program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The program serves students on both the Winona and Rochester campuses. The Winona campus offers a face-to-face option; Rochester offers a hybrid option.

In many states, a license is required to practice Social Work, and a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an accredited Social Work program is required for licensure. Students who graduate with a BSW degree are eligible for advanced standing when applying to most graduate schools. At many institutions, advanced standing allows BSW graduates to waive some graduate level courses while working on a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. Therefore, BSW graduates can finish most MSW programs in one year; however, the requirements vary from one institution to another. 


Admission to the Bachelor of Social Work program is a procedure separate from WSU admission and from major declaration. The BSW admission process takes place during the second semester of the student’s sophomore year. Specific eligibility requirements in addition to the academic requirements for both admission and retention must be met. The application materials containing the requirements, instructions, deadlines, and forms can be found on the Social Work website.

Students may apply to the BSW program the semester in which 60 credits and the foundations courses are being completed. However, required foundation courses are to be completed prior to admission to the social work program. Students will not be admitted to the program unless they satisfy the department’s admission requirements by the end of the semester in which they apply. (Spring semester applicants have until the end of the next summer session to satisfy admission requirements.) Admission is competitive; therefore, some applicants may not be admitted. Social work faculty members are available to assist prospective social work students with the admission process. First-year and sophomore students interested in the social work major are advised to become well informed regarding the courses required for admission to the social work program. Admission into the program is limited to a specific number of students and is based on satisfactory completion of required courses and evaluation scores obtained in the admission process. Acceptance into the BSW program is the prerequisite for enrollment in all social work courses except ◎ SOCW 340 - Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare  and SOCW 350 - Field Experience I .

Students must have a C grade or better and an overall GPA of 2.5 in all eight foundation courses, ENG 111 - College Reading and Writing , CMST 191 - Introduction to Public Speaking  or CMST 192 - Introduction to Speech Communication , SOC 150 - Introduction to Sociology , PSY 210 - Introduction to Psychological Science , PSY 250 - Developmental Psychology , BIOL 117 - Human Biology , ◎ SOCW 340 - Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare , and a satisfactory evaluation in SOCW 350 - Field Experience I . In addition, students must complete the statistics requirement ( STAT 110 - Fundamentals of Statistics  or ◆ PSY 231 - Statistics ) with a C grade or better. Students should note that ◆ PSY 231 - Statistics  (Statistics) does meet requirements for admission to the Social Work major; however, it does not meet General Education Program math/critical analysis requirements.

Admission is based on fulfillment of the course requirements specified above and the evaluation score obtained during the BSW acceptance process. Students should contact their advisor for further information on this process.

Academic Standards

Students must have a C grade or better and an overall GPA of 2.5 in all courses considered for BSW Program admission. In addition, students must also maintain a 2.5 GPA and a C grade or better in all courses required within the major.

Student Association of Social Workers (SASW)

Membership offers students the opportunity to organize and act on social issues of concern to students at the local level as well as the state and national levels. In addition, SASW provides a social network for the students. SASW is available to students on the Rochester and Winona campuses. Membership is strongly encouraged.

Pass/No Credit (P/NC) Courses

Except for field experiences and internships, students must take all courses on a grade-only basis. Only C grades or better in courses offered in the department can be used to meet major and minor requirements.

General Education Intensive Requirements

Students may use intensive courses to satisfy both General Education Program (GEP)  and major requirements. Intensive courses will usually be in the student’s major or minor program. The following are offered as GEP intensive courses in the Social Work Department:


Oral (◎)
Math/Critical Analysis (◆)
Writing (△)

Intensive courses that can be used to satisfy major/minor requirements are identified in the lists of required courses and electives.


The Social Work program offers the program in a flexible hybrid option. Admissions occur each fall semester with applications due the previous February. The social work program is available through the Path to Purple Program at WSU-Rochester. See the Articulation Section  for this program.


    Bachelor of Social Work

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