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Bachelor of Social Work


The School's focus on the development and delivering of evidence-informed practices, programs & policies underscores the importance of preparing BSW graduates who are able to draw upon a wide array of intervention strategies based on empirical, theoretical, and experiential knowledge. In so doing, it echoes the profession's attention to knowledge based on scientific inquiry.  In addition, the School's emphasis on recognizing strengths, honoring diversity, and challenging injustices with an eye toward the unique characteristics of Nevada in the context of a global society, reflects the importance the profession places on critically understanding the historical, cultural, economic, political and social contexts that inform social work practice, policy & research.

The overarching goal of the baccalaureate social work (BSW) program is to prepare students for beginning generalist practice in social work.

BSW graduates will be able to:

  • Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly
  • Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice
  • Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments
  • Engage diversity and difference in practice
  • Advance human rights and social and economic justice
  • Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research
  • Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment
  • Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services
  • Respond to contexts that shape practice
  • Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Great Basin College Program

In collaboration with Great Basin College (GBC), the University of Nevada's School of Social Work provides a 3 + 1 program for students who reside in rural Nevada and who are interested in pursuing a BSW degree. Through this program, students are able to complete the equivalent of the first three years of academic study at GBC and their final year through UNR. Students in this program will be able to complete most of the University and Departmental Core through GBC; upon being accepted to the University of Nevada, Reno, and the professional sequence, students will complete their final coursework through the University of Nevada, Reno, (no less than 32 credits). The Professional sequence courses will be offered via a combination of online, face-to-face weekend labs and field internships.

Note: Students interested in applying to the professional sequence as a 3+1 applicant, are strongly encouraged to apply to the University through the UNR office of Admission & Records by early Fall.

Students who are interested in the University/GBC 3 + 1 program follow the same sequencing of courses as do students enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno. Please refer to the Curriculum Plan and the Transfer Core Curriculum form for information regarding required courses and their sequencing.

Students attending GBC may obtain academic advising through GBC, and may also obtain information regarding the 3 + 1 program from the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Social Work.

Students who participate in the UNR/GBC 3 + 1 program are considered valuable members of the School of Social Work community. As such, all pre-major students are encouraged to participate in the Undergraduate Social Work Student Association (USSWA) USSWA's Facebook. Students who are interested in participating in USSWA should contact the BSW Program Coordinator, Dr. Mary Hylton, at (775) 784-6542.

Admission Procedure/Requirements

Social work students may apply to the professional sequence during the winter of their junior year.  The professional sequence encompasses a series of classes tied to a 450 hour internship in a social service agency.  These classes in conjunction with the internship are designed to provide the professional socialization, knowledge, values, and skills needed for entry level social work practice.  An emphasis on professional practice distinguishes the professional sequence from the other required and elective social work classes.  Students entering the professional sequence are expected to be ready to engage with clients, to practice within the boundaries and scope of the profession and to behave in manners congruent with the profession's values and ethics. While this sequence of classes and internship may be completed in one full-time or two part-time academic years, it is designed to be a culminating experience during the student's senior year. 

Students who meet the following requirements may apply for admission to the professional sequence:

  1. Complete all of the University and Departmental Core with the exception of capstone and social work elective courses by the conclusion of the Spring semester of the year you apply
  2. Maintain an overall grade-point average of 2.5 or higher (exceptions may occasionally be considered for students who do not meet the GPA requirement, but in the professional judgment of the faculty demonstrate exceptional potential for social work through strong community service and/or leadership experiences)
  3. Complete SW 101, SW 250, SW 310, and SW 321 with a grade of "C" or higher in each course; and have completed or be enrolled in SW 311
  4. Submit formal applications to: a) The University of Nevada, Reno (applicable for students transferring to UNR), and b) The School of Social Work:
  5. Submit responses to essay questions as found on the third page of the BSW program application
  6. Submit two professional references (must use BSW recommendation form)
  7. Submit a current copy of an UNR Academic Requirement Report (ARR), Course History and if applicable, Transfer Credit Report (all documents listed found in MyNEVADA)

The application deadline for admission to the professional sequence is January 15th (for the following fall semester).  Should January 15th fall on a weekend, all completed application packets must be received by the School of Social Work office by the end of business (5:00 p.m. P.S.T.) the last weekday BEFORE January 15th.  Admission decisions are finalized during spring semester; students accepted into the major begin 400 level social work courses during following fall semester.

Related Degrees and Programs

Contact School of Social Work

Phone (775) 784-6542
Fax (775) 784-4573
Location Ansari Business Building

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