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UT Austin
Undergrad 04-06


The University

School of Architecture

Red McCombs
School of Business

College of Communication

College of Education

College of Engineering

College of Fine Arts

School of Information

College of Liberal Arts

College of
Natural Sciences

School of Nursing

College of Pharmacy

School of Social Work

The Faculty

Texas Common Course Numbering System
(Appendix A)

Degree and Course Abbreviations



13. School of Social Work


Barbara W. White

Ruth G. McRoy
Associate Dean

David W. Springer
Associate Dean

Web site

General Information


The Bachelor of Social Work degree program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.


The School of Social Work was established as a graduate program in 1949 and began classes in the fall of 1950 with twenty-four students enrolled in the MSSW program. Undergraduate courses in social work were first offered in 1958. These were incorporated into a full Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program in the fall of 1974.

The first BSW degree was awarded in December, 1977. Since that time, the program has been strengthened by curriculum modifications reflecting changes in the profession and in society that have implications for beginning social work practice. Since the program was established, more than eleven hundred students have received BSW degrees.

The School of Social Work also offers programs leading to the Master of Science in Social Work and the Doctor of Philosophy. These are described in the Graduate Catalog.


The School of Social Work provides professional education and leadership in social work practice, research, and service to promote social and economic justice, enhance social welfare, and build strong community-University partnerships.

The mission of the Bachelor of Social Work program is to prepare students as beginning-level generalist professional social work practitioners who are committed to the provision of services that further the well-being of people and who promote social and economic justice. Building on a broad liberal arts framework, the BSW curriculum is designed to develop generalist practitioners who have an understanding of social work knowledge and values and are able to select different methods and resources to meet identified client needs, while recognizing and engaging the strengths of the client in the process. The curriculum offers students the opportunity to learn to promote, restore, maintain, and enhance the social functioning of multiple levels of systems in the environment, including individuals, families, small groups, organizations, and communities; to recognize worker and client limitations; and to know when to refer clients to other resources.

The BSW student is given the opportunity to learn to work collaboratively in a variety of settings using an ecosystems/developmental perspective; to recognize the relationships between client needs and public issues; to work toward the development of social policies, resources, and programs that meet basic human needs and empower at-risk groups; and to be sensitive to the diversities among individuals, including ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, and ability. The program is intended to prepare reflective, self-evaluating practitioners who have a strong identification with the social work profession and work to alleviate poverty, oppression, and discrimination.

Graduates of the program are expected to be able to enhance the problem-solving, coping, and developmental capacities of individuals, especially those from at-risk populations. They also are expected to contribute to the effective and humane operation of the systems within the environment that provide individuals with resources, services, and opportunities; to link individuals in need with the appropriate systems; and to contribute to the development and improvement of social policies that have an impact on people and their social environments, especially by empowering at-risk groups and by promoting social and economic justice.

The BSW program is integrated with and builds upon a liberal arts base that includes knowledge in language arts, the humanities, and the social, behavioral, and natural sciences. The curriculum includes content in social work values, diversity and at-risk populations, social and economic justice, human behavior and the social environment, research, social welfare policy and services, and social work intervention.

Program Objectives

Students graduating from the BSW program are expected to demonstrate

  1. A professional identity that incorporates the values and ethics of the social work profession and the professional development of self.
  2. The ability to work with diverse populations with an understanding of and respect for the positive value of diversity, including ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, and religion, and to use communication skills differentially with diverse groups.
  3. An understanding of the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination.
  4. The ability to apply strategies and skills that advance social and economic justice and to address the oppression of at-risk populations.
  5. An understanding of the biological, psychological, social, and cultural contexts of changing client systems, including individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and the broader society, and their effects on development and behavior.
  6. Beginning-level competencies in research and evaluation, including the ability to evaluate research studies and apply their findings to practice, and, under supervision, evaluate their own practice interventions and those of other relevant systems.
  7. An understanding of how social policy develops and differentially affects various client systems, workers, and agencies.
  8. An understanding of the role the social work profession has played in promoting social change, historically and currently.
  9. The attainment of knowledge and skills that demonstrate the ability to practice effectively with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities, in a manner that empowers client systems and uses their strengths in order to maximize their health and well-being.
  10. An ability to apply critical thinking skills within the context of professional social work roles and practice.
  11. An awareness of their responsibility to continue their professional growth and development, including the use of supervision appropriate to generalist practice.


The School of Social Work Building (1925 San Jacinto Boulevard) provides space for social work classes, including a classroom equipped for distance learning and an instructional technology classroom; offices for the faculty and staff; an advising center and student services area; and a student lounge. The building also houses the school's Learning Resource Center (LRC), which has an extensive library collection of social work-related books, journals, and other publications partially funded by the Josleen Lockhart Memorial Book Fund. The LRC includes a large computer laboratory for student use and provides space, equipment, and technical assistance for studying, meetings of small groups of students, viewing audiovisual materials, videotaping, and completing other skills-based learning assignments. The School of Social Work Building also houses the Center for Social Work Research, the Children's Protective Services Training Institute, and the Junior League Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program.

Financial Assistance Available through the School of Social Work

Although many University scholarships are awarded through the Office of Student Financial Services, a limited number are awarded by the School of Social Work to undergraduate social work students. Awards are made for reasons ranging from academic promise to financial need. All social work majors who meet the eligibility requirements for the scholarships listed below are encouraged to apply. For additional information, contact the Academic Programs and Student Services Office.

The Charles W. Laughton Memorial Endowed Presidential Scholarship Award was established in October, 1975, with major assistance from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, the Social Work Foundation Advisory Council, and alumni of the School of Social Work. The award provides recognition to outstanding undergraduate and graduate students. Students are nominated on the basis of academic excellence and potential contribution to the field. The award, in recognition of excellence, is not made unless there is a candidate who merits it.

The Victor and Myra Ravel Scholarship in Children's Rights was endowed in 1989 by Mr. and Mrs. Victor Ravel of Austin and the University Regents' Endowed Student Fellowship and Scholarship Program. The endowment is administered through the Austin Community Foundation; the income is used for scholarships to social work students interested in children's rights or child advocacy. Students are nominated on the basis of academic excellence and potential contribution to professional social work in the area of child advocacy.

The Sylvia Shapiro Scholarship was established in 1985 by Sidney S. Smith of Austin, in memory of his cousin, Sylvia Shapiro. Students are nominated on the basis of academic excellence, need, and potential contribution to professional social work with emphasis on work with the frail elderly.

The King S. Stephens II Memorial Endowed Scholarship was established in 1995 through the generosity of faculty members, family members, and friends in loving memory of this respected faculty member, whose fierce intellect and commitment to social justice challenged our ideas and inspired our sense of responsibility. Students are nominated on the basis of academic excellence and commitment to social justice.

The August N. "Gus" Swain Endowed Scholarship was established in 1993 in honor of Gus Swain, the first African American student to receive an MSSW degree from the School of Social Work. Students are selected on the basis of academic excellence, financial need, and potential contribution to the social work profession.

The Anne Wilkens Memorial Scholarship was established through the efforts of her family, with the support of friends and alumni, in memory of this alumna of the school. The award provides recognition to outstanding students in social work.

Other scholarships. Additional scholarships funded by contributions to the School of Social Work are awarded to undergraduate social work majors each year. Students are nominated on the basis of academic excellence, financial need, and potential contribution to professional social work.

Career Services

Career development services are provided to students preparing to enter the professional job market. Students should inquire in the Office of Career Services, School of Social Work Building 2.208. The office maintains a listserv of employment opportunities and provides information about social work careers, graduate programs, Internet resources, and other opportunities for professional development, volunteer placement, and social work licensure. Workshops and other programs are offered on the fields of social work practice, résumé preparation, and job search and interview skills.

Professional social workers may seek employment in a number of areas. The Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation has established quality control standards that mandate the hiring of holders of BSW degrees in designated positions. The Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services hires social workers for its child protective services programs, and the Texas Department of Human Services hires BSW graduates for its client support services programs. Large nursing home facilities are also required to have a social work staff. Substance abuse treatment programs, psychiatric hospitals, health care programs, school social work and dropout prevention programs, criminal justice programs, and programs for the elderly also employ social workers. More than a third of the program's graduates go on to graduate schools throughout the country.

As a complement to the assistance available from the school, the Career Exploration Center, located in Jester Center, provides comprehensive career services to all students. The center offers professional assistance to students in choosing or changing their majors or careers, seeking an internship, and planning for the job search or for graduate study.

The University makes no promise to secure employment for each graduate.

College Council of Social Work

The College Council of Social Work is an organization open to all students pursuing a social work degree or interested in the social work profession. The council's purposes are to help students acquire a better understanding of the profession of social work, to provide a mechanism for student input on issues related to the social work curriculum and the school, and to organize and support social work-related programs and projects that will benefit students, the school, the University, and the community.

Council activities are often conducted in collaboration with the Academic Programs and Student Services Office. They include orientations to the BSW and MSSW programs, a career night, forums with guest speakers from community agencies and the University, community service projects, special interest groups that meet to discuss social work-related topics, and social gatherings. Members of the council represent student concerns as voting members of the school's curriculum committees, the Cabinet of College Councils, and the Student Government.

Professional Liability Insurance

Students must purchase professional liability insurance while they are enrolled in the field practicum. The cost is about fifteen dollars a semester. Payment is made to the Field Office of the School of Social Work.


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Next File in Chapter 13



Undergraduate Catalog
Chapter 1 - The University
Chapter 2 - School of Architecture
Chapter 3 - Red McCombs School of Business
Chapter 4 - College of Communication
Chapter 5 - College of Education
Chapter 6 - College of Engineering
Chapter 7 - College of Fine Arts
Chapter 8 - School of Information
Chapter 9 - College of Liberal Arts
Chapter 10 - College of Natural Sciences
Chapter 11 - School of Nursing
Chapter 12 - College of Pharmacy
Chapter 13 - School of Social Work
Chapter 14 - The Faculty
Texas Common Course Numbering System (Appendix A)
Appendix B - Degree and Course Abbreviations

Related Information
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Office of the Registrar
University of Texas at Austin

17 August 2004. Registrar's Web Team

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