Social Work Program


The mission of the University of North Florida (UNF) Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program is to prepare students with the generalist knowledge, values, and skills to provide effective social work services to diverse client systems in a variety of practice settings.  Our curriculum is designed to enhance students’ understanding of and sensitivity to economic and social inequalities and foster commitment to serving and advocating for the well-being of those who are vulnerable, marginalized, and oppressed. 



In accordance with our mission, the BSW program aims to  

  1. offer a curriculum grounded in the liberal arts and informed by state of the art social work knowledge that prepares students for effective generalist social work practice with diverse clients systems in a variety of practice settings; 
  2. enhance students’ understanding of and sensitivity to economic and social inequalities, fostering commitment to serve and advocate for those who are vulnerable, marginalized, and oppressed;
  3. prepare students to engage self-critically in practice evaluation as well as lifelong personal and professional growth through the development of research, critical thinking and problem-solving skills; and
  4. socialize students to the values and ethics of the social work profession.



As dictated by the CSWE’s (2008) Educational Policy & Accreditation Standards, all UNF BSW students will demonstrate the following ten core competencies.

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


Program of Study

The UNF BSW Program is limited access program, admitting a cohort of 40 students on an annual basis for the fall semester of each academic year.  The BSW Program of Study is a full-time, two-year program.  All required social work courses are offered on campus during the day.  More information regarding the program academic requirements, policies, and procedures may be found in the BSW Student Handbook.


Admissions Criteria

Students who wish to be admitted to the UNF BSW program must meet the following admission requirements:

  • Acceptance to UNF;
  • An AA from a public Florida college or university or successful completion of UNF general education requirements; students transferring to UNF without an AA must have 60 credit hours;
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5;
  • Completion of 15 hours of common prerequisites (listed below) with a C or better;
  • Successful participation in a panel interview conducted on campus by a committee of Social Work and Sociology faculty and community partners; and,
  • Acceptable performance on a writing assessment administered on campus and reviewed by a committee of Social Work and Sociology faculty.


Prior to being admitted to the BSW program, students must successfully complete 15 hours of state-mandated common pre-requisites with a C or better.  Select one course in each of the following disciplines (UNF course offerings are listed; equivalent courses from other institutions are also acceptable):

  • Political Science (3 credit hours)

POS 2041 Introduction to American Government

  • Human Biology (3 credit hours)

 BSC 1005C Principles of Biology

 BSC 2085C Anatomy & Physiology I

 BSC 1010C General Biology I
  • Psychology (3 credit hours)

PSY 2012 Introduction to Psychology

  • Sociology (3 credit hours)

SYG 2000 Introduction to Sociology

  • Economics (3 credit hours)

ECO 2013 Principles of Macroeconomics

ECO 2023 Principles of Microeconomics


Application Process


We are currently accepting a second wave of applications for the 2014-2015 academic year in order to fill a small number of remaining spots.  Applications are due May 9, 2014.  The following steps outline the application process and important dates and deadlines.


Step 1: Apply (Deadline: May 9, 2014)

Applicants must have a minimum 2.5 GPA, 60 hours of college/university credit, (junior standing), and the required prerequisites completed by the beginning of fall 2014. If you are a current UNF student who meets these requirements, you will need to meet with your advisor to change your major to Social Work by May 9, 2014. Students who are transferring to UNF and will meet these requirements should declare Social Work as their intended major when they apply to UNF no later than May 9, 2014. Upon doing so, a referral will be forwarded to the Admissions Committee by UNF Enrollment Services. Declaring Social Work as one’s major does not admit a student to the program; this will generate a referral that the BSW Admissions Committee will review.


Step 2: Initial Review of Applications

The BSW Admissions Committee will review applications with an eye to completion of the program prerequisites and the strength of students’ academic records (as indicated by GPA). Students who meet the minimum requirements and prerequisites (or will have met them by fall 2014) and whose academic records show sufficient merit will be given the opportunity to continue through the application process. Please note that the determination of a competitive GPA will depend on the pool of applicants; applicants meeting the minimum GPA may not be invited to interview for the program. All applicants will be emailed their application status by May 16, 2014.


Step 3: Admission Interview and Writing Assessment

The second step of the application process is a mandatory interview and writing assessment, conducted on the UNF campus.  These allow us to gain insight into students’ preparation and suitability for social work as a profession, and their oral and written communication skills. The session will include a group interview with up to six applicants and at least two faculty and/or professional social workers, and a writing assessment conducted in a computer lab.  All interviews and writing assessments will be conducted on May 30, 2014, 9:00am-12:00pm.  No make-up interviews will be scheduled. Applicants who require reasonable accommodation due to a documented disability must let us know in advance.


Step 4: Notification of Admission

Applicants who interviewed for BSW program admission will be notified of decisions via email by June 13, 2014. Applicants will be admitted, declined, or placed on a wait list and informed of their wait list rank. Admitted students must confirm their intent to enroll in the BSW program for fall 2014 by submitting their Enrollment Form by June 27th, 2014, and must commit to attend the BSW New Student Orientation on August 20, 2014. Failure to do either may result in forfeiture of one’s place in the program.


Step 5: Wait List Admissions

Wait-listed applicants will be admitted as space becomes available. Applicants who are wait-listed and do not wish to be considered for admission should let us know that as soon as possible.


Step 6: Mandatory BSW New Student Orientation

All students admitted to the UNF BSW program must attend a half-day orientation. This is an important opportunity to learn about courses, discuss program expectations and policies, and meet faculty and fellow students.  New Student Orientation for the 2014-2015 academic year will be held on August 20, 2014, 9:00am-12:00pm.   The location is TBA.


Field Education

All BSW students are required to complete 450 hours of field education during Year 2 of their program of study in an approved social services organization. Students must complete all required pre-requisites (SOW 3203, SOW 4101, SOW 3293, SOW 3403, SOW 4302, SOW 4102, SOW 4XXX, and one of the two approved diversity courses) with a “C” or better and have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher in their major in order to enroll in Field Education and Seminar courses. In addition to meeting these academic requirements, it is incumbent upon students to meet the eligibility criteria specified by placement agencies in order to secure a field education placement. Although criteria vary, agencies commonly require students to pass local, state, and federal background screenings as well as drug tests. Students who are not able to secure a placement due to a criminal history or the use of illicit substances will not be able to complete the BSW Program. More information about field policies and procedures may be found in the BSW Field Manual. Community social service agencies that are interested in hosting BSW students for fieldwork may complete the Field Education Host Agency Application and return it to the Field Education Director, Ross McDonough. Questions regarding Field Education should be directed to Professor Ross McDonough, LCSW, Field Education Director, at (904) 620-1653 or


For More Information:

If you have any questions regarding the Social Welfare or Social Work programs, please contact:

Jennifer Spaulding-Givens, Ph.D., MSW
BSW Program Director
Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work
1 UNF Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32224-2645

(904) 620-1640


Program of Study

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Course Information