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2022-2023 Undergraduate Bulletin

College of Social Work


Interim Dean: B. Craig Stanley; Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: TBA; Associate Dean for Research: TBA; Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Keithen Mathis

The social work program at Florida State University has its origins in the early history of the institution, with social welfare content first being introduced into the curriculum in the 1920s. By the mid-30s, during the Great Depression, undergraduate courses in casework and group work were offered, as well as field placements at the Leon County Welfare Association and the Leon County Unemployment Relief Council.

In 1947, the year that the Florida State College for Women was named Florida State University, the graduate program in social work accepted its first class of students. In 1949, Dr. Coyle Moore became the Chair of the Department of Social Welfare and the master of social work program was accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, which has earned reaccreditation continuously since that time. The School of Social Welfare was created in 1950. The undergraduate program was accredited in 1974, the first year that undergraduate programs were granted accredited status.

The PhD program in social work was approved by the Board of Regents in 1974 and accepted its first student in the fall of that year. In June 1973, as part of an overall University structural reorganization, the social work program became identified as the School of Social Work, and in the spring of 2005 became the College of Social Work. It is currently one of twenty-nine schools in the United States that offers social work degrees at the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels and the first master's program in the U.S. with a complete online curriculum.

The College of Social Work is dedicated to the preparation of tomorrow's social workers who demonstrate awareness of the impact of the many social changes that have taken place in our contemporary world. The College's curriculum is continually updated, recognizing and responding to the changing demands made on the profession. The curriculum is rooted in the ecosystems perspective, which serves as an organizing framework for the entire program, thereby providing an effective basis for studying people and their environment. The combination of class and field work provides students with a rich educational experience and the opportunity for the integration of research, theory, and practice.

The College of Social Work is committed to the pursuit and delivery of excellence in social work education. Through teaching, research, and service, the College educates its graduates for productive careers as professional social workers in diverse arenas, contributes to the knowledge base guiding social welfare practice and policy decisions, and offers expertise and energy to local, state, and national concerns.

The College's initiatives build on the traditional heritage of social work and are guided by a commitment to community-based social services. Recognizing that communities function as political, social, and familial entities, the College's efforts emphasize, but are not limited to, health care, mental health, and the special concerns of children, families, women, and the aged. In all of its capacities, the College recognizes and values mutuality among diverse community groups, and promotes models of service delivery empowering the poor and disadvantaged and ensuring the social services of all community members.

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

BSW Program Director: Carol Edwards, MSW

The curriculum offered at the baccalaureate level is designed to enable students to provide services to individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations in generalist social work practice.

Master of Social Work (MSW)

MSW Program Director: Fran Gomory, MSW

The curriculum at the MSW level is designed to provide quality preparation for high-quality advanced practitioners who will work with diverse client systems and problems. Students may choose an advanced curriculum in either clinical or social policy and administrative concentrations.

Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work (PhD)

PhD Program Director: Stephen Tripodi, PhD

The PhD program in social work is designed to advance the social work profession through the development of researchers/scholars and educators.

Overseas Study

International Program Director: Neil Abell, PhD

Florida State University offers students the opportunity to study abroad and to gain valuable experience through international internships. For information concerning eligibility, fees, and other details of these programs, contact the College's Director of International Programs. Social work majors are encouraged to consider these opportunities for study overseas.


Requirements for a Major

The BSW Program is limited access and the admission requirements include: completion of liberal studies at Florida State University or completion of an Associate of Arts degree from a Florida public community college and a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) on all college work attempted. Students are admitted during the Fall or Spring semesters. In addition, students must meet the following prerequisites by the end of Term 4 (or before admission to FSU, if the student is transferring from a community college):

  1. Completion of a course in each of the following cognates with a grade of "B–" or better: (a) American Government (American National Government or American Government); (b) Biology (Human Biology or Human Anatomy and Physiology); (c) Economics (Introduction to Economics, Microeconomics or Macroeconomics); (d) Introductory Psychology; and (e) Introductory Sociology or Social Problems
  2. Complete a formal application to the BSW Program.

A minimum of fifty semester hours in social work is required for graduation. It is expected that each student, with counsel from the advisor, will move through the required courses in the sequence specified in the academic map. Required courses in the major are SOW 3203, 3350, 4104, 4232, 4323, 4341, 4360, 4403, 4414, 4510, 4522, and 4620 and two social work electives for a total of fifty credit hours towards the required sixty to earn a bachelor's degree.

Students must earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all courses attempted to be eligible to complete an internship in their final semester. No social work course with a "U" or a letter grade below "C–" will apply toward a social work major.

The College of Social Work does not require a foreign language as part of its undergraduate program of studies. However, in order to graduate from Florida State University all students must provide the University with verification of completion of two units of the same foreign language in high school or at least eight semester hours of the same foreign language (or equivalent proficiency) at the college level. Students are expected to have satisfied this requirement upon admission to the University.

Students majoring in social work are not required to complete a minor in another department but must have a total of sixty hours to graduate.

Field Education

Director of Campus-Based Field Education: Katrina Boone, MSW; Director of Online Field Education: Rosalyn Deckerhoff, MSW

The purpose of field education is to provide students with a structured learning opportunity for development and reinforcement of appropriate levels of competence in the field of social work. Field education allows students to apply knowledge, values, and skills learned in the classroom to social work practice settings. As students undertake learning tasks within the reality of agency life, a vehicle is established whereby knowledge and theories can be applied, attitudes and values examined, and skills developed and refined.

The field education component of the College of Social Work is designed to ensure that each student completes a high-quality educational experience in a supervised agency placement. This learning experience is designed to enhance a student's ability to integrate theory into effective evidence-based social work practice, broaden the range of skills for performing social work functions, and strengthen awareness of attitudes, motivations, and judgments identified with the profession of social work. The Office of Field Education selects field placements based on the potential for providing the range and depth of learning experiences necessary to achieve the educational objectives established for those students. Agencies affiliating with the College of Social Work represent the diversity found in social services throughout our community. The College offers a wide array of internships in both public and private agencies, and with diverse populations of clients so that students will be provided opportunities for exposure to a wide range of social work roles and learning tasks.

Undergraduate field education, SOW 4510, is a twelve-semester hour course (512 clock hours) that requires the student to register for and successfully complete a thirty-two hour per week field placement for one semester. Students must register concurrently for SOW 4522, Integrative Seminar. The field education course is designed to help students develop the skills necessary for generalist social work practice.

The course is restricted to social work majors and can only be taken after the completion of all courses necessary for the completion of the degree. The student must have a GPA of 3.0 or better in all social work courses and an overall GPA of 3.0 in order to register for SOW 4510.

Honors Programs

The College of Social Work encourages students to apply for the honors program. For requirements and other information, see the "University Honors Office and Honor Societies" chapter of this General Bulletin.

Minor in Social Welfare

A minor in social welfare requires twelve hours in social work courses with a grade of "C–" or better in each of the following courses: SOW 3203, 3350, and two social work electives. At least six hours must be completed at FSU. Students must complete an application for the minor and register for SOW 3350 and SOW 3203. Please note that the minor does not qualify a student to apply for advanced standing graduate programs in social work or for professional certification or licensure.

Program Opportunities

The College of Social Work offers other opportunities that afford students the ability to focus on specialized areas of interest. With guidance from advisors, students may create a program of study that meets their specific educational and career goals.

Child Welfare Practice Certificate Program

This certificate program offers both undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to focus their curriculum on issues related to child welfare. Coursework addresses: the prevention of neglect, abuse, exploitation, or delinquency of children; the protection of homeless, dependent, or maltreated children; the strengthening of families to maintain children in their own homes; the development of advocacy groups, and analysis of social policies and mental health issues related to this population. Child welfare practitioners provide a continuum of services in both public and private settings. For further information, visit

Certificate in Gerontology

The mission of this certificate is to educate students about gerontological theories and practices and provide students with gerontological internship and service-learning experiences. These educational objectives will give students the skills they need for frontline positions in practice and administrative positions in social service organizations. For more details, visit

Research and Outreach Programs

The Florida Institute for Child Welfare

In 2014, the Florida Legislature established the Florida Institute for Child Welfare at the Florida State University College of Social Work und legislative mandate, Section 1004.615, Florida Statutes. The Florida Institute for Child Welfare devised a strategic plan which aligns with the statute and describes how the Institute is governed, including the mission and vision and the foundational pillars developed to target mandated outcomes. Researchers from across the state dedicated to improving the safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes for the children in Florida's child welfare system have joined the affiliate network to become Institute Affiliates and help the Institute achieve its goals.

The Florida Institute for Child Welfare (FICW) seeks to promote safety, permanency, and well-being among the children and families of Florida involved with the child welfare system. To accomplish this mission, the FICW proposes to engage in interdisciplinary research and evaluation, the foundation of which lies in partnerships between Florida universities, schools of social work, the Department of Children and Families (DCF), sheriffs, community-based care lead agencies and provider organizations and others across Florida. The FICW proposes to collaborate with community agencies and statewide training resources to translate knowledge generated through research, policy analysis, and evaluation into practical, developmentally appropriate strategies for children and families. The FICW will serve as a resource for policymakers, programs, and practitioners on best-practices related to safety, permanency, and well-being with attention to diverse and underserved populations. The FICW will also work to strengthen the child welfare workforce through assessing the readiness of workers to assume job responsibilities, evaluating pre- and in-service training, determining adaptive and resilient responses of workers to stressful work environments, developing leadership capacity, and identifying innovative and effective methods in the management of human service organizations.

Center for the Study and Promotion of Communities, Families and Children


The Center for the Study and Promotion of Communities, Families and Children ("CFC Center") was created by the Stoops Family Foundation, Inc. to generate and sustain transformational knowledge development for effective policies, services, and usable research for the promotion of communities, families, and the children of Florida, the nation, and across the globe.

Institutes and Centers

Housed under the CFC Center are the Institute for Family Violence Studies (, Institute for Justice Research and Development, the Multidisciplinary Evaluation and Consulting Center (, and Trinity Institute for the Addictions (

Advisory Council

The Center is overseen by its Advisory Council, serving as a voluntary advisory and support group that assists the Center's mission. The council works directly with the Dean of the FSU College of Social Work, the Center's Executive Director, and the College of Social Work's Director of Development. The Advisory Council promotes the general and financial welfare of The Center by establishing beneficial relationships and networks between FSU alumni, faculty, staff, students, friends, and the community.

Institute for Family Violence Studies

The endowed Institute for Family Violence Studies has been established within the College of Social Work to research family violence as it occurs in all age groups, including children, adults, and the elderly; identify and explore related research domains, including supervised visitation, homelessness, and women's issues; disseminate the findings of this research at the local, state, national, and international levels; evaluate the effectiveness of family violence intervention; support the development of innovative programs for reducing family violence; analyze legislation addressing family violence issues; develop curricula that strengthen social work studies on family violence; provide continuing education and training opportunities to those working in agencies that provide services for those experiencing family violence; serve as a regional clearinghouse on resources related to family violence; and collaborate with the courts and community organizations on family violence concerns.

Multidisciplinary Evaluation and Consulting Center

The Florida State University Regional Multidisciplinary Evaluation and Consulting Center is a full-service, University-based diagnostic and training center that has been in operation since 1983. Comprehensive diagnostic and consultative services are provided to eighteen school districts in the Panhandle region of north Florida. Referrals also are accepted from the research schools at Florida State University and Florida A&M University, as well as Children's Medical Services and other state and community agencies. Multidisciplinary collaboration is an integral part of center services. The staff includes professionals from school, counseling, and clinical psychology, counseling education, and social work. Consultation with professionals from speech and audiology and pediatric medicine also is available.

Trinity Institute for the Addictions (Inactive)

The Trinity Institute for the Addictions is an endowed social work institute focused on biopsychosocial approaches toward the prevention and treatment of substance use, abuse, and dependence across all domains of practice. To that end, the Institute is dedicated to advancing translational research with an emphasis on intervention strategies to address the effects of addictive processes on body, mind, and spirit. The scope of the Institute encompasses the conduct of etiological, epidemiological, and clinical research, as well as training and services that leverage evidence-based practices from the leading edge of addiction science.

Institute for Justice Research and Development

The Institute for Justice Research and Development is a premier research center in the College of Social Work at Florida State University focused on criminal justice system-wide practice and policy innovations and preparing the social work profession for leadership in smart decarceration. The multidisciplinary center forges campus wide and national wide partnerships in criminal justice research.

The Institute is first-of-its-kind in a college of social work — a research center focused on preparing the profession of social work to practice and research in areas of justice-involved individuals and their families. At the Institute we prioritize highly active research-practice-policy partnerships. Through these partnerships, evidence informs practice/policy strategies and policy/practice strategies shape research agendas. We use a unique research-to-practice/practice-to-research methodology that can be employed in the context of a research trial in order to speed the translation of learnings to almost real-time.

Student Organizations

The Student Association of Social Workers (SASW) is an organization of and for social work students. It is open to undergraduates as well as graduates, and participation by all is welcomed. The association is a good vehicle for socialization into the profession and orientation to the College. It can be used as a channel for handling feedback to the school about the program and is an excellent way for students to get to know one another as well as to participate in a wide array of community service activities.

The Phi Alpha Honor Society serves as a means of recognizing outstanding academic students. The society involves itself in fundraising and community service.

Sigma Phi Omega recognizes excellence of those who study gerontology and aging and the outstanding service of professionals who work with or on behalf of older persons.

College of Social Work Scholarships

The following scholarships are offered to Social Work majors. If you would like information on how you can apply, please contact the BSW Program office at the College of Social Work at (850) 644-5713 or e-mail

Citrus Health Network Scholarship

Established in 2002, this scholarship serves as a lasting tribute to the community services provided by Citrus Health Network, Inc. It is awarded annually to graduate students who are interested in working in the behavioral healthcare field in the Miami-Dade County area.

Mark DeGraff and Lula Hamilton DeGraff Scholarship

This award, first presented in 1985, is given to a senior undergraduate or graduate student who intends to conduct research on factors influencing the growth and development of youth, or who intends to work professionally with youth.

Joanna F. Gorman Scholarship

This scholarship was established to honor Dr. Gorman who had a deep commitment to the profession's development and a clear vision of social work's mission to create a more just society. Full-time social work students receiving this award show evidence of outstanding academic achievement, exemplify the highest standards of character, and plan to work for one year in the area of child welfare, health, or mental health.

Herndon Scholars Program

The Herndon Scholars Program, sponsored by the Helios Education Foundation, is an endowed fund that was created in 2007 and first presented in Fall 2008. It provides annual scholarships to graduate students in the FSU College of Social Work. Recipients of the award must be Florida residents. Preference is given to students who have social work practice experience prior to graduate school.

Walter W. Hudson Doctoral Scholarship

This scholarship honors Dr. Walter Hudson, a former faculty member who was named the first recipient of the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Social Work and Research in 1999. Dr. Hudson was an international leader in measurement theory, development and testing of assessment and outcome evaluation tools, statistics, evidence-based practice methodology, and computer applications for practice. This award is intended for a PhD student at the College of Social Work.

Margaret H. Jacks Scholarship in Aging

Ms. Jacks was a formidable and outspoken advocate for elderly Floridians for more than five decades. This award is directed to graduate students studying gerontology. Recipients must have completed one course on aging or demonstrated a commitment to the field of aging through volunteer or work experiences.

Richard M. King Scholarship in Social Work and Business Administration

This endowed scholarship was established by alumnus Richard King (MSW '69) to encourage graduate students who demonstrate interest in earning both an MSW and a Master's in Business Administration (MBA). Social work students who take electives in the College of Business are also eligible for the award.

James and Mary Koalska Undergraduate Scholarship

This memorial scholarship fund was set up by Professors Paul and Betty Piccard in memory of Betty's parents, James Koalska and Mary Brennan Koalska. The Koalskas were the children of Irish and Polish immigrants and entered the work force at a very young age. While they could not benefit from a college education themselves, they valued education and provided their daughters with opportunities in higher education – one in nursing, the other in social work. This award is intended to cover tuition for a social work undergraduate student whose parents did not attend college.

Joyce Harper Laidlaw Scholarship in Child Welfare

The Laidlaw Scholarship, established by FSU alumna Joyce Harper Laidlaw and her husband Don, was first presented in 2003. It is for graduate students who have decided to focus their studies on child welfare.

M. Sharon Maxwell Ferguson Scholarship in Family Violence

Dr. Maxwell retired in 2006, after serving nearly two decades on the faculty of CSW and establishing the Institute for Family Violence Studies (IFVS). She is a nationally recognized expert in intimate partner violence and a champion of community-based services for survivors and their children. This scholarship is designed to encourage undergraduates to work with the IFVS and explore career opportunities designed to help end family violence.

C. Aaron McNeece Field Education Scholarship

Separate application required. Applications are available online and in the CSW field office, 2510 UCC. The deadline is March 1st. For information, contact Katrina Boone at or call (850) 644-4860 or 1 (888) 232-6416 (toll-free). Dr. McNeece retired in 2008 after serving on the CSW faculty for thirty years. He is internationally recognized for his work in chemical dependency and treatment for criminal offenders. He held various leadership positions at the College of Social Work and served as dean from 2004 to 2008. This scholarship named in his honor was established by the CSW Field Advisory Committee to provide assistance to graduate and undergraduate students during their internships.

Coyle and Mabel Moore Scholarship

Dr. Coyle Moore came to Tallahassee in 1928 to develop a course of instruction in social work at the Florida State College for Women (FSCW). When FSCW became a University in 1947, Dr. Moore was appointed dean of the School of Social Welfare. Mrs. Moore, who had a degree in social work from the University of North Carolina, was an active advocate of community service. This award, created in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Moore, supports full-time undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate a commitment to the social work profession through strong character and service.

Sarah Sealey Morrill Scholarship

Mrs. Morrill graduated from the FSU School of Social Work in 1955 and was a pioneering activist who planned and established counseling and guidance services for children in Leon County. Later, she assumed leadership roles in planning and managing programs for the elderly. This scholarship serves as a tribute to Sarah Sealey Morrill's life-long commitment to community mental health services and is for undergraduate and graduate students specializing in community mental health.

MSW Class of '75 March Graduates Scholarship

The idea for this scholarship arose during a class reunion in March 2000, as attendees were sharing stories about their lives and they realized that FSU has had a defining influence on their successes. They created this award for full-time MSW students who are interested in community-based practice, advocacy, or public policy, with a demonstrated commitment to social justice concerns.

Bernhard Scher Undergraduate Scholarship

This scholarship, first presented in 1978, was established by the family of Dr. Scher. He served as dean of the School of Social Work from 1968–1973 and was a member of the faculty until his death five years later. The undergraduate recipient of this award demonstrates a strong commitment to social work values through actions and words.

Guy and Delores Spearman Scholarship

This scholarship was created by 1975 MSW Alumnus Guy Spearman and his wife to support exemplary undergraduate and graduate social work students who come to FSU from Brevard County, Florida. Mr. Spearman is well known as a legislative lobbyist and an enthusiastic supporter of FSU.

John P. and Jane W. Wakeman Memorial Scholarship for Arts in Social Work

This endowed scholarship has been established by Mary Wakeman in honor of her parents. It is for undergraduate or graduate students in the College of Social Work with an expressed interest in the study and practice of the arts in social work.

Victoria E. Warner Scholarship

This award was established to honor Dr. Victoria Warner, a long-time faculty member and chair of the Department of Social Work at Florida A & M University in Tallahassee. The scholarship is awarded to an MSW student who received a bachelor's degree from FAMU and intends to pursue a career working within the African-American community.

Patricia Vance Scholarship

Ms. Patricia V. Vance, MSW, "Pat" was the Associate Dean and served on faculty from 1966 to 1986 for the College of Social Work. Pat provided her gentle and thoughtful counsel with a tremendous level of support for students and other faculty members. She worked unstintingly to promote the profession of social work through her service and teaching. When she retired in 1986, she and her husband, Dr. Maurice Vance, established a scholarship for social work students to support their education. Upon Professor Kim Maddox's retirement, it is her wish to have this scholarship endowed.

Cheryl Roland Endowed Scholarship

This endowed scholarship was established by Cherie Roland, an alumna and a strong advocate for women. The award goes to a student with interest in women's studies and had the first recipient in 2013.

Dianne F. Harrison Scholarship

Created to honor former PhD Program Director and Dean, Dr. Harrison, this is a competitive award given to doctoral students with the best dissertation prospectus.

Lamar F. Everett Scholarship

This scholarship was established in 2009 as the result of a bequest from Mr. Everett's estate. The award is specifically earmarked to benefit economically disadvantaged and academically worthy undergraduate or graduate College of Social Work students.

Mary DiNitto Endowed Scholarship

Dr. Diana DiNitto established the Mary DiNitto Endowed Scholarship in honor of her mother's 90th birthday. This generous gift will provide support to students in the College of Social Work with strong interests in the profession and creative ideas for practice broadly defined. Preference will be given to students who exhibit financial need. An alumna and former faculty member of the College, Dr. DiNitto is the Cullen Trust Centennial Professor in Alcohol Studies and Education and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work.

Violet Crook Scholarship

Opened in 2006 after Wendy Crook, a professor in the College of Social Work, created an endowment to support doctoral students in the college. Sadly, Dr. Crook passed away in 2007 prior to the pledge being fulfilled. At the passing of her mother in 2012, the scholarship was fulfilled to honor Wendy and her love for the college and social work.

John and Meg Paschal International Scholarship

The John and Meg Paschal Scholarship was created to provide support to social work students demonstrating integrity and passion for the profession, particularly in international settings, along with academic excellence and financial need.

Social Work Veterans Scholarship

This scholarship was created by 1975 MSW alumnus and veteran Guy Spearman and his wife Delores Spearman to support the military and the College of Social Work. The award is given to a post-graduate (current MSW or PhD) who was in the military, currently serving in the military, or who will be serving in the military after graduation.

Bill and Nolia Brandt Scholarship

Awarded to undergraduate or graduate students who are in good standing, are of high moral character, and have financial need. Students pursuing a dual MSW/MBA degree or the LEAD certificate are encouraged to apply.

Gomory Family Scholarship

Faculty members Dr. Tomi Gomory and Ms. Fran Gomory, MSW have created the Gomory Family Scholarship to be awarded to a student in the College of Social Work program that is an approved intern at the Leon County Homeless Shelter.

Christopher D. Hefren Child Welfare Endowed Doctoral Scholarship - Fund #8285

This scholarship will provide needed support to doctoral candidates whose primary research focus is in child welfare. The fund will serve as a lasting tribute to donor Judy Hefren's son Christopher.