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2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin

Social Work

Undergraduate Programs

College of Social Work


Professors: Abell, Ai, Clark, Radey, Randolph, Smith, Thyer, Wilke; Associate Professors: Boel-Studt, T. Gomory, Lacasse, Munn, Noel, Petscher, Pettus-Davis, Schelbe, Tripodi; Assistant Professors: Killian, Mathias, Renn; Teaching Faculty III: Ashmore, Boone, Deckerhoff, Dwyer-Lee, F. Gomory, MacDill, Stanley; Teaching Faculty II:, Kelley, Kintz, Verano; Teaching Faculty I: Edwards, Goldman, Jackson, Johnson, Osborne; Research Faculty I: Oehme, Pryce

The College of Social Work offers programs of study leading to: (1) the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree, designed to enable students to offer direct services to individuals, families, groups, and communities at the generalist level of social work practice; (2) the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree, designed to develop advanced skills to engage in professional social work practice with concentrations in either clinical social work or social policy and administration; and (3) the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree, which is designed to advance the social work profession through the development of researchers/scholars and educators.

Particular attention in all of our course offerings is given to the application of practice without discrimination and with respect, knowledge, and skills related to clients' age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.

For complete details of undergraduate degree requirements, plus a description of the College of Social Work, its opportunities, and available financial assistance, refer to the "College of Social Work" chapter of this General Bulletin, or our Website at Refer to the Graduate Bulletin for graduate programs.

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 course; SOW 3203, SOW 3350, and two SOW electives. At least six hours must be completed at FSU. An application is required for the minor and to be registered 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.

Computer Skills Competency

All undergraduates at Florida State University must demonstrate basic computer skills competency prior to graduation. As necessary computer competency skills vary from discipline to discipline, each major determines the courses needed to satisfy this requirement. Undergraduate majors in social work satisfy this requirement by earning a grade of "C–" or higher in CGS 2060, CGS 2100, or an equivalent course approved by the program director.

State of Florida Common Program Prerequisites

The state of Florida has identified common program prerequisites for this University degree program. Specific prerequisites are required for admission into the upper-division program and must be completed by the student at either a community college or a state university prior to being admitted to this program. Students may be admitted into the University without completing the prerequisites, but may not be admitted into the program.

At the time this document was published, some common program prerequisites were being reviewed by the state of Florida and may have been revised. Please visit for a current list of state-approved prerequisites.

The following lists the common program prerequisites or their substitutions, necessary for admission into this upper-division degree program:

Social Work, General

  1. POS X041 or POS X042 or PUP X099
  2. BSC X005 or BSC X085 or BSC X010 or PCB X099
  3. ECO X000 or ECO X023 or ECOX013
  4. PSY X012 or PSY X020
  5. SYG X000 or SYG X010

Definition of Prefix

SOW—Social Work

Undergraduate Courses

SOW 1054r. Human Services Experience (0-1). (S/U grade only.) This course entails a direct human service experience in a social services agency or community organization or program. Thirty hours of volunteer services are required per credit hour. Through the volunteer experience, students are able to observe the application of social work knowledge and skills within a human service program and to learn about the role social workers play in generalist practice settings with systems of all sizes. May be repeated to a maximum of two (2) credit hours.

SOW 3203. The Social Work Profession (3). In this course, students begin to identify with the social work profession, its history, mission, and core values, and conduct themselves in accordance with the ethical principles that guide professional practice. Students also learn how the social work profession engages in policy and practice to address issues of social and economic well-being. They begin to recognize the social, political, economic, and environmental influences on client systems of all sizes and apply them to the conduct of social work practice.

SOW 3350. Interviewing and Documentation (3). This course covers the basic elements of interviewing and documentation utilizing the values and ethics of the social work profession. Students develop the foundation skills such as rapport-building, information-gathering, and record-keeping in order to conduct interviews with clients.

SOW 3933. Seminar in Global Social Work Ethics (3). This course gives emphasis to factors driving and arising from social, political, and cultural issues, and to potential ethical conflicts associated with them. Students consider the conceptual and theoretical bases for ethical concerns, including their implications for social welfare practice and policy decisions. The course identifies and critiques ethical dilemmas, with consideration for resolving social justice and social welfare service delivery challenges arising when competing interests collide. Students consider ways in which ethical principles vary depending on the auspice or body from which they arise, comparing and contrasting priorities and values of global, national, or ethnically or religiously identified professional associations.

SOW 4104. Human Behavior and the Social Environment (3). This course focuses on reciprocal relationships between human behavior and social environments. Content includes system theory, an ecological perspective, and life course theories that focus on human development at the individual and family level, including interactions between and among systems of all sizes, including groups, societies, and economic systems.

SOW 4108. Women's Issues and Social Work (3). This course is designed to acquaint students with the factors that affect women throughout life and the role that social work plays in addressing these issues.

SOW 4152. Human Sexuality (3). This course is a survey of issues and problems associated with human sexuality, intended for social workers and others in helping professions. Emphasis is placed on sexually oppressed groups, sexual life cycle from a psychosocial perspective, and student's attitudes and values regarding sexuality.

SOW 4232. Social Welfare Policies and Programs (3). This course provides a beginning understanding of the relationship between social welfare and social policy from a social work perspective. Students engage in policy practice to address social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services across diverse populations. Attention is given to critical analysis of the role that social work and social welfare policies and programs play in advancing human rights and social and economic justice.

SOW 4247. Homelessness in America: People, Programs and Policies (3). This course covers poverty in the United States, with particular emphasis on homelessness. It includes content related to values and ethics in programs and policies as well as cultural diversity among people in poverty. Particular attention to those who suffer from poverty and other societal oppression, such as those who are also people of color, women, gays, lesbians, HIV positive, or disabled.

SOW 4290. Ethical Issues in Social Work Practice (3). This course provides students with a framework of knowledge and skills to prepare them for effective and ethical decision making that is congruent with codes of ethics and standard practice in the social-work profession. Also explored are the principles of ethical decision making and various value systems.

SOW 4323. Social Work Practice with Groups (3). Prerequisite: SOW 4341. This course focuses on the development of the generalist practice skills of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation with social work client and community groups. This course covers practice skills that contribute to group effectiveness, including composition, structure, dynamics, goal setting, and evaluation. Course content also includes examining the empirical base of a range of theories and models for social work with groups.

SOW 4341. Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families (3). Prerequisite: SOW 3350. This course focuses on the development of the generalist practice skills of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation with individuals and families in social work. The empirical bases of a range of theories and models of social work practice are examined, along with applications to generalist social work practice. Ways to promote social and economic justice while practicing as a social worker are also discussed.

SOW 4360. Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations (3). Prerequisites: SOW 3350 and SOW 4341. This is one of three courses in the practice foundation curriculum. The course is designed to introduce students to a range of theories and models of social work practice from an ecological framework.

SOW 4403. Introduction to Social Work Research (3). This course introduces students to qualitative and quantitative research methods in order to provide an understanding of a scientific, analytic, and ethical approach to building knowledge for practice. Students' mastery of course content prepares them to develop, use, and effectively communicate empirically-based knowledge. Research knowledge is used by students to provide high-quality services; to initiate change; to improve practice, policy, and social service delivery; and to evaluate their own practice from an evidence-based perspective.

SOW 4414. Statistics for Social Workers (3). This course introduces students to quantitative tools used to describe and interpret data used in social work practice, research, and policy formation. The course content prepares students to understand, interpret, and conduct the statistical analyses necessary for the evaluation of effective social work practice, social policies, and social programs. Students learn to plan and conduct analyses guided by an understanding of social work values and ethics. Specific topics to be covered in class include descriptive statistics, basic probability, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, correlation, and regression.

SOW 4454. Grant Writing and Grant Management (3). This course covers the basics of proposals: purpose statements, background and justification, aims or objectives, personnel, timeline, methods, budget, and evaluation, and how to effectively manage grants once they are funded. The needs of disenfranchised groups or communities are discussed in this course, along with the particulars of proposals that may be most effective in meeting such needs.

SOW 4510r. Undergraduate Field Instruction (6–12). (S/U grade only.) Prerequisites: A 3.0 GPA in social work courses and completion of all the required social work courses and prerequisites. Corequisite: SOW 4522. In this course, supervised direct social work experience is provided in various human service settings. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve semester hours.

SOW 4522. Integrative Field Seminar (2). Corequisite: SOW 4510. This course assists students in the integration of their social work courses with social work practice. The course utilizes an ecosystems perspective, focusing on the student's ability to apply the knowledge and skills of generalist social work practice to systems of all sizes. This course has been approved for the Liberal Studies requirements for Scholarship-in-Practice and thus is designed to help students become applied and lifelong learners. Majors only.

SOW 4602. Social Work in Health Settings (3). This course focuses on social work practice in health settings from a "person-in-environment" perspective, preparing students with an understanding of the roles that social workers play in health settings, the structure of health care delivery systems, organizational and professional ethics and standards, challenges we face in health care policy, and patient issues and how to help to address these issues. Specific knowledge and skills in a health care setting are addressed, including biopsychosocial assessments, chart documentation, treatment planning, and discharge planning.

SOW 4615. Family Violence Across the Lifespan (3). This course provides an ecological perspective emphasizing the interconnections between individuals experiencing violence and their social environments. Emphasis is placed upon broad coverage of all-important aspects of child abuse, incest, intimate partner violence, rape, and elder abuse. This course is appropriate for students who wish to gain skill in detecting and responding to incest situations for clients, sexual assault survivors, and victims of intimate partner violence or elder abuse.

SOW 4620. Diversity and Social Justice (3). This course enhances student understanding of human diversity and prepares students to engage in a lifetime pursuit of cultural competence. Students are encouraged to reflect upon and discuss the intricacies of their own particular dominant and/or minority social statuses and their relations to other individuals and communities. The course is designed to train students to apply theoretical frameworks to the forms and mechanisms associated with diversity, differences, and oppression. Emphasis is placed on enhancing respectful and empathic communication, and on the advancement of social and economic justice and human rights in national and global contexts.

SOW 4633. The Social Worker in the Public School System (3). This course introduces students to school social work practice and related issues, such as biased educational practices, behavior, economic constraints, physical and emotional problems, and community and family adversity.

SOW 4645. Gerontological Social Work (3). This course introduces students to social gerontology and gerontological social work. Topics cover the demography of aging and the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial aspects of aging; social and health care policies that impact older persons, their caregivers, and the aging network of services; the impact of ageism, sexism, racism, ablebodyism, beautism, and homophobia on our work with older people; as well as the promotion of dignity, self-determination, and socio-economic justice for older people.

SOW 4650. Child Welfare Practice (3). This course provides a framework of values, knowledge and skills necessary to practice with vulnerable children and their families. The major focus is on social work in public child welfare in the State of Florida. The course utilizes an ecosystem perspective for understanding and assessing the special needs of at-risk children and families. Specific attention is on assessing families and children using the State of Florida's Safety Decision Making Method and other family assessment instruments.

SOW 4658. Child Maltreatment and Child Welfare (3). This course provides students with knowledge and skills related to the theory, research, and implications of child and adolescent maltreatment for child development and psychopathology. Course content is presented within the context of child welfare practice and social work with children and adolescents in public agencies and programs. Particular attention is given to common psychological disorders that result from maltreatment and accompanying treatment issues. Issues related to individuals, families, groups, and communities are covered and attention is given to working with ethnic minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and persons with disabilities. Particular attention is given to federal and state child welfare statutes including Chapter 39, Florida statutes including the Adoption and Safe Families Act and the range of services provided by the Department of Children and Families and other agencies.

SOW 4665. Theory and Practice of Social Work in Criminal Justice Settings (3). This course focuses on criminal theories and on the development of both evidence-based and generalist social-work practice skills pertinent to working in criminal-justice settings, alongside the individuals in the criminal-justice system. Focus is placed on theory and practice for social workers in corrections, prisoner-reentry programs, and juvenile-justice settings. The course covers the philosophy and practice of restorative justice and victim-offender mediation programs, emphasizing the needs of both offenders and victims.

SOW 4702. Substance Abuse and Misuse (3). This course provides fundamental knowledge of the aspects of substance misuse in American society. Students examine the etiology and epidemiology of substance misuse, treatment approaches and major policies and programs relevant to the prevention and treatment of substance misuse. Special attention is given to substance use and misuse among specific populations including adolescents, older adults, women, racial and ethnic minorities, gays and lesbians and persons with disabilities. The effect of substance misuse on families, communities and social systems are examined utilizing a systems approach.

SOW 4784. International Social Work and Social Welfare (3). This course prepares students for international social-work practice and for transitional work with immigrants, refugees, international migrants, etc. The course introduces international perspectives in the social-work field and offers varied examples of social-work practice in the U.S., and in Western, Central European, and Caribbean nations and examines the impact of the global interdependence on social-work practice and policy and helps students learn to critically analyze varied practice approaches utilized in dealing with international welfare issues.

SOW 4905r. Directed Individual Study (1–4). Prerequisites: Eight credit hours in social work, a 2.75 GPA, and instructor permission. May be repeated to a maximum of eight semester hours. See departmental guidelines.

SOW 4911r. Honors Work in Social Work (1–6). Prerequisites: Junior standing, a 3.2 or higher GPA, and at least one semester of twelve or more semester hours; junior college transfers with membership in Phi Theta Kappa may be admitted directly. This course consists of a thesis, completed over a period of two or three semesters, based on traditional library research and critical analysis. May be repeated to a maximum of nine semester hours.

SOW 4935r. Seminar in Social Work: Selected Topics (3). May be repeated to a maximum of twelve semester hours as topics change.

SOW 4940. International Community Engagement (2). (S/U grade only.) This course utilizes a service learning experience in an international social services organization to introduce students to international social work practice and a range of global social issues that shape human welfare and social development.

Graduate Courses

SOW 5034. The Social Work Profession (3).

SOW 5105. Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (3).

SOW 5109. Women's Issues and Social Work (3).

SOW 5125. Psychopathology in Clinical Practice (3).

SOW 5128. Cognitive-Behavioral Social Work Practice (3).

SOW 5153. Human Sexuality (3).

SOW 5235. Social Welfare Policy and Services (3).

SOW 5238. Advanced Policy Analysis (3).

SOW 5248. Homelessness in America: Peoples, Program and Policies (3).

SOW 5281. Ethics in Social Work Practice (3).

SOW 5282. Legislative Advocacy (3).

SOW 5308. Social Work Practice (3).

SOW 5324. Social Work Practice with Groups and Communities (3).

SOW 5325. Advanced Group Practice and Treatment (3).

SOW 5334. Organization Development (3).

SOW 5340. Theory and Practice of Poetry Therapy (3).

SOW 5353. Marital and Couple Counseling in Social Work Practice (3).

SOW 5367. Theory and Practice of Crisis Intervention (3).

SOW 5369. Integrative Seminar in Advanced Social Work Practice (3).

SOW 5376. Budgeting and Finances in the Social Services (3).

SOW 5377. Personnel Administration in the Social Services (3).

SOW 5404. Introduction to Social Work Research (3).

SOW 5432. Evaluation of Social Work Practice (3).

SOW 5435. Social Program Evaluation (3).

SOW 5455. Grant Writing and Grant Management (3).

SOW 5532r. Graduate Field Instruction I (5–10). (S/U grade only.)

SOW 5535r. Graduate Field Instruction II (6–12). (S/U grade only.)

SOW 5537r. Field Instruction: Special Placement (3–12). (S/U grade only.)

SOW 5603. Social Work in Health Settings (3).

SOW 5611. Family Counseling in Social Work (3).

SOW 5614. Family Violence Across the Life Span (3).

SOW 5635. The Social Worker in the Public School System (3).

SOW 5646. Gerontological Social Work (3).

SOW 5648. Physical Aspects of Aging (3).

SOW 5655. Social Work with Children and Adolescents (3).

SOW 5656. Child Welfare Practice (3).

SOW 5659. Child Maltreatment and Child Welfare (3).

SOW 5666. Theory and Practice of Social Work in Criminal Justice Settings (3).

SOW 5712. Substance Abuse and Misuse (3).

SOW 5745. Seminar on Loss and Bereavement (3).

SOW 5785. International Social Work and Social Welfare (3).

SOW 5807. Clinical Practice (3).

SOW 5908r. Directed Individual Study (1–4). (S/U grade only.)

SOW 5938r. Social Work Seminars: Selected Topics (3).

SOW 5943. International Community Engagement (2). (S/U grade only.)

SOW 6358. Measurement in Social Work Research I (3).

SOW 6407. Survey Research Methods (3).

SOW 6414. Introduction to Statistics in Applied Social Research (3).

SOW 6418. Introduction to Linear Modeling for Applied Social Research (3).

SOW 6466. Social Work Research Using Secondary Data (3).

SOW 6490. Introduction to Scholarly Writing (3).

SOW 6492. Foundation Research Methods (3).

SOW 6494. Advanced Research Methods (3).

SOW 6495. Systematic Reviews in Social Work Research (3).

SOW 6496. Qualitative Research Methods (3).

SOW 6499. Intervention Research in Social Work (3).

SOW 6755. Theories and Models of Social Work Research (3).

SOW 6775. Professional Issues in Social Work (3).

SOW 6904r. Reading in Social Work/Social Welfare (1–6). (S/U grade only.)

SOW 6909r. Directed Individual Study (1–6). (S/U grade only.)

SOW 6916r. Supervised Research (1–6). (S/U grade only.)

SOW 6930. Teaching Seminar and Practicum (3). (S/U grade only.)

SOW 6938r. Selected Topics in Social Work (3).

SOW 6942r. Supervised Teaching (1–3). (S/U grade only.)

SOW 6945r. Practicum in Applied Research (2–6). (S/U grade only.)

SOW 6960. Preliminary Preparation (0–12). (S/U grade only.)

For listings relating to graduate coursework for thesis, dissertation, and master's and doctoral examinations and defense, consult the Graduate Bulletin.