School of Social Work

Undergraduate Program

  • Nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
  • Graduates qualify to take the Social Work State Licensure Board Examination.
  • All full time faculty members have Doctorates and are nationally and internationally recognized for their scientific and professional contributions.

The Social Work Major

The Social Work Major prepares students as beginning-level generalist social work practitioners. The program offers students the values, knowledge, and skills necessary to meet human needs and improve the social conditions in which persons grow and develop. Graduates are eligible for membership in the National Association of Social Workers and/or National Association of Black Social Workers, and they are eligible to take the social work licensure exam in Ohio. The program is fully accredited at the baccalaureate level by the Council on Social Work Education.

For students majoring in other fields or preparing for graduate study, social work offers a basic understanding of the social welfare system as it addresses current social concerns. The social work core prepares students for practice in diverse settings and varied roles in child welfare, public welfare, health, mental health, community organizations, developmental disabilities, rehabilitation, aging, criminal justice, and other areas of human service practice.

Career Opportunities in Social Work

  • Options: Career opportunities for individuals with a social work degree include work in corrections, family and child welfare, health, aging; alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; child welfare, children, adolescents, and young adults; health; mental health; school social work, social and economic justice and peace, and juvenile and adult criminal justice.
  • Training: A bachelor's degree can help one gain access to a variety of entry-level jobs in social work. Relevant work or volunteer experience in an area of interest is advised. The Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW) is sometimes necessary for advancement in the social work field.
  • Personal Characteristics: A desire to help others overcome problems, gain insight into themselves and develop their capacities is essential for a career in social work. Compassion, patience, and stamina are also necessary.

Admission to the Major:

Application to the Social Work major may be submitted by students following their attendance at a School of Social Work orientation. To acquaint potential students with the Social Work major at Cleveland State University, the school conducts orientation sessions each semester that are designed to provide information about the social work profession, its history, fields of practice, current trends and social issues, the mission of the school, and the admission and curriculum requirements for majors. The prerequisites for entering the School of Social Work core curriculum for the major require students to:

  • Have a cumulative 2.2 GPA and complete the following courses: Introduction to Social Work (SWK 200), American Government (PSC 111), and one course in Human Biology. The following courses in Human Biology at Cleveland State University will meet the School of Social Work and the Commission on Accreditation requirements: BIO 100, BIO 102, and BIO 106, as well as SOC 101 and PSY 101. The School of Social Work will consider human biology courses from other colleges and universities that fulfill the above requirement.
  • Submit one letter of reference from a teacher/professor, employer, religious leader, social worker, or a health or human services professional. The letter of reference should be written on official letterhead, and/or the writer should clearly identify her/his relationship to applicant.
  • Submit a completed college checklist from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS).

Following the orientation and the submission of the application to the major, the student is assigned a faculty adviser.

Students must maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade point average in the social work core courses.

Student Organizations:

  • The student organization Social Work in Action has sponsored various activities in the past. They have been involved in Food Drives, Clothing Drives, and Clean Land Ohio.

    Students are encouraged to join Social Work in Action and become involved in activities that will help share information about classes, professors, and career interests. A variety of speakers and workshops pertinent to social work careers are provided. It is an active part of the networking system of Social Work students, and can help in the transition from being a student to becoming a social work professional in the community. Social Work in Action officers may be contacted through the Department of Social Work.

  • CSU hosts the Delta Zeta Chapter of Phi Alpha, a national honor society for Social Work Students.


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