Timothy Rehner, Director
118 College Drive, Box 5114
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
Aderer, Blackmon, Brazeal, Forster, Graham, Hrostowski, Hurst, Kolbo, Lee, Murdy, Rehner, Richard, Rowley, Smith, Vasquez, Williams
The School of Social Work offers the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. The degree prepares students for generalist social work practice at the entry level within the social work profession. BSW students, while acquiring the knowledge, values and skills needed to practice social work in any social service agency, are prepared to practice within the context of Mississippi, a state characterized by limited social welfare safety nets and scarce public resources. BSW students are prepared to improve the interactions between individuals (especially those who are members of vulnerable populations) and their social environment as well as to advocate for social changes that would remove institutional barriers that prevent individuals from full social participation.
The Southern Miss School of Social Work's Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The program has been accredited continuously since February 1996, retroactive to 1992.
Offerings for Non-majors
A number of courses offered within the School of Social Work do not have prerequisites and are excellent choices for electives for nonsocial work majors. Additionally, these courses are prerequisites to the BSW program and are classified as pre-social work courses.
SWK 301 - Introduction to Social Work (includes a service-learning component)
SWK 300 - Social Service Systems
SWK 315 - Human Diversity in a Changing World
Overview of Major
The social work curriculum builds upon a liberal arts foundation through which students develop core competencies. Students are required to have a solid background in the social and behavioral sciences, including theories of individual development, group processes and organizational behavior. The BSW program teaches students the knowledge, values and skills necessary for effectively working with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
Students begin the BSW program by taking nine hours of prerequisite course work (SWK 301 , SWK 300 , SWK 315 ). During the presocial work semesters, students apply to the BSW program. Subsequent to the admission process, a cohort of students is selected from the applicant pool. A new cohort of social work students begins the BSW program each fall and spring semester on the Hattiesburg campus. A new cohort of students begins the BSW program at the Gulf Park campus every fall semester. Once students are accepted into the BSW program, they must complete three semesters of course work followed by a senior field practicum capstone course requiring a minimum of 450 hours of supervised practice within an approved human service agency. Each student intern is usually supervised by a licensed master's-level social worker.
Once graduates of the BSW program pass the state-mandated licensure exam, they are recruited by human service organizations within the region and across the state. Although the following is not an exhaustive list, alumni are employed in hospitals and mental health centers, schools, children and family services, addictions programs, youth courts and correctional facilities. Many BSW alumni also pursue the Master of Social Work degree at Southern Miss or other graduate programs. BSW graduates may be eligible for admission to Southern Miss' Advanced Standing Master of Social Work program.
Field Experiences and Practicums
BSW students are required to complete one 40-hour volunteer service-learning experience as part of the SWK 301 - Introduction to Social Work . The volunteer service experience must be approved by the instructor of the course and have a social worker as a supervisor.
The final integrative senior practicum requires students to work 450 hours, only in the fall or spring semesters, in a human service agency approved by the field coordinator of the school. Students work under the supervision of a master's-level social worker who is usually licensed, applying the generalist problem-solving method to their work with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Students also attend a weekly three-hour seminar that requires them to demonstrate, through written and oral presentations, the mastery of content related to their social work practice.
Special Program Requirements
A limited number of students are accepted into the programs each semester. The following admission standards must be met by all applicants to the BSW program:
Complete SWK 300 , SWK 301 , SWK 315 , DPH 430 , PSY 275 and MAT 100 (or higher)
Complete all but six to nine hours of the General Education Curriculum and the Social Work Program Curriculum remaining requirements listed in DEG02 and DEG03 (See Social Work B.S.W. Degree Plan )
Earn grades of C or above in all required courses (including transfer courses) used to meet the social work degree requirements
Maintain a Southern Miss GPA of 2.5 or above (excluding remedial courses, if applicable)
Successfully complete the 40 hours of volunteer experience (a requirement of SWK 301 )
Participate in an interview with the BSW program's Admission Committee
The following progression policies apply for all students accepted into the BSW program:
Maintain a Southern Miss GPA of at least 2.5, excluding remedial courses, if applicable. (The minimum GPA is required for acceptance into the senior practicum)
Earn grades of at least C or higher in the BSW program
Adhere to the standards of conduct specified in the Social Work Code of Ethics
Complete the senior practicum (450 clock hours) in an agency setting designated by the school's field coordinator
ProgramsBachelor of Social Work