Nov 21, 2019  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Social Work

Timothy Rehner, Director
118 College Drive, Box #5114
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

Aderer, Blackmon, Brazeal, Drumm, Forster, Graham, Hrostowski, Hurst, Kolbo, Lahasky, Lee, Murdy, Pelts, Rehner, Richard

The School of Social Work offers the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree and a minor in Child Advocacy Studies (CAST). The BSW 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 CAST minor focuses on preparing students to organize and implement a multidisciplinary response to child maltreatment. The CAST minor has certain prerequisites (see below), but is open to all majors.

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.

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 service agencies, addictions programs, youth courts and correctional facilities. Many BSW alumni also pursue the Master of Social Work degree at The University of Southern Mississippi or other graduate programs. BSW graduates may be eligible for admission to The University of Southern Mississippi Advanced Standing Master of Social Work program.

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program at The University of Southern Mississippi is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The program has been accredited continuously since February 1996, retroactive to 1992.

Special Program Requirements

The social work degree program is academically rigorous and requires students to possess certain competencies prior to enrolling in the first block of SWK courses. These core competencies include a basic knowledge of the social and psychological domains of the human person as well as the ability to communicate effectively. Therefore, though the first block of SWK courses is open to all USM students, students must meet the following requirements before enrolling in SWK 300 , SWK 301 , SWK 301L , and SWK 315 .

  • Earn a minimum grade of C in ENG 101 , ENG 102 , PSY 110 , and University SI course.
  • Hold sophomore standing at the time of enrollment.
  • Have a minimum cumulative USM GPA of 2.50 (excluding remedial courses, if applicable). New transfer students, with no USM GPA but who meet the remaining requirements, must consult with a SWK faculty advisor for enrollment.

Program Progression Requirements

To be eligible to advance in the social work program and remain in good standing, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Completethe first block of courses (SWK 300 , SWK 301 , SWK 301L , and SWK 315 )
  • Earn a minimum grade of C in all required courses (all GEC and DEG courses).

  • Maintain a minimum cumulative USM GPA of 2.50 (excluding remedial courses, if applicable).

  • Be a declared SWK major with at least Junior standing.

  • Adhere to the standards of conduct specified in the Social Work Code of Ethics and the Professional and Technical Standards document.

  • Adhere to the advisement plan and course sequencing requirements prescribed by the School of Social Work.

  • Complete all coursework, including minimum letter grade and cumulative GPA requirements, prior to enrolling in senior Capstone and field practicum.

Social Work students may repeat no more than two SWK courses, one time each. Students who fail to meet program progression standards will be placed on program probation for one semester and may not be eligible to enroll in subsequent SWK courses. Students who fail to meet program standards while on probation may be dismissed from the School of Social Work.


    Bachelor of Social WorkNon-degree