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, 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.
Social Work BSW
Child Advocacy Studies Minor