BASW - Undergraduate

The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) curriculum is based on a basic liberal arts foundation obtained through guided coursework from general education approved courses. This liberal arts foundation provides students the necessary knowledge and skills to engage in critical thinking about social problems and develop an understanding of the social structures of American society. Foundation social work courses meet the primary program goal of preparing students with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for beginning social work practice. In addition to the core social work curriculum, electives are offered to expand interest in various areas such as child welfare, family welfare, alcoholism and the family, and social work with the aging. Unlike many of their counterparts in other disciplines, BASW graduates are required to undertake as part of their education extensive agency field internships to prepare them for practice upon graduation. 

BASW graduates are employed in many different work settings under public and private agencies and programs that may include: family service agencies, children and youth services, juvenile justice agencies, elementary and/or secondary schools, ethnic oriented service agencies, residential treatment programs, substance abuse programs, domestic violence programs, homeless shelters, mental health services, aging services, nursing homes, hospices, hospitals, home care agencies, mental retardation/developmental disabilities services, vocational rehabilitation services, public health agencies, community action agencies, child and adult day care centers, income maintenance programs, and legal services agencies.

For more details about the coursework and requirements for the BASW degree, see the Program Bulletin [pdf].

For more information about the BASW program policies including Field Education internship information and policies click here: BASW Program Student Handbook

Apply to the BASW Program

New students applying to SJSU can select Social Work as their major in the application or transfer process. See the SJSU Admissions website for more information, and go to Cal State Apply to apply.

Current SJSU students who wish to change their major to social work must apply to do so. For fall semester admissions, applications are due by the first week of August. There is a cap on the number of undergraduate students who can be admitted to the BASW program, so acceptance is not guaranteed.

SJSU Undeclared Students & Change of Major Applications:

BASW Program Mission and Goals

The mission of the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) Program in the School of Social Work (SSW) at San José State University is to prepare social work professionals at the generalist level for effective, ethical practice, and to equip undergraduate students to explore and build leadership skills from a transcultural perspective with diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. In the service of this BASW mission, the school is active in scholarship and professional leadership endeavors that advance the field of social work and respond to emerging and diverse needs. The transcultural perspective is infused throughout the BASW curriculum, informs faculty scholarship, and reflects an enduring commitment to advocating for social justice, honoring the strengths of diverse cultures, and enhancing the well-being of all.

The BASW program at SJSU has five goals. They are as follows:

  • Goal 1: The BASW Program prepares generalist social workers for ethical social work and use of the transcultural perspective with diverse and marginalized populations.
  • Goal 2: The BASW program prepares social workers for effective generalist practice from a transcultural perspective with individuals and families across the lifespan, and with groups, organizations, and communities
  • Goal 3: The BASW program prepares generalist social workers to explore and build leadership skills in advocating for change and innovation in policies and practices to enhance social justice and the
    well-being of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Goal 4: The BASW program prepares generalist social workers for critical inquiry to improve, design, and develop solutions to advance effective social work.
  • Goal 5: The BASW program contributes to social work through professional leadership and scholarship that advances social work knowledge, practice, and values.