The Baccalaureate Curriculum

Social work is a career with meaning, action, diversity, satisfaction and an abundance of options - a rewarding profession devoted to helping people to function their best in their environment. Through social work, you can provide direct service or therapy to people, or work for change to improve social conditions.

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Social Welfare, program prepares students for beginning social work. The undergraduate program provides the liberal education requirements for students interested in the social sciences and human services professions, and qualifies graduates for advanced standing in some M.S.W. programs. This Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the national accrediting body for all schools of social work

Admission to the Baccalaureate Program

To be admitted to the under graduate program, you must complete an application process. Admission to the program is competitive. Applications are accepted in the spring semester of the student's sophomore year for entrance in the fall semester of the junior year. Transfer students who will have completed 56 credits by the end of the semester that the application is summited should apply during the spring of the year for which they are seeking fall admission. Those wishing to enter the major should have completed most or all of the Elementary Base courses prior to entrance into the program in the junior year. Admissions decisions are based on the following criteria:

  • application essay
  • progress toward completion of Elementary Base requirements or their equivalents
  • grade point average
  • academic and professional references
  • social welfare/human service experience

The relative merit of any one criterion is considered in light of all others when admissions decisions are made. The overall quality of the application will provide the basis for admission.

Transfer Students
Transfer admission to the Social Welfare major is a two-step process. A separate application to the School of Social Welfare, in addition to the application to the University at Albany is required. The student must be accepted to both the University and to the restricted Social Welfare major. Application for admission to the major may be made simultaneously with the University application, however, please note that the deadline for application to the School of Social Welfare is March 15, prior to the University deadline.

Submission Date
Students should apply by March 15. Late applications may be considered as space permits.


Baccalaureate Program

General Education Requirements
All students must complete a minimum of 30 credits of coursework in UAlbany's General Education Program in the following areas: Arts, humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, U.S. historical perspectives, Europe, regions beyond Europe, global and cross-cultural perspectives, U.S. diversity and pluralism, information literacy, mathematics and statistics, and a foreign language.

General Program in Social Welfare
Within the general credit requirements of a Bachelor of Science, the School advises in the selection of the required 62 credits for a combined major and minor in social welfare. Of those credits: a) 15 to 16 credits represent the Elementary Base, b) 15 credits represent the Advanced Base; c) the remaining 32 credits constitute the Core Requirements for the major in social welfare. In addition, it is recommended that prospective social welfare majors take RSSW 291: Human Service in the Community in their freshman or sophomore year, or RSSW 290: Community Service I in their sophomore or junior year. For specific course requirements, see below.

  • Elementary Base (15-16 credits):
    Elementary Base Courses preferably are taken prior to admission to the program. They include: Human Biology, Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, American Politics, and The American Social Welfare System.
  • Advanced Base (15 credits):
    Advanced Base Courses build upon the elementary base. They include: Elementary Statistics, Social Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Social Problems, and an "Elective as Advised" which means each student selects a course of personal interest that specifically addresses issues facing a gender, ethnic, racial or religious group that is different from the student's own background.
  • Core Requirements (32 credits):
    Junior Year Students take a two-term sequence of Social Work Practice I and II. In addition, in the first term they take Human Behavior and the Social Environment, and in the second term they take Introductory Research Methods in Social Welfare.

    Senior Year Students complete the Social Work Practice sequence with Social Work Practice III and IV. In addition, they take the two-term sequence of Field Instruction in Social Welfare I and II (see below), an Integrative Field Seminar as well as Organization and Community Theory followed, in the second term, by Introduction to Social Policy Analysis.


Field Instruction
As an integral part of the overall educational process, the social work program requires all students to complete a field placement (432 hours over two semesters). The placement provides the opportunity to develop, apply, and integrate the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes for work in social welfare settings. During the senior year, qualified instructors in agencies designated by the School provide field instruction to students. The School selects placements for students based on their educational needs and, wherever possible, their areas of interest. Field placements, which represent a variety of settings under public and private auspices, are located throughout the Capital Region. Students are responsible for expenses incurred by placement. A regularly scheduled seminar (RSSW 401) is required to be taken concurrently with the first semester of field instruction .

Honor Society
The Alpha Gamma Chapter of Phi Alpha is an academic honor society for undergraduate social work/welfare majors. Requirements include an overall GPA of 3.25 and a GPA of 3.5 for the first three semesters of Social Welfare courses.


For sheer variety, few occupations can match social work, which offers the broadest range of opportunities and settings. Social workers are found in public agencies, businesses, hospitals, clinics, schools, nursing homes, police departments, courts, day care centers, and countless other interesting venues. Twenty-first century social work careers continue to expand in gerontology, home care, child welfare, juvenile justice, corrections, develop-mental disabilities, employment and job development, and community organizing.

For further information about the University at Albany's Baccalaureate Program in Social Welfare, please contact the School of Social Welfare at 518-442-5320, or write to:

Chairperson, Baccalaureate Program
The University at Albany
School of Social Welfare
135 Western Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
You can also e-mail us at:

Specific Course Requirements

Elementary Base (15-16 Credits)
APSY 101: Introduction to Psychology
ASOC 115: Introduction to Sociology (or ASOC 115Z, writing intensiveversion)
RPOS 101: American Politics
RSSW 210: Social Welfare in the United States

Human Biology: (select one)
ABIO 102: General Biological Sciences
ABIO 117: Nutrition
ABIO 120: General Biology (or ABIO 120Z, writing intensive version)
ABIO 209: The Human Organism
AANT 119: The City and Human Health
AANT 211: Human Population Biology (formerly AANT 411)
AANT 312: Human Population Genetics (formerly AANT 412)
AANT 319: Physical Growth and Development
        (Prerequisite: AANT 110; or ABIO 120, 121,122 & 123; or ABIO 102)
AANT 414: Demographic Anthropology (formerly AANT 313)
AANT 450: Medical Anthropology (or AANT 450Z, writing intensive version)

Advanced Base (15 Credits)
APSY 338: Abnormal Psychology
ASOC 180M: Social Problems

Elementary Statistics: (select one)
AMAT 108: Elementary Statistics
APSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology
ASOC 221: Statistics for Sociologists
BITM 220: Introduction to Business Statistics
RCRJ 281: Introduction to Statistics in Criminal Justice

Social Psychology: (select one)
APSY 270: Social Psychology
ASOC 260: Social Psychology

Elective As Advised

Core Requirements (32 Credits)

Junior Year

Fall: RSSW 301: Human Behavior and the Social Environment
RSSW 305: Social Work Practice I

Spring: RSSW 306: Social Work Practice II
RSSW 322: Introductory Research Methods in Social Welfare

Senior Year

Fall: RSSW 400: Field Instruction in Social Welfare I
RSSW 401: Integrative Field Seminar
RSSW 405Z: Social Work Practice III
RSSW 408: Organizational and Community Theory

Spring: RSSW 406: Social Work Practice IV
RSSW 409: Introduction to Social Policy Analysis
RSSW 410: Field Instruction in Social Welfare II

Elective As Advised:
(select one course that includes perspectives on a group different from your own background)

AAFS 219: Introduction to African/African-American History
AAFS 220: Black and White in America
AAFS 331: The African/African-American Family
AAFS 333: The Black Community: Continuity and Change
AAFS 370: The Psychology of the Black Experience
AAFS 375: Black Popular Culture
AAFS 400: The Law and African America
AAFS 432: The African-American Woman: Contemporary Issues
AAFS 435: Blacks and the American Political Process
AANT 240: The North American Indian
AANT 351/351Z: Ethnicity in North America
ACAS 131: Diversity and Equality in America
ACAS 141: Concept of Race and Culture in the Modern World
AECO 130: Developing Economies
AENG 240: Growing up in America
AFRE 208: Haiti through Film and Literature
AFRE 281: French Canada through Film and Literature
AGOG 125: The American City
AGOG 240: Patterns of American Immigration
AHIS 300/300Z: The History of American Indians in the United States
AJST 150: Survey of Jewish Civilization
AJST 221: The American Jewish Experience
ALCS 201:  Latino USA
AREL 100: Introduction to the Study of Religion
AJST 344: Issues in Modern Jewish History (or AJST 344Z, writing intensive version)
ASOC 375: US Urban Neighborhood Diversity
AWSS 202: Introduction to Lesbian and Gay Studies

Cross Listed Courses:
Buddhism in China and Japan (AEAS 266; AREL 266)
The Caribbean: Peoples, History and Culture (AAFS 269; AANT 269; ALCS 269)
Classism, Racism, Sexism: Issues (AAFS 240; ALCS 240; AWSS 240)
Cultures and Societies Asia II (AEAS 177; AHIS 177)
Jews in the Modern World (AHIS 254; AJST 254; AREL 254)
Judaism: Traditions and Practices (AJST 155; AREL 155)
Race and Ethnicity (ALCS 282; ASOC 282)
Sociology of Gender (ASOC 262; AWSS 262M)
World Religions (APHI 214; AREL 214)


Note: Other courses may meet this requirement for you. Consult with your academic advisor for additional information.

Course schedules for current and future semesters can be found at myUALBANY