School of Social Welfare


Interim Dean and Professor
Victoria Rizzo, Ph.D.
University at Albany, SUNY

Associate Dean for Academic Programs
Crystal A. Rogers, Ph.D.
University at Albany, SUNY

Director, Undergraduate Program
Robert L. Miller, Jr., Ph.D.
Columbia University

Assistant Director of the Undergraduate Program
Elizabeth Crowe, LCSW-R
University at Albany, SUNY

Assistant to the Dean: Communications & Engagement
Alyssa Lotmore, LMSW
University at Albany, SUNY

Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Dawn Knight-Thomas, MSW
University at Albany, SUNY

Assistant Dean and Director of Field Education
Lisa DeLaMater, LCSW-R
Columbia University

Director, Community and Public Service Program
Sharon Stevens, LMSW
University at Albany, SUNY     

Katharine Briar-Lawson, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkley
Nancy Claiborne, Ph.D.
University of Houston
Lani V. Jones, Ph.D., LCSW
Boston College
Hal Lawson, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
Carmen Morano, Ph.D.
Florida International University
Loretta Pyles, Ph.D.
University of Kansas
Lynn A. Warner, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
Associate Professors
Eric Hardiman, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley
Julia Hastings, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles
Heather Horton, Ph.D.
University of Chicago
Heather Larkin-Holloway, Ph.D.
The Catholic University of America
Catherine K. Lawrence, Ph.D.
University at Albany, SUNY
Eunju Lee, Ph.D.
University at Albany, SUNY
Wonhyung Lee, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
Barry M. Loneck, Ph.D.
Case Western Reserve University
Robert L. Miller, Jr., Ph.D.
Sarah Mountz, Ph.D.
University of Washington
Columbia University
Blanca M. Ramos, Ph.D.
University at Albany, SUNY 

Assistant Professors
Lindsey Disney, Ph.D.
University of Georgia
Jildyz Urbaeva, Ph.D.
University of Arizona

Mary McCarthy, Ph.D.
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Professional Staff

Assistant Directors of Field Education
Makisha Brown, MSW
University at Albany, SUNY
Elizabeth Crowe, LCSW-R
University at Albany, SUNY
Heather Dora, LCSW
Adelphi University

Student Services and Retention Coordinator
Geraldine Gutierrez, LMSW
University at Albany, SUNY

Recruitment and Admissions Coordinator
Nell Pattison, LMSW
University at Albany, SUNY

Project Coordinator
Linda Mertz, LCSW-R
Boston College

The objective of the undergraduate social work major (B.S.) is to prepare students for beginning social work. The program serves the liberal education needs for students interested in the social sciences and human services professions. Part-time study is possible. Upon application to the undergraduate major, students can apply for conditional acceptance into the MSW Advanced Standing program. The B.S. in social work qualifies graduates for advanced standing in some MSW programs.

The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree prepares students for advanced social work practice. These positions generally require advanced theoretical, practice, research, management and/or policy analysis skills.

The School of Social Welfare offers programs leading to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in social welfare, a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. The School offers a minor in Social Welfare Studies, which is open to all students enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. The School of Social Welfare also sponsors the Social Work Education Consortium, the Community and Public Service Program, and the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI).

Both the B.S. and MSW degree programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the national accrediting body for all U.S. schools of social work.

Degree Requirements for the Major in Social Welfare

General Program B.S.: A combined major and minor sequence consisting of a minimum of 62 credits as follows:
Of the 62 credits: (a) 15–16 credits represent the elementary base; (b) 15 credits represent the advanced base; (c) the remaining 32 credits constitute the core requirements for a major in social welfare.

In addition, it is recommended that prospective social welfare majors elect R SSW 290 (Community and Public Service) in their sophomore year.

Elementary Base:
Human Biology (one course from): A BIO 102, 117, 130, A ANT 211, 312, 319
Introduction to Psychology: A PSY 101
Introduction to Sociology: A SOC 115 or Social Problems: A SOC 180
American Politics: R POS 101
American Social Welfare System: R SSW 210

Advanced Base:
Elementary Statistics (one course from): A MAT 108, A PSY 210, A SOC 221, or R CRJ 281
Perspectives on Globalization: A GLO 103 or World Cities: Geographies of Globalization A GLO 225/225Z
Social Psychology: A PSY 270 or A SOC 260
Abnormal Psychology: A PSY 338

Elective as Advised:
Students select 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. (Examples include: A AFS 219, 220, 240 (= A LCS 240 & A WSS 240) 269 (= A ANT 269 & A LCS 269) 331, 333, 370, 375, 400, 432, 435; A ANT 240; A EAS 177 (= A HIS 177), 266 (= A REL 266); A ECO 130; A ENG 240; A FRE 208, 281; A GOG 125, 240; A HIS 300; A JST 150, 155 (= A REL 155), 221, 254 (= A HIS 254 & A REL 254); A LCS 201, 282 (= ASOC 282); A PHI 214 (= A REL 214); A REL 100; A SOC 262 (= A WSS 262), 375; A WSS 101, 202, 308; R SSW 299). Students are also encouraged to review the Undergraduate Bulletin and discuss with their adviser other courses of personal interest that may satisfy this required elective.

Core Requirements:
R SSW 301, 305, 306, 322, 400, 401, 405Z, 406Y, 408, 409, 410. A grade of C (S) or higher in all core courses is required (see Termination Policies below).

Admission Requirements

Students interested in the social welfare major 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 into the Fall semester of the junior year. Transfer students who will have completed 56 credits should apply during the spring of the year for which they are seeking Fall admission. Information on the admissions deadline and application process is available on the School of Social Welfare’s website

It is strongly recommended that those wishing to enter the major complete as much of the required elementary base and advanced base as possible prior to entrance into the program in the junior year. Admissions decisions are based on the following criteria:

  • Adequacy of the liberal arts base
  • Application essay
  • Progress toward completion of elementary and advanced base requirements or their equivalents
  • Grade point average
  • Personal/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 admissions.

Termination Policies     

In the Social Welfare major requirements, the core courses, R SSW 301, 305, 306, 322, 401, 405Z, 406Y, 408, and 409, are graded A-E. Majors cannot repeat a graded core course more than once and cannot repeat more than a total of two courses within the major.

A student who receives a grade of C- or lower in graded core courses in a semester will be given a warning by the Director of the Undergraduate Program, School of Social Welfare that a C- or lower in any graded core course in any subsequent semester will result in termination from the major.

Core Field Instruction courses, R SSW 400 and 410, are graded S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory). If a student receives a U in either Field Instruction courses, the student will be terminated from the major.

Any student who is terminated from the major will receive a letter from the Director of the Undergraduate Program. The letter will specify the reason for the termination from the major and include information about the School’s procedures for grieving a grade or seeking readmission after termination from the major.

The procedures governing Standards for Social Work Education, scholastic performance, procedures for addressing violations of or failure to meet the Standards for Social Work Education by students at the School of Social Welfare, student grievance procedures, and readmissions procedures are contained in the Baccalaureate Social Welfare Program Student Handbook. All students receive a copy of the handbook at orientation and again when they enter field education. The Handbook is also available on line through the BSW Program Wiki site.

Field Instruction

Field instruction – a structured internship in a social services agency - is an integral part of the total educational process. It offers a student the opportunity to develop, apply, and integrate the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes for work in social welfare settings. During the senior year, each student is provided field instruction by a qualified instructor in an agency designated by the School. Placements are selected by the School for the students on the basis of their educational needs and, wherever possible, their area of interest. The field placements represent a variety of settings under public and private auspices and are located throughout the Capital District. Students are responsible for the expenses involved in placement.

Typical Program of Core Courses for
Junior and Senior Social Welfare Majors




R SSW 301

R SSW 306

R SSW 305

R SSW 322

(6 credits)

(6 credits)




R SSW 400/401

R SSW 406Y

R SSW 405Z

R SSW 409

R SSW 408

R SSW 410

(10 credits)

(10 credits)


The following undergraduate courses offered by the School of Social Welfare are considered liberal arts and sciences courses for the purpose of requirements for the B.A. and B.S. degrees: R SSW 200, 210, 220, 301, 322, 408, 409, 450, 499.

All courses listed in this section are understood to be preceded by the school’s letter R.

Undergraduate Program Minor

Social Welfare Studies: