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Undergraduate Bulletin 2007-2008
Bulletin Homepage |School of Social Welfare | Bulletin Information

School of Social Welfare


Katharine Briar-Lawson, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley

Associate Dean

Anne E. Fortune, Ph.D.
University of Chicago

Director, Undergraduate Program

Nancy Claiborne, Ph.D.
University of Houston

Assistant Director, Undergraduate Program

Barbara Rio, M.S.W.
Columbia University

Distinguished Service Professors

Shirley J. Jones, D.S.W. (Collins Fellow)
Columbia University

Lynn Videka, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow),
University of Chicago

Distinguished Teaching Professor

Jan Hagen, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota


Katharine Briar-Lawson, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkley

Anne E. Fortune, Ph.D.
University of Chicago

Hal Lawson, Ph.D.
University of Michigan

Phillip McCallion, Ph.D.
University at Albany

Carolyn Smith, Ph.D.
University at Albany

Theodore J. Stein, D.S.W.
University of California, Berkeley

Ronald W. Toseland, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin

Associate Professors

Nancy Claiborne, Ph.D.
University of Houston

Zvi Gellis, Ph.D.
University of Toronto

Cathleen Lewandowski, Ph.D.
University of Kansas

Barry M. Loneck, Ph.D.
Case Western Reserve University

Blanca Ramos, Ph.D.
University at Albany

William D. Roth, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley

Brenda Smith, Ph.D.
University of Chicago

Lynn Warner, Ph.D.
University of Michigan

Assistant Professors

Sandra Austin, Ed.D.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Eric Hardiman, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley

Heather Horton, Ph.D.
University of Chicago

Heather Larkin, Ph.D.
The Catholic University of America

Laura Hopson, Ph.D.
University of Texas at Austin

Lani Jones, Ph.D.
Boston College

Robert Miller, Ph.D.
Columbia University

Starr Wood, Ph.D.
Smith College


Mary L. McCarthy, M.S.W.
University at Albany

Program Administrators

Mary Corrigan, Ph.D.
University at Albany

Dawn Knight-Thomas, M.S.W.
University at Albany

Laura Moffitt, M.S.W.
University at Buffalo

David Pettie, M.S.W.
University at Albany

Crystal Rogers, M.S.W.
University at Albany

Bonita Sanchez, M.S.W.
University at Albany

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. The B.S. in social work qualifies graduates for advanced standing in some M.S.W. programs.

The Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) 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 (M.S.W.) degree, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. The School of Social Welfare also sponsors the Institute of Gerontology, Social Work Education Consortium, The Center for Human Services Research, The Community and Public Service Program, the Institute for Social Services Research and Development, and the Technology Education Consultation for Human Services (TECH Center).
Both the B.S. and M.S.W. 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) 15Ė16 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.


Human Biology (one course from):
- General Biology: A Bio 110Z
- General Biological Sciences: N A Bio 102
- The Human Organism: A Bio 209
- The City & Human Health: A Ant 119
- Demograhic Anthropology: A Ant 414
- Physical Growth & Development: A Ant 319
- Human Population Biology: A Ant 211
- Human Population Genetics: A Ant 312
- Medical Anthropology: A Ant 450

Introduction to Psychology: A Psy 101

Introduction to Sociology: A Soc 115

American Politics: R Pos 101

American Social Welfare System: R Ssw 210


Elementary Statistics: A Mat 108 (or A Psy 210, A Soc 221, B Itm 220, R Crj 281)

Social Problems: A Soc 180

Social Psychology: A Psy 270 or A Soc 260

Abnormal Psychology: A Psy 338


Students select a course of personal interest that specifically addresses issues facing a gender, ethnic, racial or religious group that is different from the studentís own background. (Examples include: A Aas 219, 331, 333, 370, 400, 432, 435; A Ant 240; A Eas 180;A Eco 130; A Eng 240; A Fre 208, 281; A Gog 125, 240; A His 300Z; A Jst 150, 155, 221, 254, 260, 270, 344Z, 351Z; A Lcs 201, 269; A Phi 214; A Rel 100; A Soc 262 375; U Uni 230; A Wss 101, 202, 210, 262, 308). 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.


R Ssw 301, 305, 306, 322, 400, 405Z, 406, 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 studentís 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.

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

Social welfare majors cannot repeat a core social welfare course more than once and cannot repeat more than a total of two courses within the major. The core courses are R Ssw 301, 305, 306, 322, 400, 405Z, 406, 408, 409 and 410.

A student who receives a grade of C- or lower in a core course will be given a warning by the Dean of the School of Social Welfare that a second such grade in that course will result in termination from the program.

If a student receives a grade of C- or lower in two different core courses, the student will receive a warning from the Dean of the School of Social Welfare that any additional grade lower than a C in a core course will result in termination from the major.

The letter will specify the policy that is the reason for the termination from the program. It will also outline the studentís option to use the School grievance process (spelled out in the Undergraduate Student Handbook) to appeal their grade in a course. If they are successful in receiving a grade change to a C or better, they will be reinstated to the major.

Students also may petition for reinstatement in the major after a period of one semester; their petition will go to a Committee on Readmissions which makes a recommendation to the Dean who makes the final decision whether to reinstate the student.


Field Instruction

Field instruction Ė 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.















R Ssw 301

R Ssw 306



R Ssw 305

R Ssw 322



(6 credits)

(6 credits











R Ssw 400

R Ssw 406



R Ssw 405Z

R Ssw 409



R Ssw 408

R Ssw 410



(10 credits)

(10 credits)

The following undergraduate courses offered by the school 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 schoolís letter R.