As the only helping profession that emphasizes both human well-being and social justice, social workers strive to empower others to make the changes they desire in their lives and advocate to bring about social change on both individual and community levels. Social workers help communities provide maximum equality of opportunity for all; help vulnerable individuals learn to cope more effectively with their problems and needs; and seek continually to strengthen and improve the institutional systems responsible for education, justice, health, business, labor, and welfare, so that people are better served.
My first practicum was with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), which represents children who have been abused or neglected. This really sparked my interest in the criminal justice system and led me to add a minor in political science. After I graduate I hope to get my MSW or go to law school. I think the great thing about social work is that there are so many different career options.
BASW Student, Class of 2018
source: myUK: GPS
Click to toggle each Academic Year. Click each course for more information.
This course is designed to assist undergraduates in adjusting to the academic life of the University. Through lectures, discussions, exercises, and out-of-class assignments, UK 101 helps first-year students: articulate the purpose and nature of a college education at a research university; articulate UKs expectations of its students; gain an appreciation of the Universitys mission, history, and traditions; develop skills for achieving academic success such as study strategies and library research skills; increase awareness and use of campus resources; reflect on personal and social issues that first-year students often face in a college environment; become involved in the total life of the University; and form beneficial relationships with students, faculty, and staff.
An introduction to the study of behavior covering theories, methods and findings of research in major areas of psychology. Topics covered will include the biological foundations of behavior; learning, perception, motivation, personality; developmental, abnormal, and social behavior; and methods of assessment. This course is a prerequisite to a significant number of courses in this and related areas of study. Lecture, three hours; laboratory/discussion, two hours.
Introduction to soical welfare concepts and philosophies. Examination of the profession of social work and its philosophy and value commitments within social welfare. Public and private service delivery systems will be studied. Required of social work majors and recommended it be taken the first year.
The goal of this course is to help students develop or refine their statistical literacy skills. Both the informal activity of human inference arising from statistical constructs, as well as the moral formal perspectives on statistical inference found in confidence intervals and hypothesis tests are studied. Throughout, the emphasis is on understanding what distinguishes good and bad inferential reasoning in the practical world around us.
Introduction to the concepts and methods of sociology. Topics shall include socialization; group processes, social inequalities; social institutions; and social change. This course or its equivalent Sociology courses. Students may not receive credit for both this course and RSO 102.
Introductory biology. Discussion topics are those relevant to both plants and animals-- cell structure and function, molecules important to living things, metabolism, heredity, environment. Not for life science majors.
A survey of national government and the political process in the United States, with emphasis on the Constitution, the President, Congress, and the judicial system.
Directed at non-majors, this course is intended to introduce the student to the diversity of human cultural experience in the contemporary world. Goals of the course include gaining an appreciation for the common humanity and uniqueness of all cultures; to gain a sensitivity toward stereotypes and ethnocentrism, and to understand the distinctions between "race," ethnicity and racism. The course features extended descriptions of the cultural dynamics of the culture(s) with which the instructor has worked.
A course which treats argumentation, syllogistic, and sentential logic. The focus will be on the use of formal methods in the construction and criticism of actual arguments, the aim being to inculcate standards of good reasoning, e.g., clarity, consistency and validity. Credit is not given to students who already have credit for PHI 320.
Study of the cultural traditions, value orientations, and political and economic forces which have contributed to the emergence of present social welfare policies and systems in the United States. Required of social work majors and open to all others.
An introduction to generalist social work practice theory, a study of skills in professional practice with individuals and families, and an examination of social work functions in the direct delivery of social services. Special attention is paid to the NASW Code of Ethics and to the social worker's obligations towards populations-at-risk. Class includes four hours per week of laboratory in health or welfare settings, and three lecture hours.
This foundation course is the first of a two part social work major course sequence that utilizes life perspective and other theories as tools for understanding human behavior and its development acrosss the lifespan. A "person in the environment" focus is utilized as students explore the interrelatedness of biological, social, cultural, psychological, and environmental factors in human behavior and its ongoing development. Particular attention will be given to exploring the impact of racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, classism, and homophobia on human behavior across the life journey.
The study and demonstration of different analytic models utilized in analysis of social welfare policy. The course also introduces content in the areas of organizational theory, management tools necessary to the understanding of implementation and evaluation of social welfare policy.
Introduction to social work practicum under faculty direction in a Teaching-Learning Center. Students will begin to apply knowledge from prerequisite (and concurrent) courses in experiences which utilize social work practice skills with emphasis on individuals, families, and small groups, toward the goals of prevention, restoration, and enhancement of social functioning. Includes 18 hours per week of seminar and experiential learning.
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of ethical decision making in generalist professional social work practice. The major philosophical formulations that underlie ethics and relevant concepts derived from these formulations are highlighted as in the development of ethical reasoning and decision-making skills in dealing with moral problems and dilemmas that arise in entry-level social work practice.
This foundation course is the second in the sequence of two social work courses that focus on theory as a tool for understanding human behavior on multiple interacting levels, including: individual, family, small group, organization, community, and society. The course will explore the interrelatedness of biological, social, cultural, psychological, and environmental factors in human behavior and development. Particular attention will be given to exploring the impact of racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, classism, and homophobia on human behavior at each level.
This course introduces students to the place of group work in professional social work practice. Examined are the basic knowledge, specific rules, strategies, and skills when working with groups of vulnerable populations. This course assists students in recognizing the efficacy of practice with groups of different types that fulfill diverse purposes and are conducted in a variety of community and organizational settings. It introduces students to group dynamics, development, and techniques needed to be a succsesful group leader.
An introductory study and application of the process of research in building social work knowledge and developing effective social work practices.
Emphasizing an ecological and systems framework, the course explores theories and practice approaches appropriate for work with groups, organizations, and community systems. The impact of discrimination and oppression on populations-at-risk is discussed, along with problem-solving and interventive strategies. The ethical and legal strategies of the generalist practitioner are studied.
Problematic behavior is discussed employing a social work perspective. Students are introduced to a bio-psycho-socio-cultural assesment model and the DSM IV-TR criteria for mental health disorders. Students learn to respect the person in his or her environment and not to categorize them by their problems or diagnosis. Risk/resiliency and strengths perspectives are utilized to understand mental disorders within a scio- cultural context. Emphasis is placed on understanding how theoretical models explain psychopathology and inform interventions in social work practice.
This course continues the process of social work practicum under faculty direction in a Teaching- Learning Center. Students will continue to apply knowledge from prerequisite and concurrent courses in experiences which utilize social work practice skills with individuals, families, and small groups as well as with organizations and communities toward the goals of prevention, restoration and enhancement of social functioning. Includes 24 hours per week of seminar and experiential learning.
An integrative professional seminar for senior majors in social work, usually taken in the last semester of course work. Social work issues of an educational, professional and practice nature are examined. This course is a Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement (GCCR) course in certain programs, and hence is not likely to be eligible for automatic transfer credit to UK.
To be eligible to apply for the BASW program, applicants must meet the following requirements:
Review full application instructions here.
The BASW foundation curriculum is designed to integrate the pillars of the social work profession: practice knowledge and skills, professional values, research and policy. The curriculum is grounded in theory related to human behavior and emphasizes actual practice application through two semesters of field practicum where students are engaged with social welfare agencies related to their area of interest.
Social Work majors interested in a public service career working with children and families may apply for the Kentucky Public Child Welfare Certification Program (PCWCP), a cooperative effort between the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and several undergraduate social work programs throughout the state. The goal is to add professional bachelor’s level social work graduates to the ranks of child protection workers throughout Kentucky.
To review full eligibility criteria and program information, click here.
One of the most important and exciting components of social work education is the field practicum. The Field Education practicum ensures students learn to integrate and apply social work values, knowledge, skills, and practice behaviors in a positive learning environment. Students’ high level of involvement in their own learning creates collaborative relationships that help them grow professionally and see practice in action. The College of Social Work partners with over 300 public and non-profit organizations across central and Eastern Kentucky. BASW students earn 13 credit hours completing over 600 hours in agency settings across two practicums within the social work curriculum. As the signature pedagogy of social work education, field education provides students a real world opportunity to begin to develop their professional identity.
Study Abroad in Ghana
SW 580: Social Development in Developing Countries – Ghana
This is a six-week field-based SW 580 summer course in Ghana and is open to all undergraduate or graduate students. This field-based course in Accra, Ghana introduces students to the social development approach through placements in social welfare and community-based programs run by both governmental and non-governmental (NGOs) agencies. The organizations' focus areas include outreach for street children, juvenile/probation services, residential facilities for delinquent boys and girls, rehabilitation for physically disabled persons, hospital-related social work, community development programs, women and children's services, orphanages and HIV/AIDS services. For more information, click here.
Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program
This course is an interactive partnership between the University of Kentucky Department of Sociology, College of Social Work, and Kentucky Department of Corrections. Students will be selected from UK as “outside” students based on their interested in the criminal justice system and potential careers in the criminal justice field. Students will be selected from Blackburn Correctional Complex as “inside” students based on their interest in learning new ways of thinking about social problems and engaging in a college course. This interactive and innovative teaching model is known as the “Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program”.
This unique community-based learning model is currently successfully operating in over 300 prison institutions and college/university programs across world. The goal of this course is to examine the use and abuse of substances and their relationship to crime through the analysis of different types of sociological and clinical social work theories. Students examine the etiology, prevention, treatment, development of social policies, and theoretical explanations pertaining to the use of psychoactive substances and criminal justice responses in American society.
Students that have completed a bachelor’s degree of social work within the last 5 years may be eligible to apply for the Advanced Standing Master of Social Work (MSW) program. The Advanced Standing MSW program consists of 39 hours, compared to the regular 60 hour MSW program. To be eligible to apply for Advanced Standing, applicants must have received their BASW or BSW from a CSWE accredited program within the last 5 years and present Grade Point Averages (GPA) at or above the following (firm) minimums:
Undergraduate GPA 3.0
Social Work GPA 3.5
Graduate GPA (if applicable) 3.0
Advanced Standing may be completed full-time (beginning in the Summer term) or part-time (beginning in the Fall term).
Candidates who are not admitted to Advanced Standing usually can be automatically considered for the Regular 60-credit program. Additionally at least 1 year of previous full-time paid social work-related experience is recommended. For more information, click here.
Social and community service managers coordinate and supervise social service programs and community organizations. They manage staff who provide social services to the public.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.
per year in 2014
Number of Jobs
10 Year Job Outlook
new jobs (average)
Social and community service managers work for nonprofit organizations, private for-profit social service companies, and government agencies. Most work full time.
Source: Bureau of Labor StatisticsRead More
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Kalea Benner, PhD, MSW, LCSW
Director of Undergraduate Studies
College of Social Workkaleabenner@uky.edu
College of Social Work
College of Social Work
Get more information about going to the University of Kentucky