Health Sciences & Social Work

Social Work

Social Work provides a high quality educational experience, which serves a diverse population, contributes to the enhancement of social service delivery systems, and improves the quality of life for some of our nation's most vulnerable at-risk populations.  Our program boasts a proud tradition of supporting social services in the west central Illinois region and throughout the state of Illinois.  Our faculty is dedicated to excellence in teaching, scholarly and professional activities, and the furthering of social and economic justice for all persons.


The Social Work Program began as an emphasis in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology in 1973 under the direction of Dr. Lillian Snyder.  The BSW degree was approved by the Board of Governors in 1988.  The first BSW degrees were issued by Western Illinois University in 1989.  The program was accredited by the Council on Social Work Education in 1995 and the Department of Social Work was established in 1997.

The BSW curriculum corresponds with the CSWE’s Curriculum Policy Statement. Social work curricula are required to include both a liberal arts foundation and social work foundation courses. The Social Work curriculum includes units and case studies that highlight Diversity, Promotion of Social and Economic Justice, and Populations-at-Risk. Students must complete the General Education requirements for both the Department and the College of Education and Human Services. See the Undergraduate Catalog for complete course descriptions and requirements.


Biol 100 Biological Concepts (human biology) 4
Eng 180 College Writing I 3
Psy 100 Introduction to Psychology 3
Soc 100 Introduction to Sociology 3

Core Courses
SW 100 Introduction to Social Work also a prerequisite 3
SW 212 Human Behavior & the Social Environment I 3
SW 213 Human Behavior & the Social Environment II 3
SW 312 Research Methods 3
SW 313 Research Statistics 3
SW 315 Practice I 4
SW 316 Case Management in Social Work (WID) 3
SW 325 Introduction to Social Welfare Policy 3
SW 380 Social Justice and Diversity (Global Issues) 3
SW 415 Practice II 3
SW 425 Practice III 3
SW 440 Pre-Practicum 1
SW 480 Practicum 13
SW Electives Choose from: 298, 330, 331, 332, 334, 335, 337, 338, 340, 345, 496  

  Program Admission

All students enter social work as a pre-social major (PSW). To be formally admitted to the program as a Social Work (SCLWK) major, students must complete an interview with a faculty member and complete the application packet demonstrating fulfillment of or substantial progress in the following:

Social Work Major Admission Requirements:

  1. A cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better and completion of Social Work 100 with a grade of C or better. 
  2. Critical thinking and writing skills as demonstrated in coursework and application essays.
  3. Interpersonal skills as demonstrated in classroom and group interaction and faculty interview.
  4. Successful completion of all components of the major application process by the due dates.

Social Work Major Admission Progress:

  • Academic Progress:  There are four general education courses that provide an important foundation to course work in the major and should be taken prior to social work course whenever possible.  
    1. English 180 (3 hrs.)
    2. Biology 100 (4 hrs.)
    3. Psychology 100 (3 hrs.)
    4. Sociology 100 (3 hrs.)
  • Volunteer Hours Progress:  Documented completion of 100 volunteer or work hours in a human service setting no later than the first day of enrollment in SW 440 (Pre-Practicum).

Application for Admission

Admissions Denial Appeal Form

BSW Student Handbook

Students must talk to Cindy Dadello, the social work advisor, before completing the application to determine the appropriate semester in which to apply.  She can be reached at 309-298-1438.