A group of hands coming together

Social Work, B.S.

The bachelor of science (B.S.) in social work focuses on generalist practice in the field of social work. Graduates are prepared to engage with, assess, and intervene with individuals, families, groups, and communities, and to evaluate their practice. Courses cover values and ethics, diversity, social, economic, and environmental justice, and research. 

Social Work majors at Buffalo State College take their classroom knowledge, which includes a liberal arts foundation, and apply it in the field through volunteer work, service learning, and year-long field placement. These opportunities allow students to develop their skills and prepare them for the workforce upon graduation. Check out the National Association of Social Work's website for information about the social work profession

Program Requirements

Social Welfare, Minor

The Social Welfare minor is an 18 credit interdisciplinary program that examines the historical socio-cultural significance of citizenship, poverty, social welfare, diversity, and market economies and develops skills to solve local and global problems. The student is also involved in community service in which he/she gains a comprehensive hands-on understanding of the roles of individuals and institutions in developing and sustaining social outcomes. The minor curriculum serves to enhance the student’s preparation for careers in the government, non- profits, law, politics, health, and social planning. Social Welfare minors will not be able to practice as social workers. 

Note: Social Work majors cannot minor in Social Welfare. However, there are many complementary minors available at Buffalo State College. 

Program Requirements

Social Work Courses

SWK 220 - INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WORK - 3 credits Introduction to the social welfare institution and to social work; social work knowledge, skills, sanctions, values, and ethics; generalist practice in social work.

SWK 301 – POVERTY AND PUBLIC POLICY - 3 credits Prerequisite: Sophomore, Junior or Senior Standing. Social welfare policies and social welfare programs. Historical treatment of poverty and the poor. Theories of poverty causation. Measurement of poverty and poverty demographics including race, age, gender, immigration status, socioeconomic status. Social change strategies and advocacy. Requires 20 hours of volunteer work in addition to coursework. Equivalent courses: SWK319, SWK319W

SWK 307 - HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT I – 3 credits Prerequisites: CWP 101, CWP 102, BIO 101. Conceptual frameworks for client assessment; theories and perspectives of life span development; professional communication, professional reflection, social work assessment, library research. Equivalent course: SWK307W

SWK 308 - HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT II – 3 credits Prerequisites: SWK Majors only, Junior/Senior standing, BIO 101, CWP102. 22 | Page As a second course in the Human Behavior and Social Environment curriculum, SWK308 focuses on deepening the student’s knowledge of the theoretical frameworks that attempt to explain behavior and enlighten effective work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities as a generalist social worker. Maladaptive patterns of adult psychological functioning are examined with a bio-psycho-social perspective in order that students may contextualize the information. Although students concentrate upon problematic human functioning, the course is presented in a manner that encourages them to view the strengths of clients along with their difficulties. Equivalent course: SWK308W

SWK 317 – RESEARCH METHODS IN SOCIAL WORK - 3 credits Prerequisites: SWK Majors Only, Junior/Senior standing, BIO 101, CWP102, SWK 220, SWK 301, SWK 307, SWK 308, and SWK 422. Application of research methods to generalist social work practice. Research ethics, evidence-based practice. Equivalent course: SWK317W

SWK 320 - SOCIAL SERVICES ORGANIZATIONS - 3 credits Prerequisites: SWK Majors Only, Junior/Senior standing, BIO 101, CWP102, SWK 220, SWK 301, SWK 307, SWK 308, and SWK 422. History, descriptions, and functions of social services organizations; creation, implementation of social welfare policy and programs; social justice, human rights, NASW Code of Ethics. Equivalent course: SWK320W

SWK419 - SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY - 3 credits Prerequisites: SWK Majors Only, Senior standing, SWK 220, SWK 301, SWK 307, SWK308, SWK 317, SWK 320, SWK422, SWK 423, SWK 424, CWP 102, BIO101. This course addresses the American social welfare state and its historical responses to need, in addition to the concepts of discrimination, oppression, social welfare policy, policy research, policy analysis, policy creation, grant proposals, and legislative briefs. Equivalent course: SWK419W

SWK 422 – ASSESSMENT AND ENGAGEMENT - 3 credits Prerequisites: SWK Majors Only, Junior/Senior standing, BIO 101, CWP102. Fundamental skills of social work practice; communication, engagement, and assessment skills with individuals and families. Equivalent course: SWK422W

SWK 423 - INTERVENTION METHODS - 3 credits Prerequisites: SWK Majors Only, Junior/Senior standing, SWK 220, SWK301, SWK 307, SWK 308, SWK 422, BIO101, CWP 102. Models of generalist social work intervention; evidence-based practice with diverse populations; ethical guidelines for practice and self-reflection. Equivalent course: SWK423W 

SWK 424 - GROUPS - 3 credits Prerequisites: SWK Majors only, Junior/Senior standing, BIO 101, CWP102, SWK 220, SWK 301, SWK 307, SWK 308, and SWK 422. Outlines the basic issues and key concepts of group process and practice. Equivalent course: SWK424W SWK

SWK 429 - POLICY PRACTICE – 3 credits Prerequisites: SWK Majors Only, Senior standing, SWK 220, SWK 301, SWK 307, SWK308, SWK 317, SWK 320, SWK419, SWK 422, SWK 423, SWK 424, SWK 496, SWK 493, CWP 102, BIO 101. Generalist macro policy practice skills. Social welfare policy research, policy briefs, grant proposals, policy presentations to governing bodies (e.g., Congress).

SWK 493 - FIELD PRACTICUM I – 6 credits Prerequisites: SWK Majors Only, Senior standing, SWK 220, SWK 301, SWK 307, SWK 308, SWK 317, SWK 320, SWK422, SWK 423, SWK 424, BIO 101, CWP102, and a minimum 2.5 GPA in the SWK major and cumulative. This course involves a supervised internship where students develop and complete a learning contract in conjunction with their fieldwork agency that includes demonstrating mastery of the required social work practice behaviors. Additionally, it involves a concurrent on-campus seminar that integrates and supports all previous social work coursework and demonstration of mastery.

SWK 494 - FIELD PRACTICUM II – 6 credits Prerequisites: SWK Majors Only, Senior standing, SWK 220, SWK 301, SWK 307, SWK 308, SWK 317, SWK 320, SWK419, SWK 422, SWK 423, SWK 424, SWK 496, SWK 493, BIO 101, CWP 102, and a minimum 2.5 GPA in the SWK major and cumulative. This course involves a supervised internship where students develop and complete a learning contract in conjunction with their fieldwork agency that includes demonstrating mastery of the required social work practice behaviors. Additionally, it involves a concurrent on-campus seminar that integrates and supports all previous social work coursework and demonstration of mastery.

SWK 496 INTEGRATED SEMINAR I – 3 credits Prerequisites: SWK Majors Only, Senior standing, SWK 220, SWK 301, SWK 307, SWK 308, SWK 317, SWK 320, SWK422, SWK 423, SWK 424, CWP 102, BIO101. Integration of coursework and the demonstration of social work practice behaviors and skills required by the Council on Social Work Education. Emphasis on the engagement and assessment phases of generalist practice.

SWK 497 INTEGRATIVE SEMINAR II – 3 credits Prerequisites: SWK Majors Only, Senior standing, SWK 220, SWK 301, SWK 307, SWK 308, SWK 317, SWK 320, SWK419, SWK 422, SWK 423, SWK 424, SWK 496, SWK 493, BIO 101, CWP 102. Integration of coursework and the demonstration of social work practice behaviors and skills required by the Council on Social Work Education. Emphasis on the engagement and assessment phases of generalist practice.