May 19, 2024  
Whittier College Catalog 2023-2024 
Whittier College Catalog 2023-2024

Social Work, B.A.

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Admission to the Social Work Major

Students who wish to major in Social Work must complete the following application process also found in the Social Work Student Handbook, located on the Social Work Program website. Declaring Social Work as a major does not guarantee admission to the Social Work Program. Students must meet the following requirements to be granted admission to the program:

  • Attain a minimum overall 2.5 grade point average in the major  
  • Complete SOWK 240 and SOWK 273 - Introduction to Social Work and HBSE, with a minimum of C+ grade
  • Attend the mandatory Social Work Major consultation with Dr. Lawson and Dr. Hong before declaring 
  • Complete the Declaration of Major form with social work faculty signature  
  • Adhere to the principles of the NASW Code of Ethics (2008) and the UN Declaration of Human Rights
  • Maintain a minimum of 3.0 grade point average in each course required in the social work major, including required courses in sociology, anthropology, and psychology

Admission to Field Education

The Practicum of Field Placement is the heart of the Social Work Program. It is the “signature pedagogy” of the social work curriculum. Students complete a minimum of 425 hours of field placement in an approved setting that provides generalist social work practice experiences. Students who are admitted into the Social Work major are not guaranteed admission into field education. The Director of Field Education admits students into the Practicum sequence (SOWK 412 -SOWK 414 ) who have met the following requirements:

  • Attainment of senior status (90 credits)
  • Social Work overall grade point average of 3.0 in all required social work courses
  • Completion of SOWK 312 Field Orientation during your spring junior year for senior placement

  • Successful completion of SOWK 240 or SOWK 273 - Introduction to Social Work, HBSE, SOWK 340 - Social Work Practice I: Working with Individuals & Families; and SOWK 343 - Social Work Practice II: Working with Groups   
  • Interview with and approval from the Director of Field Education
  • Successfully meet the requirements of agency/field placement screening processes (i.e. background checks, drug testing and physical clearances).

The Director of Field Education provides selected field sites to each student and approves the final field site. Please note: information about field placement is located in the Social Work Field Manual on the Social Work Program website in the College Catalog.

The Social Work Program does not grant course credit for life experience or previous work experience.

Students applying to re-enter the Social Work Program must be accepted within a 5-year time frame after leaving the program.


Students must complete all social work major courses, along with liberal education requirements and elective courses that will total 120 units for graduation. A total of 38 credits of Social Work major courses are required, including:

Related Courses required before taking SOWK 310 Approaches to Social Research: 

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