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BSW Program

BSW Degree Requirements

To qualify for the BSW degree, the student is required to:

  • Fulfill all University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa General Education Core and graduation requirements;
  • Complete the undergraduate social work curriculum, which includes the knowledge-base courses and required upper division electives, with a grade of C or better;
  • Complete the curriculum in keeping with specific standards of the school, under professional social work supervision and instruction;
  • Earn an aggregate of no less than 120 credit hours; and
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5.


The BSW curriculum consists of University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa core and graduation requirements, knowledge-base requirements for social work majors, social work major courses, and upper elective division courses. The program is organized around a foundation curriculum with content in social work practice, human behavior and the social environment, social welfare history and policies, research, and field education. This perspective provides the framework for an integrated system of courses that orients the student to practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities, with an emphasis on generalist practice within the context of a multicultural environment.

Sequence Chairs

Candidates for the BSW degree must complete these requirements and earn a grade of “D” or better in all UHM core and graduation courses, and a grade of “C” or better in all knowledge-base requirements for social work majors, social work major courses, and upper division elective courses.

1. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa General Education Core and Graduation Requirements, 54-56 credits

See the UH Mānoa Catalog for course listings in each category.

Students who entered the UH system in Spring 2001 or earlier and have remained continuously enrolled should check with the Admissions Coordinator for applicable requirements in this area.


I. Foundation Requirement (12 credits)

  • Written Communication, 3 credits
  • Quantitative Reasoning, 3 credits
  • Global and Multicultural Perspectives, 6 credits

II. Diversification Requirements (19 credits)

  • Arts, Humanities, and Literature, 6 credits (from two different areas)
  • Social Sciences, 6 credits (from two different departments)
  • Natural Sciences, 7 credits (Physical, Biological, and 1 lab)


I. Focus Requirements

II. Hawaiian/Second Language Requirement

  • Second Level, or or First Level and preapproved culture courses

2. Social Work Major Courses*, 41 credits

  • SW 200 The Field of Social Work
  • SW 302 General Social Work Practice I
  • SW 303 General Social Work Practice II
  • SW 325 History of Social Welfare
  • SW 326 Social Welfare as a Social Institution
  • SW 360 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I
  • SW 361 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II
  • SW 391 Undergraduate Field Education I
  • SW 402 General Social Work Practice III
  • SW 403 General Social Work Practice IV
  • SW 440 Research Development in Social Welfare
  • SW 490 Undergraduate Field Education II
  • SW 491 Undergraduate Field Education III

*Subject to change

3. Electives Required in Upper Division Liberal Arts Courses, 21 credits

  • One course in The U.S. Experience
  • One course in Social Dynamics and Group Interaction
  • One course in Politics, Government, & Economies
  • One course in Research
  • Three courses in Diversities

To complement and support the core social work courses, the curriculum also provides for a broad selection of upper division elective courses. BSW students must complete seven (7) courses totaling twenty-one (21) credits in five (5) broad focus areas. The Upper Division Electives are organized around a social justice and diversity framework informed by the core values of the social work profession. Students are to take one (1) course each in the U.S. Experience; Social Dynamics and Group Interaction; Politics, Government, & Economies; and Research focus areas. Student must also take three (3) courses totaling nine (9) credits in Diversities-focused classes.

4. Other Electives, 2–4 credits

Courses in this area may be either lower or upper division courses and will include any social work knowledge-base courses that have not been taken as part of the General Education Core.

Knowledge-Base Requirements for Social Work Majors

BSW Field Education

Field Education with professional social work supervision is the signature pedagogy of social work education. Students are expected to demonstrate a sense of responsibility, professionalism, good judgment, and responsiveness to the supervision of their work. Students are provided with the opportunity to practice warmth, empathy, genuineness, and good interpersonal and problem solving skills. Field education provides the student with the platform for their competencies and practice behaviors to be evaluated in the field, as they practice social work.

Undergraduate Field Education I (SW 391) is required of all students in the second semester of their junior year while concurrently enrolled in (or after the completion of) the second required practice course (SW 303). The junior field education experience requires 72 hours of field work during the semester at a social work agency in the community. The primary objectives of Undergraduate Field Education I (SW 391) are to introduce and prepare students for their role as a social work field education student in an agency setting. To further these objectives, students will remain at their assigned field education sites for all three semesters of their field education placement.

Undergraduate Field Education II and III (SW 490 and SW 491) is required of all students in their final year of the BSW program and is to be completed concurrently with (or after the completion of) the third and fourth required practice courses (SW 402 and SW 403). Each student spends 16 hours per week at the assigned agency, for a total of 225 hours per semester. Additionally, students are required to attend scheduled BSW Field Integration Seminars concurrently with their field work. The Field Integration Seminars ensure the integration of theory and practice and provide an opportunity to discuss and reflect on field experiences.

For more information, please click on this link to go to the Field Education Webpage.

How To Apply

For BSW admission requirements and application information, please refer to the Admissions Webpage at:

Tuition and Fees



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