Do you consider yourself a people person? Are you interested in helping individuals, families, groups and/or communities to enhance their individual and collective well-being?

East Carolina University's bachelor of social work (BSW) prepares students for beginning professional generalist practice and for graduate study in social work. Students will take courses in human behavior and diversity, social work practice with individuals, families, groups and communities, assessment, problem-solving, critical thinking, social policy, research, and a semester-long internship. Most of these courses are taught through hands-on and experimental methods, as well as traditional teaching modes.

Social work students at ECU have many career options upon graduation including working with communities, organizations, families, and individuals through a variety of non- or pro-profit human service settings, including governmental agencies. Their roles include, but not limited to, case managers, counseling service providers, behavioral and/or mental health care providers, child welfare workers, family-related service providers, adult protective service workers, correctional officers, medical social workers, geriatric social workers, advocates, community organizers, social planners, and policy makers. In addition, students may become a candidate for school social work licensure by completing three courses and a one-semester internship in a public school setting.

ECU Advantage

The BSW degree at East Carolina University was accredited in 1974 by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and is one of the oldest accredited programs in the United States. Since then, our program has educated and trained students to conduct themselves in a way that will assure them a career in the field of social work. Our nationally recognized faculty members are devoted to the student's education and willing to help them succeed at East Carolina.

Upon graduation, our alumni often find employment in the same communities in which they did their field internship, but many continue on to the Masters of Social Work program here at East Carolina University. In fact, BSW graduates with high GPAs can get an MSW degree in only one additional year following completion of their undergraduate degree.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Kelly Reinsmith-Jones (206 Rivers; 252-328-1450; reinsmithjonesk@ecu.edu)

Social work majors must pass all required social work courses with a minimum grade of C (2.0).

Minimum degree requirement is 120 s.h. of credit as follows:

1. General education requirements including those listed below - 40 s.h.

(For information about courses that carry general education credit see General Education Program.)

  • BIOL 1050 - General Biology
  • BIOL 1051 - General Biology Laboratory
  • BIOL 1060 - Environmental Biology
  • ECON 2113 - Principles of Microeconomics
  • MATH 1050 - Explorations in Mathematics or higher approved general education math course
  • POLS 1010 - National Government
  • PSYC 1000 - Introductory Psychology
2. Core - 57 s.h.
  • SOCW 1010 - Introduction to Social Welfare and Social Work
  • SOCW 2010 - Introduction to Social Work Practice with Special Populations
  • SOCW 3101 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment I
  • SOCW 3201 - Social Work Practice I
  • SOCW 3202 - Social Work Practice II
  • SOCW 3306 - Social Work Policy I
  • SOCW 3401 - Social Work Research
  • SOCW 3402 - Applied Research and Statistics in Social Work
  • SOCW 3501 - Writing for Social Work
  • SOCW 4102 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment II
  • SOCW 4203 - Social Work Practice III
  • SOCW 4306 - Social Work Policy II
  • SOCW 4980 - Pre-Field Capstone
  • SOCW 4990 - Field Education and Seminar
  • Choose 6 s.h. SOCW electives
3. Cognates - 15 s.h.
    Choose one from:
    • HIST 1051 - American History Since 1877
    • HIST 3031 - Economic History of the United States Since 1865
    • HIST 3240 - The Age of Franklin Roosevelt, 1919-1945
    • HIST 3245 - The United States Since 1945
    Choose two from:
    • PSYC 2777 - Ethnocultural Psychology
    • PSYC 3206 - Developmental Psychology
    • PSYC 3221 - Social Psychology
    • PSYC 3300 - Psychology of Personality
    • PSYC 3375 - Abnormal Psychology
    Choose two from:
    • GENS 2400 - Introduction to Gender Studies
    • SOCI 1010 - Race, Gender, Class
    • SOCI 2110 - Introduction to Sociology
    • SOCI 2111 - Modern Social Problems
    • SOCI 3289 - Community Organization
    • SOCI 4347 - Social Inequality
    • SOCI 4350 - Social Change
    • Students may submit a written request for the consideration of a cognate substitution to the program
4. General electives to complete requirements for graduation.

    Students will be encouraged to choose electives which will strengthen their total program.

    For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

    Careers With This Degree

    Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

    • Social Work
    • Counselors
    • Child Social Workers
    • Adult Social Workers
    • School Social Workers
    • Probation Officers
    • Correctional Treatment Specialists
    • Social Work Teachers, Postsecondary
    • Public Administration and Legal Services
    • Education and Training
    • Marriage and Family Therapists
    • Social Work

    Career Opportunities

    ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

    NC Tower

    This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

    • Self-employed;
    • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
    • Work outside of North Carolina.

    US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

    This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

    Degree-specific internships

    For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.