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Social Work

Major in the School of Social Work

Major Socialwork

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work is built on a liberal arts framework that includes courses in language, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, and the humanities.

Social work course content includes ethics, values, diversity and inclusion, at-risk populations, social and economic justice, human behavior and the social environment, research, social welfare policy, and social work intervention. It involves classroom study, practical field experience, and prepares generalist professional social work practitioners who are committed to social justice and human well-being.

Social work requires knowledge of human development and behavior; of social, economic, and cultural institutions; and of the interaction between them all. Social work students serve individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities by improving the way they function within their environment. Students also work to create social change in the larger world community. Those pursuing a BSW are trained in a number of areas including, but not limited to: assessment, interviewing, intake/referral, service planning, case management, crisis intervention, problem solving, program evaluation, community outreach, community organization, advocacy, research, and networking.

Graduates go on to careers in public and non-profit agencies, private businesses, hospitals, schools, nursing homes, police departments, courts, and in private practice.

Declaration Requirements


Prospective University of Texas at Austin students should visit UT Admissions to learn about the application process and how to declare a major.

How to Declare


Current UT undergraduates interested in transferring to the Steve Hicks School of Social Work must apply for internal transfer as a pre-major. Interested students must complete the online internal transfer application and meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of at least 24 hours of coursework in-residence (at UT Austin). Credit earned by exam, correspondence, or extension may not be counted toward this requirement
  • A cumulative in-residence grade point average of at least 2.25
  • If social work coursework has been completed prior to the application, a grade point average of at least 2.50 in those courses is required, and all social work courses must have been completed with a grade of C or higher

Students with over 90 semester hours completed are encouraged to pursue a master’s in social work instead. Applications are due on May 1 or December 1 of each year (or the following business day). Admission to the Steve Hicks School of Social Work through internal transfer is offered on a space-available basis to the students who are best qualified. Preference will be given to students who have completed SW 310.

Social Work pre-majors must complete certain pre-requisite courses before applying for admission to the BSW upper division course sequence ("the major"). For internal transfers, students must spend at least one semester as a pre-major before they can apply to the major. Visit the Social Work major admissions page to learn more about the process.

Interested students are highly encouraged to speak with the Undergraduate Program Coordinator to go over the degree plan and graduation timeline prior to submitting an application to internally transfer.

Required Courses


View social work degree requirements to learn about required courses. Students may also view course descriptions of current social work courses, look through the major's academic resources and handbooks, and learn about the field practicum.



The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree at the University of Texas at Austin prepares generalist professional social work practitioners. While there is some room to pick classes based on particular interest areas at the BSW level, most specialization occurs on the master's level when students may pick between the Clinical concentration or the Administration and Policy Practice (APP) concentration. BSW students are also required to complete a supervised internship (field practicum) at a social service agency in their final year.



Social work students are rumored to be the most passionate students on the UT Austin campus. Typical social work students are eager to learn, are committed to improving the greater community, are passionate about social justice and human well-being, and have a wide range of interests.


  • Strong commitment to social justice
  • Passionate about the well-being of people
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Active listening
  • Leadership abilities

Your major does not always determine your career path. Many graduates pursue careers outside their field, depending on their interests and experiences.


It’s not just your major that matters! Make yourself marketable by gaining a variety of experiences in college. Read a few inspiring stories by professionals whose experiences led to great careers.

Contact a Vick Center career counselor today to find out how you can turn your major into a career.