Western Kentucky University

WKU-O Undergraduate Programs


In this program, you will focus on the study of organized means of providing basic support services for vulnerable individuals and groups. You will learn about social welfare policy, case work planning, and social counseling and intervention strategies. This includes instruction in specific applications in areas such as child welfare and family services, probation, employment services and disability counseling. You will learn to help others, change damaging social conditions, and boost social and economic well being. The program focuses on developing an individual's understanding of differences in ethnicity, culture, race, and gender and on accepting and/or using these differences to create a better society.

Application to the Social Work department is required in addition to the university. Applications may be found on the WKU Social Work website or your WKU-O advisor can provide one for you. Admission for the WKU-O Social Work program is limited to fall only. Application deadline is May 1. For those students finishing prerequisites over summer term, applications are due August 1. Prerequisite requirements for this program include:

• ENG 101

• MAT 150

• BIO 113

• PSY 100 or PY 110

• SOC 101

• POL 101

• ECO 101

• HS 101

• HS 102

*These are course numbers for KCTCS courses. Please see advisor for equivalencies.

Characteristics associated with success in this major include a strong desire to help those in need. You should:

• have the ability to listen well and communicate clearly

• be creative and imaginative

• have compassion, and a respect and acceptance of others who are different from you

Licensing and certification requirements often include graduation from an institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education; therefore, be sure that the school you wish to attend has this certification. An internship in the field may increase your chances of finding a job after graduation. Further training may be required throughout your career.

Work Tasks and Settings

• Help people deal with problems through counseling or referrals to other services

• Help people who are homeless, unemployed, handicapped, abused, seriously ill, addicted, or in need

• Spot social problems and suggest ideas that can help make problems better

• May work in a certain field such as child welfare and family services, mental health, medical social work, or school social work

• Work for the government, the military, social service agencies, hospitals, nursing homes, mental health institutions, home health agencies, religious organizations, and departments of human resources, social services, mental health, housing, education, and jails

• Work with client files, reports, applications, policies, programs, regulations, and grants

Abilities needed:

• get along well with clients and co-workers

• enjoy working with all kinds of people

• be concerned for people and their problems

• be emotionally mature

• be sensitive to people and their feelings

• be reliable and resourceful

• inspire confidence in others

• work independently and handle responsibility



   WKU COURSES                                                                           KCTCS EQUIVALENT

 SWRK 101 Foundations of Human Services

 HS 101 

 SWRK 205 Intro to Social Work

 HS 102

 SWRK elective

 HS 103 (optional)

 SWRK elective

 HS 104 (optional)

 SWRK elective

 SWK 275 (optional)

 SWRK 330 Human Behavior in the Social Env.


 SWRK 331 Human Behavior in the Social Env. II            


 SWRK 344 Social Work Statistics & Data Analysis


 SWRK 345 Social Work Research Methods


 SWRK 375 Social Work Practice I


 SWRK 378 Social Work Practice II


 SWRK 379 Intro to SWRK Communication Skills


 SWRK 381 Social Work Practice III


 SWRK 395 Social Welfare Policy and Issues


 SWRK 480 Social Work Field Practicum


 SWRK 481 Social Work Field Seminar


 SWRK 482 Social Work Field Practicum II


 SWRK 483 Social Work Field Seminar II                              


* A grade of “C” or better is required in all SWRK courses.


Because of transferring credits and WKU-O course offerings, the length of time to finish this program differs for each student. It is important to meet with a WKU-O advisor as soon as possible. Bring an unofficial copy of transcripts from all previously attended colleges and/or universities. It is also important to determine your availability to take courses: part-time, full-time, summer term.

WKU-O Academic Requirements:

  • 120 college-level undergraduate semester hours including the following:

- 44 semester hours of General Education

- 42 semester hours of upper-division credit (300-400 level courses)

- 30 hours must be earned in residence (at WKU), at least 16 of which must be completed after the semester in which the student earned a cumulative total of at least 90 hours.

  • Students must earn a minimum of 54 semester hours with WKU to graduate with honors.
  • Students must apply for graduation upon the completion of 90 semester hours.
  • Students are to meet with an advisor each semester.
 Last Modified 8/6/13