Bachelor of Social Work

Students who earn a BSW degree are trained as social work generalist practitioners. This means that they are provided with opportunities to acquire the knowledge, values, and skills required to intervene with individuals, families, organizations, and communities. They can work with clients of all ages and assist them in facing an array of life challenges.

Bachelor of Social Work

3+1 Accelerated Degree

3+1 = a mission to make a difference

Ever since Simmons became the nation's first institute of higher learning to offer training for clinical social workers in 1904, we've led the way in pioneering social work education. The 3+1 Program continues this tradition by offering an intensive yet rewarding opportunity for students who are motivated to complete their Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) and Master of Social Work (M.S.W) in four years.

As a 3+1 student, you'll benefit from all the advantages that our nationally regarded School of Social Work (SSW) has to offer: acclaimed faculty, alumni who are leaders in the field, and an ideal Boston location in the Fenway and Longwood Medical Area.

Combining stimulating coursework with over 500 hours of field learning, our new B.S.W. Program delivers a solid foundation for practice. Advancing to the M.S.W., you'll develop a specialization in clinical theory and practice, gaining immersive hands-on training through our renowned field education program. The SSW works with more than 300 exciting internship sites, ranging from schools and hospitals to government agencies and private organizations.

You'll head into the field prepared to practice - ready to take on urgent social issues and improve the lives of the people affected by them.

"The 3+1 Program offers the same rigorous experience as all our programs at the School of Social Work. Our goals for 3+1 students are that they receive a high-quality education that they're very proud of, that they feel well prepared and confident, that they know how to practice in an ethical manner, and that they get the job they want."

- Assistant Professor Denise Hildreth, M.S.W., Coordinator of the 3+1 Program at the Simmons School of Social Work


Who should apply?

The 3+1 Social Work Program is designed for highly motivated students who want to pursue a career in clinical social work. This Program is generally appropriate for new college students or for students with a limited number of transfer credits (15 or fewer). Current Simmons Freshmen may also apply to the 3+1 Program at the end of their first year (Spring).


What are my job prospects?

Very strong. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, social work employment is expected to increase through 2018. The aging baby boomer generation is driving the demand for gerontology social workers. Likewise, the need for social workers specializing in substance abuse and medical and public health is predicted to rise.


What are my career options?

An M.S.W. is an incredibly versatile degree that qualifies you for a wide variety of challenging and fulfilling clinical roles. Some possibilities include:

  • Addictions counselor
  • School social worker
  • Medical social worker
  • Emergency services worker
  • Outpatient mental health therapist
  • Policy analyst
  • Home-based child and family worker
  • Adoption social worker
  • Case manager
  • Housing advocate
  • Child welfare worker
  • Psychotherapist
  • Forensic social worker
  • Employee assistance social worker
  • Program evaluation coordinator
  • Family therapist and couples counselor
  • Program director
  • Department chief
  • Agency CEO

How does the curriculum work?

In keeping with accreditation standards set forth by the Council on Social Work Education and the New England Association of Schools & Colleges, students enrolled in the 3+1 BSW/MSW Program complete all of the same undergraduate and graduate course and field requirements of our traditional programs, but at an accelerated pace. Students choosing to pursue the 3+1 path will complete their undergraduate work in three years by taking five courses rather than four during some semesters and by completing four courses and the 100-hour field placement during the summer between their second and third years. Students in the 3+1 program may then apply for advanced standing at the MSW level at the end of three years. Provided they meet all requirements of the program, these students are eligible to earn their MSW in one additional year (3 semesters), allowing them to begin working and earning earlier.

Course Requirements

College Core Curriculum (20 credits)

  • FYS 101 College Seminar
  • FYS 102 College Writing I
  • FYS 103 College Writing II
  • Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement I (or elective if test out)
  • Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement II
  • Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement III

Modes of Inquiry Courses (24 credits)

  • Mode I:
  • Mode II:
  • Mode III: MATH 118 Introductory Statistics
  • Mode IV: BIO 102 Biology of Human Development or BIO 113 General Biology
  • Mode V: ECON 101 Macroeconomics
  • Mode VI:

Pre-Requisite to Social Work Major (4 credits)

  • SOCI 101 Principles of Sociology

Required BSW Courses (60 credits)

  • SW 101 Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare
  • SW 200 Social Welfare Policy
  • SW 251 Human Behavior in the Social Environment I
  • SW 252 Human Behavior in the Social Environment II
  • SW/SOCI 249 Inequality: Race, Class and Gender
  • SW 351 Social Work Practice I: Intro to Generalist Pract & Theory
  • SW 352 Social Work Practice II: Work with Individuals/Families (100 hour placement)
  • SW 353 Social Work Practice III: Groups
  • SW 354 Social Work Practice IV: Macro & Global SW
  • SW/SOCI 239 Introduction to Social Research
  • SW 370 Social Work Field Placement and Seminar I
  • SW 371 Social Work Field Placement and Seminar II
  • SW 390 Senior Seminar (ILR requirement)
  • 5 General Electives

MSW Advanced Standing Requirements (3 semesters)

  • SW 402 Technology Comps
  • SW 424 Advanced Clinical Practice
  • SW 569 Advanced Standing Seminar
  • SW 596 Field Education (Fall)
  • SW 414 Assessment and Diagnosis
  • SW 447 Field Education (Spring)
  • SW 509 Evaluation in Social Work Practice
  • SW 447 Field Education (Summer)
  • Social Action Elective
  • 2 Clinical Practice Electives
  • Open Elective

Here's an example of how it will flow from start to finish:

Year 1
Fall Term - FYS 101, FYS 102 & 3 additional courses Spring Term - 4 courses
FYS 101 - College Seminar FYS 103 - College Writing II
FYS 102 - College Writing I SOCI 101 - Principles of Sociology
SW 101 - Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare SW 200 Social Welfare Policy
Foreign Language Foreign Language, Mode or Elective
MATH Requirement, Mode or Elective
Year 2
Fall Term - 5 courses Spring Term - 5 courses
BIO 102 OR 113 Mode IV: Biology of Human Development OR General Biology ECON 101 - Mode V: Macroeconomics
SOCI 249 - Inequality: Race, Class and Gender MATH 118 - Mode III: Introductory Statistics
SOCI 239 - Introduction to Social Research Foreign Language
Foreign Language Mode
Mode or Elective Elective or any foundational courses not yet complete
Summer
Summer I Summer II
SW 251 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment I SW 252 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment II
SW 351 - Social Work Practice I SW 352 - Social Work Practice II: includes 100 hour field placement
Year 3
Fall Term - 4 courses Spring Term - 4 courses
SW 353 - Social Work Practice III SW 354 - Social Work Practice IV
SW 370 - Social Work Field Placement and Seminar I: integrative seminar & fall sr fld placemt SW 371 - Social Work Field Placement and Seminar II: integrative seminar & spring senior field placement
Elective SW 390 - Senior Seminar (also satisfies one College ILR requirement)
Any foundational courses not yet complete Any foundational courses not yet complete
Year 4
Fall Term Spring Term
SW 596 - Field Education SW 447 - Field Education
SW 424 - Advanced Clinical Practice SW 402 - Technology Comps
SW 569 - Advanced Standing Seminar SW 414 - Assessment and Diagnosis
SW 509 - Evaluation in Social Work Practice Social Action Elective
Summer
Summer I Summer II
SW 447 - Field Education Clinical Practice Elective
Clinical Practice Elective Open Elective

Who will advise me?

Assistant Professor and B.S.W. Program Director Denise Hildreth, M.S.W., LICSW, and Associate Professor of Practice and Field Education Director Allyson Livingstone, M.S.W., LICSW, will oversee the 3+1 Social Work Program.

Close mentorship is vital for 3+1 success. You'll work one on one with your advisor throughout the program to ensure your progress and meet your personal and professional goals.

To find out more about the program, contact Professor Hildreth at denise.hildreth@simmons.edu.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for my master's degree in the 3+1 Program?

Ideally, you will submit an application for the master's part of your program at the end of your freshman year or during your sophomore year. For the SSW program, you'll apply at the start of your third year.

If I start the 3+1 Program, am I locked into it?

No. You can choose another major or complete just one degree if you find 3+1 isn't a match for you. However, depending on your new major, you may need to decide by the first semester of your sophomore year in order to meet the academic requirements.

Can I opt into 3+1 as a sophomore?

Yes, but you will need to do so at the start of your sophomore year. Your ability to complete the program by your senior year will also depend on what courses you took your freshman year and/or your Advanced Placement credits. Contact the 3+1 advisor for your program to learn more.

Do I have to complete the program in four consecutive years?

That's the plan. The curriculum for each program is set up with a careful sequencing of courses. Although there is some flexibility built in, it's highly recommended that you follow the program as it's laid out. If you feel this may be a problem, talk to your 3+1 advisor.

Will I have time to work or do extracurricular activities?

Because the 3+1 Program doesn't "skip" requirements and can demand a workload of five courses per semester, the time commitment is significant. However, your schedule should be flexible enough to allow you to work and join extracurricular activities.

Do I need to live in Boston year-round to do this?

Because the program almost entirely takes place on the Simmons campus and in field sites in the community, it's likely you will need to be in Boston for the academic year and at least some summers. The 3+1 faculty advisors can direct you on how the schedule will work for your program.

Simmons's graduate programs are coed; can a male student participate in 3 + 1?

No. The 3 + 1 option is only available to students who enroll in our (all women) undergraduate program.

How much money do I save?

Depending on an individual's plan and progress, students may save significantly on both tuition and living expenses.

What if I leave the 3+1 Program after three years? Will I graduate with a bachelor degree as a junior?

Yes. If you complete all your academic requirements in three years, you will earn your bachelor degree.

Will 3+1 affect my financial aid?

No. You will apply for financial aid as you normally do.

How will employers view graduates of the 3+1 Program? Will I be as competitive?

Based on our extensive knowledge of the fields represented, the 3+1 Program will position graduates with an "edge" in the marketplace. You'll be seen as motivated, accomplished, and hard working.

And because the 3+1 Program doesn't cut corners - you complete the same requirements as traditional students but in a shorter amount of time - your credentials and experience will be competitive with other candidates'.

Can I really complete this in four years?

Yes! The strategic combination of course sequencing, complementary learning, and faculty mentoring make the 3+1 an appealing, feasible option. Finishing two degrees in four years will take organization and dedication. Yet in a competitive job market, we anticipate that you'll find the high-quality results and cost savings to be well worth it.

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