Sep 26, 2023  
2021/2022 University Catalog 
2021/2022 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work, Specialization in Environmental Social Work and Community Engagement, B.A. in Liberal Arts and Sciences

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(SIMS Code: 558214)

Community organizing, eco-social work, sustainability, and sustainable development are emerging areas of practice for social workers. This specialization prepares students for macro practice work in communities with a focus on the environment, environmental justice, and the utilization of resources.

To be admitted to the specialization in environmental social work and community engagement, students must be a declared social work major, have an overall GPA of 3.0 or better, and submit an approved application to the undergraduate coordinator.

All candidates for a degree in liberal arts and sciences must complete the graduation requirements listed in the section of this catalog entitled “Graduation Requirements .” No more than 50 units in social work courses can apply to the degree. 

A minor is not required with this major.

Preparation for the Major

(21-23 units)

These prerequisite courses may not be taken Cr/NC. The minimum grade in each class is C (2.0) or better. Complete all courses in preparation for the major with a minimum GPA of 2.50.

Language Requirement

Competency (successfully completing the third college semester or fifth college quarter) is required in one language other than English to fulfill the graduation requirement. Refer to section of catalog on “Graduation Requirements .”

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

Passing the Writing Placement Assessment with a score of 10 or completing one of the approved upper division writing courses (W) with a grade of C (2.0) or better. See “Graduation Requirements ” section for a complete listing of requirements.

International Experience

All social work majors are required to participate in a pre-approved international experience to increase awareness of cross-cultural issues, global health, economic, political, cultural, social services, and health challenges experienced by local populations in international environments. Students participate in residence for two or more weeks (exemption from the study abroad portion of the requirement must be approved by the dean of the college based on serious and compelling life events or physical limitations; a relevant course will be substituted). Specific details can be found on the college website at

To meet the international experience requirement, majors must complete one of the following:

  1. A CSU Study Abroad Program;
  2. An SDSU Exchange Program;
  3. An SDSU Study Abroad Program;
  4. An SDSU Study Travel Program; 

Requirements for Specialization

Students in this specialization will also be assigned to a community-based agency involved in environmental work for their social work field practicum in the major.

A minimum of nine units in lieu of social work electives.

Time Limitation

All social work courses taken for the major must have been taken and completed within seven years of the granting of the undergraduate degree. Courses taken prior to the seven year rule must be repeated. This policy applies to courses taken at SDSU or transferred from another four-year college or university or appropriate courses from a community college. No exceptions will be made to this policy.

Life Experience

No social work premajor or major courses can be waived or credit given towards the undergraduate degree for life experience including but not limited to employment, time spent in the military, training or workshops or volunteer experiences.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit students may transfer 15 nonsocial work courses in the premajor and six units of SWORK 110  and SWORK 120  from a California community college or four year institution with a signed articulation agreement with SDSU. Students from outside the state must have transcripts evaluated to determine if their courses meet SDSU criteria to be accepted for the premajor. The 44 units in the major can only be transferred from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited or candidacy status social work undergraduate program.

Prescribed Course Sequence

Students must complete all 300-level social work courses (21 units) before they will be allowed to enroll in SWORK 483A  and SWORK 489A . There is no required order of the 300-level courses with the exception that SWORK 382  must be taken prior to SWORK 381 .

Field Practicum

All students must enroll in field practicum. This is a 16-hour per week internship at a School of Social Work arranged and supervised social work community agency (students are not permitted to locate their own agencies). Students begin field practicum during the fall semester only and must concurrently enroll in SWORK 483A  and SWORK 489A . The continuation of field practicum is offered in spring semester only when students must concurrently enroll in SWORK 483B  and SWORK 489B . These courses are sequential and students must complete both “A” courses before going on to the two “B” courses. During the spring semester, preceding enrollment in field practicum, students attend a field orientation meeting. Specific date and time of the orientation is posted on the field bulletin board outside Hepner Hall 119 and announced in class. In addition, students should read the appropriate section in the current student handbook. The section outlines all requirements and processes the student is expected to follow. The coordinator of field instruction evaluates each application to determine whether the student has met all requirements for admission to field practicum (Social Work GPA of 2.00 and senior status) and assigns the student to an agency for internship. Students who do not file a field application by the deadline date will not be able to enter field practicum. Specific times and days of field practicum are arranged between the student and the assigned agency, but most agencies require daytime availability. Evening and weekend placements are not available. Students should arrange their schedules appropriately to meet these criteria.

Specialization in Environmental Social Work and Community Engagement

Requirements for Specialization

Students in this specialization will also be assigned to a community-based agency involved in environmental work for their social work field practicum in the major.

A minimum of nine units in lieu of social work electives.

Student Handbook

The School of Social Work has a student handbook for undergraduate majors. The handbook contains policies and procedures not specified in the catalog in addition to information to aid students in completing the social work major. Student handbooks are available online at the school’s website.

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