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Department of Social Work

Web: Department of Social Work
School of Education, Business, and Human Services

Dr. David Barclay, Chair
Hall Memorial Building, Room S335

The purpose of the social work major is to provide professional education and training to prepare graduates for employment as entry-level generalist social work practitioners. Students in the major acquire generalist social work practice knowledge and skills for work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. An important aspect of the social work major is its emphasis on application of knowledge, theory, and skills during internships in community programs and agencies. The Social Work Department develops internships that are designed to be responsive to students interests, abilities, and educational needs. The Gallaudet social work major also prepares students for admission to graduate school in social work and related human service fields. The undergraduate program in social work has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1976. The social work sequence consists of 47 credits in the major, which includes coursework and field practicum (internships). Prior to the major, students take supporting courses in sociology, psychology, economics, biology, and American government. The field practicum requirement consists of a two-semester internship in the senior year in a selected agency under professional social work supervision.

The Phi Alpha Pi National Honor Society in Social Work 
Mu Pi Chapter

Gallaudet University became a charter member of this national honor society in social work in 2005, with the initiation of 10 undergraduate students. In 2006 the first group of MSW students was initiated into membership. The Gallaudet University chapter is named Mu Pi. Undergraduate social work majors must have a 3.5 cumulative GPA and recommended by the faculty into the honor society; MSW students much achieve a 3.7 GPA after their first full time semester of required social work courses. The history of a national honor society for social work students began in the 1960's at the University of Michigan. Now over 360 chapters of Phi Alpha have been established. The national office is located at East Tennessee State University. Phi Alpha's slogan is "Through Knowledge--the Challenge to Serve." Membership into Mu Pi recognizes students for their academic excellence, contributions to the social work program and adherence to an ethic of service, social change and social justice. Members of Mu Pi at Gallaudet University demonstrate a commitment to social work values and ethics and improving the lives of individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations, and society at large, with a special commitment to deaf and hard of hearing people. Mu Pi members believe in the ideal of service and "giving back to the community" and have become involved in several service learning projects. They have raised funds for deaf tsunami victims in Sri Lanka, for victims of Hurricane Katrina, and participated in fund raising efforts for such local organizations as Deaf REACH, Washington Urban League, and Deaf Abused Women's Network (DAWN). Recently, they have volunteered to build homes with Habitat for Humanity and plan to continue in partnership with DC Habitat.

Declaring a Major

Requirements for Admission to a Major in Social Work

  • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00
  • Two letters of reference that provide information about the applicant's character, maturity, stability, achievements, interactional skills and special qualities that would make the applicant a good candidate for social work. The letters may be from teachers, employers, academic advisors, or other professionals.
  • An admissions essay that is 1-2 pages in length. The essay should address the following:
    • the reason for selecting social work as a major,
    • career goals,
    • personal assets,
    • the contribution that will be made to the Social Work Program,
    • the contribution that will be made to the profession of social work, and 6) a discussion of a plan to meet the Program's requirements.
  • Meet with the BA Program Director.
  • Most recent copy of your transcript.
  • Completion of the admissions application located in the Appendix I.

Each applicant is evaluated based on the strengths of the letters of recommendation, and the merits of the admissions essay. Individuals who are accepted into the social work major must sign the Student Code of Conduct Contract (Handbook Appendix II) and the University's Major Declaration Form. They are also given a Student Handbook, the NASW Code of Ethics and other printed material from NASW that offers information related to careers in social work, and assigned an academic advisor. If admission to the social work major is denied, a letter providing the reasons is written by the BA Program Director and given to the applicant. Deadlines for submission of one letter of recommendation, an unofficial transcript, a one page essay and the completed admissions application are from September to November for admission in the Winter term; or February to April for admission in the Fall term.  All of the admission materials must be received by the stated deadlines in order to be considered for acceptance to the social work program.

Undergraduate Majors and Minors offered:

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