required courses

The curriculum provides the foundation for generalist social work practice in entry-level positions in a wide range of health and social welfare organizations. Please select Curriculum from the menu on the left to learn more about the structure of the BSW program.  

HWC 210  Introduction to Social Work
Introduces the student to the field of social work.  Provides an overview of the variety of settings in which social workers practice.  Describes the knowledge, values, and skills which social workers use in order to help individuals, families, groups, and communities.
1 credit, fall and spring semesters

HWC 300 Introduction to Fields of Practice
This course exposes students to various social service delivery systems. Field visits, reports, guest speakers, lectures, and small group discussion are included. Agencies such as youth development associations, public schools, criminal justice systems, mental health and health systems will be observed.  The social worker's role in such agencies, and identification and utilization of community resources are emphasized.
4 credits, spring semester 

HWC 301 Field Education I
Places students in settings conducive to generalist practice. Prepares students to fulfill social work roles and functions within the social welfare system. Supervision provided by an M.S.W. Students graded S/F. Must be taken concurrently with HWC 306.
Prerequisites: HWC 300 and 305
6 credits, fall semester

HWC 302  Field Education II
A continuation of HWC 301. Students will be graded S/F. Must be taken concurrently with HWC 307.
Prerequisites: HWC 300, 301, 305 and 306
6 credits, spring semester

HWC 304  Contemporary Social Justice 
This course explores the meaning of social justice and its presentation in our society. Examines the impact of social injustice and dis­cusses the individuals, organizations, and communities who fight to combat the presence of injustice. Provides an under­standing of social problems and the plight of populations who do not benefit from a socially just society. Analyzes effective methods utilized to eradicate the sources of oppression and organizational responses that address injustice and bring balance to the equitable experiences of individuals, groups, and communities.
3 credits, fall semester

HWC 305 Practice Processes in Social Work I
This course is the first of a three-semester sequence (HWC 305, 306, 307) designed to develop students’ values, knowledge and skill base in order to enable them to work as generalist practitioners in various social work areas of practice. This course focuses on beginning development of social work knowledge, values, and skills in engagement, assessment, and intervention across the spectrum of social work practice. Emphasis is on practice skills in problem/need identification and prioritization, data collection, strength based assessment, goal setting, selection and implementation of appropriate interventions, evaluation and endings.  It is organized around the values of respect for the dignity of others, appreciation of cultural differences and diverse lifestyles, belief in the right of self-determination, confidentiality and the right for the client(s) to participate in goal setting and the implementation of action. The course aim is to provide students with an understanding of 1) the ecological perspective in examining the situation; 2) the problem solving process utilized in social work intervention; 3) the strengths perspective in assessment, intervention and evaluation; 4) the ability to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions taking into account human diversity and services to historically oppressed and devalued people; and 5) how the policies of the agency facilitate or hinder the provision of needed services. It will also focus on a beginning development of professional self-assessment and identity.  Must be taken concurrently with HWC 300.
3 credits, spring semester

HWC 306 Practice Processes in Social Work II
The School of Social Welfare recognizes that the problems facing individuals with whom social workers are concerned evolve from the existence, nature and impact of oppression. This belief acknowledges that many human problems reflect the workings of social systems, which oppress members of specific groups in society. In this course, we will build on the knowledge, values and skills of the processes discussed in HWC 305. Students will further their knowledge of structural oppression and develop greater understanding of their roles as change agents and methods used across the micro-mezzo-macro levels of practice. Students will further develop their application of: 1) needs and strengths assessment; 2) problem identification and definition; 3) direction planning; 4) collaborative goal determination; 5) information gathering/investigation; 6) implementation; and 7) assessment and evaluation.   Must be taken concurrently with HWC 301 and HWC 315.
Prerequisites: HWC 300 and 305
3 credits, fall semester

HWC 307 Practice Processes in Social Work III
This course builds on the generalist foundation of social work practice courses, HWC 305 and HWC 306 and continues the development of the student’s professional identity for work in the various social welfare fields of practice. It will emphasize the generalist social work approach in working across the micro-mezzo-macro levels of practice, as well as explore the nature and application of a variety of interventive modalities. It will provide knowledge and skills in areas of generalist social work practice, within the framework of social work values, a strengths perspective and the School’s mission of empowerment, valuing diversity, overcoming oppression and striving for social justice.  Must be taken concurrently with HWC 302 and HWC 316.  Prerequisites:  HWC 301 and HWC 306.
3 credits, spring semester

HWC 308 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I
Introduces a framework for understanding how individuals and families grow, develop and change within their social envi­ronment. Interpersonal, intrapersonal and socio-­structural theories and their impact on special populations, especially groups that have been historically oppressed, devalued and alienated in society are critiqued.
3 credits, fall semester

HWC 309 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II
A continuation of HWC 308. This course emphasizes an understanding of the life course, the role of time, social events, trauma and the developmental process. Social institutions and their impact on people generally oppressed in society and the role of empowerment are examined.
Prerequisite: HWC 308
3 credits, spring semester

HWC 310 The Political Economy of Social Welfare
This course introduces a political economic framework for viewing social welfare in the United States. Basic political eco­nomic determinants of social problems, policies and programs are examined. This course focuses on the role of the state, conflict, power, class struc­ture and ideology as they relate to such problems as poverty, inequality, racism and sexism.
3 credits, fall semester

HWC 311 Social Welfare Policy, Services and Analysis
This course presents the history and basic concepts underlying the devel­opment of social welfare in the United States. Identification and interrelationships of social values and struc­tures, political factors and economic conditions in understand­ing the evolution of social welfare and the profession of social work are emphasized. Presents an analytical framework which enables stu­dents to examine social welfare policy according to a disci­plined, systematic process built upon the values of social justice and equality, empowerment and self-determination.
3 credits, fall semester

HWC 312 Social Welfare Policy and Institutional Oppression
Builds upon the foundation provided in HWC 311 and expands the student's understanding of the complex interrelationships characterizing American society which result in social injus­tice, inequality and oppression. Views the policies and pro­grams of the public welfare, health, mental health, housing and criminal justice systems through the lens of five basic sources of oppression in American society—racism, sexism, classism, ageism and heterosexism.
Prerequisite: HWC 311
3 credits, spring semester

HWC 313 Research in Social Work I
This course provides instruction in introductory concepts and methods of social research. Focuses on examining the various methods researchers use to collect data relevant to social work prac­tice, such as survey, experimental design, field research and unobtrusive design.
3 credits, fall semester

HWC 314 Research in Social Work II
Explicates data analytic procedures used in analyzing data relevant to social work practice. Examines basic descriptive statistics (e.g., frequencies and percentages, mean, median, mode, variance, standard deviation) and bivariate (e.g., Pearson's r, chi-square, t-test) as the major focus of the course.
Prerequisite: HWC 313
3 credits, spring semester

HWC 315 Integrating Seminar I
Provides an opportunity for the integration, within the frame­work of the mission of the school, of the knowledge, skills and professional values acquired and developed through course work and field education experience. Taken concurrently with 301 and 306.
3 credits, fall semester

HWC 316 Integrating Seminar II
Builds on HWC 315. Taken concurrently with 302 and 307.
Prerequisite: HWC 315
3 credits, spring semester

HWC 396 Community Learning and Professional Preparation I: Junior Year 
This 1-credit required course will provide foundational knowledge, values and skills to prepare the student as a social work professional.  Topics covered in this course include professional pathways, areas of practice, advocacy and communication skills, and other topics specific to the students’ social work education.  Attendance is required at two full-day events at the Stony Brook campus per academic year. Dates will be posted at the beginning of the Fall term. 

HWC 397: Community Learning and Professional Preparation II: Senior Year 
This 1-credit required course will provide foundational knowledge, values and skills to prepare the BSW Senior as a Social Work professional for entry to the job market and MSW degree programs.  Topics covered in this course include professional pathways, advocacy and communication skills, and other topics specific to the students’ social work education.  Attendance is required at two full-day events and designated workshops at the Stony Brook campus per academic year.  Dates will be posted at the beginning of the Fall term.

Elective Courses for BSW Seniors

All elective courses are three (3) credits each. Students must take 12 credits of social work electives during their Senior (U4) year prior to graduation (can be taken in any combination of summer, fall, winter, spring semesters of Senior (U4) year). This course listing includes a partial list of prospective course offerings. Courses are not offered every semester or even year. Please check the course registration/schedule of courses on SOLAR for current schedule information. 

HWC 317 Issues in Death and Dying; Loss and Separation
This course provides an overview of the knowledge, values, policy and skills underlying effective entry-level practice with dying and grieving clients. The interrelationship of psychological, interpersonal, family, institutional, community and cultural dynamics of dying and grieving are covered.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 321 Ethnic Sensitive Social Work Practice
Provides a theoretical framework and focuses on the develop­ment of skills necessary to provide effective culturally sensi­tive social work services to diverse individuals, families, groups and communities. The special problems faced by groups traditionally devalued and oppressed are examined.  Skills in working for institutional change and social justice are emphasized. Co-scheduled with HWC 521.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 323 Growing Old in America: The Social Conditions Policy and Practice Implications
Explores the social, political and economic conditions related to aging in this society. Identifies social policies and program formats that enhance wellness and support dependencies from a positive perspective. Co-scheduled with HWC 523.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 324 Children and Adolescents Who Grieve
Focuses on issues related to bereavement in children and young people. Children and adolescents who struggle with the crisis of loss is a special population that is often overlooked. Students explore the emotional response of young people who grieve. Mental health professionals that provide treatment to this population must acquire specialized knowledge and skills to assist in healing wounded children. Upon completion, stu­dents will have an increased understanding of the develop­mental implications of loss in childhood, assessment of bereavement, and treatment interventions specific to bereaved children and adolescents. Co-scheduled with HWC 524.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 325 Anger Management
This course presents an overview of concepts of anger management within holistical context. Students learn how to recognize external manifestations of anger in themselves, clients, organizations and communities. Anger man­agement strategies that can be taught to clients as part of an intervention plan will be introduced. Environmental and societal factors as "igniting events" of anger in individuals, families, groups and communities are examined.
Co-scheduled with HWC 525.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 326 Crisis Intervention: Opportunities for Change
This course provides theoretical and substantive content that will enable students to gain knowledge, understanding, and skill in relation to crisis intervention in social work practice. This course defines crisis, provides examples of the types of crises workers will face in various fields of practice, explores the role of the social worker, and the range of interventions needed in response to crisis situations. Co-scheduled with HWC 526.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 329 Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Human service workers are often required to discuss issues of health and healing. Many individuals, by virtue of their cul­ture, experiences and/or choice, often adhere to a combination of nontraditional and traditional beliefs regarding health care. This course familiarizes students with those methods and beliefs most often found in specific cultures. Students will develop an appreciation of each practice in order to interact with clients from a strengths perspective and will gain an international perspective on health care modalities. Co-scheduled with HWC 529.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 330 Case Management in Human Services
Case management has grown dramatically in the human serv­ice field over the last twenty years in response to the growing service needs of individuals and families facing complex life situations and issues. It examines both the macro level and micro level issues facing case managers and agencies as they provide quality services to often oppressed populations. Co-scheduled with HWC 530.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 340 Social Issues in Popular Culture
Movies have been a useful medium that can illustrate current social issues and family dynamics, as well as policy and research dilemmas. Each week, a film with a central prac­tice/research/policy issue provides the basis for a lecture and class discussion. Topics focus on a variety of social issues such as family dynamics, bereavement, adoption, domestic vio­lence, abuse, residential placement, policy and research. Co-scheduled with HWC 540.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 343 Working with Children of Alcoholics and Substance Abusers
Deals with children of alcoholic parents, how parents' illnesses affect the social, emotional and educational development of their children, and the survival roles children assume in order to live in troubled, alcoholic families. It emphasizes identifica­tion and intervention strategies with children who suffer from parental alcoholism when they are seen in settings other than home or social service agencies, such as school and youth programs.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 344 Overview of Substance Abuse
This course is an examination of the history and development of alcohol and substance abuse problems in the United States. It focuses on the etiology, psychopharmacology and legal ramifications of the use of licit and illicit substances in our culture. The course provides information on a variety of services available to drug abusers, addicted individuals and their families in the fields of preven­tion, education and treatment. Co-scheduled with HWC 544.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 349 Overview of Social Work with Special Populations
This course examines the issues that social workers must consider when working with traditionally disenfranchised populations. Emphasis will include micro and macro issues when interven­ing with gay and lesbian individuals, members of diverse racial and ethnic groups, and women, as well as others. The historic as well as contemporary experiences of these individ­uals' interactions with the health and human service delivery system will be explored. Co-scheduled with HWC 549.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 351 Law and Social Change
This course introduces students to the interrelationship of the legal process in the United States and the profession of social work. Focuses on the legal process in general, social welfare law, in particular, and the implications for effective social work prac­tice. Co-scheduled with HWC 551.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 361 Implications of Racism for Social Welfare
This course examines personal and institutional racism in the United States and the effect racism has on the delivery of services to individuals who do not fit the traditional "American model." It examines the historical relationship between racism and social welfare policies, programs and practice, as well as con­temporary strategies for change. Co-scheduled with HWC 561.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 362 Implications of Child Abuse and Maltreatment
Introduces child maltreatment via its history and how its recognition progressed to spur many to become advocates for the preven­tion of child abuse. Topics include identification, reporting and interviewing. Social and economic pressures on the family are examined.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 363 Homelessness, Politics and Public Health
This course analyzes homelessness as an issue of social policy, including its history, recent causes and current demographics. Emphasizes the political and economic context that has made homelessness a major social problem. Co-scheduled with HWC 563.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 364 The Impact of Sexual Assault
Introduction to the incidence and prevalence of childhood sex­ual abuse. Covered are definition issues, family dynamics, symptoms, assessment techniques, treatment modalities and strategies utilized with the survivor. Issues related to offend­ers and offender treatment are addressed, as well as ethical and legal dilemmas. Cultural dynamics in sexual abuse related to childhood sexual trauma will be emphasized. Students should develop an understanding and ability to critically ana­lyze current research.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 369 Youth and Violence
This course examines the etiology of youth at risk for violence, using eco­logical and interpersonal perspectives. Family, school and community risk factors are outlined as well as assessment, intervention and treatment issues. Successful prevention pro­grams are highlighted. Co-scheduled with HWC 541.
3 credits, year varies

HWC 375 Child Welfare: An Overview
This course covers the impact of historical and contemporary develop­ments within the field of child welfare. It  examines the evalua­tion of child welfare services and the role of child care workers. Examines out-of-home care, foster care, group home care and institutional care within the context of traditional public/voluntary structure of services and the social/political context. Services in relation to the changing roles of the family and emergence of child care are covered. Co-scheduled with HWC 575.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 379 Special Topics in Social Welfare
These courses examine significant timely issues confronting the profession. Topics include violence as a public health problem, issues of aging, racism, gender, AIDS, the media, and others. Topics vary each term as faculty develops specific modules that address one or more of these issues. Co-scheduled with HWC 579 when offered as an enrichment elective. 1-3 credits, semester varies

HWC 380 Overview of Family Violence
This course is an overview of the phenomenon of family violence in the United States including child abuse, intimate partner violence (IPV) and elder abuse. Incidence and prevalence regarding each form of family violence will be reviewed as well as etiology, current evidence-based treatment modalities and competing political ideologies.  Particular focus will be on the current research for each type of family violence and policy directives that emanate. This course also explores theories of etiology, including patriarchy, intergenerational family dynamics and substance abuse. It examines programmatic approaches and programs for batter­ers and prevention strategies.  Co-scheduled with HWC 580.
3 credits, semester varies

This course focuses on the central aspects of the HIV/AIDS Pandemic, including the state of medical knowledge, HIV/AIDS and the law, prejudice and discrimination, AIDS activism and organizing, grief/death/dying, psychosocial issues, redefining the medical model, homophobia, racism, sexism and ableism in research, treatment and policy, IV drug use, drug treatment and other related issues. Upon completion of this course, stu­dents will have met the educational requirements established by the HIV Primary Care Medicaid Provider Agreement. This requirement is needed to conduct HIV pre- and post-test counseling in hospitals and clinic settings. Co-scheduled with HWC 590.
3 credits, semester varies

HWC 395 Independent Study
Independent study with an individual faculty member.
1-3 credits, fall and spring semesters
HWC 399 Maintenance of Matriculation

For students who are maintaining matriculation while engag­ing in consultation with faculty regarding completion of courses. Students will be graded S/F.
1 credit, fall and spring semesters