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Social Work

Chair: Norma Phillips (Carman Hall, Room B18)

Department Faculty: Professor: Norma Phillips; Associate Professors: Graciela Castex, Sharon Freedberg, Patricia Kolb, Carl Mazza; Assistant Professors: Joy Greenberg, Jessica Kahn, Justine McGovern, Lydia Ogden, Evan Senreich, Mohan Krishna Vinjamuri, Bryan Warde, Brenda Williams-Gray; Lecturers: Jonathan Alex, Jermaine Monk, Manuel Muñoz.

The undergraduate program in Social Work, which leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Major in Social Work, prepares students for entry-level, generalist social work practice in urban social service agencies and organizations. The program fulfills the requirements of the New York State Education Department and is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Social work courses required for the Major are offered in both day and evening sections. Some courses may also be available on the weekend.

All Social Work majors must complete the 55 credits required for the major. Social Work cannot be taken as a minor. No credit for life experience will be given for any courses required for the Social Work Major.

The program in Social Work builds upon a liberal arts base and integrates knowledge from required study areas with the professional social work curriculum, specifically as it applies to an understanding of human behavior, human diversity, political and social systems, research-based practice, and the helping process. Senior students in the program complete a two-semester field placement (insert link) in which they spend two days a week in one of many community agencies that provide services to children, adults, families, and communities. Graduates of the program will have mastered the competencies of the profession and gained the knowledge, values, and skills essential for ethical, competent, and effective practice with diverse individuals, groups, communities, and organizations in the urban environment. Students will be prepared for beginning generalist social work practice in fields such as child and family welfare, gerontology, substance abuse, health, mental health, developmental disabilities, immigration, and homelessness.

Since the program is accredited, B.A. social work graduates interested in pursuing an M.S.W. degree may apply for advanced standing status in a graduate program in social work.

Career Preparation for Social Work Majors: The program in Social Work builds upon a liberal arts base and integrates knowledge from required study areas with the professional curriculum, particularly as it applies to an understanding of human behavior, human diversity, political and social systems, and the helping process. Senior students in the program complete a two-semester field placement in which they spend two days a week in one of many community agencies that provide services to children, adults, and families. Graduates of the program will have gained the knowledge, values, and skills of the core competencies of the social work profession essential for ethical, competent, and effective practice with diverse individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations in the urban environment. Graduates will be prepared for beginning generalist social work practice in such fields as child and family welfare, substance abuse, health, mental health, developmental disabilities, immigration, gerontology, income maintenance, and homelessness. The program does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience; all Social Work majors must complete the 55 credits in the basic program.

Admission to the Program

Applications to the Undergraduate Social Work Program are available in Carman Hall, Room B-18. Applications must be submitted to the Undergraduate Social Work Program, either by mail or in person, to the Undergraduate Social Work Coordinator, located in Carman Hall, Room B-18. This application is separate from the application to Lehman College.

Students may submit the application for admission to the Social Work program after completing the following requirements, or during the semester in which they are completing these requirements:

  • Minimum of 48 college credits
  • Introduction to Social Work (SWK 237)
  • Foundations of Sociology (SOC 166)
  • Minimum cumulative index of 2.7 
  • Application forms are available in the Social Work Department office, Carman Hall, Room B18 or may be downloaded. All students are encouraged to consult the Pre- and Corequisite Guide when planning their program. To discuss eligibility for admission and to plan your program, contact Catherine Cassidy, Undergraduate Social Work Program Coordinator, in Carman Hall, Room B-18, 718-960-6782.

The following information applies to Transfer students:

  • Students must be accepted to Lehman College before submitting their application to the Social Work Program.
  • The above requirements may be completed at Lehman College, or the equivalent courses may be completed at other colleges previously attended, if the credits are transferable.
  • All transcripts from colleges previously attended must be included with the social work application; student copies of transcripts are acceptable for this purpose. 
  • Transfer students with a cumulative index lower than 2.7 may apply to the Social Work Program after completing 12 credits at Lehman College and achieving a 2.7 cumulative index.

Program Retention Policies

In order to remain in the program, students are required to demonstrate professional behavior consistent with the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers.

A minimum grade of "C" is required to progress in the following courses:

  • from Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (SWK 305) to Human Behavior and the Social Environment II (SWK 306)
  • from Social Work Practice I (SWK 311) to Social Work Practice II (SWK 312)
  • from both SWK 306 and SWK 312 to Fieldwork Seminar I (SWK 440) and Fieldwork I (SWK 470,)
  • from Fieldwork Seminar I (SWK 440) and Fieldwork I (SWK 470,) to Fieldwork Seminar II (SWK 441) and Fieldwork II (SWK 471).

Students with a grade of "Incomplete" in any of these courses are not eligible to begin the continuation courses or any course for which that course is a co-requisite.

A student who does not achieve a minimum grade of at least "C" in any of the following courses: SWK 305, 306, 311, 312, 440, and 470, will be dropped from the Program. Students who are dropped from the Program may reapply when they have a GPA of 2.7. If readmitted, they may repeat any of these courses only once, in accordance with Lehman College policy.

Last modified: 3/11/2014