School of Social Work
Cheri Carter, Ph.D., M.S.W., Assistant Professor, Undergraduate Program Director
Ritter Hall Annex 581
Bernie Newman, Ph.D., Chair
Ritter Hall Annex 505
1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6091
Mission and Goals
The School of Social Work (SSW) was established in 1969 to prepare individuals for professional practice and for positions of leadership in social work and in the broader human services arena. The distinctive mission of the school, rooted in humanistic and democratic values, is reflected in a broad and vigorous commitment to the elimination of human suffering and social injustice and to the promotion of human rights and social equality. Its educational programs are therefore centered on intervention strategies on behalf of those populations and persons who are underserved, victimized, or denied full access to social opportunities and resources. Poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination and disenfranchisement are priority concerns of the school, as are those social problems associated with life in the inner city.
The School of Social Work is dedicated to societal transformations to eliminate social, political, and economic injustices for poor and oppressed populations, and advance the quality of life for all through the following:
- Education emphasizing the discovery of knowledge and the use of critical inquiry and professional ethics to guide solution-seeking and action-taking to effect social change among professional social workers in front-line, supervisory, managerial, and other leadership positions.
- Research and scholarship to advance applied knowledge and generate evidence-based strategies to resolve problems occurring between people and their social environments at local, state, national, and global levels.
- Public service that aids the dissemination of knowledge and evidence-based strategies and that aids the responsiveness of the school to the needs of constituents through collaborations and partnerships with communities, agencies, and organizations.
B.S.W. Program Objectives
At the completion of the B.S.W. curriculum, students will demonstrate the ability to do the following:
- Apply strategies of social change and advocacy that help advance social, political, and economic justice.
- Use critical inquiry and scientific research methods, both qualitative and quantitative, to evaluate and advance one's own social work practice and that of the profession.
- Understand and work to eliminate the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination at all system levels.
- Practice with knowledge, skills, and respect with regard to age, class, color, culture, ethnicity, family structure, gender, language, marital status, national origin, physical and/or mental disabilities, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.
- Understand and adhere to the values, ethical standards and principles of the social work profession.
- Use knowledge of the social work profession’s history, concerns, and societal contributions to inform contemporary issues in practice.
- Practice with the skills and knowledge base of a culturally competent generalist social work practitioner at all system levels.
- Demonstrate professional use of self in their practice with effective communication skills, self-awareness, inclusion of supervision and consultation, and the creation of positive change within organizations and service delivery systems.
- Understand, analyze, influence, and formulate social policies.
- Critically apply theoretical frameworks, supported by empirical evidence, that offer insight into the development and behavior of individuals over the lifespan and the interactions among individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
The Bachelor of Social Work and the Master of Social Work programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. This attests to the educational quality of the curricula and to the qualifications of graduates to assume professional positions that legally require applicants to have these degrees.
Dean's List - Each fall and spring semester, those undergraduates who have met the credit hour and academic criteria for their school or college are placed on the Dean's List. See the Dean's List policy for specific GPA and credit-hour requirements.
Alpha Delta Mu National Social Work Honor Society - Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or above may apply for nomination to Alpha Delta Mu. Juniors and seniors are eligible for membership. Students should discuss this with their advisors.
Students at Temple University's School of Social Work are part of a diverse community. The school offers an opportunity to be in class with diverse students who have had different life experiences and who represent varied points of view. In addition to classroom learning, SSW offers a number of ways in which students can come together as a community.
SSW Student Collective
The main student organization at SSW is the SSW Student Collective. The collective is the organization of both undergraduate and graduate students matriculated in the SSW Program. The Student Collective sponsors activities each academic year of a social, educational, and professional nature. Student representatives, selected by the collective, sit on various school committees as voting members. The collective was formed to represent a unified student voice that incorporates all the diversity of the student body.
In addition to the SSW Student Collective, students can choose to participate in the following social work organizations at SSW. The activity level of these groups varies from year to year since their existence is dependent on students stepping forward and organizing meetings and events.
National Social Work Honor Society (Beta Rho Chapter, Alpha Delta Mu)
The purpose of this organization is to advance excellence in social work practice and to encourage, stimulate, and maintain scholarship of the individual members in all fields, particularly in social work. For current activities, see the bulletin board in the lobby on the fifth floor of Ritter Hall Annex.
For more information about SSW's alumni association, contact the General Alumni Association for names and numbers of current officers at 215-204-7521.
National Association of Social Workers, Philadelphia Division (NASW)
NASW is a professional organization that works on behalf of its members and the consumers they serve. Applications are available on the NASW bulletin board in the lobby on the fifth floor of Ritter Hall Annex.
Latino Social Work Organization (LSWO)
LSWO was founded in 1992 by a group of young social workers in Chicago. Temple students involved in LSWO have advocated for quality bilingual/bicultural services to Latinos and other oppressed communities.
Student Association of Black Social Workers (SABSW)
SABSW is a nonprofit organization created to serve African-American students and the community. The SABSW works towards unifying black social work students in the School of Social Work. The SABSW will also work with any student organization on campus or the immediate community to further the educational, political, academic, communal, and social plight of students at large.
Pride in Social Work (PSW)
PSW provides support, education, and advocacy for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students and their supporters. For additional information on Pride in Social Work at Temple University, contact Professor Bernie Newman at 215-204-1205.
Underground Railroad, Temple Depot (URR)
The URR works together with the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign focusing on direct actions, such as lobbying, advocacy, demonstrations, and support of grass-roots movements for social justice.
Student Contact Information
Students are asked to call the Office of Enrollment and Student Services (OESS) of the College of Public Health at 215-204-2602 or the below contacts with questions. For contact information in a specific department other than the School of Social Work, visit the web site at http://cph.temple.edu/.
Academic Program and Academic Advising
Cheri Carter, PhD, MSW
BSW Program Director
Tanya Sheldon, MS
Academic Advisor, SSW Undergraduate Program
Ritter Annex 550
Gradette Willis, M.S.W.
Associate Director for Advisement
Academic Policies & Regulations
Please see the Undergraduate Academic Policies. Students are responsible for complying with all university-wide academic policies that apply to their individual academic status. Additional and unique policies, or exceptions for the School of Social Work, appear below.
Social work majors are expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or above. Students are expected to attain grades of C- or above in each of the professional and professionally related courses. Students who obtain a D+ or below in any course in the social work major must repeat the course.
Collegial Warning will be issued to students whose GPA falls below 2.00 for one semester. Students should not register for more than 12 credits until they improve their GPA.
Collegial Probation: Students who fall below a 2.00 for their cumulative GPA will be placed on probation. They may register for no more than 12 credits for the next term, in order to optimize the chance of improving their GPA. If their GPA is still below a 2.00 after two semesters of academic probation, students are subject to being dropped from the Social Work program.
Being Dropped from the Program: If a student does not achieve a cumulative average of 2.00 or show evidence of substantive scholastic improvement after two semesters on collegial probation and a 12-credit roster, the student is subject to being dropped from the School of Social Work.
To re-enter the School of Social Work, students must complete a Re-Enrollment Request and send it to the fax number designated on the last page of the request. Applications of students seeking re-enrollment after an absence of one or more semesters, not including summers, will be reviewed by the Director of the B.S.W. Program. If the student is accepted for re-enrollment, his or her program for completion of degree requirements will be planned in accordance with those currently operative in the program. If courses were taken elsewhere, applicants are responsible for having official transcripts available when submitting the request form.
Transfer from Schools within the University
Students who are in good standing at Temple University may transfer to the School of Social Work at any point during their academic career. Before applying to transfer to Social Work, Temple students must attend a Change of Program session. These are explained on the College of Public Health website under Student Advising. Transfer applications will not be processed until the student attends the Change of Program session. Students will be notified of the decision regarding their request to change majors to Social Work in an e-mail from the university. A minimum GPA of 2.00 is required for admission.
Prior to transferring, students are encouraged to arrange to meet with both the original school advisor and the SSW advisor or BSW Program Director. Because of the professional requirements and the sequential nature of the curriculum, students are encouraged to enter the program as early as possible. Students must be majors in the social work program for a minimum of two years and a summer.
General Graduation Requirements
In order to receive a Bachelor of Social Work degree, a student must complete a minimum of 120 semester hours, which includes the University General Education (GenEd) curriculum, the College of Public Health Core course (HRPR 1001) and the School of Social Work curriculum. A potential graduate must also hold a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better (having received a C- or better in all social work courses) and meet any additional requirements, such as completion of a graduation application.
Military Science Courses
Undergraduate students in the School of Social Work may apply up to 12 credits of military science courses at the 3000 and 4000 levels in Aerospace Studies (Air Force ROTC), Military Science (Army ROTC), and Naval Science (Navy ROTC) towards their degree as free electives. These credits cannot count as Social Work credit towards the degree.
The College of Public Health has an extensive system of academic advising provided by professional and faculty advisors. In the School of Social Work, when students reach senior standing, they are assigned to faculty advisors who assist with mentoring as students progress in their professional training. Early and regular contact with the advisor can be extremely helpful. The advisor is a knowledgeable person with whom students may discuss issues of concern in relation to university regulations, course selection, and career paths.
Academic advisors are particularly important for social work majors. The Bachelor of Social Work curriculum is organized so that courses scheduled to be taken later in the program build on the knowledge and skill foundation provided in the liberal arts and social work courses taken earlier. For this reason, most social work courses designate successful completion (with a C- or better) of earlier courses as prerequisite to taking later courses. Additionally, SSW requires that three of the social work courses required in each semester of the senior year--the research course, the seminar in social work practice, and the field practicum--be taken concurrently. This program of study for BSW students has been carefully designed and approved by faculty. It is intended to provide students with a coherent, integrated, and high-quality learning experience.
Although students must assume primary responsibility for knowing the requirements for their degree and for acquiring information about their academic status, student advisors can help students if they have any questions. Academic advisors strive to avoid errors when advising students about their program requirements; however, schools and colleges cannot assume liability for errors in advising.
Transfer Students from Schools Outside of Temple
The Offices of Admissions and of the Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies are responsible for the university's relations with local community colleges and for oversight of curricular policies related to student transfer into Temple. These offices assist in the evaluation and re-evaluation of transfer courses for GenEd, major, and elective credits at Temple, and interpret university transfer policies for students, faculty members, and academic advisors. (See Undergraduate Admissions regarding transfer admissions.) Once accepted into the University, transfer students will be invited to an orientation session and encouraged subsequently to set up an appointment with a SSW academic advisor. Transfer students are expected to be majors in the program a minimum of two years and a summer in order to complete curricular requirements.
Laura A. Siminoff, Dean, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
Bernie Newman, Department Chair, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
Karin Eyrich-Garg, MSW Program Director, Ph.D., Washington University
Cheri Carter, Director, B.S.W. Program, Ph.D., University of Delaware
For information on faculty in the department of Social Work, please refer to the College of Public Health faculty page.