About the Social Work Program

The Social Work Program at Mississippi State University Meridian Campus accreditation was reaffirmed by the Council on Social Work Education until 2021. The profession of social work, as the entry level professional degree, recognizes the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. The BSW graduate is prepared to address the diverse needs of individuals, families, small groups, communities, and organizations; to work with a wide range of systems and with appropriate supervision; and can practice effectively with individuals and collectives from diverse cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds to promote social, economic and environmental justice for their client systems.

The Social Work Program integrates a liberal arts perspective into the social work curriculum. This liberal arts perspective enhances the person-in-environment focus of Generalist Social Work practice. Mississippi State University-Meridian Campus, an Upper Division University, offers courses equivalent to the third and fourth years. The Social Work Program does accept course credit through transfer (up to 62 hours) from other accredited universities and colleges. The applicant must complete the fifty-six (56) semester hours of university/college work before applying for admission to Mississippi State University-Meridian Social Work Program. The Program Director reviews all course credit transfer hours.

General Admission Information

Admission into the Social Work Program is a mutual process. The student must have the desire, potential ability, and adequate preparation, and the faculty must approve the student for admission through an equitable and reasoned admission process. Admission into the program is a privilege extended to the student by the program faculty and the University.

The purpose of the admission criteria and academic guidelines is twofold: to allow the student the opportunity to examine her/his motivation and interest in social work as a career; and to assist faculty to assess the strengths and weaknesses of prospective students, so that appropriate advisement can occur early in the educational process.

Social Work: Is it for you?

In the final analysis, only you can really make the decision about whether social work is something you want to do and whether you have what it takes to be a social worker. The following questions can assist you in making a determination about social work as a major and personal profession. We recommend you speak with professional social workers in the community, students who are majoring in social work, and the social work faculty to discuss your interests and aptitudes.

1. Are you genuinely interested in all kinds of people?
Social workers are committed to helping people regardless of racial, economic, cultural, and other differences. Prejudice does not fit with the values of the profession.

2. Do you believe in human potential for growth and change?
It is important to have faith that everybody has some inner strength and that people can change, given the chance.

3. Do you have patience, perseverance, and the ability to follow through?
The social worker should be hard to discourage and always resourceful in seeking new ways to help clients.

4. Do you work well with people?
Social workers need to get along with clients, colleagues, and other professional workers. The ability to resolve conflicts constructively is essential for effective social work practice.

5. Are you interested in your own personal growth and well-being?
Social workers must be aware of themselves and their own struggles, so they do not become caught up in the client’s troubles. Social workers must be willing to know themselves and utilize appropriate self-care methods.

6. Are you interested in developing your problem-solving abilities?
An interest in what makes people act and react, in understanding daily world events, selecting key facts from data, and taking responsibility and making important decisions are important factors for social workers.

7. Are you interested in the bigger picture?
A social worker cares about the state of the nation and of the world, views each human need in its relationship to the whole community, and works for resources to meet these human needs.

8. Are you interested in using scientific methods to work with people?
A social worker bases his/her practice on established social work methods and uses scientific studies when possible.

What do I do with my degree?

Social Work is involvement with, and for, people. Social Workers help individuals, families, groups, and communities in dealing with relationships, solving problems, and coping with the many social and environmental concerns which affect and direct daily life. Social work is concerned with ensuring the responsiveness and effectiveness of the social institutions from which we seek resources. Social workers are concerned with the interaction between people and their social environment and institutions. Social workers are concerned with societal conditions in their efforts to improve the quality of life.

Social Work majors are prepared as entry-level generalist social workers and graduate with a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Mississippi State University-Meridian.

Our graduates are respected by the social services community and are sought to fill professional social work positions. And, our graduates are also prepared for further graduate studies.

Admission into the Program

Although students may enroll in social work as a major, there is a formal admission process into the social work program. To be eligible for admission to the social work program students must meet the following criteria:

1. Cumulative GPA of 2.0

2. Completion of the following liberal arts requirements:

  • English Composition I and II
  • College Algebra (with a grade of C or better)
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • American Government
  • General Psychology
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Principles of Economics
  • Fundamentals of Public Speech
  • Basic Computer Concepts & Applications
  • Social Work with At-Risk Populations

3. Completion of SW 2313 Introduction to Social Work (including 20 hours of service-learning experience) with a minimum grade of B.

4. Completion of the following social work courses with a minimum grade of C:

  • SW 3003 Social Work with At-Risk Populations
  • SW 2303 Social Welfare Policy I
  • SW 3013 Human Behavior in the Social Environment

5. Completion of an Application for Admission to the Social Work Program.

6. Students must submit three reference letters on provided forms.

7. Completion of a criminal history record information, child abuse/neglect and sex offender registry check.

8. Participate in a personal interview with the Social Work Program Admission Committee.