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School of Social Welfare

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Principal Course Distribution Requirement

Principal courses offer introductions to the breadth of disciplines in the College. They acquaint students with the subject matter in an area, with the types of questions that are asked about that subject matter, with the knowledge that has been developed and is now basic to the area, and with the methods and standards by which claims to truth are judged.

Students must complete courses in topical groups in three major divisions (humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences). For the B.A., three courses are required from each division, with no more than one course from any topical group. The B.G.S. requires two courses from each division, with no more than one from any topical group. To fulfill the requirement, a course must be designated as a principal course according to the codes listed below.

These are the major divisions, their topical subgroups, and the codes that identify them:


  • HT: Historical studies
  • HL: Literature and the arts
  • HR: Philosophy and religion

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • NB: Biological sciences
  • NE: Earth sciences
  • NM: Mathematical sciences
  • NP: Physical science

Social Sciences

  • SC: Culture and society
  • SI: Individual behavior
  • SF: Public affairs

No course may fulfill both a principal course distribution requirement and a non-Western culture or second-level mathematics course requirement. Laboratory science courses designated as principal courses may fulfill both the laboratory science requirement and one of the distribution requirements. No free-standing laboratory course may by itself fulfill either the laboratory science requirement or a principal course requirement. Students should begin taking principal courses early in their academic careers. An honors equivalent of a principal course may fulfill a principal course requirement.

View all approved principal course distribution courses »

Non-Western Culture Requirement

A non-Western culture course acquaints students with the culture, society, and values of a non-Western people, for example, from Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, or Africa. Students must complete one approved non-Western culture course.

One approved non-Western culture course is required. Occasionally courses with varying topics fulfill the non-Western culture course requirement. See the Schedule of Classes for details. These courses are coded NW.

View all approved non-Western culture courses »

Transfer and Earned Credit Course Codes

These codes are used to evaluate transfer credit and to determine which academic requirements a course meets.

  • H: Humanities
  • N: Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • S: Social Sciences
  • W: World Civilization and Culture
  • U: Undesignated Elective Credit (course does not satisfy distribution requirement)

All Social Welfare courses

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This course provides the opportunity for experimentation with innovative course content and unique learning strategies in accordance with guidelines established by faculty. Subjects offered as topics include Training for Diversity, Organizing in Underserved Communities, etc. LEC
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An introduction to the field of social welfare and its relationship to the social work profession, charged with carrying out its primary missions. Specific social welfare policies will be analyzed, particularly as those policies affect individuals and families in need. LEC
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An introductory course which focuses on assisting students to understand their own and others' sexual development and expression, as found in attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Physiological, psychological, and social/cultural aspects of human sexuality will be reviewed. The format of the course will include: lectures, discussion, value clarification exercises, and the use of explicit audio-visual materials. LEC
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Covers major stress-management techniques, helping others cope with stress, and promoting wellness. Concepts, theories, and models of stress, psychological basis for stress, relationship between personality and stress, family and social stress, job stress, dissatisfaction, and burnout are discussed. Enroll through Continuing Education. LEC
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Students learn the principles of organizing, developing, writing and revising documentation for different professional social work settings. Student will master basic writing skills and become proficient in several types of social work writing styles. LEC
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Students gain knowledge about the historical and current relationships between the definition of social problems, the development of social welfare policies, and the delivery of social services in urban settings. Students will learn to access current policies and practices as they impact local communities in the Kansas City area. LEC
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This course covers a variety of topics on a rotating basis and provides the opportunity for experimentation with innovated course content in accordance with guidelines established by faculty. These topics may include, but are not limited to, globalization and poverty, special topics in child welfare, mental health, juvenile justice, etc. LEC
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Individual and supervised readings in selected areas of social welfare. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and approval by dean's office. IND
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Introduces the basic concepts of social work practice including the focus and context of practice, the nature of a social work relationship; basic skills and techniques common to practice such as interviewing, engagement, information gathering, etc. Introduction to problem solving and social work roles. Prerequisite: SW 530, SW 540, and SW 555. LEC
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A study of theoretical frameworks for understanding human behavior. The theories include the developmental stages across the life cycle, abnormal behavior compared to normal, analysis of family and societal processes and their effects on the individual, and individual behavior in relation to social class, ethnicity, and cultural background. Junior social work classification required. LEC
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An analysis of community and organizational life with emphasis on human behavior dynamics. Systems operation and change are considered and related to social functioning, especially as it impinges on social welfare objectives. Junior social work classification required. LEC
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An examination of the basic concepts and principles of scientific inquiry as applied to the social work profession's quest for and utilization of knowledge. Positivistic and naturalistic methods of inquiry are covered. Other content includes conceptualization, operationalization, sample design, ethics, and culturally sensitive research practice. Junior social work classification required. LEC
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Focus is on applying material learned in SW 540 to the critique of empirical work in the social work arena and to the development of a proposal for a practice-based research project. Emphasis on assessing relevance of research to special populations. Content on the interpretation of graphs, tables, and statistical measures provided. Prerequisite: SW 540. LEC
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This course will provide the conceptual, theoretical and empirical knowledge base related to difference, oppression, social justice and empowerment. This knowledge is necessary for culturally competent social work practice in a multicultural society. Junior social work classification required. LEC
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This course covers a variety of topics on a rotating basis. These topics may include, but are not limited to, practice issues pertaining to child welfare, alcohol and other drug abuse, social work in health care settings, etc. Junior Social Work classification required. LEC
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Students are assigned to social service agencies that provide generalist practice opportunities under the supervision of a qualified field instructor. This provides students with the opportunity to apply and test social work knowledge, values, and skills within an approved practice setting in order to gain competency as beginning social workers. This course is taken for two semesters (fall-spring), with credit being given only after completion of the second semester. Enrollment in this course must be concurrent with enrollment in SW 610 and SW 612. FLD
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Focuses on learning and implementing the problem-solving and interaction models of practice to be applied to individuals, families, and small groups. Concurrent with SW 601, practicum; students bring issues with clients to class for discussion. Open only to BSW seniors. Prerequisite: SW 510. LEC
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Second of two-course sequence extends the work begun in SW 610. Examines interventive strategies applicable to practice with larger systems. Models of community organization and community development are presented. Concurrent with SW 601, practicum; students work on individualized, agency-related projects. Prerequisite: SW 610. LEC
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Conceptual models for the analysis of social welfare problems and policies are developed. The frameworks are applied to the problem of poverty and major policies and programs developed to cope with that problem. In addition the model is used to examine social welfare problems/needs being addressed in the students' practicum agencies. The focus throughout is on the understanding and application of analytic framework. Open only to BSW seniors. LEC
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The course builds on SW 620 using the conceptual models to examine a range of social welfare problems/needs, policies and programs. Emphasis is on advancing student's understanding and skills for using the analytic framework and building policy advocacy skills. Attention given to the role of social workers in the legislative process for shaping social welfare policies. Prerequisite: SW 620. LEC
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Seminar in the philosophy, values, and issues in contemporary social work and social welfare. Seminar will address areas such as conception of professional and professionalism, ethics and values, standards, licensing, and professional regulation, accountability and professional responsibility. Senior social work classification is required. LEC
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This course explores the theories and methods related to practice with children whose behavior is disruptive, oppositional, aggressive, or otherwise antisocial. Emphasis is placed on using protective and risk factors to design appropriate interventions. Open only to BSW seniors. LEC
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This course provides students with a beginning understanding of intimate partner violence including definitions, prevalence, theoretical frameworks, dynamics, and consequences for the individual, the family, the community and society. Students will develop skills required to assess, intervene, and prevent domestic violence cases. Open only to BSW seniors. LEC
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This course will offer BSW students a very basic understanding of concepts associated with social work practice with people who confront challenges with alcohol and other drugs. Students will learn about substance abuse problems currently prevalent, recognize behavior related to substance abuse disorders and applicability of generalist social work practice models in developing interventions. Open only to BSW seniors LEC
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This course will provide undergraduate social work students with a basic introduction to crisis intervention, including theoretical models, the evolution and use of crisis theory and the design of interventions across a broad range of crisis situations. Open only to BSW seniors. LEC
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Current topics supplementing general social work knowledge of professionals in the field. Subjects offered as topics include: Addictions and Professional Enabling, Dynamics of Change, Computer Skills for Social Services Budgeting, Short Term Social Work Interaction. LEC
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