Continuance in the Social Work Major

The criteria and procedures used for continuation in the major are based on the academic and professional requirements established by the University, the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics, and the Council on Social Work Education, the national accrediting body.

Social work is a diverse profession. As such, the Social Work Program (SWP) encourages majors from diverse populations and backgrounds (i.e., we honor diversity of characteristics such as sex, age, gender, ability, ethnic background, sexual orientation, and national origin). Students should begin the program no later than the fall semester of their junior year. However, students are encouraged to begin by their sophomore year.

To continue in the major and be eligible to apply for the practicum, students must meet academic standards (described in the section below) and consistently demonstrate standards of professional behavior that are assessed regularly by the social work faculty. A statement on expectations around professional behavior can be found in social work course syllabi and in the section below and include the following:

  1. Consistent, punctual attendance and participation in classes;
  2. Respectful, supportive interactions with others;
  3. Collegiality and collaboration;
  4. Self-awareness and responsiveness to feedback;
  5. Initiative and reliability;
  6. Compliance with professional requirements including the Code of Ethics;
  7. As much as possible, participation in UP's Student Association of Social Workers (SASW) and Oregon's chapter of the National Association of Social Works (NASW).

Information on both organizations is included in this handbook, and you can apply for NASW membership online. Our students regularly serve on Oregon NASW committees and the Board of Directors, and there are many leadership opportunities in both organizations.

Students who have difficulties meeting these standards will receive a letter from the Program Director outlining specific issues that need to be addressed. This process is explained in the next section.

Standards for Entering into the Senior Practicum and Continuation in the Program*

To be admitted into the senior year practicum and to remain in good standing with the SWP, students must meet the criteria outlined below. Students who do not meet the criteria must meet with their advisors to develop a plan to ensure successful advancement into the senior year and continuance in the program. Should a student fail to meet performance criteria, he or she may not be allowed to apply for the senior year practicum or may be dismissed from the SWP.

  1. The college policies and procedures for warning, probation, and severance (described in the University Bulletin) will be used for the following continuance requirement: A minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.0.
  2. A minimum GPA of 2.5 in all courses required for the major must be maintained.
  3. Compliance with the criteria set forth under the section "Termination for Cause".


Students have the right to appeal any SWP academic restriction by writing to the Program Director. The Director, in consultation with students' advisors and the faculty, will review all appeals. The Program's decisions may be appealed in writing to the Chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The decision of the Chair of the Department may be appealed in writing to the College Academic Review Committee.

Termination for Cause

The SWP may terminate students from the SWP for reasons other than unsatisfactory academic performance. Non-academic cause for removal of students may be for unprofessional conduct, unethical behavior, incompetence, or similar behavior exhibited by students. Reasons for removal from the program include but aren't limited to the following:

  1. Failure to abide by the NASW Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice, relevant agency
    policies or procedures, and/or UP policies or procedures;
  2. Violation of any of the principles or standards outlined in the NASW Code of Ethics;
  3. Attempt to harm oneself, others, or clients;
  4. Repeated tardiness and/or unexcused absences without notification to the instructors and/or noncompliance with any professional behavior standards;
  5. Lack of progress in correcting identified deficiencies and concerns as outlined in the Program Director's documentation;
  6. Impairment for any reason to the degree that it interferes with student's ability to satisfy learning goals and objectives.
  7. Specific termination policies for the practicum program are outlined in the practicum manual (available in the department office BC 135 and online)

* The policies described above are subject to change and/or revision.