Bachelor of Philosophy Degree
In the spirit of intellectual curiosity envisioned by the Board of Trustees and the University Honors College when the Bachelor of Philosophy degree (B.Phil.) was created, this B.Phil in Social work creates the opportunity for social work majors to engage in research and scholarly work toward a more rigorous baccalaureate degree traditionally reserved for the graduate level. In combination with the University Honors College requirements it, “preserves an element of intellectual scope, ever the distinctive feature if American undergraduate education (A. Stewart).”
BASW Majors who meet the University Honors College (UHC) eligibility requirements and who are interested in pursuing a Bachelors of Philosophy Degree in Social Work (B.Phil. in Social Work) jointly offered between the UHC and the School of Social Work will make an appointment with the BASW Program Director to review criteria and process for the degree.
- The BASW student will be referred to the University Honors College website to become familiar with the Bachelor of Philosophy Degree requirements.
- The requirements to participate in the UHC are as follows:
- Maintain a 3.5 GPA or higher in BASW Major in the School of Social Work and a 3.5 GPA or higher overall at the University of Pittsburgh.
- Transfer students must have an incoming GPA of 3.5 or higher and maintain a 3.5 GPA in BASW Major course work offered through the Social Work as well as a 3.5 GPA or higher overall at the University of Pittsburgh.
- In unusual circumstances, a student who shows exceptional promise but does not meet the above requirements may be accepted to B.Phil. in Social Work candidacy as recommended by the BASW Program Director to the School of Social Work Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and determined by the UHC advising staff.
Based upon a BASW student’s area of interest, a School of Social Work thesis advisor will be assigned by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The BASW Program Director and the student’s advisor will meet with the student to draft a Program of Study/curriculum plan. It is recognized that it is unlikely a student will be able to complete the BASW degree requirements as well as complete the B.Phil. in Social Work degree requirements in the four full-time semesters allotted to the BASW degree as an upper division major. Therefore, prospective B.Phil. in Social Work students are cautioned to budget for up to an additional year of study.
- Assignment of an advisor is contingent upon faculty availability in the student’s area of interest and the willingness of the prospective advisor to serve.
- As per UHC policy there are both general degree requirements as well as special degree requirements for the B.Phil. in Social Work degree. For the prospective B.Phil. in Social Work student these include:
- Fulfill the BASW degree requirements with a 3.5 Social Work GPA or higher.
- Complete the social work general education requirements (also with a 3.5 GPA of higher)
- 24 credits in the social and behavioral sciences
- Minimum 3 credits in Africana Studies
- Minimum 3 credits in English Composition
- Minimum 3 credits in Human Biology
- Minimum 3 credits in Statistics
- Enroll in one course in each of the following areas, selecting one as an area of concentration with a minimum of 12 credits and grades corresponding to a 3.5 GPA or higher:
- Africana Studies
- Global Studies
- Political Science
- Urban Studies
- Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
In all of the above coursework, a prospective B.Phil. in Social Work student is encouraged to enroll in an UHC section of the course if available (Social Work and overall GPA requirements of the B.Phil. degree remain the same in these course sections.)
The prospective B.Phil. in Social Work student will make an appointment with the UHC advising staff regarding Honors College qualifications for degree candidacy.
The prospective B.Phil. in Social Work student will complete the BASW degree requirements listed above as well as complete “Special Degree Requirements”. These include:
- Completion of independent research culminating in the production of an original undergraduate thesis.
- The thesis will be completed under the tutelage of the faculty advisor who will guide the student in designing and implementing the research project as well as in writing the thesis.
- At least two terms prior to the B.Phil. in Social Work student’s expected date of graduation a synopsis of the proposed research (approved by the School of Social Work thesis advisor) will be submitted to the University Honors College.
- By the last term in residence, the student will: Submit a revised and completed thesis to their Faculty Advisor (for distribution to the Examining Committee) at least five weeks prior to the end of the term.
Defend their thesis to a faculty Examination Committee selected by the faculty advisor.
- Include a faculty member from outside the University of Pittsburgh as an invited member of the Examination Committee.
- Consist of a public presentation and discussion of the thesis project followed by a private oral examination conducted by the Examining Committee.
Recommendation from the Faculty Examination Committee for the awarding of the B.Phil. in Social Work degree will be made to the Dean of the Honors College, who, after certifying that all aspects of the BASW degree requirements as well as the B.Phil. Special Degree Requirements have been fulfilled, will make a recommendation to the UHC. The B.Phil. in Social Work degree will be conferred jointly by the School of Social Work and the UHC through the granting of a single Bachelor of Philosophy in Social Work diploma.