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Special Studies Courses

Special Studies Courses

Undergraduate Social Welfare students may receive credit for supervised, individual or organized group independent study exploring social welfare topics not typically addressed in the existing curriculum, subject to the conditions and limitations outlined in the following policies and procedures.

Please be aware that for ALL Special Studies Courses:

  • Faculty are required to evaluate and approve a syllabus for any proposed Special Study course. Faculty members who sponsor any Special Studies Course will also maintain contact with student coordinators throughout the duration of  the semester for further oversight.
  • To arrange for a faculty sponsor: interested students should approach faculty members with relevant topical research interests and expertise to solicit sponsorship; consult the Berkeley Social Welfare faculty directory.  Anyone who has been approved to serve as instructor of record for a course (excluding graduate students) may sponsor a 97/197 or 98/198 course; only Berkeley Social Welfare ladder-rank faculty may sponsor a 199 Independent Study course. Please be aware that faculty members on sabbatical are generally not available to sponsor Special Studies courses.
  • Special Studies course student facilitators and participating students are responsible for confirming the accuracy of all enrollments prior to each semester’s published deadline for adding and dropping courses. The Department will not support late adds or drops if enrollment mistakes are not resolved by that deadline.
  • Special Studies Courses must be taken on a P/NP (Passed/Not Passed) grading option only. Exception: students enrolled in an Independent Study course (199) may petition the College of Letters and Science (L&S) to take the course on a letter grade basis.
  • No more than 16 units of Special Studies Courses may be used to satisfy requirements for the B.A. in Social Welfare degree.

SOC WEL 97/197: Field Studies in Social Welfare

Students may earn 1-3 units of credit for supervised experience relevant to specific aspects of social welfare in off-campus organizations. Regular individual meetings with faculty sponsor and written reports are usually required in order to receive unit credit for 97/197 Field Studies courses.

Independent Field Studies

SOC WEL 97/197 Section 1 is designated specifically for students who have already arranged a community-based service learning opportunity, and would like to receive credit for their involvement. Section 1 requires that students complete Page 1 of the SOC WEL 97/197 Proposal Form and get a signature from the sponsoring faculty member by the Friday of the FIRST week of instruction. Completed timesheets for community service hours are due by the Friday of the LAST week of instruction.

Group Field Studies

A student may also propose a group 97/197 Field Studies course. (The number 97 is reserved for lower-division, and 197 for upper-division). Similar to a DE-Cal, this is a course that students propose, which typically includes community service, as well as meetings and academic assignments. Each section of a 97/197 Field Studies course requires a written proposal that the sponsoring faculty member must sign and submit to the department chair for approval. 

SOC WEL 97/197 proposals are due NO LATER THAN 6 weeks before the end of instruction in the previous semester. No late applications are accepted under any circumstances, without exception. An application will not be considered complete without the faculty sponsor’s approval signature, and no incomplete applications will be considered for review. 
SPRING 2018 PROPOSAL DEADLINE: Friday, October 27th
FALL 2018 PROPOSAL DEADLINE: Friday, June 6, 2018

SOC WEL 98/198: Group Study in Social Welfare

Directed Group Study courses (SOC WEL 98/198; the number 98 is reserved for lower-division group study courses) may be designed and taught by faculty members, or may be facilitated by undergraduate students. Each section of a student-facilitated course (also known as a “DE-Cal” course) requires a written proposal that must be reviewed and approved by an instructor of record and the department chair, and then submitted to the Academic Senate Committee on Courses of Instruction (COCI) for review. 

SOC WEL 98/198 proposals are due NO LATER THAN 6 weeks before the end of instruction in the previous semester. No late applications are accepted under any circumstances, without exception. An application will not be considered complete without the faculty sponsor’s approval signature, and no incomplete applications will be considered for review.
SPRING 2018 PROPOSAL DEADLINE: Friday, October 27, 2017
FALL 2018 PROPOSAL DEADLINE: Friday, June 6, 2018

SOC WEL 199: Supervised Independent Study and Research

This course is for students seeking supervised independent study and research on a social welfare topic under the direction of a Berkeley Social Welfare faculty member. Each student enrolled in an Independent Study course (199) must have prior consent of the supervising instructor and submit a written proposal that specifies the nature of the study, the number of units to be credited (from 1 to 3), and the basis for grading. SOC WEL 199 proposals are always due by the first week of the current semester.

BASW Major Overview | BASW Degree Requirements | Declaring the BASW Major