Social Welfare undergraduate major 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 following policies and procedures.
SOC WEL 97/197: Field Studies in Social Welfare
A student may propose an individual 97/197 or a group 97/197. These courses typically include community service, as well as meetings and academic assignments. Each section of a 97/197 field study course requires a written proposal that the sponsoring faculty member must sign and submit to the department chair for approval.
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 a faculty sponsor and written reports are usually required in order to receive unit credit for 97/197 Field Studies courses.
SOC WEL 97/197 proposals are due NO LATER THAN 6 weeks before the end of instruction in the semester previous to the semester the course will be offered. Current deadlines and links to proposal application forms are postedvon our Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare departmental website under the "Social Welfare Special Studies" tab.
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 Timesheet for Community Service 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 Field Studies 97/197 course. Similar to a DE-Cal course (see below), this is a course that students propose, which typically includes community service, as well as meetings and academic assignments. Each section of a Group Field Studies 97/197 course requires a written proposal that the sponsoring faculty member must sign and submit to the department chair for approval.
SOC WEL 98/198: Student-Facilitated (DeCal) Courses
SOC WEL 98/198 Directed Group Study courses, also known as "DeCal" courses, are facilitated by undergraduate students. Each section of a student-facilitated 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 semester previous to the semester the proposed course will be offered. Current deadlines and links to proposal application forms are posted on our Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare departmental website under the "Social Welfare Special Studies" tab.
DE-Cal Course Resources for Student Facilitators
- DE-Cal Program Office
- Special Studies 98/198 Resources for Students, Faculty & Departments
- Undergraduate Course Facilitator Training & Resources (UCFTR)
SOC WEL 98/198: Group Study for Advanced Undergraduates
Directed Group Study courses may also be developed and taught by faculty members. Faculty-led SOC WEL 98/198 courses are not considered DE-Cal courses, though they do require advance approval from the department in order to be scheduled and taught. Faculty wishing to propose and teach a SOC WEL 98/198 Group Studies course should contact the department (by email to email@example.com for instructions.
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./p>
SOC WEL 199 proposals are always due by the end of the first full week of instruction for the current semester.
Policies for All Social Welfare 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.
- 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, with the following exception: Students enrolled in an Independent Study course (199) may petition the College of Letters and Science 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.
How to Propose a Special Studies Course in Social Welfare
All Social Welfare Special Studies Courses must be pre-approved by following these procedures:
Step 1: Obtain the appropriate application form/packet
- SOC WEL 97/197 Field Studies Course Proposal [pdf]
- SOC WEL 98/198 Group Study/DeCal Course Application Packet [pdf]
- SOC WELL 199 Supervised Independent Study and Research Course Proposal Form [pdf]
Step 2: Arrange for a faculty sponsor
Students should approach faculty members with relevant topical research interests and expertise to solicit sponsorship. Please consult the Berkeley Social Welfare faculty directory to browse currently faculty members and scholarly interests.
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.
Also, please be aware that faculty members on sabbatical are generally not available to sponsor Special Studies courses.
Step 3: Submit course proposal and syllabus or lesson plan for faculty approval
Your Special Studies course proposal and application package must include a syllabus or lesson plan. The sponsoring faculty member must approve the syllabus or lesson plan and sign off on the appropriate Special Studies Course Application Form for the application to be considered complete. An application will not be considered complete without the faculty sponsor’s approval signature, and no incomplete applications will be considered for review
Step 4: Submit completed and faculty-signed application for departmental approval
Once you have secured sponsoring faculty member approval, submit the final faculty-signed application form, syllabus or lesson plan, and any required attachments to the Undergraduate Advising Office in 101 Haviland Hall.
An application will not be considered complete without the faculty sponsor's approval signature, and no late or incomplete applications will be considered for review. No application will be considered after the published deadline. Current deadlines and links to proposal application forms are posted on our Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare departmental website under the "Social Welfare Special Studies" tab.