School of Social Work

Julie Miller-Cribbs, Director
Anthony Natale, Assistant Director/Graduate Program Coordinator (Norman)
Lori Franklin, Graduate Coordinator (Tulsa)
Steven P. Wells, Undergraduate Program Coordinator

Norman Campus
700 Elm Avenue
Norman, OK 73019
Phone: (405)325-2821
Fax: (405) 325-4683

Tulsa Campus
4502 E. 41st Rm. 3J14
Tulsa, OK 74135
Phone: (918) 660-3385
Fax: 918-660-3383


General Information

Faculty Roster

Professors Davidson, Miller-Cribbs, Moxley, Rosenthal; Associate Professors Byers, Caselman, Franklin, Gray, Natale; Assistant Professors Corbett, Havig, McLeod, Miller, Villegas; Clinical Associate Professor Wells; Clinical Assistant Professors Brady, Bramble, Dothard Peterson, Massey, Munoz, Riley.

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Master of Social Work

Information on both undergraduate and graduate programs is included. However, the general information contained in this section mainly covers undergraduate study. For additional information on graduate programs, individual documents detailing each graduate program are available from the Graduate College and their Web site at This information is updated yearly and should be referred to for graduate program requirements. 

General Information

Social work education has been a part of the curriculum at the University of Oklahoma since 1916-17. A separate School of Social Work was established in 1935. The two-year graduate program was fully accredited in 1957 and has maintained continuous accreditation. The undergraduate degree program gained approval in 1970 and has been continuously accredited since the inception of undergraduate accreditation in 1974. Both programs continue to maintain full accredited status from the Council on Social Work Education. 

Social work is a profession devoted to positive social change and helping individuals, families, and groups to better resolve personal problems. The expansion of human service programs and areas of practice utilizing social work knowledge and skills has created a demand for professional social workers. Social work offers a challenging and exciting career for the individual who is motivated to help others and has a personal commitment to the advancement of social justice. 

The School prepares practitioners who will use an integrated combination of theories, conceptual knowledge, values, and skills to serve diverse client and community systems. The undergraduate program and the foundation requirements of the graduate program are based on a generalist model that emphasizes skills, knowledge, and values basic to all social work practice. In their final year of graduate study, students take one of two advanced concentrations: 1) Direct Practice (DP), or 2) Administration and Community Practice (ACP) offered at both campuses, Norman and Tulsa.

The curriculum recognizes the importance of moving students forward through approaches to mastery and competence that instills within students the necessary attitudes, motivation, knowledge, and skills required for sound practice. The curriculum prepares students for life-long learning within specific domains of their own choosing.  Each degree program anticipates student movement into particular domains formed by human need and social issues, social policies, systems of care, and particular organizations.

Programs for Academic Excellence

The mission of the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work was revised in December 2010 and is highlighted below.

The Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work advances relevant and high quality knowledge and values of social work practice useful in preparing competent social workers who can elevate the status of people, populations or communities that experience considerable vulnerability and injustice within Oklahoma and the broader society.

The mission statement reflects both the purpose and core values of the social work profession. The new international definition of social work, adopted by the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and endorsed by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) in 2000 that states ‘The social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilizing theories of human behavior and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work ( Similarly, the purpose of the social work profession as stated in the NASW Code of Ethics is to ‘enhance human well­being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. A historic and defining feature of social work is the profession’s focus on individual well­being in a social context and the well­being of society. Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living.

In conformance with these established definitions of the purpose of social work the mission of the School is to prepare our students to elevate the status of persons and their communities to address issues of vulnerability and injustice within the state and the broader society. Similarly, the mission focuses the beginning practitioner on the use of high-quality knowledge regarding human behavior and the larger social environment and the use of practice models that foster competence.  Imparting relevant and quality knowledge serves the values of service, competence and integrity. When beginning social work professionals have the best knowledge base on which to practice their competence can be expected to be high and the promise of service is enhanced.

The program has identified five goals that are derived from the program’s mission.

  • To graduate social work professionals who can work effectively with diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities;
  • To position social workers within critical areas of need, particularly at geographic, organizational, and system levels.
  • To increase the availability of social work professionals from historically oppressed groups and diverse backgrounds;
  • To advance pedagogical practice in order to diversify learning opportunities for social work students at the three levels of instruction (BA-SW, MSW, Continuing Professional Education)
  • To improve human service systems through:
  • scholarship, research, and evaluation
  • service and leadership to human service programs; and,
  • continuing education and training.

The School achieves its mission and goals by preparing professional social work practitioners who are committed to practice that includes services to the poor and oppressed, by improving and developing social service programs, and by promoting professionalism in social work.  To this end, the School offers two degree programs: an undergraduate major in social work leading to a Bachelor of Arts and a graduate program leading to a Master of Social Work.

The mission and goals of the School are consistent with the purposes of the social work profession, social work education, and the University of Oklahoma and recognizes the pivotal role of the school in the state given its considerable needs and the many issues it faces.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Scholarship and Financial Aid

The Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work is dedicated to helping students fund their education by providing opportunities for internal (within the University) as well as external (outside of the University) scholarships. For information on stipends, loans, and scholarships available to all OU students visit the Financial Aid webpage at

The School of Social Work provides a limited number of scholarships to qualified students in the Social Work program. Information about these scholarships will be sent out each spring via your OU email address or, for new students, in your acceptance packet. These scholarships typically require an application and an essay.

The school has a limited number of Graduate Assistant positions available that offer both a tuition waiver, a stipend, and health insurance. Information about these available positions will be distributed the same way as described above.

The Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program, "CWPEP": offers students the opportunity to make a commitment to serve Oklahoma families and children at risk of abuse and/or neglect. Students accepted will receive monthly stipends or payment is made for tuition, certain fees and required textbooks. More information can be found on the CWPEP page at

Leadership Educational in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Program, "LEND": a program designed to help students (concentration year only) pay for tuition and other expenses as well as train them in the field of children with disabilities and their families. LEND is a competitive interdisciplinary training course that students must apply for before entering. For more information can be found on the LEND page

Undergraduate Study

Undergraduate Study

The undergraduate social work program is designed to prepare social workers to assume entry-level professional roles in human and social service systems. In addition to the academic expectations, social work students are expected to demonstrate professional behavior which reflects a commitment to the ethics of the social work profession. 

The role of the social worker involves helping people from a variety of backgrounds and with a range of problems, so it is important that the social work student not permit personal issues to interfere with this role and that the student have the emotional and psychological resources to render effective assistance to those in need. 

Graduates of the baccalaureate program are eligible for membership in the National Association of Social Workers. They are also eligible to apply for advanced standing in the M.S.W. program at the University of Oklahoma or other graduate programs in social work. Following two years of supervised practice, they are eligible to apply for a license in the State of Oklahoma. 


Entry into the Social Work major is through a formal admission process. A student interested in pursuing the social work major is encouraged to contact the School no later than the fall semester of his/her sophomore year to explore the profession of social work. If interested, the next step is to declare oneself a Pre-Program Social Work Major with the College of Arts and Science advisement office. Next, after advisement from the School, the prospective student should apply for admission by February 1st of the semester in which he/she will accumulate 60 credit hours. The undergraduate social work curriculum is highly structured and requires no less than four semesters to complete all course requirements. No required courses are offered during the summer semester. 

Primary consideration for admission is given to applicants who meet the February 1st deadline, and who meet minimum criteria (2.50 Combined Retention GPA and above average references). A small number of applicants with a Combined Retention GPA between 2.25 and 2.49 may be admitted conditionally if other criteria are rated exceptional (references, admissions statement). A small number of students may be admitted on a space available basis during a secondary admissions period from February 1st to August 14th. Applicants will be considered during this period until all slots are granted. At the time of application, students should have completed or be enrolled in the program prerequisite courses and nearing completion of all General Education core courses. Admissions are limited to 40–45 students per academic year.

As part of the application process, students must include the following: 

  • An “Application for Admission”; 
  • Three letters of reference;
  • An admission statement; and 
  • A transcript current through the fall semester prior to the application period.

Failure to meet the application deadline or to follow the procedures will delay consideration for entry into the program.  All newly admitted students begin the program of study in the fall semester. Students are not permitted to enroll in any required social work courses (except Introduction to Social Work) prior to admission to the Program. Program prerequisites must be completed prior to the start of social work courses in the fall semester. 

Acceptance into the social work program is based upon an assessment of the student’s capability to achieve academic success, the possession of a value base consistent with professional social work values and ethics, the student’s interest in and commitment to the profession of social work, and the possession of personal characteristics which will enable the student to render effective assistance to those in need.


The undergraduate social work curriculum is highly structured and requires no less than four semesters to complete all course requirements. 

Students must earn a Combined Retention GPA of 2.50 to graduate with the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, with a grade of “C” or better in all social work courses. Additionally, students must earn a grade of “S” (satisfactory) in both practicum courses taken in the senior year.

The School of Social Work fully subscribes to and is guided by the NASW Code of Ethics. Social work program applicants and students are expected to demonstrate professional behavior which reflects a commitment to the ethics of the social work profession as exemplified in the Code of Ethics. Behavior and statements contrary to these ethical principles may result in denial admission or review of continuance in the School’s programs. Examples of behavior which warrant such denial or a review include, but are not limited to, derogatory oral and written statements towards other students, faculty, and/or persons from populations reflecting racial, ethnic, handicapped status, religious, socioeconomic, gender, and sexual orientation differences. Students are responsible for knowing and adhering to the NASW Code of Ethics. The most recent version can be read and downloaded from the internet through the national NASW Web site at

Additionally, the School publishes its own standards compatible with NASW in its Academic and Performance Policy (PDF).

The undergraduate social work program is built upon a strong liberal arts foundation that emphasizes a bio-psycho-social perspective. To assure that social work majors have been introduced to fundamental concepts within this perspective, the following prerequisites (or course content equivalents) are required before initial coursework begins in fall of the beginning of major coursework:

  • PSY 1113, Elements of Psychology 
  • SOC 1113, Introduction to Sociology 
  • BIOL 1005, Concepts in Biology; BIOL 1013, Introduction to Biology; or, BIOL 1114/1121, Introductory Zoology and Introductory Zoology Laboratory
  • S WK 2113, Introduction to Social Work (This course may be transferred from other institutions if a syllabus has already been approved. Currently, syllabi from Oklahoma City Community College and Rose State College are accepted without the need for review. Syllabi from other institutions must be submitted to the Undergraduate Program Director for approval.

Additionally, an introductory course in statistics must be taken BEFORE the beginning of research courses in the senior year. This is typically achieved through SWK 2223, Statistics for Social Work, offered in the second semester of the program (spring). However, students may meet this requirement with any approved statistics course (at OU PSY 2113, ECON 2843) with content similar to SWK 2223. Other than those listed, students must submit syllabi for approval. Also note that SWK 2223 meets General Education requirements for Core Area I mathematics.

Listed below are the required courses for Social Work majors and the order in which they will be taken. 

  • Junior Year FALL — S WK 3003, 3103, 3233, 3323 
  • Junior Year SPRING — S WK 2223(unless a substitute is offered) 3113, 3243, 3313 
  • Senior Year FALL — S WK 4083, 4103, 4311, 4315 
  • Senior Year SPRING — S WK 4093, 4325, 4331 

Students who have completed similar coursework from an accredited social work program may have those credit hours transferred. A copy of the previous course syllabus will be reviewed by the Undergraduate Program Coordinator for necessary action. The student is notified whether credit is approved. Students should provide these materials to their advisor as soon as possible.


Field education or “Practicum” is the cornerstone of social work education and allows social work students to put classroom learning into practice. The University of Oklahoma Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work (OUAHZSSW) works with well over 300 affiliated agencies and facilities across Oklahoma to offer social work students direct learning experiences with individuals, families, groups, and communities. Sites provide students with the structure, supervision and resources for appropriate learning. Field instructors, who are employees of the site, provide on-site social work field education and supervision. Regular and adjunct faculty assigned to the Practicum Program serve as liaison faculty and work with sites and instructors to insure high quality experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students. The concurrent practicum takes place over a two-semester period in conjunction with classroom study during the student’s senior year. Students are in their practicum placement approximately 20 hours each week and must complete 300 hours of practicum each semester, 600 total for both semesters. Practicum courses are graded on an S/U basis. For additional information on Field Education, go to “Frequently Asked Questions” on the School’s Field Education web site:

Graduate Study

Graduate Study


Social Work is a profession devoted to the enhancement of human well-being and to the alleviation of poverty and oppression. This is accomplished through the promotion, restoration, maintenance and enhancement of the social functioning of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. The expansion of human service programs and areas of practice that utilize social work knowledge and skills has created a demand for professional social workers. Social work offers a challenging and exciting career for the individual who is motivated to help others and has a personal commitment to the advancement of social justice. 

The Master of Social Work degree (MSW) is designed to prepare students for advanced professional practice within an organizational context. Two major professional roles predominate. The first of these is direct social work practice with individuals, families and groups. The second is focused on administration, planning, and community organization. In recognition of these two distinct areas of practice, the school offers two areas of advanced concentration: direct practice and administration and community practice. The MSW is offered in both Norman and OU-Tulsa in both full-time and part-time format.  The master’s degree program in social work requires 60 credit hours. The foundation is comprised of 30 credit hours and may be completed either through the on-campus full-time program or through the school’s program of part-time studies described below. The advanced curriculum is a full-time in-residence program, with full-time status defined as enrollment in not less than nine credit hours per semester. Advanced Standing status is available to students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in social work from an accredited program with the past five years and who meet additional criteria. 

The school prepares practitioners who are capable of using an integrated combination of knowledge, values, and skills in service to various client and community systems. The undergraduate and the foundation requirements of the graduate program are based on a generalist model emphasizing skills, knowledge and values basic to all social work practice. The candidacy year of graduate study is organized into two graduate concentrations: direct practice and administration and community practice.


Admission to the Master of Social Work program is to either the 60 credit-hour program or to the Advanced Standing (33 credit hour) program. Advanced Standing is available only to the applicants who have completed a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited baccalaureate degree program in social work within the past five years.

Admission Criteria

Applicants for admission to the graduate program in social work must meet the following requirements: 

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. The applicant’s course of study must include liberal arts content which is broadly defined as coursework in the natural and social sciences, and in the arts and humanities. Though not a formal admission requirement, an introductory (undergraduate or graduate) course in statistics is a prerequisite course requirement for S WK 5083, Research Methods I. Students in the full-time (60-hour) program take research and, thus, must complete statistics prior to beginning their graduate program. The precise scheduling of research varies for students in the part-time (60-hour) programs in Norman and Tulsa, but it is typically offered in the first year. Students in these programs are strongly advised to complete statistics prior to beginning their program. (Students in the Advanced Standing (33-hour) program do not take S WK 5083, so the statistics requirement does not apply to them). 
  • Meet all the general admission requirements of the Graduate College. The Graduate College reviews all previous coursework as listed on the applicant’s official transcripts which are submitted to the University of Oklahoma’s Office of Admissions. The Graduate College requires that all students admitted to graduate programs on non-provisional (non-conditional) basis have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above. The Graduate College calculates the GPA based on the last degree confirming transcript. Any applicant who has received a master’s degree at an accredited college or university will have the GPA based on the graduate coursework. Students whose GPA is between 2.75 and 2.99 may be considered for a conditional status admission by the Graduate College and the School of Social Work. Students admitted on a conditional basis must meet requirements specified by the Graduate College and the School. These requirements will be specified at the time of admission. Applicants with a GPA of 2.50 who have worked extensively in the social work field may be considered for Alternative Admission.

In addition to making formal application for admission through the Office of Admissions, each applicant must also submit the following items to the School of Social Work: 

  • School of Social Work Application
  • Admission statement. 
  • Three letters of reference. 
  • Resume
  • Waiver
  • Director’s Checklist (for Advanced Standing applicants only)

If English is not their primary language, international students must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and submit their score to the Graduate College. Preference in admission decisions is given to those applications for which all materials are received by the school by February 1 (by the first working day thereafter should February 1 fall on a weekend). Applicants are encouraged to apply well ahead of the deadline.


All students must complete the degree requirements within a five calendar year period from the time of first admission. A student who has successfully completed the first year or any part of the program in the school and withdraws for any reason must reapply to the Office of Admissions of the University and to the school. The student is subject to the regulations applicable during his/her first term of enrollment so long as continuous enrollments are maintained. A student who interrupts enrollment for one year or more and is readmitted will then be subject to the regulations in effect at the time of readmission. If readmitted to the program, all previous required coursework must have been completed within the five calendar-year period or the coursework must be retaken. The five year requirement also applies to Advanced Standing students. 


The school will accept up to six hours of credit from another college or university or up to a full first year from a school of social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (for coursework consistent with the School’s first-year curriculum). This action is contingent upon the approval of the Director of the School and the Dean of the Graduate College.