2018-19
Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

Social Work (SW)

Social Work

685 Baldy Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1050
Ph: 716-645-1269
F: 716-645-3456
W: socialwork.buffalo.edu
Kathleen A. Kost, MA, MSSW, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Undergraduate Studies Coordinator

The Learning Environment

In our teaching, research and service, we strive to:

  • Educate future social workers who will lead the profession regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • Facilitate critical inquiry into and analysis of the causes and consequences of social problems and injustice.
  • Produce innovative, theoretically-based and empirically-sound means of alleviating and rectifying such problems and injustices through policy and practice.
  • Provide professional leadership in resolving critical social, economic and political challenges.
  • Be responsive and responsible members of our university, regional, national and global communities.
  • Honor the inherent dignity, rights and strengths of all individuals, families and communities.

About Our Facilities

The School of Social work is located in 685 Baldy Hall. The department holds classes in centrally scheduled space throughout the campus, which includes traditional classes and lecture halls that can accommodate the program’s teaching philosophies.

About Our Faculty

Our faculty are a diverse community of scholars, teachers and activists for change with interests that span the globe from India to Canada, from Pakistan to Korea, from the United States to the United Kingdom. We share a common passion for community-university partnerships in research and practice.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit the School of Social Work website for additional information about our faculty.

SW Courses


  • SW 101LEC The Social Context and Human Biology
    Lecture

    This course will provide a foundational understanding of human biology with emphasis on the biological bases of behaviors and issues of concern to social workers. This course is designed to meet the human biology prerequisites for Masters in Social Work students, and will cover the basics of human biology including anatomical systems and structures, development from conception through aging and death; genetics, evolution, and biological and environmental interactions. The focus of the course is not only on biology but also on the critical analysis of the interplay between human biology and social issues. Discussions will cover the biological bases of phenomena including but not limited to addictions, mental illness, sexuality, and aggression. Emphasis throughout the course also will be placed on biological processes related to trauma and stress.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
  • SW 110LEC Lights! Camera! Games, Art and Action!
    Lecture

    This "hands-on" interactive course encourages students to use movies, music, toys, games and art materials to help children, youth and families in schools, child welfare, health and community based settings. This course will expose students interested in the helping professions to knowledge and techniques of joining, reflective listening, empathy, and empowerment using a strengths-based, problem-solving framework.

    Credits: 1
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Winter
  • SW 115LEC Mental Health in Popular Culture and Media
    Lecture

    The purpose of this course is to critically examine how individuals with mental health disorders and their families are portrayed in, and often stigmatized by popular culture and diverse forms of media, including broadcast, various film genres, video games, print media, and social media. Students will also explore how media can be used to reduce the stigmatization and marginalization of people with mental health disorders.

    Credits: 2
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Winter
  • SW 120LEC Who Do You Think You Are?
    Lecture

    Have you ever wondered why you think the way you do? Have you ever wondered why you immediately connect, or not, with certain people? Have you ever thought about how this will impact your future in regards to both your personal friendships and professional relationships? This class will assist you in beginning the journey of understanding how it is you came to be who you are and how you came to think the way you do by examining the impact that your family has had and continues to have on you.

    Credits: 2
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Winter
  • SW 140LEC Organizing and Advocacy
    Lecture

    This course focuses on the nuts and bolts of organizing and the strategies that inform advocacy with an emphasis on the roles social capital has on networking effectively across groups and systems to catalyze and agitate for change. Students will examine relevant policies and learn how to identify and map the distribution of power they promote particularly as they influence access to services and support in neighborhoods and communities. With an understanding of power and its impact on community capacity building, students will explore and engage in opportunities to apply cross-cultural communication in traditional media and public speaking.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Spring
  • SW 150LEC Social Media in Social Change
    Lecture

    The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with social media and social networking as they influence community change. Specifically, students will be introduced to the fundamental terms and concepts of social media and networking, including various interfaces, tools, and platforms that may be leveraged to promote community change and development. Students will also explore existing scholarship and best practices, as well as issues of social justice, burdens of adversity, social disadvantage, and human rights as they apply to the democratization of technology. Students will examine the challenges, opportunities, and future applications of social media and networking related to community change.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Spring
  • SW 198SEM UB Seminar
    Seminar

    The one credit UB Seminar is focused on a big idea or challenging issue to engage students with questions of significance in a field of study and, ultimately, to connect their studies with issues of consequence in the wider world. Essential to the UB Curriculum, the Seminar helps transition to UB through an early connection to UB faculty and the undergraduate experience at a comprehensive, research university. This course is equivalent to any 198 offered in any subject. This course is a controlled enrollment (impacted) course. Students who have previously attempted the course and received a grade of F or R may not be able to repeat the course during the fall or spring semester.

    Credits: 1
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
    Other Requisites: Students who have already successfully completed the UB seminar course may not repeat this course. If you have any questions regarding enrollment for this course, please contact your academic advisor.
  • SW 199SEM UB Seminar
    Seminar

    The three credit UB Seminar is focused on a big idea or challenging issue to engage students with questions of significance in a field of study and, ultimately, to connect their studies with issues of consequence in the wider world. Essential to the UB Curriculum, the Seminar helps students with common learning outcomes focused on fundamental expectations for critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and oral communication, and learning at a university, all within topic focused subject matter. The Seminars provide students with an early connection to UB faculty and the undergraduate experience at a comprehensive, research university. This course is equivalent to any 199 offered in any subject. This course is a controlled enrollment (impacted) course. Students who have previously attempted the course and received a grade of F or R may not be able to repeat the course during the fall or spring semester.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
    Other Requisites: Students who have already successfully completed the first year seminar course may not repeat this course. If you have any questions regarding enrollment for this course, please contact your academic advisor.
  • SW 201LEC Terrorism and Social Work
    Lecture

    This course will provide participants with an understanding of psychological impact of terrorist attacks on different populations and communities, and how social workers play a role in responding to such human-made disasters. Attacks in New York, Oklahoma, and Boston will be used to examine the dynamics of terrorism, trauma, resiliency factors, and trauma-informed responses. Please note: the content of this course may be stressful for some students, especially those who may have experienced previous traumatic event.

    Credits: 1
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Winter
  • SW 220LEC Introduction to Community Organizing and Development
    Lecture

    This course provides a general introduction to the history, organizations, strategies, and practice issues related to community organizing and development. Specifically, this course examines different types of community organizing and development approaches including, but not limited to workforce development, neighborhood revitalization, and arts and culture. Current trends and strategies for organizing residents and collaborating with community-based organizations on development initiatives are explored. This course also introduces empowerment, strengths-based, human rights, and trauma-informed perspectives as frameworks for developing, exploring, and analyzing community organizing and development efforts in urban and rural settings.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Fall
  • SW 225LEC Perspectives on Child Maltreatment and Advocacy
    Lecture

    This course provides the foundational knowledge to understand and recognize child maltreatment in diverse settings. The course covers the historical and comparative perspectives, including a trauma-informed and human rights perspective, on child maltreatment, with an emphasis on improving outcomes for children and families. This course is designed for, but not limited to, students who are interested in public health, social work, human services, nursing and other health professions, sociology, psychology, law, and education.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Spring
  • SW 230LEC Theories and Policies of Community Organizing and Development
    Lecture

    This course will explore legal and policy developments pertaining to climate change. Approaches considered will range in jurisdictional scale, temporal scope, policy orientation, regulatory target, and regulatory objective. Although course readings and discussion will focus on existing and proposed responses to climate change, the overarching aim of the course will be to anticipate how the climate change problem will affect our laws, our organizations, and our lives in the long run. This course provides students with an understanding of the ways in which the history of community organizing and development informs community theory and policy across urban and rural settings. With an emphasis on group development theory, students will be introduced to the major theories and policies that impact neighborhood/community capacity, including but not limited to theories of poverty, inequality, human rights, urban and rural community organizing and development, and neighborhood organizing. A particular focus is the intersection of these theories and policies within this framework that can create social capital and foster entrepreneurship, social innovation, and cross-sector collaboration.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Spring
  • SW 235LEC Professional and System Responses to Child Maltreatment
    Lecture

    This course focuses on interdisciplinary system responses to child maltreatment, including trauma-informed and human rights-based approaches. The course explores responses across multiple community systems, including child welfare agencies, health care systems, law enforcement, and schools. This course is designed for, but not limited to, students who are interested in public health, social work, human services, nursing and other health professions, sociology, psychology, law, and education.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Fall
    Prerequisites: SW 225
  • SW 245LEC Global Child Advocacy Issues
    Lecture

    This course is designed to increase student understanding of the adverse experiences of children growing up in various countries. The purpose of this course is to expose students to considerations of socioeconomics, health, culture, religion, and politics and how these affect the welfare and well-being of children across the world. This course examines advocacy efforts using a trauma-informed, human rights framework.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Spring
  • SW 309LEC Developing Leadership in Communities
    Lecture

    This course focuses on development of leadership skills and strategies that foster community engagement and strengthen the natural leadership of residents within communities. Students will examine theories of leadership and the ways in which they influence organizational structures that promote community well-being. Central to this course is the acquisition of strategies that can be used to enhance the development of skills as well as the exercise of leadership by community residents. Likewise, they will explore the mechanisms that support opportunities for collaboration across social, political, legal, and financial systems and the communication patterns that influence success.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Fall
    Other Requisites: Pre-Reqs: COM 202 or COM 225.
  • SW 322LEC Social Work Skills
    Lecture

    The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with social media and social networking as they influence community change. Specifically, students will be introduced to the fundamental terms and concepts of social media and networking, including various interfaces, tools, and platforms that may be leveraged to promote community change and development.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • SW 401LEC Special Topics
    Lecture

    Credits: 1 - 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies

Social Work

685 Baldy Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1050
Ph: 716-645-1269
F: 716-645-3456
W: socialwork.buffalo.edu
Kathleen A. Kost, MA, MSSW, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Undergraduate Studies Coordinator
Published: October 05, 2018 09:47:47 AM