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Department of Social Work and Sociology

Welcome to the Virginia Union University BSW & MSW Social Work Programs!  We are the only social work program in Virginia offering a Bachelor of Social Work, at an independent, faith-based HBCU. 

More great news! We now offer a Master of Social Work at VUU as well! If you choose to get your BSW with Virginia Union University, you can also complete your MSW in as little as one additional academic year. That’s all the way to a Master’s degree in 5 years!

Bachelor of Social Work

The mission of the VUU Department of Social Work is to produce generalist social work practitioners who have professional experience and academic training in social justice and discrimination, and who are competent in working with at-risk populations. Graduates will have client advocacy skills, a strong sense of self, adaptability and a sense of responsibility for their profession. 

The VUU Baccalaureate (BSW) Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and was re-affirmed in 2019. Our next accreditation review is June 2027.

Students who receive a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from VUU are expected to:

  • Demonstrate competence in social work practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities;

  • Utilize current social work knowledge in making responsible decisions based on self-awareness and knowledge of the values and ethics of the profession;

  • Demonstrate an ability to apply knowledge of social policy formulation in advocating for desired social change;

  • Understand and be able to work with clients from different racial, cultural, ethnic, sexual and religious backgrounds, and be able to combat the effects of social inequalities;

  • Be able to evaluate one’s own practice;

  • Be prepared to pursue graduate education.

Master of Social Work

Our MSW program is uniquely positioned as an Advanced Generalist program with a Trauma-Focused Specialization. This distinctive emphasis reflects our commitment to equipping you with the skills and knowledge necessary to address the complex challenges posed by trauma in diverse social work settings.
The Department of Social Work at Virginia Union University is pleased to announce the MSW program achieved Candidacy for Accreditation status by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation in July 2023!!!

Candidacy for a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation indicates that it has made progress toward meeting criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process.  A program that has attained Candidacy has demonstrated a commitment to meeting the compliance standards set by the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, but has not yet demonstrated full compliance. 

Students who enter programs that attain Candidacy in or before the academic year in which they begin their program of study will be retroactively recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program once the program attains Initial Accreditation.  

Candidacy is typically a three-year process and attaining Candidacy does not guarantee that a program will eventually attain Initial Accreditation.  Candidacy applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program.  Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program. VUU hopes to obtain full accreditation status in late 2024, or early 2025.
In order to be formally accepted into the MSW program, students will need to complete a VUU MSW Program Application. You can find this application below. Completed applications can be emailed to the MSW Program Director, Dr. Katy Baugus at

VUU MSW Curriculum 
49 Full-Time Credits 
26 Advanced Standing Credits 

January 2024 
The VUU MSW Program formal curriculum is a two-year, four-semester course of study for full-time students. The core curriculum ladder is shown below. Electives of the program are in addition to these core courses.  
All students must take a Pre-Field/Orientation course before starting the program.  
Early Fall Course  
(5-week delivery) 

  • SWK 501/601 MSW Pre-field/Orientation (3 credits) 

Full-Time Status  

Year 1  

Semester I (8-week or 16-week term delivery)  

  • SWK 500 Human Behavior in the Social Environment (3 credits)    

  • SWK 502 Field Education/Seminar I (4 credits) 

  • SWK 511 Policy I: Social Welfare History and Policy (3 credits)    

  • SWK 524 Generalist Practice I with Individuals and Families (3 credits)   

Semester II (8-week or 16-week term delivery)  

  • SWK 503 Field Education/Seminar II (4 credits)     

  • SWK 510 Social Research (3 credits)    

  • SWK 514 Ethics (3 credits)

  • SWK 525 Generalist Practice II with Groups, Communities, and Organizations (3 credits)    

Year 2 

Semester III (8-week or 4-week term delivery) 

  • SWK 602 Field Education/Seminar III (4 credits) 

  • SWK 640 Introduction to Trauma-Informed Social Work (3 credits)    

  • SWK 651 Advanced Generalist Practice III with Marginalized Individuals and Families from a Trauma Perspective (3 credits)  

  • SWK 754 Advanced Policy: Economic Trauma, Financial Literacy, and Social Systems (3 credits)   

Semester IV (8-week or 4-week term delivery)  

  • SWK 603 Field Education/Seminar (4 credits) 

  • SWK 613 Advanced Research: Program Evaluation (3 credits)    

  • SWK 652 Advanced Generalist Practice IV with Marginalized Groups, Organizations and Communities from a Trauma Perspective (3 credits)  


VUU MSW Program Application
Candidacy Letter
Social Work Department Incomplete Request Form

Assessment Data
AS 4.0 BSW

AS 4.0 BSW 
AS 4.0 MSW 

Faculty & Staff Directory:

Dr. Johnetta Guishard, PhD, LMSW
Chair, Department of Social Work and Sociology & Assistant Professor

Research Interests:
Military Populations, Substance Abuse, Youth and Education, Food Insecurity and Farming, Rural Mental Health

Topic Interests:
Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Criminal Justice, Veterans, Youth and Young Adults

Psychotherapy, adolescent skills development and education, military sexual trauma

BSW | Virginia Union University
MSW | Walden University
PhD | Walden University

Dr. Katy Baugus, EdD, LCSW MSW
Program Director & Associate Professor

Research Interests:
Food insecurity, transportation disadvantage, inadequate childcare, and non-academic barriers

Topic Interests:
First-generation college students, incarcerated individuals, LGBTQ, miliary personnel and their families

Psychotherapy, administration, faculty, and student affairs leadership

BA | Bucknell University
MSW | Marywood University
EdD | Northcentral University

Professor Lenise Mazyck, MSW, LCSW
BSW Program Director & Assistant Professor

Research Interests:
Food and the brain, urban farming/food deserts, epigenetics, mental health

Topic Interests:
Misdiagnosed/underdiagnosed neurodivergence for folx who have experienced trauma, epigenetics and mental health, food and the brain

Community mental health, community resource management, psychotherapy

BSW | James Madison University
MSW | University of South Carolina

Dr. Johnnie O’Neal, PhD, MSW
Associate Professor

Research Interests:
HIV/AIDS, aging LGBTQ adults, addiction, social work education

Topic Interests:
Social determinants of health, LGBTQ+ adults, addiction, volunteerism, ethics

Over ten years of higher education instruction and leadership in social work, medical social work, leadership

AA | Trident Technical College
BSW | Limestone College
MSW | University of South Carolina
PhD | Virginia Commonwealth University

Dr. Jeffrey Harlow, PhD, MA
Assistant Provost & Associate Professor

Research Interests:
Organizational effectiveness, stages of change, addiction recovery, leadership self-efficacy, higher education student success, program evaluation, research methods, and data analysis

Over 20 years higher education instruction and leadership, community- based evaluation research

BS | Pennsylvania State University
MA | Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
PhD | Bryn Mawr College

VUU Social Work Curriculum 

Social Work Minor Degree & Sociology Minor Degree

Field Education
Student Organizations
Application to the Social Work Program
CSWE Accreditation: What does it mean?
Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes (CSWE)