Bachelor of Social Work | Mission

The BSW program provides a respectful, supportive approach to learning while maintaining high academic standards. The program is committed to providing opportunities to students who may otherwise experience barriers to higher education. The BSW program is strongly linked to the core values of the profession. The program maintains its mission by integrating content throughout the curriculum relevant to the pursuit of social and economic justice, as well as its dedication to the value, worth, and dignity of all persons. The BSW program is designed to prepare undergraduate social work students for a generalist practice that will meet the multi-level needs of clients.

Request to Declare BSW as Major or Minor


Explore these FAQs to discover more about Social Work and the BSW Program at Washburn University.

Do you like working with people? Do you care about social equality and a just society? Do you want to make a difference?

If so, then Social Work may be for you!

Social Work is a dynamic profession committed to making a difference in the lives of children, youth, families, and communities.

The social work profession is everywhere: in schools, heath care settings, mental health settings, child welfare, corrections, substance abuse and more. It is present in times of social or natural disaster. Social workers engage in social advocacy, social planning, and administration. 

Social workers serve individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities, helping people with a myriad of psychological and social problems that occur across the lifespan. Social Workers assist veterans, persons with developmental disabilities, people with mental health needs, and many others.

There are Three Pillars of Social Work :

Regulation - Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)

Social work affects public health, safety, and welfare. It is therefore regulated in the same way that medicine and nursing are, to assure that the public is protected. Regulation is the public’s assurance that the professionals who provide care or assistance are competent to practice and will interact with clients in an ethical and safe manner.

Education - Council of Social Work Education (CSWE)

The CSWE enhances the quality of social work education for a professional practice that promotes individual, family, and community well-being, and social and economic justice. CSWE pursues this mission in higher education by setting and maintaining national accreditation standards for baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in social work, by promoting faculty development, by engaging in interprofessional and international collaborations, and by advocating for social work education and research.

Washburn University's BSW and MSW programs are CSWE Accredited.

Practice - National Association of Social Work (NASW)

The NASW is a professional organization of social workers in the United States. The NASW provides guidance, research, up to date information, advocacy, and other resources for its members and for social workers in general.

BSW Degree at Washburn

Majoring in Social Work involves developing a wide range of knowledge and skills. Students receive a wide-ranging liberal arts education along with their major in social work. The degree culminates with an in-depth field education experience in the senior year. During Field Education, the student works with clients 16 hours a week for two semesters under the supervision of qualified professional social workers.

If a student has completed their BSW at Washburn and wishes to become a licensed social worker in Kansas, they can contact the KS Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (KSBSRB) to apply for licensure.

Nationally Accredited Program

The BSW at Washburn University is nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and BSW graduates are eligible for state licensure to practice social work professionally.

Our course of study also offers excellent preparation for continued social work education at the graduate level.

Caring, Knowledgeable Faculty and Smaller Class Sizes

Our highly qualified faculty posses exceptional academic credentials and extensive social work practice experience. Faculty members remain active in professional and community activities. In addition, students benefit from the expertise and skill of community social workers who teach as part-time instructors in their respective areas of practice.

Washburn University is known in the region for its ability to offer more individualized attention to students.

No, the BSW program at WU is currently a seated program, which means that the majority of our courses are held on campus.

However, the following online courses often include an online section:

SW 100 Intro to Social work & Social Welfare
SW 250 Generalist Social Work Perspectives
SW 325 MICRO Human Behavior and the Social Environment
SW 326 MACRO Human Behavior and the Social Environment
SW 350 Social Policy and Programs
SW 362 Quantitative Social Work Research
SW 363 Qualitative Social Work Research
  • In addition, we are working to extend our social work elective courses that can be delivered either exclusively online or in a "hybrid" format.

Students can apply for scholarships through the Washburn School of Applied Studies. Scholarships are awarded for a full academic year (Fall and Spring semester).

Applications are due February 15th of every year.

Basic eligibility and requirements are as follows:

  • Must have a current application at Washburn University; must be a declared major in a School of Applied Studies program. (Social Work is part of this School)
  • Must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 (specific scholarships may require higher GPA).
  • Applicants will be considered for all SAS scholarships for which s/he is eligible.
  • To receive the SAS scholarship, recipients must be properly enrolled at Washburn University for the academic award year and write a “thank-you” to the donor(s) acknowledging receipt of the award

For more information, view the School of Applied Studies Scholarship Application.

We encourage outstanding scholarship!

BSW students who wish to graduate with departmental honors are required to collaborate with a faculty mentor on a scholarly and/or creative project. This includes presenting his or her work at Apeiron or other approved public venue. The student may opt to declare his or her project as a Scholarly/Creative Activity, thereby also meeting the Washburn Transformational Experience (WTE) graduation requirement.

Applications are due December 1 If you intend to graduate in the Spring or Summer.

Read more about Department Honors in the BSW Handbook.

Click here to complete the BSW Honors Application

BSW Program Overview

  1. Current enrollment as a student in good standing at Washburn University as defined in the current Washburn University Undergraduate Catalog.
  2. Approved Declaration of Major (Pre-BSW) in Social Work.
  3. Completion of a minimum of 36 hours of General Education course credits.
  4. An overall (cumulative) grade point average of at least 2.5.
  5. Successful completion (or current enrollment in) SW 100, SW 250, SW 325, and SW 352 at the time of application.
  6. Submission of the BSW Formal Admission online application by the due date.
  7. If requested by the department, completion of an admissions interview with the BSW Program Director, the Social Work Department chair, or a social work faculty designee.
  8. If the Admissions Committee has any concerns about an application, references may be required upon written request of the BSW Program Director.

For more information, see the BSW Student Handbook.

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

The following chart outlines the entire BSW Program, and is for informational purposes only.

Please make an appointment with your advisor to create a personal schedule.

Requirements for Major

51 credit hours in the department, including:

SW 100 - Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare
SW 250 - Generalist Social Work Perspectives
SW 325 -  Micro Human Behavior & Social Environment
SW 326 - Macro Human Behavior & Social Environment
SW 350 - Social Policy and Programs
SW 352 - Micro Social Work Practice
SW 353 - Macro Social Work Practice II
SW 425 - Pre-BSW Practicum Workshop
SW 354 - BSW Seminar and Field Practicum I
SW 355 - BSW Seminar and Field Practicum II
SW 362 - Social Work Research I
SW 363 - Social Work Research II: App
SW 390 - Contemporary Issues in Social Work (to be taken four times)

Correlated Courses

Four courses, selected from:

AN 112 - Cultural Anthropology
SO 101 - Social Problems
3 credit hours in Psychology
3 credit hours in Biology (human biology content strongly preferred)

General Education Requirements:

Humanities (12 hours)

MAX: 6 hours per discipline

Social Sciences (12 hours)

MAX: 6 hours per dicipline

Natural Sciences/Mathematics (9 hours)

MAX: 8 hours or 2 courses per dicipline

Fine Arts (3 hours) *required AN 112 (3) *required Nat. Science 1 (3-5)
Humanities 1 (3) SO 101 (3) *required Nat. Science 2 (3-5)
Humanities 2 (3) Psychology Course  (3) Nat. Science 3 (3-5)
Humanities 3 (3) Soc. Science 4 (3)

Specific requirements to maintain good standing in the BSW program

Must maintain a 2.5 GPA and pass the following classes with a C or better:

  • WU 101
  • EN 101
  • EN 300
  • MA 112 or MA 116
  • AN 112
  • SO 101
  • All Social Work Courses


Social Work Minor & Concentrations

The Social Work Minor requires completion of 15 credit hours, 9 hours of which are core courses and 6 hours of which are electives. Coursework for the minor is taken for a letter grade and students must earn a minimum grade of C. The Social Work Minor exposes students to core social work competencies. It emphasizes synthesis and application of social work theories, policies, and research in the development of comprehensive solutions to major social problems.

For more information, please refer to the BSW Handbook.

Within the BSW program, students may choose to recieve specialty training in healthcare social work. The concentration consists of three undergraduate electives (9 hours) plus a field education placement in an approved healthcare setting.

For more information, visit the Healthcare Concentration page, or refer to the BSW Handbook.

Dr. Kim Harrison

BSW Program Director

Kim Harrison, PhD., LSCSW


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