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Prepare for a Rewarding Career Improving the Lives of Others

Whether you’re looking to begin or advance your career, Walden’s CSWE-accredited social work bachelor’s degree program places you at a distinct advantage when it’s time to define your professional path. Earning your degree from a CSWE-accredited program signals to employers that you graduated from a program that meets high standards in preparing you for the social work field. In addition, it gives you the opportunity to choose the advanced-standing option in the Master of Social Work (MSW) program. And in most states, an MSW is required in order to obtain state licensure.

The Bachelor of Social Work online program is ideal for working professionals who want to channel their passion for social justice into a rewarding career serving those in need. The convenient online format is matched with option for face-to-face learning to prepare students for practice in the field.

Social Work Skills Lab

Gain critical skills and knowledge with face-to-face or virtual interaction and guided instruction from academic practitioners and experts in the field.

In-demand Career Skills

Learn from a curriculum focused on in-demand career skills, including case management, treatment planning, and crisis intervention.

Five Optional Focus Areas

Customize your bachelor's degree in social work to your scope of interest or career goals with five optional focus areas.

Video Case Studies

Develop practical skills through documentary-style video case studies portraying true-to-life scenarios experienced by BSW-level social workers.

Fast Track to MSW

Position yourself to fast track your Master of Social Work with the advanced standing option, available to BSW graduates with a 3.0 GPA.

Program Savings

Receive a $2,500 grant if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on November 30, 2020. Contact one of our enrollment specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Curriculum

Degree Completion Requirements

  • 182 total quarter credits
    • General education courses(51 cr.)
    • Lower-level core courses (15 cr.)
    • Professional core courses (45 cr.)
    • Elective courses (50 cr.)
    • Field Experience courses (20 cr.)
    • Social Work Skills Lab (1 cr.) (3 weeks online, 4 days face to face experience, 2 weeks online)

Students may be eligible to transfer up to 135 credits from work completed at a previous institution. At least 45 credits must be completed at Walden.

The number of credits for completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.

Courses

Course Code Title Credits
HMNT 1001

Living and Learning in a Technological World

Imagine life without cell phones, television, or the Internet. Recent technological developments have significantly altered all aspects of human life: at work; in play; and in personal, family, and social interactions. In this course, students examine the advantages, disadvantages, and controversies of living and learning in an ever-changing technological environment. By exploring multiple perspectives, students discover how technology is changing media, culture, business, health, human behavior, and overall access to information. In a dynamic, reflective, and engaging classroom environment, students use a variety of audio, visual, literary, and artistic resources, to engage in open dialogue. Students are also introduced to the tools essential to success at Walden. Students complete the course with a personalized success plan that provides a customized roadmap and tools that they can use immediately on their journey toward the completion of their bachelor's degree. *Note: virtual, cyber, digital, and asynchronous are used to describe online environments in this course.

(6 cr.)
SOCW 2001

Introduction to Social Work

This course is designed to introduce students to the social work profession. Students in the course explore the history of the profession, the characteristics of generalist practice, social work practice settings, and professional values and ethics. Students also develop knowledge of current issues and directions for the profession, and the requirements and challenges of being a professional social worker.

(5 cr.)
SOCW 2002

Basic Skills for Social Work Practice

This course is designed to develop the basic practice skills necessary for BSW students to begin professional social work practice. Students in the course receive an overview of the knowledge, skills, values, and ethics that a generalist social worker must possess to work effectively with a client. Concepts underlying social work practice, such as the helping process—intake and assessment; basic interviewing skills for the beginning social work professional; engagement; and best practices—are addressed. The practice content to be explored includes understanding self-awareness and confidentiality. While the major emphasis of the course is on basic interviewing skills, a strengths perspective within a systems framework is incorporated in the course.

(5 cr.)
SOCW 2003

Introduction to the Welfare State

This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge to analyze, formulate, and advocate for social policies that advance individual and social well-being. Students explore various methods of policy analysis and develop advocacy plans that involve collaboration with colleagues and communities to address policy issues. There is a special emphasis on policies that impact human rights and advance social and economic justice.

(5 cr.)
SOCW 3001

Diversity and Multiculturalism

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to multicultural social work practice and the importance of cultural competence. During the course, students are encouraged to assess their own level of self-awareness and their ability to engage in critical thinking on the issues of diversity and social justice. Grounded within the professional Code of Ethics, students learn about concepts and theory related to social, economic, and environmental justice. In this course, students analyze and reflect on the impact of oppression and discrimination on diverse groups. They learn how to engage evidence-informed practice, as well as advocate on behalf of others, particularly vulnerable populations. Throughout the course, students learn about various cultural groups and apply their learning to a different population each week. By the end of the course, students will be prepared with the foundational knowledge and skills for social work practice with culturally diverse and vulnerable populations.

(5 cr.)
SOCW 3002

Human Behavior in the Social Environment I

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the intersection between the social environment and the healthy lifespan development of individuals, families, groups, and communities. Throughout this course, students enhance their understanding of how the environment and social context serve to mediate or intersect with the healthy development of each individual, family, group, or community. Students are introduced to the ways gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, and disability impact human development. Students also explore human behavior through the lens of human development, environment, and social context.

(5 cr.)
SOCW 3003

Human Behavior in the Social Environment II

This course is designed to prepare students for clinical social work practice that reflects an advanced understanding of lifespan development and sociopsychological identity development in individuals, families, groups, and communities. Throughout this course, students will use their learning around lifespan development and sociopsychological identity development to understand human behavior and, particularly, individual and family functioning within the environmental context. SOCW 3002).

(5 cr.)
SOCW 3004

Social Work Research I

This course is designed to develop students' understanding of the importance of research to social work practice. Students are introduced to basic principles of scientific method and to various research methods within the quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research. This course is designed to introduce students to ethical standards as they relate to research, particularly as it relates to social work. Students explore research that addresses diverse populations. This basic course is the first of two courses designed to prepare students to use research to inform their ethical social work practice.

(5 cr.)
SOCW 4001

Policy and Advocacy

This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge to analyze, formulate, and advocate for social policies that advance individual and social well-being. Students explore various methods of policy analysis and develop advocacy plans that involve collaboration with colleagues and communities to address policy issues. There is a special emphasis on policies that impact human rights and advance social and economic justice. Students will develop skills in the policy analysis process, including the values that influence policy, the legislative process, and the roles of advocacy and lobbying organizations.

(5 cr.)
SOCW 4002

Social Work Research II

This course is designed to support students' development as generalist social workers. Students will identify and apply research that can be used to advance social work practice, including social welfare, advocacy, and policy. Throughout the course, students are provided with resources and activities designed to help them develop as critical consumers of research for the sake of ethical, evidenced-based social work practice. Students in this course have the opportunity to select research utilizing the various research methods and evaluate research design, research methods, and applicability of results to diverse populations. (Prerequisite(s): SOCW 3004.)

(5 cr.)
SOCW 4003

Generalist Practice I—Individuals/Families

This first practice course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to utilize in their social work practice with individuals and families. The focus of this course is on preparing students to practice with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds and marginalized or oppressed populations. Students demonstrate therapeutic skills to engage individuals and families, to define and prioritize issues, to set mutually developed goals, and to commit to the change process.

(5 cr.)
SOCW 4004

Generalist Practice II—Groups

This practice course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to apply social work services when working with groups. Students in this course will concentrate on the application of evidence-based practice theories and group work models consistent with empowerment and ecological perspectives. This course is particularly focused on groups from diverse cultural backgrounds and marginalized or oppressed populations. The focus is on the influence of social work professional values in working with families and on group work practice.  (Prerequisite(s): SOCW 4003.)

(5 cr.)
SOCW 4005

Generalist Practice III—Organizations and Communities

This advanced course is designed to prepare students for their roles as supervisors, leaders, and administrators in social work organizations and communities. Students receive academic preparation focused on leadership theory and strategies for leadership development, ethical practice as supervisors, and roles of administrators in social work organizations and as community leaders. Students participate in activities that develop their skills in critical decision making to address some of the complex problems that are common to organizations and communities in social work. (Prerequisite(s): SOCW 4003, SOCW 4004.)

(5 cr.)
BWLB 4900

Social Work Skills Lab

The Social Work Skills Lab is a 1-credit, 6-week hybrid class that includes 3 weeks of online content, followed by a 4-day face-to-face residential component, and then closes with 2 weeks of online content. Students in the Social Work Skills Lab I reinforce the content covered in the Social Work courses with an emphasis on skills development and advanced topics in diversity and inclusion, evidence-based practice, ethics, and development of the professional self. Material covered includes practice labs focused on individual engagement and assessment, group development and leadership, and an understanding of how to advocate within organizations and communities. A key component of the skills lab is to prepare and assess students for their readiness to enter the field. (Prerequisite(s): SOCW 3004.)

(1 cr.)

COMPLETION OF SOCIAL WORK SKILLS LAB I REQUIRED BEFORE PROCEEDING

SOCW 4100

Field Seminar I

This is the first course in the field practicum sequence. Students are required to complete 200 hours in an approved social services agency under the supervision of a professional social worker. Students gain an introduction to the roles of a professional social worker in the practicum experience. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate skills in maintaining social work boundaries and ethics while interacting in a professional manner with clients. Students participate in weekly synchronous hour-long seminars with their instructor and peers. In the weekly seminar, students demonstrate their integration of classroom knowledge with the professional practice skills. (Prerequisite(s): All required core and upper division courses.)

(10 cr.)
SOCW 4110

Field Seminar II

This is the second field course in the field practicum sequence. Students are required to complete 200 hours in an approved social services agency under the supervision of a professional social worker. Students have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate skills in engaging clients, developing mutually agreed-upon goals, identifying client's strengths and needs, completing assessments, and completing professional documentation in this practicum experience. Students also identify policies at the organizational, local, state, or national level that impact the client system. Students participate in weekly synchronous hour-long seminars with their instructor and peers. In the weekly seminar, students demonstrate their integration of classroom knowledge with the professional practice skills. (Prerequisite(s): SOCW 4100.)

(10 cr.)

Elective Courses

Walden’s Bachelor of Social Work program offers courses to align with your professional goals and interests. You are required to complete a total of 50 credits from elective coursework.

VIEW ALL COURSES Less Courses

Tuition and Fees

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost Total *
Tuition 182 total quarter credit hours $325 per semester hour $59,150
 Skills Lab Fee One in program $1,450 (travel, lodging, and other expenses are additional $1,450 
Technology Fee Per quarter $160 $2,560


TOTAL $63,160


Transfer up to 135 credits $45,795


Total with Maximum Transfer Credits† $17,365

*The tuition reflects the minimum credits to completion. Credits to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.

The typical undergraduate Walden student transferred an average of 65 credits in 2015-2016. Transfer credit total includes reduction in technology fee as related to reduced number of courses over time.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included and may cost up to an additional $5,000.

FINANCIAL AID

Many Walden degree-seeking students—67%—receive some form of financial aid.* Create a customized plan that makes sense for you.

*Source: Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid. Data reports as of 2018.

Find Ways to Save

Program Savings

Receive a $2,500 grant if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on November 30, 2020. Contact one of our enrollment specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Admissions Requirements

Admission is considered for adult students who hold a high school diploma or its equivalent. Applicants must also meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are 21 years of age or older.
  • You are less than 21 years of age with 60 quarter credit hours.
  • You are an active member of the military or a veteran with documentation of service.

You are concurrently enrolled in an approved partner institution with an articulation agreement with Walden.
More information for international applicants.

Lifelong Learning Ladder

With 50 years of experience in distance education, Walden offers a lifelong learning ladder that includes our Master of Social Work (CSWE-accredited), PhD in Social Work, and Doctor of Social Work (DSW) programs. BSW graduates with a 3.0 GPA or better at graduation are eligible to enter our MSW program in the advanced standing option, which may reduce the credits required for completion of the program. This allows you to earn your MSW faster and at a lower overall cost.

Mission Statement

The BSW program’s mission is to cultivate the development of generalist social work scholar-practitioners who are able to provide ethical, evidence-based services to individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. With the BSW degree, social workers are prepared to use critical-thinking skills and evidence-based practice to engage in generalist social work.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop a professional orientation and identity as a social worker.
  • Apply legal and ethical standards in the administration of social work.
  • Demonstrate skills in applying principles of advocacy toward promoting cultural understanding and positive social change in individuals, communities, and society.
  • Use evidence-based research and critical thinking skills to inform practice in meeting the needs of diverse clientele.
  • Synthesize and apply theories of human growth and development to develop culturally responsive social work practices.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills in the areas of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Career Impact

Get Ahead With a Career-Focused Degree

As a graduate of the Bachelor of Social Work online program, you can look forward to moving into a field where the job outlook is growing at a rate of 16% from 2016 to 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.1

Prepare for a variety of roles, including:

  • Child life specialist
  • Discharge planner
  • Family services worker
  • Geriatric social worker
  • Hospital social worker
  • Mental health case manager
  • Military/veteran social worker
  • Residential counselor
  • Program coordinator
  • School social worker
  • Substance abuse counselor

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this program.

Learn more about the career outlook for graduates with a Bachelor of Social Work.

Read our Bachelor of Social Work Program Outcome Report.

FAQ About Walden’s Online Bachelor of Science in Social Work

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