Put your passion for social justice into action with an online bachelor’s degree in social work from Walden.
Next Start Dates
Courses with a set schedule
January 09, 2023
Up to 130 Credits
Are you passionate about creating a better world? Make an impact on people’s lives while shaping the career you want with Walden’s Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program.
Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Walden’s program meets the industry’s rigorous standards to prepare you for today’s social work field . Engaging instruction, realistic simulations, and hands-on experiences help you grow as a practitioner and social change agent. Chart a clear course to your future with a program designed to ignite lifelong learning.
Walden’s online BSW program also helps you prepare to pursue your Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. As a BSW graduate, you’ll have the opportunity to move seamlessly into our CSWE-accredited MSW program.
Why Choose Walden?
Learn From Experts
Our students benefit from Walden’s 50+ years of experience in delivering distance education, and every BSW faculty member holds a doctoral degree.
Gain Hands-On Skills
An engaging Skills Lab, video case studies, and other experiences help you acquire and practice sought-after skills in a safe and supportive environment.
Get a Jump-Start on Your MSW
Move seamlessly from our BSW into our MSW program with the Advanced Standing Option.
Prepare for Licensure
Get support in preparing for your state licensure exam, including a review of sample questions and important test-taking skills.
Position yourself to fast track your Master of Social Work with the advanced standing option, available to BSW graduates with a 3.0 GPA.
Do you want to make a real impact in people’s lives? Walden’s Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Master of Social Work (MSW) programs are CSWE-accredited and help you learn to address the needs of individuals, families, and communities. CSWE accreditation means that a program prepares you to apply ethical principles and critical thinking to social work practice. Earning a degree from one of our CSWE-accredited programs also academically prepares you to sit for social work licensure exams.
Degree Completion Requirements
- 182 quarter credits (1 semester credit equals 1.5 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, 3-day intensive (virtual), 2 weeks online
View the COMPLETE CURRICULUM PLAN
Students may be eligible to transfer up to 135 credits*. At least 45 credits must be completed at Walden.
*Please note: Students that reside in Virginia may be eligible to transfer up to 125 credits. At least 55 credits must be completed at Walden.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.
Walden Undergraduate Academy
Discover a new bachelor’s education experience for first-time adult college students.
Walden Undergraduate Academy™ opens new doors for working adults like you and makes earning a degree more achievable than ever before. This dedicated learning experience has an extra layer of support to help you build your confidence and academic skills before you start your online bachelor’s program. You’ll also be eligible for special savings that can make your bachelor’s degree more affordable.
Complete Your BSW Degree at Walden
If you have taken college-level courses at another accredited university, you may be able to transfer up to 130 quarter prior credits into our BSW program.1 No matter where you are in your undergraduate degree journey, we welcome you to complete your degree at Walden.
Continue Your Journey With an MSW
Since it opens the door to pursue licensure as well as new career opportunities, an MSW degree is often the next step in a social worker’s educational journey. Both our BSW and MSW programs are accredited by CSWE. We welcome you to keep the momentum going and continue into our master’s program upon completion of your BSW program.
In addition, BSW graduates with a 3.0 GPA or higher at graduation are eligible for the Advanced Standing option in our MSW program, which reduces the credits required for completion of the program. If you are eligible, choosing this option allows you to skip foundational courses and start your degree with advanced-level courses.
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 at least 12 quarter credits.
- You are an active member of the military or a veteran with documentation of service.
More information for international applicants.
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.
|Tuition||182 quarter credit hours||$333 per quarter hour||$60,606|
|Skills Lab Fee||One in program. In person or Virtual option.||$1,375 (Virtual)
$1,475 (In-person: travel, lodging, and other expenses are additional)
|Technology Fee||Per quarter||$165||$2,640|
Effective February 27, 2023
|Tuition||182 quarter credit hours||$333 per quarter hour||$60,606|
|Skills Lab Fee||One in program. In person or Virtual option.||$1,420 (Virtual)
$1,520 (In-person: travel, lodging, and other expenses are additional)
|Technology Fee||Per quarter||$170||$2,720|
*Tuition reflects the minimum time to completion. Time to completion varies by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition reductions. Walden may accept up to 135 transfer credits. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 844-768-0109.
Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included and may cost up to an additional $5,000.
Paying for Your Education
Our Enrollment Specialists can help you outline a plan and find resources for funding your education.
Become a Social Change Agent
Whether you’re looking to begin your career or build on your experience, Walden’s Bachelor of Social Work online program provides a clear path forward. Apply what you learn through virtual or face-to-face Skills Labs, video case studies, and other experiential tools. With expert assistance from our Field Office, you can then bring it all together during a hands-on field experience in an agency or other site in your local area.
Start your journey of lifelong learning at Walden, which offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in social work online.
Advance social welfare in your community and serve those in need by earning your Bachelor of Social Work online degree. With a BSW, you can open the door to a rewarding and in-demand field2 while laying the foundation for your master’s degree.
A Bachelor of Social Work online degree can academically prepare you to pursue career options such as:3
- Mental health social worker
- Case worker
- Family protection specialist
- Family resource coordinator
- Youth services specialist
As a graduate of our online BSW program, you will be able to:
- 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.
FAQ About Walden’s Online Bachelor of Science in Social Work
While both degree types help prepare you for a career devoted to improving people’s lives, it’s helpful to look closer to find the ideal match for your interests and goals. If you want to connect individuals or families in need with resources and services that improve their circumstances and help them achieve social equity, you may choose to pursue a degree in social work. If you’re more interested in studying the human mind and behaviors, a degree in psychology would be the best fit.
Yes, social work programs from reputable universities are accredited. Walden University offers two accredited social work degree programs: the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Master of Social Work (MSW). These programs are accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CSWE's Commission on Accreditation is responsible for developing accreditation standards that define competent preparation for professional social workers and ensuring that social work programs meet these standards.
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has designated March as National Professional Social Work Month, a celebration that highlights the important contributions of social workers. Social work professionals make a meaningful impact on nearly every aspect of society as advocates for the vulnerable and underserved. Dr. Barbara Solomon, namesake of Walden University’s Barbara Solomon School of Social Work, exemplifies this tradition of service. A retired Walden University board member and respected leader in the field, Dr. Solomon is recognized by the NASW as a Social Work Pioneer and is an inductee in the California Social Work Hall of Distinction. Walden is proud to count Dr. Solomon as a member of our community and celebrates the outstanding accomplishments of our social work students and alumni.
Social workers help individuals, families, and groups solve and cope with problems that may arise from a range of highly stressful life situations, including poverty, unemployment, inadequate housing, mental health conditions, chronic illnesses and disabilities, and abusive family situations. Professionals with a social work degree are employed in a variety of settings—hospitals and healthcare facilities, schools, social services agencies, mental health clinics, and private and nonprofit organizations. They advocate for their clients and connect them with social services designed to help alleviate their challenges.
While social workers can fill a variety of roles, in general, social workers can be divided into two categories:
- Direct-service social workers identify government and community services that can improve their clients’ situations, such as applying for government aid, finding employment, removing children from abusive homes, and connecting with community resources like home meal delivery.
- Clinical social workers directly address the needs of their clients, many of whom may have emotional and behavioral problems or psychiatric conditions. As clinicians, social workers are trained to perform psychotherapy and even diagnose patients. They are often part of a collaborative team of psychiatrists and advanced-practice psychiatric nurses.
Fill out the form and we will contact you to provide information about furthering your education.
Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.
1Credits for social work courses must have been earned in a CSWE-accredited program to be considered for transfer. No matter how many credits are accepted for transfer, you must complete at least 45 credits at Walden. Walden’s BSW program is a full undergraduate program. This means that we can accept eligible general education courses and social work-focused courses for transfer of credit.
2Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social Workers, SOC code 21-1020. Retrieved October 2021. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee actual job growth, and are subject to change.
3Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social Workers, SOC code 21-1020. Retrieved October 2021.
Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.