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Follow Your Calling to Help Others With Our Bachelor of Social Work Online

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.

WALDEN UNDERGRADUATE ACADEMY

This dedicated online learning track offers support, tuition savings, and resources for those without previous college credit.

Prepare for Practice With Walden’s CSWE-Accredited Social Work Programs

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.

Program Savings

Receive your first course at no cost tuition reduction if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on August 29, 2022. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Program Details

Curriculum

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 

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.

Courses

Course Code Title Credits
HMNT 1001
Living and Learning in the 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.

Prerequisites

  • SOCW 2001

(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.

Prerequisites

  • SOCW 2001

(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.

Prerequisites

  • SOCW 2001
  • SOCW 2002

(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.

Prerequisites

  • SOCW 2001
  • SOCW 2002

(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.

Prerequisites

  • SOCW 2001
  • SOCW 2002
  • SOCW 2003
  • 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.

Prerequisites

  • SOCW 2001
  • SOCW 2002
  • SOCW 2003
  • SOCW 3001

(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.

Prerequisites

  • SOCW 2001
  • SOCW 2002
  • SOCW 2003
  • SOCW 3001
  • SOCW 3002
  • SOCW 3003

(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.

Prerequisites

  • SOCW 2001
  • SOCW 2002
  • SOCW 2003
  • SOCW 3001
  • 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.

Prerequisites

  • SOCW 2001
  • SOCW 2002
  • SOCW 2003
  • SOCW 3001
  • SOCW 3002
  • SOCW 3003

(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. 

Prerequisites

  • SOCW 2001
  • SOCW 2002
  • SOCW 2003
  • SOCW 3001
  • SOCW 3002
  • SOCW 3003
  • 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.

Prerequisites

  • SOCW 2001
  • SOCW 2002
  • SOCW 2003
  • SOCW 3001
  • SOCW 3002
  • SOCW 3003
  • SOCW 4003

(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 synchronous 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.

Prerequisites

  • SOCW 2001
  • SOCW 2002
  • SOCW 3001
  • SOCW 3002
  • SOCW 3003
  • SOCW 3004
  • SOCW 4001
  • SOCW 4002
  • SOCW 4003
  • SOCW 4004
  • SOCW 4005

Note: This course contains a required 4-day face-to-face experience and will bill with an additional lab fee.

(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.

Prerequisites

  • SOCW 2001
  • SOCW 2002
  • SOCW 3001
  • SOCW 3002
  • SOCW 3003
  • SOCW 3004
  • SOCW 4001
  • SOCW 4002
  • SOCW 4003
  • SOCW 4004
  • SOCW 4005

(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.

Prerequisites

  • 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

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.

Questions?

Our Enrollment Specialist are here to give you answers.

Request Information

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 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 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.

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.

Tuition and Fees

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost Amount
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)

$1,375-$1,475
Technology Fee Per quarter $165 $2,640


  $64,621–$64,721*

*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.

Learn more

Program Savings

Receive your first course at no cost tuition reduction if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on August 29, 2022. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Program Outcomes

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.

Career Outlook

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
Demand for social work professionals is expected to increase

12%

by 2030—faster than the national average.2

Learning Outcomes

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.

Resources

Meet Your Academic Team

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the heart of our online social work program. Engaging with a diverse community of faculty and classmates—all with varied experiences, voices, and worldviews—will help you broaden your cultural and social perspectives.

  • Lisa Moon

    Lisa Moon

    Dean

    Dr. Lisa Moon has worked in the field of social work for more than 30 years, with a professional background that encompasses child protection, medical social work, and mental health. Her research interests include mental health services for children, issues related to caring for older adults, simulative education, and accreditation for social work programs.

  • Angela Gaddis

    Angela Gaddis

    Program Director

    Dr. Gaddis’ social work experience includes working with the Department of Defense as a military family life consultant. She has overseen outpatient programs for mental health hospitals and ran her own private practice for more than 20 years.

  • Shakila Flentroy

    Shakila Flentroy

    Core Faculty

    Dr. Flentroy has more than 10 years of research and teaching experience. Her areas of specialization include the impact of race, class, and violence on the well-being of urban, rural, and international communities of color; community development and engagement; and health/mental health promotion.

  • Deborah Mills

    Debbie Mills

    Core Faculty

    Dr. Mills is a rural (macro) social worker, which means that she does a little bit of everything based on the needs of clients, organizations, and/or communities. Some examples of her work include program development, grant writing, after-school and summer camp curriculum development, and therapeutic services.

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