Welcome to Arkansas State University!
Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.)
Offered By: College of Nursing and Health Professions
Application Deadline: Second Monday of Each February


Bachelors level social workers work with a variety of clients in many settings. The skills learned in the curriculum include interviewing skills, assessment skills, and intervention skills. The BSW qualifies the student to sit for the state exam at the Licensed Social Worker level. The state licensing law outlines the level of practice at this level. This is referred to as the Generalist Practice level.

  • Prerequisites

    45  student hours of general education credit, including the following courses:

  • Admission Process

    Deadline for application is the second Monday of February.

    • Candidates for the BSW Program must be formally admitted to Arkansas State University.
    • Candidates with one outstanding pre-requisite must meet with the Pre-Social Work Advisor to discuss proceeding with the application and scheduling of the outstanding pre-requisite.
    • Transfer students should request an advising appointment prior to applying.
    • Students must review the BSW Program Handbook and all program policies prior to submitting the application. These materials can be found on the department’s homepage.
    • Submit all application forms including a current copy of your academic transcripts to the Social Work Department:

    Arkansas State University
    Department of Social Work
    P.O. Box 2460
    State University, AR 72467

    • Eligibility for application will be verified by the Social Work Department’s Pre-Social Work Advisor.
    • This is a competitive admissions process. Applications will be reviewed and scored by the BSW Admissions Committee who submit recommendations for admission to the faculty for approval.
    • All applicants are notified in writing of the admissions decision by the Program Director by the end of March.
    • All newly admitted students must attend the Orientation Meeting. Notice of the date of the orientation is provided in your acceptance letter. 
  • Social Work Program Overview
    The mission of the Bachelor of Social Work Program at ASU is to educate generalist practitioners who will work to enhance intellectual growth, and to enrich lives through social justice and service specifically with rural populations. It employs a problem-solving process and relies on critical thinking. Generalist practitioners work within an organizational structure in which they use appropriate supervision and assume a wide range of professional roles (DuBois & Miley, 1996). These roles include broker, enabler/counselor, mediator, educator, evaluator, case manager/coordinator and
    advocate/activist (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 1999). Empowerment oriented social workers focus on clients’ strengths and adaptive skills as well as clients’ competencies and potential. They work collaboratively with their clients. Empowerment joins personal power and political power so as to increase an individual’s ability to control his or her destiny and “...to alter systems, redistribute resources, open up opportunity structures, and reorganize society” (Hartman, 1990; Lee, 1994 cited in DuBois & Miley, 1999, p. 28).
    The BSW Program at ASU has four goals. Each of these goals consists of guiding principles for curriculum development and support program activities. Our goals are:
    Goal 1: To prepare graduates for practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
    Objective 1: Apply critical thinking skills within the context of generalist social work practice.
    Objective 2: Demonstrate the professional use of self.
    Objective 3: Apply the knowledge and skills of a generalist social work practice with systems of all sizes (individual, family, group, organization, and community).
    Objective 4: Apply the knowledge of biological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual factors that affect the individual development and behavior, and use theoretical frameworks to understand the interactions between individuals as well as between individuals and various social systems.
    Objective 5: Use communication skills differentially with a variety of client populations, colleagues, and members of the community.
    Goal 2: Graduates will apply knowledge pertaining to the contexts of social work practice, the changing nature of those contexts, the behavior of organizations, the dynamics of change, and develop the skills necessary to become change agents.
    Objective 1: Understand and interpret the history of the social work profession as well as its contemporary structures and issues.
    Objective 2: Formulate, influence, and analyze the impact of social policies on client systems, workers, agencies, and communities.
    Objective 3: Function within the structure of organizations and service delivery systems and seek organizational change when necessary.
    Objective 4: Understand the value base of the profession and its ethical standards and principles, and practice accordingly.
    Objective 5: Apply planned changed process in or among social work practice levels.
    Goal 3: To infuse throughout the curriculum the values and ethics that guide professional social workers in their practice.
    Objective 1: Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and the strategies of advocacy and social change that advance social and economic justice.
    Objective 2: Practice within the value and ethics of the social work profession and with an understanding of and respect for the positive value of multiple dimensions of diversity, including age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.
    Objective 3: Evaluate research studies and apply research findings to practice, and under supervision, to evaluate their own practice interventions and those of other relevant systems.
    Goal 4: Graduates of the BSW Program will understand their responsibility to continue their
    professional development.
    Objective 1: Demonstrate the ability to plan for and implement appropriate lifelong professional development activities including maintaining appropriate professional credentials.
    Objective 2: Demonstrate an ability to assess and incorporate new knowledge and skills for competent generalist practice.
    Objective 3: Use supervision and consultation appropriate to generalist practice.
    Core Values
    The core values embraced by the ASU Social Work Department are the shared values of the social work profession throughout history; and are the foundation of this program and social work’s unique
    purpose and perspective. These six values are:
    1. Service
    2. Social justice
    3. Dignity and worth of the person
    4. Importance of human relationships
    5. Integrity
    6. Competence

  • Financial Aid

    Eligibility Criteria

    In order to receive financial aid, you must:

    • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
    • Have a valid Social Security Number
    • Be registered with the Selective Service, if required
    • Be enrolled at least half time in a degree program
    • Not be in default of any federal funds
    • Make satisfactory academic progress

    Application Procedure

    Step 1. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

    For the each academic year, the FAFSA can be filed on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov, or via paper copy from the ASU Financial Aid and Scholarships office or from your Guidance Office.

    Priority filing deadline is February 15th

    Online applications can be signed electronically through the use of a PIN given by the federal processor, or by printing the final signature page and mailing it to the processor. Those who have not received, or wish to recover a lost PIN can do so by visiting www.pin.ed.gov.

    Step 2. ASU Data Form

    All students who wish to receive federal student aid must fill out an ASU data form and return it to the Financial Aid & Scholarships office at ASU. Data forms are available in Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, online through http://finaid.astate.edu, and are mailed upon receiving FAFSA results.


    The verification process affects 1/3 of all federal aid applicants and is based upon random selection. Those who are selected for verification must provide signed copies of student tax records, parent tax records (if applicable), accompanied by an ASU verification form. Verification forms are available on line at www.astate.edu or from the ASU Financial Aid & Scholarships Office and are mailed upon being selected for verification.

    Step 3. Award Letter

    Upon completion of the necessary paperwork, an award letter will be constructed and sent to the

    student. The purpose of the award letter is to outline the types of aid individual students are eligible for and to allow for acceptance or denial of each aid type. Award letters, unless marked “No Signature Required”, must be signed and returned to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office in order to receive federal aid.

    First Time Borrowers

    First time borrowers must sign a master promissory note (MPN). Directions for the MPN will be sent to the student following the return of their award letter.  Funds will not be disbursed without a signed MPN.  Loan funds for first time borrowers, in their first enrollment period, are delayed for 30-days from their first class date.

    Disbursement of Funds

    All funds awarded by Financial Aid & Scholarships are placed directly into the students account. Student accounts can be monitored at www.astate.edu through the Web for Students link. Payment information, as well as access aid balance can be viewed from this secure site.  If excess aid is awarded, the amount of excess aid will be available through direct deposit or in the form of a check mailed to the students billing address.

    For further information please contact:

    Financial Aid/ Scholarships Office:
    P.O. Box 1620
    State University, AR 72467-1620
    (870) 972-2310
    Website: http://finaid.astate.edu

  • Curriculum

    The social work curriculum is based on the liberal arts (See General Education Requirements below)
    and consists of content area on social work values and ethics, diversity, social and economic justice, populations-at-risk, human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policies and services, social work practice, research and field experience. The baccalaureate curriculum meets the standards of the Council on Social Work Education. Students graduating from ASU with a bachelor’s degree must successfully complete 124 credit hours.
    The 124 credit hours are broken down in the manner described below for social work majors.

    General Education: 43 hours
    Social work is based on a strong liberal arts foundation. The degree designation for social work is a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. All students receiving the BSW degree must meet the General Education (Gen Ed) requirements of the Undergraduate Bulletin in force when they entered ASU. A total of 43 hours in Gen Ed courses are required. These 43 hours are comprised of the following:
    • Communication 6 hours
    • Mathematics 3 hours
    • Critical Thinking 3 hours
    • Understanding Global Issues 3 hours
    • Arts and Humanities 9 hours
    • Social Sciences 9 hours
    o Social Work REQUIRES (3 hours each)
     POSC 2103 Intro to U. S. Government
    Revised on July 12, 2011 8
     PSY 2013 Intro to Psychology
     SOC 2213 Principles of Sociology
    • Sciences 8 hours
    • Health and Wellness 2 hours
    Social Work Major Course Requirements: 49 hours
    The following courses are required:
    PSY 4533 Psychology of the Abnormal (3)
    SOC 2223 Social Problems (3)
    SOC 3381 Social Statistical Methods Lab (1)
    SOC 3383 Social Statistical Methods (3)
    SOC 4293 Methods of Social Research (3)
    SW 2203 Introduction to Social Work (3)
    SW 3253 Social Work Practice I (3)
    SW 3303 Human Behavior and Social Environment I (3)
    SW 3333 Human Behavior and Social Environment II (3)
    SW 3363 Cultural Diversity (3)
    SW 4263 Social Work Practice II (3)
    SW 4273 Field Experience I (3)
    SW 4283 Field Experience Seminar (3)
    SW 4296 Field Experience II (6)
    SW 4303 Social Work Practice III (3)
    SW 4213 Social Welfare Policy (3)
    Twelve hours of upper division Social Work electives are required.

    Free electives are any courses that are not included in the Gen Ed (43 hours), social work major (49 hours), or the 12 hours of upper division social work elective courses. A minimum of 20 credit hours of free electives are required to complete the 124 hours to graduate.
    45 Credit Hours at the Junior/Senior Level The University requires that students complete 45 credit hours at the junior/senior level (courses numbered 3000 and 4000). This requirement is met within the Social Work curriculum. Students should meet with their adviser to select the required electives that best suit personal interests and career goals. Micro or Macro Economics are recommended for students planning on pursuing graduate study in Social Work.

    Suggested Degree Plan
    Social work student degree plans vary, but some principles apply that make the suggested plan useful as a guide. Some courses must be taken before others (e.g., Intro to Social Work before Practice I), and some courses must be taken at the same time as others (e.g., Field Experience II, Field Experience Seminar, and Social Work Practice III). All courses are not offered every semester. Consult the Undergraduate Bulletin for course descriptions and semesters in which courses will be offered. Do not attempt to take social work courses out of sequence. Students may desire to take summer courses to lighten their load during regular semesters or to make up deficiencies in course requirements. Degree plans should be developed with assistance from an advisor.
    Revised on July 12, 2011 9
    Following is one suggested sequence in which requirements for the BSW degree may be met in four years. Refer to the Undergraduate Bulletin regarding developmental courses for students with specified ACT scores.

  • Checksheets & Degree Plans


    Checksheets list all of the requirements and university obligations for degree completion.

    Degree Plans

    Degree plans suggest a schedule of courses for students to follow as they pursue their degree.