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Social Work

Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.)

College: College of Nursing and Health Professions

Department: Social Work


The mission of the Bachelor of Social Work Program at A-State is to educate generalist practitioners who will work to enhance intellectual growth, and to enrich lives through social, racial, economic, and environmental justice and service specifically with rural populations, as well as with diverse regional, national, and global populations. It employs a problem-solving process and relies on critical thinking.

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.

Generalist social work practice consists of “professional efforts under the auspices of an organization guided by social welfare policies, social science theories, and the NASW Code of Ethics (NASW, 2021) to collaborate for planned change with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities to recognize their diverse strengths and empower them to achieve their greatest potential in a local and global environment that is socially just and sustainable” (Gasker, 2023, p. 11)


The deadline to apply to the BSW program is the second Friday of February. 

  • Prerequisites

    Admission Criteria

    After admission to the University, any student may declare social work as a major. All students declaring social work as their major will receive pre-admission advising from a social work faculty member. Admission to the BSW Program is competitive. To be admitted to the BSW Program, students must meet the requirements of the program that are in effect at the time they seek admission.

    Current Admission Criteria

    • Should have completed a minimum of 45 semester hours of course work at a college/university. Students who have not completed 45 semester hours of course work at a college/university will be considered for conditional admission on a case-by-case basis.
    • Have an overall GPA of 2.75 at the time of admission. Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.75 overall and a 2.75 in the major. Overall GPA is defined as all coursework that is being used to satisfy requirements for the BSW degree regardless of the institution from which the credits were earned.
    • Must have completed required prerequisite coursework. Prerequisite requirements can be found in the most current Undergraduate Bulletin.
    Visit the bulletins page >>

  • Admission Process

    How to Apply

    1. The application deadline is the second Friday of February.
    1. Students will submit completed applications to the Pre-Major Advisor/Social Work (SW) Department Secretary by due date along with a copy of their current transcript. Applications must be turned in to above designated personnel in the Social Work Department during scheduled office hours.
    1. The SW Personnel will verify students’ eligibility to apply. Also, students must have completed Introduction to Social Work, ENG 1003 English Composition I and ENG 1013 English Composition II, PSY 2513 Introduction to Psychology, BIOL 1003/1001 Biological Science and Biological Lab, SOC 2213 Introduction to Sociology, POSC 2103 Introduction to US Government  and MATH 1023 College Algebra or MATH 1054 Pre Cal Math with a “C” or higher.
    1. The SW personnel will verify application package and log student name. The completed application package will be submitted to the Admissions Committee Chair in one week: Third Monday in February.
    1. The admissions committee will convene to review applications and make recommendations.
    1. The Director of the BSW Program will notify all applicants of their conditional acceptance into the social work program status in writing by April. All applicants will remain conditionally admitted until clearing a background check.
    1. Based on recent legislation in Arkansas, students admitted to professional programs that require licensure in a state upon graduation are required to have a successful background check to complete formal admissions. This cost is the responsibility the student.
    1. The newly admitted BSW students must attend the Orientation Meeting. Check with the Director of the BSW Program the date for this event.

    Admission to the BSW Program is competitive. To be considered for admission to the BSW Program, students must meet the minimum requirements of the program that are in effect at the time they seek admission.  Meeting the minimum requirements for admission consideration to the BSW program does not necessarily guarantee acceptance to the program.

    Students seeking admission into the BSW program must submit a complete application packet, which includes:

    • Three professional letters of recommendation, one of which must be from the student’s Introduction of Social Work Professor or Instructor. The forms for all letters of references will be included in admission package.
    • Application form, personal interest statement, and transcripts.
    • Student must certify that they will comply with the NASW Code of Ethics and the College Substance Abuse Policy.

    For questions regarding admissions process, please call BSW Director Rashele Wade at 870-680-8296.

  • Goals, Objectives, & Core Values

    Goals & Objectives

    The BSW Program at A-State has four goals. Each of these goals consists of guiding principles for curriculum development and support program activities.

    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 A-State 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
    1. 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 each academic year, the FAFSA can be filed on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov, or via paper copy from the A-State 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. A-State Data Form

      All students who wish to receive federal student aid must fill out an A-State data form and return it to the Financial Aid & Scholarships office at A-State. 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 A-State verification form. Verification forms are available on line at www.astate.edu or from the A-State 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. 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

    2. Curriculum

      Curriculum Overview

      Social work student degree plans vary, but some principles apply that make the suggested plan useful and relevant as a guide. Some courses must be taken before others (e.g., Human Behavior in Social Environment before Social Work 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. Students will not be allowed 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 a social work advisor.

      Model degree plans are available on this page, under the "Important Files" section.

      Curriculum and degree requirements can be found in the most current Undergraduate Bulletin.

      Visit the bulletins page >>

    3. Frequently Asked Questions

      What kind of scholarships and financial aid are available for BSW students at A-State?

      The Martha Ivener Scholarship is awarded annually to a student pursuing a career in public child welfare. BSW students at A-State are eligible to apply. Loan forgiveness is available through the National Health Services Corp. Visit their website for more information.  Otherwise, check with campus Financial Aid.

      What does my GPA have to be to apply?

      You must have an overall GPA of 2.75 at the time of application. Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.75 overall and a 2.75 in the major. Overall GPA is defined as all coursework that is being used to satisfy requirements for the BSW degree regardless of the institution from which the credits were earned.

      Can I get my BSW from A-State online?

      While some courses are web only or web-assisted, we are primarily a face-to-face program. We schedule classes and arrange field experience sites so as to minimize student travel.

      What is the job market like for Social Workers?

      Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates the social work profession will grow by 25% from 2010 to 2020, a faster-than-average rate for all occupations. (NASW News, June 2012 p. 1)

      How much does it cost to attend A-State?

      Since costs change year to year, please visit Tuition & Fees or Financial Aid to get the most current information.

      Where do I send my application materials?

      Submit all materials directly to the Pre-Admissions Advisor/Social Work department.

    4. Professional Resources

      The National Association of Social Workers

      The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is “a membership organization that promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers” (Arkansas, NASW, 2003). Students receive a special membership rate and have access to practice insurance while in school. All students are encouraged to join the NASW.

      Visit the national NASW website >>
      Visit the Arkansas chapter NASW website >>

      NASW Code of Ethics

      The NASW Code of Ethics guides all social workers in ethical practice.

      View the NASW Code of Ethics >>

      Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board

      Licensing information and continuing education requirements can be found on their website.

    Accredited by CSWE

    CSWE_Accredited logoOur MSW and BSW degree programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s Board of Accreditation.

    Accreditation of a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Board of Accreditation indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process.  An accredited program has sufficient resources to meet its mission and goals and the Board of Accreditation has verified that it demonstrates compliance with all sections of the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. 

    Accreditation applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.