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Social Work Major

Complete a bachelor's degree in social work

SBU's Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program is now accepting applications from transfer students seeking to come to SBU to complete a BSW degree! Download the transfer student BSW application now.

Social work is a unique profession and the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) is one of the strongest health services degree you could earn today. As a social work major at SBU, you will be prepared from a Christian perspective to become a competent generalist social work practitioner in diverse settings worldwide.

Graduating from SBU's BSW degree program will equip you to become an effective leader in a growing occupation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of social workers is projected to grow 19% from 2012 to 2022, and the social work profession is expected to add 114,000 positions by 2022.

You will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to professionally intervene with individuals, families, groups and communities in various environments. 35% of new BSW graduates actually work within the criminal justice field.

As a student pursuing a degree in social work at SBU, you will have the unique opportunity to participate in an inner-educational agreement with the SBU doctor of physical therapy program at their pro-bono clinic. You will be able to provide direct support services to patients and their families under the supervision of social work faculty. This will allow you to demonstrate learned skills taught within the BSW program.

With a BSW degree from SBU, you can graduate prepared to be a generalist social work practitioner or go on to pursue a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree.

The Social Work degree is offered through SBU's College of Arts and Sciences


BSW program assessment data

Major Map (PDF)

Degree plan

Transfer student application (PDF)


(100% of the 2018 SBU Bachelor of Social Work graduates were employed or accepted into graduate school within 30 days of graduation.)

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The SBU Advantage

  • SBU's BSW program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
  • Volunteer experiences and personalized field experience placements will provide you with valuable, real-world learning and networking opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  • Thrive in small class sizes where you will receive individualized instruction and guidance, and will build lifelong friendships.
  • Broaden your education by adding a minor to your degree program in counseling, gerontology, psychology, psychology with sports performance enhancement, sociology, or a certificate in child care work.

Faith Integration

The integration of the Christian faith with the academic discipline of social work distinguishes the SBU BSW program. Faculty members are committed to producing graduates who are competent social work professionals who also are dedicated servant leaders.

Christian faith and worldview discussions are woven into curriculum and students are encouraged to consider how they can apply their faith to their practice of social work.

While all courses inherently integrate the Christian faith, the department of behavioral sciences also offers special classes specifically focused on faith integration, such as Psychology of Religion, Sociology of Religion, and Agape Love and Altruism.

The department has adopted 2 Peter 1:5-7 as its department verse: "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love."


Our graduates have pursued social work and social services careers at a variety of places including:

  • Adoption Services and Orphanages
  • ARC of the Ozarks
  • Burrell Behavioral Health
  • Easter Seals
  • Missouri Baptist Children's Home
  • Missouri Children's Division
  • NightLight International
  • North Central Mental Health
  • Pathways Community Health
  • Probation and Parole Offices

Graduate schools

Many graduates have pursued further education at schools such as:

  • Louisiana State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Regis University
  • Roberts Wesleyan University
  • University of Arkansas

Marissa Wilson
"Faculty ensured that I not only learned materials, but that I learned how to apply my knowledge in real-world situations. I learned how important spirituality is in life and how that impacts our perspective and worldview. As a social worker, I have found this to be extremely important when assessing clients."
Marissa Wilson '13
Foster Care and Adoption Specialist for Louisiana Baptist Children's Home

Clubs and Organizations

Social Work Club

Join SBU's Social Work Club which promotes and practices the knowledge, values and skills of generalist social work through community service, education and social events.

Phi Alpha

SBU's Tau Upsilon chapter of the Phi Alpha Honor Society recognizes students who have demonstrated a commitment to the standards, ethics and goals of the social work profession through their attainment of academic excellence, not only in social work education, but also in other academic areas, as well as through their dedication to the idea of service to humanity.

Behavioral Sciences Club

As a social work student you are encouraged to join SBU's Behavioral Science Club, which unites all students interested in and studying the behavioral sciences, including criminal justice, psychology, social work and sociology. Club members meet regularly to encourage each other and participate in various service projects.

Program outcomes and resources

Southwest Baptist University's Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) under the 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS). The program completed its most recent reaccreditation in 2019.

Program outcomes

View BSW assessment data

BSW handbook

Download BSW student handbook (PDF)

Field Education Manual

Download BSW field education manual (PDF)

Social Work Four-Year Plan


Fall Semester

ENG 1113 English Composition I 3
PSY 1013 General Psychology 3
BIB 1013 Old Testament History 3
CIS 1103 Computer and Information Management 3
MAT 1243 Algebraic Reasoning and Modeling 3
UNI 1111 University Seminar 1
Total hours 16

Spring Semester

ENG 2213 English Composition II 3
SOC 1003 Introductory Sociology 3
BIB 1023 New Testament History 3
FAR 10_3 Intro. to Art, Fine Arts, Music or Theatre 3
HIS 2213/2223 U.S. History I or II 3
UNI 1121 Critical Thinking 1
Total hours 16


Fall Semester

SOC 2012 Human Diversity 2
BIO 1004 Principles of Biology 4
SWK 2003 Introduction to Social Work 3
POL 1113 American Government and Politics 3
COM 1103 Fundamentals of Speech Communication 3
BEH 2001 Writing for the Behavioral Sciences 1
Total hours 16

Spring Semester

PHS 1004 Introduction to Physical Science 4
ECO 2003 LIFE Economics 3
KIN 1162 Foundations of Physical Fitness/Wellness 2
SPF 2012 Introduction to Spiritual Formation 2
  Electives/Recommended 6
Total hours 17


Fall Semester

BEH 2233 Introduction to Research 3
SWK 3113 Social Work Practice I: Helping Skills 3
PSY 3063 Human Growth and Development 3
SWK 3013 Integrating Faith and Social Work Practice 3
PSY 3033 Abnormal Psychology 3
  Electives/Recommended 3
Total hours 18

Spring Semester

BEH 3243 Elementary Statistics 3
SWK 3123 Social Work Practice II: Individuals 3
SWK 3133 Social Work Practice III: Families & Groups 3
SWK 3073 Human Behavior in the Social Environment II 3
SWK 3043 Social Work with Diverse Populations 3
  Electives/Recommended 3
Total hours 18


Fall Semester

SWK 4143 Social Work Practice IV: Communities and Organizations 3
SWK 4256 BSW Seminar and Practicum I 6
  Electives/Recommended 6
Total hours 15

Recommended Supportive Courses

Select 9 hours from the following courses:

SWK 4953 Intensive Studies in Social Work 3
SOC 3253 Child Abuse and Family Violence 3
BIO 3304 Human Anatomy and Physiology 4
SOC 4033 Criminology 3
SOC 3143 Sociology of Diverse Groups 3
SOC 4053 Dealing with Death and Dying 3
PSY 4373 Addictions 3
SOC 4083 Gerontology 3

Spring Semester

SWK 4093 Social Problems and Policy 3
SWK 4266 BSW Seminar and Practicum II 6
  Electives/Recommended 3
Total hours 12

This is a proposed guideline. Please check the catalog and see your advisor for your final degree requirements.
Southwest Baptist University reserves the right to make changes to degree plans without advanced notice or obligation.
The student is responsible for understanding and completing all general education, degree, departmental and graduation requirements.

Download in PDF format:
Social Work plan (PDF)