Bachelor of Social Work

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree program prepares undergraduate students for ethical, competent, entry-level, generalist professional social work practice with diverse, poor, vulnerable and oppressed individuals, families, groups and communities. 

Detroit's urban context provides rich and compelling experiences that aid BSW students in developing their professional competence and prepares them to uphold the core values of the profession. In the classroom and in field, our faculty guide BSW students to make connections between social work practice and broader struggles to advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice. We help students understand the need for cultural and intellectual humility and to value and appreciate the strengths and expertise of the clients they serve.

Highlights

  • The BSW program application deadline is June 1

Degree options

Contribute to communal flourishing with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from Wayne State University. Complete this flexible social work major through on-campus or online learning with day and BSW course offerings.

Here, you'll learn from expert social workers and engage in dynamic exercises to establish professional skills in ethical, competent social work practice. The BSW degree prepares you for entry-level licensure (LLBSW) and roles as a social work generalist serving diverse, vulnerable, oppressed, and under resourced individuals, families, groups, and communities.

Learning outcomes

Develop your professional competence in the rich context of urban Detroit, where you'll draw connections between social work practice and broader struggles to advance justice and human rights. You'll practice cultural and intellectual humility, value and appreciate your clients' strengths and expertise, apply interdisciplinary helping strategies, and gain first-hand experience upholding the core values of the social work profession.

The Bachelor of Social Work online and on-campus programming equips you to:

  • Model social and environmental justice
  • Become an enthusiastic and compassionate social worker
  • Practice strengths-focused problem-solving
  • Work to eliminate social and structural inequality
  • Make data-driven decisions
  • Engage with research
  • Integrate micro and macro social work perspectives
  • Collaborate with colleagues and community members

BSW program requirements and curriculum

The BSW degree includes at least 120 credits. In your freshman and sophomore years, you'll complete 60 credits, including University General Education requirements and the social work prerequisite course, which you'll need to be admitted to the professional component of the BSW program. You'll complete another 60 credits in your junior and senior years: 51 credits of BSW courses, including 460 hours of field education, and 9 credits of general education electives.

We hold our future social workers to professional standards. Through your coursework, you'll demonstrate suitability and fitness for the values and ethics of the social work profession. You'll need to abide by the National Association of Social Workers' Code of Ethics and maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.0.

Bachelor of Social Work courses

In your professional courses, you'll study human behavior and the social environment, research methods, social work practice, and social welfare policy and services. You'll also gain hands-on experience with social work practice through 460 hours of field education. Every aspect of the BSW curriculum highlights themes of social justice, values and ethics, oppression and discrimination, and populations-at-risk.

Learn more about the BSW course format.

Student internships

Experience is essential for entry-level social workers. At Wayne State University, you'll gain hands-on practice in ameliorating and preventing personal, interpersonal, and social problems through a two-semester (460-hour) educational student internship.

You can apply for positions with a wide variety of social service agencies specializing in care for individuals, families, groups, organizations, or communities. Your coursework and WSU's community connections emphasize opportunities in urban areas that serve the poor and oppressed, persons of color, and at-risk populations representing a variety of ethnic, racial, and cultural groups. Wayne State's practical student internship education prepares you to excel as a social worker upon graduation.

Minor option to complement your social work major

Build professional competence in your target field with a Law and Social Work minor. This advanced interprofessional training can help you narrow your career focus and develop networks for igniting change. The Law and Social Work minor equips you to confront challenges to advancing human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice. You'll prepare to advocate for communities and support policies for social justice reform.

Non-social work undergraduate students interested in learning more about the field are encouraged to explore the Social Work and Social Justice minor. The Social Work and Social Justice minor prepares you to foster environments that are socially just, diverse, inclusive, and equitable in fields like education, government, immigration, criminal justice, and advocacy.

Flexible program format

Pursue your social work major on a schedule that works for you. At WSU, you can study full- or part-time in day, evening, and online BSW courses. For on-campus and in-person courses, you can attend our main Detroit campus and the Macomb and Schoolcraft learning centers.

The Bachelor of Social Work program is also available online through the BSW WOW! program—although you'll complete your two-semester internship in person. You'll also have the option of  Senior Rule to jump-start your future MSW studies.

Excellent preparation for social work licensure

Field experience and rigorous coursework through Wayne State University prepare you to earn your social work limited license. In addition to your degree requirements, WSU resources like our licensure practice exam and the WSU Social Work Alumni Licensure Mentor Program support your licensure application process. You'll apply for your limited license (LLBSW or LLMSW) as a new practitioner, and in two to seven years you can earn the 4,000 supervised experience hours necessary to apply for full licensure.

An accelerated path to MSW

Advance your professional potential while saving both time and money through the Senior Rule option at Wayne State. You may enroll in elective  social work courses that apply to both your undergraduate and MSW degree - even if you don't plan to start your MSW for a few years.

You'll pay the undergraduate tuition rate for these courses, which is nearly one-third less than the graduate tuition rate for Michigan residents. Learn more about Wayne State's MSW program.

Accreditation

The Wayne State University School of Social Work BSW program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). WSU B.S.W. program assessment of Student Learning Outcomes - form AS-4(B)

Bachelor of Social Work career outcomes

Social work professionals are in high demand, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in social work are increasing at a faster rate than the national average. You can build on the earning potential of your BSW degree with licensure and further study. The median annual salary for social workers is $50,390, which is also higher than the national average.

You'll prepare to work in environments like:

  • Child welfare
  • Public welfare
  • Advocacy and community organizing
  • Health care
  • Mental health care
  • Clinical social work
  • Justice and corrections
  • Policy and planning
  • Research
  • Social work administration

BSW major admission requirements

Before you apply for the social work major, you need to be admitted to WSU. You should have completed, or be in the process of completing, 60 credits, including pre-professional coursework, with a minimum overall GPA of 2.50.

You can complete these Bachelor of Social Work requirements at Wayne State or transfer them from another eligible institution. The BSW application involves your official transcripts, resume, and a personal interest statement that demonstrates your commitment to social work education.

Tuition and scholarships

Wayne State University offers one of the most affordable BSW degrees in Michigan. Our low tuition and fees are set to make university education accessible to as many students as possible. We also provide robust financial aid opportunities, including several social work scholarships.

Explore WSU's net price calculator to estimate your potential BSW tuition and financial aid savings.

Apply to Wayne State University's Bachelor of Social Work Program!

Enhance the health and growth of individuals, families, groups, and communities with a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Wayne State University. You can study in-person or online in flexible day, and evening,  BSW courses and prepare for social work licensure.

Request more information to learn about WSU's BSW program. Or start your social work journey: apply now!

Contact

Geoffrey Jones, LLMSW
Academic Services Officer II
bt3545@wayne.edu

Norma Love-Schropshire, DSW, LMSW 
Assistant Professor, Teaching and BSW Program Director
bswdirector@wayne.edu