Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)


The Social Work program at Southern Utah University prepares generalist Social Work professionals through experiential learning, high-impact practices, and attention to the dignity and worth of each individual. Graduates will lead locally, nationally, and globally by serving others with integrity, standing for social and economic justice, human rights, and human relationships. Their ability to integrate evidence-based practices and research applicable to individuals, families, communities, and groups will create lasting practice-based evidence and outcomes for generations.

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Students who complete a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) will be prepared to pass the Utah exam for the Social Service Workers license, which is required for many social services jobs. Students will have the skills, knowledge, and competencies to work with individuals and families in a variety of social service careers. They will also have the foundational knowledge to be accepted into a Master of Social Work degree program that prepares students to be licensed as social workers and clinicians.


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In addition to applying to the university, students must apply specifically to the Bachelor of Social Work program.

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Director's Message

Brad Simpson

Welcome to the BSW program at Southern Utah University! Social work impacts all parts of our lives. It is a very noble profession that is geared toward helping those who are often the most neglected in society. Social work seeks to ennoble the disenfranchised through educating individuals who are professional, ethical, and highly skilled. This program is uniquely positioned to prepare students in an experiential way.

BSW graduates from Southern Utah University are prepared for careers in child and adult protective services, schools, mental health settings, women’s shelters, nursing homes, hospitals, treatment centers, and other agencies that serve people in need. You also will be ready for graduate school if you choose to pursue a higher-level degree. We, as faculty and staff, are excited that you have chosen to pursue a degree in social work. Welcome to the social work family at SUU.

- Brad Simpson DSW, LCSW BSW Program Director/Assistant Professor

Students may declare Pre-Social Work as their major at any time. All course offerings in social work are open to all Social Work majors, with the exception of the practice courses ( SW 3100, SW 3200, and SW 3300), and the field practicum courses ( SW 4891 and SW 4892), which require completion of the program/field education application and formal program acceptance. Social work students are expected to take courses in sequence in order to have the professional foundational knowledge required for each class. 

Career Additional Matriculation Requirements:Students must apply for the program/field practicum placement in the Social Work major. Students submit their applications in the semester before desiring to be admitted and are notified regarding their admission status the month following their application due date regarding acceptance for the next semester.

  • Admittance for Spring semester application due September 15th
  • Admittance for Fall Semester application due February 1st

Application requirements include accumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. At the end of the junior year, social work majors qualify for the practicum with a B- or better in all practice classes.

The BSW is a competitive admission program. Due to accreditation standards, we will admit a limited number of students that will be accepted to begin each academic year. Students submit their applications the semester before desiring to be admitted and are notified regarding their admission status the month following their application due date, regarding acceptance for the next semester. Apply the same semester the student completes their prerequisites.

  • Admittance for Spring semester application due September 15th
  • Admittance for Fall Semester application due February 1st

In order to be admitted to (and remain in) the BSW program, students must:

  1. Be currently admitted to SUU
  2. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  3. Have completed:
    1. ENGL 1010 with C+ grade or higher
    2. ENGL 2010 with C+ grade or higher
    3. Math 1040 or 1031 with C+ grade or higher
    4. SW 1010 with B- grade or higher
    5. All general education requirements (before beginning the program)

Students who have most of their general education requirements may apply and be admitted into the program under the condition that they complete all general education requirements during their first semester in the program. For example, if a student meets all program admission requirements, but has not taken Math 1040 or Math 1031, that student may apply and be conditionally admitted into the BSW program under the condition that they complete Math 1040 or Math 1031 during their first semester in the program. If the student does not complete Math 1040 or Math 1031 with a C+ grade or higher during their first semester in the program, then their conditional admission may be revoked. The student will be notified of any changes in conditional admission status via email. The student will then notify the university via email if they have accepted this status for admission.

All students who meet the minimum application requirements are eligible to apply. No student will be denied admission based upon race, gender, disability, age, religion, sexual orientation, culture, creed, class, ethnicity, or national origin.

A criminal conviction or pending criminal charges will not necessarily disqualify a student from admission to the BSW. However, past or future criminal activity, or conduct, may limit or inhibit a student from completing a social work internship that is required to complete the degree or render the student ineligible to receive state certification or licensure to practice social work. For more information, contact the Utah Division of Professional Licensing (DOPL).

To make your application to the BSW program as strong and accurate as possible, and for the benefit of the admissions committee members who will be reviewing and scoring each application, please ensure that you have carefully read and followed the instructions below before submitting your application. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Questions regarding the application process can be directed to your academic advisor.

  1. Ensure you are eligible for the program, see program eligibility within this document
  2. Complete the Bachelor of Social Work Application
    1.  You will be asked to upload a one-page resume that details your educational, professional, and volunteer experience relevant to a career in social work. Include agency, supervisor name, dates worked, and how many hours you worked per week or month, and a total number of hours for volunteer and professional work experience.
    2. Upload an official transcript from each higher education institution you have attended (including SUU). Transcripts from the school you are attending in the  semester immediately before the application deadline must include the grades earned in that semester. Therefore, you must request these transcripts after your  grades have been posted. Official transcripts must come directly from the institution. 

If needed, students may be asked to complete a formal interview with the admission committee and/or submit additional documentation to support a student’s readiness for a career in social work. The admissions committee may seek additional information from faculty, applicant, or other formal sources.

Students are notified in writing and via email regarding their admission status at least 8 weeks prior to the start of the semester. 

Students admitted to the program are those who have a combination of a 3.0 or higher GPA and relevant work/internship/volunteer experience. Students denied admission to the program may continue to apply.

The Social Work Program Director and FLHD Department Chair makes final decisions about the evaluation of transfer credit for social work required classes. This is done in consultation with the SUU Social Work Program Director and social work faculty who teach the same or similar course as the transfer course. Courses proposed for transfer credit for core SUU Social Work Program practice courses must have been taught in a social work program with Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation and be equivalent to a course taught in the SUU Social Work Program. 

All other courses proposed for transfer credit must have been taught at a regionally accredited institution of higher education, and must also be equivalent to the course taught at SUU. The Social Work Director and the FLHD Department Chair also oversee substitutions, waivers, exceptions to major requirements, and graduation applications. This is done on a case-by-case, or course-by-course basis.

First Year
Fall Credit Hours Spring Credit Hours
SW 1010 3 Humanities 3
NFS 1020 3 American Institutions 3
ENGL 1010 3 ENGL 2010 3
FLHD 1500 3 Elective 3
Elective 3 Elective 3
Total 15 Total 15

Second Year
Fall Credit Hours Spring Credit Hours
INFO 1010 1 Life Sciences 3
Physical Sciences 3 Fine Arts 3
Math 1040 4 Humanities 3
SW 2100 2 Elective 3
Elective 3 Elective 3
Elective 2 - -
Total 15 Total 15

Third Year
Fall Credit Hours Spring Credit Hours
SW 3100 3 SW 3200 3
SW 3350 3 SW 3300 3
SW 3370 3 SW 4500 3
FLHD 4100 3 FLHD 4250 3
FLHD 4350 3 SW 3600 3
Total 15 Total 15

Fourth Year
Fall Credit Hours Spring Credit Hours
SW 4891 6 SW 4892 6
Elective 3 Elective 3
Elective 3 Elective 3
Elective 3 Elective 3
Total 15 Total 15

Field education faculty will collaborate with practicum sites to place practicum students with practicum sites in a manner that will meet the needs of both students and practicum sites. Ideally, students will be matched with organizations and agencies that allow them to practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities in various ways. Placement sites must have the ability to provide BSW practicum students with at least one level of practice such as individuals and families or families and communities. Each year there will be two internship fairs that will allow students the opportunity to present themselves to possible field placement sites. In order to allow students to practice applying skills at a generalist level, at least one practicum seminar sessions per semester will be focused on generalist application and approaches. Potential Practicum placement sites include placement in child and adult protective services, schools, mental health settings, women's shelters, nursing homes, hospitals, treatment centers, juvenile justice, criminal justice, and other agencies that serve people in need.

In order to be eligible for a social work practicum, students should have senior status and be eligible for graduation at the end of the academic year and/or semester in which they complete Advanced Practicum II/SW 4892. They must have completed the following courses with a “B-” or better   before beginning  their field education: SW 2100, 3100, 3200, 3300, 3350, 3370, and 4500.   For the first year that students are admitted into the SUU BSW program, SW 2100, 3100, 3200, and 3300 may be taken concurrently with SW 4891 & 4892 Beginning and Advanced Practicum. Before taking these courses a student must be admitted to the BSW program upon completion of an application. 

Enrollment in SW 4891 Beginning Practicum and SW 4892 Advanced Practicum will be with the field education director's approval only. Students must be eligible for enrollment in SW 4891 in order to be matched with a practicum site. Additionally, as many field placements will require a successful background check as a condition of placement, students must be able to pass a background check. The background check does not need to be completed until a student is matched with field placement. At that time, they will follow the policies of their field placement site in regards to a background check.

Students must have a GPA of 3.0 in their major and overall and must have completed the application process for Field Practicum and admission to the BSW program. The field experience entails completion of 476 clock hours at the field agency, weekly attendance at a seminar on campus, and enrollment in related, concurrent classes. The Director of Field Education makes field agency assignments with input from the student and field agency staff. Most students feel that their field education are among the most valuable experiences in the program. Field experiences often help a student narrow their choices for a field of practice within social work. Field Instructors can be very helpful in assisting students with the job search process. Many students are hired by agencies in which they completed field education, or by agencies they learned of while in the field. 

Within the first three weeks, the student, in cooperation with the field instructor, will complete a learning agreement derived from the program competencies. Once the learning agreement is approved by the field director, the field instructor evaluates the student’s performance throughout the semester. At the end of the semester, the field instructor completes a final evaluation which results in a letter grade for the field practicum.

It will be the student’s responsibility to complete the Practicum Application and submit it to field education faculty by the deadline on the form. Students will not be allowed to register for SW 4891, Beginning Practicum, unless this form is completed and turned in by the due date. Each Spring Semester, field education faculty will host a practicum fair in which practicum sites and students will be invited to meet and discuss potential placements. Within 1 week of the fair, students will submit their top 3 practicum site choices, and practicum sites will be invited to submit a list of students they are and are not interested in hosting. Field education faculty will then assign practicum students to practicum sites based on both student and practicum site preference. Practicum site assignments will be based on student interest, agency/organization need, and availability of field instructor(s). Students will be notified of their practicum site placement no later than the last day of the spring semester prior to beginning SW 4891. Practicum placements will remain the same for both SW 4891 and SW 4892 unless an unresolvable issue between practicum student and practicum site arises at which time student and field education faculty shall follow the process for a change in placement as outlined in this field education manual. SITES WILL APPROVE STUDENTS PRIOR TO STUDENT NOTIFICATION

Social Work at the Bachelor's level is a licensed profession in Utah. Practitioners must be able to apply professional knowledge, values, and skills ethically. Practice courses provide skill development activities in order for students to develop skills such as interviewing and assessment, intervention, and evaluation. During their senior year, students complete field education during the fall and spring semesters. Students are assigned to social services agencies by the Field Director, with consideration of the student's interests and learning needs, and the availability of field agencies. These field education provide opportunities for students to apply knowledge and skills learned in classes to real-life situations with clients. Field Practicum students are supervised and guided by professional social workers in agencies in order to ensure that they have productive educational experiences. The BSW program expects students to exemplify professional and ethical behavior in accordance with current professional social work standards. The BSW program expects all students to obey the law, show respect for properly constituted authority, perform contractual obligations, maintain absolute integrity and high standards of individual honesty in academic work, and observe a high standard of conduct within the academic and professional environment. In short, a student enrolled in the program accepts the obligation to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner acceptable at an institution of higher learning and within the social work profession.

Practicum Application

Southern Utah University has achieved Candidacy for Accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation.

Candidacy for a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation indicates that it has made progress toward meeting criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process. A program that has attained Candidacy has demonstrated a commitment to meeting the compliance standards set by the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, but has not yet demonstrated full compliance.

Students who enter programs that attain Candidacy in or before the academic year in which they begin their program of study will be retroactively recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program once the program attains Initial Accreditation. Candidacy is typically a three-year process and attaining Candidacy does not guarantee that a program will eventually attain Initial Accreditation. Candidacy 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.

For more information about social work accreditation, you may contact Accreditation.