Bachelor of Social Work Online

Program Overview

Our online Bachelor’s in Social Work (online BSW) program prepares students to become competent, confident, engaged and ethical social workers who are committed to social and economic justice. Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), our online BSW emphasizes problem solving, values and ethics. Our students develop the core skill set necessary to improve relationships, develop solutions and connect with clients on a deeper, more spiritual level.

Why you should choose Spring Arbor University for your Online BSW?

  • Ranked among the Top 25 Christian Colleges for a Social Work Degree by Social Work Degree Online
  • Complete coursework 100% online
  • Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Preparation for social work licensure and advanced standing MSW degree programs
  • Small class sizes so you can connect directly with faculty and other students
  • As part of our coursework (SWK281), a faculty member will become your program mentor, shepherding you through upper level courses and your fieldwork internship
  • Child Welfare Endorsement available to qualified Michigan residents
  • Our balanced online social work curriculum focuses on both theory and skill development

A higher calling

As an inclusive, Christ-centered university, we at Spring Arbor University Online believe Jesus Christ to be the very first social worker. While there was no name for social work at the time, Jesus organized his mission around the human issues of love, charity, aiding the suffering and elevating the downtrodden. It’s a message we can all learn from and follow as we aspire to help the diverse range of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities at risk to social and economic injustices and discrimination.

Key program learnings:

  • Learn how to implement a planned care process in order to help people improve relationships and resolve problems
  • Gain insight into the tactics used to intervene effectively as you build an understanding of how people interact with each other and their environment
  • Focus on unique strategies for helping adults navigate the issues of aging, including changing family, work and retirement, faith, leisure, biological changes and health
  • Discover the organizational and communication skills necessary to effectively manage a successful volunteer program
  • Build your expertise as a social worker as you learn how to work with children and those who have experienced trauma
  • Explore the role of faith in social justice and how to secure your place as a Christian in the social work world

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Careers & Outcomes

Pulling from their real-world experience our faculty create learning opportunities that reflect the realities of current social work practice. In addition, we’ve made it convenient to fulfill your BSW field work requirements by allowing you to conduct your internship in your community. All of this will help prepare you for a meaningful and successful career in the field.

Earning your bachelor’s in social work online will prepare you to work in settings such as:

  • Community action agencies
  • Mental health
  • Developmental disabilities services
  • Child welfare
  • Domestic violence centers
  • Residential treatment programs
  • Homeless shelters
  • Criminal justice agencies
  • Substance abuse programs
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Healthcare settings
  • Churches and related agencies
  • Aging services
  • Schools (elementary and secondary)

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Admissions & Tuition Information

Our accredited online BSW opens the door to qualified students with a high school diploma who are seeking an enriching and spiritually fulfilling future in the profession of social work. Upon graduation from the social work bachelor’s degree online program, students who meet the graduate program admissions criteria will be eligible for placement into an advanced standing master of social work (MSW) program.

Admissions Requirements:

  • An ACT composite score of 20 or an SAT of 940 (Critical Reading and Math) and a high school GPA of 2.60 or higher are recommended as minimum criteria.
  • If ACT/SAT and high school completion is more than 3 years old, satisfactory completion of the writing sample which demonstrates the competency required to function in the program will be accepted.
  • For transfers, a GPA of at least 2.50 is recommended.
  • Successful completion of SWK 281 (C+ or better)
  • Personal Interview with social work faculty
  • A completed application

Application to the online BSW major is required before junior level practice courses are taken. Freshman, sophomores and transfer students can declare their intent to major in social work and will be assigned to a Student Success Advisor who will help them prepare for admission to the major. Application to the major takes place after completion of COR 100, ENG 104 and SWK 281. Transfer students who have completed the equivalent of SWK 281 at another accredited program may provisionally take one semester of junior-level courses while they apply to and are accepted into the program. The decision as to whether all requirements are adequately met for admission to the social work major will be made by the social work faculty.

Applicants whose scores and GPA are below these recommendations may be admitted with probationary status. Freshman applicants submitting scores from the General Educational Development (GED) test must have an average standard score of 500 for regular admission.

Cost & Financial Aid

The program is $565 per credit hour*. Financial aid and loan forgiveness options are available to those who qualify. Visit our financial aid page for more information.

  • Tuition: $565 per credit hour*
  • Registration Fee: $40 per semester*
  • Technology Fee: $105 per semester*
  • Application Fee: $30
  • SWK447 Course Fee: $72*

Take the next step

Get more information about the CSWE-accredited Bachelor’s of Social Work online program at Spring Arbor University Online.

To learn more, complete the form on this page or call us at 1.844.621.0900. An admissions advisor will reach out to you and answer any questions you may have.

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Bachelor’s of Social Work Curriculum

Spring Arbor University’s undergraduate degree programs require 124 total credit hours, which include 43 credit hours related to your field of study (Major), 60 general education credit hours, and several electives. Up to 60 credit hours can transfer in upon review/approval.

BSW Program Requirements

  • SWK 281 Introduction to Social Work (3)
  • SWK 305 Human Behavior in the Social Environment (3)
  • SWK 311 Racial and Ethnic Relations (3)
  • SWK 335 Interviewing (3)
  • SWK 340 Practice with Individuals and Families (3)
  • SWK 351 Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (3)
  • SWK 352 Research Design (4)
  • SWK 442 Social Welfare Policies (3)
  • SWK 446 Practice with Groups (3)
  • SWK 447 Practice with Communities and Organizations (3)
  • SWK 450 Internship (10)
  • SWK 480 Senior Seminar (2)

Course Descriptions

SWK 281 Introduction to Social Work (3)

An introduction to the field of social work. Knowledge will be gained of various practice settings, the history of social work and the purposes and values that guide social work practice with individuals, groups, organizations, communities and social welfare. Case studies and videos are used to introduce the social issues and vulnerable populations with which social work is concerned. You will be encouraged to assess your potential as a social worker through self-reflection and course assignments.

SWK 305 Human Behavior in the Social Environment (3)

An overview of normal biological, psychological, social and spiritual development of individuals from a life-span and family life-cycle perspective. An emphasis on how the interaction of the individual, culture, race, gender and the social environment affect human behavior using social systems theory. Issues of gender and other current social problems associated with the family life-cycle will be addressed. This course provides the theoretical foundation for social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

SWK 311 Racial and Ethnic Relations (3)

The cultures and experiences of minority ethnic groups in the United States, and the impact of prejudice, discrimination and racism on these minority groups and on white society.

SWK 335 Interviewing (3)

An introduction to the researched-based theory and techniques of interviewing for the helping relationship. This is a pre-practice course that will teach interviewing skills necessary for effective practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Role playing will be used to practice skills within the classroom setting as well as interview assignments outside the classroom.

SWK 340 Practice with Individuals and Families (3)

This course will cover theoretical foundations of generalist social work practice with individuals and families. Theories of Human Behavior and Social Environment (HBSE) will be applied to practice of assessment, goal-setting, intervention, termination and practice evaluation. Special attention will be given to intervention with diverse and vulnerable populations. Case materials and role-playing will be used. Problem-solving processes will also be covered, with attention give to their practice and application with groups, organizations and communities.

SWK 351 Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (3)

Descriptive statistics (measures of central tendency and dispersion, graphical representation of data), inferential statistics (binomial and normal distributions, central

limit theorem, standard tests of significance), and special statistical techniques (analysis of variance, linear regression, chi square test).

SWK 352 Research Design (4)

Basic theory of research design is used to design a proposal for doing program outcome evaluation, needs assessment and single subject research. This course primarily covers design and analysis of quantitative research, with an introduction to qualitative research methods. The course material will also prepare students for reading and using professional research articles.

SWK 442 Social Welfare Policies (3)

This course reviews the historical development and philosophical basis of social work’s response to those in need, and of social welfare policy. It will also examine the current welfare system , enabling students to develop beginning practice skills in the construction, analysis and implementation of social welfare policy at local, state and national levels. This course will prepare students to effectively utilize social policy as a generalist social worker.

SWK 446 Practice with Groups (3)

Theories of group behavior and the impact of group participation on human behavior are covered in this course, with emphasis on how these theories can be used in applying the problem-solving methods for treatment and task groups. Systems theory is used to understand how the social work profession makes use of groups to accomplish individual, family, organizational and/or community goals. Content will cover issues of diversity within and between various groups in our society. Focus will also be group dynamics, group development, group decision-making, use of self within group dynamics, group leadership skills and evaluation of group practice.

SWK 447 Practice with Communities and Organizations (3)

This course builds on theory of human behavior in the social environment, explored in both SWK 305 and SWK 446, by providing additional theory of community and organizational behavior. The primary focus is on a macro-perspective involving work both with and in the community. The course is designed to teach students how social work uses knowledge and skills in organizing and planning to change or reform social conditions in order to achieve better organization and coordination of community systems for meeting human needs. Students integrate their knowledge of theory and practice by developing and implementing a group project in the community.

SWK 450 Internship (10)

The internship requires participation in a social service program in a community agency, under the educational direction of social work professionals and university faculty. Students advance their knowledge of the profession and refine their generalist practice skills. The internship will involve 400 hours of work in a social service setting.

SWK 480 Internship Seminar (2)

This seminar is designed to integrate the concepts, knowledge and values learned in previous course work with agency experience. This capstone course provides opportunities for students to share learning experiences from agency placement and to demonstrate their competencies through a series of integration assignments.

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*Tuition rates and fees are subject to change.