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Social Work (BSW)

Spring Arbor University’s Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) will prepare you to provide social services to individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Our professional practice is guided by the values of service, integrity, competence, social and economic justice, human dignity and worth, and belief in the importance of human relationships.

Locations and Start Dates

SAU offers the BSW program face-to-face at select learning sites, through our virtual classroom option and online through our 100% online BSW. The BSW is also available to traditional, undergraduate students on our Spring Arbor, Michigan campus.

Already have your BSW or other undergraduate degree? Learn more about SAU’s Master of Social Work.

On-Site Programs

  • 8/15/19
  • 1/28/19

Virtual Classroom Options

This option combines online learning with face-to-face interaction. Study from home, like in an online program, while still engaging with your classmates face-to-face. For more information, please contact your admissions representative.

  • 1/29/20

Career Opportunities

  • Family and children’s services including protective services and intense services to families
  • Substance abuse prevention and treatment
  • Case management with mentally ill or developmentally disabled individuals in community mental health centers
  • Casework in juvenile justice settings
  • Probation case work within a legal setting
  • Community work to develop and provide programs to help elderly remain independent
  • Working with children and adolescents in residential treatment programs
  • Social work in nursing homes

More information on social work as a profession is available online. Visit the website of the National Association of Social Workers or the National Association of Christians in Social Work.

Program Strengths and Emphases

The social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) which ensures students, employers and graduate social work programs that SAU graduates have received an education that meets CSWE’s rigorous standards. Students will receive the knowledge, skills and values needed to practice as a generalist social worker, to become licensed in the state of Michigan as a BSW and to attend graduate school. We have over a 95 percent acceptance rate for alumni who apply to MSW programs and they report that they felt they were well prepared for graduate study.

Learn more about BSW learning outcomes.


The Social Work Degree Guide ranked SAU #21 in The Top 25 Christian Colleges for a Social Work Degree Program 2015.

Earning a BSW at SAU

Online BSW program – 124-credit hours

BSW blended and face-to-face program – 51-credit hours

If you have any questions regarding requirements for admissions, enrollment or applicable transfer credits for these new programs, please contact

Admission to the Bachelor of Social Work Program

Our accreditation standards require that individuals who graduate with a BSW degree have the maturity, values, knowledge and skills needed to be competent professionals who can intervene in people’s lives to facilitate change and not do harm. Students will make formal application to the social work program after completing the first course. Students will be notified of acceptance after successful completion of the second course. The criteria for acceptance are:

  • Completion of Module 1: SWK 281 with a 2.5 or better (unless you have a conditional acceptance to the School of Human Services based on a GPA lower than 2.5, which then requires a minimum of 3.0).
  • Must pass Module 2: WRT 312 with a 2.0 (C) or better (unless you have a conditional acceptance to the School of Human Services based on a GPA lower than 2.5, which then requires a minimum of 3.0).
  • Submission of application materials by end of SWK281
  • References from three individuals
  • Signing a statement that you have read the National Association of Social Work (NASW) Code of Ethics and agree to abide by this code of ethics while engaging in social work activities.
  • Written personal statement completed as an assignment in Module 1 and a personal interview with a social work faculty member.

BSW Online Program Requirements

Spring Arbor University welcomes applications for the online BSW from all persons, without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, gender, age or handicap. The following are required for admission:

  1. A completed application
  2. Submission of an official transcript from each institution attended
  3. A minimum of 58 semester hours of transferable credit from accredited, degree-granting institutions of higher education.
  4. Only courses with grades of “C” (2.0) or above are accepted for transfer
  5. Only courses numbered 100 or above will qualify for transfer
  6. No more than 40 semester hours of technical course credit may be counted for degrees in Professional Studies
  7. A short autobiographical outline. This is evaluated by the academic advisor to determine life learning credit potential.
  8. Employment, if at all possible, because employment enhances the educational outcomes of the program.
  9. Satisfactory completion of the writing sample which demonstrates the competency required to function in the program

Admission Requirements

To gain admittance to the Bachelor of Social Work major at Spring Arbor University, you must meet the following requirements:

  • 58 transferable semester hours (does not apply to the BSW online.)
  • A science course with content on the human body
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • A political science course covering local, state and federal government
  • Introduction to Economics

Credit hours can be earned through taking classes at Spring Arbor University, testing (e.g., CLEP, DSST) and approved courses taken at other accredited institutions.

Additional admission requirements:

  • Fill out the online or written application
  • Submit an autobiographical outline
  • Submit a writing sample
  • Send your transcripts from each college you’ve attended (must be official transcripts issued by the institution).

If you have questions or want to meet with a program representative, call 800.968.0011 or email us.

Courses and Program Requirements

Liberal arts prerequisites for the social work program include:

  • Biology course with content on the human body
  • Introduction to sociology
  • Introduction to psychology
  • Political science that covers national, state and local government
  • Introductory economics
  • A course on racial and ethnic minorities.

Note: Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the accrediting agency, does not allow students to receive social work course credit for life learning experience.

The 51-hour accelerated BSW requires that students develop specific professional skills by taking courses in:

  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • Interviewing
  • Practice with Individuals and Families
  • Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
  • Research Design
  • Social Welfare Policies
  • Practice with Groups
  • Practice with Communities and Organizations
  • Critical Analysis and Research Writing
  • Biblical Perspectives

View the program requirements and layout, course descriptions, and to learn more about the Bachelor of Social Work program at Spring Arbor University in the course catalog.

Sample Course Layout

Introduction to Social Work & Adult Learning6
Critical Analysis & Research Writing7
Academic Planning Week1
Human Behavior in the Social Environment6
Practice Interviewing6
Practice with Individuals & Families6
Internship Orientation Session1
Biblical Perspectives6
Practice with Groups6
Research Design6
Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences6
Practice with Communities & Organizations6
Social Welfare Policies6
Values: Personal & Social5
Internship Seminar5
Total89 Weeks

Tuition and Fees

2019-20 Rates

  • Tuition per credit: $587
  • Registration fee (per semester): $40
  • Technology fee (per semester): $53 (part-time)/$105 (full-time)

Tuition rates and fees are subject to change.

For more information, please contact an admissions rep at or call 1.800.968.0011.