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Social Work, B.S.W.

The Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) degree prepares students to promote and enhance the well-being of underserved populations and to advocate for and advance social, economic, and environmental justice for individuals, families, groups, and communities.

Visit the program website for more information.

This program requires a secondary admission process.

Program Overview

The B.S.W. requires 120 semester credit hours. The program is built on a liberal arts foundation plus 31 hours of cognate and international courses. The required courses complement 48 credit hours of professional social work courses, which emphasize CSWE core competencies and foundation practice behaviors.

Topics include: social work practice, human behavior in context, values and ethics, social and economic justice, diversity, policy, research, and critical thinking.

Why Study Social Work at Grand Valley?

  • The social work program provides a foundation curriculum in a high-quality learning environment that prepares students for success in the community social work concentration.
  • Through the combined efforts of the faculty, staff, and the advising center, students are provided with the personal advising and support they need to get their degree, pursue a master's degree, or start their careers.
  • Students learn from engaged faculty, many of whom are nationally known for their contributions in diverse areas of the social work profession.
  • The School of Social Work hosts several faculty-led International programs. These programs are typically two-week-long programs with many opportunities to be involved in the social work process in a variety of settings.
  • Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Career Insights

This tool shows an overview of potential career opportunities for this major. Actual salaries, employment opportunities, and job titles may change over time.

Location & Format

All undergraduate students begin their academic career on the Allendale Campus. Students in this major continue their upper division studies downtown on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

  • Face To Face


Coursework includes the following:

  • Professional development in social work
  • Generalist practice
  • Interviewing in social work
  • Social work field education
  • Human needs in complex societies
  • Social work research
  • Human behavior and the social environment

Combined Degree Programs

Many GVSU undergraduate programs can be combined with an existing master’s degree program to save on tuition and get you into the workforce sooner. On average, you can save $8,500 by pursuing a combined degree and take up to four fewer courses than if earning the degrees separately.

Talk with an advisor about how you can build your combined degree from existing programs to further personalize your education and create your own niche area of expertise.


Hands-on learning and other fieldwork not only deepen your mastery of your discipline but also give you the edge employers seek. Visit our experience matters page to see the work GVSU students are doing in their co-ops and internships.

Admission Requirements

The Bachelor of Social Work degree program is a secondary admission program, which only admits students one time per year. An eligible applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or above.
  • Have all admission prerequisite coursework successfully completed or in progress at the time of application.
  • Earn a C or better in all admission prerequisite coursework (excluding general education requirements and MTH 110).
  • Adhere to the SSW course repeat policy which states that a student may not repeat a required course more than once.

The B.S.W. program starts in the Fall semester and the SSW admits students one time per year.

For More Information

School of Social Work
391C DeVos Center
(616) 331-6550

Admissions and Recruitment Office


“The B.S.W. program at GVSU taught me the fundamentals of social work practice. The program gave me the necessary skills in the classroom to effectively serve clients in the field. It was a great experience.”