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Social Work, B.S.W.

Social work deals with a variety of conditions that limit people's ability to function. Professional social workers try to help individuals and groups overcome these limitations and become well-adjusted, contributing members of society.

Visit the program website for more information.

Program Overview

The Bachelor of Social Work (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. Graduates:

  • Exhibit a commitment to enhancing social justice, promoting human rights, ensuring the dignity and worth of all individuals, practicing with integrity, upholding ethics, incorporating diversity into their practice, and advancing the profession's reputation and knowledge base.
  • Possess the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to create and/or identify and acquire new information about professional social work practice as such information becomes available throughout their careers.
  • Are competent users of technologies and proficient consumers of training opportunities that support their lifelong professional development.
  • The School of Social Work at Grand Valley State University is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Location & Format

Undergraduate students in this major study at the Grand Valley Allendale 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

Career Options

Social workers have careers that service a wide range of needs:

  • Children's centers
  • Hospital social services
  • Juvenile courts
  • Life consultation centers
  • Mental health programs
  • Probation and parole
  • Protective services
  • Senior citizen programs

Combined Degree Programs

This undergraduate degree can be combined with a master's degree to save you time and money, and get you into the workforce sooner. On average, students save $8,500 in our combined degree programs and take up to four fewer classes than if earning the degrees separately.

You can even build your own combined degree from programs in different disciplines to further personalize your education and meet specific career goals.

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 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.”