Bachelor of Social Work Program (BSW)

Director, Cray Mulder, Ph.D., LMSW

The mission of the Bachelor of Social Work program at Grand Valley State University is to provide a comprehensive, superior educational experience that produces knowledgeable, skilled generalist social work professionals prepared for beginning-level social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. The purpose is to develop social work professionals who can capably serve people in West Michigan or in distant corners of the globe, utilizing the foundation of knowledge, skills, and values provided by the BSW curriculum. The BSW program seeks to prepare social work professionals who can meet the human services needs of diverse populations within the local community, in addition to meeting needs of agencies, organizations, communities and systems in state, national, and international arenas. It endeavors to develop social workers with excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills, a depth of professional knowledge, and a deep commitment to translate social work ethics and values into practice. Additionally, the BSW program seeks to empower and motivate students to become lifelong learners who are committed to continual improvement of the social work profession through participation in practice-based research and evaluation, and membership in professional organizations.  

Mission Goals

The overarching goals of the BSW Generalist Program are listed below.

  1. Prepare students for entry into the social work profession as generalist practitioners.
  2. Prepare student for continued professional development opportunities

Career Opportunities
Bachelor of Social Work graduates have been employed in a wide range of social service agencies serving many types of people. Life consultation centers, probation and parole, mental health programs, hospital social services, children's centers, senior citizen programs, sheltered workshops, juvenile courts, protective services, programs for the developmentally disabled, and alcoholism treatment programs are just some of the areas in which our graduates are employed. Requirements
The B.S.W. requires successful completion of 120 semester hours of college credit. The program is built on a foundation of liberal arts and 34 hours of required cognate courses and international courses. In addition, students must take 44 credit hours of coursework in the major, including the areas of human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, social research, integrated methods in social work practice, and the field practicum in social work. For a BSW Information Packet or further details on the BSW Program contact the School of Social Work at (616) 331-6550  

GVSU Admissions Office of Financial Aid


Page last modified December 22, 2015