Prospective students will apply for admission to either the hybrid track or the on-campus track for the social work major. Both tracks offer the same curriculum and require the same knowledge and skill development.

Social Work, BSW – Two Tracks

  • Social Work, BSW (On-Campus)
    is largely classroom-based while also integrating online and community-based components to enhance student understanding and application of practice theories and concepts. The on-campus BSW program is more flexible and offers students the opportunity to enroll in core social work classes at their own pace. Students meet in the classroom with their peers and professors for most course work.
  • Social Work, BSW (Hybrid)
    is a mostly online track with a once a month on-campus component to apply practice theories and concepts. SWIM students take 2-3 classes each semester (usually two). They travel to campus one Saturday each month for face-to-face dialogue and to learn practice skills. All other course work is completed online. SWIM students take courses as a cohort, meaning the course schedule is pre-determined and all cohort members take the same classes each semester. Bemidji State’s SWIM program has been recognized as the nation’s eighth-best online social work degree in the U.S.! To top it off, we charge the same tuition for in-state, out-of-state and international students!

Get in touch with us if you need help choosing the right track for you!

2022-2023 Social Work Program Admissions Deadlines

Admitted students will enroll in the social work program the semester following the one in which they applied.

Semester of Application


Fall 2022 October 10, 2022, 8 AM
Spring 2023 February 13, 2023, 8 AM (Priority SWIM Applications)
Summer 2023 July 10, 2023, 8 AM

Advising Questions

Students interested in majoring in social work should first contact the Department Chair. She will answer any of your questions, discuss the application process and help new majors begin their educational journey!

Dr. Brenda Mack, Interim Chair
Social Work Department
Phone: (218) 755-4050
Bensen Hall 420

How to Apply to the BSW Program

Students will learn about about the social work admissions process and expectations when enrolled in SOWK 2140 and/or SOWK 2120. Review our Admission Criteria and Eligibility, then refer to our step-by-step guide when you’re ready to apply.

Step 1: Apply or Transfer to Bemidji State University

Apply or transfer to BSU. You can access information about this process here.

  • Select “Bemidji State” as your school
  • Select “Earn Bachelor’s (four-year) degree” under Area Six (Major)
  • Select “Part Time Student”
  • Select “Online” as your preferred delivery method
  • Select “Social Work” as your major/academic program
  • Select “Bachelor of Science” as your desired degree/award

Step 2: Complete Liberal Education Requirements

Complete approximately 30 semester credits of liberal education, including all social work supporting foundation and pre-admission course work. Some liberal education courses can also count toward your social work degree.  Social work students must earn a 2.00 overall GPA, a combined 2.50 GPA in social work pre-admission courses and C or better in all SOWK-prefix courses to be admitted.

Social Work Supporting Foundation Courses

Select 1 of the following courses:

Step 3: Complete Social Work Pre-Admission Courses

Enroll in these three courses prior to or during the semester of application. Students apply for the social work program upon completion of approximately 30 semester credits, typically during their sophomore year.

  1. SOWK 2120: Intro to Social Welfare (3 credits)
  2. SOWK 2140: Field Experience (3 credits)
  3. Select 1 of the following diversity electives:

Step 4: Collect Documentation

During the semester you intend to apply, collect documentation needed for the application and become informed about the process.

  • Read the BSW Admissions Criteria and Eligibility
  • Read the BSW Program Student Handbook
  • Read the NASW Code of Ethics
  • Print most recent Degree Audit Report (DAR) from Bemidji State University
    • Open your DAR, select “Print”
    • Print as .PDF
    • Save to your computer as DAR FIRST NAME LAST NAME
  • Talk to one potential references (academic or professional/volunteer) and request recommendations
  • Attend a Social Work Application Help Session (optional but recommended)

Step 5: Complete Your Application to the Social Work Program

Complete the social work program application materials. You will need your MyBSU login credentials to complete this application. If you do not have MyBSU login credentials, please contact the social work department Chair, Dr. Brenda Mack.

  1. BSW Program Application
  2. BSW Admissions Application Personal Essay
  3. Namid Reynolds Case Study Essay & Ecomap
  4. PDF copy of your Degree Audit Report (DARS)

Step 6: Contact Your Reference(s)

Ask an academic instructor or professional/volunteer supervisor to complete Social Work Program Reference Form. If students are transferring course work from another institution, at least one reference should be from the faculty member from the previous institution.

Step 7: Applicant Review and Decision

Social work faculty will review all program applications using the BSW Admissions Application Rubric. Applicants will be notified by BSU e-mail of their admission status within approximately two weeks of applying.