Admissions Policy and Procedure


  • Students may apply during or after their sophomore year.
  • Prior to applying, students will successfully enroll in and/or complete (with a grade of a C or higher)
    • SOWK 2120: Intro to Social Welfare
    • SOWK 2140: Field Experience
    • The diversity requirement.
  • Students must receive a C or better in all three courses and a 2.5 GPA or better to be admitted into the program.
  • At the time of application to the program, students will successfully complete no less than 30 semester hours (about two semesters) of liberal education coursework prior to application. It is recommended that students complete the supporting foundation courses as part of their liberal education credits.  Refer to the curriculum guide here.

Admissions Requirements and Process

Complete the BSW Application Form, which includes submitting the following information:

  1. Two professional references. (If students are transferring coursework from another institution, at least one reference should be from the faculty member from the previous institution.)
  2. A statement of interest that addresses the following points (use a minimum of 350 and maximum of 500 words per question):
    • Why do you want to become a social worker?
    • What work experiences do you have that have prepared you for social work practice?
    • What Volunteer experiences do you have that have prepared you for social work practice?
    • What experiences have contributed to your interest in social work?
    • What personal qualities do you have that will contribute to your success as a social worker?
    • Do you have a criminal history that may preclude you from social work practice?  If yes, please explain.

3.  Read the Namid Reynolds case study.  Write an essay, in APA format, addressing the six components of the Namid Reynolds case study below. Documentation, including levels one and two headings, in-text citations, and a reference page in APA style, should come from students’ coursework readings.

    • Briefly paraphrase the components of an ecosystems approach. How does this case study relate to an ecosystems approach to social work practice? Draw and describe the major components of an eco-map of Namid Reynold’s world.
    • Briefly paraphrase the components of “generalist social work practice”. How does this concept apply to the Namid Reynold’s scenario?
    • Briefly paraphrase concept of “cultural humility” in social work practice. Discuss how, and in what ways you are (and are not) prepared to practice culturally humility in working with Namid. Reynolds.
    • Briefly paraphrase the “strengths perspective” in social work practice. Identify five of Namid’s assets (strengths).
    • Briefly paraphrase the primary roles of a generalist social worker. Discuss which of these social work roles you might use in working with Namid Reynolds.  Understanding your role what do you, the social worker, do? Select ONE of the following as your most probable course of action.  In addition, provide a rationale including how your choice is related to and supported by the values, standards, and/or principles of the NASW Code of Ethics.
Namid Reynolds Case Choices
    1. Talk with Namid while she calms down, identify housing options, and then drive Namid back to her boyfriend’s house with plans to meet tomorrow to look at apartments, or
    2. Form a united front with tribal police for Namid to file a domestic assault complaint and then drive her to the local women’s shelter where she will receive counseling and support services, or
    3. Identify a safety plan with Namid and take her lead as it is implemented.

Admissions Criteria

Students will demonstrate:

  • A beginning level understanding of, and a commitment to the values and ethics of the Social Work profession;
    • NASW Code of Ethics
    • General professional standards of conduct
  • A beginning level knowledge and understanding of:
    • Generalist social work practice
    • Ecosystems perspective
    • Strengths perspective
    • Cultural humility and responsiveness
    • Social work roles
    • NASW Code of Ethics
  • Interpersonal relationship skills and knowledge and appropriate application of those skills.
  • An intrapersonal adjustment to the degree that personal issues will not interfere with establishing and maintaining a professional helping relationship.
  • Writing skills reflecting clarity of thought and thought process; proper grammar; and organization of ideas and sentence structure utilizing APA style.
  • A minimum GPA in the social work major (supporting foundation and core courses) of 2.50.

Possible Admissions Outcomes

Students will be notified of: acceptance, conditional acceptance, or non-acceptance into the social work major.

  • Student is granted full admission into the program.
Conditional Acceptance
  • The student may be provisionally accepted into the program with specific recommendations or conditions. (For example, preparatory coursework may need to be completed satisfactorily or evidence of physical/emotional wellbeing may need to be provided).
  • Transfer students are generally granted conditional acceptance until they have completed one semester of program coursework.
Responsibilities of Students Upon Conditional Acceptance
    • If granted conditional acceptance, the student may be have a written contractual agreement between herself/himself and the program. The contract will specify conditions and times for resolution of any concerns, and is binding. Upon successful resolution, the student will then gain accepted status to the program.
    • If the recommendations and/or concerns are not addressed within the specified time frame, the applicant will be declined acceptance into the program.

The program faculty may deny acceptance into the program. Specific reasons will be provided for denial. (For example, an applicant may be denied due to failure to comply with the mandatory minimum grade point average, serious problems encountered by the student while attending another social work program, and/or problems or conditions that question the student’s ability to engage in professional practice (i.e. allegations of cheating or plagiarism).

Advising Upon Acceptance or Non-Acceptance into the Social Work Program

After the admissions process, students who are accepted or conditionally accepted will be required to meet with their social work faculty advisor to discuss recommendations made during the admission process.  This advising meeting will take place prior to students registering for the following semester and students should allow for a minimum of 30 minutes for this initial advising meeting.  Students and their social work faculty advisor will jointly develop a plan for academic and professional success based on:

  • Evaluation of the admissions essay and application;
  • Discussion of concerns that are evident from the student’s application and/or references;
  • Planning for coursework, field placements, and minors and/or certificates that meet the student’s career goals;
  • Provision of evidence of psychological, behavioral, and/ or physical well-being, if requested, by the Social Work program;
  • Confirmation that conditional acceptance conditions have been met; and
  • Consultation with the BSU Writing Center, as needed.

Social Work Faculty Responsibilities

Social work faculty advisor and one other social work faculty member will evaluate the writing assignment and admissions application according to the admissions rubric.  The faculty will confirm that a copy of the application packet, writing assignment, application evaluation, application documentation (i.e, substitute transfer forms, syllabi, transcripts, DARS, etc.) and advising forms are located in the student’s advising file on the J:Drive under Advising.  Advisors will discuss with students any concerns regarding the student’s ability to meet academic, professional, intrapersonal, or interpersonal requirements of the degree.  To that end, students may be required to:

  • provide evidence of psychological, behavioral, and/or physical well-being;
  • have a follow-up meeting with a social work faculty member may be scheduled.

If these criteria are met, it is possible that a student may not be accepted into the social work major or may be accepted conditionally.

Upon Admission Faculty Advisors Will
  1. Follow-up with students with regards to any concerns that arose during the application process.
  2. Provide, in writing, a clear statement of recommendations to the student concerning acceptance, conditional acceptance, or non-acceptance into the social work major.
  3. Meet with the student to discuss the faculty’s recommendations and provide academic advising. The initial meeting upon acceptance will last approximately 30 minutes and take place prior to registration for the following semester.

Hearing and Appeal Process

Students can appeal decisions concerning conditional acceptance or non-acceptance into the Social Work major, along with decisions concerning retention and completion of the major. The following procedure should be used:

  • Written statement concerning appeal is submitted to Dr. Rebecca Hoffman, the Social Work Department chair.
  • A meeting is established with the student and the appeals committee, an ad hoc committee established as needed to address student concerns. The committee when convened will be made up of representatives from the Social Work Department and other university departments and programs when appropriate.

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