Thank you for your interest in Virginia State University’s Department of Social Work BSW Program.
Consistent with the CSWE Accreditation Standards, the BSW Program does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience. This program policy statement may be found in the Social Work Program Student Handbook on page 38.
Admissions Requirements for the BSW Program
To be considered for admission to the BSW Program, all prospective social work students will be advised by the BSW Program Director upon notification from the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) or the Registrar’s Office that they are a sophomore and a declared social work major, and then assigned to a social work faculty advisor.
All transfer students must contact the Director of the BSW Program regarding their interest or their intentions prior to submitting their application to the BSW Social Work Program. An advisor will be assigned to transfer students once accepted in the Social Work Program.
Change of Major
Applicants transferring from another major to the Department of Social Work should contact the Social Work Department Chair and complete Change of Major form.
An official Change of Major Form should be completed and signed by the Chair from the Department the student if transferring from as well as the signature of the Social Work Department Chair.
Change of Major forms must not be submitted prior to the Social Work Department Chair approval. Students who are interested in changing their major to Social Work is advised to change their major prior to the second semester of their sophomore year.
Students transferring from another major to Social Work must have an overall 2.7 GPA.
Upon admission to the University, all Social Work majors are classified as pre-professional. To apply for professional status, the following requirements must be met.
The deadline for the BSW Program Application packet is February 28th.
Submit the BSW Program Application Packet which includes:
All social work students must apply for formal acceptance into the Bachelor of Social Work Program (BSW). This admission process is separate from admission into the University and students are not eligible to apply until the second semester of their sophomore year. The BSW admission process is a pre-requisite for taking any upper level (300 level and above) social work courses. Applicants must satisfy the following requirements:
- Submit the BSW Program Application packet which includes:
- BSW Program Application
- Personal statement - a three to five page essay, typed and double spaced, detailing: 1.) Interest in social work 2.) Leadership, strengths and experience in working with individuals, groups or communities 3.
- Personal and professional goals
- Commitment to the completion of this program.
- A copy of all transcripts (unofficial are acceptable).
- Three Recommendation Letters – two from current/previous professors and one from a past or current supervisor where the student has completed volunteer experience.
- Background check: https://portal.castlebranch.com/VH31
- Have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5.
- Documentation of 25 clock hours of volunteer/paid work experience in an approved social service agency within the past two years.
- Complete the general education curriculum (33 credits).
- Complete the three required pre-requisite courses with a C or better (S/SP are not acceptable):
- SOWK 210 – Intro to Generalist SOWK Practice
- SOWK 260 – History SOWK Policy 1600 to the Present
- STAT 210 – Elementary Statistics I
Enrolled VSU students must submit an application packet by the deadline date. Packets submitted after the deadline date will be processed at the discretion of the Admission Coordinator’s schedule. Transfer students must meet with the BSW Department Chair prior to submitting an Application for Admission.
Once the application deadline has passed, the interview schedule will be emailed to all applicants at their VSU email address. Students will reserve their application day/time with the Administrative Assistant. The interviews will be conducted by VSU faculty/staff members and professional attire is required. If there are outstanding documents that were not submitted in the application packet, the student may submit those documents during the interview. Transfer students will be advised on the need for an interview during their meeting with the Department Chair.
Students will be informed of their admission decision by email and formal letter, no later than two weeks after the interview. Notification will be emailed to their VSU email address and the formal letter will be mailed to the address listed on the application. Admissions decisions are one of the below:
A. Full Acceptance – no additional requirements needed.
B. Conditional Acceptance – additional requirements need to be met and will be stated in the letter.
- Thoroughness in completing the application packet.
- Presentation of the application (neat, spelling, grammar, etc.)
- Submission of a thorough and complete essay that displays: sound content, critical thinking abilities, a commitment to social justice, clarity of thought, and effective written communication skills.
- Letters of reference that reflect the student’s: academic achievement, commitment to work, ability to follow directions and potential to become a social worker.
- Disposition and articulation of your thought(s) during the interview.
The VSU transfer policy states: any student who transfers to VSU with an associate degree (college prep track) from a community college in Virginia, is guaranteed a minimum of 60 credits of transfer credit. The student will be given complete credit for all general education requirements, with the residual hours coming from major, minor or elective course requirements. Course equivalency will be determined by the Office of Admissions in consultation with the departments. Students with associate degrees from other states will be considered on an individual basis.
Transfer students must:Complete the pre-requisite courses, SOWK 210, SOWK 260, and STAT 210 (with a C or better).
A student must demonstrate readiness to enter and continue in professional/upper level courses. This requires:
- *Academic achievement (minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in core courses and overall GPA);
- Successfully complete 600 hours of field practicum and seminar;
- Personal and professional behavior consistent with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics;
- Effective work with client systems as demonstrated through practice laboratory and field courses;
- Capacity to master the necessary non-academic areas for continuance in the major, which include the following:
Ethics – In addition to academic expectations, social work students are expected to demonstrate professional behavior which reflects a commitment to the ethics of the social work profession. Compliance with the NASW Code of Ethics is expected. Behavior contrary to these ethics will be cause for review of the student’s continuance in accepted status as a social work major. Examples of behavior which will warrant review include but are not limited to: derogatory oral and written statements towards other students, faculty, and/or persons from populations reflecting racial, ethnic, disabled status, religious, socio-economic, gender, and sexual orientation differences; disregard of the principles of confidentiality, etc.
Behavior – Since the role of a social worker involves helping people from a variety of backgrounds and with a range of problems, it is important that the social work student not permit personal issues to interfere with this role and that he/she has the emotional and psychological resources to render effective assistance to those in need. In instances where students demonstrate behaviors which suggest that their own difficulties are not sufficiently resolved to be able to help and support others, students may be asked to withdraw from the program.
* Automatic review of a student’s academic performance occurs when grades of “D” or “F” are made in any major course or when a student is on academic probation. Probationary status in the major prevents a student from entering the Junior Field Practicum (SOWK 399) course. Readmission to good standing will be determined by GPA and approval of the Department Chair and/or a panel of the Social Work faculty.
A written evaluation of generalist practice skills demonstrated in the Generalist Practice I class, completed by the SOWK 370 instructor, will become part of the student’s permanent record. A grade below a “C” or an unfavorable lab evaluation of skills will result in automatic probationary status and denial of entry into the SOWK 399 class until such time as accepted status is reinstated.
The BSW Program is a full-time program with a new cohort starting each fall. Applications are accepted throughout the academic year, however, applications will not be accepted after February 28th for the upcoming fall semester. Applicants will be notified in writing about their admissions decision by November of the fall semester and April of the spring semester. Students MUST be formally admitted to the social work major prior to enrollment in 300 level courses.