Social Work Bachelor's Degree
School of Social Work at Saint Louis University
The social work program at SLU is designed for busy adults want to earn a Bachelor of Science in social work.
A Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) degree provides the skills necessary for beginning generalist practice as a professional social worker and is considered the first professional social work degree. This Bachelor's Degree in Social Work program is intended to provide an excellent foundation for those who wish to pursue graduate education in social work or in other graduate programs.
This program is offered in partnership between the School for Professional Studies and the School of Social Work.
All courses offered through Saint Louis University's School for Professional Studies are in an accelerated format designed for busy adults, with convenient online and evening classes. After finishing prerequisites in SPS, students will transfer to the School of Social Work and take a combination of online and on-campus classes.
Emphasis of the Bachelor Degree in Social Work Program
The Social Work Program at Saint Louis University has two areas of emphasis:
- Skilled Practitioners
The program is dedicated to ensuring that graduates are skilled practitioners. To accomplish this, the program includes five classes devoted specifically to social work practice skills. These courses address all levels of social work practice, as well as social work practice with diverse and oppressed populations. Students ground the skills they learn in classroom through their application in a social service agency. During their senior year, BSSW students complete 16 to 20 hours per week of field practicum under the supervision of an experienced MSW-level social worker. Students in our Social Work program can choose placement in St. Louis from over 400 agencies that have contracts with the School of Social Work.
- Commitment to Social Justice
The BSSW Program's commitment to social justice is reflective of the social work profession as a whole, as well as the Jesuit and University mission. Social work degree students are introduced to the concept of social justice in their first social work course and further discuss it throughout the social work degree curriculum. Students' commitment to social justice is enhanced through work of the School of Social Work's Center for Social Justice Education and Research. This Center promotes social justice through the funding of student projects, including field practica that emphasize social justice; collaborative research projects involving students, faculty, and community agencies; and educational workshops and conferences.
A student will need to apply and be admitted to the School for Professional Studies in accordance with SPS guidelines. They will then take SPS core courses (57 credits), elective courses (24 credits) and two social work degree courses (6 credits). After both social work courses and a minimum of 60 credit hours are completed, the student will need to apply to the School of Social Work as a social work major. After being accepted and completing 90 credit hours, the student will transfer to the School of Social Work to complete the junior and senior level social work degree courses to obtain their BSSW degree. Note, some on-campus classes are required to complete this degree.
Check out the Social Work Bridge Program (BSSW to MSW) to learn how you can prepare for your master's degree now to save time and money later.
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