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Social Work, BSW

Program Description

Mission Statement

The Bachelor of Social Work Program of La Salle University has its roots in the tradition and mission of the Christian Brothers. The BSW Program supports the University’s mission to prepare students for "a commitment to the common good." Students integrate the Lasallian value of “service rooted in solidarity and justice” with the liberal arts tradition and the theory, skills and values of the social work profession, preparing students for generalist social work practice.

BSW Program Goals

  1. To develop competent social work professionals grounded in knowledge, values, and skills necessary for generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  2. To prepare students for social work practice with diverse people and populations.
  3. To educate students about local, national, and international issues of social, economic and environmental justice so that they become agents of change.
  4. To provide a curriculum that challenges students to integrate and act upon the values and ethics of the social work profession.
  5. To motivate students to know the importance of and exhibit a commitment to the ongoing development and care of the personal and professional self.
  6. To prepare students for lifelong learning.

About the Program

The Social Work Program provides a rigorous curriculum that builds on a liberal arts foundation. Courses address the knowledge, skills, and values associated with professional social work practice. Students integrate theory and practice during 600 hours of field practicum across three semesters.

The Social Work Program is offered in full-time, part-time, and accelerated formats.

The full-time program format is offered during the day in fall and spring semesters on Main Campus. Students take a minimum of four courses to maintain full-time status. The part-time program format is offered during fall, spring and summer semesters on Main Campus. Students typically take 2-3 courses each semester. The accelerated program format is designed as a degree completion program for students who have completed a significant number of general education courses. Courses in this 16-month program are offered primarily in 4-6 week modules in a hybrid format over the calendar year.

Some course offerings in the program are online or hybrid; most courses are offered face-to-face. Both full and part-time faculty teach in all program formats.

The Social Work Department at La Salle University offers the Bachelor of Social Work and is accredited by the Board of Accreditation, Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the national accrediting body for baccalaureate and masters social work programs.

CSWE Board of Accreditation (BOA) establishes the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (2022) to assure that social work programs are meeting accreditation standards. The standards to which accredited social work programs are held can be viewed at or by accessing the link on the La Salle University Social Work Program website. The curriculum is designed to develop the student's knowledge, skills and values in social work and mastery of nine (9) social work competencies.

Criteria for Acceptance into The Major

Social work is a professional degree program and as such, students must formally apply to the Social Work Program for admission to the major. This is a separate process in addition to general admission to the University and prepares students for similar application processes for graduate school and future careers. A student can declare social work as a major upon admission to the University; however, the student is only formally accepted into the Social Work Program with the successful application process described below.

The application for admission to the La Salle University Social Work Department must be submitted during the semester the student is enrolled in SWK 340 Preparation for Professional Practice, and no later than September 30.

The student must meet the following criteria for admission into the Social Work Program:

  • An overall GPA of 2.30 (Students with a GPA below 2.30 may apply for conditional acceptance to the program)
  • A final grade of C (75%) or better in all Social Work courses
  • An affinity with and commitment to the values and ethics of the social work profession as set forth in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics
  • Two letters of recommendation. One recommendation should be from a person associated with a community service experience in which the student has participated. The second recommendation will be an academic reference from a University faculty member other than La Salle University Social Work Department full-time faculty. A second recommendation from a person associated with a community service experience may be substituted for the academic reference with permission from the Social Work Department Chair.
  • A reflection on personal influences statement. The student will complete a personal statement (maximum of four pages, typewritten and double-spaced) discussing the motivations for choosing social work as a profession and describing significant people and life events that have been instrumental in the decision to seek a degree in social work. The student will address areas of special interest or concern relevant to social work. Note: The reflection on personal influences paper completed in SWK 160 Introduction to Social Work will be accepted, with appropriate revisions in content and form, to fulfill this requirement.
  • Copy of current college/university transcript.
  • Copy of current criminal clearance.1 (Date of clearance must be within one year from date of submission to Social Work Department.)
  • Copy of current child abuse clearance.1 (Date of clearance must be within one year from date of submission to Social Work Department.)
  • Review of the NASW Code of Ethics and signed application form.2 NASW Code of Ethics:
  • The student will submit the completed application online.
  • The full-time Social Work Department faculty will review the student's application, and each will vote on the student's candidacy.
  • The student will be notified of the Department faculty's decision in writing. The admission decisions include:
    • full admission
    • conditional admission
    • no admission

A history of criminal conviction and/or child abuse does not automatically preclude admission to the Social Work Department. The student is required to proactively share this information with the Field Director and with the field practicum supervisor in the agency. The student is responsible for informing the Social Work Department of any changes in criminal and/or child abuse status.


In the event of a violation of the NASW Code of Ethics, the student may not be granted admission to or continuation in the Social Work Program.

Continuation Policy

Continuation in the Social Work Program requires that a student majoring in social work receive a grade of C (75%) or better in all SWK courses. A student is permitted to take a course a maximum of three times to achieve a grade of C or better.

In some cases, a student may not proceed to an upper-level course without first receiving a C or better in a lower-level course.

Social Work students are required to have an overall GPA of a 2.3 by the Fall semester prior to beginning the Field Practicum in the Spring semester.

A student must have an overall GPA of 2.5 and a GPA of 2.5 in the social work major to graduate with the BSW degree.

Why Take This Major?

Social work is a discipline that seeks to facilitates the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities through personal, interpersonal and social change. Social workers use their knowledge and skills in a vast array of traditional and non-traditional settings including mental health centers, hospitals, schools, law practices, athletic organizations, libraries, community centers and in local, national and international government.  

Students in our social work major integrate theory and practice through coursework and 600 hours of supervised fieldwork. Our faculty are committed teachers, scholars and practitioners who support and challenge students to grow personally, academically, and professionally.

In the Lasallian spirit, we maintain close advising relationships with our students and encourage collaboration and community among students and between faculty and students.

With a BSW degree...

You'll be a professional as soon as you graduate

Those with a bachelor's degree in social work may become licensed and immediately begin working in the field.

You'll get a job in your field!

Over 95% of graduates of La Salle's Social Work Program secure a job in the field within six months of graduating and/or continue on to graduate school; some are even offered jobs as soon as they finish their internships.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects rapid growth of social work employment (16% through 2026 – much higher than the average of all occupations).

You could complete graduate school in just one year rather than two!

With a BSW from a CSWE-accredited school such as La Salle, you can enter an MSW program as an Advanced Standing student if you meet the graduate school requirements. You could enter La Salle and earn both your BSW and MSW degrees in 5 years. 

You'll have opportunities to work in a variety of roles and in a range of settings, including

Counseling individuals and families, facilitating groups, working with communities toward social change, influencing policy, diversity training, working directly with people of all ages—from children to older adults. Social workers are found in mental health centers, hospitals, hospices, clinics, schools, nursing homes, residential facilities, private practice, child welfare agencies, courts, and countless other non-profit and for-profit organizations. Social workers provide over 60% of mental health services in the U.S. today.

Why Social Work at La Salle?

  • A curriculum that integrates theory and practice
  • 600 hours of supervised internship. Our Office of Field Education will work with you to find a placement
  • Day, Evening, and Accelerated program formats to fit your schedule
  • Personalized attention from faculty who are social work practitioners as well as educators
  • Supportive community of students and faculty
  • Integration of Lasallian values
  • The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • The La Salle program is held in high esteem by the local social service community