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Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Become an Advocate.

People need someone to listen and care while helping them navigate life's challenges. As a social worker, you are prepared to assist client systems in realizing their desired changes and outcomes. If your ideal career involves empowering others, improving wellness and well-being, advocating for social and economic justice, and serving your community, then you should consider social work.

Why should you consider social work?

  • 11% projected increase in jobs for social workers in healthcare, mental health, and substance abuse from 2021 to 2031. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Social work is highly varied profession with many areas of practice, including but not limited to health care, mental health, non-profit organizations, government assistance programs, and the criminal justice system. The knowledge and skills you acquire in our BSW Program can be applied to a variety of career paths, both within and outside of health and human services. 

Why should you consider earning your BSW degree at William Woods University?

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Program at William Woods University is a student-centered program that prepares our graduates for competent generalist social work practice across systems with diverse and vulnerable populations.

Upon graduation, you will be ready to help client systems overcome challenges, enhance their well-being, increase access to resources, and advocate for social and economic justice.

Our graduates find employment in a variety of areas of social work practice and many of them are admitted to social work graduate programs with advanced standing, which reduces the amount of coursework required to earn a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree.

Our BSW Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Our program holds the following core beliefs:

  • All human beings have intrinsic worth and dignity and deserve access to the resources they need for safety and self-determination.
  • The uniqueness and individuality of each person is a strength.
  • Social workers demonstrate respect for and acceptance of the unique characteristics of diverse populations.
  • Social Workers are responsible for ethical conduct, competent practice, and for life-long learning.

We believe that education happens both in and outside of the classroom.  As such, service-learning opportunities are incorporated throughout our curriculum.  

You will have many opportunities to develop your social work practice and leadership skills through student organizations and service-learning opportunities that serve Fulton and nearby communities.  Examples of such include:

Participate in the Reality Store, a national program that teaches middle school students life lessons about finances and personal budgets

Support our local domestic violence programs such as the Clothesline Project or Bikers Against Child Abuse

Practice educational group facilitation skills at a local treatment facility for juveniles

Develop and support on-campus projects that advocate for diverse client groups

Mentor students in the local school districts

You will have opportunities to explore your areas of interest and conduct research alongside our expert faculty members through the University's Mentor/Mentee program.

All social work majors complete a supervised agency-based field practicum, which offers you opportunities to engage in social work practice with clients in an agency setting while under the supervision of a social worker. We offer a variety of placement opportunities, including but not limited to school social work, children and family services, juvenile justice, and mental health.  We will work with you to select a field placement that aligns with your educational and professional goals.  Field placements are completed concurrently with senior level social work practice courses during the fall and spring semesters of your senior year (250-hour field placement during each semester).     

Dedicated Faculty

Our faculty is passionate about bringing their diverse experience in direct social work practice and research to the classroom.  Educating and developing individual connections with each of our students is the foundation of our university.  Our dream is to see you succeed in a career that will not only have an impact on you personally, but on every person you meet.


My degree in social work from William Woods University qualified me for advanced standing at the University of Missouri. As a result, I was able to obtain my master of social work degree in one year and now I'm a licensed therapist. The small classes at William Woods and my nine-month internship gave me the education and experience to be qualified for my first job.

Stacie Eastwood Smithee,
LCSW, Director of Social Services,
Mexico Veteran's Home

BSW Program Leadership


Dr. Steve Cooper
Program Director,
Professor of Social Work


Dr. Dory Andrew
Director of Field Education,
Associate Professor of Social Work

BSW Program Mission

The Bachelor of Social Work Program at William Woods University prepares professional generalist social workers for competent practice across systems with diverse and vulnerable populations in a variety of contexts. Through a student-centered approach, we engage students in practice with client systems, service delivery systems, and the surrounding community. And, we seek to instill a life-long commitment to learning, cultural humility, empowerment, and excellence in service, leadership, and intellectual inquiry.

BSW Degree Requirements/Curriculum

The Bachelor of Social Work degree at William Woods University consists of 120 credit hours —including 45 core major credit hours and 3 credit hours of required social work electives, as well as 500 hours of social work practice experience through the field practicum requirement. Please see the current catalog for a complete description of the social work degree requirements and curriculum.

Social Work Minor

A minor in social work is complimentary to many disciplines and fields, including behavioral, social, and health sciences, as well as ASL interpretation studies. The minor in social work consists of 18 credit hours – including 15 core credit hours and 3 credit hours of social work electives. Please see the current catalog for a complete description of the social work minor requirements and curriculum.

Additional Resources

BSW Program Assessment

All programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education's Board of Accreditation (BOA) are required to measure and report student learning outcomes. All students are assessed using a minimum of two measures on their mastery of the nine competencies that comprise the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS).

These holistic competencies reflect the dimensions (knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive and affective processes) of social work practice that all social workers are expected to master during their professional training. Per the CSWE Board of Accreditation's recognition body, the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and Accreditation Standard B5.0.1(d), baccalaureate social work programs are required to post this form publicly on their website and routinely update findings every two (2) years, at minimum. Below are the results from the WWU BSW program.

Admissions Information

Learn more about online admissions requirements, deadlines, tuition and financial aid available to you.