Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

A Bachelor of Social Work degree prepares students for generalist social work practice with individuals, families and communities in fields such as mental health, health care, education, child welfare, non-profits, policy, and more. The IUSSW BSW curriculum combines liberal arts with professional social work foundation content that includes knowledge and skills in the areas of direct practice, policy, and research, and organizational leadership. Graduates are prepared for professional work within the context of a multicultural, globalized society. Students complete a year-long supervised field internship in a human service organization. BSWs can be licensed professionals in Indiana (Licensed Social Worker, LSW), which makes this a marketable degree. The BSW degree consists of 120 credit hours that are attained through a combination of IUB General Education courses, 7 required support courses, core SWK courses, and electives. BSW graduates are eligible for an accelerated 1-year MSW degree.

BSW students and alumni are expected to know and adhere to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics.

There are several ways you can view BSW degree requirements:

  1. Check out our Degree map (Degree map ) as well as the BSW/MSW 5-year pathway plan (PDF) .

  2. To see how your coursework fits with the BSW, check out your Academic Advising Report which outlines your existing requirements and progress toward graduation. Please note that the AAR is for advising purposes only and is not official. Make an appointment with the social work academic advisor (Colleen Rose, MSW ) to discuss your degree requirements and academic goals.

You can look up specific course descriptions in the BSW Handbook (PDF) and in iGPS (iGPS ).

During your senior year you complete a two semester-long field practicum (SWK-S 481 & 482) that gives you the opportunity to put theory to practice in a real-world social work setting. Field is the “signature pedagogy” of a social work degree and offers you exceptional pre-professional experiences to develop generalist practices skills that may be used in any social work setting.

Field placements are determined collaboratively with our full-time faculty Field Coordinator, who will look at your interests, skills, and community needs, as well as prep you for applying for a field site. Students with successful field experiences are oftentimes offered employment at their host site upon graduating.

To learn more about the BSW Field practicum, visit the Field site .

BSW graduates from IUB or any other Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited program are eligible to apply for Advanced Standing status, which means you can complete your MSW in just one year.

IUB is proud to offer an Advanced Standing MSW program on our campus with a concentration in Mental Health and Addictions. Learn more about the Advanced Standing program on our website and check out our 5-year pathway plan to a BSW/MSW (PDF) .

The handbook has been designed as a reference to assist students in understanding the undergraduate social work degree program including its curriculum, policies, and procedures. Students are encouraged to refer to this handbook at various points in their academic career. It is organized as an overview of the School of Social Work, including its history and mission; the Code of Ethics to which the School subscribes; the specifics regarding the BSW program; and services and opportunities available to the BSW students.

While every effort is made to provide accurate and current information, the Indiana University School of Social Work reserves the right to change with notice, curricula, policies, courses, rules or other matters. The School attempts to make changes only as necessary and only to enhance and improve the educational experience.

BSW Handbook (PDF, > 1MB)