BASW: Admissions Requirements

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The constant changes in our domestic and international environment are ones that continue to directly affect children, families, and communities of all socioeconomic backgrounds, creating a high demand for professionals in the social work field. In fact, the demand for social workers is projected to grow by 11 percent between 2018 and 2028.

Earning your bachelor’s degree in social work provides you with the skills necessary to make a difference in the lives of others. A degree in social work provides you with a sense of purpose, a range of career options, and the knowledge that you will make a positive impact on the world.

Consistent with the Council on Social Work Education's, Educational Policies and Accreditation Standards, the School of Social Work does not grant course or field credit, transfer credit, or exemptions for prior life, volunteer, or employment experience.

Bachelor's Application

  • The Undergraduate program in the School of Social Work has a ROLLING ADMISSIONS POLICY. There is no specific deadline for submitting applications.
  • Suggested Fall Term Deadline: August 1
  • Suggested Spring Term Deadline: December 1
  • Request More Information

Bachelor's Qualifications

For admission to the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work program (BASW), an applicant must meet the following requirements:

Completion of 60 transferable credits from an accredited undergraduate institution and/or completion of an associate degree program. The distribution of liberal arts credits should be as follows:

Humanities 9 crs.
Natural Sciences 9 crs.
Social Sciences 9 crs.
Other courses (preferably in the social sciences) 33 crs.

Credits awarded through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) by the College of General Studies are counted toward the 60 credits.

Minimum of 2.5 QPA on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with QPAs below 2.5 may be considered for admission under provisional status.

School of Social Work Freshman Guarantee

  • A separate application is not necessary for consideration. When you submit your undergraduate application for admission, you can either select “Pre-Social Work” as your Intended Field of Study in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, or select “Social Work” in the Guaranteed Admission Program dropdown box on the Undergraduate Application for Admission. Only freshmen are eligible for the guarantee.
  • Earn a 3.5 grade point average in high school with a 1270 SAT (combined Critical Reading and Math) or 27 ACT Composite score.
  • Students have two options:

Option1

  • Complete the requirements for admission to the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) in the School of Social Work with a 2.5 or higher quality point average (QPA). The BASW program is an upper division program beginning in the junior year offered at the Pittsburgh campus only.
  • Complete the BASW program with an overall 3.0 QPA.
  • Complete the application to the Masters of Social Work program.

Option 2

  • Complete your undergraduate degree at a regional campus with a minimum of a 3.0 QPA.
  • Have completed no less than 30 credits in both liberal arts and social sciences and a 3-credit course in statistics.
  • Complete the application to the Masters of Social Work program.

Enrollment for Students with Advanced Standing  

Students who have received a social work degree within the past seven academic calendar years from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program (or one recognized by the Council on Social Work Education’s International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service, or covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work accreditors) are eligible for advanced standing.  Applicants to the MSW Program who have a social work degree from a college or university outside the United States and who wish to have their transcripts evaluated for advanced standing credit should contact the Council on Social Work Education's International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service (swdres@cswe.org). 

Those students who are granted advanced standing during the admission process can receive up to 15 academic credits. The number of advanced standing credits granted depends on the comparability of the student’s undergraduate courses to this Program’s generalist courses and on the grades they earned in those undergraduate courses (i.e., must be a “B-” grade or higher).  Such students also may be granted an exemption from a diverse populations course.  Eligibility for a course exemption is contingent upon the comparability of the student's undergraduate course(s) to this Program’s generalist course and on the grade(s) obtained (i.e., “B-” grade or higher).  If an exemption is granted, the student must fulfill the three academic credits through additional coursework, typically by enrolling in another elective course.  In addition, students entering with advanced standing can receive six (6) field education credits.  The six (6) credits of field education are granted based on the number of hours of field experience completed at the undergraduate level, provided that the undergraduate social work practicum totals a minimum of 400 clock hours and the student has achieved a passing grade or at least a “B-“ grade or better.  

Students who enter the MSW Program with advanced standing begin their studies in the Fall Semester and can matriclate through the program using  a 12 month or 16 month course sequence.   Full-time advanced standing students, not provisionally admitted, typically register for three (3) academic courses and six (6) credits of field education in both the Fall and Spring Semesters.   

In the Summer Semester,  students who are eligible and elect the 12 month advanced standing course sequence, register for their remaining three courses. They graduate in August at the end of the summer term.  

 Advanced standing students who elect the 16 month course plan, in the Fall Semester of their second year, can register for their remaining four courses and graduate in December of their second year. 

Students who have been granted advanced standing at the point of admission are also allowed to pursue their MSW degree on a part-time basis.  As described above, part-time students must register during at least two of the three academic terms each calendar year and must take an approved number of academic and/or field education credits during each term of enrollment.  Part-time students with advanced standing must complete all of the requirements for the MSW degree in four years. 

Read more about this program and apply today!