Social Work

Pursue more than a career. Pursue your passion by earning a degree in social work. Learn to give voice to those from all backgrounds and walks of life. Find meaning in the work you do by creating change and providing support to people who are navigating difficult circumstances. Daily problem-solving gives professionals in this field a true sense of accomplishment and reward. Opportunities are available in multiple settings such as health care, juvenile and adult justice systems or child welfare agencies. Ready to change lives? Start with your own!

Career Forecast Bright OutlookAverage Salary $46,900on campushybrid
social work student in class

Social Work at Washburn

Education is a personal experience at Washburn University. Flexible schedules and convenient course delivery fit your busy schedule. Small class sizes allow you to connect with faculty as you learn to connect with clients as a social work professional. The mission of our bachelor's degree program is to pursue social and economic justice while remaining dedicated to the value, worth and dignity of all persons. Qualities that make a good candidate in this field include:

  • dedication to social justice
  • relationship builder
  • collaborative
  • supportive
  • empathetic
  • critical thinker

At Washburn, you will learn theories, skills and ethics related to core content in human behavior. Our curriculum explores the social environment, social work practice, policy development, quantitative and qualitative social work research methods as well as the history and foundations of the social work profession.

During your final year, utilize your knowledge and skills to gain real-world experience. During Capstone Field Education, the student works with clients 16 hours a week for two semesters under the supervision of qualified professional social workers.

The BSW at Washburn University is nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and BSW graduates are eligible for state licensure to practice social work professionally. Our course of study also offers excellent preparation for continued social work education at the graduate level.

BSW Program Overview

Learn how candidates qualify to apply for Washburn's Bachelor of Social Work program and the requirements for completing the program.

  1. Current enrollment as a student in good standing at Washburn University as defined in the current Washburn University Undergraduate Catalog.
  2. Approved Declaration of Major (Pre -BSW) in Social Work .
  3. Completion of a minimum of 36 hours of General Education course credits.
  4. An overall (cumulative) grade point average of at least 2.5.
    Successful completion (or current enrollment in) S W 100, SW 250, SW 325, and SW 352 at the time of application.
  5. Submission of the BSW formal admission survey and the BSW formal admission online application.
  6. If requested by the department , completion of an admissions interview with the BSW Program Director, the Social Work Department chair, or a social work faculty designee.
  7. If the Admissions Committee has any concerns about an application, references may be required upon written request of the BSW Program Director.

For more information, see the BSW Student Handbook.

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

The following chart outlines the entire BSW Program, and is for informational purposes only. Please make an appointment with your advisor to create a personal schedule.

Requirements for Major

51 credit hours in the department, including:

SW 100 - Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare
SW 250 - Generalist Social Work Perspectives
SW 325 -  Micro Human Behavior & Social Environment
SW 326 - Macro Human Behavior & Social Environment
SW 350 - Social Policy and Programs
SW 352 - Micro Social Work Practice
SW 353 - Macro Social Work Practice II
SW 425 - Pre-BSW Practicum Workshop
SW 354 - BSW Seminar and Field Practicum I
SW 355 - BSW Seminar and Field Practicum II
SW 362 - Generalist Quantitative Research
SW 363 - Generalist Qualitative Research
SW 390 - Social Work Special Topics Courses (12 credit hours)

Correlated Courses

Four courses, selected from:

AN 112 - Cultural Anthropology
SO 101 - Social Problems
3 credit hours in Psychology
3 credit hours in Biology (human biology content strongly preferred)

General Education Requirements:

Humanities (12 hours)

MAX: 6 hours per discipline

Social Sciences (12 hours)

MAX: 6 hours per discipline

Natural Sciences/Mathematics (9 hours)

MAX: 8 hours or 2 courses per discipline

Fine Arts (3 hours) *required AN 112 (3) *required Nat. Science 1 (3-5)
Humanities 1 (3) SO 101 (3) *required Nat. Science 2 (3-5)
Humanities 2 (3) Psychology Course  (3) Nat. Science 3 (3-5)
Humanities 3 (3) Soc. Science 4 (3)

Specific requirements to maintain good standing in the BSW program

Must maintain a 2.5 GPA and pass the following classes with a C or better:

  • WU 101
  • EN 101
  • EN 300
  • MA 112 or MA 116
  • AN 112
  • SO 101
  • Approved Biology Course
  • All Social Work Courses

Social Work Minor

This minor requires completion of 15 credit hours, 9 hours of which are core courses and 6 hours of which are electives. Coursework for the minor is taken for a letter grade and students must earn a minimum grade of C. The Social Work Minor exposes students to core social work competencies. It emphasizes synthesis and application of social work theories, policies, and research in the development of comprehensive solutions to major social problems.

For more information, please refer to the BSW Handbook.

Child Welfare Concentration

As part of the BSW program, students may focus their education in the area of child welfare. This path consists of 9 hours (3 undergraduate electives) along with field placement in a child welfare setting. For more information, visit the Washburn University Catalog - Social Work or refer to the BSW handbook.

Have questions or ready to pursue child welfare, contact Dr. Scott Sainato.

Healthcare Concentration

Within the BSW program, students may choose to receive specialty training in healthcare social work. The concentration consists of three undergraduate electives (9 hours) plus a field education placement in an approved healthcare setting.

For more information, visit the Healthcare Concentration page, or refer to the BSW Handbook.

Well-suited Minors

Students often minor in several academic areas including:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Gerontology
  • Leadership Studies
  • Poverty Studies
  • Psychology


The Department of Social Work recognizes students who demonstrate excellence in their academic work with a designation of BSW honors. An honors designation is included in the commencement program and on the student’s academic transcript. BSW students who are eligible for honors must meet all of the following minimum requirements: 

  1. Overall cumulative GPA of 3.2 
  2. Social work GPA of 3.5 
  3. Grade of “A" on a designated SW 354 BSW Seminar assignment, as determined by the Social Work Department and specified on the BSW Honors Application 
  4. Favorable recommendation of department

Students should apply for honors during the calendar year in which they intend to graduate. Students must meet the posted minimum GPA requirements both at the time of application and upon completion of all undergraduate coursework.

Washburn University is committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. Our diversion, equity and inclusion statement is:

Anti-racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The profession of social work is rooted in the core value of social justice.  Social workers strive to meet individual and collective human needs within social contexts and to promote social change and empowerment of those who are vulnerable, oppressed, or living in poverty.  Approaches of cultural humility and reflective practice inform our efforts to learn new ways to be inclusive, embrace diversity, and work toward equity in the world and in our profession.  We believe that anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion (ADEI) are vital to the success of our faculty, students, community partners, and stakeholders, and strive to create learning environments that are inclusive, equitable, and honor the diverse perspectives and backgrounds of our students.  Specific objectives related to ADEI can be found in the Student Learning Goals and Outcomes listed above and reflect the efforts of CSWE (Council and Social Work Education) and NASW (National Association of Social Workers) to promote equity and inclusion within the profession.


Heather Lassmann, Ph.D., MSW


2-Year Plan

Students, transferring to Washburn, or current students who are changing their major can complete the bachelor's degree in social work in as few as two years. Be sure to review the transfer/change of major policy for this degree.

4-Year Plan

Students, enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Work program, may complete their degree in four years by taking 15 credit-hours per semester. Check out an example of the courses and schedule that are required.

Jobs & Opportunities

CAREER FORECAST: bright outlook
The job outlook for social workers is predicted to increase by 13% from 2019-2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which is much faster than other occupations.




social worker
case manager
family protection worker
rehabilitation specialist
residential counselor



(Source: KDOL)

How to Apply

Apply now to Washburn University and begin your educational journey toward a career in social work.


Social Work
Benton Hall, Room 412
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621

Phone & Email
Ph: 785.670.1616

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