Bachelor of Social Work

Bachelor of Social Work Program

The School of Social Welfare provides the education and experience necessary for a career in social work. By helping shape students’ capacity for anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and socially-just practice, the School prepares social workers to carry out the unique purposes of the profession — to develop human potential, to promote individual well-being, and to bring about a more just society.

Social work is a major professional discipline in the Social Sciences. The term social welfare denotes organized public or private social services pertaining to human needs:  adequate nutrition and safe housing, health and mental health, education, economic security, social participation, dignity, and civil and political rights for disadvantaged people.

The undergraduate program prepares graduates for generalist social work practice. The program defines generalist practice as maintaining focus on practice and advocacy, based on ethical principles, scientific inquiry, and best practices at the interface between systems (i.e., individual, family, groups, organizations, and communities), with particular emphasis on:

  • The strengths inherent in these systems.
  • The need to understand the role of gender, age, race/ethnicity, class, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, and culture in all phases of the social work process.
  • The promotion of human rights and social, racial, economic, and environmental justice for those disenfranchised based on some of the attributes listed above.
  • The assumption of an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, socially just, and critical perspective regarding social work practice, policy, and research.

Beginning generalist practice uses multilevel prevention and intervention methods, depending on the needs of the client system, and incorporates knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive and affective processes that are transferable between and among diverse contexts and locations.

The BSW program is offered on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses.


Once a student is admitted to the School of Social Welfare, an academic adviser will be assigned to assist students in the enrollment process and with other academic program requirements. Students consult with their assigned advisor before enrollment each semester and have their advising hold removed.  In addition, a member of the School’s faculty is assigned as a professional/career adviser.  Current students can view their advisers on Jayhawk GPS.

For more information on BSW advising, review the student handbook .

Transfer Students 

For undergraduates who plan to transfer to KU but currently attend another college, advising is available by appointment. The school works closely with counselors from all Kansas colleges.

Degree Progress Report

The Degree Progress Report (DPR) is a computerized advising and degree-audit system, used to assist students and advisers in tracking progress toward completion of general education degree and major requirements. Students should review their DPR each semester and be prepared to review and discuss information contained in the DPR at all advising appointments. The DPR can be accessed through the student's account in the myKU portal under the Advising tab. Although the DPR provides a list of courses taken and grades earned, it is not an official transcript and can be used only for internal advising. 

Certificate Programs

Certificate in Child Welfare

The School of Social Welfare’s Certificate in Child Welfare provides seniors in the BSW program with specialized knowledge and skills to prepare them for a career in the field of child welfare. The certificate offers specialized training in social work practice with children and families who are involved with the child welfare system and provides a child welfare practicum as part of the experience.

Undergraduate Experiential Learning Certificate Programs

The university offers several experiential learning certificate programs that work well with the undergraduate social work major. Students who complete an engaged learning certificate program receive a notation of it on their transcripts. Learn more about KU certificate programs.