Online and Distance Degrees > Degree Programs > Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Bachelor of
Social Work (BSW)

Primarily Online

Program Overview

Through online coursework, in-person field education and occasional weekend skills labs, you can pursue your dreams and earn your Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) through The University of Alabama. This primarily online degree is identical to the widely respected main campus degree, so you can trust that you will be well-equipped for your career.

  • Program Format

    Primarily Online
  • Credit Hours

  • Tuition Per Hour


Be a Champion for Others

Through research-based curriculum, gain the knowledge you need to serve clients of all ages in health care establishments and mental health and substance abuse centers, as well as school and family settings.

  • Application DeadlineApplications accepted year round
  • Orientation RequiredYes
  • Practicum and Skills LabYes
  • Are test scores required?ACT and SAT scores are not required through the Fall 2022 entry term


This CSWE-accredited program consists of 120 hours of coursework and includes general education requirements, major courses, electives and field education. Most coursework can be completed online, while field education is in person. All four skills labs will be virtual and synchronous beginning Spring 2024.

Please note that courses are subject to change. More information can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Lower Division Courses

  • SW 100 Introduction to the Fields of Social Work Practice
  • SW 101 Orientation to Social Work
  • SW 200 History of Social Welfare in the United States
  • SW 310 Professional Writing Seminar
  • SW 351 Oppression and Social Injustice

Field Education (9 hours)

  • SW 490 Field Education

Electives (6 hours)

  • Students select from two advisor-approved courses

View more information about this program through the University’s catalog.

Upper Division/Professional Program Courses

Students must complete 54 hours of general education and Social Work requirements and be accepted to the Professional Program prior to enrolling into 400 level courses.

  • SW 401 Social Welfare Policy and Services
  • SW 410 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I
  • SW 411 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II
  • SW 440 Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families
  • SW 441 Social Work Practice with Groups
  • SW 442 Social Work Practice with Communities
  • SW 443 Seminar in Generalist Practice
  • SW 444 Field Preparation Seminar


Admission to the Bachelor of Social Work program requires a completed admissions application and transcripts to be submitted from all colleges previously attended. Students will select “Social Work” as the major. Transfer students considering admission should review UA’s transfer information and policies.

If you reside or intend to seek professional licensure outside of the state of Alabama, please review the requirements for that state prior to applying to this program.

Once admitted to the University and prior to completing 400-level professional social work courses, students must be admitted to the BSW Professional Program and meet the following minimum qualifications:

  • Completed 50 credit hours at the time of application and completed 54 credit hours prior to starting professional program coursework
  • 2.25 GPA overall
  • 2.5 GPA in social work courses
  • Complete the following courses: SW 100, SW 200, SW 351, PY 101 or PY 105, SOC 101, and BSC 108 or BSC 109
  • Placement into college-level math (MATH 110 or MATH 112 or higher)

Apply to the BSW Professional Program before the priority deadline below:

  • February 15 for fall enrollment
  • September 15 for spring enrollment

Program Format

Prior to the start of the program, all students are required to attend a one-day on-campus orientation in Tuscaloosa. Students who do not attend orientation may be administratively withdrawn from the program.

To begin taking 400-level courses, students must first apply and be admitted to the Professional Program.

All skills labs will be virtual and synchronous beginning Spring 2024.

Courses are offered online. Students are required to have access to a computer with a high-speed internet connection.

Field education is completed in the fall semester. Students are required to successfully complete 450 in-person field hours under the supervision of an experienced social worker at an approved social service agency.

Students will work with the field coordinator in the School of Social Work to be placed within a 60-mile radius of their home location, as long as there is a suitable placement within that radius. Students who live greater than 60 miles from a suitable placement location will work with the field coordinator to identify a placement site. The SSW Field Education Office has developed a strong relationship with more than 300 agencies and are proud of their ability to expand BSW Field Education opportunities to more students across the state!

Students also have the opportunity to complete their field education in Washington, D.C., or at one of many international settings. The Washington, D.C., program is the only one of its kind in the United States, placing students in policy and direct practice settings throughout the Washington, DC D.C., area and providing unique opportunities to connect with policymakers and UA alumni in the district. The international field program allows students to complete field education in one of several countries. Students have recently completed placements in Ghana, Ireland, Mexico and England. Additional placements in Spain and India are being developed and the coordinator is always open to exploring placements in countries where students have an interest.

Prior to entering the field, students must earn a grade of C- or higher in SW 444, attend a three-hour orientation to field education and obtain a background check. Corequisites include enrolling in field seminar SW 443 or SW 445.

Students complete a minimum of 32 hours per week during normal business hours or may choose an extended option consisting of a minimum of two full normal business-hour weekdays per week. Students seeking the extended option must indicate it on the field application and receive approval from the field instructor and field coordinator. All field work must occur Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., in person at an approved social work setting.

Additional field education hours may be approved, and there may also be options for completion in the student’s place of employment with restrictions. All field education placement plans require prior approval by our field education coordinator.


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Program Information

Katie Nethery
Admissions Representative

Admissions Information

UA Online