Within the College of Social Work the Bachelor of Social Work Program educates and trains professional social workers to become the agents of change who work on behalf of society and their fellow human beings. More specifically, the BSW Program seeks to establish mutually respectful and supportive relationships with marginalized communities (e.g., people of color, indigenous and aboriginal communities, refugee and immigrant communities, LGBTQ communities, people with mental illness, and rural communities) to assist in the development of community leaders and programs needed to achieve social justice and improve the human condition of all community members.

Application into this closed major requires both application to the University of Utah and into this program.

The program at the University of Utah is 1 of only 16 online BSW programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.  

Are you interested in working with children and families? If so, consider applying for the Child Welfare Title IV-E Career Path, a grant administered by the Utah State Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS)
for students admitted to the University of Utah’s Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Program.

At the University of Utah our online courses combine traditional online learning – where you study individually at home at your own pace – with interactive learning. Interactive learning increases your engagement with classmates and instructor, as well as with the materials covered. In this manner it improves learning outcomes. Our courses will combine the flexibility of online teaching with the advantages and direct engagement of traditional teaching.

Interactive learning comes in a variety of ways.

  • Through group assignments, where you collaborate via email or a discussion forum to answer a problem set.
  • Through contributions to a discussion forum, where you directly respond to previous posts.
  • Through “peer reviews,” where you review and comment upon assignments from other students.

Our classes also offer multiple routes to stay connected and get help. 

  • Converse directly with the instructor via email.
  • Participate in and guide online discussions.
  • Attend online office hours in discussion threads or on the phone.
  • Instructors are available in “real” office hours for students on or near campus; and (for some courses) we offer (voluntary) Q&A sessions in a classroom.

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

All of the courses at the University, whether online or on campus, are taught by the same high-quality faculty members. There’s no distinction on your diploma that you completed courses online.

Prerequisite Liberal Arts & Social Work Courses

Because social work is a profession that draws wisdom and knowledge from a variety of disciplines, social work majors are required to complete courses in a number of behavioral, physical science, and humanities areas. Each course has been selected because it provides a sound background for content that will be covered in required social work courses.

  • PSY 1010- General Psychology
  • SOC 1010- Introduction to Sociology
  • POL S 1100 – U.S. National Government
  • SW 1010 – Social Work as a Profession

Core Courses in Social Work
All students will complete a total of 48 credits in required social work courses, including an internship (practicum). As with the liberal arts requirements listed above, each social work course was designed and selected to meet identified needs for entry-level practitioners. Courses MUST be taken in proper sequence to assure compliance with accreditation standards and the necessary background to complete the next course.

  • SW 2100 – Human Behavior and the Social Environment I
  • SW 3000 – Applied Social Work Statistics (QB/QI)
  • SW 3110 – Social Work Practice I
  • SW 3200 – Human Behavior and Social Environment II
  • SW 3550 – Social Diversity and Cultural Understanding (DV)
  • SW 4100 – Global Community-Based Research (IR)
  • SW 4301 – Social Welfare Policy and Services
  • SW 4430 – Social Work Practice II
  • SW 4440 – Social Work Practice III
  • SW 4401 – Social Work Research and Evaluation (QI)
  • SW 4444 – Advanced Social Work Writing (CW)
  • SW 4702 – Social Work Practicum
  • SW 4782 – Social Work Practicum Seminar


(Specific course numbers and semester offered may vary for some of these electives – please check class schedule)

  • SW 5535 – Social Justice Advocacy
  • Impact of Child Abuse
  • Dialogue Models/Creating Inclusive Communities through Dialogue
  • Undergraduate Research


More information on admissions, applications and degree requirements can be found here.

To view all SW courses available online in the Fall 2017 term view the Class Schedule.

To view all SW courses available online in the Spring 2018 term view the Class Schedule.

Tuition for online courses is based on residency. Online and on-campus courses have identical tuition. Online students pay an additional $60 fee per course to cover the costs of operating online courses. Please visit University of Utah’s tuition rate schedule for more information about tuition and to calculate tuition rates by program.

As an estimate, a resident undergraduate student with no declared major, taking 12 credit hours of online courses, can expect to pay $4,450.23* per semester.

*Tuition calculations are based on the Fall 2017 term, are an estimate only, subject to change without notice, and vary per program. Many programs also offer financial aid, scholarship opportunities, or tuition assistance opportunities for which qualifying students may apply.

The BSW Program operates under the transfer policies and procedures of the University of Utah. Under these policies the Office of Admissions completes an assessment of a student’s academic record with specific focus on general education requirements. The BSW Program assists that office by providing a list of course equivalencies developed based on our review of syllabi from other schools in the state, including other accredited BSW programs. If the BSW Program has indicated that a particular course is the equivalent of a BSW course, the Office of Admissions makes a notation of acceptance of credit in the student’s record. If the course is not one for which prior approval has been given, the Office of Admissions will send the student to the BSW Program director for an individual case-by-case assessment. In these cases students are often asked to provide syllabi, course descriptions, and sometimes information on textbooks and instructors to help determine the degree of comparability. The decision by the BSW Program director regarding course equivalency is final.

As a profession, social work’s primary concern is people and their relationships within society. The ultimate value of the profession is its ability to help people realize their own potential. Social work is based on the belief in the worth and dignity of all people and on the positive value of cultural, gender, and experiential differences.

Social work is a challenging and rewarding profession for those willing to give of themselves.

The College of Social Work graduates approximately 75 BSW students each year and many career opportunities are available to those students.  They include opportunities in the areas of:

  • Human Services
  • Health Care
  • Family Services
  • Policy Analysis
  • Child Welfare
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Aging and Gerontology
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • and more

Our graduates accept positions in a variety of social service agencies and organization. The average salary of starting positions is above $30,000.


University Application Deadlines

Spring - November 1

Summer - March 15

Fall - April 1

Apply Now

Social Work Program Application

Spring - October 1

 Fall - April 1

Apply Now
 Request info Apply Now

Online Courses

Several degree programs offer the opportunity to take a portion of your major courses online; this gives you the opportunity to leverage your courses to fit your timeline and your schedule.

*At this time students may not be able to fulfill all University of Utah general education requirements online, but may combine traditional courses with online courses, or work with an academic advisor to create a plan that includes transfer credits from another institution.

All BSW program pre-requisite courses, as well as BSW core classes, are available in the online format. For more information, please contact Social Work academic advisor, Elizabeth Perez.

Video chat on Cranium Cafe with Elizabeth Perez

Credits Required

48 total credit hours and successful completion of an internship (practicum) are required for a BSW degree.

Time to Completion

Students can expect to complete the major specific BSW coursework and internships in three to four semesters, at 12 - 15 credits per semester.

Last Updated: 1/12/18