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Field Education Office Professional Development Workshop

BSW Cording & MSW Hooding

Social Work Undergraduate Admissions



In order to be admitted to the College of Social Work-BSW Program, freshmen and transfer students must meet all University and college admission requirements. Transfer students must meet all such requirements and have an overall GPA of 2.50 or better. Acceptance into the BSW Program with a lower division classification does not guarantee progression into the upper division BSW Major. All students in the lower division in the BSW program are subject to the following regulations:

    1. Students must maintain good academic standing within the university
    2. All incomplete grades posted on the transcript must be removed before progression into the upper division
    3. Students must earn a minimum grade of C in all required English courses

Advanced Placement: Students must adhere to the University requirements for advanced placement in general education courses. Only those general education courses identified by the University can be used for advanced placement through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). University departmental exams may be used for advanced placement if offered by the appropriate department and if the student meets the expected testing level identified by the department.

Upper Division: Progression into upper division social work occurs during the fall semester. Students must have at least 39 hours of required general education credits completed in order to qualify for applying into the upper division major. Factors for acceptance may include but are not limted to the following:

    1. Good standing with the University and successful completion of the application process
    2. Minimum overall GPA of 2.5
    3. A grade of “C” in their English general education course requirements
    4. Verified completion of 39 hours of required general education credits at the time of application
    5. Verified completion of 54 hours of required general education credits at the time of progression into the upper division major
    6. Verified completion of SOWK 201
    7. Meeting with their social work advisors to receive and discuss the pre-application, application packet, personal statement, reference forms, and overall process for applying.


In making admissions decisions, representatives from the BSW Program and College of Social Work form an Admissions Committee.   This committee uses a holistic approach to assess applicants for admission. The three components of this assessment include: (1) academic transcripts from all post-secondary institutions, (2) the personal statement, and (3) letters of recommendation.  


Transcripts from prior academic work are submitted to the College of Social Work, and can be found at the university’s Office of the University Registrar. Transcripts will be analyzed based on the overall undergraduate GPA (must have at minimum GPA of 2.50 for admission into the BSW Upper Division major), trends in grades, and types of courses completed.


The purpose of the personal statement is to display the applicant’s professional and personal accomplishments.  It serves as a place present evidence on the potential towards developing into a competent social work practitioner.  Overall, it is an opportunity to let the Admissions Committee know about the applicant's interests, resiliencies, and thoughts about providing community service.  


Letters of recommendation should come from individuals who can address the applicant’s characteristics such as maturity, self-discipline, commitment, cooperativeness, and professionalism. There is no limitation in terms of who can write a letter, but it is suggested the letters are written by individuals who can attest to the applicant’s performance in academics, employment, and/or service/volunteer experiences (e.g., professor, supervisor, or community leader), and NOT from those with a personal relationship (e.g., relative, friend, or neighbor).  





Each August, a new cohort begins the BSW Upper Division major. The Admissions Committee evaluates applicants for this cohort during two distinct times: Spring and Summer.

  • For Spring Applicants, the application packet is due in March and final admissions decisions will be made by the end of April
  • For Summer Applicants, the application packet is due in July, and final admissions decisions will be made by the end of July

Applicants will be notified about decisions by postal mail, e-mail, or both. To protect privacy, the BSW Program will not release admissions decisions over the phone, nor will the BSW Program discuss an application with anyone other than the applicant.

We’re happy that you’re interested in our program! To enroll in our program, you must be admitted to USC. If you recently received your admissions letter from USC, your next step is to sign up for an orientation.

Contact Dr. Daniel Freedman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

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