Can I Get a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Degree Online?

For those interested in pursuing a career in social work, but who need schedule flexibility, an accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree is available online. As population from the Baby Boom generation continues to age, demand for health and social services continue to soar. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the overall employment of social workers to grow 12 percent through 2024. Therefore, for those individuals interested in helping clients overcome life challenges, such as illness, injury, divorce, or unemployment, a career in social work is a good option.


Only individuals with a Bachelor or Master of Social Work can be referred to by the title, “Social Worker.” Obtaining a degree from a school that has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is a starting point to becoming licensed in this profession. And although one can transfer credits from other previously earned baccalaureate degrees toward earning an MSW, a Bachelor of Social Work degree transfers more easily and with a higher number of credits that can be applied directly to the Master’s program. Moreover, responding to student needs, several accredited schools are offering online courses to obtain these degrees.

Application Requirements

After deciding on an accredited degree program, applicants will need to apply online to the university they have selected. The application process often also includes submission of additional materials, such as official transcripts, references, and a resume.

Competency-Based Coursework

Coursework for the Bachelor of Social Work degree is competency-based. Students will need to take between 42 and 48 credit hours of core coursework online as well as field practicum to meet requirements of the nine Social Work competencies. These competencies include:

  1. Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
  2. Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
  3. Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
  4. Engage In Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice
  5. Engage in Policy Practice
  6. Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations and Communities
  7. Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations and Communities
  8. Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations and Communities
  9. Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations and Communities

In addition to general academic credit hours, often with a minimum 2.50 grade point average requirement, students will complete a total of 120 credit hours to receive their BSW degree. It takes approximately five semesters to complete the online undergraduate degree program. Field practicum will generally commence in the fourth semester.

Technology Requirements

Thousands of schools and organizations are using learning engagement technology for their online classes. Students will therefore need to have regular access to an updated computer device and its related software, along with high-speed Internet connectivity.

The rewards of knowing how to answer individuals and families when they ask, “Where do we go from here?” are immense. The online training is designed to meet stringent guidelines to ensure those who are on the answering side of that question are competent to do so. An online BSW degree can take a graduate into many fascinating opportunities, and it all starts with a click of the mouse.