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College of Social Work


To be considered for admission to the Bachelor of Social Work program, you must meet the requirements of both the University of South Carolina and the College of Social Work.

Lower Division

Upon admission to the university, you will begin taking classes that meet the Carolina Core criteria and those required for the BSW program. As you matriculate through these requirements, you are considered a BSW lower division major.

You may apply for the BSW upper division major by the announced due dates published each year. The College of Social Work is committed to diversity in its student body. Admission into the lower division major is limited and competitive and does not guarantee progression into the upper division.  


Upper Division

Your college adviser can help you stay on track toward progression into the upper division and answer any questions you may have about the BSW curriculum. You will be expected to meet with your adviser to receive information and review the application process.

Minimum Requirements
  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.50 (on a 4.00 scale).
  • Grade of “C” in English general education course requirements.
  • Verified completion of 39 hours of general education courses at the time of application.
  • Verified completion of 54 hours of general education courses at the time of progression to the upper division.
  • Verified completion of SOWK 201 or equivalency for transfer students.
  • At least three letters of reference submitted by individuals who can attest to your potential for undergraduate study and social work practice.
  • A personal statement addressing your interests, resiliencies and community service.
  • An interview may be required.
Academic Transcripts

Transcripts from all prior academic work must be submitted to the College of Social Work. Your University of South Carolina transcript can be ordered from the University Registrar.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation should come from individuals who can address characteristics such as maturity, self-discipline, commitment, cooperativeness and professionalism. The BSW program requires letters be written by individuals who can attest to your performance in academics, employment and service or volunteer experiences (e.g., professor, supervisor or community leader) rather than those who know you through a personal relationship (e.g., relative, friend or neighbor). 


How to Apply

To enter the program’s lower division, you’ll complete the university’s undergraduate application. Once you’ve completed foundational coursework, you’ll apply through the college for acceptance into the program’s upper division.

Undergraduate Application Process

If you’re preparing for your first year of college, admission is handled through Undergraduate Admissions. This office’s staff can answer any of your questions about admission requirements, the application, deadlines, scholarships and other matters. To apply for entry into the lower division of the Bachelor of Social Work program, just declare social work as your major on your university application.

Upper Division Application Process

Each August, a new cohort of students progresses into the upper division. The Admissions Committee evaluates applicants for this cohort in the spring and summer of each year based on the program admissions requirements.

  • Spring application packets are due in March. Final admissions decisions are made by the end of April.
  • Summer application packets are due in July. Final admissions decisions are made by the end of July.

You’ll start the application process by scheduling an admission advisement appointment with one of our student services coordinators. During your advisement session, the coordinator will discuss the social work profession, the College of Social Work’s bachelor’s degree program and the application process. Once you’ve submitted your application, a coordinator will verify that the application is complete and forward it to the admissions committee for review. You will be notified about admissions decisions by mail, email or both.

Transfer Student Application Process

If you are a student enrolled at another college or university and wish to transfer into the BSW degree program, you’ll start by completing the University of South Carolina’s application for undergraduate admission. As part of that application, you’ll submit official transcripts from all other colleges and universities to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. If you are seeking readmission, you should submit transcripts from all schools you attended since leaving Carolina. The University Registrar evaluates all transcripts and grants the student transfer credit, if possible, for coursework and completed at the other schools.

Although the university may grant semester hours for transfer credit for completed work in another social work program, the bachelor’s degree program coordinator and the associate dean for academic and student affairs and/or a faculty member who teaches the content will determine whether the course and its assignments meet the requirements of our degree program. Any student wishing to transfer credit to meet degree requirements must submit to the program director a course syllabus that includes learning objectives, assignments and the titles and authors of textbooks.

A maximum of 76 semester hours may be transferred for degree credit from a junior college or two-year institution that is accredited by a regional association such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. With the dean’s approval, a maximum of 30 semester hours of credit for educational experiences in the military may be applied toward meeting the requirements for a baccalaureate degree.