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College of Social Work

Admission and Application Requirements

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.

If you are 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, declare social work as your major on your university application.

Upper Division

You must apply for admission into the upper division of the BSW program - enrollment in lower division social work courses does not guarantee acceptance. Academic advisors are available to help you track your progress and answer any questions you may have about the application process or the BSW curriculum. The College of Social Work is committed to diversity in its student body. Admission is limited and competitive.

Application Process

New cohorts of students begin the upper division in the fall. An admissions committee evaluates applicants 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 will start the application process by scheduling an advisement appointment with one of the College of Social Work’s academic advisors to review the application and discuss the degree requirements of the BSW program. Once you have submitted your application, it  will be reviewed and forwarded to an admissions committee for review. You will be notified in writing about admissions decisions.

Minimum Requirements
  • Overall undergraduate GPA of 2.50 (on a 4.00 scale).
  • Earned minimum grade of C or higher in all required Carolina Core Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication (Writing) – CMW courses.
  • 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 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 the student’s potential for undergraduate study and social work practice.
  • A personal statement addressing the student’s interests, resiliencies and community service.
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 potential for undergraduate study and social work practice (e.g., professor, supervisor or community leader). Letters from those you know through personal relationships (e.g., relative, friend or neighbor) will not be adequate.

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.

Any student wishing to transfer credits to meet the BSW degree requirements must submit course syllabi to the BSW program coordinator for approval.

For additional information about transfer admission, see the undergraduate Admissions Policies and Procedures bulletin.