Social Work, B.S.

Put yourself in a position to improve the quality of life of individuals and communities faced with poverty, serious illness or disability with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work (B.S.S.W.). Through your coursework at Saint Louis University's School for Professional Studies, you’ll prepare for generalist social work practice in a program that integrates knowledge and skills with field experience.

After finishing your major’s prerequisites in the School for Professional Studies, where you will take your classes online, you will complete the remainder of your classes in an on-campus, eight-week format through SLU's School of Social Work. During your senior year, you will spend two to three days a week in a social service agency of your choice, supervised by an experienced social worker. High-achieving students may apply to the accelerated master’s program during their junior year of study, through which they can earn a Bachelor of Science in Social Work in four years and a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) with just one additional year of study.

The social work curriculum contains 39 credits of major courses covering topics such as human behavior and the social environment and three practice courses that address social work with individuals, families and groups, and organizations and communities. Students spend two semesters in a social service agency during their senior year, supervised by an experienced social worker. Science, math and humanities courses and electives fill out the remainder of the 120 credits required for the major.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

The program's service-learning component gives students opportunities to embody the University's Jesuit mission and apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom to serve others. In addition to volunteer work, students can explore different types of social work with guidance from seasoned professionals through partnerships with more than 250 social service agencies around the St. Louis area.


Social work graduates from Saint Louis University can look forward to careers in various settings. U.S. Labor Department projections indicate a steady demand for social work jobs in the years ahead. Most social workers specialize in an area of practice, including but not limited to:

  • Clinical work
  • Child welfare or family services
  • Mental health
  • Schools
  • Policymaking and advocacy

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need. The School for Professional Studies offers numerous scholarships and awards specifically for new students.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

To determine eligibility for financial assistance, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) early for maximum consideration. FAFSA is available online at

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at

Active Military and Veterans and First Responders

Honorably discharged veterans, active-duty military members, reserve members and first responders qualify for a reduced tuition rate of $295 per credit hour for any undergraduate program offered through the School for Professional Studies.

  1. Graduates will be able to demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
  2. Graduates will be able to engage diversity and difference in practice.
  3. Graduates will be able to advance human rights and social, economic and environmental justice.
  4. Graduates will be able to engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.
  5. Graduates will be able to engage in policy practice.
  6. Graduates will be able to engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
  7. Graduates will be able to assess with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
  8. Graduates will be able to intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
  9. Graduates will be able to evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

B.S.S.W. Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes 

Admission Requirements

  • Completed application
  • High school diploma or composite GED score of at least 2250
  • Minimum transfer cumulative GPA of 2.5 (unless qualified for conditional admittance)
  • Official transcript from the most recent institution attended
Upon admission, a new student must successfully complete a virtual meeting with their academic coach to be enrolled in first-term coursework.
The School for Professional Studies welcomes adult learners who are seeking an undergraduate education after life circumstances interrupted their educational journey. Adult life circumstances, for the purposes of admission, would include individuals with at least one of the following characteristics:
  • Delayed enrollment in post-secondary education
  • Attends part-time for at least part of the academic year
  • Works full-time (35 hours or more/week) while enrolled
  • Is financially independent
  • Has dependents other than a spouse
  • Is a single parent
  • Has other demands that make traditional education less feasible

Program Requirements 

University Undergraduate Core32-35
Required Social Work Courses
SWRK 1000Introduction to Social Work3
SWRK 2300Human Behavior Social Envrnmnt3
SWRK 3100Social Policy for Social Justice3
SWRK 3200Dismantling Oppression: Exploring Equity & Inclusion3
SWRK 3300Social Work Practice with Individuals3
SWRK 3350Social Work Practice with Groups3
SWRK 3440Social Work Practice with Families3
SWRK 3500Social Work Practice with Organizations & Communities3
SWRK 3600Financial Capability and Asset Building Practice3
or ECON 1900 Principles of Economics
SWRK 3700Research Methods for a Diverse Society3
SWRK 4100Social Work Practicum I5
SWRK 4150Integrative Practice Seminar I1
SWRK 4200Social Work Practicum II5
SWRK 4250Integrative Practice Seminar II1
General Electives46-49
Total Credits120-126

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a minimum 2.00 GPA.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester. Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
CORE 1000 Ignite First Year Seminar 2-3
CORE 1500 Cura Personalis 1: Self in Community 1
CORE 1900 Eloquentia Perfecta 1: Written and Visual Communication 3
SWRK 1000 Introduction to Social Work 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
CORE 3200 Ways of Thinking: Quantitative Reasoning 3
CORE 1600 Ultimate Questions: Theology 3
Required Program Courses (optional) 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
Year Two
CORE 1200 Eloquentia Perfecta 2: Oral and Visual Communication 3
CORE 1700 Ultimate Questions: Philosophy 3
SWRK 2300 Human Behavior Social Envrnmnt 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
CORE 3800 Ways of Thinking: Natural and Applied Sciences 3
CORE 2500 Cura Personalis 2: Self in Contemplation 0
Required Program Courses (optional) 3
Required Program Courses (optional) 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
Year Three
CORE 2800 Eloquentia Perfecta 3: Creative Expression 2-3
CORE 3400 Ways of Thinking: Aesthetics, History, and Culture 3
SWRK 3200 Dismantling Oppression: Exploring Equity & Inclusion 3
SWRK 3300 Social Work Practice with Individuals 3
SWRK 3600 Financial Capability and Asset Building Practice 3
General Elective 3
CORE 3600 Ways of Thinking: Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
CORE 4000 Collaborative Inquiry 2-3
SWRK 3100 Social Policy for Social Justice 3
SWRK 3350 Social Work Practice with Groups 3
SWRK 3700 Research Methods for a Diverse Society 3
Year Four
CORE 3500 Cura Personalis 3: Self in the World 1
SWRK 3440 Social Work Practice with Families 3
SWRK 4100 Social Work Practicum I 5
SWRK 4150 Integrative Practice Seminar I 1
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
SWRK 3500 Social Work Practice with Organizations & Communities 3
SWRK 4200 Social Work Practicum II 5
SWRK 4250 Integrative Practice Seminar II 1
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
 Total Credits122-125