Prepare for a Rewarding Career Improving the Lives of Others

Whether you’re looking to begin or advance your career, Walden’s online social work bachelor’s degree program can equip you with in-demand job skills. It can also prepare you to sit for state licensure exams.1

Why Get Your Bachelor of Social Work at Walden?

  • Prepare to sit for licensure exams.1
  • Gain experiential knowledge with the Social Work Skills Lab, where you will have face-to-face interaction with social work professionals and prepare for practice.
  • Learn from a curriculum focused on career skills, including case management, treatment planning, and crisis intervention.
  • Customize your bachelor's degree in social work online program to your scope of interest or career goals with five optional focus areas.
  • Develop practical skills through documentary-style video case studies portraying true-to-life scenarios experienced by BSW-level social workers.
  • Position yourself to fast track your Master of Social Work with the Advanced Standing option, available to BSW graduates with a 3.0 GPA. 

The Bachelor of Social Work online program is ideal for working professionals who want to channel their passion for social justice into a rewarding career serving those in need. The convenient online format is matched with opportunities for face-to-face learning to prepare students for practice in the field.

Lifelong Learning Ladder

With more than 45 years of experience in distance education, Walden offers a lifelong learning ladder that includes our Master of Social Work (CSWE-accredited), PhD in Social Work, and Doctor of Social Work programs. BSW graduates with a 3.0 GPA or better at graduation are eligible to enter our MSW program in the Advanced Standing option, which may reduce the credits required for completion of the program. This allows you to earn your MSW faster and at a lower overall cost.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop a professional orientation and identity as a social worker.
  • Apply legal and ethical standards in the administration of social work.
  • Demonstrate skills in applying principles of advocacy toward promoting cultural understanding and positive social change in individuals, communities, and society.
  • Use evidence-based research and critical thinking skills to inform practice in meeting the needs of diverse clientele.
  • Synthesize and apply theories of human growth and development to develop culturally responsive social work practices.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills in the areas of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Career Impact

Get Ahead With a Career-Focused Degree

As a graduate of the Bachelor of Social Work online program, you can look forward to moving into a field where the job outlook is growing at a rate of 16% from 2016 to 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.2

Prepare for a variety of roles, including:

  • Case manager
  • Discharge planner
  • Family services worker
  • Residential counselor
  • Program coordinator

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this program.

Learn more about the career outlook for graduates with a Bachelor of Social Work.

Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

Read our Bachelor of Social Work Program Outcome Report.


BSW Program Status in the CSWE Accreditation Process

This chart is based on the current CSWE accreditation process found at All future milestone dates are estimates and subject to change.

Accreditation Candidacy Status
Walden's Bachelor of Social Work has achieved candidacy for accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Commission on Accreditation. Candidacy for a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation indicates that it has made progress toward meeting criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process. A program that has attained candidacy has demonstrated a commitment to meeting the compliance standards set by the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards but has not yet demonstrated full compliance.

Students who enter programs that attain candidacy in or after the academic year in which they begin their program of study will be retroactively recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program once the program attains initial accreditation. Candidacy is typically a 3-year process, and attaining candidacy does not guarantee that a program will eventually attain initial accreditation. Candidacy applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.

1Note on Licensure
Licensure for BSW-prepared social workers varies greatly from state to state. Each state licensing board responsible for regulating the practice of social work has its own academic, licensure, and certification requirements and issues its own license to practice as a social worker. In many states the minimum academic credential required to obtain licensure to practice as a social worker is a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Currently, Walden University’s BSW program is not accredited by CSWE but has achieved candidacy status, which is the last step before achieving initial programmatic accreditation.

Because no program can guarantee licensure upon graduation, Walden recommends students consult the appropriate social work licensing board in the state in which they plan to practice to determine the specific academic requirements for licensure. Walden enrollment advisors can provide information relating to the state-by-state requirements for BSW licensure. However, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all licensing requirements for the state in which he or she intends to practice. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of its coursework or programs will permit an individual to achieve state licensure, authorization, endorsement, or other state credential as a social worker. Learn more about professional licensure.

2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social Workers. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee actual job growth, and are subject to change.

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Questions about our Bachelor of Social Work?
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