Undergraduate studies in social work

As an urban, metropolitan university, the faculty are committed to the values of diversity, human rights, and social justice.  Building on a person-in-environment perspective, the Bachelor in Social Work (BSW) curriculum is designed to develop knowledge of human behavior and social problems as well as critical thinking, assessment, problem solving, and evaluative skills.  The BSW curriculum empowers students to engage in understanding complex social issues as well as to work within different settings with a variety of client systems at the individual, family, group, community, and organizational levels.

Interested students apply to the BSW program in their sophomore (2nd) year of course work and begin social work course work in their junior (3rd) year.  The BSW curriculum  introduces students to the generalist model of social work practice, preparing them to work with diverse individuals, families, groups, and communities.  In the classroom and at his or her internship, students learn about and apply social work knowledge, values, and skills to an array of needs and social problems.

The BSW Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. We admitted our first class of students in 1997 and graduated our first class in 1999.


The application process for the BSW program takes place in the spring for admission to the program. Due to the structured nature of our program, students must start their social work classes (beyond Introduction to Social Work) in the fall semester of each year. Applications are typically due in mid-March and applicants are notified of their admission status by mid-June.

Interested students in their first and second years of undergraduate work should complete the classes required by the university as well as the courses required to be considered for admission to the BSW program. More information is available in the admissions application packet. If you attend an Arkansas community college, please check with your advising center. The School of Social Work has agreements with several community colleges specifically designed to facilitate transfer to UALR for social work and more of these agreements are coming soon.