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Undergraduate | In-Person

Social Work, BSW

As a social worker you will touch every aspect of society, from mental and physical well-being to education, healthcare and law. Social Work requires commitment and dedication to helping others.

Why Major in Social Work? 

social work students posing with a poster of a projectBelmont's School of Social Work is a close and supportive community, offering students many opportunities for active learning, internships and engagement in a variety of non-profit, government and grassroots settings.

The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education which gives students the ability to complete a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree in one year after completing undergraduate work by enrolling in an Advanced Standing Program after graduation.

Students enjoy the benefit of being taught almost exclusively by full time faculty who are passionate and award winning teachers. You can be confident your education has met the highest standards of national accreditation and that you are ready to meet the needs of your clients and our community.

What You'll Learn

  • Learn professionalism alongside Social Work values and ethics.
  • Gain skills in advancing justice in multiple areas.
  • Incorporate anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in your career.
  • Conduct research and policy analysis in social work practice.
  • Engage, assess, intervene and evaluate your practice with clients across a variety of settings.


Social work students during a Privilege Walk exercise

Social Work students participating in a Privilege Walk where participants are able to engage with their privilege in a physical way to better understand one another.

Social work students posing with a poster outlining a project they worked on

Career Possibilities

  • Counselor/Therapist
  • School Social Worker
  • Military Social Worker
  • Child and Family Social Worker
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Healthcare Social Worker
  • Law Mitigation and Conflict Resolution

Program Details


The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) is designed to be completed in four years and requires 128 hours of coursework. The final year includes the start of the intensive 450 hour internship experience, which in social work is referred to as Field Education.

  • BELL Core requirements: 50 hours
  • Major requirements: 54 hours
  • General electives: 24 hours

See All Program Requirements

A Partial List of Courses You'll Take

These are example courses. For a full list, click the program requirements link above.

SWK 2000 Introduction to Social Work

A study of the origins, structure and characteristics of social work services, social welfare policies and the social work profession. In addition to other course requirements, the student must complete 15 clock hours of service learning in a social service agency.

SWK 2050 Social Work Research

This is an introduction to the methods of scientific inquiry and their relevance to social work. Topics include research design, problem formulation, measurement, data analysis and ethics in research. Fundamentals of analyzing research reports will also be emphasized. * a 1-hour, web-based lab is included to expand knowledge of APA formatting, Evidence-based practice and statistical applications.

SWK 2250 Human Behavior and Social Environment I

This course examines the biological, psychological and social development of the individual at different lifespan stages. Students learn about human behavior from the perspective of developmental milestones as well as environmental, societal and cultural issues and contexts.

SWK 2300 Exploring Human Diversity

This course examines and explores the intricacies of human diversity. Students will be able to identify areas of oppression and injustice as well as strength and opportunity as they learn about what makes us alike and different. This course will look at different “isms” (racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, etc.) and how these “isms” impact society. There is an emphasis on critical thinking about, and awareness of, human diversity through readings, films, personal visits and immersion experiences in the community representing a vast scope of diversity including (but not limited to): race, age, class, ethnicity, ability, faith, sexual orientation and gender.

SWK 3210 Social Work Practice I

An examination of the knowledge, values and skills basic to the generalist practice of social work. Students utilize an understanding of the social work process to develop skills in problem-solving with individuals and families. A videotape experience is provided for skill-building and evaluation opportunities. Fall.

SWK 3700 Professional Skills in Social Work

This course is designed for third year Social Work majors preparing for entrance into their field placements. The course provides an opportunity for students to discern the client populations and agency settings for their field placements. Further, students will be interviewing and securing social work field placements during the course of this class. Additionally, this course focuses on the development of the knowledge and skills of basic interpersonal communication for establishing and maintaining relationships with clients and colleagues, and their ability to apply these communication skills when entering the field of social work. This course will include topics such as: Developing oral and written communication skills, listening and empathy skills, navigating difficult conversations, barriers to effective communication and inter-professional communication skills.

SWK 4230 Crisis Intervention

Crisis intervention will take into account various environments and populations across the lifespan to provide students with practical guidelines for managing crisis such as suicide, abuse, grief and loss, violence and disasters. Multiple crisis assessment models will be presented giving students the freedom to select a model that best fits their personal style or a given crisis. Future mental health professionals will gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to help their clients manage when a crisis occurs.

As a Social Work student, you will have countless opportunities to flourish. These include service, leadership experiences, co-curricular educational programming and fun social events!

  • Join the Social Work Student Association and begin to network with students who share your interests.
  • Participate each year in Social Work Day on Capitol Hill in Nashville.
  • Travel with faculty on the annual student trip to explore Social Work practice in other areas of the country.

Council on Social Work Education

The Belmont School of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Board of Accreditation (BOA).

Accreditation of a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the BOA indicates that it meets or exceeds standards of program quality evaluated through a peer review accreditation process. An accredited program has sufficient resources to meet its mission and goals and the BOA has verified that it demonstrates compliance with all sections of the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS). Accreditation applies to all program options, which includes locations and delivery methods.

Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.

Review our program's accredited status in CSWE's Directory of Accredited Programs. For more information about social work accreditation, contact CSWE's Department of Social Work Accreditation.

Student Outcomes

State Licensure

Students completing the Bachelor in Social Work program are eligible to be licensed by many state professional licensing boards. Separate from educational requirements for licensure, state licensure boards may require applicants to complete professional examinations and background checks. Additional requirements, including documentation of internship and supervision hours, may vary.

The Bachelor of Social Work Program at Belmont University meets the educational requirements for BSW licensure as follows:

A table that lists Positive and Negative Licensure Determinations based on Educational Requirements for State Licensure

Positive Licensure Determinations

Negative Licensure Determinations*

No Licensure Determinations

Educational Requirements for State Licensure Educational Requirements for State Licensure Educational Requirements for State Licensure
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Peurto Rico
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virgin Islands
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington

*These states do not offer Social Work licensure at the Baccalaureate level

It is best to contact the appropriate licensing entity in each state a student seeks to be licensed in to identify information regarding additional licensure requirements. The Association of Social Work Boards provides helpful information in connecting with these agencies.

DeEbony Groves Social Work Diversity Scholarship

The DeEbony Groves Social Work Diversity Endowed Scholarship is an annual award designed to support the education of a Belmont Social Work major and contribute to the continued development of a diverse community of learners.

The diversity award was first distributed in the academic year 2014-2015, and in May of 2018 the name of the scholarship was changed to the DeEbony Groves Social Work Diversity Scholarship. The name was changed in honor and memory of one of our beloved student social work majors, DeEbony Groves. DeEbony’s life was taken too soon, but it is our hope and prayer that this award in her name will enable future students to achieve some of the same goals DeEbony had set for herself, particularly in the areas of appreciating, honoring and respecting diversity in all its dimensions.

This annual award is made possible due to the donations of alumni and other friends of the department who are committed to increasing diversity and awareness of diversity, and who want to honor DeEbony’s memory in this way.

Students who are interested in seeking the award will apply in the fall semester of each academic year. The application consists of a few brief demographic questions and an essay regarding the student's understanding of the importance of diversity in our profession.

The application for the award and the date it is due are released by October of each academic year. In accordance with University policy, we are unable to award the scholarship to a University College student.

The McWhorter Society Scholarship

Awarded annually to students in the Health Sciences, with demonstrated financial need, who exhibit academic excellence and are most eager and passionate about being part of leading change.

The Social Justice Minor includes 18 hours of Social Work course credit. Students minoring in Social Justice are not eligible to take advanced practice classes or participate in Field Education. Please see the catalog for detailed requirements.

What is Field?

Field education is the signature pedagogy in social work, the element of “instruction and socialization” (Council on Social Work Education [CSWE], 2015, p. 12) that teaches future social workers “to think, to perform and to act ethically and with integrity” (CSWE, 2015, p. 12). The School of Social Work at Belmont University designs field education to be a two (2) semester sequence of courses in which the student applies conceptual knowledge gained in a classroom to practice with clients in a social work agency. Supervision of the student is provided by practitioners with either a BSW or MSW. Students complete 225 clock hours of work each semester, for a total of 450 clock hours of field instruction. The educational competencies and policies of field instruction conform to the 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standard (2015 EPAS) of CSWE.

Field Partners

Belmont Social Work partners with a wide variety of social service agencies in the greater Nashville area. You will be able to choose to apply to agencies in practice areas that are of special interest to you. You're supported at every step of the application and interview process during your time in SWK 3700 Professional Skills in Social Work. This course culminates in field placement that meets your unique professional aspirations.

Social Work Field Education Manual

Student Testimonials

Lilia Zylstra

"The professors here are wonderful and truly want to get to know each of their students. I can come to them with anything academically, career-related or even just personal things. They really want to help students succeed inside and outside of the classroom and my voice is always valued."

Lilia Zylstra

Allene Fields

"When I arrived at Belmont as a freshman, I had no idea I would find myself in the School of Social Work, but I am beyond grateful I did as it has completely changed my life. The course content has not only prepared me to succeed professionally but also personally, by giving me a strengths-based lens through which I now view others, myself, and the world. The department is a tight-knit community, offering continuous support, and we all learn from one another and celebrate our diverse professional interests."

Allene Fields

Ashley Crafton

"My favorite thing about my field placement is the community culture I get to be a part of. In my placement, I lead group therapy, conduct individual check-ins, do crisis intervention work, and help meet the basic needs of students and their families. Through my time in the Field at Communities in Schools, I have grown more confident, as I practice skills that I had previously learned in the classroom."

Ashley Crafton

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