Social Work Major
Study Social Work at Azusa Pacific University
You’ll accelerate your career with a practice degree that allows you to immediately enter the field as a professional social worker. Set yourself apart with contacts in your field and significant experience on your résumé through a 400-hour (or more) internship with a local social service agency, as well as community service work and an applied research project with opportunity for publication. You’ll be equipped for a growing field—prepared to pursue your calling to come alongside the most vulnerable and oppressed.
Program at a Glance
The School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences equips students for compassionate leadership in fields like physical therapy, social work, and psychology, guided by experienced faculty and hands-on learning.
- The admission requirements for your social work major will vary depending upon your status as a first time freshman, transfer, or international student.
- Azusa (Main Campus)
Gain Hands-on Experience
- Complete a practicum internship with a local agency and work directly with those in need.
- Explore the role of spirituality and faith in social work practice.
- Engage with the community through course service-learning opportunities.
- Study human behavior, diversity, and practice skills in specialized coursework.
- Learn from faculty with professional experience in the field
By the Numbers
Jada Tarvin Abu-Bekr: Transformed to Serve
Social work major Jada Tarvin Abu-Bekr ’22 experienced transformation at APU, guiding her into her calling to promote restorative justice in communities of color.
The Bachelor of Social Work program at Azusa Pacific University seeks to develop competent generalist social work practitioners who can apply knowledge based on scientific inquiry, professional values, and skills of social work, integrating a Christian perspective, to enhance the well-being of diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities in the context of their environment towards advancing social justice locally and globally.
Browse the tabs below—if you have questions, visit the Student Services Center page, and we’ll make sure you get the info you need.
General Undergraduate Admission Requirements
Select an option below:
Students must also submit a supplemental application for the social work major. View the requirements and admission process below.
Admission to the Bachelor of Social Work Program
Students are considered “Social Work Interest” by the registrar until formally accepted into the program. Prior to formal acceptance into the program, students should begin advising within the BSW program and can begin taking entry-level social work courses and the General Education courses that apply to social work, as outlined in the university catalog.
The BSW program reviews applications in the fall and spring semesters for currently enrolled students. Application deadlines are March 7 (fall admission) and November 7 (spring admission). Late applications may be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the number of accepted students.
Transfer social work applicants planning to enter APU at the junior level (45 or more units) must submit the BSW Application for Admission in order to be considered for full acceptance into the social work program. Submit your application to the BSW program at the same time you submit your university application. Students transferring in prior to their junior year (less than 45 units) begin the major as “Social Work Interest,” and submit applications prior to their junior year after starting at the university. Transfer students should seek academic advising through the Academic Success Center and within the BSW program as soon as possible to begin planning coursework.
Students may be admitted fully, or on provisional status, or denied admission. If a student is admitted on provisional status, a plan for attaining full admission is provided by the BSW admissions committee. If this plan is not met in full, the student is not allowed to continue in the program and will receive notice that provisional status was not met. If denied admission, the student may initiate an appeal procedure as outlined in the BSW Student Handbook.
University-Admitted APU Students
Students admitted to the university and interested in pursuing the social work major should submit their BSW Application for Admission to the BSW program. Applications will be reviewed by the Social Work Advising and Admissions Committee, composed of social work faculty, and will be considered based on academic and personal readiness for the program.
- A 2.5 overall GPA
- Completion of or enrollment in SOCW 250 Introduction to Social Work course (full acceptance requires completion of the course with a C or better)
- Acknowledgment of the ability to adhere to the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics
- Acknowledgment of the ability to meet BSW Technical Standards and maintain professional behavior consistent with the Student Code of Conduct, both outlined in the BSW Student Handbook (PDF)
- Submission of a personal statement providing answers to the following:
- Discuss how your professional goals align with the efforts of the challenge(s) selected. Why is the challenge selected important and how does it connect to your interest in the social work profession?
- Discuss the significance of the challenge(s) selected based on your personal faith beliefs or values. For example, why should people who identify as Christians be concerned with the challenge(s) selected?
- What influenced your choice of social work as a profession? Include when and how you became interested in the field of social work.
- What personal, volunteer, and/or employment experiences have you had, and/or what characteristics do you possess, that will contribute to your work as a professional in the field of social work?
- Social workers practice with diverse people groups in diverse settings. What groups and/or settings may challenge you because of either your personal values, attitudes, and/or experiences? How will you handle this?
- Social work often involves assisting individuals, families, groups, and communities in problem solving. Give a brief description of a problem you have encountered in an employment or volunteer situation and how you resolved it. If you have neither employment nor volunteer experience, you may discuss a personal challenge you faced.
- The profession of social work has identified 13 Grand Challenges that reflect the purpose and mission of the social work field. Referencing the challenges, select one or more of them that align with your personal and professional interests. Utilizing the challenge(s) selected, respond to the following:
Evaluation Criteria Personal Statements
Admission decisions for the BSW program are based upon a review of academic performance, completion of SOCW 250 as a prerequisite with a C or better (can be enrolled in the course for provisional admission), relevant work or volunteer experience, quality of written personal statement, and relevant experience as indicated in the résumé submission. This review is completed by the BSW admissions committee, composed of BSW faculty. If needed, a student may be asked to complete a formal interview with the BSW program director and/or submit letters of reference that can support the student’s readiness for a career in social work. The admissions committee may seek additional information from the social work faculty, the applicant, or other formal sources. The committee focuses on academic achievement as well as criteria that demonstrate a commitment to social work values, beginning understanding of the social work profession, professional attitude and behavior, emotional maturity, and ability to express oneself clearly—orally and in writing.
Following review by the committee, the applicant is notified of the committee’s decision by email using the contact information provided by the applicant. Committee options include full admission, provisional admission with terms outlined, and denial of admission.
- Completion of or enrollment in SOCW 250 Introduction to Social Work course (full acceptance requires completion of the course with a C or better).
- Note: Transfer students with more than 45 units can apply prior to completing SOCW 250.
- Complete all sections of the application, including complete responses to the personal statement questions.
- Submit an unofficial APU transcript, or transcript of work taken elsewhere if a transfer.
- Submit completed application to the BSW program for review by March 7 (fall admission) or November 7 (spring admission). Late applications and transfer students are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and as space allows.
- Submit additional materials and/or interview with the BSW program director at the request of the committee.
- Students will be notified in writing within three weeks of the committee’s decision.
The Department of Social Work welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to apply for admission, but the BSW and MSW programs necessarily place specific requirements and demands on students accepted into the program. The following is a description of the technical standards that establish the essential qualifications required for safe and competent performance of the duties and skills needed in the social work profession.
If a student believes that he or she cannot meet one or more of the technical standards without a reasonable accommodation, APU will work with the student in an individualized, interactive process to determine whether reasonable accommodations can be made. Contact the Accessibility and Disability Resources to apply for an accommodation.
Students must have and maintain:
- Physical strength and stamina to perform satisfactorily in classroom and social work agency settings.
- Physical mobility to transport to and from their classroom, practicum internship agency, and additional field meeting sites.
- Functional use of the senses to acquire and integrate data in order to conduct accurate observations in the classroom and in field settings.
- Language competence to communicate effectively with faculty and students, agency staff, clients, and other professionals.
- Reading and comprehension skills at a level and speed to respond to reports and other written documents in a timely manner.
- Writing skills at a college level and produced within a timely manner.
- Cognitive abilities to interpret objective and subjective data, and functional use of abstract reasoning to problem-solve.
- Mental adaptability to work under pressure in emotionally charged situations and unpredictable environments, and to demonstrate an acceptable handling of conflict without overt emotional display or aggression.
BSW Admissions Appeals Process
Any student who is dissatisfied with a decision for admission may request an in-person review with the Social Work Advising and Admissions Committee, in which they can supply further verbal and written evidence in regards to the actions taken by the committee, within two weeks of your committee's decision. The committee will provide a written response to the student within one week of the hearing. If the student is still in disagreement, he/she may appeal to the associate dean of the School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences.
Although a private college education may seem out of reach for many, recent research from Kiplinger reveals that the actual value of some private universities may prove this assumption wrong. In 2010, Kiplinger selected Azusa Pacific University for its Top 100 Best Values in Private Colleges rankings. Read more about APU’s ranking in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Private Colleges.
APU students may take advantage of three types of financial aid: scholarships and grants, education loans, and student employment.
Scholarships and Grants
Scholarships and grants are considered “gift aid” and do not require repayment. They can come from federal, state, or private sources. Scholarships are typically merit-based, meaning they are awarded depending on demonstrated academic ability or other specific talents.
Scholarships are often available from sources outside of APU. You can search for these scholarships through websites such as finaid.org or fastweb.com. The Student Services Center is sometimes notified of scholarships available through APU departments or local organizations, and can provide information about any available scholarships on request.
Education loans are usually repaid after graduation, may be deferred until after graduate school, and often have very low interest rates.
Military members—and in some cases their spouses and dependents—qualify for financial assistance covering tuition, housing, and books. Azusa Pacific is a Yellow Ribbon University and Military Friendly School, so you can be confident that you’ll receive the benefits and flexibility you need to complete your education.
On-campus student employment is available for students needing additional income to pay for education-related expenses. APU students also find work off campus in the surrounding community.
Net Price Calculator
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To view specific requirements and coursework information, visit the current academic
The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program at Azusa Pacific University prepares students for professional social work practice, including competence in skill performance with diverse populations in a variety of settings in accordance with the Council on Social Work Education accreditation standards. The culmination of the social work major is the two-semester, 400-hour internship practicum. This internship is a collaboration between community-based agencies and the university, providing sites where students can integrate knowledge and skills learned in the classroom while in professional settings working with clients.
Our BSW program and APU practicum faculty are committed to a collaborative relationship between practicum instructors and agencies. In most cases, the practicum faculty who teach a senior practicum seminar class are the faculty liaison for their students. This arrangement enables effective communication and coordination between the university, students, and agency. The BSW coordinator of practicum education provides administrative oversight and support to students, practicum instructors, and faculty liaisons.
Additional information regarding practicum education can be found on the program's Social Work Practicum Education Website. You may also use the following contact information if you have additional questions:
- Azusa Pacific University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
- The APU BSW Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s Board of Accreditation.
- View the Student Learning and Competencies Outcomes Report (PDF).
Career Outlook and Outcomes
Faculty Friday: Jenica Morin-Pascual Awarded 48th District Woman of the Year
Social work professor Jenica Morin-Pascual was recently named the California 48th District Woman of the Year for her work in domestic violence education.