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.

Admissions Requirements

  • 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:
    • 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:
      • 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?

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.


  1. 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.
  2. Complete all sections of the application, including complete responses to the personal statement questions.
  3. Submit an unofficial APU transcript, or transcript of work taken elsewhere if a transfer.
  4. 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.
  5. Submit additional materials and/or interview with the BSW program director at the request of the committee.
  6. Students will be notified in writing within three weeks of the committee’s decision.

Technical Standards

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:

  1. Physical strength and stamina to perform satisfactorily in classroom and social work agency settings.
  2. Physical mobility to transport to and from their classroom, field internship agency, and additional field meeting sites.
  3. Functional use of the senses to acquire and integrate data in order to conduct accurate observations in the classroom and in field settings.
  4. Language competence to communicate effectively with faculty and students, agency staff, clients, and other professionals.
  5. Reading and comprehension skills at a level and speed to respond to reports and other written documents in a timely manner.
  6. Writing skills at a college level and produced within a timely manner.
  7. Cognitive abilities to interpret objective and subjective data, and functional use of abstract reasoning to problem-solve.
  8. 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.

Note: This information is current for the 2022-23 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.

Full Menu