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 ( SOCW 250, SOCW 251, SOCW 275, SOCW 310, SOCW 311) and the General Education courses that apply to social work, as outlined in the university catalog. Students must submit a formal application to the BSW program and be accepted to the major prior to taking social work practice courses in their junior year ( SOCW 332, SOCW 333, SOCW 360).

The Social Work Advising and Admissions Committee within the Department of Social Work reviews applications. Students currently at the university who have completed or are currently enrolled in the Introduction to Social Work course can apply for admission to the social work major. (Transfer students, see below.) The deadline for applications is March 7 for fall admission and November 7 for spring. Admittance to the major allows students to enroll in Social Work Practice I during spring academic enrollment. Students transferring to the social work major as juniors must apply to the social work program. Late applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Students may be admitted fully, without provisions, on provisional status, or denied admission. If a student is admitted on provisional status, a plan for attaining full admission will be provided by the committee. If this plan is not met in full, the student will not be allowed to continue in the program. If denied admission, the student may initiate an appeal procedure, as outlined in the BSW Application for Admission.

Transfer 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. Please submit your application to the Department of Social Work at the same time you submit your university application.

Students transferring in prior to their junior year (less than 45 units) will 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 in the Department of Social Work as soon as poosible to begin planning coursework.

Current APU Students

Current APU students submit their BSW Application for Admission directly to the Department of Social Work. Applications will be reviewed by the Social Work Advising and Admissions Committee comprised of social work faculty, and will be considered based on academic and personal readiness for the program.

Admissions Requirements

  1. Completion of the Introduction to Social Work course with a C or better (for priority admission only)
  2. A 2.5 overall GPA
  3. Completion of all application requirements
  4. Personal and professional aptitude
  5. Submission of a personal statement. Provide 5-6 pages in response to the following:
    1. What influenced your choice of social work as a profession? Include when and how you became interested in the field of social work.
    2. How do your professional goals align with the mission and values of social work? Review the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and incorporate aspects of social work mission and values that support your goals.
    3. What personal experiences have you had and/or characteristics do you possess that will contribute to your work as a professional in the field of social work?
    4. What personal experiences have you had and/or characteristics do you possess that will present a challenge to your work as a professional in the field of social work?
    5. The profession of social work has identified 12 Grand Challenges that reflect the purpose and mission of the social work field. Referencing the challenges, select one or more of the Grand Challenges that align with your personal and professional interests. Utilizing the Grand Challenge(s) selected, respond to the following:
      • Discuss how your professional goals align with the efforts of the Grand Challenge(s) selected. Why is the Grand Challenge(s) selected important and how does it connect to your interest in the social work profession?
      • Discuss the significance of the Grand Challenge(s) selected based on your personal faith beliefs or values. For example, why should people who identify as Christians be concerned with the Grand Challenge selected?

Evaluation criteria personal statements

  • Interest in Social Work: Addressed interest in the field of social work, influence for choosing the profession and detailed personal career goals displaying a genuine interest in enhancing human well-being and advancing social justice.
  • Depth of Insight: Provides thoughtful reflection on personal strengths and challenges with potential impact on professional development noted.
  • Faith Integration: Clear discussion of faith-based worldview as it relates to the profession of social work.
  • Critical Thinking: Interest in social work, depth of insight and faith integration have been thoughtfully linked to Grand Challenge(s) selected.
  • Writing Skills: Writing is clear, organized and free of grammatical and spelling errors.


  1. Complete or be enrolled in the Introduction to Social Work course, completing with a C or better. (Transfer students with more than 45 units can apply prior to completing Introduction to Social Work.)
  2. Complete all sections of the application.
  3. Complete a personal statement.
  4. Submit an unofficial APU transcript or transcript of work taken elsewhere if transfer.
  5. Submit completed packet to the Department of Social Work 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.
  6. Students will be notified in writing within three weeks of the Social Work Advising and Admissions 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 Academic Success Center 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 2019-20 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.