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Social Work Online Bachelor's Degree (BSSW)

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Earn Your CSWE-Accredited Online Social Work Degree from SMSU


3–4 Years

76 Credit Hours (Major)

$305 per Credit

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Build the Foundation You Need for a Successful Social Work Career

Make a difference in your community and beyond with the online Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Southwest Minnesota State University. This CSWE-accredited program provides an introduction to the field of social work, delivering the skills you need for practice with individuals, families, groups, and organizations. Graduates are prepared to pursue their Master of Social Work (MSW) in advanced standing programs or for entry-level roles in social service and mental health.

This Bachelor of Science in Social Work program is also offered on campus.

Program Details

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Discover Our Interdisciplinary Online Social Work Courses

25 Major Courses

10 or 16 Week Terms

Field Practicum

Our bachelor’s in social work online program combines a comprehensive liberal arts curriculum with focused courses in the social work major to deliver the foundational knowledge and skill set needed for generalist practice.

A field practicum is built into the program plan that includes 440 hours of internship work in community agencies, providing real-world learning opportunities alongside fully online Bachelor of Science in Social Work program coursework.

Course Highlights

  • SWRK 234: Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare
  • SWRK 340: Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • SWRK 351: Diverse and At-Risk Populations
Curriculum Details

SMSU Admission Requirements

Start Date August 26, 2024 Fall Term 2024

Admission to the online degree in social work begins by submitting your application. Take the next step towards a rewarding career by completing your application today with support from the SMSU enrollment team.

Online Application FormApply Now
Application Fee$20 waivable fee*
Official TranscriptsSend official high school transcripts. Transfer students must send transcripts from each institution attended
Minimum GPA2.5 minimum, 3.0 recommended

International Students

Additional information and requirements may be necessary for international students. Please contact our enrollment team to learn more.

It’s always the right time to invest in your education with SMSU. Contact an enrollment counselor by calling 1-800-201-2944 to get started today.

Admissions Details

Earn Your Online Social Work Degree at an Affordable Price

Calculate your cost for attending SMSU Use our tuition calculator to help you estimate your total tuition costs.  

The first step towards creating a successful future for yourself is investing in your education. Whether you’re applying for a college degree for the first time or picking back up where you left off, Southwest Minnesota State University’s tuition and aid packages can assist you. With scholarships available and competitive tuition, we’ll ensure you earn your degree affordably.

Cost per Credit Hour$305
Total Credit Hours120
Total Estimated Cost**$36,600
Other CostsThe estimated tuition cost does not include factors such as textbooks, supplies, or additional fees and expenses

Military Benefits

SMSU proudly welcomes active military and veteran students. We accept the GI Bill™ and VA education benefits. Learn more by contacting an enrollment counselor or by visiting our military benefits page.

Financial Aid Options & Support

Southwest Minnesota State University offers a variety of solutions to help you invest in your education. SMSU offers in-state tuition rates to all students, along with a variety of financial services, including military benefits, financial aid opportunities, and scholarships for qualifying applicants.

Take your next step in financing your education by completing your FAFSA today. Use SMSU’s school code: 002375

Tuition Details
social worker on sofa across from elderly clients

Launch Your Career in the Growing Field of Social Work

Demand for trained social work professionals is on the rise over the next decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports expected growth rates of 10 percent for healthcare social workers and 11 percent for mental health and substance abuse social workers through 2032.1 Prepare to fill these essential roles with SMSU’s online bachelor of science in social work.

Professional Opportunities in Social Work

Social Worker $55,350 per year1

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors $49,710 per year2

Program Outcomes

The online social work major is designed to deliver the knowledge base you need for graduate study and positions in practice settings like social service agencies, courts, long-term care facilities, schools, and mental health institutions. With innovative, high-impact coursework and personalized support from our expert faculty members, you’ll graduate ready to enter the field or continue your education with an MSW.

What You’ll Learn

Meet Our Faculty

SMSU employs a faculty of experts who are top-skilled in their fields. Our educators are fully committed to providing each student with personalized and thoughtful instruction to help you succeed academically and professionally.

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. James Smalley, Associate Professor of Social Work

Before SMSU, Dr. James Smalley taught social work at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota. He was previously executive director of the New Horizons Crisis Center in Marshall and the Minnesota West Foundation (Minnesota West Community and Technical College).

Smalley has worked for 20 years in the nonprofit sector in Southwest Minnesota, from front-line staff duties to program management duties. He earned social work degrees from the University of St. Thomas – St. Paul and the University of Minnesota. His PhD in Human Services is from Capella University. His master’s and PhD include an emphasis on nonprofit management.

Smalley is licensed in Minnesota as an independent social worker.

Learn Online with Southwest Minnesota State University

Whether you’re enrolling in a degree program for the first time or completing a degree you previously started, learning online with SMSU provides the flexibility you need to be successful. Our online programs offer the same rigorous curriculum delivered on campus, plus the convenience of studying on your schedule from the location of your choice.

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Sources and Disclaimers

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook. “Social Workers.” Retrieved from
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook. “Social Workers.” Retrieved from

*Contact our enrollment team for more details!

**Tuition costs and fees will vary based on semesters of enrollment and number of transfer credits accepted. Contact our enrollment team to learn more.