BSW | LSU School of Social Work

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Bachelor of Social Work Mission Statement

The LSU Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program prepares generalist social work professionals who are competent, effective, and ethical to serve vulnerable and oppressed populations and advocate for social change.

Graduates will be prepared for a career in:

  • Medical and health care
  • Social policy
  • Family agencies
  • Military social work
  • Corrections/criminal justice
  • Community agencies and organizations

The Bachelor of Social Work degree is designed to prepare students for entry level careers in social service agencies, school, corrections/criminal justice, and other community agencies. This degree will also prepare students who wish to pursue graduate studies in social work.  Since the program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), outstanding BSW students may receive the equivalent of one year academic credit in an MSW program, cutting their time to completion of the Master's degree in half.

The curriculum emphasizes written communication skills, evidence-based professional practice, empirical investigation and evaluation of practice.

In particular active faculty research projects in gerontology, children and families, poverty, addictive disorders, LGBT studies, and criminal justice provide unique opportunities for BSW students to learn about many of the major social service-related problems in Louisiana and the nation from experts currently conducting research in these areas.

Students graduating from the BSW program bring knowledge of evidence-based practices and critical thinking, communication, analytical, and research skills to front-line social work jobs throughout the state of Louisiana.

The BSW degree is built upon a foundation in the first two years of general liberal arts coursework. Students are exposed to the arts and humanities, social sciences, languages, and natural sciences. Beyond this foundation, the BSW Program at LSU requires approximately 45-50 upper division semester credit hours in social work courses, including 480 work hours in field internships at social service agencies.

Social work courses at the BSW level reflect the broad, system-spanning roles and activities of the profession, including: direct practice skills with individuals and families, small groups, and community organizations; current theory and research on human development and cultural diversity with an emphasis on human growth through reciprocal interactions within social environments; the history and creation of social policies affecting social work client populations; and practice-related research and evaluation. 

For more information about becoming a Registered Social Worker.

No academic credit will be given for life or work experiences.


Admission Requirements

  • The student must be admissible to the College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) as follows...
  • Have earned at least 24 semester hours
  • Have a cumulative and LSU GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Have completed English 1001, Math 1021, and Social Work 2000 with a C or better 

Application Process

Applicants must submit a BSW application to the School of Social Work. Applications may be found in the link below. Applications must include a  recommendation form completed by a faculty member or academic counselor/advisor.


BSW Professional Licensure Requirements

(Updated 7/1/2020)

Undergraduate social work education prepares students for generalist social work practice. Clinical and other advanced social work practice requires graduate-level education. Baccalaureate-level social work licensure requirements vary by state and not all states require licensure at this level of practice. For states that do require licensure, the most common requirements are 1) graduating from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and 2) passing a licensing exam.

The LSU BSW Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation

Students should prepare to pass an examination in states that require this. 

Four states have additional BSW-level licensure requirements that students should complete if they plan to seek licensure there.

Students planning to live in another state after graduation should review that state’s current licensing requirements since they change periodically. The Association of Social Work Boards provides information to help with this.  The LSU School of Social Work may help students meet other state licensure requirements. Students needing assistance should notify the school immediately. 

Important note for relocating during the course of a program: Prospective and current students should keep in mind that licensing and authorization requirements vary by state and that relocating during the course of a program to another state could impact whether that student can continue in the course, meet the eligibility requirements of that state, and/or receive financial aid funding. If students are considering relocating, they should contact their program’s advisor to check for authorization and licensure eligibility requirements.

For information on the institutional process for filing appeals as well as contact information for each state's SARA portal, please visit the Complaint Procedures website

School of Social Work alumni, Get Involved!

graduates at commencement

Huey P Long Fieldhouse building


Jahanna Bailey, DSW
328 Huey P. Long Field House
(225) 578-5875



students volunteering

Pictured are Dr. Abadie's MSW students volunteering at the seventh annual Circle of Support Walk. The Circle of Support Walk is a community event and an annual partnership between the LSU School of Social Work students and The Crisis Intervention Center. Its primary goal is to educate the community on services offered to those facing various types of emotional pain.

group photo at annual walk