BSW | LSU School of Social Work

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

LSU Bachelor of Social Work

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 (BSW) 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. The program is currently in candidacy with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).  Once it is fully accredited, 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.

Once complete, bring your application to 328 Huey Long Fieldhouse or email it to


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 School of Social Work’s BSW program is currently in the third year of Candidacy with CSWE and awaits notification of initial accreditation in July 2020. Once fully accredited, students graduating from this program will be eligible for licensure in most states.

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

Four states have additional BSW-level licensure requirements:

  • Missouri: Complete two hours of suicide prevention training;
  • New Mexico: Pass jurisprudence examination and complete coursework or pass exam about New Mexico cultures;
  • Oregon: Pass Oregon Rules and Laws Exam;
  • Wisconsin: Pass Wisconsin Statutes and Rules examination.

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.

After going through the grievance policies of the institution, students can file a complaint about the program’s preparation of students for licensure to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges using the following form sent via ground mail to:

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, GA 30033-4097

and to the state authorization agency using the following form to:

Louisiana Board of Regents
P.O. Box 3677
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-3677
ATTN: SARA Student Complaints


School of Social Work alumni, Get Involved!

graduates at commencement

Huey P Long Fieldhouse building


Dr. Jahanna Bailey
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