Bachelor of Social Work

BSW Program Mission

The BSW program strives to provide high quality social work education focused on values and ethics of the profession. They focus on ‘preparing generalist social work professionals who are capable of skillful assessment and interventions at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels’ (Radford University BSW, 2021). Students are asked to integrate cultural humility into practice, promote inclusion and social justice at all system levels and utilize theory and research to evaluate practice. BSW students work to meet the needs of client systems, build relationships, maintain partnerships and serve the surrounding communities of southwest Virginia, nationally, and globally. The BSW mission is consistent across program options.

BSW Program Description

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and is reviewed and monitored by the Professional Advisory Council. The School of Social Work is one of three academic schools in the Waldron College of Health and Human Services, which is located in a brand new building that provides internship opportunities for social work students. The School’s main campus is in Radford, and we also offer courses at the Roanoke Higher Education Center.

Per Radford University's academic policy on completing a degree, no fewer than 45 semester hours must be earned at Radford University to be eligible for graduation from the Bachelor of Social Work program. Thirty of the last 39 hours of credit required for the degree must be completed in residency. In addition, 50 percent of the semester hours required for a major or minor (as defined by the department) must be taken at Radford University and no more than six (6) credit hours of Independent Study coursework can be used toward graduation requirements.

The total number of grade points earned by students, both overall and in their major field, must be at least twice the total semester hours of credit attempted, both overall and in their major at Radford. Students in teaching, nursing and certain other fields must earn a higher grade point average. Specific requirements for each major are listed under the appropriate department sections of this catalog. As a minimum, 120 semester hours are required for graduation.

BSW course work focuses on developing knowledge and skills related to nine practice areas:

  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • Social Welfare Policies and Services
  • Research
  • Social Work Practice
  • Field Instruction
  • Social Work Values and Issues
  • Social and Economic Justice
  • Populations-at-Risk
  • Diversity

The curriculum includes courses in human behavior and the social environment, research, social welfare policies and services, direct practice (individual, family and group work, among others), field instruction, child welfare, gerontology, and crisis intervention.

Social work regulatory boards require that social work degrees must be obtained from programs of social work that are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Both the BSW and MSW at Radford University are accredited by CSWE and therefore meet the educational requirements to become a licensed social worker in other states. Some states may have requirements beyond the educational requirements in order to be licensed. In addition, our graduates are eligible to apply for advanced standing in graduate social work programs, including the Master of Social Work program.

Between 95 and 100% of students graduating with a baccalaureate degree from the Waldron College of Health and Human Services have found employment or gone on to graduate school within three months of graduation.