Cleveland State University Name

Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BSW)

Advance your career while helping others in your community.

Graduate with your BSW and qualify to take any state LSW (licensed social worker) exam across the country. This accredited, evidence-based program allows you to earn your BSW degree fully online, at your convenience (full- or part-time), in as little as four semesters for students transferring in with AA degrees. Our courses and field practicums are offered year-round - Fall, Spring, and Summer terms – allowing you to control your schedule and graduation date.

Time to Complete: 4 semesters if you have an AA degree; 8 semesters if starting in the first year.

Credits: 120 credits

Cost: Current CSU Graduate tuition costs can be found on the Bursar's website

Program Highlights

Advance your career today.

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Career Outcomes and Job Opportunities

Join a strong network of social work professionals who are making a difference in their communities. With a BSW degree from Cleveland State University, you can:

A student must satisfactorily complete 46 credit hours in core Social Work courses. This does not include the University/College’s General Education/Liberal Arts requirements." at the top of the courses tab.

Prerequisite Courses

*Prerequisites for SWK 300

Course Title Credits
A biology course and lab, or equivalent 4 Credit
PSY 111* American Government 3 Credits
PSY 101* Introduction to Psychology 3 Credits
SOC 101* Introduction to Sociology 3 Credits
SWK 200* Introduction to Social Work 3 Credits
SWK 201* Contemporary Social Welfare 3 Credits

Junior Year

Course Title Credits
SWK 300 Social Welfare Policy and Service 3 Credits
SWK 302 Human Behavior & Social Environment - Micro 3 Credits
SWK 303 Human Behavior & Social Environment - Macro 3 Credits
SWK 304 Perspectives on Social Work Research I 3 Credits
SWK 305 Perspectives on Social Work Research II 3 Credits
SWK 350 Basic Generalist Practice 3 Credits

Senior Year

First Semester (Sequence I)

Course Title Credits
SWK 385 Interventions I 3 Credits
SWK 390 Field Practicum I 6 Credits
SWK 395 Field Seminar I (Clinical Assessment) 2 Credits
SWK 386 Integrative Seminar I (Ethics) 3 Credits

Second Semester (Sequence II)

Course Title Credits
SWK 485 Interventions II 3 Credits
SWK 490 Field Practicum II (14 hours per week) 6 Credits
SWK 495 Field Seminar II (Licensure – LSW) 2 Credits
SWK 486 Understanding Multicultural SWK Practice 3 Credits

Application Requirements for BSW:

Application to the social work major is submitted to the BSW Program Coordinator, who conducts orientation sessions to do the following: provide information about the social work profession, its history, fields of practice, current trends and social issues, the mission of the school; and the admission and curricula requirements for majors. The prerequisites for entering the School of Social Work core curriculum for the major require students to:

  1. Have a cumulative 2.2 GPA and have completed the following courses: SWK 200 - Introduction to Social Work, PSC 111 - American Government, and one course in Human Biology. The following courses in Human Biology at Cleveland State University will meet the School of Social Work and the Commission on Accreditation requirements: BIO 100, BIO 102, BIO 106, as well as SOC 101 and PSY 101. The School of Social Work will consider human biology courses from other colleges and universities that fulfill the above requirement.
  2. Submit one letter of reference from a teacher/professor, employer, religious leader, social worker, or a health or human services professional. The letter of reference should be written on official letterhead, and the writer should clearly identify her/his relationship to the applicant.
  3. Submit a completed college checklist from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS).

Interested students should fill out the Request Information form and indicate their preference for the Bachelor of Social Work program.

For more information on the online and/or in-person BSW Program including course schedules, application materials, virtual information sessions, and financial aid, visit

For program information contact:

School of Social Work
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, RT 1420
Cleveland, OH 44115

Learning Methodology

Earn a BSW degree online at Cleveland State University. Learn in collaboration with your peers and graduate in just four to eight semesters from a program that prepares you for state licensure (LSW) and social work practice. You can make a real difference helping others in your community.

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Your faculty are scholar-practioners with many years of social work experience across dozens of practice areas – including aging, schools, chemical dependency, juvenile delinquency, behavioral health, child welfare, developmental disabilities, mental health, marriage and family therapy, international social work, and many more. Our dedicated and caring faculty provide you with the most up-to-date, evidence-based curriculum to prepare you for being a professional licensed social worker.


If I get my BSW degree, can I find work that I want

Definitely yes! The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 12 to 15 percent increase in social work jobs through 2030 across all professional sectors.

Aren't social workers underpaid?

Nope, that is a misperception. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the 2021 median pay for social workers was $50,390, with significantly higher salaries for those living in higher cost of living areas and for those who are independently licensed. Being independently licensed requires the MSW, so you can check out our CSU online MSW Program next.

When are the BSW online classes offered?

You may take classes over the 15-week semester format during the Fall and Spring semesters, as well during 8- and 12-week summer terms.

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