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Online Bachelor of Social Work FAQs

What is the admission process for the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program?

Students must first be accepted to Our Lady of the Lake University and then apply separately to the BSW program through the Worden School of Social Work.

What are the admission requirements?

  • Minimum GPA of 2.0
  • An SAT/ACT score within our acceptable range:
    • For students with a 2.5 or higher grade point average (on a four-point scale), OLLU requires a minimum total score of 840 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Mathematics sections of the SAT or a 15 composite on the ACT.
    • For students with a 2.0–2.49 grade point average (on a four-point scale), OLLU requires a minimum total score of 880 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Mathematics sections of the SAT or a 17 composite on the ACT.
    • For students who do not meet the grade and test score requirements listed above, OLLU recommends submitting letters of recommendation, a résumé, or personal statement to supplement the application. These documents can provide a more complete picture of the student and improve the chances of admission.
  • Official transcripts from all schools you've attended
  • Completed application

What else is considered when accepting applicants?

  • Strength of the student's high school curriculum
  • Type of courses completed in high school
  • Responses to the Student Questionnaire component of the SAT or ACT examination

Are there any pre-requisite courses required for admission?

No. There are no pre-requisite courses required for admission to the BSW program.

Can I transfer non–social work credits?

We accept a maximum of 72 transfer credit hours from other universities or community colleges. Once you have applied to the program and all transcripts have been submitted, you'll receive an unofficial transcript evaluation that details what courses may be transferrable.

What courses will I take to earn my BSW?

The BSW degree consists of 120 credit hours, 60 of which comprise your general education. Of the remaining 60 credit hours, 39 will be spent studying principles of social work practice, the basics of human behavior, and social welfare policy, while 21 are reserved for additional non-social work courses. Elective courses offered focus on child welfare, LGBTQ issues, women's services and human trafficking.

To see the full list of coursework requirements, view the curriculum page.

How long will it take to complete OLLU's online Bachelor of Social Work program?

Typically, it takes students an average of four years to complete the BSW program. However, with transfer credits, you may be able to graduate in as few as two years.

How much does a BSW degree from OLLU cost?

With a per-credit cost of $475, the total OLLU BSW tuition is $57,000. This number does not include additional fees and associated costs like textbooks and supplies.

Is this a full- or part-time program?

This program is available as either a full- or part-time program, depending on how many classes you wish to complete at a time. Students are required to take at least two courses to be considered part-time and receive financial aid. To be considered full-time, students must take four courses (12 credits) per semester.

Why is Our Lady of the Lake University's Worden School of Social Service my best choice for a BSW?

As the first school of social work in the state of Texas, the Worden School is dedicated to helping students provide life-changing support to communities in need. Faculty members are handpicked from the most experienced and renowned social advocates and educators, and they make students their priority. In 2009, the Worden School received the Presidential Award for Excellence from the Council on Social Work Education, an annual honor reserved for just one of the nearly 500 social work degree programs in America.

Our BSW is one of only three in the nation to offer an emphasis on meeting the urgent needs of Hispanic populations, the nation's fastest-growing demographic. Our cutting-edge curriculum also gives you the opportunity to earn your Violence Prevention and Intervention (VIP) certification as part of your degree.

Does a Bachelor of Social Work help me toward a Master of Social Work?

Yes! Upon completion of the BSW, you can apply to the Advanced Standing online Master of Social Work program, which saves you time and money in the number of credits needed to earn your advanced degree. The MSW opens up more career opportunities to treat clients and earn a higher income in your social work career.

Is the online Bachelor of Social Work program accredited?

Yes. The Worden School of Social Service at Our Lady of the Lake University has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1942 and meets all guidelines for regional accreditation. The degree you earn online is identical to the Bachelor of Social Work degree offered on campus. Upon earning your BSW, you may apply for the Master of Social Work's Advanced Standing program, an accredited program of 30 credits that may be completed in 12 consecutive months of accelerated track study.

Is a social work degree a BA or BS?

The BSW with OLLU is neither a BA nor a BS. While some schools offer BA and BS versions of a Bachelor's in Social Work degree, we offer this degree through the Worden School of Social Service, which is entirely devoted to social work and social service degrees. The degree is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and prepares you to become a licensed social worker.

I see fieldwork is required. What is fieldwork?

The fieldwork component of your BSW gives you hands-on experience in a real social work setting in your community, supervised by a licensed social worker. You'll gain experience integrating the knowledge, skills and values from your coursework and finish ready to practice, informed by the ability to recognize your strengths, weaknesses and biases in real social work settings.

How do I find field placement opportunities in order to complete my fieldwork?

Our dedicated field-placement specialist will be available to support you throughout the field experience and provide you with placement assistance, and your field instructor and faculty liaison will offer support and guidance.

How many hours of fieldwork must be completed?

BSW students will complete 450 hours of fieldwork through one fieldwork practicum.

Can I complete my fieldwork at my job?

Yes, with conditions. The fieldwork is designed to expand your professional social work perspective beyond your current experience, so fieldwork at a present employer is allowed, but it must be in addition to and completely separate from your existing responsibilities, serving a different set of clients, under a different supervisor, and without additional pay.

Where will I find an advisor to help with class selection and registration?

Once you've been accepted to the OLLU BSW program, we provide academic counseling. This includes advisement on course selection and registration procedures, helping students attain effective skills and strategies to become successful students, and fostering students' intellectual and personal development toward lifelong learning.

How do I attend online classes? Do I have to be at my computer at a certain time each day?

As an online student at Our Lady of the Lake University, you'll be given access to our online learning system. You'll log on to each virtual class and complete assignments and exams just like a college course, but at a time that works for you. You'll also interact frequently with professors and your fellow students through lively discussion forums. Coursework can be accessed online any time, day or night, but assignments must be completed by the due dates set up by each professor.

How much time should I set aside for my online studies?

In the online Bachelor of Social Work program, part-time students typically take two classes at a time. The study time required per week and the total time it takes to earn the degree will vary based on your individual study habits and how many courses you take per semester. A dedicated team of faculty and staff is committed to helping you each step of the way.

What kind of support is available? Will I get less attention because I'm studying online?

Our Lady of the Lake University is built on the principle of rich and engaging interaction between students and faculty in support of each learner. That applies to online students just as it does to on-campus learners, so the very same support that is available on campus is ready for you as an online student as well. Admissions advisors are available to help you with the application and admission process.

Once you start classes, professors are accessible via telephone and email, the Student Services team is available to assist with all non-academic matters, and technical support is available 24/7. You'll also have access to personal support from OLLU's Mary Francine Danis Writing Center and our peer tutoring programs.

Do I have the right computer equipment and software for online learning?

Please see our Online Learning Details page for more information and complete system requirements. Online programs are accessible to both Windows and Mac OS X users.

How do I get started?

If you're ready to apply, you can start your application right now! Otherwise, get your questions answered by requesting more information or calling 855-275-1082.

* NOTE: Licensure requirements vary by state. Students are responsible for understanding the requirements for social work licensure in their resident state. Applicants seeking licensure are encouraged to review all applicable eligibility requirements related to the respective occupational license per the Texas occupations code HB 1508.