Social Work (BSW) FT

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Program Description:

This degree completion program, leading to the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), offers courses designed to prepare students for entry level professional practice in a wide variety public and private social welfare agencies, organizations, and programs. Study includes the social, economic, and political processes involved in the development and change of social service institutions, the dynamics of human behavior, and the intervention methods and their applications to a wide variety of situations and clients. The Appalachian Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, and graduates may be granted advanced standing in two-year master’s degree programs in social work.

Click here for a list of careers associated with this degree.

The BSW Degree requires 122 semester hours of credit, and the program blends 70 hours of transfer credit with 52 hours of Appalachian major social work courses to provide students with the opportunity to complete the Bachelor of Social Work Degree at various sites in western North Carolina. Appalachian offers Full-time and Part-time BSW Distance Education program options at selected locations.

Social Work Lower Division/Foundation Requirements (19 Semester hours):

Social Work lower division/foundation courses required for the BSW degree are listed in the table below. Students are responsible for meeting any required deadlines for lower division/foundation courses.

Admission Requirements:

All applicants must meet the University Transfer Admission Requirements as well as the requirements specific to the transfer BSW Program. In addition to the University requirements applicants must:

  • Present a minimum of 60 semester hours of transferable credit (transferability of coursework to be determined by Appalachian) by the time of entry to a Distance Education BSW Program.
  • Have successfully completed lower division/foundation courses (see table below)
  • Test Scores: No test scores (ACT or SAT) are required for admission to the program.

Lower Division/Foundation Course Requirements for the BSW Degree

  • NC Community College course #s are in parentheses
  • Prospective students are strongly encouraged to have all lower division/foundation courses completed before entry
  • Lower Division/Foundation courses completed before Fall Semester 1997 are subject to approval by the Social Work Department

Full-Time Program

Course NameCourse NumbersDeadline for Completion
Principles of BiologyBIO 1201 (BIO 110) or (BIO 111)Prior to entrance
Cultural AnthropologyANT 1415 (ANT 220)Before 3rd sem
General PsychologyPSY 1200 (PSY 150)Prior to entrance
Introduction to Sociology or Social ProblemsSOC 1000 (SOC 210) or SOC 1100 (SOC 220)Prior to entrance
American GovernmentPS 1100 (POL 120)Before or with SW 3330
Social Deviance or Abnormal PsychologySOC 2020 (SOC 242) or PSY 2401 (PSY 281)Before 3rd sem

Distance Education Program Delivery Information:

Distance Education social work programs are cohort based (groups of students are admitted and complete their program of study at a particular location. Cohorts begin at a selected location, if there is sufficient interest, and take their classes at the same pace until graduation. Each major social work course is offered only one time in each cohort program, and students must be prepared to take the courses according to the program schedule. The courses are generally taught face-to-face (some online coursework or assignments may be online) by Appalachian faculty.

All students must have reliable access to the internet, and a high-speed/broadband access (cable or DSL) is strongly recommended.

All students must have a transferable math course before registering for SW 3850.

Appalachian State University reserves the right to cancel the start of any Distance Education program due to the lack of sufficient, sustainable enrollment (typically 15 for Graduate programs and 18 for Undergraduate programs).  In the event of a cancellation for insufficient enrollment, application fees will be refunded.  Refunds will also be issued for any tuition and fees paid by applicants.  These refund policies apply ONLY to canceled programs.   When program starts are delayed, students may opt for a refund or apply their application to the new semester.  If you have any questions concerning this policy, contact the Office of Distance Education.

Proposed Cohorts*:

CountyLocationSemester Start

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BurkeASU Burke

 Fall 2017



Applications must be complete (online application submitted, fee paid, and all required supporting documents received) and ready for review by the applicable deadline.

Click here to access the online application for admission.

Full-time BSW Program Information:

All students are subject to the general program admission and matriculation requirements on the General Program page.

Full- Time Program Delivery Information:

The full-time BSW program admits approximately 25 students to each cohort. The schedule of coursework delivery is provided below. Classes will be scheduled M-F between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. All classes (with the exception of field experience) will be held at the ASU Center in Burke, located in the Foothills Higher Education Center. The social work field instruction, scheduled in the final term , requires approximately 32 hours per week. The schedule allows a student to complete the BSW degree in 5 semesters (fall, spring, fall, spring and fall).

Program Requirements:

The BSW degree requires the completion of 122 semester hours of coursework. The 122 semester hours of coursework must consist of these components:

General Education Requirements:

Either prior to entry or while enrolled in the cohort program, students will need to complete either the NC 44 hour/CAA transfer core (note: the Summer 2014 semester is the last semester in which students can begin the 44 hour transfer core, and must maintain continuous enrollment at the community college as defined by their community college), NC AA or NC AS degree or completion of Appalachian's General Education curriculum - course by course (Visit Transfer Services "Transferring without d Degree". Completion of one of these options will automatically complete Appalachian's general education requirement.

Lower Dvision/Foundation Requirements:

There are specific courses required for the BSW as listed above. Please note the deadlines for completing, as it differs for the part-time and full-time programs.

Social Work Major Requirements:

The Distance Education BSW program offers 52 semester hours of major social work courses. Students must earn at least a 2.0 ("C") grade in each required social work course.

  • SW 2010 (3) Professional SW in Contemporary Society
  • SW 2020 (3) The American Social Welfare System
  • SW 2615 (3) Cultural Competence in the Helping Professions
  • SW 2630 (3) Human Behavior & the Social Environment
  • SW 3000 (3) Basic Skills for the Social Professions
  • SW 3330 (3) Social Welfare Politics, Programs, Issues
  • SW 3850 (3) Social Work Research Method I
  • SW 3870 (4) Social Work Research Methods II
  • SW 4000 (3) Social Work Practice I
  • SW Elective (3) Required Social Work Elective Course
  • SW 4010 (3) Social Work Practice with Groups
  • SW 4020 (3) Social Work Practice with Communities & Organizations
  • SW 4650 (12) Social Work Field Instruction
  • SW 4690 (3) Senior Seminar: Issues & Ethics for Field & Profession

Elective Requirements:

The BSW degree requires a total of 122 semester hours of coursework, and 52 semester hours are currently offered in the Distance Education BSW program. Therefore, a student would need to transfer at least 70 semester hours of credit to Appalachian in order to complete the BSW degree. Some students who have fulfilled General Education and cognate requirements may still need to take elective credits to obtain the 122 semester hours required for graduation. Any elective courses needed must be completed before the last term of the full time BSW program.

Completion of Lower-Division Coursework:

All lower-division coursework (North Carolina AA or AS degree, social work foundation courses, and any necessary elective credits) must be completed before the last term of the full time BSW program.
Due to the number of social work major courses taken each semester, it is not recommended that a student be a concurrent enrolled student (i.e. taking courses through Appalachian and a community college during the same term). Students will have a summer semester between the 2nd semester and the 3rd semester to complete any coursework required to meet the 70 semester hours. If it is necessary to be a concurrent enrolled student a semester, students may not exceed the maximum semester load which is 21 semester hours. All lower division coursework must be completed prior to the final semester.

To request an evaluation of transferable coursework, prior to applying to the program, please send an email request for a scheduled appointment to Bronwen Sheffield at

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Effective July 1, 2011 federal regulations will require all institutions of higher education (including Appalachian State) that deliver online instruction (whether part of an online or site-based degree program) to have written authorization from the state in which each student resides. If you reside outside of North Carolina and intend to apply to one of Appalachian’s distance education programs, please notify the program manager.

Social Work Program Director                                                                       
Dr. Michael Howell
Email Address:
Office Phone: 828-262-7682
Distance Education
Toll-free Phone: 800-355-4084
Direct Phone: 828-262-3113
Fax: 828-265-8673





Major Code: 
Social Work