Bachelor of Science in Social Work

Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world. – Jane Addams

Welcome to the BSSW program at Spalding University! Our mission is simple: we seek to inspire and prepare BSSW social work practitioners to meet the needs of the times by promoting peace and justice. Our program is relevant to the needs of the times, rigorous in its commitment to the highest academic standards and radical in our commitment to social justice. We believe the world can be changed and if you agree, you may have just found the perfect place to earn your degree!


Spalding’s BSSW program is the oldest accredited undergraduate social work program in the region. Tracing our roots to founder Trueheart Titzl in the late 1960’s, our history is steeped in a tradition of social activism and community engagement. Our alumni are numerous and continue to work tirelessly in this community and communities throughout the region to change the world through the pursuit of peace and social justice, including State Cabinet Secretary and former Clinton Administration Advisor Audrey Haynes.


The BSSW degree is comprised of 120 credit hours: 49 general studies hours, 18 general elective hours and 53 social work hours. General studies and general elective hours consist of courses reflecting the rich liberal arts content available at Spalding. As the primary focus of the junior and senior year, the social work courses are designed to insure rigorous and relevant preparation for bachelor’s level practice. Whether it’s participating in a workshop on the history of Hip Hop as a tool of social activism, attending a guest lecture by a nationally recognized speaker for his work on racism or assisting families in an urban elementary school with the process of selecting a middle school for their children, the community becomes the classroom.


Spalding follows a unique six week intensive session model. Students complete one to two courses each six weeks offering the opportunity to focus on fewer subjects at a time while maintaining progress toward their degree. Full time and part time options are available to best fit the needs of the student. All undergraduate social work courses are offered in the evenings.

Check out our BSSW Calendar 2015-16 

Student Body

No matter where you are in life, there’s a seat at our table for you. Our students include those pursuing a degree direct from high school and those pursuing a degree direct from the workforce; those whose life experiences have lead them down relatively smooth paths and those whose life experiences have lead them on challenging paths. Though they range in age from 22 to 59, our students have one thing in common: a passion for making a difference.

Field Work

In so many ways, field work is the most exciting part of social work education. It’s the place where the community becomes the classroom and students are given the opportunity to literally learn while doing. BSSW and Advanced Standing MSW students complete 450 hours in a field placement and two year MSW students complete two 450 hour field placements. Students will have access to a wide variety of field options ranging from work in administration, community organizing, clinical, mental health, family intervention, child protection, disabilities, advocacy, health/medical, and homelessness, just to name a few. Upon admission to the BSSW or MSW program our Director of Field Education personally meets with each student to assist in selecting the best possible placement in light of the student’s interests and schedule as well the agency’s needs.

Learn more about Field Education.

Career Opportunities

Using social justice as our framework, students prepare for careers in direct generalist practice in many different settings including

  • Mental health programs
  • Substance abuse facilities
  • Community action agencies
  • Family service centers
  • Child and adult protective services
  • Domestic violence programs
  • Faith based ministries
  • Criminal justice agencies
  • Aging services/Gerontology And More!