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In the B.S.W. Program in the VCU School of Social Work, you will hone your ability to help others and effect positive change. Through an innovative curriculum and individualized attention from faculty, advisers and mentors, you will engage the guiding principles of the profession and build a foundation of theoretical knowledge concerning human behavior and community dynamics. From that foundation, you’ll discover diverse methods of intervention and develop the skills not only to apply those methods in a wide range of real-life settings, but also to reflect upon and process those experiences. After graduation, you’ll enter the field as a professional equipped with a nuanced understanding of the day-to-day demands of the job and a commitment to meeting the challenges of social work with strength and compassion.

The VCU School of Social Work B.S.W. Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

The program

The B.S.W. Program is a comprehensive course of study built upon a rigorous curriculum to reach specific goals and outcomes. A B.S.W. degree will prepare you for beginning-level generalist social work practice, which requires a broad base of knowledge and field experience concerning how individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations function, as well as an appreciation of cultural diversity. From this base, you will be exposed to a variety of skills and interventions, both in the classroom and in the field, to use in social work settings.

The VCU Bulletin provides additional information about B.S.W. degree requirements and course descriptions.

B.S.W. Program goals and objectives

To access the VCU School of Social Work Student Policy Handbook, the Technical Standards and Essential Functions for Social Work Students or other programmatic or office documents or forms, check out the School of Social Work documents and forms archive on the student resource site.

For assistance with student policies, or technical standards or any documents or forms, contact the Office of Student Success at sswinfo@vcu.edu.

Honors and advanced standing

Our students are offered the opportunity to graduate with honors following the completion of an independent senior research project successfully defended in front of a committee of three faculty members. Students interested in earning honors in social work also may want to look into applying to the VCU Honors College.

Our advanced-standing option allows those interested in pursuing graduate study the opportunity to apply to the school’s Master of Social Work Program, if accepted into this optionand complete their graduate degree over the course of three continuous semesters, following their undergraduate work.

Independent study

Independent study provides the opportunity to create your own specialized learning experience and pursue educational goals outside of the B.S.W. Program curriculum through intensive study in an in-depth, faculty-mentored opportunity.

As a condition of graduation, students must submit a portfolio of selected assignments. Students are to save all of their work (e.g., papers, process recordings, projects, field documents, etc.) to be used in the creation of their portfolio. Specific instructions will be discussed and provided in the SLWK 499 Senior Seminar (capstone) course during the spring semester of a student’s graduating year. Contact the B.S.W. Program director to view examples of past portfolios.

Student supports

Juggling coursework, financial concerns and everyday life can seem overwhelming at times. The Office of Student Success can help each student navigate these demands and thrive through an expansive support network and services that include:

  • Student success advisers who serve as a sounding board and referral source for academic and personal issues, with flexibility and, above all, empathy
  • B.S.W. peer mentors who can help other students adapt to and take advantage of all of the opportunities VCU and Richmond have to offer inside and outside of the School of Social Work
  • VCU Student Success Writing Center, providing in-person appointments, online consultations and workshops
  • Welcoming and engaging academic and social experiences throughout students’ time with us
  • Connection to special interest workshops, lasting friendships and professional networks through our student associations
  • Information and assistance with financial resources such as scholarships
  • Career and job preparation workshops and networking activities
  • Assistance with school information, such as school policies and the technical standards and essential functions for social work students

Student calendar

Stay up to date using the VCU School of Social Work student calendar.


For questions about the B.S.W. Program, documents, forms or policies, please contact Doug Critcher, B.S.W. Program assistant, at jdcritch@vcu.edu.