BSW Upper Division Admission

Thank you for your interest in the BSW Upper Division Program at UNC Charlotte. Applications may be submitted through the link below during the Upper Division application period of February 1st to July 15th each year.

Students who declare social work as their major are designated in Banner as pre-social work majors, also referred to as being in ​Lower Division​. Students in Lower Division apply to and matriculate into Upper Division to complete the requirements for the BSW degree. Students admitted to Upper Division will have their major code changed in Banner to SOWK. Below is the criteria used for admission to Upper Division and an overview of the selection process. One requirement to earn a BSW degree is that the student must complete a 16 hour per week internship during the final two semesters of study (fall/spring).

Criteria Used for Admission to BSW Upper Division

  • ​Minimum GPA​ as evidenced in DegreeWorks
    • Cumulative​ UNC​ Charlotte​ GPA ​of​ 2.5​ or​ higher​ by the start of Upper Division. ​Applicants​​ with​ fewer​ than​ 12​ credits ​earned​ at​ UNC​ Charlotte ​must​ also​ have​ a cumulative ​transfer​ GPA​ of ​2.5​ or ​higher.
  • ​​Course​ Credits and ​Prerequisites as evidenced in DegreeWorks
    • The​ applicant​ has​ earned ​60​ credits​ or​ will​ have ​earned​ 60 ​credits ​by the start of Upper Division.
    • The​ applicant​ has​​ already​ completed​ or​ will​ have​ completed​ by​ August​​ and earned​ satisfactory​ grades​ (C​ or​ better)​ in​ BIOL ​1110,​ BIOL ​1110L, ​POLS ​1110 or 1511, ​PSYC ​1101, STAT 1222,​ SOCY​ 1101,​ SOWK ​1101 or 1511,​ SOWK ​2182​ and​ SOWK​ 2183​.
    • The ​applicant​ should be on track for completing all general education requirements (i.e. – General Education themes, math) by the start of Upper Division. Applicants​ ​can ​be ​enrolled ​in spring and ​summer ​courses ​at ​the ​time ​of ​the application.
  • Resume
  • Essay – 4-5 double-spaced pages; APA 7th edition format
    • Please discuss your reasons for seeking admission into the BSW Program and your career goals.
    • Describe a social problem social workers might address through their work. Include research that helps the reader better understand the problem.
    • Discuss what a social worker might do to ensure they help and do not cause harm to those they serve.
    • Students in the BSW program must complete coursework during the first year in Upper Division and the coursework along with an internship (practicum placement) during the final year of the program. The internship will be 16-hours per week both fall and spring of the final year. Share your plan for being able to fit the BSW program, including the internship, into your life. Be specific in your plan of how you will accomplish your practicum placement, classes, and other responsibilities (e.g., – if you are also working).

Admission ​offers ​are​ conditioned​ upon​ verification in August of ​the​ satisfactory​ completion ​program prerequisites, general education requirements, and a ​GPA ​of 2.5. Occasionally, in an effort to help students stay on track for a timely graduation, students may be admitted who do not meet all of the above criteria (i.e. – missing a prerequisite). If an exception is made, the student must be able to outline a plan for completing the requirement(s).

Application Submission Timeline: Applications are accepted February 1st – July 15th annually

Decisions are released on a rolling basis (no later than August 1st) via an attached letter sent to the applicant’s University email address. Applicants may be notified of a decision much earlier than August 1st if they submit their application prior to the deadline.

Overview of Application and Selection Process

The application process for Upper Division is competitive and not all applicants who meet the minimum criteria for admission will be accepted. Applications are submitted electronically between February 1st and July 1st of each year through a form located on an application page found on the School of Social Work website. Applications are reviewed by the BSW Admissions Committee which is composed of full-time social work faculty members who regularly teach in or administratively support the BSW program. Additional faculty members and staff may also review components of the application. The following materials are submitted: Application form, resume, essay, and transcripts from any colleges attended other than UNC Charlotte if the information is not in DegreeWorks. Application elements (academic preparation, experience, and essay prompts) are scored using a BSW Application Rating Rubric which is based on a point system. Competitive applicants (those with highest scores) are selected until all seats are filled. ​Applicants are notified of the decision of admission or denial on a rolling basis, but no later than August 1st, via an attached letter sent to their University email address. There is not a waitlist for Upper Division. Applicants who have been offered admission to the BSW Program and who wish to accept the offer will need to submit their electronic ​enrollment form by the deadline identified in the acceptance letter. If​ the​ form ​is ​not ​returned ​by the deadline, it will be assumed that the student has declined the offer. Students not accepted into Upper Division are encouraged to meet with their Lower Division CHHS academic advisor for further academic planning. Students not accepted into Upper Division may reapply the following year. However, this may delay time to graduation and is not typically recommended. Those who do not continue in the BSW major have the option of declaring another major at the University.

Additional Information for Applicants

  • The School of Social Work does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience toward the social work degree.
  • Applicants with past convictions who are offered admission and opt to enroll would be doing so with the understanding that this background could be a potential barrier to graduation or future employment. The BSW Program does make every effort to assist students with a positive criminal background check in finding​ practicum placements.
  • Persons with disabilities who need assistance in the admission process must contact the School of Social Work to request such assistance a minimum of fifteen days prior to the application deadline. The applicant will be connected with the Office of Disability Services to request that a staff ​member​ assist ​the ​applicant ​with​ completing ​the ​application.
  • Students who leave the major in good standing or are dismissed from the program and wish to return can contact the BSW Program Director for guidance related to readmission.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any additional questions about the BSW Program at UNC Charlotte, please view our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you still have further questions, please contact