BSW Program: Lower & Upper Division Overview


There are two levels of admission to the BSW major: Lower Division Admission and Upper Division Admission

Lower Division students have declared social work as their major, but they have not yet been accepted into Upper Division, also termed the “BSW Program.” The BSW Program is a professional program with a competitive application process in order to be accepted into Upper Division, the final 2 years of course study to earn a BSW degree. Due to the limited number of seats in our program, not all students who apply to Upper Division or who are declared Lower Division social work majors will be accepted, even if they have met the minimum requirements. Students are encouraged to begin building a strong application from the start of their academic career by gaining human service experience through volunteer or paid work, developing their writing skills, and maintaining high grades in all college courses.

Students seeking admission to UNC Charlotte as freshmen or transfer students, who are interested in social work as a major, should first apply directly to the Office of Undergraduate admissions for University entrance at

Students who plan to apply for entrance in to the BSW Program (Upper Division) are required to meet with the CHHS Advising Office before applying to learn more about the major, course requirements and the course sequence. The CHHS Advising Office website is:


Current students who are in good academic standing at the University are eligible to declare Social Work as their major. For more information on declaring social work as a major go to In so doing, they enter into Lower Division admission status in the major but are not yet considered to be students enrolled in the BSW Program (Upper Division). As indicated above, entering into Upper Division also termed the “BSW Program” requires an application and is a competitive process.

All Lower Division social work students are assigned an Academic Advisor in the College of Heath and Human Services Student Services office. Lower Division students are required to meet with their academic advisor to develop a plan for successfully navigating the social work curriculum and before applying to Upper Division. Students are encouraged to develop a time line with their advisor to determine when to take the courses required for the major. To schedule an appointment with a Lower Division advisor, visit the CHHS Advising Center website at

Watch Video on Social Work Lower Division Explained


Students must apply for Upper Division BSW admission through the School of Social Work. Admission to Upper Division must be granted before students are permitted to take Upper Division courses in the BSW major. Once accepted and admitted as an Upper Division student, students will matriculate through a rigorous academic course of study. Upper Division Admission is a selective process and not all students will be admitted, even if they have met the minimum requirements for the program. However, we have a high admittance rate (97% in 2020, 99% in 2021, 96% in 2022) and strongly encourage students who meet the criteria to apply. The BSW program is an on campus program with classes held during the daytime (not evenings). The BSW program is not a Distance Education program and therefore cannot be completed fully online.

Watch Video on Upper Division BSW Explained

Please visit BSW Upper Division Admission to learn more about the admission process. Students accepted into the program, must adhere to the following social work degree requirements:


Students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.25 in the social work major. Failure to maintain minimum GPA requirements will result in dismissal from the major.


Students must receive a grade of C or better in every Upper Division SOWK course including practicum courses. Students who receive two grades of D or F during matriculation in Upper Division will be dismissed from the major.


Students who earn a grade of D or F are permitted one course repeat (i.e., students may pursue a course repeat on one occasion only during matriculation in Upper Division). Students who repeat a course and achieve a grade of C or higher may continue to progress in Upper Division. Students who receive a grade of D or F for a course repeat will be dismissed from the major.


Students are permitted to apply to repeat a practicum course only once. The Practicum Committee will review the student’s application to repeat practicum, as well as their overall performance in the Program, and then render a decision as to whether the student will be permitted to repeat the practicum course. Practicum Committee denial decisions for repeating a practicum course will result in a student’s dismissal from the major. In addition, a student who is permitted to repeat a practicum course and does not achieve a grade of P will be dismissed from the major.