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Application FAQs

The BSW application process is fully online. Apply here. 

If your overall GPA is below a 2.50, then it may be best to apply to the program once you have completed the winter semester and have raised your GPA above a 2.50. If you do not want to wait until July to apply, you can apply once semester grades are posted in May. When you do apply (if it is outside of the January/July application cycles), please email Mrs. Cheryl Craven (cherylm@southern.edu), Social Work Office Manager, to notify her that your application has been submitted. 

This depends on how many required courses you lack and your overall GPA. The higher the GPA, the more likely that you can still apply for conditional acceptance into the program, which means that you must meet certain conditions before full acceptance is granted.  Please know that since SOCW 212 Social Welfare as an Institution is only offered in the Winter semester, all BSW applicants will have this course as “pending completion” when they apply during the January cycle.  If this is your only course missing, then we take this into account due to when it is offered. If you are missing other courses besides SOCW 212 Social Welfare as an Institution, you may still be eligible to apply if your GPA is high enough. For more information, please contact the BSW Program Director, Prof. Lunelle Bertresse (lunelleb@southern.edu), to receive personalized feedback on whether or not you should apply now or wait until you have completed those courses this semester.

To receive full acceptance, your GPA must be a 2.50 or above. If your overall GPA is lower, then you are encouraged to wait to apply until your GPA is near a 2.50. In the meantime, work hard at improving your GPA. Every grade counts! Some students will also take summer courses solely to improve their GPA so that they can then be eligible to apply to the program at the end of July (for that fall cohort). Records can also inform you of how many credits of “A” grades you would need to improve your GPA to the desired level. This also helps in planning and assessing how feasible it is to improve your GPA, even with summer coursework. As always, please feel free to contact your adviser and the BSW Program Director, Prof. Lunelle Bertresse (lunelleb@southern.edu), to receive personalized feedback on your current academic situation.

In order to enroll in upper-division courses, Southern requires a minimum of 40 college credits. If you have only earned 30 credits, then it would be best for you to complete another year of general education courses and then apply to the program when you have earned more than 40 college credits. Please consult with your adviser as you create your academic plan. 

The sooner you can transfer in those credits, the better, especially as it impacts your BSW application. This situation is handled in more of a case-by-case basis since other variables (overall GPA, number of courses missing, etc.) will affect the outcome. Please feel free to contact the BSW Program Director, Prof. Lunelle Bertresse (lunelleb@southern.edu), regarding this circumstance. 

One of your recommendations should be completed by a social work professor. The second may be another professor and the third can be a personal reference. None of your recommendations should be completed by someone who is related to you. Often times, students will have a social work professor, other professor and then a work supervisor, pastor, or residence hall dean complete the personal recommendation form.

No. On our online application, you will provide the full name and email address along with how they are connected to you for each of your references. From there, your references will be contacted and provided the respective recommendation form to complete. It is strongly suggested that you first seek permission from those you are using as references and then alert them that they will receive an emailed recommendation form for your BSW application. This will help them check their email and watch their “spam” folder so that your application is not delayed due to cyber-delays.

On the application you will provide your contact information, academic information, recommendation information and then you will also write and submit a personal statement. There are specific questions you should answer in your personal statement, which are outlined in the online application. Your personal statement should be professionally written and submitted as a PDF or Microsoft Word (or comparable) document.

Your application is not ready for processing until every piece is submitted, which includes your three recommendation forms. If those have not been submitted, we encourage you to follow up with them so that they can be completed. Once those three recommendation forms are submitted, then your application will be processed and reviewed by our faculty who will finalize a decision. You can expect this to take three to four weeks and you will be notified via email on the outcome of your application. To check on the status of your BSW application or for any other application challenges, please contact Michelle Clinton (mclinton@southern.edu), Social Work Office Manager. 

Our application process is merit based. As long as you satisfy the requirements for the application process and all references are positive, then you are eligible to be accepted into the program. We do not have a maximum enrollment cap for BSW applicants.

Since we only accept one cohort each year for that upcoming Fall, students may not apply and enter the program during the Winter semester. Applicants who are not eligible to apply to the program for the upcoming Fall cohort must wait to apply to the program during the next year’s application cycle.

Good news! It may not be too late to apply. You are welcome to apply anytime, though we encourage you to apply sooner than later. The last major application deadline is at the end of July. This permits applications to be processed and outcomes to be sent prior to the start of the Fall semester. If you submit an application outside of the January/July application cycles, please contact Ms. Michelle Clinton (mclinton@southern.edu), Social Work Office Manager, to notify her that your application was submitted. 

Have other questions that were not asked here? Please feel free to contact us.

  • To check the status of your application, contact Ms. Michelle Clinton, Social Work Office Manager, atmclinton@southern.edu or call 423.236.2775.
  • For programmatic and application eligibility questions contact Lunelle Bertresse, BSW Program Director, at lunelleb@southern.edu