Bachelor of Social Work


The School of Social Work is in the process of developing the Bachelor of Social Work program with plans to admit its first class in Fall 2019.

The deadline for applications is Feb. 1, 2019. Any current or transferring student with at least 45 credit hours can apply.

The mission of the St. Ambrose University Bachelor of Social Work program is to prepare holistic social work professionals grounded in the liberal arts and Catholic intellectual tradition to enrich lives, facilitate empowerment, and advocate a just society.

BSW graduates work in human services, hospitals, schools, mental health, aging services, policy advocacy, community organizing, and so much more.


Ambrose Advantages

  • Focus on Social Justice & Empowerment
  • Seamless Dual Degree Program
  • Hands-on Fieldwork

professor in classroom

view of campus

students walking

As a Social Work major, you gain the skills you need to work in diverse settings, whether serving clients one-on-one or acting as a change agent in your community. Best of all, you’ll earn not one degree, but two, and can qualify for our advanced standing MSW program. You’ll save a year of time and tuition!

See our fact sheet on the BSW program (pdf)


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Our students make an impact on campus and in the community! In 2018, more than 600 took part in Bee the Difference Day. It is an annual volunteer event coordinated by SGA in which our students help 120 campus neighbors get their homes and yards ready for winter. It is work, fun, and so rewarding.


More Information on the Bachelor of Social Work Program

What will I learn?

The St. Ambrose University School of Social Work is in the process of developing the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program for possible enrollment of juniors in Fall 2019. The deadline for applications is Feb. 1, 2019. Any current or transfer student with at least 45 credit hours can apply.

Our 32-credit hour BSW program will focus on generalist practice, which means you'll gain skills that allow you to practice in various settings: hospitals, clinical settings, schools, social service agencies, and more.

Course topics include human behavior, social welfare policy, research, social work ethics, diverse populations, and more. You'll build social work practice skills that encompass an empowerment philosophy and allow you to work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities in a variety of settings with diverse populations.  

You'll take part in a culminating experience and internship. Our BSW students complete 400 hours of fieldwork, which lets you apply what you've learned in the classroom in real-world situations before graduation. You'll get to explore your interests, strengths, and fit within the diverse field of social work. 

The BSW Dual Degree program will allow you to earn a second degree in Psychology, Sociology, or Women & Gender Studies. These programs challenge you to think critically, complete complex analysis, and build strong communication skills. They complement and connect to your social work education and will make you a better practitioner. Your faculty advisor will help you choose the program that best fits your interests and goals.

The mission of our BSW program is to prepare holistic social work professionals grounded in the liberal arts and Catholic intellectual tradition to enrich lives, facilitate empowerment, and advocate a just society.

What makes the BSW program unique?
  • A BSW degree is one of the most useful and flexible degrees for a career in the human services sector. We've created a program that allows you to earn a BSW and a second degree in Psychology, WGS, or Sociology. You get a well-integrated program that connects the two degrees and leads to a successful career.
  • You may be eligible for early acceptance into our BSW program. Most SAU students will formally enter the program during their junior year, but if you meet certain academic qualifications, you can start your first year on campus with guaranteed placement in the program. Contact an admissions representative for more information. 
  • You can get involved on campus or in the community, now. We have more than 80 student clubs and organizations, and many of those focus on human rights, community action, and diversity. Our Campus Ministry programs are open to all students, no matter your religious affiliation, and you can take part in activities that promote social justice. 
  • We have great tools for learning. You get to hone your interpersonal skills in state-of-the-art observation labs.
  • We have community connections with more than 400 regional agencies and organizations. You have so many options for field placement. Our Director of Field Education will help coordinate a placement that fits your educational goals.
  • Throughout the year, St. Ambrose University hosts a number of community presentations, events, town hall meetings, and other activities on topics that are closely tied to social justice. You can attend many of these events for free. 
  • Your BSW could lead to advanced standing in our accredited MSW program, which means you could earn your graduate degree in one year, instead of two. That makes your education more accelerated and affordable.
  • If service is included in your future plans, we one of few universities in Iowa offering Peace Corps Prep, a program that can make you a stronger candidate for volunteer positions within the Peace Corps or other service programs. You'll gain skills and a cultural worldview that employers value and best of all, most students can earn the certificate - awarded by the Peace Corps - without taking extra courses. Peace Corps Prep is a competitive edge that sets you apart and broadens your opportunities, no matter what path you choose. Click here to learn more or talk to your faculty advisor.
What are some potential career outcomes?

A BSW degree is one of the most useful and flexible degrees for a career in human services. It prepares you for direct-service positions in casework, mental health, aging service support, and human services at the micro level, and community advocacy and organizing at the macro level. 

The job outlook for social workers is strong and has a faster than average growth rate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work positions are projected to grow 16% between 2016-2026, and the number of healthcare social workers alone is expected to increase by 20% to meet the needs of an aging population and their families. 

More than 70% of BSW students continue their education at some point, and this degree can provide an accelerated pathway to an MSW. St. Ambrose was the first university in the U.S. to offer an accredited MSW program with an empowerment specialization. Twenty years later, we boast more than 500 graduates who are actively improving lives, communities, policy and advocating for social justice.

Faculty

Katie Van Blair, PhD, Professor and Director of the SAU School of Social Work

Johny Augustine, PhD, Assoc. Professor
Jennifer Boedeker, MSW, Director of Field Education and Clinical Instructor
Jacquelyn Boyd, Administrative Assistant
Christie Engelman, Administrative Assistant
Kristi Law, PhD, Assoc. Professor, BSW Director
Pam Long, MS, Asst. Professor
Chris Martin, PhD, Asst. Professor
Hunhui Oh, PhD, Asst. Professor
John Thompson, PhD, Assoc. Professor
Michael O'Melia, MSW, Professor Emeritus

Adjunct Instructors
Anne M. McNelis, LCSW, Director of Clinical Services, Transitions Mental Health Services
Nicholas Swanson, LMSW, School Social Worker, Mississippi Bend AEA
Tesha Dobling, LMSW, Linn County Mental Health/Development Disability Central Point Coordination
Gary E. Weinstein, LCSW, CEO, Transitions Mental Health Services
Angela Moody, MSW, Retired CEO, Arrowhead Youth and Family Services
Kayla Behrens, LMSW, Case Management - Social Worker, Unity Point

Ready to Apply?

Applications for standard admission (current SAU students or transfers) are due Feb. 1.

Applications for Track I (high school students) are due Jan. 15.

There is no spring admission.

Click here for admission requirements and the application forms for both tracks.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Social Work (32 Credit Hours)

The School of Social Work is in the process of developing the Bachelor of Social Work program. Admittance of juniors into the program begins in the Fall 2019 semester. The deadline to apply is Feb. 1, 2019.

Once you are admitted to the BSW program, you'll start taking classes toward the BSW in your junior year. Courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

Required

Fall term, junior year:

  • SWK 320 Human Behavior in the Social Environment I: Birth to Adolescence
  • SWK 330 Generalist Practice I: Individuals
  • SWK 360 Diversity

Spring term, junior year:

  • SWK 310 Social Welfare and Policy
  • SWK 325 Human Behavior in Social Environment II: Adulthood to End of Life
  • SWK 333 Generalist Practice II: Families & Groups

Fall term, senior year:

  • WI-SWK 340 Social Work Research
  • SWK 400 Field Instruction I
  • SWK 402 Field Seminar I, 1 credit

Spring term, senior year:

  • SWK 336 Generalist Practice III: Communities and Organizations
  • SWK 401 Field Instruction II
  • SWK 403 Field Seminar II, 1 credit

Total credit hours: 32 

Dual Degree – Plan to Graduate

BSW and Psychology

Psychology is one of three majors you can pair with your Bachelor of Social Work degree.

This is the suggested Plan to Graduate in four years with a BSW degree and a major in Psychology. This plan assumes you haven't satisfied the foreign language requirement (three years of foreign language in high school). 

Read course descriptions in the online catalog

First Year

FallCreditsSpringCredits
KIN 149 Wellness Concepts 1 STAT 213 Applied Statistics Reasoning for the Sciences 3
MATH 171 Elem. Functions 3 THEO/PHIL 100/200 3
Foreign Language 101 3 Foreign Language 102 3
PSYC 105 3 IL 101 Information Literacy 1
THEO/PHIL 3 Humanities 3
ENGL 101 Composition 3 COMM 129, 132, 203, 228, or 329 3
Total 16 Total 16

Sophomore Year

FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOL 101+Lab 4 PSYC 324 Abnormal Psychology 3
PSYC 215 Research Methods 3 Humanities 3
PSYC Social/Developmental Psychology 3 Elective 3
PSCI 101 American Government 3 PSYC - any 3
SWK 201 Intro to Social Work 3 THEO/PHIL/Catholic Studies/Peace & Justice 3
Total 16 Total 15

Junior Year

FallCreditsSpringCredits
WI-PSYC 342 Theories of Counseling 3 SWK 325 HBSE II 3
SWK 330 Generalist Practice I 3 SWK 333 Generalist Practice II 3
Creative Arts 3 THEO/PHIL/Catholic Studies/Peace & Justice 300-Level 3
SWK 360 Diversity 3 PSYC Bio-Psych 3
SWK 320 HBSE I: Birth to Adolescence 3 SWK 310 Social Welfare and Policy 3
Total 15 Total 15

Senior Year

FallCreditsSpringCredits
SWK 400 Field Instruction I 3 SWK 336 Generalist Practice III 3
SWK 402 Field Seminar I 1 SWK 401 Field Instruction II 3
WI-SWK 340 Social Work Research 3 SWK 403 Field Seminar II 1
PSYC 300-level 3 PSYC 300-level 3
KIN Activity 1 Elective 3
Elective 3
Total 14 Total 13 

Total Credits: 118

WI=writing intensive

BSW and Sociology

Sociology is one of three majors you can pair with your Bachelor of Social Work degree.

This is the suggested Plan to Graduate in four years with a BSW degree with a major in Sociology. This plan assumes you haven't satisfied the foreign language requirement (three years of foreign language in high school). 

First Year

FallCreditsSpringCredits
KIN 149 Wellness Concepts 1 SOC 220 Self and Society 3
MATH 171 Elem. Functions 3 Humanities 3
Foreign Language 101 3 Foreign Language 102 3
SOC 101 Intro to Sociology 3 IL 101 Info Lit 1
THEO/PHIL 100-200 3 PSCI American Gov't 3
ENGL 101 Composition 3 COMM 129, 132, 203, 228, or 329 3
Total 16 Total 16

Sophomore Year

FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOL 101+Lab Principles of Biology 4 SOC 430+Lab Data Analysis in Social Research 3
SOC 200 Research Methods 3 Humanities 3
SOC 260 Social Organization 3 SOC Elective 3
SWK 201 Intro to Social Work 3 SOC 340 Race and Ethnicity 3
THEO/PHIL 100-200 3 THEO/PHIL/Catholic Studies/Peace & Justice 3
Total 16 Total 15

Junior Year

FallCreditsSpringCredits
Elective 3 SWK 310 Social Welfare and Policy 3
SWK 330 Generalist Practice I: Individuals 3 SWK 333 Generalist Practice II 3
Creative Arts 3 THEO/PHIL/Cath Studies/Peace & Justice 300-Level 3
SWK 360 Diversity 3 SOC Elective 3
SWK 320 HBSE I: Birth to Adolescence 3 SWK 325 HBSE II: Families and Groups 3
Total 15 Total 15

Senior Year

FallCreditsSpringCredits
SWK 400 Field Instruction I 3 SWK 336 Generalist Practice III 3
SWK 402 Field Seminar I 1 SWK 401 Field Instruction II 3
WI-SWK 340 Social Work Research  3 SWK 403 Field Seminar II 1
WI-SOC 301 Sociological Theory 3 WI-SOC 407 Seminar 3
KIN Activity 1 Elective 3
Elective 3
Total 14 Total 13 

Total Credits: 121

WI=writing intensive

BSW and Women and Gender Studies

Women and Gender Studies is one of three majors you can pair with your Bachelor of Social Work degree.

This is the suggested Plan to Graduate in four years with a BSW degree with a major in Women and Gender Studies. This plan assumes you haven't satisfied the foreign language requirement (three years of foreign language in high school). 

First Year

FallCreditsSpringCredits
KIN 149 Wellness Concepts 1 SOC 101 Intro to Sociology 3
MATH 171 Elementary Functions 3 PHIL/THEO 100-200 3
Foreign Language 101 3 Foreign Language 102 3
WGS 201 Cross-Cultural Intro to WGS 3 COMM 203 Interpersonal Communications= 3
New Student Seminar 1 IL Information Literacy 1
ENGL 101 Composition 3 PSCI 101 American Gov't 3
THEO/PHIL 100-200 3
Total 17 Total 16

Sophomore Year

FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOL 101+L Principles of Biology 4 SOC 430+Lab Data Analysis in Social Research 3
SOC 200 Research Methods 3 ENGL 222 Women's Literature 3
KIN 273 Women's Health Issues 3 SOC 323 Marriage and Family 3
SWK 201 Intro to Social Work 3 WGS 310 Topics 3
THEO/PHIL 100-200 3 THEO/PHIL/Cath Studies/Peace & Justice 300-level 3
Total 16 Total 15

Junior Year

FallCreditsSpringCredits
WGS 325 Feminist Theory 3 SWK 310 Social Welfare & Policy 3
SWK 330 Generalist Practice I 3 SWK 333 Generalist Practice II 3
Creative Arts 3 SWK 325 HBSE II 3
SWK 360 Diversity 3 WGS 330 Practicum 1
SWK 320 HBSE I: Birth to Adolescence 3 ENGL 223 Minority Voices 3
KIN Activity 1
Total 15 Total 16

Senior Year

FallCreditsSpringCredits
SWK 400 Field Instruction I 3 SWK 336 Generalist Practice III 3
SWK 402 Field Seminar I 1 SWK 401 Field Instruction II 3
Elective 3 SWK 403 Field Seminar II 1
WI-WGS 405 Seminar 3 WGS 340 Women and Madness 3
WI-SWK 340 Social Work Research 3 Elective 3
THEO 324 Women Theologians 3
Total 13 Total 16

Total Credits: 120

WI=writing intensive

Scholarships and Grants

Undergraduate Scholarships

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code is 001889.

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

First-Year Scholarships

Amounts are for first-year students entering St. Ambrose in the 2019-20 academic year. There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria. The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using unweighted high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Your scholarship will automatically renew each year of your undergraduate studies, for up to four years, as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree, a minimum 2.0 GPA, and remain a full-time student. 

On Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Trustee Scholarships
Criteria: unweighted 4.0 GPA and minimum 30 ACT or 1390 SAT score
Award: $23,000 per year and invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship

Presidential Scholarships
Criteria: minimum unweighted 3.8 GPA and 28 ACT or 1310 SAT score
Award: $20,000 per year

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $14,000 per year, $15,000 per year, $16,000 per year or $17,000 per year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
$12,000 per year

On Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000 per year

Fr. Menke Catholic Parish Scholarships
Criteria: member of Catholic parish in the Diocese of Davenport
Award: varies

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: diverse student
Award: $1,000/year

Off Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000 per year, $12,000 per year, $13,000 per year or $14,000 per year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $10,000 per year

Off-Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Menke Catholic Parish Scholarships
Criteria: member of Catholic parish in the Diocese of Davenport
Award: varies

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: diverse student
Award: $500 per year

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2019-20 academic year. 

St. Ambrose scholarships are awarded for fall and spring semesters only and renewable up to 120 credits of undergraduate study, which includes credits transferred to St. Ambrose from prior attendance. For example: If you transfer in with an AA/AS degree, you would receive a scholarship for two additional years at St. Ambrose.

Scholarships

Phi Theta Kappa
Criteria: awarded to all Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society members transferring from a community college
Award: $14,000

OR

Transfer Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on GPA
Awards:
3.5-4.00 GPA $13,000 
3.0-3.49 GPA $12,000
2.5-2.99 GPA $11,000 
2.0-2.49 GPA $9,000 

Out-of-State Grants
Criteria: non-Iowa resident
Award: $2,000 per year

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate; on-campus students only
Award: $1,000 per year

Dual Admission Scholarships
Criteria: participant in SAU/community college dual admission program
Award: $1,000 per year

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: diverse student
Award: $1,000 per year on-campus; $500 per year off-campus

Federal and State Aid

Federal Pell Grant
Criteria: based on financial need; file FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $6,095 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Criteria: based on financial need, priority to Pell Grant recipients. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study
Criteria: based on financial need. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $1,850

Iowa Tuition Grant
Criteria: based on financial need, Iowa residents only. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1, deadline July 1.
Award: $5,650

Athletic Scholarships

As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student athletes. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

Fine Arts Scholarships

How do I qualify for a fine arts scholarship? 
Scholarships are awarded based on performance and ability in art, music and theatre. Review the various requirements below:

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.


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Contact


Kristi Law, PhD

Bachelor of Social Work
Ambrose Hall 216
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-5889
LawKristiL@sau.edu

So, what's next?

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