Begin Your Journey Making a Difference

Undergraduate (BASW)

The profession of social work seeks to improve the quality of life for individuals and to effect system-wide change through the pursuit of social justice. Social work seeks to help people overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges, especially the most vulnerable.

Social work uses a strength-based approach focusing on the person-in-environment model and its emphasis on social justice. In this approach, it is the role of the social worker to build upon an individual’s or system’s strengths, resources, supports, and skills. The profession of social work is varied, serving people young and old, from every walk of life, in a number of settings such as hospitals, schools, neighborhoods, and community organizations. It involves work with families, couples, groups, organizations, and communities. Social work is dedicated to the pursuit of social justice through direct service and through advocacy on the local, national, and global levels.

MSU School of Social Work is a top 25 program amongst public universitiesMichigan State University's Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) program is fully-accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and designed to meet the State of Michigan’s social work licensing criteria. Students who may be seeking professional licensure outside of Michigan will need to check with the appropriate licensing board in that state to verify that the program meets the requirement for licensure. Each state’s social work licensing requirements can be found here.


of BASW graduates will start a full-time position or graduate program after graduation


We work with over 850 programs in the U.S. for Field Education for our graduates


Employment of social workers is projected to grow at least 13 percent by 2029

Unique Features of our BASW Program

  • Personalized field placements/internships with local agencies and programs focusing on generalist social work practice. No need to find your own placement/internship!
  • Preparation for beginning generalist social work practice, with courses in human behavior in the social environment, social welfare policy, social work practice, research, and field instruction.
  • Interactive and small classes. Most upper-level social work courses have fewer than 25 students per course. Enjoy the feeling of a small school with all of the resources of a large university!
  • Strong foundation in the liberal arts and social sciences.
  • Faculty with a research focus in strengthening families and communities and advancing social justice for vulnerable populations.
  • Opportunities for engagement in research, publication, and presentation with social work faculty. 
  • Honors courses and Honors options for students who are members of the Honors College.
  • Study Abroad and Study Away options for general education courses.
  • Active student groups, Phi-Alpha Honor Society.
  • Professional advising with personalized attention to your educational needs and interests.
  • Accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), with eligibility for advanced standing MSW programs.
  • The School’s BASW and MSW Programs have been continuously accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

In addition to a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW), the program offers:

  • A minor in Human Behavior and Social Services
  • Six Certificate Programs with specialized field placements in the areas of:
    • Health and aging
    • Child welfare
    • Global social work
    • Law and policy
    • Children, youth, and families
    • Nonprofit administration
  • Research Mentorship
  • Study Abroad/Study Away Options.
  • Earn both your BASW and MSW in five years, when paired with our Advanced Standing MSW Program

Ready to make a difference?

We aim to be a place of welcome where all feel valued and respected. Our dedicated staff, faculty, and students all contribute to our mission. Our students bring unique and diverse perspectives and lived experiences that enhance our community. We’d love for you to join us.

Learn More About Our Program