Bachelor of Social Work

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) meets a growing need in our region - and in rural communities in general - for the development of skilled and licensed social work and mental health professionals.



708,100 Social Workers in the U.S. in 2021
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

64,000 Projected Job Openings 2021-2031 (9% growth rate)
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

2021 Annual Median Salary for Social Workers of $50,390
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 


The Bachelor of Social Work program is designed to prepare students for general practice as a social worker and for acceptance to graduate school. Degree-seekers learn how to serve individuals, groups, families and communities, with a focus on underserved or oppressed populations. Graduates of the program will have the knowledge and skills to succeed in the social work field and are eligible for licensure by examination.

With courses offered in a hybrid format, the Bachelor of Social Work program is designed to offer students flexibility between online and in-person classes that fit your schedule. Students at any Kent State Regional Campus can enroll in this College of Applied and Technical Studies program, which is housed at the campuses of Ashtabula, Salem and Tuscarawas. 


  • Social work positions are currently in great demand. This was the case before the COVID-19 pandemic, but nearly all social service agencies are now struggling even more to find qualified employees.

  • This trend is projected to continue for the foreseeable future.

  • Students who graduate from an accredited BSW program will be eligible to test and become Licensed Social Workers in the state of Ohio, which opens up even more job opportunities.

  • Graduates from accredited BSW programs are also permitted to enter Master of Social Work programs in Advanced Standing status, which typically cuts the time to attain an MSW by a third to a half.

  • Social work is an extremely broad-based and versatile profession.

  • Social workers may work in mental health and substance use disorder settings, child welfare agencies, medical settings, general social service agencies, criminal justice entities, governmental agencies, advocacy or public policy roles, elder-serving organizations, and many other types of settings or roles.

  • The core values of the social work profession are: service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence.

  • The BSW program at Kent State will have an emphasis on rural social work.

Program Information Sheet (PDF)


Career possibilities

  • Addictions treatment counselor
  • After school program facilitator
  • Case worker
  • Child welfare/children’s services worker
  • Criminal justice/corrections specialist
  • Health care social worker
  • Mental health or crisis response intake worker
  • Policy advocate
  • Policy and planning specialist
  • Prisons and correctional facilities social worker
  • Probation officer
  • Research analyst
  • Youth mentor

Career options with additional education or experience

  • Executive director of a social service agency
  • Forensic social worker
  • Hospice social worker
  • International social worker
  • Mental health social worker
  • Occupational social worker
  • Policy analyst
  • Private practice therapist
  • Program manager
  • School social worker


Field placements in social service agencies working with individuals, families, and groups are an integral part of the learning experience and a central component of the BSW education. Internships prepare you for your career by letting you work with people and groups. You will be required to complete one field placement during the seventh and eighth semesters of studies. Through this experience, you will gain an understanding and recognition of what it means to be a professional social worker.

* The program will seek precandidacy status and then initial accreditation through the Council on Social Work Education, a process that should be completed within approximately three and a half years.  Prior to that, students will be permitted to take courses in the program and declare social work as a major.