Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW)

The School of Social Work responds to the needs and aspirations of various at-risk populations in the San Francisco Bay Area and similar urban communities. The program aims to educate undergraduate students for generalist social work practice in a variety of social service settings, and teach students to serve as change agents with urban, oppressed populations while enabling members of these populations to act on their own behalf. Our graduates provide direct services to people in need and, as administrators and organizers of social service agencies, make services more accessible and responsive to the communities they serve.

Three students having a discussion

The mission of the School of Social Work is to provide educational foundations that promote just and secure communities, societies and global networks. It serves to educate human service providers for versatile, creative, and culturally sensitive practice in multiple settings and involving diverse populations. The School of Social Work promotes leadership, scholarship, activism, and change to achieve equity and social justice.

Our teaching incorporates a comprehensive range of knowledge, values, skills and experiences for social work practice at all levels of intervention. The outcome is to provide learning experiences that will instill critical consciousness and inspire students to become advocates for economic and social justice. The BASW Program at San Francisco State University is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

The BASW curriculum emphasizes the integration of knowledge, values and skills. Commitment to professional values and ethics, to participate in constructive change, to support the right to self-determination, and to respect people’s capacity to learn and grow are integrated throughout the program. Students are expected to develop a spirit of inquiry and to achieve a critical posture toward the social situation, the functioning of the profession, and of social agencies and their own performance.

For additional information about the program, including the curriculum plan and learning outcomes, please visit the BASW Program’s Bulletin page

Program Prerequisite Information

Students interested in the BASW program must complete the following prerequisites with a grade of C- or better:

  • Human Biology (BIO 100 or equivalent- lab not required)
  • Introduction to Macroeconomics  Analysis (ECON 102 or equivalent)
  • General Psychology (PSY 200 or equivalent),
  • Sociological Perspective (SOC 105 or equivalent), and
  • Writing the First Year: Finding Your Voice (English 114 or equivalent) 

Please consult Assist to determine comparable or articulated coursework taken at California community colleges or CSUs. If the course in question was taken at institutions other than California community colleges, please visit Articulation page.


Beginning Fall 2024, the BASW program will no longer be an impacted major.

School of Social Work offers fall admission only.

Current SF State Students 

  1. Applicants with upper division standing (60+ units) and who have completed the program prerequisites are eligible to apply to the BASW program.
  2. After acquiring upper division standing and meeting the program perquisites, students can petition for a change of major online via their student center.
    • On the left side drop down menu, select Change of Major.
    • Select Health and Social Sciences (HSS) for the College field.
    • Select Social Work (not Pre-Social Work) under department/concentration.

Transfer Students

  1. Submit an official Cal State application and indicate Social Work as your major.
  2. Applicants do not need to complete the prerequisites at the time of application. However, applicants must complete the prerequisites before starting the BASW program in the Fall. Applicants will be given conditional admission until program prerequisites are completed.