Program Overview

Develop the skills and knowledge needed to begin social work practice with the online Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program from the George Williams School of Social Work at Aurora University. You will establish the groundwork for a successful path leading to employment in the field of social work and be prepared to work with communities, groups, families, and individuals in a variety of settings as well as with diverse populations and problems. Graduates with the BSW degree are eligible to apply for advanced standing in the Aurora University Master of Social Work program.

Some courses in this program use open education resources (OER) in place of traditional textbooks. In those cases, this means digital, openly licensed content is available free of charge to students.

Build on your previously earned credit to begin your journey today with our CSWE-accredited social work program.

Accredited by the CSWE Board of Accreditation

Curriculum Overview

Aurora University’s online BSW provides you with a broad academic background and field instruction in social work. Each class is taught by faculty members who have real-world experience. Social work courses at AU Online leverage technology through simulation-based education with Simucase. With an emphasis on developing clinical competency to prepare students for post-graduation success, Simucase helps students apply their classroom knowledge to real-world diverse scenarios in a safe, controlled, and accessible learning environment. Students practice their skills in this convenient and flexible learning format with immediate feedback.

Students will have the unique opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom to real-life situations through an internship. You’ll be paired with a faculty mentor in your field who will provide feedback on various internship-related assignments. You can complete your internship at an approved agency. In some cases, it is possible to complete your internship at your place of work.

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Available Specialization


Effect positive change in your community and improve lives with the online Bachelor of Social Work specialization in addiction. This track equips students with the skills and knowledge necessary for a fulfilling and successful career supporting individuals and families experiencing substance abuse disorders. You'll receive guidance from expert faculty with experience in the social work field in addition to real-world applied practice through field work. Upon graduation, you'll be qualified to take the Illinois Alcohol and other Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC) examination for addiction treatment certification in the state of Illinois. You may also complete additional credits to prepare for the Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders certificate.

Child Welfare

Complete the Bachelor of Social Work in Child Welfare track to gain Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) certification and Child Endangerment Risk Assessment Protocol (CERAP). This specialization is taught by experienced faculty members who prepare students to support vulnerable children and families. After completing your degree, you’ll be eligible to obtain a Child Welfare Employee License (CWEL) upon employment at a child welfare agency.

Program Details

  • Next Start Date:July 1, 2024
  • Est. Program Length:2-4 Years
  • Credit Hours:120 (40 in major)
  • Course Length:8 Weeks
  • Cost Per Credit:$450

General Education Required Courses for Admission

  • PSC1300 Introduction to US Government – 4 hours
  • PSY1100 General Psychology – 4 hours
  • SOC1100 Principles of Sociology – 4 hours

Core Courses

  • SWK2500 Survey of Social Work – 4 hours
  • SWK3140 Social Work with Groups – 4 hours
  • SWK3150 Social Welfare: Institutions and Policies – 4 hours
  • SWK3160 Human Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE) I: Building Professional Social Work Competence– 4 hours
  • SWK3170 Human Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE) II: Life Course Development
  • SWK4010 Social Work with Communities and Organizations – 4 hours
  • SWK4110 Social Work Practice with Individuals – 4 hours
  • SWK4140 Social Work Practice with Families – 4 hours
  • SWK4200 Research Methods in Social Work – 4 hours

Addictions Track Courses

  • SWK2050 Drugs and Human Behavior: Substance Abuse Evaluation and Treatment – 4 hours
  • SWK3750 Addictions Counseling 1 – 4 hours
  • SWK4700 Addictions Counseling 2 – 4 hours
  • SWK5600 Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorder (COPD1) – 4 hours (Optional)

Child Welfare Track Courses

  • SWK3760 Effects of Trauma on Children – 4 hours
  • SWK4720 Social Work with Vulnerable Children and Families – 4 hours
  • SWK4725 Child Welfare Services – 4 hours

Field Instruction Courses

  • SWK4210 Field Instruction I – 4 hours
  • SWK4220 Field Instruction II – 4 hours

Course details are based on information available at the time of publication. Specific program requirements are subject to change.

Note: Tuition and fees are subject to change without prior notice. Please contact the Office of Student Accounts for questions or information on current tuition, fees, room, board and other rates.

  • A completed undergraduate application
  • Transcripts (official, sealed) from all previously attended colleges and universities
  • A resume demonstrating two or more years of work experience, military service, or relevant adult responsibilities
  • A personal statement addressing why you wish to enroll in an online program and a description of how you will structure your life and time to be successful
  • For applicants without an earned associate degree and/or 60 hours of transfer credit: Proof of high school graduation or completed GED
  • For applicants with fewer than 15 hours of transfer credit: an official high school transcript with a GPA of 2.5 and above and ACT/SAT scores
  • ​Test-Optional Admission: Applicants with fewer than 15 hours of transfer credit who do not have ACT/SAT scores may choose to be reviewed as test-optional. Admission will be based on your high school academic record.

Students admitted to Aurora University are also required to apply to the School of Social Work and meet the following requirements.

  • A grade-point average of 2.5 or above (on a 4.0 scale)
  • 60 semester hours of general education coursework
  • Completion of these prerequisite courses or an equivalent transfer course: U.S. Government; General Psychology; and Principles of Sociology
  • A completed background check
  • Career goals consistent with the BSW program’s philosophy and curriculum
  • Commitment to high standards of personal and professional conduct, as reflected in the NASW Code of Ethics
  • Completed BSW application and Statement of Purpose

Information About State Licensure

All AU Online students must have unrestricted access to a computer or mobile device with high-speed internet to participate in online courses. AU Online uses Moodle to host its online classes.

Students can transfer more than half the credits they need to successfully earn a four-year degree. Aurora University will accept up to 68 credits from a 2 year institution and 90 credits from a 4 year institution.

Check your credits with our Transfer Evaluation System.

Learn more about Transfer Credits

Online BSW Career Outcomes

  • Addictions Treatment Counselor
  • Behavioral Management Aide
  • Case Management Aide
  • Child, Family and School Social Worker
  • Eligibility Worker
  • Health Care Social Worker
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker
  • Policy Advocate
  • Prisons and Correctional Facilities Social Worker
  • Rehabilitation Case Worker

Next Steps

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