The Bachelor of Social Work program at Calvin is open to students on application-only basis. Consider the following BSW program requirements, and apply to the program using the forms available here.

How to apply

Application to our BSW program are due on May 1 of your sophomore year.

If you plan to be off-campus during the spring of your sophomore year, complete your application before you leave.

Prior to beginning the online Program Application, compose your personal statement so that you are able to cut & paste it into the form. Submit your response to Professor Rachel Venema, Social Work Program Director.

Your personal statement

The statement should range from 720–1250 words, being sure to answer the following questions:
  1. How did you become interested in social work? This may include a description of important personal experiences such as volunteer work, work experience, community involvement, etc.
  2. What social justice issues are of particular concern to you? Why?
  3. At this point in your preparation as a professional social worker, describe the type of social work you imagine practicing.
  4. What are your personal strengths and limitations in relationship to your development as a social worker?

BSW Application for Admission
Letter(s) of Reference

In order to apply to the BSW program, students must have the following:

  1. Applicants must have earned a minimum of 35 semester hours of credit, and have either completed or be currently enrolled in BIOL-115, PSYC-151, SOC-151, a second Societal Structures in North America course, SOWK-240 and SOWK-250.
  2. Applicants must have an overall minimum GPA of 2.5 and a minimum grade of C- in each of the courses specified in item #1 above.
  3. Applicants must have completed at least 50 hours of social work type volunteer or paid service and submit a Letter of Reference from the person who supervised you during this volunteer or paid service. It is the applicant's responsibility to give the supervisor the link to complete the Letter of Reference Form. The supervisor completes the form and submits it online. It is sent directly to the social work program director.
    • If you have not completed the 50 hours of service you shoud still apply to the Program. It then becomes your responsibility to arrange and/or complete such service as well as have an appropriate supervisor submit a Letter of Reference Form to the Director by September 1.
    • Two different volunteer or paid service experiences may be combined to satisfy the 50 required hours. In this situation a supervisor from each experience needs to complete the Letter of Reference Form.
    • Examples of agencies or organizations where students have completed hours may be found here.
  4. Applicants must submit a written Personal Statement which includes information about their commitment to social work as a vocation, along with their strengths and areas for development as a potential professional social worker. Specific questions are available on the Application Form.
  5. Applicants must sign a Release of Information Form.

Admissions decisions

Decisions about admission to the program are made by the Social Work Program Committee comprised of social work faculty and two BSW students.

A student who does not fully meet one or more of the admission criteria may be admitted to the BSW program conditionally provided the student agrees to remove the deficiency by a time specificed by the Social Work Program Committee.

For more information about the BSW program at Calvin, download and view this handbook.