Professional Programs Social Work

Admissions Procedures

First Steps

For students considering social work, the faculty strongly recommends that you meet with our Professional Advisor, Ryan Roberts, to find out more about the program, required support courses, and the admissions process. Contact Ryan at 920-465-2679 or via email at to schedule an appointment.

The Admissions Process

Declaring social work as a major at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay begins with a formal application process. Students who want to choose a social work major usually complete the application process during their sophomore year. Students complete the program in a cohort group, and all students begin the program in the fall semester.

Admissions applications are reviewed one time during the year to admit students for the fall semester. Applications are due by 4:00pm on the 4th Monday in March.

All applications received between October and the 4th Monday of March will be reviewed together for admission for the fall. Applicants are welcome to apply after the March deadline, but reviews will not be conducted unless necessary to fill a cohort. In that case, applications will be reviewed at the beginning of each month with the last review occuring in early August. Interested applicants are welcome to contact the social work office for updates on such reviews.

Conditions that Applicants Must Meet for Admission

  • Applicants must first be admitted to UW-Green Bay;
  • Applicants must demonstrate they will have completed at least 48 credits or the equivalent (taken at or transferred into UW Green Bay) before beginning social work courses in the fall (note: transcripts must demonstrate this criterion will be met in order to be eligible to apply).
  • Applicants need a cumulative GPA of 2.50 in all post high school academic work taken in the last five years;
  • Applicants need to have completed at least four BSW support courses with a “C” average before beginning social work courses in the fall, it is strongly recommended that one of those courses be WF 105 (formerly known as ENG COMP 105).

Content of the Electronic Admissions Application

The Admissions Packet includes:
  • Directions for completing the personal statement that must accompany the packet.
  • Reference Letter Form that must be completed by one reference (can be an academic reference or one from a work or volunteer supervisor). Reference letter must be returned directly from the reference to the program.
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • BSW Application
  • BSW Reference Letter
Note: The Electronic Admissions Application and Reference Letter Form require Adobe Reader, which can be downloaded for free at It has recently come to our attention that the electronic format of the BSW application is not necessarily compatible with Apple Mac computers. If you are unable to access a PC to submit your application, contact Colleen Ciampoli at or 920-465-2049 no later than 3:00pm on the day of the application deadline. Colleen will provide you with an alternative option for submitting your application. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Considerations for Admission

The application process is competitive and an admissions cap limits the number of students that can be admitted to the Program. Identifying information is removed prior to committee review of the application. The social work faculty will consider the following criteria when making decisions on admission:
  • Cumulative GPA;
  • Evidence of prior work and volunteer experiences relevant to social work practice;
  • Relevant letters of reference reflecting on your abilities, qualities, and/or previous experiences that are related to social work;
  • Whether your personal statement reflects an understanding of social work and includes professional goals that fit well with social work values and mission;
  • Whether your applications reflects communication and organizational skills that are needed in professional practice.

Admissions Acceptance

Admissions to the BSW program are capped at a maximum of 40 students per cohort. Individuals applying for admission by the March deadline will either be admitted, denied, or placed on a waiting list if there are more qualified applicants than seats available. Persons on the waiting list will be informed no later than August 15th as to whether or not there is a space for them. If there is not space, the applicant will be invited to reapply for the following year. Those individuals who are denied acceptance are invited to meet with the BSW Program Coordinator to discuss how to strengthen applications for a future review.

Outcome of the Admissions Process

Students are notified about their admission status within four weeks of the admissions deadline. Students admitted to the program must meet with an assigned advisor and complete all Orientation activities outlined in their acceptance letters. Students who were not admitted to the program call call for an advising appointment to discuss their applications and strategies for enhancement, should they desire to reapply in the future.

No Credit for Life Experience

The BSW Program does not give academic credit for life experience or previous work experience, in whole or in part, in lieu of any courses including field practicum.

Criminal Background and Caregiver Background Checks

Criminal background and caregiver background checks may be required for your field placement and are a required component of obtaining Social Work certification/licensing in Wisconsin. As a general policy, the agency in which a student will be conducting her or his placement will complete these checks, often for a fee. In some situations, the agency will require the student to have UW Green Bay conduct the checks. In such instances, a student will request, and pay for, the service at the Office of Public Safety (OPS). When the checks are completed, the student will retrieve the reports from OPS and provide directly to the agency. Students who have resided in states other than Wisconsin since the age of 18 will also be required to complete an out-of-state background check and pay additional fees. Students are encouraged to apply for their checks a minimum of three weeks before they are scheduled to begin a field placement.

A student may be denied access to a placement site based on the nature of past offences. Certain offences may also prevent a student from being certified or licensed as a professional social worker and/or the ability to work in certain agency settings. The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) is the credentialing organization for the state of Wisconsin and reviews convictions on a case-by-case basis based on Wis. Stats. S.457.26(2). If you have questions about how your criminal background may impact your placement or certification/licensing options, you are encouraged to talk with your Faculty Mentor and/or contact the DSPS directly.