The BA in Social Work program is offered every fall in Iowa City.

The BA in Social Work is a selective admissions program and has a separate application process.   Interested students must apply by completing and submitting the BA in Social Work application by February 15. Details about the program requirements, admission criteria and the application process can be found by reviewing the BA Program Requirements pdf and the 2021 BA Admission Policies and Application Process pdf below.

Due to class size restrictions, not all students who meet the School's admission requirements will be admitted when the applicant pool is large.

Questions about the application process?  Contact:

Information Sessions

We encourage prospective applicants to attend a BA in Social Work Information Session to learn more about the admission process and our program.  Upcoming information session dates here.

What are the program requirements?  BA Program Requirements

How to apply?  Before applying to the BA in Social Work program, you must be admitted to the University of Iowa. You can find university admission requirements for undergraduate students at:

To be considered for admission to the BA in Social Work program, you must complete and submit the BA in Social Work application by February 15.  Please read the BA Admission Policies and Application Process instructions below.

2021 BA in Social Work Admission Policies and Application Process instructions

Application Deadline:  February 15, 2021

Guidelines for Completing the Fall 2021 Application

The application deadline is February 15, 2021, for enrollment in the fall 2021 semester.  First prepare and complete your essays and social service experience table templates (see below).  After fall 2020 grades are posted and you've registered for spring 2021 courses, receive a copy of your unofficial UI Grade Report (UI students follow very specific instructions below) / transcript (for students who will be transferring to UI).  These three documents will be uploaded to an application form in Qualtrics.  The Qualtrics form cannot be submitted with out these three attachments.  We will post the link to the Qualtrics form after fall 2020 grades are posted.

The completed application form includes:

  • demographic and academic information (sample of questions).  A link to this portion in Qualtrics is forthcoming.
  • required essays
  • use the Social Service Experience Table Template to list and describe the social service-related volunteer, community engagement/activism, and/or work experiences that have informed your decision to pursue a social work degree.
  • Unofficial Grade Report/Transcript
    • Current UI students upload a copy of their UI Grade Report (accessing Grade Report instructions - follow these specific instructions, please)
    • Applicants that will transfer to UI, upload a copy of their unofficial transcript (it must include grades of all previous courses taken, overall gpa and list spring 2021 courses).
  • If you took an approved introductory social work course(s) at an institution other than the UI, you must provide a Transfer Reference Form to the course instructor.  If the Intro to Social Work course was an online course or the instructor is not available, contact Kate Kemp to discuss a substitute reference. 

Questions about the BA application, please contact: or 319 335-1250.

Criteria for Selective Admission to the BA in Social Work Program

1) You must have a cumulative GPA of 2.50 (on a 4.0 scale) at the time of admission.  The admissions committee will still consider for admission applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA but demonstrate strengths/potential in other areas on an individual basis.

2) You must have earned a grade of C or above in SSW:1022 Social Justice and Social Welfare in the United States, or comparable course(s) taken at another college and approved by the School of Social Work.  If you received a P grade for SSW:1022 in Spring 2020 (due to COVID-19 pandemic), you are eligible for admission.  However, the admission committee will contact the instructor for more information about your academic performance in the course.  You may be enrolled in SSW:1022 in the spring semester you apply.  If admitted, you must earn a C or above in the course before entering the program.

When to Apply

We strongly recommend you enroll in SSW:1022 Social Justice and Social Welfare in the United States in your first or second year at Iowa and apply to the School in the spring of your second (sophomore).  Students admitted as juniors complete the program over four semesters (two academic years).  You may also apply in the spring of your third (junior) year and complete the program in two semesters and a summer.  If not accepted on your first attempt, you may apply the following year; however, only two attempts to apply to the BA program are allowed.

You cannot register for required social work major courses until you are admitted to the School.  However, you can take social work electives before you apply.

The School of Social Work does not accept references except for the required references for transfer students.

Who Can Apply

Social Work Interest Majors

If you are planning to apply to the School of Social Work, we encourage you to declare a Social Work Interest major through the University's Academic Programs Office.  Declaring a Social Work Interest major can be done any time before earning 72 semester hours.  As a Social Work Interest major, you can participate in the Student Association and other School activities before being admitted to the program.

Applicants with other majors

Students who have declared another major or are an open major can apply to the School.

Transfer students

Transfer students from a community college or another BA in Social Work program can apply to the School.  You must be admitted to the University of Iowa when you apply to the Social Work program.  Transfer students must follow the admissions process described here, and submit the following additional information by the February 15 deadline. 

Transfer Reference Form

Transfer Students from a Community College:

  • The School has approved introductory level social work courses from numerous area community colleges (see equivalency tables of approved courses).  If the introductory course you took is not on this list, contact Kate Kemp ( for approval before you submit your application.  If you took an introductory level social work course at your community college, you must provide a Transfer Reference Form from the course instructor.  If this course instructor is not available, contact the Program Administrator,, to discuss a substitute reference.  The instructor should mail the completed form to the Admissions Coordinator:  Tomeka Petersen, UI School of Social Work, 308 North Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242, or they can email it to: or fax it to 319-335-1711.

Transfer Students from another Accredited BSW/BASW Program:

  • If you completed social work courses at another CSWE accredited social work program, you can request to have these courses applied to the Social Work major. The School will evaluate and approve courses on a case-by-case basis.  Generally, courses completed more than ten years ago will not be accepted.  To have your social work courses at another institution considered to fulfill our social work major courses, you might provide the course outline(s) from these courses.  If these courses are accepted, your advisor will adjust your plan of study accordingly.  If you are considering transferring to our program, it is best to provide these outlines of social work courses to Kate Kemp before applying so you know what courses are approved towards the major if you are accepted.

Questions about the BA application, please contact: or 319 335-1250.