The Bachelor of Arts 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 Bachelor of Arts Program Requirements and the 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.

Information Sessions

We encourage prospective applicants to attend a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work Information Session to learn more about the admission process and our program. Upcoming information session dates and request form can be found on the following Information Sessions page.

Iowa City B.A. Information Sessions

Important Deadlines

To be considered for admission to the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work program, you must complete and submit the BA in Social Work application by February 15.

Application Deadline: February 15th (for Fall admission)

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 (passing) 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.

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:

BA in Social Work Admission Policies and Application Process (contains the Qualtrics application form link)

BA Program Requirements

Guidelines for Completing the Application

First prepare and complete your essays and social service experience table templates (see below). After fall grades are posted and you've registered for spring 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. The Qualtrics application form link is posted in the BA in Social Work Admission Policies and Application Process link above.

The completed application form includes:

  • demographic and academic information (sample of questions);
  • 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 (follow these specific instructions for accessing your Grade Report),
    • 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 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 introductory social work course was an online course or the instructor is not available, contact the Program Administrator (see below) to discuss a substitute reference.

Questions about the application process? Please contact us at or call 319-335-1250.

    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) year. 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 (see above) from the course instructor.  If this course instructor is not available, contact the Program Administrator (see below) to discuss a substitute reference. The instructor should mail the completed form to the Admissions Coordinator (see below) 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 the Program Administrator (see below) before applying so you know what courses are approved towards the major if you are accepted.


    If you have any questions about the program, the application process, or need assistance with a requirement listed above, please contact us at or call 319-335-1250.