COVID-19
View the latest updates and emergency notifications on the COVID-19 News & Information website.
School of Social Work

Apply to the BSW Professional Sequence

Application Available: August 1, 2021

Application Deadline: September 15, 2021, 5 p.m.

Expand All | Collapse All

    • BSW Program Informational Meetings

      If you have any questions about our BSW Professional Sequence Programs, please join us for an informational meeting where we provide an overview of our programs and answer your questions. We offer meetings that cover information about the traditional on-campus BSW Program and the Distributed Learning Program.

      All applicants are encouraged to attend the BSW Professional Sequence Application Informational Meeting which will be held in late July each year.

      Applications are available August 1 through September 15th each year.

      Click here for a full list of dates, times, and Zoom links for the Distributed Learning Program Information Meetings.

    • Application Steps

      The BSW application process must be initiated at least 5 business days prior to submitting your application.

      Step 1: Apply for admittance to CSU, Chico through Cal State Apply online, pay the application fee, and submit official transcripts to CSU, Chico Office of Admissions. Choose “Pre-Social Work” or “Pre-Social Work Distributed Learning” as your major.

      • Spring Admission: Aug. 1–31 for the upcoming spring semester
      • Fall Admission: Oct. 1–Nov. 30 for the following fall semester

      The BSW Professional Sequence courses begin each spring semester. However, we recommend applying for fall admission to the University, so that you can complete the prerequisite Social Work Core Courses for the major. If you have already completed these courses, you can take the required upper division GE Pathways courses which will ease your course load during the remainder of the program. If you have all prerequisite met and have completed all core courses, spring admission may be an option.

      If you are a current Chico State student and have already been accepted through Cal State Apply, skip to Step 2.

      Having technical problems applying to CSU, Chico through Cal State Apply? Please contact the Cal State Apply Helpline: 857-304-2087

      Step 2: Submit an online BSW Professional Sequence Application. You must include your personal statement and upload unofficial transcripts or screenshots as long as your school, courses, grades, and your name are included. Step 2 cannot be completed until an applicant has submitted a Cal State Apply application.

      Click here to apply!

    • Step-by-Step Guide of the Online BSW Application

      Click here (PDF) to download a step-by-step guide of the online BSW application.

    • Pre-Social Work Major

      Before admission to the Bachelor of Social Work Professional Sequence Program, applicants are considered a “pre-social work” major. Your major will officially become the social work major upon acceptance to the BSW Program.

    • What BSW Programs are available?

      The Bachelor of Social Work Program offers the same BSW curriculum in two learning formats:

      • The “traditional” format where curriculum is delivered on-campus and in-person
      • The distributed learning hybrid format where curriculum is delivered mostly through online platforms with some limited on-campus and in-person instruction
    • Prerequisites for Transfer Students

      As a transfer student choosing the Pre-Social Work major, you are ready to begin the Professional Sequence if:

      • You applied to CSU, Chico and are in the process of getting admitted to the University for Spring or Fall
      • You completed of a minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) by end of Summer before starting applicant’s junior year. The 60 units must include all five of the General Education (GE) requirements including the Golden Four (A1-A4):
        • A1 Oral Communication (Golden Four)
        • A2 Written Communication (Golden Four)
        • A3 Critical Thinking (Golden Four)
        • A4 Quantitative Reasoning (Golden Four)
      • You completed or have in-progress the following 5 prerequisites. These courses may be completed at CSU, Chico or the articulated equivalents of these courses may be completed at a community college. These must be completed with a grade minimum of C and must be completed by the end of Summer before starting the applicant's Junior year.
        • BIOL 103 Human Anatomy or BIOL 104 Human Physiology (meets B2 Life Science)
      • ECON 101 Introduction to Economics, or ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomic Analysis, or ECON 103 Principles of Microeconomic Analysis (ECON 102 meets D2 Societal Institutions; ECON 103 meets D1 Individual & Society)
      • MATH 105 Introduction to Statistics (meets A4 Quantitative Reasoning / Golden 4)
      • PSY 101 Principles of Psychology (meets E Learning for Life)
      • SOCI 100 Introduction to Sociology (meets D1 Individual & Society)
      • You completed or plan to complete the following 3 Social Work Core Courses by the end of fall semester of your junior year. These courses must be completed with a grade minimum of C.
      • SWRK 170 Social Welfare Institutions (meets D2 Societal Institutions)
      • SWRK 200 Diversity & Social Justice (meets US Diversity)
      • SWRK 202 Human Behavior Across the Lifespan
    • Prerequisites for First-time, First-year Students and Current Chico State Students

      First-time first-year students choosing “Pre-Social Work” as your major do not need to complete a Professional Sequence Application at this time. Please note, you will need to complete the BSW Professional Sequence Application during the fall of your junior year. Please contact the Social Work department with questions related to advising and applying to the Professional Sequence.

      You are ready to begin the Professional Sequence if:

      • You are already attending CSU, Chico and a junior
        • A1 Oral Communication (Golden Four)
        • A2 Written Communication (Golden Four)
        • A3 Critical Thinking (Golden Four)
        • A4 Quantitative Reasoning (Golden Four)
      • You completed or have in-progress the following 5 prerequisites. These courses may be completed at CSU, Chico or the articulated equivalents of these courses may be completed at community college. These must be completed with a grade minimum of C and must be completed by the end of Summer before starting the applicant's Junior year.
        • BIOL 103 Human Anatomy or BIOL 104 Human Physiology (meets B2 Life Science)
      • ECON 101 Introduction to Economics, or ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomic Analysis, or ECON 103 Principles of Microeconomic Analysis (ECON 102 meets D2 Societal Institutions; ECON 103 meets D1 Individual & Society)
      • MATH 105 Introduction to Statistics (meets A4 Quantitative Reasoning / Golden 4)
      • PSY 101 Principles of Psychology (meets E Learning for Life)
      • SOCI 100 Introduction to Sociology (meets D1 Individual & Society)
      • You completed or plan to complete the following 3 Social Work Core Courses by the end of fall semester of your junior year. These courses must be completed with a grade minimum of C.
      • SWRK 170 Social Welfare Institutions (meets D2 Societal Institutions)
      • SWRK 200 Diversity & Social Justice (meets US Diversity)
      • SWRK 202 Human Behavior Across the Lifespan
    • Minimum Qualifications
      • A cumulative GPA (grade point average) of 2.5 minimum for the traditional BSW program applicants 2.5 minimum
      • A cumulative GPA of 2.1 for the Distributed Learning Program BSW applicants
      • Completion of the 5 Social Work Prerequisite Courses by the end of summer semester, with a grade C or better: BIOL 103 or 104; ECON 101 or 102, or 103; MATH 105, PSY 101, and SOCI 100
      • Completion of the 3 Social Work Core courses by the end of the fall semester with a grade C or better, or are currently enrolled in these courses during the fall semester: SWRK 170, SWRK 200, and SWRK 202
    • Prerequisite Information & Articulated Equivalent Courses

      All applicants to the BSW Professional Sequence Program must complete the following prerequisites: 

      • A1 Oral Communication (Golden Four)
      • A1 Written Communication (Golden Four)
      • A3 Critical Thinking (Golden Four)
      • A4 Quantitative Reasoning (Golden Four)
      • BIOL 103 Human Anatomy or BIOL 104 Human Physiology (meets B2 Life Science)
      • ECON 101 Introduction to Economics, or ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomic Analysis, or ECON 103 Principles of Microeconomic Analysis (ECON 102 meets D2 Societal Institutions; ECON 103 meets D1 Individual & Society)
      • MATH 105 Introduction to Statistics (meets A4 Quantitative Reasoning / Golden 4)
      • PSY 101 Principles of Psychology (meets E Learning for Life)
      • SOCI 100 Introduction to Sociology (meets D1 Individual & Society)
      • SWRK 170 Social Welfare Institutions (meets D2 Societal Institutions)
      • SWRK 200 Diversity & Social Justice (meets US Diversity)
      • SWRK 202 Human Behavior Across the Lifespan

      For information about course equivalencies for the prerequisites at 9 local Northern California community colleges, click here. (PDF)

      For additional information about equivalent courses, please visit the official transfer and articulation system for California’s public colleges and universities at Assist.org.

    • Volunteer Requirement Information

      BSW Applicants must complete 60 hours of human-service related volunteer work by December 15th of the year they are applying. Current or past paid or volunteer work experience with a secular or faith-based organization can be utilized to meet the 60 hours of volunteer or work experience required for the BSW program.

      The Documentation of Volunteer/Service Learning/Paid Hours Verification (PDF) (PDF) form should be e-mailed to bswadmissions@csuchico.edu by December 15th. Hours must be completed by that date.

      Not sure what kind of volunteer work will count? Please check out our Volunteer Information Guide (PDF) (PDF) for more information and visit the BSW Volunteer Requirement website for more information.

    • No Chico State ID or Wildcat Email address? Do this:

      The BSW application process must be initiated at least 5 business days prior to submitting your application.

      Step 1: Make sure your Cal State Apply application has been submitted.

      Step 2: Four business days (Monday-Friday) after submitting the Cal State Apply application, contact the School of Social Work by emailing swrk@csuchico.edu. In that email, please include your first and last name and the month and date of your birth (e.g. 07/23).

      Step 3: Obtain your Chico State ID number from the School of Social Work.

      Step 4: Create your account (generate your Wildcat email and Student Portal) using the Account Initialization Tool.

      Step 5: Allow one business day for our account records to update.

      Step 6: Proceed with your BSW Professional Sequence Application

    • Do you have a Chico State ID or Wildcat Email address? Do this:

      For those who already have a CSU, Chico Wildcat Student ID and Email, you are ready to start the BSW Professional Sequence Application.

      Step 1: Make sure your Cal State Apply application has been submitted.

      Step 2: Proceed with your BSW Professional Sequence Application.

    • Personal Statement

      Applicants will be asked to prepare a single document that contains a half-page answer for each of the following questions. The essay must be double spaced, 12-point font type, and grammatically correct. Please include your name as a header on each page and include a subheading for each question. Questions 1-6 must be answered by all applicants. Question 7 must be answered by Distributed Learning (DL) applicants.

      Essay Questions

      1. Describe what you believe are your academic strengths based on your academic course work and 60 General Education units completed.
      2. Describe what you believe are your professional strengths based on your service learning or paid experience.
      3. Which social issues are likely the most challenging for you to address?
      4. How do you plan to deal with your own bias regarding these social issues?
      5. Describe any personal/lived experience you have had and how this experience will shape your work as a social worker in the future.
      6. Yes or No question (no paragraph needed): Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
      7. Required for Distributed Learning (DL) applicants only: In two paragraphs, describe how the DL learning format is a good fit for you personally and professionally and emphasize your commitment to our service region in Northern California after graduation. Our service region includes the following 18 counties: Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yuba.
    • Criminal History

      Applicants will be asked to describe in detail the offense and the outcome, including all information regarding fines, restitutions, sentencing, and/or rehabilitation.

      An applicant’s criminal history will not affect the application or acceptance process. Any person can apply to the BSW Professional Sequence; however, be aware that the type of criminal behavior, what you have done to address this behavior and the length of time that has passed since you engaged in criminal activity will impact your required senior year internship.

      Be prepared to address this criminal conduct in writing and verbally with the BSW Program Director and the Director of Field Education before you will be allowed to complete interviews for your required senior year internship. A student who cannot secure an internship will not complete the BSW program or earn their Social Work degree.

    • Notification of Admissions Decision

      All notifications will be sent to applicants via your Wildcat E-mail Address mid- to late-October. You MUST check your Wildcat E-mail address – we will not be sending your notification to any other addresses.

      Applicants may check the status of their application anytime by signing into the online BSW Professional Sequence Application.

      Students will register for the BSW Professional Sequence classes as if accepted into the program. Please review the BSW course sequence which outlines the sequential order that courses must be taken. Applicants will be contacted by the BSW Program Director and/or the Distributed Learning Program once acceptance letters are sent.

    • Impaction & Our Commitment to Our Service Region

      Several years ago, the Social Work program at California State University, Chico was compelled to declare impaction due to a limited number of field placements for all of our masters and bachelors students in our service region. Impaction essentially means that we can use an admissions process to limit the number of students entering the social work major in the junior year – essentially our application to the Professional Sequence process. Fortunately, over the past two years we have been able to admit 95% of students who apply as long as they have completed the required prerequisites. More details about impaction can be found here.

      As you consider applying to BSW program at Chico State, please keep in mind that students must complete their field internship within our service area which includes the following Northern California counties: Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, or Yuba.

      We are pleased to invite applications to our BSW Program from all qualified candidates regardless of their place of residence. We will use a points system to give preference to individuals from our region (PDF) (PDF), however, we will consider all applications.

    • Acceptance Rate

      We admit approximately 95% of students who apply to the BSW Professional Sequence program as long as they meet all qualifications including prerequisite coursework and residency requirements.

    • Frequently Asked Questions

      What is the Professional Sequence?

      Any student may declare Pre-Social Work or Pre-Social Work DL (Distributed Learning) as a major. To enroll in our Professional Sequence courses, however, students must apply through our application process and be accepted into the program. Seats are limited. This is a competitive process.

      What is the “traditional” BSW program and the Distributed Learning BSW Program?

      We refer to our on-campus, full-time, face-to-face BSW program as the “traditional” program where students attend courses in person and in a traditional learning format in a classroom.

      The Distributed Learning (DL) program is a hybrid online program where curriculum is delivered both online—asynchronously and synchronously through Zoom—and in person, on campus during select weekends each semester.

      What General Education requirements do I need to complete before I can transfer to CSU, Chico?

      Upper-division applicants must meet the following requirements:

      • Complete at least 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units).
      • Complete at least 30 semester units of general education with a C or better. The 30 units must include all of the general education requirements in communication (oral communication, English composition, critical thinking), and one course in Statistics (course after intermediate algebra).
      • Have a cumulative transferable grade point average of at least 2.5 (Traditional Students)/2.1 (Distributed Learning Students) or better in college course work.
      • Be in good academic standing at the last institution attended.

      PLEASE NOTE: If your general education Statistics, English, oral communication, and/or critical thinking courses are in progress at the time of application, you must provide verification of your grade in these courses before you will be allowed to register for classes at Chico.

      What prerequisites or their articulated equivalent do I need to complete or be enrolled in, so I can apply for the Professional Sequence?

      Social Work Prerequisite Courses (15-16 units)

      Students must complete these five courses by the Summer semester, with a grade of C or better.

      CourseUnits
      BIOL 103/104 human anatomy or human physiology or human biology3–4 Units
      ECON 101/102/103 intro to economics, or microeconomics, or macroeconomics3 Units
      MATH 105 Statistics3–4 Units
      PSYC 101 Principles of Psychology3 Units
      SOCI 100 Introduction to Sociology3 Units
      Social Work Core Courses (9 units)
      Students must complete these three courses by the Fall semester, with a grade of C or better, or be enrolled in these courses during the Fall semester.
      CourseUnits
      SWRK 170 Social Welfare Institutions: A Response to Power and Scarcity3 Units
      SWRK 200 Diversity and Social Justice3 Units
      SWRK 202 Human Behavior across the Lifespan (formerly SWRK 302)3 Units

      Do I need to complete the Social Work Core Course Prerequisites  BEFORE starting the BSW Professional Sequence courses?

      Yes, you must pass the 5 Social Work Prerequisite Courses by the Summer semester, with a of grade of C or better. You must pass the 3 Social Work Core Courses by the Fall semester, with a grade of C or better, or be currently enrolled in the 3 Social Work Courses during the Fall semester.

      Do I need to complete the Social Work Core Course Prerequisites BEFORE starting the BSW Professional Sequence courses?

      Yes, you must pass the 5 Social Work Prerequisite Courses by the end of the summer semester, with a grade of C or better. You must pass the 3 Social Work Core Courses by the end of the fall semester, with a grade of C or better, or be currently enrolled in the 3 Social Work Courses during the Fall semester.

      I have a specific question about a course I have taken; will my class count as a prerequisite?

      If you are an applicant to the traditional BSW program, please contact the BSW Director Dr. Vincent Ornelas with questions related to prerequisites or the BSW program.

      If you are an applicant to the Distributed Learning BSW program, please contact either DL Coordinator Dr. Celeste Jones or DL Advisor Melissa Cheatham with questions related to prerequisites or the BSW DL program.

      Do all classes and courses count for credit for the BSW Professional Sequence?

      An articulated course is a course taken at one college or university that can be used to satisfy subject matter requirements for the major at another institution. Apart from a handful of exceptions, all articulated courses must first be transferable. It is important to remember, however, that not all transferable courses are articulated.

      When do I apply for the BSW Professional Sequence?

      The BSW Professional Sequence application is available through our website every fall: Click here to apply.

      Can I apply to the BSW Professional Sequence if the CSU, Chico application process is closed?

      The two applications are completely separate and are not linked. A student typically applies and is accepted to CSU, Chico first via Cal State Apply—either the Fall or Spring before they anticipate starting classes at CSU, Chico. Students can only apply to the BSW Professional Sequence after they have already applied and been accepted to CSU, Chico.

      Apply to the University through Cal State Apply.

      • Spring Admission: Aug. 1–31 for the upcoming spring semester
      • Fall Admission: Oct. 1–Nov. 30 for the following fall semester

      After I am accepted, when can I register for classes?

      Spring Professional Sequence courses may be locked until the Add/Drop registration period begins in early January. If you were accepted into the Professional Sequence, you are guaranteed a spot in our courses. Please check the registration dates on the official University Class Schedule website. Additionally, you can check the Portal/Student Center for your specific appointment date and time.

      Prerequisites to the CSU Chico BA in Social Work (PDF)

      How do I access my unofficial transcripts online for the Professional Sequence application?

      Students can access their unofficial transcripts by logging in to their "Portal" account through their community colleges, colleges, and universities they have attended. Click here to access the CSU, Chico Portal.

      What do I do if I was not accepted into the BSW Professional Sequence?

      You have options. You may want to explore other majors. If you want to apply again next year, you may want to take a Planned Educational Leave so that you maintain your catalog rights. You may remain an active student if you have other general education requirements or minor courses to complete before applying again. Please meet with the BSW Program Director to discuss all of your options.

      I have been accepted into the BSW Professional Sequence. What courses do I sign up for?

      Review the BSW Course Plans. You will also need to meet with your Social Work advisor who will be assigned to you once you are accepted into the BSW program. Students will also need to be aware of other university requirements, including your required upper division pathway courses. Students are encouraged to contact Academic Advising Programs to review general education requirements and units.

      What about the field courses? What courses will the SWRK Department enroll me in?

      During your last year of the program, the Social Work department will enroll you in your field practicum courses prior to the semester beginning, during the registration Add/Drop.

      Field courses that we enroll you in:

      • Professional Sequence II
        • SWRK 489A
      • Professional Sequence III
        • SWRK 489B

      I have more questions, who can I contact?

      Vincent Ornelas, MSW, PhD

      BSW Program Director

      BSW Program Information and Advising

      Available by e-mail only

      Celeste A. Jones, MSW, PhD

      Distributed Learning Coordinator

      DL Program Information and Advising

      Available by e-mail

      Melissa Cheatham

      Distributed Learning Advisor

      DL Program Information and Academic Advising

      Available by e-mail

      Meka Klungtvet-Morano, MSW

      Title IV-E Coordinator

      BSW Program Advising

      Available by e-mail

      Chelsea Cornell, MSW

      Title IV-E Coordinator

      BSW Program Advising

      Available by e-mail

      Jaime Nelson

      Administrative Support Assistant II

      General Program and Application Information

      Available by e-mail

    • Mandatory Pre-Admission Advising

      It is essential that students interested in applying to the BSW Professional Sequence Program seek pre-admission advising to review the progress of your prerequisite coursework and volunteer hours and to discuss other program requirements.

      Students interested in the traditional campus-based BSW program should contact BSW Director Vincent Ornelas, PhD, by email at VOrnelas@csuchico.edu.

      Students interested in the Distributed Learning hybrid BSW program should contact either DL Coordinator Celeste A. Jones, PhD, by email at cajones@csuchico.edu or Melissa Cheatham, DL Advisor, by email at mcheatham@csuchico.edu.

    • Need technical help with the application?

      Please contact the School of Social Work with any questions regarding the online BSW application or application process:

      School of Social Work

      Jaime Nelson

      Phone: 530-898-6204

      Email: jlnelson@csuchico.edu

      Please contact Chico State Admissions Office and Cal State Apply with any questions regarding the Cal State Apply application and process: 

      Chico State Admissions Office

      Phone: 530-898-6322

      Email: INFO@csuchico.edu

      Cal State Apply

      Phone: 857-304-2087