School of Social Work

BSW Distributed Learning Program

Are you passionate about social justice and supporting the community? Do you want a career to create social change and help people? Are you searching for a degree program that will fit your busy lifestyle?

Your Future in Social Work

Pursuing a degree in social work will prepare you for a career path in human services; thus, applying your education into practice in a variety of interdisciplinary fields, including health care, education, government, mental health, rehabilitation, criminal justice (adult corrections and juvenile probation), child and adult protective services, counseling, and community service.

The career field of social work is one of the fastest-growing professions in the U.S. with forecasted growth of almost 20% through 2022 (U.S. Department of Labor). For professional variety, few careers can compare with social work. While social workers are employed as lobbyists, administrators, and policymakers, they frequently choose to work directly with individuals, families, and groups of people who experience economic, political, and social challenges.

We take pride in our fully accredited degree completion program*, here on the California State University, Chico campus. In addition to a traditional, campus-based program, the Chico State School of Social Work offers a distributed learning (DL) bachelor of social work (BSW) degree completion program.**

*Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Coursework Expectations

Curriculum is delivered in a hybrid format that combines online and face-to-face coursework. Students complete 67% of the course content online and 33% in a face-to-face format. Students attend courses on the Chico State campus two to three weekends per semester (fall, spring, and summer) and attend regularly scheduled live class sessions through Zoom webinar platform.

Prerequisite Courses

The program requires five prerequisite courses, including three Social Work core pre-requisite courses, for the Bachelor of Social Work at CSU, Chico. These courses may be completed at Chico State, or equivalent courses may be completed at various community colleges in our region. We have outlined prerequisite courses and their equivalents (PDF) for you. Prerequisite courses must be completed with a “C” grade or higher before continuing in the social work program.

It is very important that if you are interested in pursuing a BSW to consult with the DL Advisor as some courses at your community college/transfer institution may be equivalent to our pre-requisites. 

Major Coursework

The coursework for the BSW Distributed Learning program is the same, fully-accredited curriculum as the traditional, campus-based BSW program. The program consists of 12 Professional Sequence courses, including one social work elective course (37 units); plus three Upper Division GE Pathway Courses (9 units).

In addition to coursework, practicum placements are made only throughout the Chico State service area. Many students are able to use their employment sites for an internship.

School of Social Work Service Area
ButteColusaDel NorteGlennHumboldtLake

Upon completion of the program you will have a foundation of knowledge and skills to access, analyze, plan, evaluate, and treat clients from diverse backgrounds in various settings and systems.

BSW DL Course Plan

The convenient delivery format combines online and face-to-face weekend courses. Coursework is completed sequentially using the following course plans:

BSW Distributed Learning Course Plan(opens in new window)

Application Process

Step 1:

Schedule an advising call with the program coordinator to review your current academic standing and courses completed to date, as well as to discuss an academic plan and the application process.

Step 2:

Apply to the University through Cal State Apply(opens in new window).

  • Fall Admission: Oct. 1–Nov. 30 for the following fall semester
  • Spring Admission: Aug. 1–31 for the upcoming spring 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 required 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 pre-requisites met and have completed all core courses, spring admission may be an option. If this timeframe applies to you, you must schedule a meeting with the advisor to discuss this option.

Step 3:

Admission to CSU, Chico does not guarantee acceptance to the BSW Professional Sequence.

You must apply to the BSW program(opens in new window) using the online Professional Sequence Application, Aug. 1–Sept. 15.

Please note: Applying to the BSW program while currently enrolled in the social work core courses (SWRK 170, SWRK 200, and SWRK 202) is common.

Is the Social Work Distributed Learning Program appropriate for me? Still not sure?Join one of our information sessions(opens in new window) to learn more.