Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare (BASW)

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Admission to the Social Welfare Program

The Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare (BASW) program is dedicated to preparing competent, ethical, and culturally sensitive social workers with specialized knowledge and skills who are committed to evidence-based practice and planned social change.

The following information describes the admission requirements and application process for the BASW program. Please note, the UW Tacoma Social Welfare program admits a cohort of students in autumn quarter only.



To be considered for BASW program admission, applicants must:

  • Be admitted to UW Tacoma (with completion of the intermediate algebra entrance requirement). Not a current UWT student? Apply first.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better.
    Current UWT students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all UW coursework and be in good standing with the university.
    Transfer and Running Start applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all transferable coursework.
  • Be on track to have completed at least 75 college-level quarter credits before the start of the BASW program.
  • Have completed* each the following prerequisite courses with a grade of 2.0/C or better:
    > 5 credits of English composition
    > Introductory course in psychology
    > Introductory course in sociology

    Refer to the BASW prerequisite grid to find college-level courses that have been approved to meet the prerequisite course requirements to the program.

    *Applicants can be considered for admission with one or more of these courses in-progress or planned and are encouraged to apply.

Admission is competitive. Applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Completion of admission requirements.
  • Academic history.
  • Quality of admissions essay.
  • Experiences related to social services (paid or volunteer).
    Note: Academic credit toward the BASW major is not given for previous employment or life experience.


The BASW program admits a cohort or students each autumn quarter only. All applicants must be admitted to UW Tacoma to be considered for BASW program admission.

Prior to applying for BASW program admission, applicants must complete all admission requirements for UW Tacoma and the BASW program (or have a plan in place to complete the required courses prior to beginning classes). Transfer and Running Start applicants are encouraged to meet with a university admissions advisor prior to applying.

The annual priority deadline for the BASW major is March 15 (applications are currently open). The program will continue to review program applications completed after this deadline on a space-available basis and may be placed on a waitlist; applicants not admitted off the waitlist must submit a new application to be considered for a new program start.


Background Checks

Washington state law requires that individuals who have access to children under 16 years of age, persons with developmental disabilities and vulnerable adults such as older people disclose background information. During your education in the Social Work program, you will come into contact with members of the above-mentioned populations. Therefore, a comprehensive background check is a required part of the admission process. Applicants must submit the Authorization for Repeat Background Checks and Dissemination of Results form with their application. All applicants offered admission must initiate the background check within two weeks of receiving your offer letter. Please be aware that this service is fee-based and subject to price changes. Please contact the School of Social Work and Criminal Justice for more information.

Depending upon your practicum setting, there may be additional requirements such as fingerprinting, providing proof of immunizations, CPR training, and/or completing the agencies required background check procedures. Please be aware that you may responsible for any costs related to these special requirements.You will also be required to provide your own transportation to and from the practicum sites. You may also need to meet certain immunization standards and submit a health history.

UW Health Sciences Immunizations Policy

The University of Washington Health Sciences Center requires that its students show documentation of protection against a number of vaccine-preventable diseases. The University of Washington Seattle School of Social Work falls under the umbrella of UW Health Sciences and therefore all UW Tacoma MSW and BASW students must comply.

New students admitted to the BASW Program must submit appropriate documentation within a specific timeframe. New students will be advised of specific submission deadlines upon admission, but generally all documentation must be supplied prior to entering the BASW program.

The following immunizations and verifications are REQUIRED for all BASW students. No student will be permitted to enter any practicum site until all immunization verification is submitted and verified by the Health Sciences Immunization Program (HSIP). Students must document immunity to Measles (Rubeola), Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B, Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis, Varicella (chicken pox), seasonal influenza, and have a current, annual TB screening.

Please review the immunization FAQs for further information.

How to Apply

After reviewing the admission and special requirements above, complete a Social Welfare Application.

The following is needed to complete a BASW program application:

1. Your UW Tacoma student ID number (issued once admitted to UWT; can be found by logging in to MyUW).

2. Access to your academic record to be able to report your prerequisite grades and number of earned and planned credits.

3. Social Welfare Admissions Essay (prompts available in the web application).

4. Current resume.

5. An Authorization for Repeat Background Checks and HSIP Form


Students who have not enrolled in UWT courses for more than one quarter (not including summer) are considered returning students and should reapply using the UW Tacoma Returning Student Application. Students previously enrolled at UW Seattle or UW Bothell should apply using the UW Tacoma Transfer Application.

Students that were enrolled in the UW Tacoma BASW program before leaving UWT should notify the program of their intent to return to UWT and the BASW major via email to before submitting a Social Welfare Application.

Students that were previously enrolled at UW Tacoma as a premajor or declared a different major should complete a Social Welfare Application.


Note: International student applicants must meet all International Admissions Requirements before their BASW program application will be reviewed.

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