Professional Social Work Education Program Application

Thank you for your interest in applying for the professional social work education program. Students must be admitted to the University of Kentucky as a social work major prior to submitting this application.

College of Social Work students will work with their academic advisor to determine when they should apply for the professional social work education program. If you are a prospective freshman or transfer student, your first step toward admission is to apply for admission to the University of Kentucky as a social work major.

Current UK students interested in changing majors to social work can submit the major change form in myUK under “Degree Planning and Registration”. Admission to the professional social work education program is required prior to taking any professional social work courses (SW 300, SW 421, SW 430, SW 444, SW 435, SW 422, SW 350, SW 400, SW 450, SW 460, SW 445 and SW 470).  

Professional Social Work Program Application Deadlines

  • August 1 for Fall semester (May 1st Priority Deadline)
  • December 1 for Spring semester (November 1st Priority Deadline)

The Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Admissions Committee make admission decisions. You will be notified of the status of your application before the opening of the term for which you have applied.


  • Current UK Social Work major
  • An overall GPA of 2.5 or higher on all college work
  • A grade of B or better in both SW 124 (or equivalent) and SW 222 (or equivalent), or a grade of B or better in SW 322 (or equivalent)
  • A passing grade in PSY 100, SOC 101, BIO 103, and PS 101
  • The application requires that you complete the application form in its entirety and submit a written essay

Personal Essay

In 500-750 words, complete the following:

You’ve made a decision to become a professional social worker, as such the College of Social Work wants to know more about you and your readiness for your social work education and practice. In a short (no more than 5 paragraphs) essay, answer each of the following prompts. Where appropriate, you may use first-person language. Additionally, where appropriate please use citations in APA formatting. As you write, please remember It is important for social workers to be able to engage in self-reflection, an expected component behavior of professional behavior, but in a way that is primarily grounded in academic content and not a means to solely share personal experiences. We recommend that you review the COSW BASW handbook prior to completing your essay.

  • Articulate your understanding of social work as a profession
  • Identify and explain the personal qualities, strengths, abilities, and/or skills that equip you to be a successful BASW student & professional social worker
  • Additionally, identify those areas in which you foresee a need for personal growth and development to become successful in both the academic program and the profession

Essay Evaluation Criteria

  • The degree to which your essay demonstrates an understanding of social work
  • Your ability to effectively communicate your ideas through writing
  • Appropriate use of APA style, including formatting and citations

Please Note: It is recommended that you use spell check and proofread your essay prior to submitting the application.

Petition for Exceptional Consideration

If you do not currently meet the admission requirements for the BASW program and would like to petition for exceptional consideration, you may do so through an online form.