Social Work Program

The Social Work major at Avila

Are you interested in helping others?

Do you have a knack for listening and offering advice? Are you called to social justice and making an impact for change? Social work may be the right degree for you!

Students interested in a social work degree are committed to the well-being of individuals, groups, families, and communities, with particular regard for those who are, or who have been, oppressed, marginalized or otherwise disfranchised. The BSW curriculum is designed to prepare students to engage in generalist social work practice and work in a broad array of social service agencies. As part of the academic program, students complete 500 hours of practicum at a social services agency and complete a capstone project that reflects learning in class and in the field. The Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at Avila University is accredited through the Council on Social Work Education.

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This program is one of Avila’s flexible programs. It can be done online as an undergraduate program, or you can combine in-person core classes with the online courses for a true hybrid undergraduate experience. Choose the program best suited for you!

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Be Prepared for Your Career

Students who complete a degree in social work, choose to work in the following fields:

  • licensed therapist (with MSW)
  • school social worker
  • drug and alcohol counselor
  • health care social worker
  • mental health technician
  • case worker
  • advocacy work
  • crisis intervention

Avila’s Social Work Program has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) since 1974. Avila’s Social Work department’s accreditation was last reaffirmed in 2014. The Council’s Site Visitor’s report identified 12 outstanding aspects of the Avila BSW department in its report to the Commission on Accreditation. 

The Council’s Commission on Accreditation (COA) is responsible for developing accreditation standards that define competent preparation for BSW and MSW students and ensuring that social work programs meet them. This organization administers a multi-step accreditation process that involves program self-studies, site visits, and COA reviews.

Programs accredited by CSWE help ensure students are receiving the highest standard of social work education. 

Receiving a BSW from an accredited school is also a requirement for licensure in most states. In addition, graduating from an accredited school with a BSW enables a student to apply for advanced standing in MSW programs; sometimes shortening their graduate studies to one year post BSW.


Dept. of Social Work
11901 Wornall Road / Kansas City

Debra Olson-Morrison, Ph.D., MSW, LCSW, RPT-S , Chair, School of Social Sciences; Program Director & Assistant Professor, Social Work
E: debra.olson-morrison


Dept. of Social Work
11901 Wornall Road / Kansas City

Gerald Palmer, Assistant Professor of Social Work
E: gerald.palmer

Transferring to Avila?

Did you know that you can get college credit for work history? Learn more about the Prior Learning Assessment Transfer hours!

Transfer agreements with area colleges

The Social Work department has unique transfer requirements and has Transfer Agreements with Kansas City Kansas Community College, Johnson County Community College, Donnelly College, and The Metropolitan Community Colleges. Check Transfer Student Admission Requirements to help determine what classes to take in order to transfer your credits toward a bachelor’s degree in social work at Avila University. Better still, arrange an appointment with a social work faculty member who can help you understand how the Transfer Agreements work. 

Download Policies Concerning Transfer of Credits to read about the Program’s policies and procedures related to the transfer of courses from other universities. There is also information on the linked page about the Program’s Life Credit policy. 

All degree programs

Undergraduate: online and On Campus
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Undergraduate: online and On Campus
With over 60 degree programs and minors, Avila offers flexibility to build a degree plan that works for you.
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Graduate: Online and On campus
Graduate: Online and On campus
Our Graduate programs are mostly online but we also have on-campus opportunities.
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International Student Programs
International Student Programs
Avila offers a wide variety of courses that ensure access to high quality programs for a diverse population of international students.
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