Social Work


The completion of a bachelor's of social work at UW-River Falls requires the student to proceed through three stages of admission. The first stage involves securing admission to UWRF and declaring social work as a major. The second is applying for formal admission to the major itself. The last step is the application for admission to field placement.

Declaring Social Work as a Major 

Students wishing to major in social work may either declare social work as a major when entering the university or complete an official university change of major form. The student will then be assigned a social work adviser and be permitted to enroll in the first three social work courses: Intro to Social Work Services (SOWK 150), Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare (SOWK 205) and Use, Abuse, and Addiction (SOWK 250).

Applying for Admission to the Social Work Program   

The second step — applying for admission to the social work program — is designed to accomplish two goals. First, it is based on the need to maintain a program of excellence in the classroom and to assure the availability of quality field experience placements by limiting the number of students admitted to the program. Second, it is intended to identify and admit to the program those students who may reasonably be expected to complete the program academically, to be accepted by agencies for field placement and to perform competently as professionals upon graduation.

All students who meet the minimum requirements for the social work program are invited to apply. No student will be denied admission on the basis of race, sex, disability, age, religion or sexual orientation. This program is committed to having a diverse student body. However, students should be aware that meeting the minimum standards does not guarantee admission to the program. The program reserves the right to limit the number of students admitted to the program each semester. Students have the right to appeal a denial of admission to the program by following the procedures outlined in the social work student handbook.


  1. Completion of 36 semester credit hours prior to admission.
  2. Attainment of a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.25 on a 4.0 scale at the time of application.*
  3. Attainment of a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 at the time of application in all social work prefix (SOWK) courses including a “C” or better in all social work courses. (Grades for course work accepted at UWRF as transfer credit will be included in the computation of both cumulative and social work course GPA.)
  4. Completion of Social Work 150 and 205.
  5. Completion of 30 hours of certified, post-high school volunteer service in community agencies.  (Verification and evaluation of the experience is submitted to SOWK 150 instructor by the student prior to the completion of that course. (This document is placed in the students application file by the program assistant.)
  6. Submission of a writing sample as specified by the faculty member teaching SOWK 205.
  7. Securing a copy of the Social Work Student Handbook and signing of statement of receipt of that handbook.
  8. Approval by the social work faculty. Approval is based upon an assessment of the criteria listed below. Sources of information by which to evaluate students include the evaluations completed by social work faculty at the conclusion of each social work course, the evaluation completed by volunteer work supervisors and from any other information presented by social work and/or other faculty members who have had personal contact with the student.  

Factors included in the assessment include:

  • Class attendance. 
  • Appropriate participation in classroom activities. 
  • Ability to meet deadlines. 
  • Ethical conduct. 
  • Ability to maintain positive relationships with faculty and other students as well as clients and supervisors in volunteer placements. 
  • Willingness and beginning ability to examine own values and biases as they relate to social work practice. 
  • Ability to communicate effectively both in written and oral form. 
  • Maintenance of at least one year in recovery if student has history of chemical dependency. 
  • Reasonable emotional stability and maturity (serious questions raised by social work faculty in these areas will result in a requirement that student complete a psychological/psychiatric assessment by a professional agency approved by the student’s adviser at the student’s expense). 
  • Presence of any criminal record which would indicate a history of physical violence, sexual misconduct or any other offense which would make the student unemployable as a social work professional. 

9.   Any student who withdraws from the social work program or does not take classes at UWRF for three or more sequential semesters must reapply for admission into the program.

10. A student accepted into the university as a transfer student, who has not been turned down for admission to another accredited social work program, must complete a minimum of one semester of courses at UWRF, including at least one social work course, prior to admission to the social work program. Such a student may be provisionally admitted to the program for a semester, pending review by the social work faculty upon completion of the required semester. This admission may be denied due to space availability within the program.

11. A student accepted into the university as a transfer student, who has been refused admission to another social work program, will be asked to sign a release of information allowing the UWRF social work program director to communicate with the faculty at the previous social work program.  Whether the students will be accepted or not will depend upon the number of students already admitted to the program, the reason for the student not being admitted from the previous program, and the results of an interview with the program director.

Contact Us

Dr. Tammy Kincaid, Program Director
Office: 715-425-3376
229 Wyman Education Building

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