The Undergraduate Social Work Department At PLU

Admission Procedures

The Social Work Department at Pacific Lutheran University affirms the historic mission of social work which is dedicated equally and simultaneously to personal development and social change; to the enhancement of individual, group and community problem solving capacities and to the design and construction of a society committed to social justice and human compassion for oppressed, vulnerable and diverse populations. Generalist social work practice as taught on the undergraduate level prepares practitioners to pursue such a mission effectively by instilling and encouraging not only the capacity for critical analysis, intellectual rigor, and professional ethics and standards, but also the qualities of courage, commitment and service. It must prepare professionals for direct practice as well as providing them with the knowledge and experience they need to work with group, organizational, and community structures.

The Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Students have an opportunity to draw on the broadest spectrum of essential knowledge in the arts and sciences. We recognize that social issues and social problems are always complex, interconnected, and interrelated. Social work education at Pacific Lutheran University is strengthened and enriched by a truly cross-cultural, diverse, ethical, and interdisciplinary perspective on social issues, social problems, and social inventions. The overall purpose of the program is to assist the student in this educational process with traditional classroom preparation as well as 460 hours of field work experience.

Apply Here logo

Applications are accepted for the Fall Semester only. The Admissions Committee makes final decisions based on the strength of the overall application materials. The application deadline is February 28th—although applicants are accepted on a sliding basis until the program is filled.

To be considered for the major in Social Work applicants must:

  1. Be admitted to the University. Transfer students can obtain an application to the University by contacting the Admissions Office. (253-535-7151)
  2. Submit a current copy (official or unofficial) of all transcripts of your undergraduate work.
  3. Have a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA.
  4. Have completed at least 40 college level semester hours by the time an application is submitted.
  5. Have completed for credit or be currently enrolled in the following courses or their equivalent: Writing 101, Psychology 101
    Introduction to Psychology, Sociology 101 Introduction to Sociology,
    Cultural Anthropology*, and Human Biology** [only a C or better will be accepted in these classes.] In addition, applicants must fulfill Pacific Lutheran University’s Math Entrance Requirement.
  6. Complete and submit all application materials.

(*May be completed during first term in the Social Work Program. **Taken prior to graduation. This course is offered once every two years in the spring
semester in odd numbered years (2021, 2023, etc.)

Other factors considered in the admission decision include the following:

  1. The applicant’s personal biographical statement describing the development and interest in social work, relevant employment and/or volunteer experiences, special interests and abilities in social work, and career objectives.
  2. The applicant’s two (2) letters of recommendation.
    *Once the applicant enters the name/email address of their letter writers, these writers will receive an email with a link to the recommendation prompts. Once completed, the recommendation letters will automatically be sent electronically to the Social Work Department for processing. **Please note, the references will NOT receive an email until the student has completed and submitted their program application.
  3. The applicant’s completion of the Academic Contract.
  4. The applicant’s completion of the Personal Disclosure Statement.
  5. The applicant’s completion of the Washington State Patrol Criminal History Record Form and Child/Abuse In formation Act Record Form.

Other Important Information:

  1. Program faculty may request an interview with the applicant to confirm the applicant’s potential for success in social work education and practice.
  2. Any falsification in the application for admission is grounds for dismissal from the program.
  3. Applicants who are not admitted to candidacy for degree may reapply without prejudice.