Abilene Christian University


Social Work Degrees at Abilene Christian

Abilene Christian University in our ranking of the 35 Best Value Christian Colleges with CSWE-accredited Programs.

Since 1982, the College of Education & Human Services has awarded the accredited Bachelor of Science in Social Work for Abilene Christian University undergrads to advocate for the vulnerable according to NASW Code of Ethics. Directed by Dr. Stephen Baldridge in the Hardin Building, the 58-credit, junior-level major introduces evidence-based methods to heal societal inequalities. With a 14:1 student-professor ratio, the BSSW offers interactive, faith-inspired courses like Person to Person, Mezzo Human Behavior, Policy Analysis, and International Poverty. At least 450 practicum hours are integrated at off-site agencies, such as the Betty Hardwick Center, Victims Crisis Center, Mesa Springs, Hope Haven, and Serenity House. Students might also join the SSWA, take the Chickasaw Nation trip, become McNair Scholars, minor in Art Therapy, and engage with the Service Action Leadership Team.

Adhering to Texas' LMSW exam, Abilene Christian University offers a Biblical-based, forward-thinking Master of Science in Social Work given "exemplary" status. Chaired by Dr. Tom Winter, the 64-credit program trains advanced generalist practitioners for following God's calling to positive community change. Those qualified for the 38-credit Advanced Standing option start each June with a six-hour orientation. Daytime or evening sessions are available for courses like Nonprofit Management, Psychopathology, Intervention Design, and Program Evaluation. MSSW students complete one 400-hour and another 500-hour practicum at 60+ partners from Austin to Amarillo. Other opportunities include pledging Phi Alpha, researching in the Siburt Institute, attending the NACSW Convention, adding the Social Services Administration Certificate, pursuing the Dual M.A. in Christian Ministry, and planning Advocacy Day.

About Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University was opened in 1906 by A.B. Barret and Charles Roberson as the Childers Classical Institute with an initial class of 25. Within the next three decades, ACU adopted its current name, saw enrollment spike to 300, and expanded onto the Hashknife Ranch. In 1972, Abilene Christian introduced its first Social Work minor under Dr. Bob Whitaker. Now endowed for $380 million, ACU attracts 4,544 Wildcats from 41 countries as a private, Congregationalist NAICU member and Dynamic Enterprise Award winner of the Southland. Near Woodrow Griffith Lake, Abilene Christian University holds a 262-acre West Texas campus on the "Friendly Frontier." Linked to 26,897 LinkedIn alumni, ACU has graduated Ronnie Dunn, Janice Hahn, Gordon Bethune, Bonnie Curtis, and others.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Abilene Christian as the 18th best college in the West, 11th most military-friendly campus, and ninth top value with the 147th best social work program nationally. On Niche, ACU is America's 56th best religious college, 251st hardest school, and 265th top faculty. Forbes labeled Abilene Christian University the 326th best private institution with "A" finances. The "Apple Distinguished School" was placed 195th among WalletHub's best values. According to the Social Mobility Index, ACU has the country's 430th best opportunity. In Washington Monthly, Abilene boasted the 40th highest Ph.D. completion rate and 176th most community service. College Factual applauded ACU as the United States' 398th top university with the 50th best-paid social work grads.

Abilene Christian University Accreditation Details

In December 2017, Abilene Christian University received a "warning" for its Level V accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). This regional agency in Decatur is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to check quality standards for all of ACU's 70 baccalaureate, 27 master's, and three doctoral majors. President Phil Schubert assures that the caution relates to just two online graduate degrees, not Social Work programs. Abilene Christian is approved by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). The College of Education & Human Services also maintains programmatic approval from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) through February 2021.

Abilene Christian University Application Requirements

Starting the BSSW major at Abilene Christian University is considered "moderately difficult" by Peterson's with the 50 percent admission rate. First-year Wildcats can start social work prerequisites after a high school diploma or GED score over 2250. Admitted freshmen report an average GPA of 3.58 and SAT score of 1130. The BSSW officially requires junior status with 60+ college credits, including Introduction to Social Work, and a minimum 2.5 GPA. The MSSW mandates a regionally accredited bachelor's major that integrates at least two humanities courses and statistics. If undergrad GPAs are under 3.0, scoring 288 or better on the Graduate Record Exam is necessary. Advanced Standing entrants need CSWE-accredited training with 400 fieldwork hours and major "B" averages.

Abilene Christian University created an Early Action deadline of November 1st and the Regular deadline of February 1st for undergrads. The Master of Science in Social Work admits Fall cohorts after the February 16th priority and May 1st standard deadlines. Filing the easy, three-step application is streamlined online. If needed, extra materials could be mailed to Box 29000 in Abilene, TX 79699 or info@admissions.acu.edu. The submission checklist includes these:

  • $50 application fee ($35 before November)
  • Official transcripts from institutions attended
  • College Board or ETS entrance exams
  • Two completed recommendation forms
  • Typed personal motivation statement
  • Graded, five-page undergrad writing sample

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time Bachelor of Science in Social Work students pay ACU block tuition of $33,330 each year. Part-time study bills $1,334 per credit or $4,002 each course. Living at the Abilene campus' dorms like Mabee Hall adds $10,020 annually atop the $1,250 for books. Cost of attendance is $48,300 for residents and $37,922 for commuters yearly. The Social Work M.S. Standard option charges $1,148 per credit for $73,472 total. Advanced Standing students also pay $1,148 per credit for a $43,624 sum. The Social Services Administration Certificate has a price tag of $20,664.

According to the NCES College Navigator, 96 percent of full-time ACU Wildcats share $61.5 million annually for mean financial aid offers of $17,049 apiece. Institutional funds include the National Merit Scholarship, Hispanic Recognition Award, Valedictorian Scholarship, Transfer Award, Scouting Scholarship, and Church Match Scholarship. MSSW post-grads might apply for the Menninger's Fellowship, CDC Training Fellowship, Coro Fellowship, and more. Completing the FAFSA application after October 1st with code 003537 could open Federal Pell or FSEOG Grant doors. Lonestar State residents access the Texas Tuition Equalization Grant, Top 10 Percent Scholarship, and Educational Opportunity Grant. Federal Work-Study jobs pay at least $7.25/hour for campus employment. AmeriCorps could also help Abilene Christian University grads cancel up to 15 percent of Perkins, Stafford, and PLUS loan debt.

Learn more about Abilene Christian University at the School of Social Work website.