Union University


Preparing for Social Work Practice at Union

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

Since 1998, the College of Arts & Sciences has granted the Bachelor of Social Work for Union University undergrads fulfilling Christ's teachings to show kindness by empowering vulnerable neighbors who face adversity. Directed by Prof. Rebecca Bohner in Blasingame Academic Complex, the 51-credit, junior-entry major fosters generalist leadership with optional Tennessee child welfare certification. The 11:1 learner-faculty ratio keeps daytime courses like Social Gerontology, Populations-at-Risk, and Families Across Cultures small. Adults could attend 16-week evening classes in Jackson or Memphis for the 24-month BSW completion instead. Both require 424 fieldwork hours at the OakHills Behavioral Center, Signal Centers, Youth Villages, Carl Perkins Child Abuse Center, St. John's Community Service, and more. Students might also travel with El Ayudante, pledge Phi Alpa, become EDGE Mentors, join Social Work Reaches Out, work at Pine Cove, attend the Women's Cooperative, and be Ministry minors.

Dedicated to Mark 12:31, Union University launched an accredited MSW in 2008 for School of Social Work post-grads to broaden their administrative capacity for leading multi-layered interventions across the macro to micro continuum too. Emphasizing an ecological perspective, the 60-credit degree overseen by Prof. Mary Anne Poe builds on a foundation year before the Advanced Generalist Concentration. Skipping the former in the 33-credit Advanced Standing path is possible for BSW grads who attend a three-weekend August bridge in Jackson. Consider adding onto required courses like Community Development with the Dual MBA or Dual Master of Christian Studies. Potential placements for the 900 internship hours include the Dorothy Day House, Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, Memphis Union Mission, Crestwyn Behavioral Health, Shelby County CPS, and Mid-South Peace Center. Union's Stephen Olford Center also hosts CEU-granting conferences like the Social Justice Symposium.

About Union University

Union University originated in 1848 when Middle Tennessee Baptists employed Joseph H. Eaton to run an all-male Christian school in Murfreesboro. Damaged during the Civil War and cholera outbreak, it closed in 1873 before relocating to Jackson the next September. Merged to Hall-Moody Junior College in 1927, Union received its first accreditation 21 years later. Fast forward to 1999 and Union University was profiled in the $113 million Templeton Foundation's Colleges That Encourage Character Development. Upholding its Baptist roots, Union now serves 3,400 Bulldogs, including Social Work majors, from 16 nations at its 290-acre Jackson and 35-acre Memphis campus. Linked to 13,214 LinkedIn alumni, the CCCU member has trained Charles Millican, William Troutt, Pauline LaFon Gore, and others. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Union University 176th overall while College Factual placed it 125th nationally for social work.

Union University Accreditation Details

In 2017, Union University passed an in-depth institutional evaluation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to retain the maximum 10-year Level VI accreditation under its 16th president, Dr. Samuel "Dub" Oliver. Based 375 miles east, this respected 11-state Southeast accreditor is upheld by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to ensure academic soundness in Union's 105 baccalaureate, nine master's, three specialist, and three doctoral tracks. The Traditional BSW, Adult BSW, and MSW majors feature programmatic accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) through October 2022 too.

Union University Application Requirements

Classified as "moderately difficult" by Peterson's, Union University admitted 1,259 of the 2,012 Fall 2017 applicants for selective 63 percent acceptance. First-year Bulldogs fetching the Traditional BSW must graduate from accredited high schools with 20+ units in core academics or receive equivalent diplomas. At a minimum, freshmen must rank in the top 50th percentile, reach 2.5 GPAs, or score higher than 1100 on the SAT. The Adult BSW only offers evening courses to transfers with 60+ credits or the Associate of Science in Professional Studies. Entering the Jackson and Memphis cohorts requires an interview for GPAs under 2.3 too. Union post-grads pursuing the Master of Social Work need regionally accredited or internationally listed bachelor's degrees. The Traditional MSW seeks minimum 2.65 GPAs, but the Advanced Standing track rises to 3.0 at CSWE-accredited colleges only.

Union University has rolling undergrad admission until August 1st for Fall, December 1st for Spring, and April 1st for Summer entrance. The MSW has a March 31st priority deadline but accepts grads on a space-available basis until June 30th. Using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, log into the online application powered by Force.com. By mail, send official copies to 1050 Union Drive in Jackson, TN 38305 or 2745 Hacks Cross Road in Germantown, TN 38138. Please contact [email protected] or (731) 668-1818 for more guidance. The School of Social Work requests these:

  • $35 application fee payment ($25 for MSW)
  • High school and undergrad transcripts
  • Freshman ACT or SAT exam scores
  • Typed, one-page admission essay
  • Medical history and immunization form
  • Three references from teachers/supervisors
  • Fieldwork evaluations for Advanced Standing

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, Union University will charge full-time Traditional BSW students $1,015 per credit or $15,775 each semester full-time. Summer or Winter sessions are discounted to $705 per credit. The Adult BSW is even cheaper at $480 per credit. Undergrads pay a $530 general fee, $300 Keystone Program fee, and a one-time $150 registration fee. Living at the Jackson campus' dorms like The Quads adds $3,950 for room and $1,745 for board per term. Annual bachelor's attendance equals $51,790 on-site and $41,390 with family. The Master of Social Work currently bills $610 per credit for total prices of $36,600 (Traditional) and $20,130 (Advanced Standing).

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Financial Planning Office helps 78 percent of full-time Union Bulldogs gobble up $33.53 million total for mean packages worth $18,807. University funds include the Ministry Dependent Award, Provost's Scholarship, West Tennessee Heritage Grant, Fred DeLay Scholarship, Albert Cason Trust Scholarship, Emma Lee Austin Scholarship, Germantown Baptist Church Scholarship, Galbraith Scholarship, Cynthia Jelks Scholarship, and Jerry B. Smith Memorial Scholarship. Dependent children of IABCU member college employees apply for tuition waivers until December 1st. Financially needy undergrads file the FAFSA with code 002889 for Federal Pell or SEOG Grants. Expected family contributions of $2,100 or less qualify for the Tennessee Student Assistance Award. Volunteer State natives also seek the HOPE Access Grant, Foster Child Grant, and Helping Heroes Grant. The Vocatio Center for Life Calling helps get Federal Work-Study jobs. Money magazine also ranked Union University 521st with an average debt of $20,563 from Federal and private loans.

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