Duluth campus
 
Duluth Campus

Social Work M.S.W.

Social Work
College of Education and Human Service Professions
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Social Work, 220 Bohannon Hall, 1207 Ordean Court, Duluth, MN 55812 (218-726-7245; fax: 218-726-7185)
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2022
  • Length of program in credits: 34 to 51
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Social Work
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The Master of Social Work (MSW) program offers an advanced generalist practice curriculum that prepares students to practice in a variety of human service settings. Graduates undertake a variety of professional social work roles ranging from counselor and case manager to community organizer and administrator. The curriculum has a special focus on services with American Indians and their communities. In addition to the 51-credit generalist program, a 34-credit advanced generalist program is available to applicants with a bachelor of social work degree from a program accredited by the Council of Social Work Education. Students can complete additional coursework towards optional emphases in child welfare practice and clinical social work. Completion of the MSW can satisfy most or all of the clinical content hours for licensure.
Accreditation
This program is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE).
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.
Bachelor's degree with a solid background in the liberal arts, including courses in cultural studies, and behavioral and social sciences. Social work or degree in related discipline preferred.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
Applicants must have completed at least: • 6 semester credits from at least 2 social science disciplines (e.g., sociology, psychology, economics, anthropology, or political science); • A college-level biology course with content on human anatomical and physiological development -or- a college-level developmental psychology course, with at least a grade of C. • A college-level statistics course with at least a grade of C. Applicants can be provisionally admitted before completing the enrollment prerequisites but must show successful completion before beginning MSW courses. Prerequisites cannot be applied to MSW requirements. Course credits are not awarded for non-academic or professional "life experience." The following must be submitted through the online application: • a personal statement, • a writing sample, • 3 letters of recommendation, and • a resume.
Special Application Requirements:
Professional experience in human service settings, particularly when this experience involves working with underrepresented and protected classes, is preferred. Applicants should be knowledgeable about diverse cultures, social problems and conditions, and the social, psychological, and biological determinants of human behavior. Applicants should show potential to contribute to the social work profession. Applicants with a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a program accredited by the Council of Social Work Education are eligible for the 34-credit Advanced Generalist program. Advanced Generalist Program students have the option of starting either in the summer or fall semester. Generalist Program students are admitted in the fall semester only. International and domestic applicants whose first language is not English must submit scores from one of the following tests.
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
  • IELTS
    • Total Score: 6.5
    • Reading Score: 6.5
    • Writing Score: 6.5
  • MELAB
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan C: Plan C requires 34 to 51 major credits and 0 to 6 credits outside the major. There is no final exam.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses towards program requirements is not permitted.
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 1 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
4xxx- or 5xxx-level coursework taken prior to the award of the bachelor’s degree cannot be applied to MSW degree requirements.
Advanced Generalist
The 34-credit Advanced Generalist program is for students who have earned a Council of Social Work Education-accredited BSW.
Advanced Generalist Concentration Courses (23 credits)
Take the following courses. SW 8802 must be taken for a total of 8 credits.
SW 8100 - Social Work with Diverse Populations (3.0 cr)
SW 8102 - Advanced Research (3.0 cr)
SW 8235 - American Indians and Social Policy (3.0 cr)
SW 8331 - Organization and Community Practice II (3.0 cr)
SW 8441 - Individual, Family and Group Practice II (3.0 cr)
SW 8802 - Field Placement II (3.0-8.0 cr)
Advanced Practice Course (3 credits)
Select 1 of the following courses in consultation with the advisor. Students who elect to complete the Child Welfare emphasis must take SW 8031. Students who elect to complete the Mental Health/Clinical emphasis must take SW 8443.
SW 8031 - Advanced Practice in Child Welfare (3.0 cr)
SW 8332 - Advanced Practice in Administration and Community Development (3.0 cr)
SW 8443 - Advanced Practice in Mental Health (3.0 cr)
Advanced American Indian Content Course (2 credits)
Select 1 of the following courses in consultation with the advisor:
SW 8771 - Health in American Indian Communities (2.0 cr)
SW 8881 - Dynamics of American Indian Families (2.0 cr)
Electives (0 to 6 credits)
Advanced Generalist students who do not elect to complete an emphasis select 6 credits in consultation with their advisor to complete the 34-credit minimum.
Generalist
The 51-credit Generalist program is for students without a Council of Social Work Education-accredited BSW.
Generalist Courses (20 credits)
Take the following courses. SW 8801 must be taken for 6 credits.
SW 5101 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment (3.0 cr)
SW 5201 - Social Welfare Policy (3.0 cr)
SW 8101 - Introduction to Research (2.0 cr)
SW 8111 - Individual, Family and Group Practice I (3.0 cr)
SW 8112 - Organization and Community Practice I (3.0 cr)
SW 8801 - Field Placement I (3.0-6.0 cr)
Advanced Generalist Concentration Courses (23 credits)
Take the following courses. SW 8802 must be taken for 8 credits.
SW 8100 - Social Work with Diverse Populations (3.0 cr)
SW 8102 - Advanced Research (3.0 cr)
SW 8235 - American Indians and Social Policy (3.0 cr)
SW 8331 - Organization and Community Practice II (3.0 cr)
SW 8441 - Individual, Family and Group Practice II (3.0 cr)
SW 8802 - Field Placement II (3.0-8.0 cr)
Advanced Practice Course (3 credits)
Select 1 of the following courses in consultation with the advisor:
SW 8031 - Advanced Practice in Child Welfare (3.0 cr)
SW 8332 - Advanced Practice in Administration and Community Development (3.0 cr)
SW 8443 - Advanced Practice in Mental Health (3.0 cr)
Advanced American Indian Content Course (2 credits)
Select 1 of the following courses in consultation with the advisor:
SW 8771 - Health in American Indian Communities (2.0 cr)
SW 8881 - Dynamics of American Indian Families (2.0 cr)
Emphases
Child Welfare (7 credits)
Required Courses (5 credits)
Take the following courses:
SW 5032 - Child Welfare and the Law (2.0 cr)
SW 5215 - Trauma Informed Social Work Practice with Children and Adolescents (3.0 cr)
Additional Course (2 credits)
Select 1 of the following in consultation with the advisor:
SW 8771 - Health in American Indian Communities (2.0 cr)
or SW 8881 - Dynamics of American Indian Families (2.0 cr)
-OR-
Mental Health/Clinical (8 credits)
Required Course (3 credits)
Take the following course:
SW 8070 - Evidence-Based Practice in Clinical Social Work (3.0 cr)
Additional Courses (5 credits)
Select 1 of the following in consultation with the advisor:
SW 5144 - Grief, Loss and Coping in Social Work Practice (3.0 cr)
or SW 5280 - Substance Use Trends and Interventions in Social Work (3.0 cr)
or SW 5500 - Healthcare, Social Work, and Interdisciplinary Care (3.0 cr)
Select 1 of the following in consultation with the advisor:
SW 8771 - Health in American Indian Communities (2.0 cr)
or SW 8881 - Dynamics of American Indian Families (2.0 cr)
 
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SW 8100 - Social Work with Diverse Populations
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Examines societal issues generated by systemic discrimination and explores methods for reducing discrimination. Particular focus on advanced social work practice with diverse populations. prereq: MSW students or instructor consent
SW 8102 - Advanced Research
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Summer
Application of social science knowledge and skills to evaluate practice and to conduct community-based research and program evaluation projects. Develop a research proposal. prereq: 8101 or admission to advanced standing MSW program
SW 8235 - American Indians and Social Policy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Informs human service providers of policies affecting American Indians, including relationships of tribal governments with the United States and Minnesota governments, the interface between Indian and non-Indian service delivery systems, and Indian culture and politics. prereq: 5201 or advanced standing MSW program or instructor consent; credit will not be granted if already received for 5235.
SW 8331 - Organization and Community Practice II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Prepares students for advanced practice in organizations and communities. It provides a framework for assessing and intervening in organizations and communities using an asset-based and problem-solving approach. Specific strategies and tactics for strengthening organizations and communities are addressed. prereq: 5101, 8112 or Advanced Standing in MSW program
SW 8441 - Individual, Family and Group Practice II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Examines a range of social work practice theories and their application to practice with individuals, families, and groups. Advanced skills in assessment and intervention in addressing complex problems with a focus on micro practice. Application to diverse populations and settings. prereq: 5101, 8112 or advanced standing MSW student
SW 8802 - Field Placement II
Credits: 3.0 -8.0 [max 8.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Developing knowledge and skill base for "advanced generalist" practice in a community agency. Concurrent seminar focuses on integrating classroom theories and intervention methodologies with experiences with client systems at micro, mezzo, and macro levels of practice. Attention to vulnerable/minority issues. prereq: concurrent registration in 8031 or 8332 or 8443 or 8544, SW Grad Student and instructor consent
SW 8031 - Advanced Practice in Child Welfare
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Advanced skill development in assessment, intervention, and evaluation in relationship to direct child welfare social work practice. prereq: 5032, 8441
SW 8332 - Advanced Practice in Administration and Community Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course focuses on application of advanced knowledge and skills essential for understanding macro practice. Analysis of organizations and communities is required. Emphasis will be on analysis of complex social problems and the development of organizational and community solutions. prereq: 8331
SW 8443 - Advanced Practice in Mental Health
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Advanced skill development in direct practice social work assessment, intervention, and evaluation in relationship to mental health issues. prereq: 8441 concurrent registration is required
SW 8771 - Health in American Indian Communities
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to historical and contemporary concepts of American Indian health. Policy issues, cultural and sensitivity knowledge, and practice methods with American Indian clients and communities at micro, mezzo, and macro levels of intervention. prereq: 8235
SW 8881 - Dynamics of American Indian Families
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to traditional and contemporary concepts relating to American Indian families. Public policy, social problems, cultural strengths, conflicts, and culturally competent social work practice. prereq: 8235 or concurrent with SW 8235 or instructor consent
SW 5101 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Overview of social psychological and social systems concepts. Applications of concepts to social work and human service issues. Focus on individuals, human development, families, groups, organizations, communities, and society/culture. prereq: MSW student or instructor consent
SW 5201 - Social Welfare Policy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Historical development of field of social welfare in the United States and emergence of social work profession. Social policy analysis techniques and ways to influence social policy and vulnerable/minority issues. prereq: MSW student or instructor consent
SW 8101 - Introduction to Research
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to social science research and its applications to social work and social welfare. prereq: SW Grad student or instructor consent
SW 8111 - Individual, Family and Group Practice I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Overview of generalist social work practice, ethics, ecological perspective, and problem-solving model. Application to individuals, families, and groups and to diverse populations. Development of counseling skills. prereq: SW grad student or instructor consent
SW 8112 - Organization and Community Practice I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Using a problem-solving model and the ecological and strengths perspectives, students develop assessment and interventions skills for effective practice with organizations and community. Topics include using supervision, facilitating meetings, advocacy, cultural competence, and promoting organizational and community change. prereq: 8111
SW 8801 - Field Placement I
Credits: 3.0 -6.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Practicum experience with emphasis on developing knowledge and skill base for "beginning generalist" practice in a community agency. Concurrent seminar assists students in integrating classroom theories and intervention methodologies with field experiences. Application to diverse populations. prereq: 8111, 8112; SW Grad student, instructor consent
SW 8100 - Social Work with Diverse Populations
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Examines societal issues generated by systemic discrimination and explores methods for reducing discrimination. Particular focus on advanced social work practice with diverse populations. prereq: MSW students or instructor consent
SW 8102 - Advanced Research
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Summer
Application of social science knowledge and skills to evaluate practice and to conduct community-based research and program evaluation projects. Develop a research proposal. prereq: 8101 or admission to advanced standing MSW program
SW 8235 - American Indians and Social Policy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Informs human service providers of policies affecting American Indians, including relationships of tribal governments with the United States and Minnesota governments, the interface between Indian and non-Indian service delivery systems, and Indian culture and politics. prereq: 5201 or advanced standing MSW program or instructor consent; credit will not be granted if already received for 5235.
SW 8331 - Organization and Community Practice II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Prepares students for advanced practice in organizations and communities. It provides a framework for assessing and intervening in organizations and communities using an asset-based and problem-solving approach. Specific strategies and tactics for strengthening organizations and communities are addressed. prereq: 5101, 8112 or Advanced Standing in MSW program
SW 8441 - Individual, Family and Group Practice II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Examines a range of social work practice theories and their application to practice with individuals, families, and groups. Advanced skills in assessment and intervention in addressing complex problems with a focus on micro practice. Application to diverse populations and settings. prereq: 5101, 8112 or advanced standing MSW student
SW 8802 - Field Placement II
Credits: 3.0 -8.0 [max 8.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Developing knowledge and skill base for "advanced generalist" practice in a community agency. Concurrent seminar focuses on integrating classroom theories and intervention methodologies with experiences with client systems at micro, mezzo, and macro levels of practice. Attention to vulnerable/minority issues. prereq: concurrent registration in 8031 or 8332 or 8443 or 8544, SW Grad Student and instructor consent
SW 8031 - Advanced Practice in Child Welfare
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Advanced skill development in assessment, intervention, and evaluation in relationship to direct child welfare social work practice. prereq: 5032, 8441
SW 8332 - Advanced Practice in Administration and Community Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course focuses on application of advanced knowledge and skills essential for understanding macro practice. Analysis of organizations and communities is required. Emphasis will be on analysis of complex social problems and the development of organizational and community solutions. prereq: 8331
SW 8443 - Advanced Practice in Mental Health
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Advanced skill development in direct practice social work assessment, intervention, and evaluation in relationship to mental health issues. prereq: 8441 concurrent registration is required
SW 8771 - Health in American Indian Communities
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to historical and contemporary concepts of American Indian health. Policy issues, cultural and sensitivity knowledge, and practice methods with American Indian clients and communities at micro, mezzo, and macro levels of intervention. prereq: 8235
SW 8881 - Dynamics of American Indian Families
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to traditional and contemporary concepts relating to American Indian families. Public policy, social problems, cultural strengths, conflicts, and culturally competent social work practice. prereq: 8235 or concurrent with SW 8235 or instructor consent
SW 5032 - Child Welfare and the Law
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Intensive advanced course in the federal, state, and tribal laws and court processes regulating child welfare practice. Includes laws and procedures and the role of the social worker in legal proceedings. prereq: master of social work student or instructor consent
SW 5215 - Trauma Informed Social Work Practice with Children and Adolescents
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring & Summer
Course addresses the impact of psychological trauma on children and adolescents, particularly those in the child welfare system. An overview of screening, assessment and intervention strategies to address the mental health needs of children affected by trauma is provided, as well as guidelines of informed practice. prereq: Social Work graduate student or instructor consent
SW 8771 - Health in American Indian Communities
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to historical and contemporary concepts of American Indian health. Policy issues, cultural and sensitivity knowledge, and practice methods with American Indian clients and communities at micro, mezzo, and macro levels of intervention. prereq: 8235
SW 8881 - Dynamics of American Indian Families
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to traditional and contemporary concepts relating to American Indian families. Public policy, social problems, cultural strengths, conflicts, and culturally competent social work practice. prereq: 8235 or concurrent with SW 8235 or instructor consent
SW 8070 - Evidence-Based Practice in Clinical Social Work
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring & Summer
Students will be presented with complex case situations and asked to draw on knowledge and skills to best address these situations from initial assessment through intervention and termination. Students will gain knowledge of specific modalities in evidence-based interventions and best practice research, with a focus on cultural context and appropriate practice behaviors for skilled practice. pre-req: 8441
SW 5144 - Grief, Loss and Coping in Social Work Practice
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
Students will gain conceptual understanding, advanced assessment and intervention skills, and competencies relative to grief, loss and coping and the clinical impact on client systems. Theory and perspectives are provided from various disciplines, and a spectrum of multicultural influences, with an emphasis on person-in-environment. Materials from lay people, social work and other professional disciplines are presented and critical reviewed to guide application of best social work practices and/or evidence-based assessment, interventions and evaluation. Interdisciplinary collaboration and application skills is emphasized. Self-reflection on personal experiences is part of this course to reinforce professional skills, boundaries and ethical conduct. prereq: Social Work graduate student or instructor consent
SW 5280 - Substance Use Trends and Interventions in Social Work
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
A multi-level systems perspective in examining the effects of alcohol problems on individuals, families and other populations. Topics will include: epidemiology, etiology, screening, assessment, diagnosis, treatment options, specialized populations, and various social work practice areas. Credit will not be granted if already received for SW 4280
SW 5500 - Healthcare, Social Work, and Interdisciplinary Care
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
This course focuses on skill building and knowledge of social work roles in assessment, interventions, values, skills and competencies relative to interdisciplinary social work in healthcare settings. Student learning outcomes include the comprehension of professional collaboration and competencies as well as theoretical foundations, research, policies, and ethics. The course emphasizes providing interdisciplinary collaboration in various settings such as chronic illness; oncology/palliative care; community and public health; gerontology; pediatrics; emergency services; grief and loss; and, the importance of responding to cultural context. Additional content includes navigating medical infrastructures, such as HIPAA, health insurance, disability resources, Medicare/Medicaid, family support, mental health needs, advocacy, and information/referral. pre-req: MSW student or instructor consent
SW 8771 - Health in American Indian Communities
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to historical and contemporary concepts of American Indian health. Policy issues, cultural and sensitivity knowledge, and practice methods with American Indian clients and communities at micro, mezzo, and macro levels of intervention. prereq: 8235
SW 8881 - Dynamics of American Indian Families
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to traditional and contemporary concepts relating to American Indian families. Public policy, social problems, cultural strengths, conflicts, and culturally competent social work practice. prereq: 8235 or concurrent with SW 8235 or instructor consent