Masters of Social Work (MSW)

The MSW is an Advanced Generalist Program that prepares students for both advanced direct and indirect practice opportunities in a wide variety of public and private social service, medical, behavior health, and educational settings.

Program Highlights

  • Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
  • Students completing the program and passing the licensure exam are eligible to apply for the LGSW level social work licensure in Minnesota and throughout the United States, which is required to practice social work in most settings.
  • The cost of the program is less than comparable public universities and less than private colleges in Minnesota.
  • The program features smaller class sizes allowing more interaction with faculty and the development of a cohesive student cohort.
  • An MSW degree allows graduates to have jobs with greater responsibilities including supervision and management.
  • Advanced generalist social work prepares students to practice with a variety of populations and fields within social work, including clinical practice.

Application Requirements

  • Completed a bachelor degree. For Traditional Program (TR) a BA or BS in any major or discipline.  Course content in human services, social sciences, health sciences, political science, or related studies is beneficial.  For the Advanced Standing (accelerated program), you need to have a bachelor's degree from a CSWE accredited social work program (BS, BA, BSW, BSSW). If not completed when making application, verify that, if admitted, your degree will be earned by the beginning of the first semester in the program. 

  • Earned GPA of at least 3.0 on 4-point scale. Applications are considered if GPA is below 3.0.  Provide a letter explaining your GPA and your preparedness for graduate level education.  

  • Documented experience  in the human or social services, corrections, education, public health, health/mental health care, public policy, non-profit or public administration, or community work as a paid staff member, intern, consultant, or volunteer. 
  • Three letters of academic and/or professional recommendation
  • An Application Essay of five pages that responds to the five application prompts and is grounded in an understanding of social work.  Refer to the NASW Code of EthicsNASW Standards and Indicators for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice, and Minnesota State University MSW program vision, mission, goals and advanced generalist social work orientation.  The application essay is used to assess your written academic ability, understanding of social work, and goodness-of-fit with our advanced generalist MSW program.  Applicants are expected to adhere to the following academic formatting: cover page (not included in the 5-pages), double-spaced, one-inch margins, page number in the upper-right hand corner, and as applicable citations and a references page (preferably APA style). 
  • Resume

Additional Requirements for International Applicants:

Application Deadlines

  U.S. Based Applicants International Applicants
Fall Start January 15 January 15
Spring Start N/A N/A
Summer Start N/A N/A

Time to Completion for Traditional Program: 2 years

Time to Completion for Advanced Standing Program: 1 year

Graduate Coordinator Contact

Dr. Nancy Fitzsimons

Social Work Website