Social Work

Graduate Programs

Description

The Department of Social Work offers a full-time Master of Social Work (MSW) program focusing on Advanced Generalist social work practice, including specialization year emphasis on practice in small and rural communities. The MSW program prepares students for both advanced direct practice and administration in a wide variety of public and private social service, medical, and educational settings. Students achieve program objectives through foundation and specialization coursework and extensive field education. Students will learn from faculty dedicated to high quality social work education using innovative teaching techniques and cutting-edge technologies.

The Master of Social Work (MSW) is a graduate degree that will prepare you to work as an advanced, professional social worker in a wide range of public and private social service agencies, in health care and public schools, with clients ranging from infants to senior citizens, from agencies to communities, and with challenges such as poverty, mental illness, disabilities, health problems, chemical dependency, abuse, and many others. MSWs work directly with clients in direct practice capacities, as clinicians, serve as program directors, supervisors, agency administrators, and also work in applied research and social welfare policy practice. 

Majors

Program Locations Major / Total Credits
Social Work MSW MSW - Master of Social Work
  • Mankato
59 / 59

Policies & Faculty

Policies

Admission Requirements

In addition to completing the admission requirements for the College of Graduate Studies and Research, the following are required:

  1. Completed a bachelor degree for students applying to the Traditional (TR) Program or completed a bachelor degree in social work from a CSWE accredited institution for students applying to the Advanced Standing (AS) Program.
  2. Earned a GPA of at least 3.0 on 4-point scale. (Some exceptions may be considered.)
  3. Documented experience in the human or social services, education, or health care areas either as a paid staff member, intern, or volunteer.
  4. Complete and submit the MSW Application via online application system.
  5. Upload a Professional Resume via online application system.
  6. Upload an Application Essay (prompts for essay are located on the online application system).
  7. Provide email addresses for three recommenders and have them upload Letters of Recommendation via online application system.

Financial Assistance

The Department of Social Work hires some graduate students in GA positions each academic year. Usually, we do not have details on the exact numbers or position duties until April or May each spring. We will alert applicants to the MSW program of GA opportunities when we are able to post these positions.

The Title IV-E MSW Child Welfare Program is a competitive scholar program that provides financial support and educational resources to MSW students committed to a post-graduate career in public or tribal child welfare. Additional details available online at Social Work, MSW Child Welfare Program.

Current MSW Program Policies are available in the MSW Graduate Student Handbook available online at Master of Social Work, Graduate Handbook.

MSW Curriculum Map

The MSW Curriculum has been carefully developed based upon our mission, goals, and objectives with particular attention given to the requirements of our accrediting body, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and the College and University's missions. We have taken into account the perceived needs of graduate students as adult learners, as well as requirements for graduate education at our institution. Students will be required to proceed through the curriculum as it is sequenced below. Courses are offered once per year. The program is based upon a full-time graduate credit load and does not have a part-time option.

Students in the Traditional (TR) MSW program are required to complete 59 credits spread over two calendar years (6 semesters). Students in the TR program take courses in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. The TR program includes 39 credit-hours of classes and two field education placements totaling 20 credit hours, in a supervised practicum setting. The practicums will run each year from January to July.

Students in the Advanced Standing (AS) MSW program take 34 credits spread over 4 semesters, beginning with a 3 credit seminar in the summer, followed by 9 credits in the fall semester, 11 credits in the spring semester, 8 credits in the final summer semester, and a 3 credit elective. The AS program includes 24 credit hours of classes and one 10-credit field education placement in a supervised practicum setting, which runs from January to July.

All students will complete their Specialization/Advanced Field Practicum and Seminar with an individualized Field Education Learning Plan as their "Capstone Experience;" this is a comprehensive and integrative demonstration of their learning. A series of student learning outcomes, competencies, and practice behaviors are met through this process. If students wish, they can carry out research and evaluation projects in conjunction with the Concentration/Advanced field practicum.

Generalist Year (Traditional Program, 2-year)

Generalist year courses for those in the Traditional Program constitute 28 credits of study, which includes 10 credits of Field Education in a supervised field education practicum during Spring and Summer semesters. Courses are taken fall, spring and summer. Some, but not all, courses are offered in a hybrid (partially online instruction) format.

Fall (9 course credits)

  • SOWK 601 – Foundations of Generalist Practice (3 credits)
  • SOWK 605 – Social Welfare Policy and Services (3 credits)
  • SOWK 609 – Culturally Responsive Communication in Social Work Practice (3 credits)

Spring (6 course credits + 5 field education = 11 credits)

  • SOWK 603 – Human Behavior in the Social Environment (3 credits)
  • SOWK 611 – Macro Social Work Practice and Theory (3 credits)
  • SOWK 615 – Foundation Practicum & Seminar I (18-20 hours/week) (5 credits)

Summer (3 course credits + 5 field education = 8 credits) (11 credits, if elective taken)

  • SOWK 625 – Foundation Practicum & Seminar II (18-20 hours/week) (5 credits)
  • SOWK 629 – Applied Social Work Research (3 credits)
  • Elective Course (3 credits) (May be taken anytime)

Summer (Advanced Standing Students Only - 1st summer)

  • SOWK 650 – Advanced Standing Preparation Seminar (3 credits)
  • Elective Course (May be taken anytime)

Specialization Year (All students)

Students in both the Traditional and Advanced Standing Programs take 31 credits in the specialization year of the program, which includes 10 credits of Field Education in a supervised practicum and a 3-credit elective, if not already completed. Courses are taken in fall, spring, and summer terms. Some, but not all, courses are offered in a hybrid format. The elective may be taken when it best fits the student's schedule.

Fall (9 course credits) (12 credits if elective taken)

  • Elective – Graduate level (500 or 600 level) (3 credits) May be taken anytime.
  • SOWK 651 – Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals (3 credits)
  • SOWK 661 – Advanced Social Work Practice Administration (3 credits)
  • SOWK 663 – Advanced Practice with Groups (3 credits)

Spring (6 course credits + 5 field education = 11 credits)

  • SOWK 655 – Social Welfare Policy Practice (3 credits)
  • SOWK 660 – Advanced Practice with Couples and Families (3 credits)
  • SOWK 665 – Advanced Practicum and Seminar I (18-20 hours/week) (5 credits)

Summer (3 course credits + 5 field education = 8 credits; 11 if additional elective taken)

  • SOWK 669 – Advanced Social Work Evaluation (3 credits)
  • SOWK 675 – Advanced Practicum and Seminar II (18-20 hours/week) (5 credits)

 

Contact Information

358 Trafton Science Center North

(507) 389-6504
FAX (507) 389-6769
MRS/TTY (507) 627-3529
https://ahn.mnsu.edu/academic-programs/social-work/master-of-social-work/

Faculty

500 Level

Credits: 3

This course provides an overview of social services that support the well-being of children and families in a diverse society. Students, regardless of disciplinary affiliation, identify personal and professional values, develop a working knowledge of the theories that inform practice with children and families, and understand the roles and legal responsibilities of child welfare workers and professionals from multiple disciplines in the delivery of child welfare services.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Co-morbid substance abuse and mental health disorders will be encountered by social workers in all areas of practice. Current research on dual diagnosis indicates integrated treatment of substance misuse and mental illness is the most effective approach to treatment. This course will provide an understanding of the intersection of multiple diagnoses, and enable social worker professionals to effectively treat multiple diagnoses in their area of practice. This course examines the interaction of addictive and other mental health disorders. Particular focus is placed on case-conceptualization, assessment, and intervention with multiply diagnosed clients in specific populations.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Issues, resources, and processes in working with the elderly and their families in the social service system.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This course is designed to provide upper level (junior and senior) undergraduate social work students with a comprehensive introduction to the epidemiology (scientific study of disease), etiology (causes of disease), history, policy, and treatment modalities of substance abuse from a person-in-environment and systems theory social work perspective.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Service delivery issues and skills for working in hospitals, nursing homes, and community programs.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Course provides an overview of intimate partner violence from a theoretical and evidence-based, social work perspective. Students learn about intervention strategies from direct practice to advocacy and policy change. Multiple systems are explored. The intersection of gender, class, sexual orientation, age, and culture with intimate partner violence is covered.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This course introduces students to the work of specialized instructional support personnel, who enhance the capacity of every student to learn. Emphasis will be placed on multidisciplinary collaboration that promotes student well-being and supportive school environments.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Service delivery issues, knowledge, and skills for providing social services within school services.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This course covers the evolution of school social work as a profession and the impact of the culture and climate of the school on practice. It examines how social diversity impacts academic achievement and the role of the school social worker in addressing disparities.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Course focuses on service delivery issues and skills, using a strengths-based, family systems, and empowerment approach for working with individuals with developmental and other disabilities and their families across the life span. Students hoping to do a practicum in a disability services setting should complete this course prior to beginning the practicum.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-7

Social Work practice in public child welfare agencies is multi-faceted and uniquely challenging. Seven 1-credit modules are designed to offer maximum specialization in the study of direct (interventions with children, youth, and families) and indirect (policy and administration) practice in state, county, or tribal child welfare. Issues related to practice, policy, cultural responsiveness, and the application of social work ethics are addressed. This course can meet the elective requirement for MSW students, including Title IV-E child welfare stipend recipients. Previous experience or coursework in public child welfare is recommended. Course is taken, with advisement, for up to 7 credits.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 5-10

This course provides students with the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills acquired in the school social work certificate program in a school-environment. In seminar students clarify and integrate theoretical and school-specific curriculum content with experiences.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-6

Topics announced when offered.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-3

Prerequisites: none

600 Level

Credits: 3

This foundation social work course focuses on direct generalist practice with individuals, families, and groups; emphasizing the history, knowledge, skills, values, and ethics of the social work profession and the principles that promote social and economic justice, and human well-being.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This course focuses on theories and knowledge which guide social work practice, emphasizing systems theory, person-in-environment perspective, strengths perspective, and oppression theory. Students also examine theories of individual and family development across the lifespan.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

The course provides students with an overview of the historical and contemporary social services system and an exploration of the interconnectedness between social welfare policies, social services and social work practice, with an emphasis on oppressed populations.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This foundation course provides students with the knowledge and skills for effective interpersonal communication and interviewing, with emphasis on the application of effective communication with diverse populations. Students develop self-awareness and understand implications of their values across diversity domains.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This course provides students foundation knowledge, theories, values and skills for generalist social work practice with task groups, organizations and communities. The course emphasizes community level practice, focusing on theories and strategies for community assessment, community development, and community change.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 5

Foundation Practicum and Seminar I provides students with the opportunity to integrate social work theory and practice knowledge, values, and skills through direct practice with individual clients, families, groups, agencies, and communities.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Co-morbid substance abuse and mental health disorders will be encountered by social workers in all areas of practice. Current research on dual diagnosis indicates integrated treatment of substance misuse and mental illness is the most effective approach to treatment. This course will provide an understanding of the intersection of multiple diagnoses and enable social work professionals to effectively treat multiple diagnoses in their area of practice. This course examines the interaction of addictive and other mental health disorders. Particular focus is placed on case-conceptualization, assessment, and intervention with multiple diagnosed clients in specific populations. Graduate students will also explore supervision/management.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 5

Foundation Practicum and Seminar II is a continuation of SOWK 615 Foundation Practicum and Seminar I. Students integrate social work theory and practice knowledge, values, and skills through direct practice with individual clients, families, groups, agencies, and communities.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This course enables students to understand the rationale for and application of quantitative and qualitative research techniques commonly used in generalist social work practice. Students will become more skilled at reading and critically evaluating research studies, including studies that are designed to empirically test theory, as well as in conducting independent research. Students will understand how issues of diversity are applicable to conducting and evaluating research and to engaging in effective, culturally competent social work practice. Students will also recognize the values, ethical issues, and social and economic justice issues that underlie research with an emphasis on social work research.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

The purpose of this course is to acquire advanced school social work practice skills to bring about systems level change. Students will learn how to utilize clinical skills to mobilize stakeholders to adopt evidence informed practices and implement them with fidelity.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This seminar helps students admitted to the Advanced Standing MSW program refine their professional self-identity as generalist social workers and reviews foundation curriculum content to ensure that students are ready for the concentration year of the advanced generalist MSW program.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This course provides students with advanced generalist knowledge, values, and skills for evidence-based direct social work practice with individuals - children, adolescents, and adults - from diverse backgrounds.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

The purpose of this course is to prepare students for advanced social work practice in a public, private, and tribal child welfare settings. This course is required for MSW Child Welfare Scholars. The course is designed to provide the student with a focused, practice-oriented learning environment that will build upon previous experiential and academic learning. The emphasis will be upon increasing the student¿s conceptual and practice skill level to become an effective social worker in a child welfare setting while increasing knowledge of historical and current federal and state child welfare policies, programs, and practices.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This course provides students with knowledge and skills to engage in advanced policy practice in organizations and communities. Students conduct a comparative policy analysis on a rural policy issue and will analyze, design and implement strategies for promoting change.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This course provides students with advanced generalist theories, knowledge, values, and skills for evidence-based practice with couples and families. Students will develop, analyze, and apply advanced knowledge and skills in the assessment and application of interventions with couples and families.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This course provides students with advanced generalist knowledge, values, and skills for administrative social work practice. Students develop knowledge and skills in personnel management, grant writing, resource development, budgeting, leadership, and other aspects of administering effective social service agencies.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This course provides students with advanced generalist theories, knowledge, values, and skills for evidence-based practice with treatment groups. Students will develop, analyze, and apply advanced knowledge and skills in the assessment and application of interventions with treatment groups.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 5

Advanced Practicum and Seminar I provides students with the opportunity to integrate foundation and concentration social work theory and practice knowledge, values, and skills through direct practice with individual clients, families, groups, agencies, and communities.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

The purpose of Clinical Social Work Practice with Infants, Children, and Adolescents is designed for students who plan to work in a clinical setting with infants, children, and/or adolescents. The course prepares students to understand development, attachment, developmental stressors and trauma, developmental resiliency, biopsychosocial factors, and evidence-based social work interventions. Students will consider the intersections of development, attachment, stressors and trauma, and resources from a biopsychosocial framework to increase knowledge on how infants, children, and adolescents become identified at-risk and how these concerns can compromise development and what support and/or interventions contribute to developmental growth and change over time.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This course provides students with advanced generalist knowledge, values, and skills for both direct social work practice evaluation and program evaluation. Students develop and implement a capstone integrative evaluation project in conjunction with SOWK 675 Advanced Practicum and Seminar II.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 5

Advanced Practicum and Seminar II is a continuation of SOWK 665 Advanced Practicum and Seminar I. Students integrate foundation and concentration social work theory and practice knowledge, values, and skills through direct practice with individuals, families, groups, agencies, and communities.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-3

Under faculty mentorship, students may pursue in-depth library or field research on topics of their choice.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-4

The purpose of this course is to acquire advanced clinical practice knowledge and skills that can be integrated into current systems of mental/behavioral health practice. Emphasis is placed on contemporary evidence-based assessment and intervention practices, integrated critical analysis, and culturally responsive and reflective practice. Graduate degree in social work or other related discipline and admittance into the Post-Graduate Advanced Clinical Practice Training Series is required.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-4

Advanced Clinical Practice II is a continuation of Advanced Clinical Practice I.The purpose of this course is to acquire advanced clinical practice knowledge and skills that can be integrated into current systems of mental/behavioral health practice. Emphasis is placed on contemporary evidence-based assessment and intervention practices, integrated critical analysis, and culturally responsive and reflective practice. Graduate degree in social work or other related discipline, admittance to the Post-Graduate Advanced Clinical Practice Training Series.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 2

Individual research.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-10

Internship in approved social agency.

Prerequisites: none