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Bachelor of Social Work

  • Delivery: 
    Partially Online
  • Cost: 
    $457.54 per credit (MN resident); $624.70 per credit (nonresident)
  • Total credits: 
    120
  • Credential: 
    Undergraduate Degree
  • Admission GPA: 
    2.5
  • Application deadlines: 
    February 25 (current UMD students only); July 15 (final)
  • Campus: 
    Duluth
  • College: 
    College of Education and Human Service Professions

Our generalist Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program prepares graduates to work in a variety of areas, including crisis counseling, substance abuse/mental health, child welfare, school social work, and community level practice. We provide a rigorous education based on the knowledge, values, and skills of social work, grounded in the profession's history, purpose, and philosophy. Our program has a special focus on working with American Indians communities, and all of our courses emphasize cultural competence and social justice. 

Program Format

We only accept 30 students each year, allowing our students to get to know each other, as well as get to know the faculty. Early application is recommended.

Our program is partially online, meaning that our courses meet seven times each semester in person with the remaining coursework completed online. In-person class meetings focus on active learning and application of material, while allowing for relationships to form among students and faculty. Once admitted to our program, it takes two years of full-time study to complete.

Sample Courses

This degree requires 120 total credits, with 79 of those within the major. Here is a sampling of courses you might take:

  • PSY 3020 Statistical Methods (4 cr)
  • SW 1619 Race, Class, and Gender in the United States (3 cr)
  • SW 4111 Introduction to Individual, Family and Group Practice (3 cr)
  • SW 4112 Organization and Community Practice (3 cr)
  • SW 4201 Social Welfare Policy (3 cr)

For more information, visit the online University catalog.

Career Outlook

Social workers help individuals and families find solutions to life’s challenges, bring communities together, and advance policy changes that promote human well-being.  A career in social work is for people with a passion for advocacy and social justice.

Read more about the current and future state of the field:

2014−15 Alumni Profiles

  • Jessica Unkelhauser, ARMHS worker, Fond du Lac Behavioral Health Services. She plans to pursue her clinical license and further her practice in child welfare and mental health fields.
  • Sheng Xiong, career counselor, Goodwill Easter Seals in St. Paul working with clients through the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP).
  • Courtney Rauschenbach, child protection social worker, Bayfield County Human Services. She plans to continue her work related to trauma-informed practice with families and children.
  • Ariane Norrgard, mental health counselor, Minnoayawin Clinic. She will continue her research in climate change and social work, along with work as a social change agent for her community through the arts.
  • Lexi Generous, violence intervention and prevention coordinator, the College of St. Scholastica. She plans to become a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker.
  • Sarah Markert, social worker, Beltrami County Health and Human Services in Child Protection. She is interested in adoption work and also teaching social work in the future.
  • Crystal Mullen, licensed alcohol and drug counselor, Haven Chemical Health Systems in Cloquet, MN. She plans to go into clinical work and pursue her LICSW.
  • Karly Katchmark, advanced generalist, Kindred Family Focus working with adoption, licensing, and case management. She plans to continue working within the child welfare sector.
  • Allan Lamb, ethnographer, Essentia Institute of Rural Health, exploring the nature of team-based care and patient involvement in ICU settings at Essentia Health. Allan will also be exploring clinical social work opportunities within the Duluth area.

To read more alumni profiles, visit the program website.

Professional Licensing Boards

Requirements for licensure vary from state to state. Check with the appropriate licensing body in the state where you intend to practice.