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Social Work

Department of Social Work

The social work profession is dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals, groups, and communities. It addresses a variety of human needs in the context of complex personal and social situations, and promotes the positive use of resources. Social work settings include rural, suburban, and urban communities in public or private social service agencies, such as county social service agencies, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, residential youth programs, domestic abuse and sexual assault programs, adult day care, hospice, chemical dependency agencies, mental health organizations, family counseling programs, correctional programs, adoption and foster care agencies, and community outreach and social justice programs.

The Social Work program emphasizes culturally responsive generalist social work practice and promotes an understanding of human interactions within the social environment. Content areas include social work values and ethics, diversity, promotion of social and economic justice, populations-at-risk, human behavior in the social environment, social welfare policy and services, social work practice, research, field placements, and an international perspective. Graduates of the program are prepared for entry-level social work practice and for graduate study.

The Social Work program offers a number of special activities and opportunities, including the following:

B.S.W. Child Welfare Project -- stipends
Chemical Dependency Certificate and Minor
Family Child Welfare Resource Center
Inter-University Centre, School of Social Work Theory and Practice, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Mexico Consortium -- Social Work in a Latin American Context
Social Work Program Field Expeditions

As a result of the Social Work programís accreditation by the Council of Social Work Education, graduates of the program are often eligible for advanced standing status in graduate social work programs AND are eligible to apply for social work licensure in Minnesota and other states. Successful application for social work licensure in Minnesota enables graduates to apply for school social work licensure in the state as well.

Chemical Dependency: The Social Work program offers both a minor and a certificate in Chemical Dependency. The 18-credit minor provides students with the opportunity to expand their knowledge in chemical dependency, but does not prepare students for educational eligibility for alcohol and Drug Counselor licensure (LADC) application. The certificate in Chemical Dependency requires a four-year degree, 270 hour classroom training, and an 880 hour internship required for LADC application.


Social Work (Minnesota Board of Social Work): An applicant must be a graduate of a Council of Social Work accredited program and pass the written licensure examination.

Minnesota Board of Social Work Licensure
2829 University Avenue SE, Suite 340
Minneapolis, MN 55414-3239
Toll free: 888-234-1320

School Social Work (Minnesota Board of Teaching): An applicant must have a bachelorís degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education accredited program, be licensed or eligible for licensure by the Minnesota Board of Social Work, and submit an application to the Board of Teaching for licensure in school social work. School social workers are required to be licensed by both the Minnesota Board of Social Work and the Board of Teaching.

Alcohol and Drug Counselor (Minnesota Health Department, Health Occupations Program): An applicant for Alcohol and Drug Counselor licensure (LADC) in Minnesota must have completed a four-year degree, 270 hours of classroom training, and an 880 hour internship in the field as well as pass written and oral licensure tests. (See Chemical Dependency Minor and Certificate sections for contact information.)

Career Directions

  • Chemical Dependency Treatment
  • Correctional Centers
  • Domestic Abuse Centers
  • Health Services
  • Long-Term Care
  • Mental Health Programs
  • Nonprofit Agencies
  • Public Welfare Agencies
  • Residential Facilities
  • School Social Work
  • Senior Centers
  • Social Justice Programs
  • Tribal Social Services
  • Youth Services
  • Also: Graduate Study