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Updated 2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog

PDF 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
  • Alcohol and Drug Counselor certification
    Program Report
  • Chemical Dependency Minor
  • Mexico Consortium -- Social Work in a Latin American Context
  • Social Work Program Field Expeditions

As a result of the Social Work program’s 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 the Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor certification. 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 bachelor’s 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: in-patient, out-patient, half-way houses, prevention
Community nonprofit organizations: youth, families, women, ethnic groups, elderly
County and Tribal Human Services: child welfare, adults
Criminal Justice: probation, juvenile centers, truancy intervention
Disabled: advocacy, counseling, case management
Elderly: nursing homes, adult day centers, senior centers
Macro Practice: Social justice and social action programs
Medical: hospitals, hospice, clinics, long term care
Mental health centers: in-home, counseling, case management
Schools: special education, chemical dependency, mental health counseling
Also: Graduate Study


Recommended High School Courses
Human Development
Social Science
Health Careers