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All students wishing to major in social work are required to participate in the initial admission process and periodic review of their performance. This normally happens when students are enrolled in or have completed SOWK 2110 and / or 2120.

Individuals interested in the social work major should contact Dr. Cheryl A. Byers before proceeding with the Admissions process. 218-755-2836,

Credit for Life and Work Experience: The Department of Social Work does not give academic credit for life and work experience towards the major.


  1. To provide an opportunity for students to assess their knowledge, attitudes and skills.
  2. To provide a screening process that will generate information concerning the fit and preparedness of students to enter the Social Work profession.

Eligibility criteria for admission into the Social Work major effective fall 2014:

To be accepted into the social work major, students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Cumulative GPA of 2.50 is preferred. GPA between 2.25-2.50 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    • Transfer students will need to provide a copy of unofficial transcript from the school(s) previously attended. 
  2. Have a minimum 2.50 GPA in required Social Work courses completed to date
  3. All required courses that have a social work prefix (SOWK) must reflect a letter grade of C or better.
  4. Volunteer experience: Evidence that the student has extended themselves in their community in some way.
  5. Provision of evidence of psychological, behavioral, or physical well being if requested by the Department of Social Work.
  6. Complete the take home writing assignment.
  7. Complete the application for social work admission and submit along with:
    • Statement of interest
    • Transcript
    • Evidence of volunteer work and/or extending oneself in the community
    • References: one should be from your volunteer work or from someone who can talk about how and in what ways you have extended and/or you do extend yourself in the community.
  8. Schedule an interview with the Social Work faculty faculty.

Admission to the Department of Social Work and interviews normally occurs twice a year (fall and spring semesters)

During the admission process students will demonstrate:

  1. Beginning level understanding of, and a commitment to the values and ethics of the Social Work profession.
    • NASW Code of Ethics
    • Mn. Board of Social Work Code of Ethics
    • General professional standards of conduct
  2. Beginning level knowledge and understanding of:
    • Generalist social work practice
    • Ecosystems perspective
    • Strengths approach
    • Cultural sensitivity and responsiveness
    • Social work roles and functions
    • Intrapersonal adjustment to the degree that personal issues will not interfere with establishing and maintaining a professional helping relationship.
    • Interpersonal relationship skills and knowledge and appropriate application of those skills.
    • Writing skills reflecting clarity of thought and thought process; proper grammar; and organization of ideas and sentence structure.

Formal Admission Process Includes:

Student Responsibilities:

  1. Students enrolled in or have completed SOWK 2110 and 2120 will submit a completed application with accompanying statement, transcript (or DAR), and a 2.50 GPA in social work required courses.
  2. Submission of two references.
  3. Submission of a Statement of Interest
  4. Completion of the case scenario writing assignment reflecting beginning understanding and application of:
    • Generalist social work practice
    • Ecosystems perspective
    • Eco-map
    • Cultural sensitivity and responsiveness
    • Social work values and ethics
    • Strengths approach
    • Social work roles and functions
  5. Participation in an interview with a Social Work faculty member. Students should meet periodically with their advisor to discuss recommendations made during the admission process and subsequent action taken as a result. This may include:
    • Provision of evidence of psychological, behavioral, and / or physical well-being if requested
    • Consultation with the BSU Writing Center if requested

Social Work Faculty Responsibilities:

  1. Social Work faculty will evaluate the writing assignment and will schedule an interview with the student to give feedback.
  2. A copy of the application packet, writing assignment, and Interviewer(s) feedback will be kept in the student’s file.
  3. If there are concerns regarding the student meeting intrapersonal or interpersonal requirements:
    1. The student will be required to provide evidence of psychological, behavioral, and / or physical well-being.
    2. A follow-up interview with the Interviewer(s) will be scheduled.
  4. The Interviewer(s) will provide in writing a clear statement of recommendations to the student concerning acceptance, conditional acceptance, or non-acceptance into the Social Work major.
  5. The student’s Social Work advisor will meet with the student to discuss the Interviewer(s) recommendations.

Hearing and Appeals Process: Students can appeal decisions concerning conditional acceptance or non-acceptance into the Social Work major, along with decisions concerning retention and completion of the major. The following procedure should be used:

  • Written statement concerning appeal is submitted to the Department of Social Work Coordinator.
  • A meeting is established with the student and the Appeals Committee, an ad hoc committee established as needed to address student concerns. The Ad Hoc Appeals Committee functions similarly to the Department of Social Relations and Services Grievance Committee procedure. The Committee when convened will be made up of representatives from the Department of Social Relations and Services, Social Work program, and appropriate other University departments and programs.

Professional Expectations:

The Social Work Department faculty are committed to supporting and assisting students to address their behavioral issues. The goal is for students to function effectively in the classroom, community, and/or internship and to complete their Social Work degree and/or LADC certification coursework. Faculty will assist students as much as possible towards this end.

If behavior issue(s) arise during the course of completing a social work degree and/or Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) certification, a student may be required to do the following:

  1. Meet with their Academic Adviser, course instructor, and/or Field Director as needed.
  2. Be referred to and recommend completion of an assessment with a licensed professional.
  3. Create a contract and/or plan of action to address the behavior issue(s) in order to function effectively in classroom, community, and/or internship.

If a student chooses to not address the behavior issue(s) that is(are) negatively impacting appropriate and/or effective functioning, this may result in the student’s inability to complete the social work degree and/or LADC certification. The student’s continuation in a class, the Social Work Department, and/or LADC certification program may be reviewed.