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Advocate for others with your Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree

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FAST FACTS: Master of Social Work (MSW)

This CSWE-accredited MSW program allows students with or without a Bachelor of Social Work to prepare for careers that make a difference. Our clinically-focused program features:

  • A limited residency requirement, supplemented with an initial intensive summer experience, a weekly class and small group activities
  • A flexible, hybrid learning environment which couples on-campus and online components
  • Efficient MSW completion through an Advanced Standing track, which helps students with a bachelor's degree in social work complete their MSW in as little as a year (38 credits vs. 62 Regular Standing credits)

Tuition: $695/credit*

* Tuition rates are for the 2020-21 academic year. Additional fees and costs for course materials may apply. Total program cost and completion time varies depending on transfer credits and individual program plans. Tuition rates are subject to change.

Build a meaningful career by earning your master’s degree in social work  

Your social work career can impact individuals, families, communities and society as a whole. By earning your MSW at The College of St. Scholastica, you join a community of students who are committed to social work values and eager to advocate for social change.

Building on the academic excellence of our Bachelor of Arts in Social Work program, our Master of Social Work (MSW) program prepares graduates to address individual needs in advanced clinical practice — equipping them with skills for influencing social policy. Our curriculum emphasizes the skills of advanced clinical practice, including assessment and diagnosis, evidence-based intervention and treatment, group dynamics and how social policy and social justice issues affect the practice of social work. You’ll graduate with the experience of a rigorous program that readies you for the challenges of this rewarding field.

Program format and location

At The College of St. Scholastica, we design rigorous degree programs that are flexible enough to meet the needs of your busy life.

To that end, we have created a hybrid MSW program that blends on-campus and online courses, integrating weekly face-to-face classes which includes seminars, small group activities, labs and live lectures with web-based course delivery. You can pursue your degree in a flexible format without compromising the standards needed for Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) licensure.

Please note: because online learning is an integral part of this program, access to broadband internet is required in order to complete coursework.

LICSW licensure

The College of St. Scholastica's MSW program meets the Minnesota licensure standards which require LICSW candidates to document 360 clock hours (24 credits) in six clinical knowledge areas.

In addition to the completion of an MSW program, prospective licensees must complete 4,000 hours of practice. Of those hours, 1,800 are clinical and 200 are supervised. You’ll also need to pass an Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exam.

Do you have questions about licensure, degree requirements or our program? Take a moment to review The College of St. Scholastica’s MSW admissions information.

Program options

Regular Standing Track

Length: 2 years (62 credits). Cohort begins in September of each year.

This track is for students with bachelor's degrees from fields other than social work. The first year is built around foundational coursework, focusing on core professional competencies. The second year in the program provides an advanced concentration.

The regular standing track includes a minimum of 900 hours of supervised field practicum instruction. 

Advanced Standing Track

Length: 1 year (38 credits). Cohort begins in May of each year.

This track is for students with a bachelor's degree in social work. It includes an advanced concentration and focuses each student’s studies on their particular area of interest within the field.

The advanced standing track includes a minimum of 450 hours of supervised field practicum instruction.

Career opportunities

More than ever, social workers are taking on a greater role in activism, social justice and social change — leading higher education professionals from across the country to argue that the master’s in social work is becoming the new law degree.

As such, the job market is strong for MSWs and clinical social workers are in high demand. Duluth, the North Shore and much of greater Minnesota (excluding the Twin Cities) are designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This means the demand for mental health professionals greatly outweighs the number of practitioners in the area. It also means those who practice in an area designated as an HPSA may be eligible for federal or state loan forgiveness programs.

Prepare for advanced clinical practice

By pursuing your master’s degree in social work at The College of St. Scholastica, you’ll be prepared to enter an in-demand field with opportunities to practice in a variety of clinical and non-clinical settings, including community mental health centers, hospitals and clinics, state and local government, child welfare agencies and more.

Be a leader for social change and use your career to advocate for others. Request more information about our MSW program or apply now

Next Steps...

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Info Sessions

  • Potrait of Corrie Ehrbright

    "I entered the MSW program because I felt called to be a master social worker. I left with a better sense of self which gave me the opportunity to visualize what I can contribute to my community. I didn’t learn how to be a more authentic person, I learned how to be a more authentic human being."

    – Corrie Ehrbright, MSW, LICSW

  • Portrait of Jack Lee

    "As a veteran, three requirements were important to me attending college for my MSW: a safe environment, sense of belonging, and being heard without judgment. St. Scholastica’s sisters, faculty and staff provided these on the first day."

    – Jack Lee, MSW, '18

  • Potrait of Eileen R. Huggins

    "The MSW program incorporates relevant theory work, which professors successfully apply to real world issues, while integrating necessary skills that are needed to prepare us to be effective clinicians in our field. What was especially useful was the emphasis on trauma-informed practices, since that has been emerging in behavioral health care."

    – Eileen R. Huggins, MSW, '17