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  • Course Delivery
  • Minimum Credits
  • Estimated Tuition
  • Duration
    1 Year

Program Overview

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's online Master of Social Work is an affordable program that prepares you to make a difference in clinical practice.

You'll learn to work in partnership with clients to help them achieve positive changes and thrive in challenging situations.

You'll work with faculty who have spent years in the field and can pass on their real-life experiences in direct practice. Plus, our curriculum is aligned to mandatory competencies established by the Council of Social Work Education*, so you'll receive a social work education of the highest quality.

Program Highlights

Both our 30-credit Advanced Standing track and our 60-credit Traditional track prepare you for direct practice as a social worker*. You'll graduate with the autonomy to treat people in your care and the ability to:

  • Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior
  • Employ diversity and difference in practice
  • Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice
  • Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice
  • Join in policy practice
  • Assess, intervene, and evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Career Impact With an MSW

MSW-prepared social workers have a promising future in the job market. According to 2018 Burning Glass findings, 71 percent of 26,691 recent job postings for social work titles requested a master's degree in social work.

The field of social work expects nearly triple the national job-growth rate, with 16-percent growth projected for 2016-20261. Some titles surpass that.

Additionally, you could take on a non-traditional role with your skills in social work: Insurance companies, financial corporations, non-profits and more are hiring social workers to head client care, employee motivation efforts, and other roles in which relationship development is key.

Specific Titles Include:

Clinical Social Worker*
16% Job Growth1 | Average National Mean Salary: $49,4701

Child, Family, and School Social Worker*
14% Job Growth2 | Advertised Mean Salary: $49,7602

Healthcare Social Worker*
20% Job Growth3 | Average National Mean Salary: $58,4703

Mental Health Counselor
19% Job Growth4 | Average National Mean Salary: $46,0504

Social and Community Service Managers
18% Job Growth5 | Average National Mean Salary: $65,3205

BLS career growth reported for 2016-2026 and the salary information is for 2018.
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social Workers. Retrieved from
2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Child, Family, and School Social Workers. Retrieved from
3Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Healthcare Social Workers. Retrieved from
4Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Mental Health Counselors. Retrieved from
5Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social and Community Service Managers. Retrieved from

*Students must have graduated from a CSWE-accredited program to be eligible to pursue social work licensure. At this time, Saint Mary's has been accepted into candidacy for the CSWE Accreditation, but it is not yet accredited. CSWE states that accreditation applies retroactively to program graduates once it is obtained, but students should check with their state social work board to verify that they will be eligible to apply for licensure in their state if they graduate from a program before it is accredited. Applicants for social work licensure must also meet additional requirements in every state and U.S. territory, including but not limited to additional training, coursework, and supervised clinical experiences. Requirements vary by state. It is the student's responsibility to verify licensing requirements with their state social work board. Please see the licensure page for helpful links and further details.

Course Information

"Clinical social workers are mental health professionals who bring a holistic perspective to work with individuals, groups, and communities. Clinical social workers use a person-in-environment approach to consider how the micro, mezzo, and macro systems interact to influence the client system's lived experience. All clinical work, including diagnosis and treatment, considers the biological, psychological, and social aspects of individual functioning as well as the cultural and spiritual aspects of the person, group, and community.

The Clinical Social Work program at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota places particular emphasis on the profession's call to act in solidarity with the community to address social injustice. The curriculum incorporates tools to identify and respond to individual and community needs related to the adverse effects of poverty and oppression on mental health and well-being. The MSW program will be in candidacy for accreditation with the Council on Social Work Education.

For more information and course descriptions, check out our course catalog.

Applicants must submit:

  1. Completed application form
  2. Non-refundable application fee
  3. Official transcripts posting the applicant’s completed Bachelor’s of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited program
  4. Other relevant official transcripts documenting potential transfer credits
  5. International transcripts must be evaluated by a university-accepted evaluator
  6. A reflective essay which includes a brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience, a description of the areas the applicant considers to be their strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities, and any personal information the applicant wishes to share. Essay should also address their undergraduate performance.
  7. Two recommendations that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and/or academic ability
  8. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience

Program is currently full for Fall 2019. New applicants are added to the wait list in order of completed application package.

To be admitted to the Saint Mary’s MSW program in the Advanced Standing track, a candidate must meet the following requirements:

Candidates must have earned a Bachelor’s of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited program, recognized through its International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Services, or covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work accreditors, within the last 10 academic years (for example, if a BSW was conferred in spring 2009, the student would need to enroll in and begin courses no later than spring 2019 in order to satisfy this requirement). 

If BSW was earned more than 10 academic years ago, students may be admitted as Advanced Standing, but are required to successfully complete four social work generalist courses before being admitted to the program: Generalist Practice I and II and Human Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE) I and II. If these courses are not available, an alternative will be developed with the student.

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for all undergraduate classes must have been earned.

For students who do not meet the GPA requirements, enrollment in the four generalist classes listed above with attainment of a “B” average or higher is required before registering for advanced clinical social work courses.

Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam.

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Key Dates

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Start Date
Fall Semester
Spring Semester
Summer Semester
Fall Semester

Tuition & Fees

Tuition: $800 Per Credit


Graduation fee:$190

The Saint Mary's Difference

The heart of Saint Mary's is its people — faculty, staff, and your fellow students — who become your companions and allies on your educational journey. Here, in an intense give-and-take setting, each of us discovers just how much we can learn. You'll find, in every one of our classrooms, a person-centered education focused on your growth, your potential — because we believe that everyone deserves the chance to make an impact, to change the world around them.

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