Master of Social Work / Traditional Track
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Program Details

The online Master of Social Work at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota prepares you for clinical practice. As a graduate, you’ll gain autonomy in your partnerships with clients, working directly with individuals, couples, families, and communities to diagnose mental health conditions, treat issues, and more. Help those who are struggling to change their behaviors and develop coping mechanisms to thrive in challenging situations.

Program Highlights

  • Coursework Is 100% Online. You can work full time and earn your degree when and where it’s best for you. Note that the fieldwork element of the program will be conducted in person.
  • No Experience Necessary. The 60-credit Traditional Track is offered to students without a Bachelor’s in Social Work (BSW) degree and provides the skills and competencies necessary to work in clinical practice.
  • Advanced Standing Track. Professionals with a BSW degree save time and money in this 30-credit track.
  • Strong Lasallian Values. We pursue excellence in teaching and learning, and personally respond to students’ intellectual, spiritual, and developmental needs, whatever they may be.
  • An Affordable Degree. Tuition for this valuable program is kept reasonable as part of our commitment to our Lasallian mission of serving our community, and teaching students to do the same.
  • Rigorous Practicum. Gain experience in direct practice in a safe environment where professional feedback helps develop your new skills.

Choose Your Path to a Career in Social Work

  • Traditional Track. This 60-credit track is offered to students without a BSW degree. You first complete foundational coursework, then move on to a clinical focus.
  • Advanced Standing Track. If you hold a BSW degree, you can save time and money by starting with clinical coursework immediately following enrollment in this 30-credit program.

Program Outcomes

  • 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
  • Inform policy and collaborate with macro social workers and policymakers
  • Assess, intervene, and evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Social Work Careers

The industry’s overall job-growth projection of 11 percent1 is more than double that of the national average, and some related titles are growing even faster. Below, you’ll find specific clinical social worker positions that you could qualify for:

  • Child, Family, & School Social Workers
    • 11% Job Growth1 | Mean Advertised Salary: $49,47011
  • Health Educators and Community Social Workers
    • 11% Job Growth2 | Mean Advertised Salary: $46,08022
  • Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors
    • 22% Job Growth3 | Mean Advertised Salary: $57,82033
  • Social & Community Service Managers
    • 13% Job Growth4 | Mean Advertised Salary: $65,32044


1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social Workers. Retreived from  

2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Health Educators and Community Health Workers. Retrievedfrom

3Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors.Retrieved from    

4Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social and Community Service Managers. Retreived from

*The Advanced Standing track carries certain admissions requirements in order to ensure our students have the best foundation for this advanced option. Applicants must have completed a BSW degree in the past 10 years (or make a commitment to take additional coursework) with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, among other requirements. Conditional admittance is available in certain circumstances. See the Advanced Standing track section of the admissions requirements page for more details.

Students must have graduated from a program accredited by the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE) to be eligible to pursue social work licensure. 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. At this time, the MSW program at SMU is currently in its third and final year of candidacy to become fully accredited. The final site visit will occur in October 2021 and a decision will be made regarding the MSW program’s CSWE accreditation by March 2022. For questions about how candidacy status impacts state licensure, please visit the Social Work licensure section of the SMUMN Professional Licensure page. For any additional questions, please contact the MSW Program Director, Mallory Knipe, at [email protected] or [email protected].

% Online

100% Online

School Accreditation & Licensing

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is accredited by:

Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Program Requirements & Restrictions

Minimum Education

Bachelor Degree

Recommended GPA

2.75 or above (4.0 scale)

Admission Tests

Proof of English Language Proficiency (International Students)

Application Requirements

Official College Transcript(s), Recommendation/Reference Letter(s), Statement of Purpose/Intent