Social Work


Southwest Minnesota State University’s Social Work Program offers a Bachelor of Science: Social Work degree (BSSW) in beginning generalist social work practice. A Bachelor of Social Work education combines liberal arts with professional social work foundation content to prepare to work effectively with individuals, families, small groups, communities, and organizations.

Where You Belong!


Through licensure, the State of Minnesota legally regulates baccalaureate social workers and requires minimum competency to protect the public and regulates the use of the social work title and practice. Students who graduate from an accredited, undergraduate social work program, such as Southwest’s, are eligible to apply to take the social work licensure exam.


The SMSU social work major is an accredited BSW program through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). To ensure professional quality, BSW programs must meet rigorous academic standards to gain and maintain accreditation from the CSWE. Students apply for admission to the Social Work Program in their sophomore or junior year and must meet formal admission requirements, which include completion of required courses and a minimum grade point average.


Co-curricular activities are available including the Student Social Work Association (SSWA) which sponsors speakers, field trips, social service projects and other activities. SSWA is a student organization based on the principles and practices of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the professional organization of social work practitioners. Students are encouraged to join NASW as a student member early in their academic career. The acclaimed Global Studies Program and other special projects provide additional opportunities for social work majors.


Students will have access to both email and the internet via SMSU’s wi-fi system and computer labs. The online computer system is available for library research.


The professional social worker must have a sound background in social sciences, including sociology, psychology, political science, economics, cultural studies, and history, as well as mathematics and biological sciences. BSW graduates are trained in assessment, interviewing, service planning, case management, crisis intervention, problem solving, program evaluation, community outreach, advocacy, and research.



Incoming students may be eligible for a number of academic and leadership scholarships through the Office of Admission. These scholarships are awarded based on a student’s past academic record including the ACT, class rank, GPA, and leadership potential.


Southwest Minnesota State’s social work major prepares students for graduate study and for positions in a number of practice settings such as public and private social service agencies, hospitals, nursing home/hospice programs, outpatient facilities, residential care facilities, courts/criminal justice programs, elementary/secondary schools, vocational rehabilitation programs, and psychiatric institutions. Social workers provide services in the following areas: children and youth, services to the aged, family services, group services, medical and health care, mental health, developmental disabilities, mental retardation, alcohol and substance abuse, corrections, criminal justice, school social work, employment-related services, public assistance/public welfare, and community organization and planning services.

  • Child & Family Social Work
  • Child Protection
  • School Social Work
  • Gerontological Social Work
  • Hospice & Palliative Care Social Workers
  • Mental Health Substance Abuse
  • Clinical Social Work...and many more!


A field practicum is an integral component of the BSW curriculum. BSW students must have a minimum of 440 supervised hours of field experience in a social service agency. Through their field practicum, BSW students refine their professional social work skills, and integrate classroom course content with on-the-job experience in service provision, outreach, networking, and resource development.


Social Work Program - Office

SS 103, Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State St.
Marshall, MN 56258


The Academic Commons is a study center located in IL 224. Students are invited to study, meet friends, and seek assistance with coursework.

Our Mission is to create enhanced opportunities for learning by bringing an array of student academic support services together in a central, visible, and academically-identified location to facilitate seamless access to services for SMSU students and education resources for the wider community.


  • Complete Application
  • $20 Non-refundable Application Fee
  • Official High School Transcript(s)
  • ACT or SAT Test Scores

Schedule Your Visit Today!


  • Rank in the upper half of graduating class
  • or
  • Score a composite of 21 or above on the ACT or 990 on the SAT

Last Modified: 3/1/18 4:50 PM