FAST FACTS: Master of Social Work
Building on the academic excellence of our Bachelor of Social Work program, St. Scholastica's Master of Social Work (MSW) prepares students for practice in a variety of settings. The program features a focus on advanced clinical practice and provides a flexible, affordable path to an MSW degree. 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. This program is offered to those with or without a bachelor's degree in Social Work (Regular standing and Advanced standing track).
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 completion of an MSW program, prospective licensees must complete 200 hours of direct supervision and pass an ASWB exam. For more details, refer to Minnesota Social Work Licensure: A Handbook for Students (pdf) from the Minnesota Board of Social Work.
The job market for master's prepared social workers is strong, and clinical social workers are in high demand. Duluth, the North Shore and much of Greater Minnesota (excluding the Twin Cities) have been designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This means that the demand for mental health professionals greatly outweighs the number of practitioners in the area. It also means that those who practice in an area designated as an HPSA may be eligible for Federal loan forgiveness programs.
Graduate social workers are employed within a variety of clinical and non-clinical settings. These include:
This track is for students with bachelor's degrees from fields other than social work. The track includes one year of foundational coursework built around core professional competencies. This is followed by a second year within the program in an advanced concentration.
The Regular Standing track includes a minimum of 900 hours of supervised field practicum instruction.
This track, for students with a bachelor's degree in social work, includes an advanced concentration, focusing a student's studies on a particular area of interest within the field.
The Advanced Standing track includes a minimum of 450 hours of supervised field practicum instruction.
St. Scholastica has vast experience designing degree programs that are both rigorous and flexible enough to meet the needs of students with busy lives. Our MSW program blends weekly face-to-face classes that include seminars, small group activities, integrated labs and live lectures with web-based course delivery.
Because online learning will be such an integral part of this program, access to broadband Internet will be required.
Initially, all classes will be offered through our main campus in Duluth, but we hope to expand to our other campus locations in the near future.
"I really liked the closeness we had with our professors; they were accessible and I could get feedback from them, sit down in their office and have their time.
The field work was really important – it was hard at the time going through it, but to now look back and have had that experience with the supervision was really valuable."
– St. Scholastica BSW Graduate