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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Admission to Major & SOWK 441

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Students who declare social work as a major must apply for admission to the BSSW Program for the final 3 semesters. This occurs typically in the spring semester of their sophomore year or fall semester of their junior year.

Applications for the BSSW Major are DUE

  Wednesday, September 20,  2017   for admission for Spring 2018.

   Wednesday, February 7, 2018 for admission for Fall 2018.

Application and admission to the BSSW Major is required before students receive permission to register for SOWK 441: Introduction to Generalist Social Work Practice and complete the final 3 semesters of  the program which inlcudes the advanced 400 level courses in the BSSW Practice Sequence.

BSSW Application to the Major Advising Sessions

Presentations are made each semester in SOWK 310, SOWK 315 and SOWK 212 classes. We also schedule general information sessions. For more information, contact your social work advisor or the BSSW Program Director, Dr. Debra Gohagan, Email:

To begin the upper-division (required 400-level SOWK courses) of the social work major (or BSSW degree), you must complete an Application to the Major and have your faculty advisor review and sign it. These applications are reviewed by BSSW faculty. Students apply to the social work major when the student has:
  • Completed or have in progress University-wide General Education and Graduation Requirment courses (or will by the end of the semester in which you plan to apply).
  • Completed or have in progress the Social Work specific general education courses.
  • Completed or are in the process of completing the SOWK Foundation courses (SOWK courses at the 100, 200, and 300 levels).
  • Completed about 75 credits by the end of the semester in which the student applies.
  • Obtained a  cumulative or overall GPA of 2.8 or higher and a Social Work GPA of 2.8 or higher.
  • All social work required courses, including social work specific general education courses must be completed with a grade of C- or better. The exception to this rule is the statistics general education course from the BSSW required general education category- statistics. If this course is used to meet goal area 4 of the University's general education requirements, it must be completed with a grade of 'C' or better. 

Make an appointment with your advisor well in advance of the application deadline!

Application for admission forms to the BSSW Program are revised regularly Make sure yours reflects the current year.  As you complete these forms for us, please don't hesitate to ask BSSW faculty advisors questions. If you find errors/typos, confusing instructions, send an email to Debra Gohagan, BSSW Program Director, at We look forward to seeing your completed applications!  

Moving from "Pre-SOWK" to "SOWK Major"

When students express an interest in/declare the Social Work major/BSSW degree the Department Secretary assigns an advisor to them and changes their status in the records system to Social Work Major (essentially "Pre-SOWK Major"). Students who are working closely with their advisor will know when it is time to apply to the major, but it will also be on this website and mentioned in courses.

The materials below summarize the qualifications and provide the forms you will need to complete your application. Beginning Fall 2017, application for formal admission to the BSSW program (permission to complete the advanced curriculum) will be due by Wednesday, 4 p.m. in the 5th class week of each semester (unless otherwise posted). The deadlines are published on the "Important Dates" page of this website along with being announced in classes and on the posted department listserv. Click on this link for more information about subscribing to the Social Work Department LISTSERV !

The Undergraduate BSSW Student Handbook and the Admission Instruction packet below explains the process for applying to the major and summarizes the possible outcomes when students apply.  As a pre-professional major, the Department has a responsibility to clients, agencies, and the profession to ensure that our graduates practice as ethical and competent social workers. Thus, demonstration of mature and professional behavior is also considered by the BSSW faculty when making admission decisions.


  1. Down load and save the forms below and review them.
  2. Listen to an Admission/Application to the Social Work Major presentation in a class or attend an information meeting.
  3. Schedule a time to meet with and review the application process with your academic advisor and make sure you are at the right point to do the application.
  4. When you calculate your "GPA in the Major" be sure to include foundational supporting courses that are required but taken outside the Department as well as all courses you have completed within the Department. Also include those taken from other schools.
  5. Plan to meet with your advisor with a complete draft of your application at least 2-weeks before the Application is DUE!

Admission to Major/BSSW Degree Program Instructions & Forms

    BSSW Application Instructions

    [DOC] BSSW Application Form (221 KiB)

    Submit a Resume. This should not be more than 2 pages. You may wish to go to MSU, Mankato's Career Development Center website for instructions, templates, and samples. The Handbook for Job Search on their website also has a template [page 7] and social work sample resume [page 18-19]. If the links in this paragraph do not work in your browser, go to  and follow the links under the heading 'Resume' about midway down the page.) If you do not know how to develop a resume, make an appointment at the Career Development Center. It is NEVER to early to learn how to write a good resume and this is not the only time you have to submit one for the BSSW program. 

    [DOC] How to Calculate your Social Work GPA (27 KiB) (doc)

    All files above are currently in word/doc format. When you click on the link, the file will be ready to download and save to your computer! Make sure you have downloaded and saved all files. As this is an opportunity to put your best professional foot forward, please be thoughtful about how you complete and organize your application materials. 

    Read the Essay Scoring Rubric that faculty use to score your essays, BEFORE you write them