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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 formal admission to the BSSW Program in order to complete their final 3 semesters of coursework. These 3 semesters includes the advanced SOWK 400+ level practice sequence courses (SOWK 441, 443, 446, 450, and 455).  

Applications for the BSSW Major DUE DATE has been rescheduled! 

NOW DUE: 12:00 noon, Monday, February 18, 2019 for the Fall 2019 cohort.

BSSW Application to the Major Information 

Presentations are made each semester in SOWK 310, SOWK 315 and SOWK 212 classes. For more information, contact your BSSW Program Faculty Advisor or the BSSW Program Director, Dr. Debra Gohagan, Email:

Application due dates are published on this website, announced in classes, and posted on the Department listserv. For more information about subscribing to the Social Work Department listserv, go to Social Work Department LISTSERV

Admission to the Major Criteria

To begin the upper-division (required 400-level SOWK courses: SOWK 441, 443, 446, 450, 455), students must complete an Application to the Major.  Students can apply to the social work major when they have (at the time of application):

  • GPAs at the time of application
    2.8 or higher – Cumulative (includes any transfer grades AND MSUM grades)
    2.8 or higher -- Social Work

  • Credits at time of application
    Students have earned 75 credits by the end of the semester in which they apply (or summer session if applying in spring semester for admission to the fall semester).

  • Required coursework to be completed 

  •  Students have completed or are will have completed all required courses by the end of the semester in which they submit their application (summer session if applying in spring semester for admission to the fall semester). 

    • University general education goal areas

    • BSSW Program specific -- general education courses with grades of ‘C-‘ or better in the following categories: Human Development/Lifespan; Biology; Psychology; Social, Economic & Political Perspectives; Values, Ethics, & Critical Thinking; Diversity & Social Justice A and B; Statistics;

      • See our  BSSW Program Curriculum Guide for more information about course options.

      • Exception: If you completed a statistics class to meet the University’s General Education Goal Area #4 requirement, the grade must be a ‘C’ or better.

    • BSSW Program Foundation courses (SOWK 212, SOWK 215/215W, SOWK 310/310W, & SOWK 315) and any other 'SOWK' courses that students may have completed with grades of ‘C-‘ or better. 

    • Potential for or demonstrated ability for pofessional and competent generalist social work practice: As a professional major and an accredited program, the BSSW Program has a responsibility to clients, agencies, communities, and the profession to ensure that our graduates engage in ethical and competent social work practice. Thus, demonstration of academic and professional behaviors, a commitment to the goals & values of the social work profession, and an awareness of the skills, talents or contributions they will make to the profession are also considered in admission decisions.

Admission Review and Scoring

 The BSSW Program has revised its admission documents and evaluation criteria. The new admissions documents, see links below,  provides student applicants with opportunity to:
1. Highlight reasons they believe they should be considered for the BSSW Program.
2. Develop or enhance their skills in completing professional applications.
3. Engage in professional as well as  academic advising with BSSW Program Advisors.
4. Provide the BSSW Program with an outside perspective on the applicant’s readiness for admission to the BSSW Program.

The BSSW Program is also implementing a new assessment/scoring system in Spring 2019. We will move from our current system which is based primarily on GPAs (24 points) and essay writing/application scores (25 points).  In Spring 2019, points will be assigned for a total of 55 points:  

  • Meeting admission criteria (+4 points) including your GPAs (+16 points)
  • Essay writing (+5points) and content application (+5 points for each essay) scores
  • Applicant's potential/contributions or demonstrated evidence to becoming a competent generalist social work practitioner (+5 points) and the reference form (+5 points). These points will also include an assessment of the professional organization and completion of your application documents (+5 points) (i.e. completeness, clarity, organization, and submission of all required documents).  

Application to Major Instructions & Forms for the BSSW Program

  1. Download the Application to the Major Overview & Instructions (word doc;1 page) and the Application to the Major Packet (word doc; 7 pages) to your desktop and save to your desktop. These files contain the required instructions, documents, and templates. Review EACH thoroughly.  
  2. Scoring Rubric Worksheet  (word doc; 1 page) and Essay Rubrics (2 pages; word doc) These documents are used by the BSSW Program faculty to review and score the components of your application in 3 categories: a) Academic Achievement & Preparation; b) Application of Social Work Knowledge; & c) Professionalism and Identification with the Profession. Download and review these forms as you complete your application documents. 
  3. Meet with your BSSW Program Advisor. Discuss your readiness to apply and any questions you have about the application.
  4. Schedule appointments, if needed, with Advising U in AH114 (get DARs reviewed, printed, signed),  and/or the Career Development Office (for assistance with writing your resume; take our template with you), and/or the Writing Support Center (for writing your essays).
  5. Complete application. 
  6. BEFORE printing, delete unnecessary instructions in documents. 
  7. Print. Put packet together.
  8. Arrange to get BSSW Program Advisor’s signature. 
  9. Submit to Marie Worrell, Social Work Office. TSC/N 358 by 4 p.m. Wednesday, February 13, 2019. 

The BSSW Program's NEW Application to the Major materials are linked in the text above. We are in process of converting to pdf fillable format. However, until that format is available, please use the word documents  linked in the above section. You may add lines, boxes, tables to documents as needed. 

Additional Resources

     GPA Calculator WorksheetSocial Work GPA Calculator Worksheet (interactive web link) and [DOC] SOWK GPA Instructions (38 KiB): Enter your Social Work courses, credits, and grades. Calculate and review with your BSSW Program Advisor. Include a copy in your application packet. If you have courses from other schools, make sure they are entered and grade is reflected. Include transcripts from prior schools in your application packet, if courses do not yet show on your MSU,M DARs.

    Cover Letter: A general cover letter IS NOT REQUIRED for the application to the major. This is a template for a formal cover letter and students can choose to include a cover letter in their application packet. 

    Resume. Students can make an appointment at MSU, Mankato's Career Development Center website for instructions, templates, and samples and assistance with writing a resume. 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. 


    All files  are 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 required files.

    The application to the major is a very important opportunity to put your best professional foot forward. Please be thoughtful about how you complete and organize your application materials.

    ALWAYS, keep a copy of all the documents you submit.

    You may need to add lines or tables/boxes to some of the documents, such as the Resume or the Course Plan. Please do so as needed. 

    As you complete these forms, please ask your BSSW  Program Advisor questions.

    If you find errors/typos, confusing instructions, send an email to Debra Gohagan, BSSW Program Director, at