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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. This occurs typically in fall semester of their junior year, or for some students, in the spring semester of their sophomore year.

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.

The application to the major due dates are published on this page, announced in classes, and posted on the Department listserv. [NOTE: For more information about subscribing to the listserv, go to Social Work Department LISTSERV ]

Applications for the BSSW Major are DUE

Fall Semester: Thursday, September 27, 2018 for Spring 2019 cohort.

Spring Semester: Wednesday, February 13 2019 Fall 2019 cohort.

BSSW Application to the Major Information Sessions

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 listserv, go to Social Work Department LISTSERV

Admission to the Major Criteria

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 will complete by the end of the semester in which you plan to apply, ALL University-wide General Education and Graduation Requirement courses.

  • Completed or will have completed by the end of the semester in which you plan to apply, ALL Social Work specific general education courses.

  • Completed or are in the process of completing ALL SOWK Foundation courses (SOWK courses at the 100, 200, and 300 levels).

  • Completed 75 credits by the end of the semester in which the student applies. For spring applications, end of semester refers to summer sessions, if you plan to take courses.

  • Obtained a cumulative 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. [NOTE: 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. ]

  • As a professional major and an accredited program, the BSSW Program 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.

In addition to using GPAs and scores on your essays to assist in admission decision making, faculty reviewers of your applications will assign points for (beginning Spring 2018):

  • Having 75 or better credits at end of semester applying ( 0 = no; 1 = yes)
  • Having completed or in process of completing all Social Work Program required courses (up to 2 points)
  • Professional presentation -- completeness, clarity, organization and submission of all required documents; demonstrated ability to meet academic responsibilities (up to 5 points).

Welcome to the Major Meeting

The BSSW Program schedules a Welcome to the Major meeting, usually the 3rd weeks of November and April for about 1.5 to 2 hours. All newly admitted students are expected to attend this meeting. Dates for Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 are still to be determined. 

Complete the Application to the Major

  1. Download and save the forms below. Review them. Start to fill them out and collect information.
  2. Listen to an Admission/Application to the Social Work Major presentation in a class.
  3. Schedule a meeting with Career Development Center early in the semester to review or develop your resume. 
  4. Schedule an appointment in the first 1-2 weeks of classes with your BSSW Faculty Advisor to review the application process and to make sure you are ready to apply for the major.
  5. Schedule a final appointment with your BSSW Faculty Advisor to review your complete application at least 1-2 weeks before the application due date and to get their signature. 

Application to Major (BSSW Program) Instructions & Forms

The BSSW Program's Application to the Major materials below summarize the admission and application process and provides the forms you will need to complete your application. The Admission Instructions packet below explains the process for applying to the major and summarizes the possible outcomes when students apply.

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

    BSSW Application Instructions (doc)

    [DOC] BSSW Application Form (221 KiB) (doc)

    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. 

    Social Work GPA Calculator Worksheet (interactive web link) and [DOC] SOWK GPA Instructions (38 KiB): Enter your Social Work courses, credits, grades, calculate, review with your BSSW Program Faculty Advisor and include 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, if courses do not yet show on your MSU,M DARs.

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

     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. 

    As you complete these forms for us, please don't hesitate to ask your BSSW  Program Faculty Advisor questions. If you find errors/typos, confusing instructions, send an email to Debra Gohagan, BSSW Program Director, at