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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Admission to Major & SOWK 441

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Applications for BSSW Major for Fall 2016 semester are DUE Februrary 15, 2016. 

Application and Admission to the BSSW Major is required before students can get permission to register for SOWK 441: Introduction to Generalist Social Work Practice and advanced 400 level courses in the BSSW Practice Sequence.

BSSW Application to the Major Advising Sessions

Presentations are being made in SOWK 310, SOWK 315 and SOWK 210-01 and 210-02 classes. We will be scheduling general information sessions on a monthly basis. For more information, contact your social work advisor or Dr. Debra Gohagan 

To begin the upper-division part of the social work major (BSSW degree), you must complete an Application to the Major and have your Advisor review and sign it. These applications are reviewed by BSSW faculty. This is usually done when the student has:

  • Completed your University-wide General Education and Graduation Requirment courses (or will by the end of the semester in which you plan to apply).
  • Completed the SOWK Introductory and Integrating courses (SOWK courses at the 100, 200, and 300 levels).
  • Completed about 75 credits by the end of the semester in which you plan to apply.
  • Obtained a  cumulative or overall and a Social Work GPA of 2.8 or higher.

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

2015 Application for Admission forms to the BSSW Program have been revised and are available now below. The related files are at  the bottom of this page. An email announcement is being sent to the Social Work Department Listserv to inform students of the posting of these forms.

The BSSW faculty made the following changes to our application forms.

1) We separated instructions from the content of the application. There is now a file with content which provides information about the admission process and gives instructions for how to complete the application.  Explanations of what the BSSW faculty look for and tips for completing the application are also in this file. READ this file first and very carefully. 

2) The  BSSW Application  is now primarily a fill in the blank or check list set of forms. The first 2 pages function as a cover sheet and checklist and must accompany your application. Applicants, beginning Spring 2016, are required to submit a resume to provide provide information about their prior work, volunteer, organization involvement, or training/workshops and leadership and advocacy activities. Links to MSU,M's Career Development information on how to complete a resume is included in the Instruction Packet and below. Students also complete a section asking for curriculum and academic progress and course plans. The Academic and Professional Responsibilities Contract is included in the application also. 

3) The final form is your Academic and Professional Statement Essays (which are also in the Application Instruction packet referred to in item #1 above).  Essay A asks you to address your academic readiness. Essay B asks you to define social work and apply concepts to a specific field of practice.  Essay C's primary focus is values, diversity, social justice & advocacy, and privilege.

As you complete these forms for us, please don't hesitate to ask BSSW faculty 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 very soon!  

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

When students express an interest in the Social Work major/BSSW degree the Department Secretary will assign an advisor to them and change their status in the records system to Social Work Major (used to be referred to as Pre-SOWK). Students who are working closely with their advisor will know when it is time for them to apply to the major. The materials below summarize the qualifications and provide the forms you will need to complete your application. Beginning Fall 2016, application for formal admission to the BSSW program (permission to complete the advanced curriculum) will be due by Friday, 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.

Also see the Undergraduate BSSW Student Handbook which explains the process in detail and summarizes the possible outcomes when students apply.  As a professional major the Department has a responsibility to clients, agencies, and the profession to ensure that our graduates are able to practice as competent social workers. Thus, demonstration of mature and professional behavior is also considered when looking at admissions.


  • 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 in the Social Work Department.
  • See "Steps to Apply for Social Work Major" and the "BSSW Policy for Reviewing Applications to the Major"
  • Plan to meet with your advisor with a draft of your application at least 2-weeks before the Application is DUE!

Admission to Social Work Major/BSSW Degree Program Instructions & Forms : 

    BSSW Application Instructions (doc). (12.21.15 update --The instruction packet is being edited for clarity and organization. Please use this one until the final edits are completed. )

    [DOC] BSSW Application (232 KiB)  (doc).  (12.21.15 update-- This employment/volunteer 'resume' section of this application was removed in this version. Howevever, the BSSW program will accept the Fall 2015 version of the BSSW Application for Spring 2016 for those who have already completed that version. See info below for how to complete and submit a formal resume.

    Submit a Resume (12.21.15 update -- Should not be more than 2 pages. Go to MSU, Mankato's Career Development Center website for instructions, templates, and samples. The Handbook for Job Search on this 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 complete 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).

     BSSW Essay Rubric (doc). (12.21.15 update -- Use this rubric to help you write your essays. Faculty score your essays using this rubric.)  

    All files above are currently in word/doc format at this time. 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.