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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Social Work Major

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The Bachelor of Science Social Work (BSSW) professional curriculum is highly structured at the upperdivision and requires several supporting, foundational, and intermediate courses before you can apply into the major. Use this section as a planning guide, but please work with your advisor to ensure that you are on the right track toward graduation. If you don't have an advisor in Social Work yet, see the link "Finding an Advisor" in the Tips section.

For assistance with general education requirements and to make you a more informed student as you plan your academic path, go to our "Advising U" website.

CONTACT: Dr. Debra Gohagan if you have questions. or 507-389-1699.

Downloadable and Printable Curriculum Guides can be found at the bottom of this page.

The BSSW degree is preparation for beginning-level professional social work practice. The program has been accredited for baccalaureate level education by Council on Social Work Education since 1974. This major is also excellent preparation for graduate work in social work and related fields. This accredited major meets one of the requirements for social work licensure, which is required to practice social work in most settings in MN. Admission to Major is granted by the department generally in the first semester of a student's junior year. Criteria for formal admission to the major are available from the social work faculty, as is information about course sequencing. Admission to the major requires a 2.8 overall GPA and in all required supporting and foundation courses for the degree. Students should plan to work closely with their social work advisor.

Descriptions of courses listed below are available on the Undergraduate Catalog page.

In order to graduate from MSU Mankato, you need to complete a minimum of 120 credits (if graduating under catalog/bulletin 2011-2012 to present)  or 128 credits  (if graduating under catalog/bulletin 2010-2011 or earlier) including General Education requirements, Writing Intensive requirement, and Diverse Cultures requirement. The following ONLY pertains to requirements for the BSSW Degree.

Required General Education and Supporting Courses (2012-13 Bulletin or later)

The following course list applies to all BSSW students who begin their study at MSU Mankato in the Fall of 2012 or later.

Human Development Course - Take the following course:

  • KSP 235 (3) Human Development  (can substitute FCS 301 or Psych 343 for 2017-2108 academic year)

Human Diversity (List A) - Take one course from list A (if offered by respective program):

  • ANTH 230 (4) People and Cultures of the World
  • ANTH 240 (4) Language and Culture
  • ENG 211W (4) Perspectives in Literature and Human Diversity
  • ETHN 100 (3) American Racial Minorities
  • ETHN 101 (3) Intro. Multicultureal and Ethnic Studies
  • HUM 281W (4) Human Diversity and Humanities
  • KSP 220W (3) Human Relations in Multicultural Society
  • PHIL 115W (3) Philosophy of Race, Class, and Gender
  • PHIL 205W (3) Culture, Identity, and Diversity

Human Diversity (List B) - Take one course from list B (if offered by respective program):

  • AIS 101 (3) Intro. to American Indian Studies
  • AIS 201W (3) Oral Traditions
  • AIS 230 (3) American Indians of Minnesota
  • AIS 240W (3) American Indian Women
  • CDIS 290 (3) Introduction to Communication Disorders
  • ETHN 150 (3) Multicultural/ethnic Experience
  • ETHN 201W (3) Perspectives on African Americans
  • ETHN 203W (3) Perspectives on Asian Americans
  • ETHN 204W (3) Perspectives on Latinos/Hispanics
  • GWS 110W (4) Introduction to Gender
  • GWS 220W (4) Global Perspectives on Women and Change
  • GWS 225W (4) Introduction to LGBT Studies
  • REHB 110W (3) Sensitivity to Diversity

Human Biology Course - Take one of the following:

  • BIOL 100 (4) Our Natural World (Lab Science)
  • BIOL 102 (3) Biology of Women (NOT Lab Science)

Statistics - Take one of the following:

  • ECON 207 (4) Business Statistics
  • SOC 202 (3) Introductory Social Statistics
  • STAT 154 (3) Elementary Statistics
  • PSYCH 201 (Not a GE Course)
  • HLTH 475 (Not a GE Course)

Sociological, Economic, and Political Perspectives - Take two courses from this list, each from different departments:

  • SOC 101 (3) Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC 150 (3) Social Problems
  • URBS 150 (3) Sustainable Communities
  • ECON 100 (3) Introduction to US Economy
  • ECON 201 (3) Macroeconomics
  • ECON 202 (3) Microeconomics
  • POL 101 (3) Introduction to Public Life
  • POL 104 (3) Understanding the US Constitution
  • POL 106 (3) Politics in the World Community
  • POL 111 (3) US Government

Values, Ethics and Critical Thinking - Take one course from this list:

  • ENG 213W (4) Perspectives in Ethics and Civil Responsibility
  • PHIL 110 (3) Logical and Critical Thinking
  • PHIL 120W (3) Introduction to Ethics
  • PHIL 222W (3) Medical Ethics
  • PHIL 240W (3) Law, Justice and Society

Social Work Courses Required for BSSW Major (Effective Fall 2014)

Changes effective in the 2014-2015 Bulletin are reflected in new course numbers below.

Social Work Foundation Courses

These courses should be taken along with General Education requirements during first two years of study at MSU Mankato. (New course numbers appear to the right.)

  • SOWK 180W (4) OR SOWK 190W (3) Social Welfare Services 
  • SOWK 212 (4) OR SOWK 210 (3) Introduction to Social Work  

The following courses are generally taken in the first term of your junior year and in the semester when you Apply to the BSSW Major.

Application and permission for SOWK 315 (or 312 or equivalent course completed at another university) Jr. Field Experience should be turned in the semester prior to registering for this course. NOTE: Number of credits for each course appear in parentheses (3) behind course number.

  • SOWK 310 (4) OR SOWK 305 (3) Human Behavior in Social Environment
  • SOWK 315 (4) OR SOWK 312 (5) Junior Field Experience

Social Work Policy & Research Courses

Take these courses AFTER you have been admitted to the major in your junior or senior year.  

  • SOWK 410 (4) OR SOWK 412 (3) Social Welfare Issues and Policies [NOTE: Take with SOWK 441 Practice I  & a Social Work Elective]
  • SOWK 435 (4) OR SOWK 469 (3) Applied Social Work Research [NOTE: Take with SOWK 443 Practice II & SOWK 446  (old SOWK 445) Practice III]

Social Work Practice & Practicum Sequence

Students must apply and be accepted into the BSSW Major through a formal application process in order to enroll in the courses in the practice skills and practicum sequence. This application is done the semester before students plan to take SOWK 441 Practice I. NOTE: You CAN NOT register for these courses without formal admission to major and permission which is required for each course for each semester.

  • SOWK 441 (4) Introduction to Social Work Generalist Practice
  • SOWK 443 (4) Social Work Counseling with Individuals, Groups, and Families 
  • SOWK 446 (4) Social Work with Organizations and Communities 
  • SOWK 450 (4) Integrative Seminar 
  • SOWK 455 (8) Social Work Practicum [NOTE: This course requires minimum 440 hours in social work field education setting under supervision of a social worker.]

SOWK Electives (3 credits):

Majors must take a minimum 1 elective course of 3 credits at the 400-level. These are upper division courses and should only be taken by juniors and seniors. They may be taken by students in the Social Welfare Minor and in other majors as well. Electives are offered on a rotating basis in Fall and Spring semesters. Check with your BSSW Program Faculty Advisor to determine which electives are offered in Fall and/or Spring semesters.  

  • SOWK 255 - Global Response to Human Need (3)
  • SOWK 415 – Child and Family Welfare Services (3)
  • SOWK 417 -- Social Work Comorbidity of Mental Health and Substance Abuse (3)
  • SOWK 419 – Social Work and Aging (3)
  • SOWK 422 – Social Work and Chemical Dependency (3)
  • SOWK 425 – Social Work in Health Care Settings (3)
  • SOWK 427 – Social Work and Domestic Violence (3)
  • SOWK 430 – Social Work in the School Setting (3)
  • SOWK 432 – Social Work and Disabilities (3)

Required Minor: None

 Printable Curriculum Guides and Worksheets

  1. [DOC] BSSW  New and Transfer Student Advising Form for new curriculum (53 KiB).