Department of Social Work

Why Choose Us?

Listen to what current students like about the program.

  • The UMD Department of Social Work offers an Advanced Generalist program that prepares students for a wide range of social work roles from therapist and case manager to community organizer and administrator. We are one of the only MSW programs in the nation that includes a special focus on American Indian social services. Specialized course work and field placements are also available in clinical and child welfare practice for students choosing to focus their coursework in these areas. Content on developing cultural competence is integrated across the curriculum.
  • We offer classes on Thursdays and Fridays.  Classes are occasionally offered on weekends and are optional for most students. Students are required to complete field placements in community settings during other days of the week.
  • An Advanced Standing option is available for students with a BSW degree allowing coursework and field placements to be completed in one calendar year.
  • Individuals interested in working in public/tribal child welfare are encouraged to apply to the Child Welfare Scholars Program to learn about scholarship information.
  • Admission applications are accepted once a year. On-line applications are submitted to the  University of Minnesota Graduate School and additional supplemental materials are to sent to the MSW program as detailed here: application to the UMD MSW program.
  • We appreciate your interest and are happy to provide further information. Please email or call 218-726-8497. To speak with the Director of Social Work Graduate Studies or arrange an appointment contact Anne Tellett at
  • The UMD M.S.W. program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Career Information - Social Work
Admission Information
Prerequisites for Admission
  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. The bachelor's degree should include a solid background in the liberal arts (courses in the arts, humanities, and behavioral and social sciences). Applicants should be knowledgeable about diverse cultures, social problems, social conditions, and the social, psychological, and biological determinants of human behavior.
  • Completion of at least 15 semester credits (or 24 quarter credits) in two or more social science disciplines, such as sociology, psychology, economics, anthropology or political science.
  • Strong academic preparation as demonstrated by undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. The Graduate School normal standard for admission is a minimal undergraduate GPA of 3.0. However, the MSW program is allowed to make a limited number of exceptions.
  • Potential to contribute to the social work profession.

Enrollment Prerequisites

Admitted applicants must complete a college-level course in biology with content on human anatomical and physiological development and a college-level course in statistics. A grade of "C" or "better" must be received for the course(s). Applicants can be admitted before completing the enrollment prerequisites, although not having completed the prerequisites does influence the review of your application.
  • Biology prerequisite must be completed prior to registering for the first semester in the MSW program.
  • The Statistics prerequisite must be completed prior to registering for the first research course.
  • Based on the written materials submitted with the application, some applicants may be admitted with the contingency that they work with a writing tutor or take a writing course when they begin their coursework.
  • The University of Minnesota Duluth requires all students who are placed for academic credit in a UMD department in which there is direct contact with minors or other vulnerable populations to complete and submit a background criminal check prior to beginning their field placement. This includes all MSW students. The Department of Human Resources at UMD will facilitate these checks.

Criteria Used by the Admissions Committee in Reviewing The M.S.W. Applications

  1. Academic potential for graduate study demonstrated through strong undergraduate academic performance. This potential is assessed through the review of the transcripts (with special attention to the last two years of study and/or study in the major field), formal writing sample, letters of recommendation, and explanation of GPA (if included).
  2. Professional preparation in a human service setting with preference for at least one year of experience. Greater weight is given to length of time served and direct service or client service management. Professional preparation is assessed through the resume, personal statement, and letters of recommendation, particularly those from a social service supervisor or manager. However, course credits are not awarded for non-academic or professional" life experience."
  3. Preparation for practice in a multicultural environment, including demonstrated sensitivity to issues of racial identity, ethnicity, national origin or culture, and a commitment to working with diverse populations, is assessed through the resume, personal statement, and letters of recommendation.
  4. Experience working with diverse populations is given special consideration and is assessed through the resume, personal statement, and letters of recommendation.
  5. Written communication skills include the ability to conceptualize ideas clearly and succinctly, to demonstrate critical thinking in written format, to organize and communicate ideas logically and to write using correct grammar and spelling. These skills are assessed through the personal statement, formal sample of writing, resume, and letters of recommendation.
  6. Congruence of applicant’s values and ethics with those held by the social work profession is assessed through the resume, personal statement, and letters of recommendation.
  7. Potential for leadership and advocacy in social and economic justice is assessed through the resume, personal statement, and letters of recommendation.

Tuition Information

Tuition costs vary from year to year. For the latest information, visit UMD ONE STOP Student Services website.
Graduate School information for International students
UMD International Student Services.

MSW Program Laptop Requirement

Effective May of 2012 all incoming MSW students will be required to have a laptop computer.

UMD Social Work Department

220 Bohannon Hall
1207 Ordean Court
Duluth, MN 55812

(218) 726-8497
1 (888) 534-9734

Did you find what you were looking for? YES NO

Choose appearance:
[ Desktop | Mobile friendly ]