Minnesota Social Work Programs and Degrees Guide

Minnesota social work programs are primarily located in the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. In Minnesota, you must have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) to be employed in generalist social work or an accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) to practice advanced generalist or clinical social work. Currently, no 100% online social work degree programs are available in the state, though students may be able to meet licensing requirements by attending online programs offered by schools in neighboring states.

Quick Facts

  • 18 schools offering social work programs in Minnesota are in our database (see below)
  • Of the social work schools in Minnesota, 1 offers associate’s degrees or certificates, 16 offer bachelor’s degrees, and 8 offer a master’s or advanced degree1
  • 1 school ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 20182
  • 6 schools ranked in US News Best Graduate Social Work Programs in 20183
  • No schools ranked in Social Work Guide’s Top Online MSW Programs in 20184
  • Across 16 schools, 24 bachelor’s and master’s social work degree programs in Minnesota are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)5

Top-Ranked Schools with Social Work Programs in Minnesota

Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*

  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (#23 in-state, #10 out-of-state)

*Institution-wide ranking.

US News Best Graduate Social Work Programs 2018

  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (#50 tie)
  • St. Catherine University / University of St. Thomas Collaborative (#72 tie)
  • University of Minnesota-Duluth (#88 tie)
  • Minnesota State University-Mankato (#174 tie)
  • Augsburg University (#201 tie)
  • St. Cloud State University (#220 tie)

Schools with Social Work Programs Accredited by the CSWE

  • Augsburg University
  • Bemidji State University
  • Bethel University
  • College of Saint Scholastica
  • Concordia College
  • Metropolitan State University
  • Minnesota State University-Mankato
  • Minnesota State University-Moorhead
  • North Central University
  • Southwest Minnesota State University
  • St. Catherine University / University of Saint Thomas Collaborative
  • St. Cloud State University
  • St. Olaf College
  • University of Minnesota-Duluth
  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • Winona State University

Schools in Minnesota with Social Work Degree Programs

BSW and Other Undergraduate Programs

Bethel University

Located in St. Paul, Bethel University is a private Christian institution. The CSWE-accredited BSW program curriculum at Bethel University’s Department of Social Work is based on Christian and social justice principles and values. Students must complete courses in social science, biology, and human behavior, as well as social work classes in policy, research, and practice. The program includes two field education placements in local social service organizations. Previous placements have been with organizations such as St. Paul public schools, Minneapolis Veterans Administration, Anoka County Probation, and the Salvation Army. Candidates interested in international social work may find the university’s international course offerings of interest. The university has formal exchange programs available to social work students in Guatemala, Mexico, Uganda, India, and England.

College of St. Scholastica

US News & World Report ranked College of St. Scholastica #33 among regional universities in the Midwest in 2016. St. Scholastica’s Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) is accredited by the CSWE and is primarily completed through traditional on-campus study, although many courses are offered online as well. The curriculum is based in liberal arts and social work core courses that prepare students for generalist practice. Courses cover topics such as human behavior, social work with individuals, interventions with groups, and American social welfare policies. The program’s field education component includes two placements: Students complete 120-280 hours of field education in the junior year and an additional 400-560 hours of field education at a second placement in the senior year. The university also offers a CSWE-accredited MSW degree.

MSW and Other Graduate Programs

University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota (UM)-Twin Cities campus offers a CSWE-accredited MSW degree and a PhD in social work. The UM-Twin Cities campus was tied for #33 among all social work grad schools by US News & World Report in 2016. UMN’s School of Social Work offers an MSW program with four specializations: clinical mental health, community practice, children and families, and health/disability/aging. The program is two years in length for students who do not hold a CSWE-accredited BSW completed in the previous seven years, or one year in length for those that do. In the first year, students complete 420 hours of field education and in the second year an additional 600 hours of field education. Students can choose a field education placement in the Twin Cities region or in neighboring cities or states. Dual degrees are also possible in law, urban planning, and public health. The school has many research centers where students can get involved in innovative research and special projects including child welfare, restorative justice, and violence and abuse.

Augsburg College

Augsburg College is a private institution associated with the Lutheran Church and located in Minneapolis. It was ranked #20 in 2016 among regional universities in the Midwest by US News & World Report. In the school’s CSWE-accredited MSW program within the Social Work Department, students can choose either the Multicultural Clinical Practice or Multicultural Macro Practice concentration; all students complete both a field placement and a senior research project in this area to develop advanced practice skills. A diverse range of field placements is available in all areas of social work practice in urban and rural regions of the state. The college also offers occasional international seminars; past seminars have been held in South Africa, China, Mexico, and India. Friday evening and Saturday classes for select courses are held every other week to meet the needs of mature students. It is also possible to complete a dual degree in social work and either theology or business.

Minnesota State University

Minnesota State University, Mankato offers a Master of Social Work degree program with an advanced generalist emphasis that prepares students to make contributions in multiple areas of social work. The program is full-time, with most courses held on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays over the course of one to two years, depending on the student’s admissions status. Select courses are hybrid, with occasional sessions held online rather than in the classroom. Traditional standing students must complete 59 credit hours, while students admitted under advanced standing must complete 34 credit hours. In addition to field practicum, MSW candidates complete a Capstone Project during the concentration year that combines classroom and experiential study. Scholarships and stipends from the Department of Social Work are available to qualifying students.

St. Cloud State University

St. Cloud State University’s Master of Social Work focuses on advanced study within the context of the Department of Social Work’s concentrations on anti-oppression, race, class, and gender. The MSW aims to prepare students to become advanced generalist practitioners comfortable with various social work theories and practices. The program is completed through full-time study, though many courses are scheduled during the late afternoon and evening hours to help accommodate those who are employed. For most students, field experience is gained through 300 hours of field work in the foundation year and 600 hours of field work in the concentration year. Two social work-focused student organizations, The Social Work Association of St. Cloud State University and The MSW Organization, are open to MSW students. St. Cloud State University’s MSW program is accredited by the CSWE.

Accreditation Information for Minnesota Social Work Schools

School Name Graduation Rate1 Transfer-Out Rate1 Associate’s SW Program Bachelor’s SW Program Graduate SW Program CSWE Accred.5 US News Best Social Work Grad Schools Ranking3 Net Price*1
Augsburg University 63% N/A No Yes Yes Yes #201 tie $18,460
Bemidji State University 46% 35% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $13,488
Bethel University 74% N/A No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $26,624
College of Saint Scholastica 61% N/A No Yes Yes Yes Not Ranked $22,124
Concordia College at Moorhead 72% N/A No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $22,827
Metropolitan State University 34% 37% No Yes Yes Yes Not Ranked $13,654
Minnesota State University-Mankato 50% 34% No Yes Yes Yes #174 tie $12,464
Minnesota State University-Moorhead 42% 33% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $14,349
North Central University 47% N/A No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $20,078
Southwest Minnesota State University 43% 32% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $14,551
St. Catherine University 59% 36% No Yes Yes Yes #72 tie $22,146
St. Cloud State University 45% 36% No Yes Yes Yes #220 tie $13,426
St. Olaf College 89% N/A No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $28,019
University of Minnesota-Duluth 59% 30% No Yes Yes Yes #88 tie $15,681
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities 78% 13% No No Yes Yes #50 tie $15,589
University of St. Thomas 72% 21% No Yes Yes Yes #72 tie $30,606
Winona State University 57% 35% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $16,773

*The net price is calculated by the National Center for Education Statistics by subtracting the average amount of aid (including grants and scholarships) from the total published cost of attendance for in-state/in-district students, which includes tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses. To gain a better understanding of how to interpret the statistics discussed in this table, see our list of important definitions.

Directory of Minnesota Social Work School Programs

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

Schools with an asterisk (*) have programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Augsburg College*
2211 Riverside Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55454
(612) 330-1000

Bemidji State University*
1500 Birchmont Dr
Bemidji, MN 56601
(800) 475-2001

Bethel University*
3900 Bethel Dr
Saint Paul, MN 55112
(651) 638-6400

College of Saint Scholastica*
1200 Kenwood Ave
Duluth, MN 55811-4199
(218) 723-6000

Concordia College at Moorhead*
901 S 8th St
Moorhead, MN 56562
(218) 299-4200

Metropolitan State University*
700 East Seventh St
Saint Paul, MN 55106-5000
(651) 793-1212

Minnesota State University-Mankato*
1651 Warren St
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 389-1866

Minnesota State University-Moorhead*
1104 Seventh Ave South
Moorhead, MN 56563
(800) 593-7246

Student Review: “I’m currently in the social work program at my university. I really like the professors in our program and the courses offered. I’ve been able to explore graduation options through my NASW membership and internship resources in our social work office. Overall I’d recommend our program since it is one of the only Social Work programs in North Dakota/Minnesota Region.”
– Student at Minnesota State University-Moorhead

North Central University*
910 Elliot Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55404-1391
(612) 343-4400

Southwest Minnesota State University*
1501 State St
Marshall, MN 56258-5468
(507) 537-7678

St. Catherine University*
2004 Randolph Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55105
(651) 690-6000

Student Review: “At St. Catherine University, I was in the Social Work program and I enjoyed it. The component of the program that I learned most from is the field placements that we had to complete. This is when we go out in the field to work as a social worker to get that experience and see what type of work we want to go into. This has also been a challenging part of the program because it requires being in the professional field, which can be tough at first but you get more comfortable over time. I was also thankful that we talked about micro-level work as well as macro level. Overall, learning about the importance of social justice was the most meaningful part of the program.”
– Student at St. Catherine University

St. Cloud State University*
720 Fourth Ave S
Saint Cloud, MN 56301-4498
(320) 308-0121

St. Olaf College*
1520 St Olaf Ave
Northfield, MN 55057-1098
(507) 786-2222

University of Minnesota-Duluth*
1049 University Dr
Duluth, MN 55812
(218) 726-8000

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities*
100 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0213
(612) 625-5000

Student Review: “The University Of Minnesota social work program was a very great opportunity for me to say the least. I had a wonderful time, not only did I have fun during this program, but I also gained more wisdom and knowledge that I can now apply to my career. Not to mention that the professors at the University of Minnesota were all very approachable, and were always firm believers that ever student should never be afraid to ask questions. With that being said I loved all my professors at the University of Minnesota. The program was nice, once every two weeks we would have a guest speaker who would share experiences with us. If I could change one thing about this program I would say that they should offer more online classes at the University of Minnesota, they had very few to choose from, and it would be nice my schedule, I really lost some income due to this. But overall my experience in this program was amazing, I have learned a lot that I can now apply toward my career.”
– Student at University of Minnesota

University of St Thomas*
2115 Summit Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55105-1078
(651) 962-5000

Winona State University*
175 West Mark St
Winona, MN 55987-5838
(507) 457-5000

Student Review: “I really enjoyed participating in the social work program at WSU, and I’m very proud of the education that I received from this institution. They taught me the true value of helping others, and I learned various techniques that allow me to do so in my everyday life. The social work program provided me with several in-depth courses, both online and face-to-face. Though I enjoyed learning through each delivery method, I developed a liking for online courses, and I believe that I ultimately performed better outside of the classroom. To better prepare students for the social work field, we completed an internship at Family Service of Rochester, Minnesota. I loved the experience! Before interning, I had no idea just how many people I would come in contact with and how much of an impact I was capable of making in the lives of those in my community. While I really have no complaints about the social work program at WSU, my only comment for improvement would be the lack of assistance with finding a job after graduation. I struggled with getting an interview for anything more than intern, which was really tough as I was trying to pay back my student loans. Overall, however, kudos to Winona State University for providing a quality education that will last me a lifetime!” – Student at California State University-Monterey Bay

Schools with an asterisk (*) have programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Kiplinger’s Best College Values: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-kiplinger-s-best-values-in-private-colleges/index.php?table=all
3. US News & World Report Social Work Best Grad Schools Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/social-work-rankings
4. Social Work Guide’s Top Online MSW Programs 2018: /degrees/masters/online/
5. Council on Social Work Education: https://www.cswe.org/Accreditation/Directory-of-Accredited-Programs.aspx