About the Master of Social Work Program

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program at Minnesota State University, Mankato offers in-person classroom experiences with small cohorts to engage you in deeper learning and foster new professional relationships.

The focus on Advanced Generalist social work practice with an emphasis on the challenges in small and rural communities will prepare you for both advanced direct practice and indirect practice in a wide variety of public and private social service, healthcare, and educational settings. You will learn from faculty dedicated to high quality social work education through extensive field work, innovative teaching techniques, and applied learning opportunities.

Once you complete the program and pass the licensure exam, you will be eligible to apply for the LGSW level social work licensure in Minnesota and throughout the United States, which is required for most advanced practice social work.

The MSW program has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since October of 2010.

Advanced Generalist Practice

Advanced generalist practice builds on the generalist foundation of knowledge, skills, ethics, and culturally-responsive practice to develop a deeper and stronger understanding of direct social practice with individuals, families, and groups, as well as indirect practice in organizational administration, community engagement, and public policy. The advanced generalist education provides an advanced skill set that is well-suited for the broad roles of social work practitioners in small and rural communities.

MSW Vision, Mission & Goals

Vision Statement

The vision for the Minnesota State University Master of Social Work Program is to be an anti-racist, anti-oppressive and truly equitable community that centers on fair and equitable policies, systems, and practices. We acknowledge that each student’s journey to graduate school was different and impacted by various systems of oppression and privilege. We are a community of learners creating brave spaces to learn how to address fear, ignorance, and hate, while building a culture of intellectual engagement, curiosity, and respect for others.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Master of Social Work (MSW) Program is to empower students to be ethical and culturally-responsive advanced generalist social workers who are champions and advocates for equity, social justice, and human rights at all system levels. We strive to prepare social work leaders with an awareness of historical and contemporary social, economic, and cultural issues in small and rural communities as well as in a broader and global context.

Program Goals

  1. Prepare advanced generalist social workers that understand and identify with the values and ethics that serve to guide culturally responsive social work practice.
  2. Prepare advanced generalist social workers that are able to critically and differentially apply the knowledge, theories, values, and skills required to engage in research-informed practice and planned change (i.e. engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation) at all system levels, emphasizing the small and rural community context.
  3. Prepare advanced generalist social workers who build upon strengths, are committed to affirming diversity and difference in practice, and are advocates for the advancement of human rights and social and economic justice at all system levels.
  4. Prepare advanced generalist social workers as leaders who critically analyze, respond to, and shape the practice context, emphasizing rural and small communities.
  5. Prepare advanced generalist social workers who engage in policy practice to deliver effective social work services and advance social and economic well-being.
  6. Model and promote the core values of competency and service through life-long learning, scholarship, community involvement, and the promotion of the social work profession, spanning local to global communities.

For more information about professional social work practice you can also go to the following websites: