On-Campus

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Social worker in discussion with patient
On-Campus

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Become a justice-oriented clinical social worker.

Gain skills to excel with a program grounded in social responsibility and respect for human rights. 

Prepare for success in the social work profession.

In the MSW program at St. Catherine University, we encourage you to be curious, engage in tough conversations, and advance human and social justice rights.  We support our students to be divergent thinkers and to question the status quo.

There are two tracks in this program:  Foundation field students who do not have an  undergraduate BA social work major complete 2 field practicums during their MSW program; 400 foundation practicums and 600 clinical practicums during an academic year.  Clinical field students who have a BA in social work complete one practicum; a clinical practicum of 600 field hours during the academic year.

As a clinical social worker, you'll join the largest group of mental health service providers in the nation and meet the needs of your clients by: 

  • Gaining clinical skills to empower individuals, small groups, and families, as well as a range of age groups - from children to adolescents and older adults
  • Advocating on issues of poverty, discrimination, mental illness, developmental disabilities, and addressing systems of oppression
  • Serving immigrants and refugees, persons with disabilities, and those who have experienced trauma
  • Understanding the role of grief and loss, and facilitating healing for diverse populations
  • Becoming aware of the larger contexts of clinical care: agency-level policy, supervision, and macro-level systems of change
  • Reflecting deeply on your own assumptions, how they intersect with others, and learning to appreciate a variety of spiritual perspectives

In addition to course work, St. Kate's has successfully partnered with agencies that serve diverse and underrepresented communities through our Clinical Social Work Expansion Project (CSWEP) grant funded by the Minnesota Department of Health.  These agencies host students during their fieldwork experiences and the grand helps offset some of the tuition expenses.

A dual degree option with our Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies program is also available for students seeking to integrate holistic healing practices into clinical social work. To enroll, students apply as dual degree MSW and Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies students. Once accepted, students develop a plan for completing both degrees with the support of an advisor from each program. Upon completion, students are awarded two master's degrees.

Prepare to use your knowledge, values, and skills to demonstrate the intrinsic value of all humankind in a unified purpose to serve those in need and promote social justice and human rights. This program is open to students of all genders.

Cost & Time

Completion time:  1, 2 or 3 years (Advanced Standing); 2, 3 or 4 years (Regular Standing)

Cost per credit: $859 (2022-23 rate)

Credits required: 38 (Advanced Standing), 56 (Regular Standing)

Start: Summer, Fall

Degree questions, answered.

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Plan of Study

Below are sample plans of study. For course descriptions and other details, consult the University catalog.

Year 1

  • Summer Session I
    GRSW 5000 History and Philosophy of Social Work (3cr)
    GRSW 6810 Social Work Practice Research (3cr)
  • Summer Session II
    GRSW 6250 Social Policy and Advocacy Practice (3cr)
    GRSW 6450 Clinical Assessment (3cr)
  • Fall Semester
    GRSW 6030 Methods of Clinical Social Work I (3cr)
    GRSW 6070 Field Practicum and Seminar III (4cr)
    GRSW 6500 Clinical Supervision and Program Management (3cr)
    GRSW Elective (3cr)
  • Spring Semester
    GRSW 6040 Methods of Clinical Social Work II (3cr)
    GRSW 6080 Field Practicum and Seminar IV (4cr)
    GRSW Electives (6cr)

Year 1

  • Fall Semester
    GRSW 5000 History and Philosophy of Social Work (3cr)
    GRSW 5010 Theory and Practice of Social Work I (3cr)
    GRSW 5050 Field Practicum and Seminar I (3cr)
    GRSW 5400 Human Behavior and the Social Environment (3cr)
    GRSW 5800 Social Work Research Methods (3cr)
  • Spring Semester
    GRSW 5020 Theory and Practice of Social Work II (3cr)
    GRSW 5060 Field Practicum and Seminar II (3cr)
    GRSW 6250 Social Policy and Advocacy Practice (3cr)
    GRSW 6450 Clinical Assessment (3cr)
    GRSW 6810 Social Work Practice Research (3cr)

Year 2

  • Fall Semester
    GRSW 6030 Methods of Clinical Social Work I (3cr)
    GRSW 6070 Field Practicum and Seminar III (4cr)
    GRSW 6500 Clinical Supervision and Program Management (3cr)
    GRSW Elective (3cr)
  • Spring Semester
    GRSW 6040 Methods of Clinical Social Work II (3cr)
    GRSW 6080 Field Practicum and Seminar IV (3cr)
    GRSW Electives (6cr)
Career Outcomes

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True Stories

Kokhobalem

I have a degree in social work and a minor in business administration. I chose social work because acts of service have always been a passion of mine. Coming from an East African community, it’s essential to do what you can to help another.

I took a course at St. Kate’s when I was in high school and I fell in love with the school’s mission of social justice. That’s something many students shared—learning how to incorporate social justice into our individual lives.


I am a Page Scholar from the Page foundation, which is a scholarship program awarded to students of color who graduate from a Minnesota high school and attend a Minnesota post-secondary institution. You get financial support to pay for college while serving communities that look a lot like yourself. It’s really being able to be that representative, that role model for children, saying you, too, can achieve and go to college. The staff and faculty allowed me to ask billions of questions about my career paths, and about managing and balancing things.

In my senior year, I had the opportunity to take part in the Assistantship Mentoring Program and be a college teaching assistant. One of my professors said I would be a great fit. I thought, ‘me?’ I took on this role just as social distancing was starting. It was online, but the process was very creative, and I learned a lot about myself. At the same time, I was volunteering, interning at an agency, and being a children’s literacy mentor. Despite the social distancing, I did thrive. Because of these opportunities, I have developed lifelong connections with the agencies I’ve served.

Once I was able to apply what I've been learning, it brought to light what exactly they were teaching us in our social work program. St. Kate’s gave me the skills to build that confidence, awareness, and education, and to incorporate that into my work. It brought together academics with personal passion.

I’m now full-time at a clinical counseling center. It’s nice to see firsthand what it means to provide mental health services and build that rapport with clients. That’s something I’d like to build on. How I can bring those core values I have and incorporate them into the work I do and the people I serve. I’m hopeful for the future.

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News from the School of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences

St. Catherine University announces faculty tenures and promotions
St. Catherine University announces faculty tenures and promotions
Kizzmekia Corbett inaugurates Women of Color Leadership Series
Kizzmekia Corbett inaugurates Women of Color Leadership Series