Jun 05, 2023  
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Social Work

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Jay Memmott, Ph.D., M.S.W., LCSW, Chairperson
Social Work Department
1400 W. 22nd St., 369
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Phone: 605-357-1594
Email: Jay.Memmott@usd.edu
Website: www.usd.edu/socialwork 


Associate Professors:

Jay Memmott, Ph.D., M.S.W., LCSW, Associate Professor and Chair
Debra Norris, M.S.W., Ed.D. University of South Dakota
Elizabeth Talbot,
Ph.D., M.S.W., M.S., C.S.W.-PIP, Associate Professor and M.S.W. Program Director, Loyola University. 

Assistant Professors:

Jarod Giger, Ph.D., M.S.W., LCSW, Assistant Professor, University of Missouri. 
Peter Kindle, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.S., Assistant Professor, University of Houston.
Soonhee Roh, Ph.D. , M.S.W., LCSW, Assistant Professor, New York University 


Deborah Aden, M.S.W., LCSW, Instructor and Director of Field Education
Kathy LaPlante, M.S.W., University of California, Berkley


Master of Social Work (MSW) 

Program Description:

The University of South Dakota MSW program prepares professionals to provide social work services at all levels of practice in rural and urban communities. The program has an advanced generalist concentration. The MSW degree is a full- or part-time, 60 credit program.  Advanced standing is available.  Classes are on Mondays and Tuesdays  from 8:30 am until 9:30 pm. To apply, a BSW or other bachelor degree is required. Internships are required and completed concurrently with course work. Additional information is available on the USD graduate school and social work websites, www.usd.edu/socialwork. Interested persons are welcome to contact the Department of Social Work directly.

Social Work Major

The MSW Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Accreditation (CSWE). It is the only graduate social work program in the state of South Dakota. At present, there is one concentration: Advanced Generalist, which prepares graduates for advanced practice in rural and urban settings. A graduate with an MSW degree is highly employable in a competitive job market.


  • Applicants must meet all the requirements of the USD Graduate School
  • A completed bachelor or graduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Individuals holding a bachelor degree in social work received within the last seven years from an accredited CSWE program may request consideration for advanced standing.
  • Complete the Graduate School Application Form. A $35.00 non-refundable application fee must accompany the Graduate School Application Form
  • Three letters of recommendation. One letter should be from an academic advisor or university faculty and one letter from a supervisor
  • One official transcript from each degree granting institution attended
  • Cumulative 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, for the last two years of undergraduate study, or demonstration that the applicant is able to maintain a 3.0 in graduate study. This can be demonstrated if a student has successfully completed two or more graduate courses. Advanced standing applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in their social work courses
  • Completion of the following pre-requisites:

a. Biology course with human biology content
b. Statistics course
c. Human development across the life span course
d. Three (3) additional courses in the social/behavioral sciences. Acceptable courses would be from the following disciplines:  

i. Anthropology
ii. Sociology
iii. Economics
iv. Political Science
v. Psychology
vi. History
vii. Human Relations  

e. Deficits in any of these areas will not prohibit admission; however, the course(s) would need to be completed with documentation of completion provided before beginning the MSW program

  •  Resume-a current, detailed resume with dates including the following:

a. Education
b. Paid Work Experience
c. Volunteer Experience
d. Community Involvement
e. Military Experience, if applicable  

  •  Purpose Statement-concisely answer all of the following:

 -Tell us about yourself

a. How have your life experiences shaped you for a career in social work?
b. Discuss your attributes and liabilities and how they will impact your social work career?
c. What do you do particularly well?
d. What areas do you need strengthening?
e. Why do you want a MSW degree?
f. Time and energy for the MSW program: Do you have the time and energy to devote to graduate school? How do you plan to re-adjust your life to accommodate graduate school?

-Career Goals 

a. What are your career goals?
b. How will a MSW degree from USD help meet your career goals?
c. What do you want to be doing in six years?  

  •  Please write a short paper (double spaced, three to five pages) answering the following questions:

a. Describe a social justice issue that is of interest to you (Examples: homelessness, needs of the elderly, human trafficking, child welfare, welfare to work programs).
b. How do you plan to use your social work education to contribute to the resolution of the problem?  

  • Cover letter should accompany application. Applicants who are applying for advanced standing should include this request in their cover letter
  • Complete and submit the Application Checklist for Admission to the MSW Program
  • A criminal background check is required of all accepted applicants into the MSW program. 

a. Admission to the program will be conditional until the check is completed and reviewed
b. Detailed information will be provided upon conditional acceptance.
c. Felony convictions may result in denial of acceptance and/or eligibility for licensure  

  • Applications will be forwarded Social Work after all materials have been received. 

a. Check with the Graduate School to make sure that all materials are complete.
b. For further questions regarding the process, please contact Elizabeth Talbot, MSW Program Director  

  • Social Work faculty may request an interview prior to admission.
  • Upholding the policies established by CSWE, the MSW program does not grant academic credit for life experience or previous work experience.  


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