Jun 19, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Social Work (M.S.W.)

Program Overview

Advance your career to leadership positions in social work and service to others. Graduates of the Master of Social Work program are able to deliver clinical and therapeutic services, administrative and staff supervision, policy analysis, and community planning and organization. These skills are designed to effectively meet the needs of the citizens in the state and region. Just one of 11 universities in the nation to utilize the Path of Licensure program, we blend in-person or online learning with hundreds of hours of hands-on field education. It automatically qualifies you to take the master level exam. Since 2011, graduates have passed the exam at a rate exceeding the national passage rate by over 17%. You can choose from two tracks. If you possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited program in social work, choose the 36-credit hour advanced standing concentration. Applicants with an undergraduate degree other than social work can apply for the 60-credit hour regular standing concentration. Full-time and part-time status is available as well as a 100% online program for those who do not live near campus. The program has been fully accredited by CSWE since 1974.  Learn more at usd.edu/socialwork.

DELIVERY: On campus | Online 

Master of Social Work Plan B (non-thesis): Total 60 credit hours required-Regular Standing Track Degree Requirements

Regular Standing Track students are individuals who do not have a baccalaureate social work degree from a CSWE-accredited program. Regular Standing Track students begin courses in the fall term. Below is the Regular Standing Track course schedule for the full-time student:

Master of Social Work Plan B (non-thesis): Total 36 credit hours required-Advanced Standing Track Degree Requirements

For individuals who hold a baccalaureate degree in Social Work (e.g. BSW/BSSW) from a CSWE-accredited program, where a 36 credit hour Advanced Standing Track concentration curriculum is offered.

Below is the Advanced Standing Track course schedule for the full-time student:

Year One-1st Semester/Bridge Courses/Transition to 2nd Year - Summer (12 credit hours)

Year One/2nd Semester/Concentration Year - Fall (12 credit hours)

Year One/3rd Semester/Concentration Year - Spring (12 credit hours)

Accelerated Master of Social Work Program: B.S./M.S.W.

New approved program by SDBOR starting fall 2022

This 3+2 program is available, by application, to eligible University of South Dakota students in the B.S. Sociology program.

Eligible B.S. Sociology students will:

  • Apply to the M.S.W. regular standing track program following all admission criteria during fall of their junior year
  • Complete 96 credit hours by the end of the 3rd year of the undergraduate degree
  • Upon acceptance, begin M.S.W. program courses during 4th year of B.S. degree in the fall semester
  • Count 24 credit hours (year one) of the regular standing track M.S.W. degree toward the B.S. degree electives

Accelerated M.S.W. with Northern State University B.A. Sociology

New approved program by SDBOR starting fall 2022

NSU Bachelor of Arts in Sociology to USD Master of Social Work (3+2 Program)

Application Requirements

  1. Completed application
  2. $35 application fee
  3. Official transcripts*
  4. Letters of recommendation*
  5. Admission test scores*
  6. Statement of purpose
  7. Resume/CV*

*Requirements for admission vary by program and may require different documentation and have different deadlines. For specific program requirements and submission deadline, visit: catalog.usd.edu.

Courses or Programs Leading to Professional Licensure or Certification

The educational curriculum for your academic program may or may not meet educational prerequisites for professional licensure or certification in states other than South Dakota. If you are planning to apply for licensure/certification in a state other than South Dakota after completion of your program, please review that state and your program on USD’s Licensure-Track Programs webpage. Licensure-Track Programs

If your learning placement course (internship, externship, clinical, rotation, practicum, independent study, study away, etc.) or your online course will be taken outside South Dakota, please reference USD’s State Authorization webpage.

State Authorization


Department of Social Work
605-357-1450 | socialwork@usd.edu | usd.edu/socialwork

Graduate Admissions 
605-658-6140 | gradadmissions@usd.edu  | usd.edu/grad