Jul 17, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Social Work (M.S.W.)

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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 (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 (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.A. or 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.A. and B.S. Sociology program.

Eligible B.A. and 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.A. or 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.A. or 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)

General Application Requirements

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

*Requirements for admission vary by program and may require different documentation and have different deadlines. This list is not all-inclusive, to view specific program requirements and submission deadlines, follow the “Admissions Information” hyperlink at the top of this page OR visit the specific program/dept. page found here: link.usd.edu/grad-catalog

Distance Program Leading to Professional Licensure

Location Matters. This program is designed to meet the educational requirements for a professional license or certification and allows students to enroll in at least one course through distance education during the first semester. Pursuant to Federal Regulations, the program may only admit students who are located in states where the program meets the educational requirements for professional licensure or who attest in writing that they intend to seek licensure or employment in a state where the program meets those requirements. As part of your application to this program, you will be asked to provide additional information regarding your location to assist the program in determining your eligibility for admission. 

If you have questions regarding licensure, we encourage you to contact a program representative prior to submitting your admission application, as the application fee is non-refundable. For more information, visit USD’s Licensure-Track Programs page for links to the USD program websites and state licensure board websites. 

Additionally, this program is authorized to offer supervised field study experiences (internship, externship, clinical, rotation, practicum, independent study, study away, etc.) in South Dakota. Please be aware that there may be some restrictions on your ability to engage in supervised field study outside of South Dakota. If you have questions regarding supervised field study, please contact a program representative. 

Distance education courses or programs will not be offered outside of the United States without prior written approval from the University, which may be withheld for any reason. If you are taking distance courses while physically located outsides of the United States, it is your responsibility to confirm the following: (a) if the country will recognize an online degree; (b) whether the program meets licensure or certification requirements in the country including the availability of supervised field study opportunities in the country; and (c) if the country charges any additional taxes, withholdings or fees associated with online distance education programs.


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

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


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