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Professor Melissa Lundquist talks with a student before her master's presentation.

School of Social Work

Graduate Studies

Graduate Studies of Social Work

Established in 1975, the School of Social Work has more than 3,500 graduates, creating a life-long professional network of undergraduate and graduate-level alumni. You'll get big school resources with the kind of individual attention and student-centric approach of a smaller school.

Our faculty are experienced practitioners who will help you develop your own unique contribution to the profession. Over 90% of our faculty are clinically licensed and engage in clinical practice. They bring their rich practice expertise to the classroom and mentor students to be leaders in the field.

Two Great Graduate Programs

The St. Thomas Master of Social Work (MSW) program provides advanced professional study for people in the field of clinical social work. The curriculum's focus on clinical social work practice develops skills in working with individuals, small groups and families within the context of programs, policies and systems. All MSW students receive the 30 hours of supervision training needed to be a social work supervisor in Minnesota.

Our Doctorate in Social Work (DSW) program was the first online DSW program to focus on preparing social work faculty specifically for university-level teaching and leadership in teaching-intensive colleges and universities. The program prepares social work faculty and experienced practitioners for university-level teaching and leadership in higher education. We partner with students to prepare graduates to assume the roles of faculty to teach, develop an identity as a scholar practitioner, write for publication and other forms of dissemination and pursue social justice through service and leadership in the academy and community.

School of Social Work graduates
Clinically licensed faculty engaged in clinical practice
hours of supervision training for MSWs
social worker talking to a client

Live your values

Master of Social Work

The Master of Social Work program is committed to growing our region's mental health workforce and has numerous completion options to help meet the needs of both full-time students and working professionals throughout the Upper Midwest.

DSW director Catherine Marrs Fuchsel poses in a classroom

Prepare to lead

Doctor of Social Work

The first online DSW program to focus on preparing social work faculty specifically for university-level teaching and leadership in teaching-intensive colleges and universities.


Additional Offerings

MSW/JD Dual Degree

Social work and law both share a commitment to vocation and calling. The joint JD/MSW degree is designed to help you gain both legal and social perspectives to some of the world's biggest problems.


Post-MSW Coursework for Licensure

If you already have an MSW degree and are looking to complete hours in specific clinical knowledge areas for LICSW licensure that weren't fulfilled in your MSW program, you may be eligible to register for additional courses.


Non-Degree Studies

You can take courses in the MSW program before being admitted to the MSW program by registering as a non-degree student. Non-degree students can take up to 6 credits (2 courses) before they are accepted.

individual with clipboard talking to a couple

Valuable hours, valuable output

Field Education

An extensive network of clinical field partners and over 2,500 clinically prepared MSW alumni help position students for practice with collaborative partnerships in a variety of statewide clinical social work settings.


Graduate Student Testimonials

Danielle Lee
Francois Vang
Ashley Trudell
Emily Brunner
Kate Jergensen
Headshot of Danielle Lee Headshot of Francois Vang Headshot of Ashley Trudell Headshot of Emily Brunner Headshot of Kate Jergensen

Danielle Lee

"I think all the professors are so engaging and willing to help. They bring in so much real-world experience from the outside jobs they have."

Francois Vang

"I would recommend this program because of the strength of its clinical focus. The training and the intensity of it made this program difficult, but it was a good challenge. It really prepared me for real-world clinical practice."

Ashley Trudell

"I chose to come to the program based on word-of-mouth that this was a great program, but the word-of-mouth didn't do it justice! This has been an incredible experience and I wouldn't want to go anywhere else to get my MSW."

Emily Brunner

"The interaction with the professors was profound. They were able to get to know you and really help you zero in on your strengths and the things you could improve on, especially when it comes to the clinical aspect of your practice."

Kate Jergensen

"I'm a big proponent of smaller class sizes and being able to get to know your professors and the other students. Professors were able to give individual attention even though they have a lot of students and were doing their own research."

Upcoming School of Social Work Events


The joint social work program at St. Catherine's and St. Thomas received its first accreditation in 1975 from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Since that time, the School of Social Work successfully obtained a reaffirmation of accreditation through 2019. After the dissolution of the joint program, the St. Thomas BA in Social Work and Master of Social Work programs earned independent accreditation in 2019.