Program Overview

The mission of the Metropolitan State University Social Work Program is to integrate the values, knowledge, and skills inherent to social work into an academic program that will enable graduating, multicultural competent bachelor's level students to engage in generalist social work practice that will meet the needs of the increasingly racially diverse Twin Cities communities. The program will prepare students for generalist social work practice with client systems of various sizes and types with special emphasis on people of color and Native Americans and communities of color. This program will build on a Liberal Arts base and will provide a foundation curriculum that contains the profession's values, knowledge, and skills.

More information about this program

Declare Your Program

To be accepted to the Social Work program, applicants must demonstrate commitment to and have work or volunteer experience servicing communities of color and/or Native American communities.  Applicants must complete all the prerequisite coursework, have at least 60 semester credits of general education, and complete a Social Work Program Application form. If student is accepted into the program, a faculty advisor will submit a College of Community Studies and Public Affairs Undergraduate Program Declaration Form.

Declare Your Program button

Requirements

Courses required for your specific   program are listed in the right column on this page. They include prerequisite, foundation, core, and elective courses. Contact your advisor with questions concerning your degree plan.

The social work program has four main components.

  • Before being considered for admission to the social work program, student must complete a minimum of 60 semester credits with 48 credits across each of the 10 goal areas of the General Education/Liberal Studies (GELS) that include the following perequisites with a minimum of three credits in each of the following:
    •  Introduction to Social Work :
    •  Psychology,
    • Sociology, 
    • Anthropology,
    • Political science,
    • Human biology or Biology of Women, and
    • Racial/ethnic awareness (content is about people of color and/or Native American in the U.S.)
  • Core Courses: 32 credits in core curriculum required courses in addition to statistics;
  • Field Courses: 16-19 credits of  field practica including five credits in a community learning center serving people of color or Native Americans, five credits in a mainstream social work setting, and six to nine credits in a field practice seminar;
  • Other: a three or four credit course in statistics, eight upper division (300 level and up from Metropolitan State) liberal studies credits for courses from two different disciplines, and two elective credits.

In order to pursue the Bachelor of Social Work degree, students must complete and submit a separate application to the social work department

How Admissions Works

We are looking forward to you joining us. Take the first step by filling out this application.
Course List

Prerequisites

Requirements ( 120 total credits)

Social Work Practice (8 credits total)

  • SOWK 321 Social Work Practice I
    4 credits

    This course examines frameworks for social work practice, social work values and ethics, ethnic competence in multicultural contexts and the professional relationship skills required for effective beginning social work practice. The stages of the problem solving process are examined in detail with emphasis on working at all levels of client systems: individuals and families; groups; and communities and organizations. An understanding of theories of culture and of multicultural interventions is emphasized. Prerequisite: Admission to social work major.

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  • SOWK 522 Social Work Practice II
    4 credits

    This course emphasizes the theories and skills necessary for social workers to practice effectively at the community and governmental levels and professional ethics and legal responsibilities in individual and family work. Using a case study approach, students apply change and comparative analysis theories in multicultural community projects and in the state legislature. Students also critique psychosocial assessments and interventions of simulated case studies using social work ethics and legal responsibilities as a guide.

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Social Work Racial/Ethnic Analysis (8 credits total)

  • SOWK 341 Comparative Racial/Ethnic Analysis I
    4 credits

    This is the first of two classes on racial/ethnic analysis that is critical to practice as a culturally competent social worker. This class provides a framework to understand concepts of race, ethnicity, stigma, privilege and discrimination, an appreciation of the influence of social structures on the experience of communities of color in the United States, and an understanding of racial/ethnic communities in the urban Twin Cities. In addition, students will learn theory and practice effective group work using Intergroup Contact Theory.

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  • SOWK 542 Comparative Racial/Ethnic Analysis II
    4 credits

    This is the second of two classes on racial/ethnic analysis that is critical to practice as a culturally competent social worker. The class continues the work of SOWK 341 and emphasizes an understanding of self in relationship to the concepts of race, ethnicity, stigma, privilege and discrimination. The Eight Cross Cultural Curative Factors Model is learned and applied to individual social work practice.

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Social Work Social Policy (4 credits total)

  • SOWK 360 Social Welfare History and Policy
    4 credits

    Students acquire a critical understanding of the historic development of social welfare policy within the social work profession. They analyze social welfare policy, paying special attention to implications for communities of color and the role of social work professionals. Students learn the historic roots of social welfare policy and the social work profession and address the European dominance and the gendered development of the profession. They learn two approaches for analyzing social welfare policies and then learn to apply one to an issue that especially concerns communities of color. Students also explore a range of approaches to affect policy change, stressing the historic role of women and people of color as change agents. Prerequisite: Admission to social work major.

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Social Work Research (8 credits total)

  • SOWK 351 Social Research
    0 credits

    The social work program research curriculum emphasizes applying research findings to social work interventions, assessing the effectiveness of programs and policies, and assessing one's own practice at all levels. Special attention is paid to students' developing competence in comparative racial/ethnic analysis and in gender and class awareness. Social Research is the first of a two-course research sequence in the Social Work program curriculum and is taken at the end of the first year of the program. Students learn a range of social research theories and methods and then have the opportunity to apply them to social work practice. They apply research findings to a real-world situation either by implementing a single system research design or by conducting a program or policy evaluation. Prerequisite: Admission to social work major.

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  • SOWK 552 Community Research and Advocacy
    4 credits

    This course is the second course in the research sequence and is offered at the end of the senior year. Students conduct a major advocacy research project focusing on an issue of concern to a community of color within the Twin Cities. Students learn to apply research theories, practice racial/ethnic analysis and social change to a real-life situation.

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Social Work Human Behavior in Social Environment (4 credits total)

  • SOWK 333 Human Behavior in the Social Environment
    4 credits

    The course emphasizes ecological and theoretical perspectives for social work practice with culturally diverse populations and includes the study of human behavior and development throughout the lifespan. Students deepen their understanding of human diversity by examining ethnocentrism and racism, gender roles and sexism, and sexual identity and sexual orientation. Students apply the ecological model to better understand how social structures influence persons from diverse populations. The impact of systems of oppression, the intersectionality of oppressions and their impact on individuals, families, and communities is explored. Social work practice and policy implications are considered and applied from the biopsychosocial perspective.

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Social Work Field Practica (10 credits total)

  • SOWK 391 Community Learning Center Practicum
    0 credits

    Social work majors are immersed in one of the Twin Cities communities of color in the second semester of their program. They spend 20 hours weekly in a community learning center. In this experience, students engage in supervised direct-practice activities with organizations, communities, groups, families and individuals. They apply comparative racial/ethnic analysis theories and critique the usefulness of academic theory to practice in a community of color.

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  • SOWK 591 Social Work Senior Practicum
    0 credits

    Social work majors are involved in supervised social work practice in the Twin Cities for 20 hours weekly during the last semester of their senior year. Faculty assign students to an agency or setting based on students needs and interests, and the capacity of the agency or setting to meet those needs. Students practice social work in at least two of the following categories: individuals, families, groups, organizations or communities. Master's-prepared community social workers supervise the students' practica. Students are expected to contribute their knowledge of social work practice with people of color, acquired through their junior year social work curriculum to enrich the agency or setting and its services. Prerequisites: Completion of all major requirements.

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  • SOWK 592 Multicultural Child Welfare Senior Practicum
    0 credits

    Senior social work majors who are admitted to the Multicultural Child Welfare Project are placed for their senior practicum at Ramsey County Community Human Services for an extensive child welfare experience. Students are involved in supervised social work practice in this setting for 20 hours weekly during the last semester of their senior year. Students will have the opportunity to practice social work in at least two of the following categories: individuals, families, groups, organizations or communities. The scope of the environmental experience is from family preservation and child protection to foster care and adoption. A master's-prepared social worker will supervise the students' practica. Students are expected to contribute their knowledge of social work practice with people of color, acquired through their junior year social work curriculum to enrich the agency or setting and its services. Prerequisites: Completion of all major requirements.

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Social Work Field Seminar (6-9 credits total)

  • SOWK 381 Community Learning Center Seminar
    0 credits

    Faculty facilitate the learning of small groups of students assigned to the community learning center field practicum. The field seminar offers students opportunities to integrate social work knowledge, skills and values within a culturally specific context. The seminar is largely experiential and focuses on helping students apply social work theories to real-world settings. Within this group process, students develop a learning contract for the field practicum; share knowledge and experiences in the field practicum; and discuss issues and topics in social work identified within the field setting. Students are expected to share thoughts and feelings on adjusting to a professional role; and they are expected to share their awareness of human diversity as it relates to the social work profession.

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  • SOWK 582 Social Work Capstone Seminar
    0 credits

    Students examine the field practicum experience in a mainstream agency, applying theories they have acquired throughout the program. Students write a major integrating paper on generalist multicultural social work practice. Note: Should be taken along with SOWK 552 Community Research and Advocacy.

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  • SOWK 584 Multicultural Child Welfare Field Seminar
    0 credits

    This course is designed to facilitate student learning through small student groups assigned to a special multicultural child welfare learning center. The Multicultural Field Seminar offers students the opportunities to explore and discuss the various facets of public child welfare, while integrating social work knowledge, theories and skills through a multicultural framework. This seminar discusses real clients, with real life changing needs. Students will be required to apply their cultural competency and critical thinking skills in processing client experiences at the micro, meso and macro levels. Students are further expected to develop learning contracts that guide their own development in the field practicum; work together on a group project; share knowledge and process experiences, and continually discuss their adjustment in the field practicum. Prerequisites: Senior status in the Social Work program

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