We're here to support you as you take this next step in your career—and we imagine you have questions.
Below, you'll find answers to the questions we're asked most often. But if you have others, or if you'd just like a friendly voice to confirm what you're reading, please call one of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's enrollment counselors at 877-308-9954 or request more information.
Is the program entirely online? What about the practicum?
The coursework for the Master of Social Work degree at Saint Mary's is entirely online—you can afford to earn this valuable degree regardless of where you're located in the nation. Practica—or fieldwork—are completed at an agency near you.
As part of your field placement requirements, there is no guarantee that you will be placed at a site that can accommodate hours outside of the traditional business hours (e.g. 9am – 5pm). Therefore, if your current work schedule falls between the traditional business hours, you may need to make adjustments to your current work schedule in order to accommodate the field placement requirement.
What is the Advanced Standing track and how does it differ from the Traditional track?
If you hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree, you can prepare for clinical practice faster in our 30-credit Advanced Standing track, saving yourself time and money compared to the 60-credit Traditional track. The Advanced Standing track also includes a rigorous clinical practicum, so you can build your skills and test your knowledge in real-world settings.
How do the admissions requirements for the Advanced Standing track differ from the Traditional track?
The Advanced Standing track carries certain admissions requirements to ensure our students have the best foundation for this advanced option. Applicants must have completed a BSW degree in the past 10 years (or make a commitment to take additional coursework) with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, among other requirements. Conditional admittance is available in certain circumstances. See the MSW admissions requirements page for more details.
Is Saint Mary's accredited?
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
What's the job market like as a social worker with an MSW degree?
Social workers with an MSW degree have a promising future in the job market. According to a new Burning Glass report, 71.8% of 26,691 recent job postings for social work titles requested an MSW degree. Overall, the industry expects more than double the national job-growth rate at 16% between 2016 and 20261, and some related titles surpass that.
Additionally, there's a new trend of hiring social workers to head client care, employee motivation efforts, or roles in which relationship development is key at insurance companies, financial corporations, nonprofits, and more.
For more career details, visit the MSW career outlook page.
What type of support is available to me? What if I have a question about homework or need help with a technical issue?
All of the support systems available to Saint Mary's on-campus students are available to online learners, too, including academic support.
A team of advisers is ready to assist you and your professors are just a phone call, email, or Zoom session away. You will also be paired with a dedicated student services team who will ensure your educational and professional goals stay on track.
If you have a technical question, support is available to online students 24/7 at our Technical Support, 877-308-9954, ext. 3.
Can I complete this program at my own pace?
It depends what you mean by "my own pace." There are full- and part-time options to complete the program. Additionally, there are no set class times, so you may complete coursework on the days and times it's best for you. However, these are instructor-led classes and there are assignments with set due dates.
When is the first start date?
The programs inaugural start was fall 2019. There are 3 start dates a year - you can view application deadlines and start dates here.
Will my degree say that it is from an online program?
No. It's also important to note that your degree is of the same quality and possesses the same prestige as an on-campus degree from Saint Mary's.
Is the program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)?
As a new program, we've taken all the steps to ensure CSWE candidacy for our students. The program's coursework and outcomes were developed to align with the CSWE competencies for generalist and clinical practice.
The accreditation schedule is as follows:
- Feb. 2020: Officially entered into candidacy status by CSWE
- Feb. 2022: Anticipated date of being fully accredited
It is standard practice that accreditation applies retroactively to all students in the program once it's received. You can learn more about accreditation here.
Is financial aid available?
Yes. Many different types of financial aid are available to those who qualify. To discuss tuition rates and a number of different financial aid options, call 877-308-9954 to speak with an enrollment counselor.
Who will my student peers be?
Saint Mary's encourages students of all faiths and backgrounds to apply to the online MSW program as part of our commitment to diversity. Additionally, we offer two tracks of learning: Advanced Standing track and Traditional track, so those with and without an undergraduate degree in social work can complete the program.
This allows you to draw upon the varied life and business experiences of your peers to enrich your learning.
What makes Saint Mary's online Master of Social Work different from other MSW programs?
The online MSW at Saint Mary's is a rigorous but affordable program. As part of our deep commitment to Lasallian values and our mission to serve our community, and help you do the same, we strive to ensure our tuition is kept reasonable.