Social Work



Social Work

Your spark of idealism, belief in social justice and love of working with people — together with a degree from our accredited program — will prepare you to be a professional social worker. At St. Kate's, you'll acquire professional knowledge that will empower you for a challenging and rewarding career in a profession slated for fast growth in the future.

You will learn the knowledge and skills you need to serve individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Generalist social work practice employs purposeful relationships based on social work knowledge, values and skills, and uses the strengths perspective to accomplish the goals of improving the lives of clients and creating a just society.

This major educates students for social work practice at the generalist level and graduate study. It is offered by the School of Social Work, a joint program between St. Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas. 

A national leader

The School of Social Work is ranked in the top 25 percent nationally, reports the U.S. News & World Report. The school's "Social Work for Social Justice: Ten Principles" has been adopted by numerous social work education programs across the United States.

Accredited program; professional license

Graduates qualify to take the state board exams for a professional social worker license. Our program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Focus on others

The School of Social Work curriculum is rooted in the values of human dignity and common good. Students learn to

  • actualize the Judeo-Christian commitment of social caring
  • demonstrate belief in the intrinsic value of humankind
  • serve those in need, and
  • act with conviction in advancing the principles of social justice and human rights.

Comprehensive curriculum

Our social work major integrates social work curriculum mission and goals, research and fieldwork with the liberal arts core requirements. Students will gain the breadth and depth of knowledge and skills required to work with people in many arenas including child welfare worker, family case worker, school social worker, adolescent counselor, policy advocate, hospice worker, civil rights organizer, victim advocate, crisis intervention counselor, probation officer, case manager and Guardian Ad Litem.

Fieldwork experiences

Students will expand their knowledge of social work beyond the classroom by completing two fieldwork placements. The School of Social Work partners with more than 60 agencies in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Students have the opportunity to work with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations — plus tackle important issues at a societal and policy-oriented level.

Faculty experts and mentors

The School of Social Work includes 29 St. Kate's and St. Thomas faculty who are known for their teaching excellence and scholarship — and who are eager to contribute their expertise to support your academic and professional growth. Our faculty hold leadership positions in local, regional and national professional organizations. They are recognized as authorities in areas such as medical social work, school social work, child welfare, social justice, policy advocacy, research, chemical dependency, mental health treatment and professional supervision.

Graduate study

BSW students can earn a Master of Social Work degree in one calendar year of additional full-time study; 2-year and 3-year plans of study are also available. The St. Kate's – St. Thomas MSW program prepares students for clinical practice and leadership.
In 2014, the School of Social Work introduced the Doctor of Social Work, focused on education as practice, which prepares social work faculty for university-level teaching and leadership in higher education.

Licensure for school social workers

The School of Social Work program is approved by the Minnesota Department of Education to recommend candidates for licensure as school social workers, level 1, based on completion of the program.