BSW Program FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about the Bachelor of Social Work Program

When do I apply and when do I start classes?

The priority deadline is in February each year. UMD students are strongly encouraged to apply by then. Transfer students can wait to apply in August. 

Students begin taking Social Work courses in the Fall. You must fill out and submit a complete application for full consideration.

Can I start the program in the spring?

No, unfortunately we have a cohort model allowing students to start in the Fall semester only.

If I declare a Social Work major as a current or incoming transfer student, am I in the program?  

No, you must also apply to our program and be admitted to the major separately. We have a limited number of spots and it is competitive, so not all students who apply may be admitted but your chances are good.

Why do you have a separate application process for an undergraduate major?

Unlike many other undergraduate majors, Social Work is a professional program. When you graduate, you have a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. In many States you will become a licensed professional. Therefore, we have an application process to review applicants based on fit with the profession.

How long does it take to complete your program?

It takes 2 years of full-time coursework and fieldwork to complete our program.

What happens if my reference doesn't get their reference in on time?

Your reference will be reminded weekly for 3 weeks. If they do not complete the form within 3 weeks, your application will be cancelled as incomplete and you will be notified at that time. Please contact us at [email protected] and we will work with you on alternative arrangements.

How many students do you accept each year?

We are only able to accept about 50 students in each cohort each year. This includes on campus and transfer students.

I see that your program is partially online. What does that mean?

Our program is a hybrid program and we meet 7 times for ‘in person’ classes each semester. Other work outside of class time is expected and required. Required elective classes can be taken in varying ways, mainly; every other Tuesday like your core classes, fully online or weekly in person on Thursdays.

I’m a transfer student or a returning student who is not yet admitted back into UMD thinking of applying to your program. What do I need to do first?

You first must apply and be admitted to UMD, including payment of all fees. Once admitted to UMD, you can then apply to our program. Returning students should contact the BSW Director.

Do you have articulation agreements or transfer guides?

We do not have articulation agreements, but are continuing to create transfer guides. We hope to have more transfer guides and possible articulation agreements in the future.

I have a GPA below a 2.5. Can I still apply?

Exceptions may be made in cases where there are exonerating circumstances. Please contact the BSW Director to discuss this - [email protected]. If you are a student working with the Office of Disability Services and have a documented disability an exception will most likely be made.

Can I take classes in any order I want to?

No, our courses are sequenced in a very specific way and are typically only offered once a year. You must take courses in a certain order. See the sample schedule for more information.

What kind of computer/technology do I need to participate in your program?

You are required to have a laptop and access to reliable internet. Some courses require you to have a webcam in order to record videos.

When can I do my practicum placement?

You must complete your practicum placement during the academic year during your second and last year in the program. Practicum placements may be in the Duluth area or may take place in another community if approved by the Practicum Director. Students spend a total of 420 hours in practicum during the academic year (approximately 15 hours/week).

Once I receive my BSW, how much longer will it take me to get my MSW?

You may enter into an advanced standing MSW program and finish in one calendar year.

Are there certain courses I need to take before I apply to the program?

Yes, we require you take several pre-requisite courses, either at UMD or at other institutions.    

Can I receive credit for life of work experience?

No credit can be given, or waived, for life experience or work experience.  


We were granted full accreditation by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) in 2017.

Who do I talk to if I still have questions?

You can email the BSW Program Director, Sandra van den Bosse at [email protected]

Poster promoting Social Work program: "As a Social Worker I want to advocate for vulnerable adults. " Brianna Willaims