Bachelor of Social Work

Our generalist BSW program prepares our graduates to work in a variety of settings, from working as a crisis counselor, in the field of substance abuse/mental health, child welfare, school social work, and in community-level practice. Our program has a special focus on working with American Indians in social work practice and we have close ties with American Indian communities in our area.  

7 BSW students lean against a railing outside of Bohannon Hall

While our program has a special focus on working with American Indian communities, all of our courses also emphasize cultural responsiveness and social justice.  Coupled with our generalist model, the skills students learn are transferable when working with a variety of different groups and settings.  Students are well prepared to practice entry-level social work in all areas with diverse populations.

We Prepare You for Graduate School

We provide a rigorous education based on the knowledge, values, and skills of social work; grounded in the profession's history, purpose and philosophy.  Many of our graduates go on to find jobs in the field right away or choose to pursue an MSW through study within Advanced Standing MSW programs.  With a BSW from UMD, you can earn your MSW in only one calendar year.  Check out our webpage for more information about our MSW program at UMD

We Support You While You’re in Our Program and Beyond


3 BSW students sit outside near trees


We only accept about 50 students each year, allowing our students to get to know each other well.  With small class sizes, you also get to know faculty that teach in the BSW program well.  You’re never a number.  Our faculty are dedicated to helping our students succeed and supporting our students’ goals in the classroom and out in the field. We are proud to be able to provide financial support to a number of students with a Child Welfare Scholarship.

We Offer Convenience Without Losing Personal Connection

Our program is partially online, meaning that our courses meet 7 times each semester in person with the remaining coursework completed online to accommodate students with busy schedules, who may be balancing work and family, or who are coming from a distance.  In person class meetings focus on active learning and application of material, while allowing for relationships to form among students and with faculty.   Once admitted to our program, it takes 2 years of full-time study to complete.

Meet our Students

We’re proud of our students and their engagement in the community of Duluth and at UMD.  Find out more about some of our students in the BSW Association.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Application materials and information on how to apply to our program.


"The skills I'm learning at UMD will allow me to effectively help others gain access to access to resources they need to succeed." Lyla Abukhodair, Social Work Major, Child Welfare Scholar