Online Master of Social Work | CSWE Accredited | Online MSW |

Pursue your passion for improving people's lives

Prepare Master of Social Work professionals to provide advanced generalist social work services in diverse communities. 

Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)

The purpose of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program is to educate and prepare future social work and public health leaders in areas of policy, practice and research. The graduate degree enables you to deliver clinical and therapeutic services, administration and staff supervision, policy analysis, community development, organizational planning and advocating, which effectively meets the needs of South Dakota and surrounding regions. 

Clinical social workers assess, diagnose and treat patients facing emotional and mental issues. This process involves an understanding of psychology, interviewing skills and counseling procedures. All states require master's-level clinical social workers to have a license, and most require continuing education units.

Learning Delivery Options

The traditional face-to-face format provides learning opportunities in a classroom environment with engaged interaction. Classroom training enables you to participate in group work and role-playing exercises by creating a collaborative environment that can foster discussion and dialogue. 

All graduate social work courses for the MSW face-to-face program are offered in Sioux Falls, SD. Courses are held weekly on Monday or Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

School of Health Sciences
Health Science Center
1400 West 22nd Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57105

The online training format provides you with a realm of flexibility by allowing you to choose when and where you undertake the lessons with a variety of teaching methods, including audio, visual or text-based. Online provides the same content and coursework, and you can earn the same degree as face-to-face students.

CSWE Accredited

University of South Dakota Master of Social Work programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Accreditation signals that graduate social work education program satisfactorily meets the council’s standards and stresses both in person on online, are subject to the same standards and criteria. The CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the United Stand and its territories.

Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants must meet all the requirements of the Graduate School for admission. Apply now.
  2. Baccalaureate degree must be from an institution with full regional accreditation.  
  3. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or graduate GPA of 3.0 or better, based on a 4.0 scale for the conferred degree or demonstration from the applicant to maintain a 3.0 in graduate study. This can be demonstrated if a student has successfully completed two or more graduate courses.

Additional MSW Program Requirements:

Prospective students are required to submit application materials for both Graduate School and an online application service provided by the council on Social Work Education. SocialWorkCAS allows applicants to create a single application and set of materials to apply to multiple programs.

1. A completed Graduate Application. A non-refundable application fee of $35 must accompany the application form. Submit by December 1.

2. Create an account in the Social Work Centralized Application Service online portal (SocialWorkCAS) and submit application by December 1.

Applications must submit the following to SocialWorkCAS: 

  • SocialWorkCAS Online Application
  • Statement of purpose or goal statement
  • Cover letter and resume
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from a combination of academic and professional references
  • One official transcript verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and previous graduate credit earned from all institutions attended
  • APA style 3-5 page paper with a minimum of five (5) references focusing on social justice issues of interest (i.e. homelessness, immigration, foster care, drug/alcohol addictions, human trafficking)

Degree Requirements

Regular standing designation is for students who do not have a baccalaureate social work degree from a CSWE-accredited program. The courses begin in the fall (mid-August), and students must complete 60 credit hours.

View Regular Standing Course Schedule

Advanced standing designation is for students with a baccalaureate degree (BSW/BSSW) in social work from a CSWE-accredited program. The courses begin in the summer (May), and students must complete 36 credit hours. Individuals holding a bachelor's degree in social work within 7 years that was received from an accredited CSWE program may request consideration for advanced standing. A request for advanced standing is required to be submitted in the cover letter.

View Advanced Standing Course Schedule

M.S.W. Online Program

The online program is offered for regular and advanced standing students who cannot commit to face-to-face offerings. It is offered fully online utilizing Desire 2 Learn software. Course schedule are the same as illustrated above for regular standing and advanced standing tracks.

View Curriculum

Apply Now

SocialWorkCAS Application

SocialWorkCAS Help Center

SocialWorkCAS Fee Waiver Program

SocialWork CAS Transcript Processing Center
P.O. Box 9212
Watertown, MA 02471

The Classroom & Beyond

  • Engaging Student Experience

    As a social work student, you get the opportunity to learn about the profession in a number of activities and organizations like conferences and the Social Work Student Association.

  • Hands-On Education

    All our students complete fieldwork as part of their education. There is a wide range of agencies and locations where our students participate in hands-on learning.

  • Scholarships

    There are scholarships available for graduate students.