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USD Graduate Social Work Program to Discuss Licensure Program

Three students sit in comfortable chairs with laptops and notebooks on their laps. USD hosts "MSW: Path to Licensure Program," a free digital webinar for those interested in learning about the Master of Social Work degree and the benefits of a social work license.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota hosts “MSW: Path to Licensure Program,” a free digital webinar intended for those interested in learning about USD’s high-quality, affordable and accredited online Master of Social Work degree and the benefits of a social work license Monday, Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. CST.

Panelists include Kelly Bass, DSW, LCSW-PIP, ACS, associate professor and MSW program director at USD, and Dana Frye, program assistant for the MSW program. Bass is a leading scholar in the educational initiative and one of the key contributors to the national development of the Path to Licensure program.

“The serious regional shortage of social workers in rural communities and the greater complexity of cases social workers face is leading employers to require an employee to have their master’s degree in social work,” said Bass.

USD implemented the Path to Licensure in 2017 and is just one of eleven universities in the nation to adopt the program. The Path to Licensure program blends online learning and 500 hours of hands-on field education. It also prepares and automatically qualifies students to take the master level exam. Since 2017, 84% of USD MSW graduates have passed the exam, exceeding the national passage rate by over 17%.

“As a program, we provide the education and hands-on training that looks at how all factors in a person's life — family, work, health and mental health — work together. Given the success of our program and license pass rates, we can be confident that our graduates are entering the workforce licensed and prepared to do tough work,” Bass said.

Becoming a licensed social worker through the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) enhances the credibility of the holder, provides support and services to the social work community and establishes and enforces ethical practice standards.

Access the webinar through the USD Graduate School webinar platform. To view the page, create a login. The webcast will be available for on-demand viewing in the following days.

Learn more about USD's MSW Program


USD’s School of Health Sciences is a national leader in interprofessional health sciences education. South Dakota’s comprehensive School of Health Sciences develops scholars, practitioners and leaders in health and human services, including addiction counselors, dental hygienists, health science practitioners, medical laboratory scientists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physician assistants, public health practitioners and social workers.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News