SOCIAL WORK (SOWK) - SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK

School of Social Work
Summit Classroom Building 201, (651) 962-5800
Shank (dean), Baboila, Bauer, Brenden, Carlson, Caron, Chovanec, Dhanju, Ferguson, Fletcher, Garrett, Graham, Hill, Hollidge, Hurley-Johncox, Husebo, Itzkowitz, Kuechler, Marrs Fuschel, Nesmith, Peterson, Richardson, Roseborough, Solomonson, Sy, Toft, Vang, Winkler

Department Web Site: http://www.stthomas.edu/socialwork/undergraduate/default.html

Your spark of idealism, belief in social justice and love of working with people, together with a degree from our accredited social work program, will prepare you for one of the fastest growing careers of the future. At St. Thomas, you'll acquire professional knowledge, values and skills that will empower you for a challenging and rewarding career in social work.

St. Thomas’ social work program prepares students for work in a wide range of settings. Recent graduates have been hired in such diverse places as hospitals, community centers, human services departments, public schools, women's shelters, nursing homes and mental health centers. Other graduates find work in private industry, group homes, chemical dependency programs, programs for the elderly, and privately supported family and children's agencies. 

The social work major is a joint offering of St. Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas. The curriculum is rooted in a philosophy of social responsibility and respect for individuals' rights. Drawing from the Judeo-Christian traditions of social caring, we prepare students to use social work knowledge, values and skills to demonstrate the intrinsic value of all humankind as they serve those in need and promote social justice and human rights. Rooted in educational justice and community engagement, our program prepares generalist social workers committed to professional ethics and values, service, social justice and human rights. Our comprehensive program integrates theory, research, fieldwork and personal growth components. As a social work major, you'll also take courses in human biology, introduction to sociology, general psychology and lifespan developmental psychology.
 
Courses in the social work major will prepare you for beginning level social work and for graduate study.  The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education at the baccalaureate level and qualifies graduates to take the examiniation for licensure at the licensed social worker level. 

You will expand your knowledge of social work beyond the boundaries of the classroom by completing a fieldwork practicum. During your junior and senior years, you will complete 600 hours of fieldwork, giving you the opportunity for hands-on experience in a variety of settings. Approximately 50 social service agencies come to campus to interview students for fieldwork placements, and nearly 80 percent of our students receive their first choice for fieldwork. Local agencies, such as the Wilder Child Guidance Center, Catholic Charities, Shriners Hospital, the American Red Cross and the St. Paul and Minneapolis Public Schools will be potential sites for you to apply theory to real-life situations.
 
The fieldwork experience also gives you the opportunity to explore your perspectives about people and the challenges and potential they bring to a social service agency. These experiences will complement your academic work through integration of theory and practice. With this excellent on-the-job training and meaningful course work, nearly 80 percent of St. Thomas’ social work graduates secure positions in their field within six months of graduation.

The School of Social Work includes 30 St. Kate's and St. Thomas faculty who are known for their teaching excellence and scholarship and are eager to lend their expertise concerning academic and professional issues. Our faculty members hold leadership positions in local, regional and national professional organizations and have expertise in areas such as medical social work, school social work, social policy, child welfare, AIDS and international social work. Your professors will enthusiastically challenge you and encourage you to reach your full potential.

The School of Social Work has been recognized as a national leader for its strong commitment to social justice. Social Work for Social Justice: Ten Principles, developed by the program and used in the baccalaureate and graduate programs, have been adopted by programs across the country.  The social work program also has an active Social Work Club and Honor Society, Phi Alpha.

The social work program requires students to be formally admitted to the major. This process takes place in February of the junior year. Prospective majors must have a grade point average of 2.25 and must be interviewed by the School of Social Work faculty.

The program described below is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education at the baccalaureate level and qualifies graduates to take the Minnesota Board of Social Work examination for State of Minnesota licensure at the licensed social worker level.

Social Work Honor Society

Beta Epsilon, the campus chapter of Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society, was established at the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University in 2002. The purpose of this organization is to advance excellence in social work practice and to encourage, stimulate and maintain scholarship of the individual members.

As a social work major, you are eligible for membership after achieving a junior or senior standing, earning a minimum of six semester hours or equivalent in social work, achieving an overall grade point average of 3.25 or above, and a social work grade point average of 3.50 or above. 

International Study

As a social work student you will have an opportunity to study in Mexico in the spring semester of your junior year. This semester-long program will enable you to take all required social work courses as well as study Spanish.

Major in Social Work

Social Work - Major Field Guide

  • SOWK 281 Introduction to Social Work (4 credits)
  • SOWK 340 Human Behavior and the Social Environment (4 credits)
  • SOWK 355 Communication and Interviewing Skills (4 credits)
  • SOWK 375 (2 credits) and 376 (2 credits) Junior Fieldwork in Social Work or 378(4 credits - only for students studying abroad fall or spring semester)
  • SOWK 380 Social Work Research (4 credits)
  • SOWK 385 Group Work Skills (4 credits)
  • SOWK 391 Social Policy for Social Change (4 credits)
  • SOWK 401 Generalist Practice I: Small Client Systems (4 credits)
  • SOWK 402 Generalist Practice II: Large Client Systems (4 credits)
  • SOWK 405 and 406 Senior Fieldwork in Social Work (4 credits each)

Allied requirements

  • BIOL 105 Human Biology (4 credits) or BIOL 1120C Biology of Women (4 credits)
  • PSYC 111 General Psychology (4 credits)
  • PSYC 202 Lifespan Development (4 credits)
  • SOCI 100 Introduction to Sociology (4 credits)

Required Fieldwork Experience

These experiences, arranged by the School of Social Work, provide practical learning in social work agencies, institutions and, or departments to complement your academic work through integration of theory and practice.

Junior year:

Two semesters of approximately eight to ten hours per week off campus field work totaling 200 hours, plus weekly seminar groups on campus. As a social work student, contact your social work adviser or program director during the second semester of sophomore year to discuss the placement process.

Senior year:

Two semesters of approximately 15-20 hours per week off campus field work totaling 400 hours, plus bi-weekly seminar groups on campus.

Elective courses

Electives are updated frequently. Visit www.stthomas.edu/socialwork/undergraduate/curriculum/default.html for a current list of electives.

  • CDC 3000C Introduction to Chemical Dependency (4 credits)
  • CDC 3050C Chemical Dependency and the Family (4 credits)
  • IDSC 291T/INDI 2910C The Anatomy of Violence (4 credits)
  • IDSC 293T/INDI 2940C Grief, Loss and Coping (4 credits)
  • INDI 499C Multi-Professional Community Work and Learning Semester Abroad – Cuernavaca, Mexico
  • SOWK 2100C Relationships, Intimacy and Sexuality (4 credits)
  • SOWK 390T Faith, Social Transformation and Social Work (4 credits)*
  • SOWK 441T Family Resilience and Diversity
  • SOWK 423T Practice with Older Adults and their Families (4 credits)
  • SOWK 490T Topics: Child Welfare
  • SOWK 490T Topics: Practice with Military Service Members, Veterans & their Families
  • SOWK 299C Social Justice: Social Development International

*Crosslisted with THEO 397 which fulfills the 300 level theology course requirement at the University of St. Thomas. You must register for the course as THEO 397 in order to get THEO credit.

Admission Process

The School of Social Work requires you to be formally admitted to the major. This process takes place at the middle of the junior year. As a prospective major, you must have a GPA of 2.25 and be interviewed by faculty of the school. Contact your adviser for more details.

Minor in Social Welfare

A minor in social welfare is available through the joint School of Social Work at St. Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas. A minor in social welfare is not accepted by the Council on Social Work Education as preparation for beginning-level generalist social work practice. A minor is offered for your own learning in the area of social welfare.

  • SOWK 281 Introduction to Social Work (4 credits)
  • SOWK 340 Human Behavior and the Social Environment (4 credits)
  • SOWK 391 Social Policy for Social Change (4 credits)

Plus eight credits from the following:

  • PSYC 202 Lifespan Development (4 credits)
  • PSYC 207 Alcohol, Other Drugs and Behavior (4 credits)
  • SOCI 251 Race and Ethnicity (4 credits)
  • SOWK 380 Social Research: Designs and Statistical Application (4 credits)

(The C designation following a course number indicates the course is offered at St. Catherine University; the T designation indicates that the course is offered at the University of St. Thomas.)

Course Number Title Credits
SOWK  210 Relat/Intimacy/Sexuality 4
SOWK  243 Individual Study 2 OR 4
SOWK  269 Research 2 OR 4
SOWK  281 Introduction to Social Work 4
SOWK  295 Topics 2
SOWK  296 Topics 2
SOWK  297 Topics 4
SOWK  298 Topics 4
SOWK  340 Human Behav & Social Env 4
SOWK  355 Comm/Interviewing Skills 4
SOWK  375 Jr Fieldwork in Social Work 2
SOWK  376 Jr Fieldwork in Social Work 2
SOWK  378 Jr Fieldwork in Social Work 4
SOWK  380 Social Work Research 4
SOWK  385 Group Work Skills 4
SOWK  389 Research 2 OR 4
SOWK  391 Social Policy for Change 4
SOWK  393 Individual Study 2 OR 4
SOWK  401 Gen. Pract I: Small Client Sys 4
SOWK  402 Gen Pract II: Large Client Sys 4
SOWK  405 Sr Fieldwork/Social Work 4
SOWK  406 Sr Fieldwork/Social Work 4
SOWK  423 Prac w/Older Adults & Families 4
SOWK  441 Family Resilience/Diversity 4
SOWK  475 Experiential Learning 2
SOWK  476 Experiential Learning 2
SOWK  477 Experiential Learning 4
SOWK  478 Experiential Learning 4
SOWK  483 Seminar 2
SOWK  484 Seminar 2
SOWK  485 Seminar 4
SOWK  486 Seminar 4
SOWK  487 Topics 2
SOWK  488 Topics 2
SOWK  489 Topics 4
SOWK  490 Topics 4
SOWK  491 Research 2 OR 4
SOWK  495 Individual Study 2 OR 4