Minors & Initiatives

*Please note, these minors and initiatives are not accepted by the Council on Social Work Education as preparation for beginning-level generalist social work practice and completing one of these minors will not allow you to be "advanced standing" for MSW programs or sit for the social work licensing exam.

A minor is offered for your own learning in the area of social welfare. NOTE: A minor in social welfare is not accepted by the Council on Social Work Education as preparation for beginning-level generalist social work practice.

  • SOWK 181: Introduction to Social Work (4 cr)
  • SOWK 240: People and Environment: Theories of Behavior, Justice, and Impact (4 cr)
  • SOWK 291: The Anatomy of Violence (4 cr)
  • SOWK 391: Social Policy for Social Change (4 cr)

Plus eight credits from the following:

St. Thomas courses:

  • PSYC 202: Lifespan Development (4 cr)
  • PSYC 207: Alcohol, Other Drugs and Behavior (4 cr)
  • SOCI 251: Race and Ethnicity (4 cr)
  • SOWK 380: Social Work Research Methods (4 cr)


The Area of Emphasis in Gero-Social Work will guide Senior students through linking coursework, field practice, and leadership to gerontological social work. Approximately 4-6 BSW seniors will be selected for the program each year. The program will combine an aging specific course, course assignments, field practice, and leadership opportunities for the students. The School of Social Work Aging Services Coordinator selects students in consultation with BSW faculty. The Aging Services Coordinator will serve as the program advisor to selected students.

Go to the Area of Emphasis in Gero-Social Work page


Social work is a perfect pairing for many complementary disciplines.  We have established (and are in the process of finalizing*) specific co-major paths with the following majors at St. Thomas. See links to view the co-major planning guide or the online guide to the interdisciplinary major (in the case of Family Studies and Women's Studies). Work with your adviser to explore options to pair social work with any number of other degrees! Popular dual majors include:

Public Health • Women's Studies
Sociology • Family Studies
Criminal Justice • Justice and Peace Studies*

Earn credit towards graduate study

Students interested in mental health professions and considering graduate school in the future should be aware of the benefits of completing a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Social Work majors (or co-majors) who decide to puruse a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree can enter many MSW programs as "advanced standing" students, receiving credit for the social work foundation coursework completed in their BSW program.

Get your MSW in one year instead of two

Know you want to practice clinical social work? BSW students enter the St. Thomas MSW program having met 18 credits towards their graduate degree. The School of Social Work offers an Accelerated MSW Admissions Process for current Junior BSW majors, providing a seamless transition to graduate school. Graduates should also explore our MSW Alumni Grants that represent a tuition discount of 10%.