Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs in North Dakota - Campus and Online

The University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks is currently the only school in the state of North Dakota that offers a Master of Social Work (MSW) program. UND’s Department of Social Work, a division of the university’s College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines, has an advanced generalist MSW program that provides training and instruction in clinical and macro practice social work. The program is offered in several formats, including an online traditional format that does not require students to have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work, and an advanced standing format for students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an undergraduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Advanced standing students have a choice between completing their degree via online instruction or campus-based classes.

UND’s Department of Social Work houses the North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Child & Family Training Center (CFTC), which is the primary training center for child welfare services professionals in the state. The MSW program offered by UND’s Department of Social Work is fully accredited by the CSWE.

Additional information and details about the MSW program options offered by UND and about MSW programs offered by out-of-state schools in the North Dakota region are provided in the sections below:

Traditional MSW Programs in North Dakota

Traditional MSW programs are full-length master’s programs that require applicants to have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university but which do not require a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. While traditional MSW programs may have additional admissions requirements or prerequisites, they are designed for students who do not have prior academic training in social work and are thus comprised of general foundational instruction in social work followed by advanced training in the practice of social work. Full-time students can typically complete these programs in two years, while students who enroll part-time generally graduate in three or four years.

The University of North Dakota’s (UND) Department of Social Work offers a traditional MSW program with an advanced generalist curriculum that covers foundational social work training and specialization training in clinical and macro practice social work. The UND program is offered in a part-time, online format with live synchronous instruction, two required campus residencies, and field education requirements totaling 950 hours of in-person, site-based social work practice. The program is designed to be completed in three years of part-time enrollment.

Advanced Standing MSW Programs in North Dakota

Advanced standing MSW programs are designed for students who have already completed introductory and foundation coursework and field education in social work through a CSWE-accredited BSW program. These programs are generally offered as a designated track within a school’s MSW program. Students who gain admission to advanced standing programs typically begin their studies with what would otherwise be the second year of a full-length traditional MSW program, completing specialization coursework and field education placements. As a result, the advanced standing track of an MSW program can generally be completed in one year of full-time enrollment or two years of part-time enrollment.

It is important to note that admission to advanced standing programs is not automatic, as these programs typically have selective admissions policies. In addition to requiring applicants to hold a BSW degree, advanced standing programs commonly have additional requirements, such as a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a four point scale. Many advanced standing programs also require students to have earned their BSW degree within the past five to seven years in order to qualify for admission.

The University of North Dakota (UND) offers online and campus-based program options for students who meet the UND Department of Social Work’s admissions criteria for its advanced standing MSW program. To be eligible for the advanced standing program, applicants must hold a BSW degree with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher and a grade of C or better in a college-level statistics course.

UND’s advanced standing MSW program has an advanced generalist curriculum that provides specialization training in both clinical and macro practice social work. Students enrolled in campus-based or the online advanced standing program can complete the program’s advanced generalist specialization coursework and 500 hours of required field education in three semesters of full-time enrollment, or approximately one year. Students who enroll part-time in either the online or the campus-based program can graduate with their MSW degree in two years. The campus-based advanced standing program holds classes on Thursdays and Fridays. The online program holds web-based classes in the evenings and requires one campus visit.

Additional MSW Options for Residents of North Dakota

North Dakota residents who are interested in additional options for earning an MSW degree have numerous choices. For example, students who are able to relocate can explore programs offered by schools in neighboring states such as Minnesota, which has ten schools that offer MSW programs. Students who do not want to relocate can explore CSWE-accredited online MSW programs offered by out-of-state schools that accept applicants from North Dakota as well.

Programs classified as online programs by must offer all or most of their didactic coursework via online instruction (i.e., to be classified as an online program on the site, a program must not require more than two campus visits per year) and allow students to find field education sites in their geographical area. For programs that require campus visits, these campus events are typically two to three days in length, but may last a week to ten days. However, many online MSW programs do not require any campus visits. Additional information about out-of-state schools that offer online MSW programs is available on our Online MSW Programs page.

All Master of Social Work Programs in North Dakota

The following icons are used to help students easily identify program types and delivery methods. Traditional programs are indicated with a T, while Advanced Standing programs have an . Campus programs are defined as programs that predominantly use face-to-face instruction, while Hybrid programs combine campus and online instruction. Hybrid-Online programs are mainly online programs but require 3 to ~6 campus visits per year. Online programs are defined as programs that are either fully online or only require 1-2 campus visits per year.