Graduate Studies

Since 1917, the School of Social Work has been preparing scholars, social workers, community leaders, faculty, and more through advanced scholarship and knowledge-building, as well as its tradition of commitment to leading and working for social justice.

The University of Minnesota is one of the nation’s largest research institutions and provides students with the opportunity to work with faculty in virtually every field—including medicine, law, agriculture, business, public affairs, child development, education, and technology. The land grant mission of the University focuses on the responsibilities of community engagement, which fits well with our interest in community-engaged research. The research productivity of our faculty was ranked 20th out of 76 U.S. social work doctoral programs in a recent study.

MSW Students
MSW students Alex and Taylor explained their project for advanced social work evaluation.

The core values of the profession of social work—service, social justice, integrity, competence, the importance of human relationships, and the dignity and worth of every person—inform all of our programs.

Graduate Programs

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Prepare for leadership in advanced social work practice through concentrations in Clinical Mental Health; Community Practice; Families and Children; or Health, Disability and Aging.

Our MSW program also offers the option of dual master's degrees, pairing with Master of Public Health, Master of Public Policy, or Master of Urban and Regional Planning.

Master of Education (MEd) in Youth Development Leadership

Assist professionals who work with and on behalf of youth in traditional and non-traditional settings. Gain a better understanding of the youth development process and demonstrate leadership in working with youth.

PhD in Social Work

Contribute to the knowledge base of the social work profession and work toward a just, nurturing, and inclusive society. This program emphasizes advanced scholarship, theory development, policy analysis, and research design and application.


This page on the One-Stop Student Services website explains tuition rates for graduate and professional students.

Aid & Funding

The School of Social Work offers some financial aid based on need and/or following the intentions of the donors. Learn more about our funding opportunities.

Social Work Employment

Our graduates are in demand from employers around the metro area, the state, and the country. Regularly updated job listings tailored for our graduates bring both academic and non-academic career paths within reach.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

The School welcomes students who are not enrolled in the Master of Social Work (MSW) or Youth Development Leadership (YDL) programs, but who wish to take graduate-level courses. Learn about course registration and transfer as a non-degree seeking student.

Diversity Resources

The School of Social Work commits itself to creating a culture of scholarship and service that welcomes all students and responds to the populations served by our graduates. We strive to create a learning environment that is diverse in all aspects. Our students make use of the many resources across the campus that support diversity.

Resources within the School of Social Work

  • SSW Diversity and Equity Committee
  • Meditation room
  • Space for nursing mothers
  • Gender neutral restroom

College and University Resources

College of Education and Human Development: Building Diversity and Equity

Community of Scholars Program

Disability Resource Center

Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans-Life

International Student and Scholar Services

Graduate School Diversity Office

Office for Equity and Diversity

Women's Center

Student Groups on Campus

Graduate Support Staff

Director of Graduate Studies

Lynette M. Renner, PhD

Graduate Program Coordinator

Laura Rosenberg, MSW

Director of the PhD Program

Lynette M. Renner, PhD

Director of Youth Development Leadership (MEd) Program

Ross Velure Roholt, PhD

MSW Program

Suzanne Shatila, MSW
Director of the MSW Program

MJ Gilbert, MSW
Director of Field Instruction

Rosetta Chears
Field Program Coordinator