MSW program mission

The central mission of the Master of Social Work program is the preparation of students for advanced social work practice and leadership in the following areas: Clinical Mental Health; Community Practice; Families and Children; Health, Disability and Aging.

The Master of Social Work program reflects the public education and research mission of the University of Minnesota, the educational purpose of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and the professional values of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). The program is grounded in the School’s history of advanced scholarship and knowledge building, as well as its tradition of leadership for and commitment to working for social justice.

The curriculum is grounded in a person-in-environment construct, as well as the history, values, ethics, research and knowledge base of the profession. In addition, the curriculum rests on the principle that a just society is one that provides for the basic human needs of all citizens and that all persons should have equal opportunities to share in society’s social, political, and economic goods. In developing the curriculum, the program places particular importance on preparing social work professionals (in such roles as case managers, policy analysts, clinicians, and community organizers) to have a practical understanding of how power and privilege, and their opposites, shape the roles that all of us play in society. Also, as a reflection of this commitment, we strive to create a learning environment that is diverse in all aspects. Further, we use this environment to help all students develop the sensitivity and skills necessary to work effectively in diverse communities.

Assistant Professor Amy Krentzman led an MSW class on motivational interviewing.


The following goals for the MSW program are derived from its mission:

  • The MSW program will prepare graduate students for entry into advanced social work practice and leadership for the profession.
  • The MSW program will prepare professionals who are able to evaluate social work practice and programs critically and empirically, and who are able to apply evidence-based best-practice knowledge and skills effectively with diverse populations in a range of practice settings.
  • The MSW program will support and promote the public good by expanding access to graduate social work education throughout the state, with emphasis on practice in the arena of public-sector social services and policy.
  • The MSW Program will create opportunities for graduate social work education for members of groups that have historically been denied access to professional graduate education for reasons related to bias, oppression and economic disparity.