Social Work

Bachelor's, Transfer Pathway


Work with and advocate for individuals of all ages, families, and other groups. Help communities and organizations achieve their goals and improve their overall well-being. Advocate for social justice in policy, practice, and research.

Why Study Social Work at Winona State?

Social workers serve in a wide variety of roles in society.  

Social workers:  

  • provide services to help clients maximize their well-being 
  • advocate for social justice and combat structural and institutional inequities 
  • partner with families to meet their physical, psychological, and emotional needs  

Get ready to support people through various life challenges and be eligible for professional licensure after graduation with the Social Work major at Winona State. 

The BSW degree offers students several opportunities to achieve more than 600 hours of in-field and practicum experience with long-established agency partners in the region.  

Whether you’re continuing from high school, transferring from another institution, or returning to college as a working professional, this program offers convenient in-person and hybrid options. 

This degree is offered through WSU’s Department of Social Work and is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).  

What Will You Learn as a Social Work Major?

As a Social Work major, you’ll learn best practices for providing services to clients at all levels, from individuals, families, and groups to organizations and communities. 

You’ll also:  

  • assess the impact of environmental and cultural factors on human behavior. 
  • improve research skills by evaluating individual interventions, programs, and services. 
  • learn about current and previous social welfare policies at the state and federal levels. 

Your coursework will prepare you for work in various settings, such as community organizations, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and rehabilitative and correctional facilities. 

If you want to attend graduate school, this degree will also make you eligible for advanced standing in most Master of Social Work programs—like Winona State’s very own MSW program. This means this major will help you finish your MSW in less time, saving you money. 

Graduation Requirement

Aside from major- or minor-specific requirements, you’ll need to complete additional requirements through the General Education Program (GEP) to earn your degree from Winona State University.

Learn More about the GEP
Program Options

After you complete your General Education courses and Social Work foundation classes, you’ll be ready to apply for the BSW program. In your application, you’ll select which option you prefer: in person at Winona or hybrid at Rochester. 

Learn the same core curriculum on both campuses.

Choose the course delivery method that best suits your schedule, location, and learning preferences. 

Winona Campus
Winona Campus

This option delivers coursework entirely in person, meaning on-campus attendance is required.

See Required Courses
Rochester Campus
Rochester Campus

This option delivers coursework in a hybrid format, which combines online and in-person learning.

Students attend at least 4 in-person sessions at Rochester Community & Technical College (RCTC).

See Required Courses
Student Success Stories
Jose Valtierra-Rangel ‘21

After emigrating from Mexico with his family, Jose Valtierra-Rangel ‘21 is driven to help youth struggling with trauma and leave a legacy for his own children. 

Diana Tapia Alvarado ‘21

First-generation student Diana was inspired to pursue Social Work by her single mother, who sacrificed many things to provide Diana the best chances for life.

Jacob Stock ‘18

WSU is all about improving the world—and helping others is at our core. Jacob’s passion for working with people and building them up made him a great fit for this program. 

Program Highlights

Real-World Training

Field Experiences & Internships

On-the-job training is important, which is why you’ll complete 600 practical hours as a Social Work major.

This includes a 120-hour field experience internship and a 480-hour practicum internship in an entry-level social work setting prior to graduation.

These intensive field experiences will give you hands-on, faculty-supervised practice with a variety of target populations and workplaces throughout the region.

With more than 140 field partners, our program is known for preparing students to enter the social work profession after graduation.

Research Opportunities

In addition to your practicum, you’ll hone your research skills by completing a capstone project during your final semester.

Explore an issue in social work practice, implement a change activity, and evaluate your project based on the results. You’ll share a summary of your capstone at the BSW Capstone Symposium.

For example, you could find yourself developing a texting outreach campaign to introduce new citizens to the importance of voting, identifying and implementing support systems for cancer patients, or creating a resource to determine accessibility at a senior center.

Beyond the Classroom

Community-Based Learning

Stand out on your job applications even further with impressive volunteer experiences. 

Connect with community needs through advocacy activities with Engage Winona’s Community Change Maker Lab.

Advocate for state-level policy change at Minnesota’s Social Work Day at the Capitol. 

And bridge the gap in access to health care through Bridges Health, a student-led and faculty-supported clinic that provides free services to community members. 

Students talking on a couch
Title IV-E Child Welfare Stipend

Are you passionate about promoting child welfare through child protection, foster care, adoption, family, and tribal social services?

Learn about these public child welfare services, gain hands-on experience before graduation, and get paid for it with the Title IV-E Child Welfare Scholar program.

You’ll be ready to apply your skills at Title IV-E eligible welfare agencies afterward.

Learn More
Children's Center young boy smiling on a swing
Hear from Social Work Alumni
I truly believe WSU’s Social Work program—along with the Title IV-E program—is the best in the state. The education I received was tailored to my needs, and the professors went above and beyond to help me achieve my goals.
Carlee Byrum ‘21
Both professionally and personally, the BSW program at WSU helped me grow. Not only did I learn the foundations of being a Social Worker, but also I became a better version of myself.
Kelsey Hermanson ‘21
The WSU BSW program helped me connect with social service programs in the community, supported me through an internship in the field of my dreams, and set me up for my current job as a Child Protection Social Worker.
Becca Rose ‘19
Careers & Outcomes

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, generalist social worker jobs anticipate a 9% growth by 2031.  

Additionally, social workers working in the areas of substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counseling are expected to grow 22% in the next 10 years.  

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