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FAQs – Coeur d’Alene MSW Programs

What is the mission of social work?

The Preamble to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers states: The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. A historic and defining feature of social work is the profession’s focus on individual well-being in a social context and the well-being of society. Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living.

What do social workers do?

According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), social workers help people overcome social and health problems, such as poverty, mental illness, child abuse and neglect, emotional instability, illness, economic uncertainty, domestic violence, homelessness, and drug abuse. They work directly with individuals, couples, families, and groups to identify and overcome these problems. Some social workers also work with communities, organizations, and/or systems to improve services and/or administrate social and health programs. Social workers apply their professional knowledge and skills to help people make the most effective use of their own abilities. When adequate services do not exist in a community, social workers promote the development of new services and programs.

Where do social workers practice?

Social workers are found in many settings, including private practice, mental health, health, schools, community agencies, public welfare, agency administration, legislative services and policy and planning. Social work’s approach is unique among the helping professions because it focuses on people’s problems in the context of their social environment. Social workers believe that people are influenced by the strengths and weaknesses of those around them – in their families, communities, workplaces, and organizations.

What is the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree?

The Master of Social Work Program prepares students for advanced direct professional practice with individuals, families, households, groups, organizations, and communities. Students learn the clinical, organizational, policy and administrative skills necessary for promoting social and economic justice and enhancing the quality of life for all people through agency-based, culturally sensitive advanced professional practice.

What MSW program options are offered by Boise State?

The School of Social Work at Boise State University offers a Master of Social Work with 61 semester credit hours and an Advanced Standing Master of Social Work with 37 semester credit hours.

These degree programs are offered in-person at the Boise State campus in Boise, Idaho and at the Lewis-Clark State College campus in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Students can also select to complete these two degree programs completely online. Finally, there are full-time and part-time Advanced Standing enrollment options offered on the Coeur d’Alene campus. Graduates of all our MSW programs receive their degrees from Boise State University.

What qualifications are expected for applicants to Boise State MSW programs?

We are seeking potential students of exceptional maturity, with values compatible with those of professional social work, with capacity for critical thinking and self-reflection, and with strong potential for personal and professional growth.

What is the criteria for admission into the MSW program?

  • Completion of the Boise State University Graduate Admissions Application and The School of Social Work Application for admission as a graduate student.
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a distribution of liberal arts courses (70 quarter credits or 46 semester credits) and a minimum of 10 quarter credits or 6 semester credits in each of the general distribution areas: humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences/mathematics. Applicants must have also completed coursework with a minimum of a “C” letter grade in a human biology course with a lab (4 semester credits) and a course which contains content on descriptive and inferential statistics (3 semester credits).
  • Completion of course work that provides the student with a basic understanding of the biological processes of human behavior.
  • An overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher and a GPA of 3.0 or higher for the junior and senior years of undergraduate study.
  • Note: Applicants may not receive academic credit for work experience in the field or for life experience.

Is the Graduate Record Examination required?

The Graduate Record Exam is not required for admission to Boise State University School of Social Work Master of Social Work programs. However, applicants may choose to submit GRE scores if their undergraduate Grade Point Averages do not reflect their academic ability.

What is a typical class schedule on the Coeur d’Alene campus?

Full-time Advanced Standing students in Coeur d’Alene complete their MSW degrees in one year. Half-time Advanced Standing students complete their MSW studies in two years. In Coeur d’Alene, most classes are held on Mondays and Tuesdays from 3 pm to 9 pm. There may be a class that is occasionally held online.

How large are classes?

Classes are kept small to foster maximum interaction and exchange of ideas among students and faculty. Classroom classes typically have no more than 15 to 22 students. Practicum seminars typically have no more than 12 students.

Who are the faculty?

Coeur d’Alene classes are taught by full-time members of the faculty of the Boise State University School of Social Work, by members of the Lewis-Clark State College Department of Social Work serving as Boise State adjunct professors, and by outstanding, community-based social work professionals.

How much is tuition on the Couer d’Alene campus?

Students who enroll in the Advanced Standing Master of Social Work at Coeur d’Alene will pay $425 per credit hour. In addition, students participating in the Coeur d’Alene programs will not be charged additional fees for being non-Idaho residents.

Where can I get additional information?

Prospective graduate students should refer to the Graduate Catalog, available online, or request that the Graduate College mail a paper copy. All information for the MSW degree is on the School of Social Work web site. We are happy to receive your calls or e-mail if you have additional questions.

Information about the Coeur d’Alene program is available from:

Megan Dardis-Kunz, LMSW
Boise State University School of Social Work,
1031 N. Academic Way
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
Phone: (208) 779-0738
Fax: (208) 666-6712

How do I get a license to practice social work?

Licensure to practice social work in Idaho is administered by the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses and requires either a baccalaureate or masters degree from an accredited program of social work education, a passing score on the national licensing examination, and good moral character. Graduates who have earned MSW degrees are eligible to take the exam to be licensed as a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). Following a period of social work practice supervised by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) MSW graduates are eligible to take the LCSW examination.

I want to get a social work license without getting an MSW. Can I take a few courses from this program as a non-matriculated student?

Maintaining our status as Idaho’s oldest and largest school of social work accredited through the Council on Social Work Education prohibits us from offering classes to students not enrolled in the MSW Program.

How can I become certified to practice school social work?

Idaho no longer requires the Institutional Recommendation or the school social work course.  All that is needed for the Idaho School Social Worker Certificate is an MSW and current, valid master’s level social work license issued by the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses. Here are the requirements listed on the Dept of Ed’s Certificate for Pupil Service Staff page to become a Certified School Social Worker:

  • Official Transcript with Master’s in Social Work
  • Copy of Idaho Master’s Level Social Worker License issued by the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses

Idaho Department of Education

Please note that school social worker requirements vary by state.


Social Work Licensure

Most graduates of the Boise State School of Social Work choose to pursue licensure as a social worker. Many states, including Idaho, regulate the use of the title social worker to those professionals holding a social work license.

State social work boards determine the requirements for social work licensure and it is important that you become familiar with the requirements for the state in which you expect to practice. The universal first step in the licensure process is to graduate from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) – and Boise State’s MSW program has been continually accredited by CSWE since 1992.

Information regarding each state’s licensure process can be accessed through the Master of Social Work Professional Licensure Disclosures website. In Idaho, licensure to practice social work is administered by the Idaho Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses and requires either a baccalaureate or master’s degree from an accredited program of social work education, a passing score on the appropriate national licensing examination, adherence to the rules governing Idaho licensure set out in Idaho administrative code and, depending on the desired level of licensure, a period of supervised practice.

Due to the variability in state requirements, Boise State University cannot guarantee that our MSW Coeur d’Alene program will fulfill all requirements in the state you plan to practice. It is your responsibility to seek guidance from the applicable social work board to understand your individual licensure requirements.