School of Social Work


Accelerated Masters optionIncludes accelerated master's option

Master's programs

Program Description

The MSW program (fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education) prepares students for advanced social work practice in an area of family health concentration. The student acquires the professional foundation of social work knowledge, values, and skills directed toward an area of concentration, which is family health. Goals of the MSW program include the following.

  1. Provide foundation curriculum built upon the liberal arts that emphasizes a generalist perspective in family health and practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
  2. Prepare graduates committed to appreciating and accepting diversity among various groups of people.
  3. Provide the social work profession with graduates who are able to skillfully respond to social problems, social change initiatives and differing service delivery systems that affect family health.
  4. Infuse and affirm the values, ethics purpose and goals of the social work profession throughout the educational curriculum.
  5. To prepare advanced social work practitioners who understand and accept the responsibility to become and remain proficient in professional practice through lifelong acquisition of knowledge and skills.

The MSW Program is currently offered at three campuses; one in Springfield, one in Joplin and one in West Plains. The Springfield site is the primary Missouri State University (MSU) campus and is where the main department office of the School of Social Work resides. The Joplin site is located at 724 Illinois Street. The West Plains program is on the West Plains campus. Since Joplin is considered a satellite program offered via Missouri State Outreach program, in-state tuition is available to Joplin students regardless of whether they live in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas or Oklahoma.

The School of Social Work offers the MSW program in two formats: the Advanced Standing and the Regular programs. Both the Advanced Standing and the Regular programs are offered in full- and part-time sequences.

The Advanced Standing program is designed for students who have a baccalaureate degree in social work (BSW) from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program and who meet the other Advanced Standing program admission requirements. Those who have substantial work experience in the social work field and/or have completed course work in social work (even a minor) but have not graduated with a BSW, are not eligible for Advanced Standing. The Advanced Standing program involves 34 credit hours and can be completed in full-time status (three semesters) or part-time status (five semesters). Advanced Standing students begin their studies during the Summer semester of the admission year.

The Regular MSW program is designed for students who do not have a baccalaureate degree in social work from a program accredited by the CSWE, or who do not meet the other admission requirements for the Advanced Standing program. The Regular program requires 62 credit hours to earn the MSW degree. The student can complete the program in full-time status (two calendar years) or part-time status (four calendar years or in mixed status (three calendar years). Students accepted for admission into the regular MSW program begin their studies in the Fall semester of the admission year.

The School of Social Work offers Full-time and Part-time Advanced Standing and part-time Regular Programs on all campuses. The full-time Regular program is only offered on the Springfield campus at this time.