Social Work

Graduate programs

Master of Social Work

Program Administrators:

MSW Program Coordinator and Joplin Site Manager
Jannette Eldred
724 Illinois
Joplin, MO  64801
417-629-3940
jeldred@missouristate.edu

School of Social Work - West Plains Site Manager
603 West Main Street, Gohn Hall
West Plains, MO  65775
417-255-7777

Field Education Coordinators:

Springfield and West Plains Campuses
Regina Russell, Pummill Hall, Room 105-1 
417-836-6322; RRussell@missouristate.edu

Joplin Campus
Janette Eldred; 724 Illinois, Joplin, MO 64801
417-629-3942; jeldred@missouristate.edu

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;  Springfield, Joplin and 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 Missouri State-West Plains campus.  Since Joplin and West Plains are considered satellite programs 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 and to West Plains students in Missouri and Arkansas.

The School of Social Work offers the MSW program in two formats:  Advanced Standing and Regular programs.  At the Springfield campus, both the Advanced Standing and Regular programs are offered in full- and part-time sequences. At the Joplin and West Plains campuses, both programs are available in a part-time sequence only.  Admission to the Springfield Campus is held yearly.  Admission to the Joplin and West Plains programs are held in rotation years.

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 (six 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.

Master of Social Work admission Objectives

Admission to the Master of Social Work program is competitive and selective.  All applicants applying on time and meeting the minimum standards will be considered for admission.  However, merely meeting these standards does not guarantee admission.  Only those students showing significant promise for a career in social work will be admitted to the program.   The MSW program is committed to providing equal educational opportunities to all students regardless of their economic or social status, race, color, gender, sexual orientation, political orientation, disability, age, veterans’ status, or marital or parental status.

Proficiency Examinations and Life Experience

The MSW program does not currently allow completion of degree requirements through proficiency examinations except to use CLEP.  No credit will be given for life or work experience in lieu of field practicum, foundation courses, elective or family health concentration courses.

Transfer Students

The MSW program will consider transfer credits for core courses only from accredited graduate schools of social work.  A maximum of 12 graduate hours from such programs may be accepted if taken at the Foundation level.  No transfer course work will be accepted for classes taken at the Concentration Level.  Elective credit may be transferred from other social work programs or from programs related to social work (i.e., psychology, counseling, public health, etc.).  Elective courses must have been taken within 5 years of entering the MSW program in order to count toward the degree requirements.  

After a prospective student has been accepted for admission, the Graduate Admissions Committee will determine the amount of acceptable transfer credit (up to the maximum credit allowed) following a review of official transcripts, catalog descriptions, and course syllabi.  Primary emphasis is on assessing whether the objectives and content of transfer courses matches those of required Missouri State University courses.  No transfer credits for core courses or electives will be accepted if the student earned less than a "B" or took the class more than 5 years prior to enrolling in the MSW program.

Social Work Policies and Procedures for Review of Academic Performance and Grievances

All social work graduate students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner consistent with the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics.  All policies concerning student academic performance and personal conduct are delineated by University Policies.  All related or other departmental policies and procedures are published on the School of Social Work web site: http://www.missouristate.edu/swk/.

Application Deadlines

Applications must be completed and in the School of Social Work office before 5.00 p.m. on the last working business day of January for the year of desired admission for both Advanced Standing and REgular MSW applicants.  Deadlines will be strictly enforced so applicants are encouraged to apply early.  

Applications must have all application materials turned into and/or received by the School of Social Work and the Graduate College by the application deadline for full consideration.  Since the Graduate College materials may take processing time, applicants should complete these requirements at least two weeks before the deadline.

Applicants must print and mail completed application packets.  All required forms are found on the MSW website under Admission (listed below).  Mail to:  School of Social Work; MSW Admission Committee, 901 S National Ave, Springfield, MO 65897.

Important Note:  Applicants should visit the MSW website (www.missouristate.edu/swk) for the latest information and updates related to admissions and to access the online application system.  Admission materials for the upcoming year will be posted by October of the year prior.

Admissions to the MSW program involves the “whole person” concept.  As such, the admission process takes into account a person’s character and personal fitness to the social work profession, academic preparedness for graduate study and potential to conduct applied social work as evidence by previous employment or significant volunteer experience in human services, the student’s statement of purpose, letters of reference, and other information relevant to the admission decision.

Admission Requirements for the Regular MSW Program

Applicants to the Regular MSW program must meet the following requirements to be considered for admission:

Applicants must have earned a bachelor's degree from a college or university accredited by a regional agency recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation.

Note in regard to the GPA:  Those with less than a 3.25 who have exceptional qualifications toward becoming a professional social worker may be considered, but are not guaranteed an admission review (based on the number of applications which meet the minimum standards).

Prerequisites:  Applicants must show evidence of a bachelors degree that encompasses a liberal arts perspective with at least 9 credits of social science, child, family or aging studies preferred.  A liberal arts perspective is considered a program of study that involves classes from many of all of the following areas:  economics, history or geography; natural, applied or life science; humanities, philosophy or literature; writing or other communication studies; mathematics or statistics; and social or human sciences. 

Applicants must also have taken at least 3 credits in research design and/or statistics with a grade of C or better, preferably in the social sciences, as evidenced in the departmental application and student transcript.

Admission Requirements for the Advanced Standing Program

Applicants to the Advanced Standing MSW program must meet the following requirements to  be considered for admission:

  1. Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from an undergraduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education no longer than seven years prior to admission to the MSW program.
  2. Applicants must have no more than one grade of "C" and not grades below "C" in social work major courses.
  3. Applicants must have earned an overall GPA of at least 3.25 on a 4.00 scale for all undergraduate course work taken.  The GPA for upper-division course work (last 60 hours) in undergraduate classes may be used if higher than the overall GPA and if this GPA is calculated by the Graduate College or a referring college office.

Note in regard to the GPA:  Those with less than a 3.25 who have exceptional qualifications toward becoming a professional social worker may be considered, but are not guaranteed an admission review (based on the number of applications which meet the minimum standards).

 

Application Materials and Requirements

All MSW program applicants must complete the required application materials and procedures below.  Note that certain items must be turned into the School of Social Work (SSW) office, while others must be submitted directly to the Graduate College office.

Items or Procedures for Graduate College office:

  1. Submit all prior college transcripts and course work.
  2. Complete a Graduate College Application.
  3. Pay the required application fee.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for MSW applications.

Items or Procedures for SSW department office:

  1. Complete a department application for the MSW program.
  2. Submit written personal statements that conform to the requirements set forth in the MSW program application.
  3. Submit three letters of reference that indicate the applicant’s potential to be successful in graduate study and to become an independent, professional social worker.  These must be included in your mailed application packet in sealed envelopes signed on the back by the reference.
  4. Submit a professional resume.
  5. Any other forms or items listed on the website.
Academic Standards

Students are expected to meet graduate school requirements for good academic standing of a 3.0 GPA for all graduate course work transferred in or earned at Missouri State University. Students will be dismissed from the program for any of the following academic reasons:

  1. Two grades of “C” in any social work degree courses
  2. A grade of “no pass” or “C” in any field practicum (i.e., SWK 740 and SWK 780).
  3. A grade below “C” in any graduate social work degree courses or any counting towards the MSW degree.
Research Requirement

A masters research project is required primarily conducted within the requirements of the two research classes in the MSW curriculum.  A poster presentation displaying this research is also required.

Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive examination, typically administered in the final semester of the MSW program, must be passed by the candidate before a degree will be granted.

Degree Requirements for Regular Standing MSW Program

The Regular MSW program requires a minimum of 62 hours of graduate credit plus any prerequisite courses.  The required courses by curriculum level are listed as follows for both full-time and part-time options.  The first phase in the program is the Foundation Level and involves courses taken in the first year (if full-time status) or first and second years (if part-time).  These courses must be completed before enrolling in the second level of classes.  The second phase of course work is the Concentration Level and involves courses taken in the second year (if full-time status) or third and fourth year (if part-time).  Typical class schedules by semester and year are found on the School of Social Work website for both full-time and part-time students:  http://www.missouristate.edu/swk/

Required Courses for Regular Standing MSW Program:

Foundation Level Courses:

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
SWK 705 Human Behavior in the Social Environment 3 hrs
SWK 710 Foundations in Social Work Practice with Individuals 3 hrs
SWK 715 Social Welfare Policy and Services 3 hrs
SWK 725 Foundations in Social Work Practice with Families and Groups 3 hrs
SWK 726 Foundations in Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations 3 hrs
SWK 730 Perspectives in Human Diversity and Societal Systems 3 hrs
SWK 740 Social Work Field Practicum I (450 hours) 10 hrs
  Level Total 28 hrs

Concentration Level Courses:

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
SWK 746 Foundations in Social Work Research 3 hrs
SWK 750 Human Behavior and Family Systems 3 hrs
SWK 754 Perspectives on Individual and Family Health Assessment 3 hrs
SWK 755 Family Health Social Work Practice I 3 hrs
SWK 756 Family Health Social Work Practice II 3 hrs
SWK 760 Family Health Policy 3 hrs
SWK 780 Social Work Field Practicum II (525 hours) 10 hrs
SWK 797 Applications in Social Work Research 3 hrs
  Social Work Elective 3 hrs
  Level Total 34 hrs
  Degree Total 62 hrs

Current Elective Courses in the MSW Program:

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
SWK 602 Rural Health (online) 3 hrs
SWK 641 Family Health and Family Violence  3 hrs 
SWK 695 Forensic Social Work 3 hrs
SWK 696 Health Literacy in the Human Services (online) 3 hrs
SWK 699 Special Topics in Social Work Practice 3 hrs
SWK 742 Family Health and Substance Abuse 3 hrs
SWK 743 Management and Program Development In Human Services (online) 3 hrs
Required Courses for Advanced Standing Program

The Advanced Standing MSW degree requires a minimum of 34 semester hours of graduate credit and involves the classes described above as the Concentration Level of course work.

Concentration Level Courses:

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
SWK 746 Foundations in Social Work Research 3 hrs
SWK 750 Human Behavior and Family Systems 3 hrs
SWK 754 Perspectives on Individual and Family Health Assessment 3 hrs
SWK 755 Family Health Social Work Practice I 3 hrs
SWK 756 Family Health Social Work Practice II 3 hrs
SWK 760 Family Health Policy 3 hrs
SWK 780 Social Work Field Practicum II (525 hours) 10 hrs
SWK 797 Applications in Social Work Research 3 hrs
  Social Work Elective 3 hrs
  Degree Total 34 hrs