Department of Criminal Justice, Legal Studies & Social Work


The social work program operates under a selective admissions policy. Students are considered "pre-majors" until they meet the minimum requirements to be accepted as a social work major. Admission to the social work program involves the completion of an application packet online at

Minimum requirements for admission into the social work major include:
  • Completion of the general studies math requirement;
  • Completion of ENG 108 general studies requirement
  • Completion of BIO101 (or equivalent)
  • Completion of REL 250, 251 OR 252; and
  • Completion of SWK250, SOC110, PSY101, and ENG 108 with a minimum grade of C in each course;
  • Must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.5;
  • Must have earned a C or better in all completed SWK prefix classes;
  • Must agree to and conduct themselves in a manner consistent with accepted professional social work practices and the current NASW Code of Ethics (see Social Work Student Handbook);
  • Cannot have exhibited behavior that will infringe on their present or future ability to adequately fulfill professional social work responsibilities. The social work program's admissions committee reserves the right to require applicants to submit additional materials if the Committee questions the student's ability to adequately fulfill professional responsibilities (see Social Work Student Handbook);
  • Cannot have violated the University Code of Conduct/Student Disciplinary Code.
Students must complete the social work admission process prior to enrolling in SWK360 and must submit completed application packets online no later than the first Friday in October or March. The social work program's admissions committee will review all application packets and interview all applicants. Admission decisions are based on a student's academic performance; professional, personal, and academic conduct; references; and responses to application and interview questions.

Once admitted to the social work program, social work majors are expected to maintain professional and academic standards of conduct. The social work program at Missouri Western reserves the right to place a student on probationary status or remove a student from the major because of violations of these standards Social Work Student Handbook).

Eligible students should submit the formal application packet (an Application Form, a Personal Statement, three letters of reference, a signed Social Work Handbook Form and Code of Ethics Form) by the first Friday in October or March. The social work admissions committee will review application materials and interview all applicants. Admission decisions are based on a student's:
  • interview responses,
  • academic performance,
  • personal statements,
  • complete and pass a criminal background check,
  • references,
  • application responses, and
  • prior personal and academic conduct.
All members of the admissions committee, by a simple majority vote will then make one of the following decisions:
  • To unconditionally accept a student into the Program;
  • To conditionally accept a student into the program
  • To place a student on probationary status; or
  • To deny formal acceptance.
Students may appeal admission decisions based on criteria contained in the Social Work Student Handbook. The social work program does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, age, creed, ethnic or national origin, disability, or political or sexual orientation.

Personal Statement As part of your admission application to the social work program, please prepare a "personal statement" that addresses the areas listed below. The Admissions Committee will use the summary to assess your basic writing skills and to help them arrive at a decision about your admission application. Your type-written summary should be approximately four-five pages in length and double-spaced. Personal Statement Outline
  • Discuss your perceptions of the social work profession.
  • Discuss at least two major reasons you chose to pursue a social work career.
  • Describe your successes in school, work, and your personal life.
  • Describe the barriers you have had to overcome to pursue your educational, work, and/or personal goals.
  • Describe your experiences working with people (voluntary and/or paid). Please indicate the type of setting and the length of your experience in each setting.
    • In your opinion, what experiences have prepared you to work effectively with diverse populations (e.g., racial, ethnic, age, disability, socioeconomic, sexual orientation, and/or religious diversity)?
    • In your opinion, what difficulties might you encounter working with any of the groups listed above? (Please be specific.)
  • Describe your professional career plans.
  • List or provide a summary of your strengths that equip you for the social work profession.
  • All social workers exhibit personal limitations that sometimes interfere with effective social work practice. What limitations have you identified and targeted for change?
In addition to the item listed above, applicants should include any additional information pertinent to the admissions decision.