The profession of social work is a regulated profession at the state level. This means that the title and social work roles are protected. Various levels of licensure, along with scope of practice for each, are codified in the state of Missouri and are available for reference. For additional information, refer to the Missouri Committee for Social Workers here.

The State of Missouri and many other states require a degree from an accredited social work program in order to sit for the social work licensure exam in the state. Obtaining a degree from an accredited social work program and passing the ASWB licensure exam are the first steps toward applying for a social work license in Missouri and other states.

The Social Work program at Missouri Western has met all standards and is approved by CSWE. Missouri Western’s Social Work program prepares students to move directly into employment or, on to graduate school. This means that students who complete this program, can use this degree in many geographic areas, states, with populations or provide services.  The State of Missouri does offer a license for BSWs but most positions do not require it. The State of Kansas, our close neighbor, generally requires a license to work as a Bachelor’s level Social Worker. The BSW degree from Missouri Western will meet the requirement the person will need to sit for the exam to become licensed. Other states may have different requirements for licensure. Information about other states requirement for licensure can be found at

If you have any questions about licensure in Missouri or any other state, please feel free to discuss it with department faculty; who will be happy to assist.

Many hands stacked together

Students who choose this bachelor degree program will have no more than 6 years from admission or subsequent declaration to meet the requirements listed below. If certification, accreditation or statutory requirements change and additional requirements become effective during this time, the new requirements take precedence. 

Note: Students pre-admitted into the bachelor degree program (pre-major) have three years to meet admission requirements before moving to the overall 6 year time-frame allowed to complete the program requirements. 
General Studies
Major Requirements
SOC 230Social Problems3
SWK 250Introduction to Social Work4
SWK 320Philosophy and Policy in Social Services I3
SWK 330Human Behavior and the Social Environment I3
SWK 350Social Work Practice I4
SWK 360Social Work Practice II3
SWK 415Social Work Practice III4
SWK 420Philosophy and Policy in Social Services II3
SWK 430Human Behavior and the Social Environment II3
SWK 480Practicum in Social Work10
SWK 485Social Work Practicum Seminar2
Applied Learning Research Requirement
GBA 210Business Statistics I3
or MAT 111 Introductory Statistics
or MAT 111E Introductory Statistics
or PSY 300 Introductory Psychological Statistics
CRJ 325Understanding Research in Criminal Justice3
or SOC 460 Methods of Social Research
SWK 470Program Evaluation3
Diversity Requirement
SOC 400Racial and Ethnic Relations3
Select three credit hours from the following:3
Multicultural Education
Human Sexuality
American Women's History
African American History
Race, Science, and Medicine in American History
Psychology of Gender
Religions of the World
World of Islam: People, Cultures & Societies
The Family
Sociology of Health, Illness and Medicine
Restricted Electives
Select nine credit hours from the following:9
Interpersonal Conflict Resolution
Introduction to Aging Studies
Selected Topics in Social Work
Mental Health and Social Work
Substance Use and Disorders
Death And Dying
Family and Child Welfare
Bridge to Practicum
Independent Research/Project
Advanced Research Project

NOTE: Students are expected to meet the professional and academic standards of conduct.

Program Graduation Requirements 

  1. Earn a grade of C or higher in all SWK prefix coursework in the major.
  2. Earn an overall GPA of at least 2.5 and a major GPA of at least 2.0.

University Graduation Requirements 

  1. Earn a minimum of 120 credit hours (100 level and higher, maximum of 6 CED credit hours applicable).
  2. Earn a minimum of 30 credit hours in upper-division courses.  Lower-division transfer courses accepted as meeting upper-division departmental course requirements cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.
  3. Earn 30 of the last 45 credit hours at MWSU in institutional coursework (exclusive of credit by examination).
  4. Participate in required departmental and campus wide assessments. 
  5. Fulfill the Missouri Constitution requirement.
  6. Successfully pass the Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement exam. 
Are you ready to declare this major? Download, sign and submit the form to the Criminal Justice, Legal Studies and Social Work Department.
Mapping your degree plan is important. Consult with your academic advisor to create a plan and monitor it regularly.