Social work is a profession that works to enhance individual organizational, and community potential. Social workers are employed in both public and private human service agencies and work with a variety of populations including individuals, families, small groups, organizations and communities.

If you are interested in enhancing people’s potential and believe in the worth and dignity of all individuals, then social work may be the career for you. We encourage you to discuss social work career opportunities with one of our faculty members.

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 SOC 230;
  • 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 be accepted into the Social Work Program prior to enrolling in SWK 360 unless a student has spoken to the social faculty advisor and plans to submit his/her application concurrently with taking SWK 360. 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) must be submitted 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.

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).

Social work majors must successfully complete a second formal admissions process before entering SWK 480 – Practicum in Social Work and SWK 485 – Social Work Practicum Seminar. To be eligible to enroll in SWK 480 and SWK 485, students must have earned a minimum grade of C in all SWK prefix courses and carry a minimum overall GPA of 2.50. In addition, students must continue to meet the professional and academic standards of conduct outlined previously.

The application process includes submission of a pre-professional resume (outline available from the Field Coordinator), completion of a field application, and interviews with the Field Coordinator and with prospective field instructors (agency social workers). Practicum planning regularly begins one or two semesters prior to entering the practicum. While every effort is made to identify those students ready for field practicum, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the Field Coordinator of his/her intent to apply to the social work practicum.

Students must maintain certain standards to graduate with a BSW. They

  • must maintain a 2.5 overall GPA;
  • must earn at least a C in all SWK prefix courses;
  • Continue to meet the professional and academic standards of conduct delineated by Missouri Western State University and the NASW Code of Ethics

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.

Missouri Western State University’s BSW Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation, our national regulatory body.

Many hands stacked together

The Social Work Program's Mission Statement

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.