• Course Delivery
    100% Online
  • Total Credits
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

A masters degree in social work from MU can help you further your career in clinical practice or policy, planning and administration. If you want to help individuals, families or groups maximize their opportunities for change, this may be the degree for you.

Job titles of recent MSW graduates: 

  • Adoption specialist 
  • Cardiovascular social worker 
  • Counselor 
  • Family advocacy representative 
  • Policy planning specialist 

Note: The MU School of Social Work accepts applications for the online MSW from students in Missouri and contiguous states (Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois). Students must reside within this region to maintain eligibility for the online MSW. 

Program structure and topics

The online masters in social work is 100 percent online: no campus visits are required, however a field practicum involves supervised work at an approved agency.Students typically take two classes each semester. If you have advanced standing (i.e., you have completed a bachelors degree in social work within seven years of beginning MSW course work), you can complete the 39-credit-hour program in two years (six semesters).If you are admitted with regular standing (i.e., you have a bachelors degree in an area other than social work), you will need to complete 60 credit hours, which would most likely take three years (nine semesters).

Course work covers: 

  • Intervention with individuals, families, small groups and communities 
  • Policy making and advocacy practice 
  • Human behavior and psychopathology 
  • Research in social work 
  • Management of social agencies

Admissions & Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. The MU School of Social Work accepts applications for the online MSW from students in Missouri and contiguous states (Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois).
  2. Completed baccalaureate or advanced degree from a regionally accredited institution. For advanced standing, you must have completed a bachelor’s degree in social work within the last seven years at a school that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
  3. Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate education and for any undergraduate professional social work courses. If your GPA is lower than required, please contact Crystal Null, Student Support Specialist, at nullc@missouri.edu to find out your options for applying.
  4. Completion of an approved college-level statistics course (e.g., SOC_WK 4310, STAT 1200, STAT 1300, ESC_PS 4170) with a grade of C- or higher. Courses at other institutions are subject to approval by the MSW program director.
  5. If English is not your native language, please submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. Minimum TOEFL sub-scores are reading, 21; listening, 22; speaking, 26; and writing, 23. Minimum IELTS sub-scores are 6.5, 6.5, 8 and 6.
  6. Transcripts of all previous college or university education. Upload unofficial transcripts in your online application and have official transcripts mailed to Office of Graduate Studies, 210 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211.
  7. Résumé or CV.
  8. Three letters of recommendation from professors, employers, supervisors, etc. attesting to your intellectual ability, interpersonal skills, potential for graduate education and potential for professional social work practice. Graduate studies will contact your references with instructions for the letters.
  9. Personal statement addressing all areas on the personal statement form. Please submit your answers in one document; do not submit a different document for each question.
  10. If you are applying for advanced standing, please submit the most recent copy of your field evaluation. If your program does not have field evaluations, please have the director of field or your supervisor/instructor complete one of your three professional references.
NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

To apply to this program:

Send in your application in time. The MSW (advanced and regular standing) has only one start date per year, in August.

Application Deadlines

Early bird application
January 15
Final application
March 1


  • SOC_WK 7000Professional Social Work Practice3 Credits

    This course introduces the social work profession within a historical and contemporary context, provides an overview of key concepts, standards and regulations, and assists students in examining personal and professional values and ethics related to practice. Graded on an A-F basis only.

  • SOC_WK 7220Advanced Social Work Practice in Integrated Healthcare3 Credits

    The course will introduce students to the essential practice skills needed to effectively address the challenges of integrating services, care, and support for persons with health, mental health, and substance use problems. Graded on A-F basis only.

  • SOC_WK 7710Social Policy and Service Delivery in Social Work

    Covers historic and contemporary issues in social welfare policy. Focuses on relationships among social problems, public policies, private actions, poverty, racism, sexism and social work practice/values. Graded on A-F basis only. Prerequisites: restricted to graduate Social Work majors.

  • SOC_WK 7720Foundations of Human Behavior3 Credits

    Substantive sources from behavioral sciences used in social work toward understanding the biosocial processes and constraints of human development. Prerequisites: restricted to graduate Social Work majors.

  • SOC_WK 7730Social Work Skills3 Credits

    Introduces theory and application of strengths-based generalist practice. Develops knowledge, values, and techniques of professional social work practice at micro, mezzo, and macro levels, emphasizing assessment and interaction skills. Prerequisites: graduate standing in social work; Foundation level course.

  • SOC_WK 7740Large Group Theory (2 credit hours)3 Credits

    Examination of social environment in which social work is practiced with particular emphasis on development of analytic framework for understanding formal organizations and communities. Prerequisites: graduate standing in Social Work.

  • SOC_WK 7760Social Justice Seminar (2 credit hours)3 Credits

    Provides integrative learning experience in social work practice in foundation level social work practice focusing on social and economic justice experiences in field practicum. Prerequisites: restricted to graduate Social Work majors. Corequisites: SOC_WK 7971.

  • SOC_WK 7770Strategies of Clinical Social Work Intervention3 Credits

    Strategies of social treatment with individuals and small groups applicable to practice in public and private social agency settings. Prerequisites: graduate standing in social work; departmental consent required.

  • SOC_WK 7780Fundamentals of Social Work Administration3 Credits

    Basic managerial skills which social workers need for supervision, planning, staff development and administrative positions in social agencies; focus on individual management functions and skills associated with them. Prerequisites: restricted to graduate Social Work majors.

  • SOC_WK 7820DSM V and Psychopathology: A Social Work Perspective3 Credits

    Examines psychopathology of human behavior within social work context, prevailing diagnostic models (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V), and historically oppressive categorizations. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in Social Work.

  • SOC_WK 7920Advanced Foundations of Human Behavior for Administrators3 Credits

    Examination of relevant theoretical and behavioral foundations in order that students can acquire the knowledge to function as a social work administrator. Prerequisites: graduate Social Work majors.

  • SOC_WK 7952Research Methods in Social Work3 Credits

    Examines research methodology and design as applied to the study of social work techniques and problems. Emphasizes differential uses of scientific observation and techniques for developing knowledge and improving practice. Prerequisites: Graduate Social Work Majors.

  • SOC_WK 7971Graduate Field Practicum I (4 credit hours)3 Credits

    Supervised social work practice in a school-approved agency providing a full range of interventive experiences. Graded on S/U basis only. Prerequisites: admission to MSW program; SOC_WK 7710, SOC_WK 7720, SOC_WK 7730, SOC_WK 7740, SOC_WK 7760. Departmental Consent Required.

  • SOC_WK 8350Management of a Social Agency3 Credits

    Basic resource management and control techniques common to social agencies with emphasis on personnel management, information and data management, and fiscal management. Prerequisites: restricted to Graduate Social Work majors.

  • SOC_WK 8952Evaluative Research in Clinical Social Work Practice3 Credits

    Develop ability to systematically evaluate effectiveness of interventive strategies designed to produce positive change in clients' environment and/or cognitive, affective and behavioral functioning. Prerequisites: SOC_WK 7952. Restricted to graduate Social Work majors.

  • SOC_WK 8953Evaluative Research in Social Work3 Credits

    Develop ability to design and implement appropriate evaluative research methods and strategies employed in social and human service delivery. Prerequisites: SOC_WK 7952. Restricted to graduate Social Work majors.

  • SOC_WK 8970Professional Practice Seminar I3 Credits

    Provides integrative learning experience in social work practice in an area of beginning specialization in autonomous social work practice. Prerequisites: restricted to graduate Social Work majors. Corequisites: SOC_WK 8971.

  • SOC_WK 8971Graduate Field Practicum II3 Credits

    Field instruction tailored to concentration interests, developing depth in clinical skills in direct service or in planning and administration. Graded on S/U basis only. Prerequisites: Restricted to graduate Social Work majors. Completion of all required graduate coursework except SOC_WK 8970. Corequisites: SOC_WK 8970.

Tuition & Fees

Missouri Resident Fee Rates
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $367.60
  • Fees: $71.77
  • Total: $439.37
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1102.80
  • Fees: $215.31
  • Total: $1318.11
Missouri Non-Resident Fee Rates
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $367.60
  • Fees: $71.77
  • Total: $439.37
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1102.80
  • Fees: $215.31
  • Total: $1318.11
Tuition rates are subject to change.

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