Des Moines MSW Program

sandra "I am passionate about the multi-generational impact of systemic racism, discrimination, oppression, sexism, and classism particularly on women and people of color.  I have a strong desire to inform systems and practice settings by privileging the voices of these populations through educational venues and research."  

Sandra McGee, PhD 

2016 Graduation will be held on the evening of Wednesday, May 11th at the Iowa Center for Higher Education (formerlyAIB Activities Center), 2500 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, Iowa 50321


The University of Iowa, School of Social Work has offered the MSW program in Des Moines for more than 40 years, and is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. It is administered by the School of Social Work in cooperation with the Division of Continuing Education Center for Credit Programs.

Both full and part-time MSW programs are available at the University of Iowa John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center. Most required courses are taught by University of Iowa faculty who live in Iowa City or Des Moines. Electives and a few required courses are taught by adjunct faculty who are MSW's and are seasoned social work practitioners in the community with reputations for excellence in the content areas in which they teach. Some courses are taught via CONNECT, a web based interactive communication system that allows long distance learners to participate in classrooms across the state.

Students may complete the entire degree program at the Des Moines center, although they may travel to Iowa City for selected elective courses offered during the summer semester.

The Des Moines program offers students unique opportunities in policy advocacy and access to state government as well as the variety of services available in the state's largest city. The urban environment of Des Moines allows for a wide selection of practicum and field placements for students.

For those without an accredited BSW degree, the MSW program requires 60 semester hours. For those with a BSW, the program can be completed in either 41 semester hours (one-year, full-time program; minimum social work GPA of 3.5 and minimum overall GPA of 3.2; BSW earned within last five years) or 48 semester hours.  To see curriculum matrixes, click here.

Students from diverse academic and experiential backgrounds are valued and actively recruited by the program. Previous experiences in human services and cross cultural perspectives are desirable. Those admitted to the MSW program are eligible to apply for diversity scholarships that provide support for four consecutive semesters. The Alumni of Diversity group provides support and mentoring to those students who request it.

To attend an informational meeting in Des Moines, please see

Click here for article on the School of Social Work & Distance Education.

For more information, contact Christy Thies at 515-235-4662, or

The University of Iowa John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center
1200 Grand Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50309

Apply online to the MSW program.