Master of Social Work Programs

The MSW program prepares social workers for leadership in the profession and for advanced social work practice in a wide range of settings. The program's general focus is on family systems and social change, both domestic and international. Its primary goals are met through a set of professional foundation requirements and advanced courses which enable all students to understand the dynamics of human development and change; to understand the links between society's structures and families; to acquire skills for working with individuals, families, small groups, and communities; and to learn how to enhance the responsiveness of human service organizations. The program has been continually accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) since 1951. A complete description of the program is available from the University Catalogue. Here is a list of all of our course descriptions.

View the CSWE Assessment of Learning Outcomes for the MSW program

Master in Social Work Program Options

Three MSW options (Regular, Advanced Standing and Accelerated Advanced Standing) are available in Iowa City and Des Moines, and two options (Regular and Advanced Standing) are available for the 3 year cohort in the Quad Cities. Applicants to any of these options, at any of our centers, complete the same basic application.  The Accelerated Advanced Standing Program has additional guidelines.

*The Sioux City 3 year cohort is currently underway and the Hybrid Online program began in Summer 2018.

  • 60 semester hour (s.h.) – Regular Standing – designed for those who have completed a degree in a discipline other than a CSWE accredited social work degree program.  Applicants to this program apply for Fall admission, the deadline is February 1.
  • 48 s.h. – Advanced Standing – designed for those who have completed the BA in Social Work or BSW from a CSWE accredited social work degree program.  Applicants to this program apply for Fall admission, the deadline is February 1.
  • 41 s.h. – Accelerated Advanced Standing – designed for those who have completed the B.A. in social work or the B.S.W. from a CSWE-accredited social work degree program and who meet additional criteria. Additional forms and written requirements are part of the application. Applicants apply for Summer admission; the deadline is December 1.
  • Online MSW Program for those who cannot access one of our other learning centers. A cohort model of a 3 year part time study classes began in May 2018.  The next Hybrid Online cohort is proposed to start in Summer 2020.