Des Moines MSW Program


SAVE THE DATE: Class of 2019 graduation ceremony will be held on the evening of Wednesday, May 8, 2019. Check back for more details.

10/25/2018 Dr. Sandra McGee, 1954-2018

9/11/2018 Dr. Sandra McGee inducted into Iowa African American Hall of Fame

8/11/2018 Des Moines MSW Student Kirsten Klepfer Quoted in NY Times

7/11/2018 BREAKING NEWS: School of Social Work's Des Moines Programs Moving to Pappajohn Center in Spring 2019

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 MGee, PhD​

The University of Iowa, School of Social Work has offered the MSW program in Des Moines since 1967, and is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. It is administered by the School of Social Work in cooperation with the Distance and Online Education Programs.

Both full and part-time MSW programs are available at the Iowa Center for Higher Education--though due to recent budgetary decisions made by University of Iowa, that facility will be closing and we will move our classes to the John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center in Spring 2019. 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 hold MSW degrees 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 ZOOM, 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 the main UI campus in 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. Des Moines is a diverse metropolitan environment, providing a wide range of field and practicum opportunities to students.

For those without an accredited BA Social Work degree, the MSW program requires 60 semester hours. For those with a BA Social Work, 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; BA Social Work 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 Registration for Des Moines MSW Information Sessions

LISTEN! Our Latest in Social Work Podcast with Dr. Sandra McGee

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

Iowa Center for Higher Education (formerly AIB)
2500 Fleur Drive
Des Moines, IA 50321

Apply online to the MSW program.