Des Moines MSW Program

smiling group of students of different ages, genders, and races in a casual class setting

CHANGES TO COME: In the next handful of weeks, we will be announcing a newly-redesigned MSW curriculum and launching a newly-redesigned website! Some areas of our current website may not yet reflect the most current information for prospective students, but please bear with us as we work through all of the necessary updates.

If you are a prospective student with questions, please contact If you are a current student with questions, please reach out to your advisor. Thank you for your patience!


Application deadlines:

  • December 1st for the Accelerated Advanced Standing program

  • February 1st for the Regular and Advanced Standing program

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.

Housed at the John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center in downtown Des Moines, students can complete the program on a full-time or part-time schedule. Most required courses are taught by University of Iowa faculty who live in Des Moines. Electives and a few required courses are taught by adjunct faculty who hold MSW degrees and are experienced 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 video-conferencing system that allows long-distance learners to participate in classrooms across the state.

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 students a wide range of practice experiences.

For students without an accredited bachelor's degree in Social Work, the MSW program requires 54 semester hours. For those with a bachelor's degree in Social Work, the program can be completed in either 36 semester hours or 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). To see curriculum matrices, click here.

Want to learn more? Join an upcoming information session.

For more information, please contact:

Christy Thies, MSW, LMSW -

Des Moines and Online Program Coordinator