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 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 Division of Continuing Education Center for Credit Programs.

Both full and part-time MSW programs are available at the Iowa Center for Higher Education. 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 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 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 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

LISTEN! to this radio program, Insight on Business, as they talk about the UI School of Social Work Program in Des Moines. "For close to 50 years the University of Iowa has had a Masters in Social Work presence in the Des Moines Metro. Five years ago a Bachelor Degree program was added. Now the entire program moves from downtown to the University Education Center formally known as the AIB College of Business. With us to talk about the career and the education options are Jacqueline Gloede, a senior in the BA program, Elizabeth Hoifeldt, a graduate of the BA program and a counselor with Mercy First Step Recovery in Des Moines. From the program we have Dr. Sandra L. McGee, Assistant Clinical Professor and Christy Thies, MSW, the Des Moines Program Coordinator."

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.      

2018 Graduation for Des Moines BA and MSW students is Wednesday, May 9th at 7:00 pm. It will be held at the Iowa Center for Higher Education, 2500 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, in the Activities Center.