Social Work (Bachelor of Social Work, B.S.W.)

This is a draft edition of the 2024-2025 catalog. Information contained within is subject to change.

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) prepares students for beginning generalist social work practice.  Students will have multiple applied learning opportunities, including a semester long practicum, to prepare them to work in the field across a variety of social service settings. Students will be challenged to create a generalist skill set which includes, one-on-one, group, and community work, critical thinking, self-awareness, and communication.  These skills are framed by the profession’s core values of service, social justice, dignity and worth of all individuals, importance of relationships, integrity, and competence. The program offers a variety of electives for expanding a student’s knowledge in specific practice areas.

Missouri Western’s Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

The social work program operates under a selective admissions policy. Students are considered "pre-majors" until they meet the minimum requirements to be accepted as a social work major. Admission to the social work program involves the completion of an application packet. Minimum requirements for admission into the social work major include:

  • Completion of the general studies math requirement (MAT111 or MAT111E preferred)
  • Completion of the ENG 108 College Writing and Research general studies requirement
  • Completion of SOC 230 Social Problems, PSC 101 American National Government, and ECO 101 Current Issues in the Economy
  • Completion of BIO 101 Principles of Biology or equivalent
  • ENG 108 College Writing and Research, SWK 250 Introduction to Social Work, SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology and PSY 101 General Psychology with a minimum grade of C in each course
  • Must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.50
  • Must have earned a C or better in all completed SWK prefix classes required for the major
  • Must agree to and conduct themselves in a manner consistent with accepted professional social work practices and the current NASW Code of Ethics (see Social Work Student Handbook)
  • Cannot have exhibited behavior (past or present) that will infringe on their present or future ability to adequately fulfill professional social work responsibilities.

Students typically complete the social work admissions process during the fall semester of the junior year when enrolled in SWK 330 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I/SWK 350 Social Work Practice I.  Students must be accepted into the Social Work Program prior to beginning SWK 360 Social Work Practice II unless a student has spoken to the social faculty advisor and plans to submit his/her application concurrently with taking SWK 360 Social Work Practice II.  Admission decisions are based on a student's academic performance, professional, personal and academic conduct, references, and responses to application and interview questions.

The Social Work Program does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, age, creed, ethnic or national origin, disability, political affiliation, or sexual orientation.

In accordance with Council of Social Work Education standards, MWSU does not grant academic credit, course waivers, or field practicum credit for previous life or work experiences.

Once admitted to the social work program, social work majors are expected to maintain professional and academic standards of conduct. The social work program at Missouri Western reserves the right to place a student on probationary status or remove a student from the major because of violations of these standards (see Social Work Student Handbook).

Students who choose this bachelor degree program will have no more than 6 years from admission or subsequent declaration to meet the requirements listed below. If certification, accreditation or statutory requirements change and additional requirements become effective during this time, the new requirements take precedence. 

Note: Students pre-admitted into the bachelor degree program (pre-major) have three years to meet admission requirements before moving to the overall 6 year time-frame allowed to complete the program requirements. 
General Studies
Students must complete General Studies courses42
Major Requirements
SOC 230Social Problems3
SWK 250Introduction to Social Work4
SWK 320Philosophy and Policy in Social Services I3
SWK 330Human Behavior and the Social Environment I3
SWK 350Social Work Practice I4
SWK 360Social Work Practice II3
SWK 415Social Work Practice III4
SWK 420Philosophy and Policy in Social Services II3
SWK 430Human Behavior and the Social Environment II3
SWK 480Practicum in Social Work10
SWK 485Social Work Practicum Seminar2
Applied Learning Research Requirement
GBA 210Business Statistics I3
or MAT 111 Introductory Statistics
or MAT 111E Introductory Statistics
or PSY 300 Introductory Psychological Statistics
CRJ 325Understanding Research in Criminal Justice3
or SOC 460 Methods of Social Research
SWK 470Program Evaluation3
Diversity Requirement
SOC 400Racial and Ethnic Relations3
Select three credit hours from the following:3
Multicultural Education
Human Sexuality
American Women's History
African American History
Race, Science, and Medicine in American History
Psychology of Gender
Religions of the World
World of Islam: People, Cultures & Societies
The Family
Sociology of Health, Illness and Medicine
Restricted Electives
Select nine credit hours from the following:9
Interpersonal Conflict Resolution
Introduction to Aging Studies
Selected Topics in Social Work
Mental Health and Social Work
Substance Use and Disorders
Death And Dying
Family and Child Welfare
Bridge to Practicum
Independent Research/Project
Advanced Research Project

NOTE: Students are expected to meet the professional and academic standards of conduct.

  1. Earn a grade of C or higher in all SWK prefix coursework in the major.
  2. Earn an overall GPA of at least 2.5 and a major GPA of at least 2.0.

University Graduation Requirements 

  1. Earn a minimum of 120 credit hours (100 level and higher, maximum of 6 CED credit hours applicable).
  2. Earn a minimum of 30 credit hours in upper-division courses.  Lower-division transfer courses accepted as meeting upper-division departmental course requirements cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.
  3. Earn 30 of the last 45 credit hours at MWSU in institutional coursework (exclusive of credit by examination).
  4. Participate in required departmental and campus wide assessments. 
  5. Fulfill the Missouri Constitution requirement.
  6. Successfully pass the Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement exam.