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Social Work

School of Social Work 

For More Information

BSW Program Director

Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-6953
Fax: 417-836-7688
Email: SocialWork@missouristate.edu

Career Preparation

The social work profession has a long history of working with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities to help them improve their quality of life. In order to accomplish this goal, social workers are employed in social service agencies - large and small, public and private, religious and secular - that concern themselves with a wide range of social problems and policies: health, mental health, disabilities, public and child welfare, family services, corrections, criminal justice, alcohol and drug abuse and services to the elderly. Social workers are also employed in business and industrial settings. Beginning salaries for social workers vary considerably. Those with BSW degrees may expect an annual salary ranging up to $30,000: those with an MSW degree may expect an annual salary ranging up to $40,000.

If you are a person who genuinely wants to work with people in need; a person who believes in the dignity and worth of every person; a person who is warm, caring and sensitive; a person who accepts the differences in people; and a person who supports such values as self-determination, democracy and social and economic justice, then you will find the profession of social work a very rewarding career opportunity.    

Academic Program

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program’s primary objective is to prepare students with the professional knowledge, skills and values needed to become beginning generalist practitioners. The program includes a study of human beings and the environments in which they live. The BSW program offers a comprehensive major that requires 61 to 62 credit hours of sequenced course work in human biology, psychology, sociology, economics and social work and six credit hours of approved social work electives for a total of 73 to 75 credit hours.

As part of these 73 to 75 credit hours, students must satisfactorily finish during their senior year a nine-credit hour supervised internship (four days a week for one semester in an approved human service agency). Upon successful completion of the general education requirements, social work requirements and electives to bring total credit hours to the University’s requirement of 125, students earn BSW degrees.

Education, Missouri State students desiring more advanced training at the graduate level leading to a Master of Social Work degree (are given special consideration by most graduate schools). The Missouri State School of Social Work offers an accredited Master of Social Work degree program. Students who graduate with a BSW degree from any CSWE accredited undergraduate program are eligible to apply to Missouri State’s MSW advanced standing program or any other CSWE accredited MSW program that offers advanced standing status. BSW graduates are eligible to apply for licensure in Missouri and many other states.


Please consult the Missouri State Catalog online at www.missouristate.edu/catalog for specific course information.

Required Social Work Courses

  • SWK 306: Interviewing Skills in Generalist Social Work Practice
  • SWK 200: Introduction to Social Work
  • SWK 219: Human Diversity
  • SWK 325: Human Behavior and the Social Environment I
  • SWK 300: Service Learning in Social Work, or a 40-hour advisor-approved volunteer experience may be substituted
  • SWK 305: Social Work Practice With Individuals
  • SWK 313: Social Justice
  • SWK 213: Social Welfare Policy and Services I
  • SWK 418: Methods of Social Research in Social Work Practice
  • SWK 326: Human Behavior and the Social Environment II
  • SWK 314: Social Welfare Policy and Services II
  • SWK 420: Social Work Practice with Groups and Families
  • SWK 430: Social Work Practice in Communities and Organizations
  • SWK 480: Social Work Integrative Seminar
  • SWK 490: Practicum in Social Work
  • SWK Electives (6 hours)

Required Related Courses

  • BIO 102: Principles of Biological Science or
  • BMS 100, 105, or 110 Concepts in the Biomedical Sciences
  • COM 115: Fundamentals of Public Speaking
  • ECO 155: Principles of Macroeconomics, or
  • ECO 165: Principles of Microeconomics, or equivalent
  • ENG 110: Writing I
  • ENG 210: Writing II
  • PLS 101: American Democracy and Citizenship
  • PSY 121: Introductory Psychology
  • PSY 304: Abnormal Psychology
  • SOC 150: Introduction to Society
  • SOC 302: Statistics for Social Research or Statistics Course


The faculty members in the School of Social Work are actively involved in student curriculum development and career advisement. They are developing creative learning experiences such as videotaping and are including students in their various research efforts. The BSW faculty have national and international reputations. They conduct research and publish in scholarly and professional journals at a rate that places them near the top of all undergraduate social work education programs and in excess of many graduate programs. All faculty are involved in numerous public service activities, including roles as editors and editorial board members of professional journals. Several serve on the boards of local, state and national human service organizations.


The School of Social Work is housed on the third floor of Pummill. The BSW program is committed to helping students become socialized into the profession beyond classroom courses with educational directed field internships in such social service agencies as the Division of Family Services, the Division of Youth Services, Springfield Public Schools, Cox Health Centers, the Missouri Hotel/The Kitchen, the Child Advocacy Center, the state legislature and many others.


The BSW Social Work Club, recognized as the outstanding student organization at Missouri State in 1998 and 2001, initiates and organizes several community events throughout the year. In addition, students are involved in School of Social Work committees. Students in the program have an excellent record of passing BSW licensure examinations.

The BSW program participates in a Title IV-E program that awards several $7,200 scholarships each year to seniors who complete a child welfare internship with the Missouri Division of Family Services. Several other agencies provide internships that offer some financial assistance to Social Work students as well.

Sample Schedule

Missouri State is committed to assisting students to graduate in four years--see sample graduation plans for this major.

The following is a sample schedule for this major--your actual schedule will vary.