MSW Program Frequently Asked Questions

When are classes in the MSW program offered?

Our MSW program is considered an evening program.  Core classes are offered Monday through Thursday evenings.  Electives and Practicum seminar classes vary.

How long does the MSW Program take to complete?

The Graduate program is rigorous and requires commitment of time and effort on a full time basis.   With that in mind, those with families and full-time jobs should consider our part-time programs.  Advanced Standing part-time will take 2 years to complete and Regular Standing part-time program will take 4 years to complete.   If you are able to be a full time student and fully commit and focus on studies, Advanced Standing full-time will take 1 year and Regular Standing full-time will take 2 years to complete.

How many days a week do students attend classes?

Schedules vary depending on the exact classes being offered and the student status (full-time or part-time).  However, for fulltime status, most students attend classes three to four evenings during the week in the Fall but only one or two in the Spring.  In the summer, each class meets twice as often (i.e., up to two times a week), so most students attend three to four evenings a week.  In part-time status, the attendance is about half the full-time course load.

Can field practicum placements be done at my current city of residence (or outside of the local university community)?

Yes, practicum placements can sometimes be done in a community outside of the Springfield, Joplin, or West Plains areas.  Some commuting students are able to find placements close to their home communities.  Out of town placements must be approved by the Field Coordinator for that campus and must meet the program and social work accreditation requirements for an MSW-level practicum placement.  The Field Coordinators meets with every student in the Fall to discuss practicum options and to help the student arrange a mutually suitable placement for the Spring term.

Is educational credit offered for work or life experience?

No.  While we respect and welcome those who have life or work experience related to becoming a master level social worker, credit for life experience or work background is not recognized by CSWE as part of a professionial graduate degree.

What electives are offered in the MSW program?

The program provides electives in areas including rural health, legal/forensic social work, substance abuse, domestic violence, and child and family play therapy.  Exact offerings vary from year to year but are designed to meet several areas of interest for students in the program.

Are there any different specialties or specialized “tracks” available?

The MSW program is considered an advanced generalist program, maintaining a goal to prepare graduates for all levels of social work practice.  

Are graduate assistantships available to MSW students?  If so, how competitive are they?

Graduate assistantships (GAs) are highly competitive.   For details on or availability of graduate assistantships, please visit the Graduate College website (

Do you accept international student?

International Students may apply to the master of social work program after:

  1. successful completion of the English Language Institute, Level 502, 
  2. successful passage of FBI criminal and Missouri Family Care Registry Background Checks, and 

    3. completion of the application process to MSU through the International Services Office