Missouri State University

Graduate Academic Standing Policy

All social work majors are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner consistent with the NASW Code of Ethics. The School of Social Work reserves the right to refuse enrollment or continuation to any student who, in the judgment of a majority of the Graduate Admissions Committee, has behavioral problems which could be detrimental to the welfare of the clients served by the student or who exhibits such irresponsible behavior as to preclude confidence in his/her completion of the field practicum. This right includes the more difficult problem of the student who performs well academically but does not relate appropriately to people, or is emotionally or psychologically unstable or immature. Such a student may be referred to the Missouri State University Counseling and Testing Center, if appropriate. The student might be advised that s/he cannot continue in the program, with every effort made to help him/her understand and accept this decision.


If a social work student, in the majority opinion of the Graduate Admissions Committee, violates the NASW Code of Ethics or other professional standards, the student is subject to the following process:

  1. Informal advisement: The student will receive a verbal warning conveyed to the student by the Graduate Admissions Committee, director of the School or the assigned advisor.
  1. Formal advisement: The student will receive a written warning delineating the specific concerns through the assigned advisor.
  1. Program termination: If the preceding steps have not brought about acceptable changes in the student’s conduct or if a student’s conduct flagrantly violates the NASW Code of Ethics or other professional standards, the student will be terminated from the MSW program

Criteria for possible dismissal/termination from the social work program

Students are expected to meet Graduate College requirements for good academic standing of a 3.00 GPA for all graduate course work transferred in or earned at Missouri State. Students will be dismissed from the program for any of the following academic reasons: 

  1. Two grades of “C” in any social work courses
  2. A grade below “C” in any social work course
  3. A grade of  “no pass” or “C”  in any  field practicum or field seminar

In addition, students may be dismissed from the social work program for any of the following non-academic actions:

  • Plagiarism
  • Cheating
  • Stealing
  • Destruction or concealment of library or other resources needed by others
  • Professional misrepresentation such as: 
    • Events surrounding an incident involving professional conduct
    • Fabrication of client data pertaining to course or field practicum assignments
    • Professional qualifications, education, experience or affiliations
  • Engaging in social work practice while under the influence of drugs, alcohol or other chemicals
  • Breach of professional confidentiality
  • Sexual harassment of clients, colleagues or supervisors
  • Engagement in consensual relationship where either conflict of interest or abuse of power differential is present
  • Exploitation of professional relationships for personal gain
  • Engagement in any form of discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, or physical or mental disability
  • Involvement in felonious criminal activity

In all situations, student rights will be scrupulously protected. This protection includes, but is not limited to, a hearing at the student’s written request before the full Graduate Admissions Committee. Students are also afforded rights to appeal a committee decision to the director, the dean of the College of Health and Human Services, the vice president for academic affairs and the president of Missouri State University.