Career Opportunities

  • Social Welfare Agencies
  • Community Development
  • Family Services
  • Hospitals
  • Criminal Justice and Corrections
  • Mental Health


Related Websites

Program Overview

The MSW is a two-year program comprising a foundation year and a specialization year. All students are required to take the foundation year courses. These provide a common base of knowledge across all practice settings and populations. Beyond the general requirements of the Graduate School, the department requires a minimum of 60 semester hours of course work, of which 48 must be at the 5000 or 6000 level and 48 must be in social work or cross-listed with social work, including the following foundation courses:

SOC WK 5100 Generalist Social Work Practice 3
SOC WK 5200 Social Policy And Social Services 3
SOC WK 5300 Community Practice And Social Change 3
SOC WK& 5350 Social Work And Human Service Organizations 3
SOC WK 5410 Social Work Research Methods And Analysis I 3
SOC WK 5450 Social Work Research Methods And Analysis II 3
SOC WK 5500 Foundations Of Human Behavior In The Social Environment 3
SOC& WK 5700 Diversity and Social Justice for Social Work 3
SOC WK 5800 Graduate Field Practicum I 4
SOC WK 5801 Foundation Field Practicum Seminar 2
Total Hours 30

Upon completion of the 30 credits of foundation year requirements, students move into a year of advanced study, called the specialization. The specialization year requires 30 hours of course work that includes up to 12 hours of elective graduate-level courses approved by the adviser. Students plan their degree program to reflect their career interests in the following specialization areas:

  • Family Practice
  • Leadership and Social Change

Additionally, if students choose, they may elect to participate in one of the following areas of emphasis:

  • Aging and Social Work Practice
  • Health & Behavioral Health
  • School Social Work
  • Social Work with the Military

Learn more about the program curriculum.


What UMSL Social Work has to offer

The UMSL School of Social Work prepares leaders to bring about positive change, especially in St. Louis. One of the largest BSW programs in the region, it boasts a database of 400-plus practicum locations, including DOORWAYS, United Way of Greater St. Louis and Beyond Housing, providing extraordinary opportunities for community engagement. Through critical, empirical and applied aspects of social work, students gain a multicultural perspective with a strong emphasis on community and agency field work.

The School of Social Work is strongly committed to providing accessible, affordable and high quality social work degree programs at the baccalaureate and master’s levels to a diverse and nontraditional student body. It is also committed to carrying out research and scholarship to improve social work knowledge and to provide community service activities that serve to enhance the welfare and well-being of the people in the St. Louis Metropolitan region, the state and other metropolitan areas. The UMSL social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. This accreditation assures graduates placement in social service agencies and allows students to apply for a license to practice social work. Professional social work education enables students to integrate the knowledge, values and skills of the profession into competent practice.

For more on the School of Social Work, visit