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MSW Overview

The Master of Social Work (MSW) Program

The Master of Social Work at UMSL is a two year program that prepares its graduates for professional social work practice. Graduates will have the knowledge, skills and values for direct social work practice with individuals, families, or older adults, or the knowledge, skills and values to effectively manage and lead human service agencies. Social justice principles will guide graduates in their practice at all levels of intervention particularly with persons who are oppressed because of their color, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation or physical or mental ability. 


Curricular Assessment Data

For more information see also:

MSW Example Course Listing
MSW Student Handbook
The Social Work Bulletin

Foundation Level

Within the foundation year, students complete 30 graduate credit hours that provide them with a common base of knowledge across all practice settings and populations. See the Social Work Bulletin for courses comprising the Foundation Level.

For information on the option of receiving credit for prior coursework, see Advanced Standing.

Specialization Level

In the second year of the MSW, students complete 30 graduate credit hours in one of two Specializations:

  • Family Practice
  • Leadership and Social Change

The Specialization Level includes 12 hours of elective coursework which may optionally be organized to give students mastery in one of the following Areas of Emphasis:

  • Health and Behavioral Health
  • School Social Work

Mineral Area College Offerings

We offer most courses on the St. Louis campus, but the full MSW curriculum is also offered at Mineral Area College in Park Hills, MO in alternating years. For more information please see UMSL's Off-Campus Degree Completion Program website or contact the UMSL Admissions office at MAC at (573) 518-2265, or Lori Curtis, at (314) 516-6751 or

Field Practicum

The Field Practicum is an integral part of the MSW. Students will complete:

  • 300 hours (20 hours/week) of MSW supervised practice in an agency during the second semester of the foundation year;
  • 600 hours (20 hours/week) during the Specialization year.

A student must receive a grade of S in the first-year practicum to be eligible to enter the second year field practicum. To remain in good standing, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.

See more information in the MSW Field Education section of our website.

Applying for Graduation

Students must notify the university of their intended graduation date by submitting the appropriate forms to the Graduate School by the end of the fourth week of classes during the term in which all degree requirements are met. Students completing the master's degree during the summer must file the application by the first day of the eight-week session.

The form required for graduation from the MSW program is the M-4. Read the instructions carefully before you begin. Once completed, submit the M-4 to your MSW advisor. Students completing a graduate certificate must coordinate with the certificate program coordinator to submit the G-10 form.

Click here for Graduate Forms

NOTE: Students not enrolled in classes within the semester they intend to graduate are subject to a graduation fee. Contact the Graduate School for details.

MSW Information Meetings

If you are interested in finding information beyond what is provided here on our webpages, we hold MSW Information meetings a few times a year. Due to the continual closure of the UMSL campus, we will hold our next information meeting online on the following date:

     Tuesday, August 18, 2020  2-4 pm (Virtual Meeting)

Registered guests will receive an invitation to a virtual meeting closer to this date.


To register, contact our MSW Coordinator, Devin Dixon: 314.516.7665 or