School of Social Work

Bachelor’s degree (BSW)

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program is a professional program that prepares students for either direct human service professional positions or graduate programs.

Graduates of this CSWE-accredited program can choose from a wide range of career choices and pathways. BSW-level social workers assist individuals, families, small groups, organizations and communities to resolve problems, deal with relationships and function within their environment.

A counselor talks to two parents

Careers in social work

Social workers help people prevent and cope with problems in their everyday lives. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of social workers to grow faster than the average for all occupations.

Program structure

Incoming Mizzou students are admitted to the university as pre-social work majors and complete liberal arts prerequisite courses. Once you complete prerequisite courses, you will apply for admission to the professional BSW program. The professional program includes BSW core courses, electives and a practicum experience.

Once accepted to the program, in-person students will complete three semesters of full-time coursework to finish their BSW degree. All coursework is completed in person on campus.

Talk to your Health Sciences advisor if you are interested in becoming a social work major.

Earn your degree while working full time!

The online BSW program option allows students to finish their undergraduate degree through part-time coursework. This program option takes students approximately three years, not including prerequisites. Students take two to three courses a semester. All coursework is online.

Email if you are interested in completing this degree part-time, online.

Curriculum requirements

Learn more about prerequisite courses and degree requirements, including a sample semester plan.

Become a social work major

Students should declare the “Pre-Social Work” major until accepted into the professional BSW program.

A man and woman walk along aisles in the food bank

Practicum experience

Through their practicum, undergraduate students get experience at a local agency related to their area of study. Students typically complete the practicum during the third (fall) semester of the professional BSW program.


Students are assigned an academic advisor through Health Sciences Student Services. You may use the Social Work advising worksheet as a guide, but meeting with your advisor is strongly recommended.

MSW advanced standing status

Students who graduate with an MU BSW degree are eligible to apply for advanced standing status in Master of Social Work (MSW) programs. The MU MSW advanced standing program grants a waiver of up to 21 credit hours for an accelerated 39 credit hour MSW degree.