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Master of Social Work

Social Work is a profession that makes a difference in the lives of others. If you are interested in positive social change, Grand View’s new Master of Social Work program will help you achieve your goals.

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program prepares students for professional practice with diverse people and systems, with an emphasis on competent, ethical services. Students will develop the skills they need to take an active role in addressing social problems and challenging social, economic, and environmental injustice.

We offer three distinct degree specialties — Administration and Leadership, Clinical Social Work and School Social Work to accommodate the personal and professional interests of our students.

Degree Checklists & Plans of Study

Each degree specialty has it's own degree checklist as well as differing checklists for student standing when entering the program. Click the links below to view the degree checklists.

Administration and Leadership Specialty

Plan of Study

Degree Checklist - Regular Standing

Degree Checklist - Advanced Standing

Clinical Social Work Specialty

Plan of Study

Degree Checklist - Regular Standing

Degree Checklist - Advanced Standing

School Social Work Specialty

Plan of Study

Degree Checklist - Regular Standing

Degree Checklist - Advanced Standing

Application Requirements

1. Applications are accepted and reviewed on an ongoing basis. Priority consideration is given to applications received by March 1 for students applying to start coursework during the summer term, by June 1 for students applying to start coursework in the fall term, and by November 1 for students applying to start coursework in the spring term. 

2. Students must have a completed bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited higher education institution by the time of admission or have a degree completion plan that meets the requirements of the program. The student may also have completed a baccalaureate degree from institutions recognized by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service, or programs covered under a memo of understanding with international social work accreditors.  

3. Students applying for advanced standing must have graduated within the previous 10 years from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.  

4. Students applying while currently enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program must have completed all coursework from the BSW degree checklist as well as core courses required by the university. Students who are enrolled in the Grand View MSW 3+2 program must: 

  • Have completed a minimum of 90 credit hours 
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 
  • Obtain the approval of the Department Chair/Program Director and student’s advisor via signature on the “Change of Registration” form. 
  • May enroll and count up to 15 credit hours of graduate coursework toward both their undergraduate and graduate degrees. 

5. Students must have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0, either in their overall undergraduate degree or in the last 60 hours of undergraduate studies OR 3.0 or higher from at least 12 credits of graduate level coursework. 

6. Students applying for the advanced standing accelerated program must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.25 for the degree as a whole OR in the last 60 hours of the degree. 

7. Students who have completed a bachelor’s degree may take up to 12 credits in the MSW program as non-degree seeking students without being accepted. These may be used by the student to demonstrate the ability to obtain a 3.0 in graduate course work.  

8. Students may transfer in up to 12 credits of graduate level coursework. Courses taken at the graduate level will be assessed for equivalency to MSW required courses or electives, and the student must have earned a B or higher in the course.  

9. Application to Grand View University is required.

10. Official transcript from a baccalaureate degree earned from a regionally accredited institution. If requesting credit for existing graduate coursework, transcripts from that institution must also be provided.  

11. Application to the MSW program requires:

a. Statement of Purpose: A 750- to 1,000-word statement that addressed the points listed below. This statement will be used to assess the student’s written communication skills and commitment to the social work profession.

  • The student’s interest in the program, including the identification of short-term and long-term career goals 
  • The skills and experiences the student will contribute to the program 
  • Expectations the student has of the program 

b. Two recommendations which speak to the applicant’s academic strengths, professionalism, and capacity to complete a graduate degree program, such as from an undergraduate instructor, employer, or someone who knows the applicant well in relation to the criteria above.  

c. Professional resume. 

d. Official transcript from Baccalaureate granting institution (if attended a school other than Grand View). 

Applicants who do not meet all of the requirements may still be considered for admission to the program on a case-by-case basis. In these instances, the applicant will be interviewed by the department’s Admission Committee. 

NOTE: Application to the MSW program and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. Admission to the program may be limited by space. 



Why Grand View

  • Grand View is located in Iowa’s largest metro area, offering more access to clinicals, learning experiences and jobs.
  • Experienced faculty committed to your academic and career success
  • Intensive advising from full-time faculty to support student growth and career development
  • A rigorous academic program and preparation that will prepare you for a rewarding career as a social worker. 

What to Expect

Grand View’s MSW program will prepare you to carry out inclusive practice with diverse and vulnerable groups in a variety of professional settings. Coursework reflects the requirements of the Council on Social Work Education and ensures you are prepared with the knowledge, skills, and values of the profession. In coursework you will be actively engaged in and out of the classroom and apply your learning to practice and leadership activities.

Coursework and field experiences may be completed in an accelerated (3-term) schedule, regular schedule, and part-time or full time. The type of schedule you choose depends on the undergraduate degree you have completed and how quickly you want to complete the program.

Core Courses
All students in the MSW program complete core courses which prepare them to provide socially just leadership and practice. You will also learn to evaluate social work practices to ensure quality provision of services. 
Specialty Courses

Coursework in the specialty area is completed alongside core courses to provide students the opportunity to apply the social work values of social justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion to their intended practice setting.

Embedded in the program is the opportunity to complete a certificate in diversity, equity, and inclusion, which may be completed alongside the MSW or as a stand-alone graduate-level certificate. 

Field Experience

The field placement provides students with hands-on experience applying their learning to a practice setting. This may be completed alongside coursework, or after completion of required classes, depending on the schedule you choose. The MSW Field Education Director provides assistance in securing a placement that is uniquely tailored to your specialty area and fits with your educational and career goals. Students who do not have an undergraduate degree in social work from an accredited institution will complete a foundational field experience prior to the advanced placement.