You can earn your MSW from Iowa in fewer semester hours than before, saving you time and money. Deepen your skills with opportunities to develop through our leadership or clinical fields of practice. 

We recently redesigned our MSW curriculum for your benefit. Our students, alumni, practicum instructors, and practitioners all provided valuable input to ensure you will graduate equipped to take the next step in your career as a social worker. Depending on your educational background, you can get a jump start on your MSW by enrolling with advanced standing. 

Program options

Icon of a piece of paper

Regular standing

54 semester hour option

Designed for individuals who have completed a degree in a discipline other than a CSWE-accredited social work degree program.

Icon of double arrows

Advanced standing

36 semester hour option

Designed for individuals who have completed the BA in Social Work or the BSW from a CSWE-accredited social work degree program.

Social work fields of practice

The Iowa MSW curriculum prepares social workers for clinical practice or leadership practice. In addition, students can develop expertise in several specialized fields: trauma and resilience; children and families; clinical practice; school social work; organizational leadership; aging; longevity; and end-of-life care; and higher education and research.

Dual degree options

For students interested in combining the versatile clinical and leadership skills of the MSW with other professional domains, the University of Iowa Graduate College offers several combined degree programs with the MSW including the MA in Urban and Regional Planning and Tippie College of Business MBA.


Generalist courses form the foundational framework for students, providing a broad understanding of social work practice across various settings and populations. These courses collectively prepare students for a wide range of roles in social work, whether in clinical settings, community organizations, advocacy, policy analysis, or administration, in advance of more specialized training.  Sequence of courses will vary depending on standing and the student’s chosen programmatic focus but include the following:

  • Thinking Like a Social Worker
  • Development of Professional Use of Self
  • Theory and Skills for Working With Individuals and Families
  • Social, Economic and Environmental Justice I
  • Engaging with Evidence
  • Generalist Practicum in Social Work
  • Generalist Practice Seminar

Advanced specialized courses in the MSW program serve to deepen knowledge, refine skills, and prepare students to become experts in their chosen fields, equipping them with the competencies needed to excel in specialized social work roles, whether in clinical practice, policy advocacy, leadership positions, or research. Sequence will vary depending on your chosen programmatic focus but courses would be selected from the following:

  • Clinical Practice I: Treatment Planning and Intervention
  • Clinical Practice II: Intervention, Evaluation, Termination
  • Clinical Practice III: Selected Topics in Clinical Practice
  • Leadership Practice I: Community Relationship Building and Collaboration
  • Leadership Practice II: Policy Analysis and Advocacy
  • Leadership Practice III: Leading Programs and Organizations 
  • Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice II
  • Program and Practice Evaluation
  • Practicum with Clinical Specialization
  • Clinical Practicum Seminar I and II
  • Practicum with Leadership Specialization
  • Leadership Practicum Seminar I and II

Create your academic path

You'll find degree overviews, requirements, course lists, academic plans, and more to help you plan your education and explore your possibilities.

Social work courses

Current course list

The MyUI Schedule displays registered courses for a particular session and is available to enrolled students. The list view includes course instructors, time and location, and features to drop courses or change sections.

Current courses

Want to learn more?

Whether you're ready to apply, looking for more information, or have a specific question, drop us a line and we'll be in touch!