In fall 2018, the UI School of Social Work launched an Online Master of Social Work program, allowing students from across Iowa and in surrounding states to pursue their degrees from the comfort of their homes and while continuing to work full-time.
Historically, UI School of Social Work MSW programs have been available to Iowans outside of the UI’s main campus in Iowa City for more than 50 years, starting with the Des Moines MSW program in 1967 and later adding programs in the Quad Cities and Sioux City. However, demand increased to add distance-learning programs in other parts of Iowa. MSW programs are hard to find, especially in rural parts of our state.
It is a truly statewide program, with students logging on from communities such as Sioux City, Burlington, Cherokee, Emerson, Montour, and Waterloo.
Three years after its first class, the three-year, part-time online program is already in the top 20 percent of social work grad programs in the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings.
Students in the Online MSW Program are arranged in geographically-distributed learning communities, which meet in person once per semester to go over coursework, share resources, provide support, and help build a geographically-focused professional network. Each group also is assigned a UI-educated social worker in their vicinity who serves as a mentor.
Students also travel to Iowa City for a few days each summer to participate in the program's Summer Institute, giving students the opportunity to meet in person with their instructors, mentors, and each other.