Our Online MSW Program allows 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.

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. In 2021, College Consensus ranked us #9 on their list of the 25 Best Online Master's In Social Work (MSW) Programs in the US. And our Online MSW Program was ranked #8 among the Top 50 Online MSW Programs in 2022 according to the OnlineMastersDegrees.org website.

Students in the Online MSW Program are arranged in geographically-distributed learning communities, which meet 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.

For more information, please contact:

Christy Thies
Des Moines and Online Program Coordinator
Pappajohn Education Center
1200 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA 50309

Location Information

Iowa and surrounding states

Map of Iowa and surrounding states