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Social Work, BSW

Bachelor of Social Work

Develop outreach skills grounded in ethical values in the University of Central Missouri’s Bachelor of Social Work degree program. Our dedicated faculty of experienced social workers teach you how to provide emotional, economic and social support to those in need at all stages of life.

You’ll graduate with an appreciation for the core values of the social work profession: service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity and competence.

UCM’s undergraduate program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, which means you get a BSW degree that meets an educational standard recognized across the country. 

A flexible way to earn your degree in Social Work

Are you looking at online degrees in Social Work for a convenient way to get your diploma? The flexible courses at UCM might be just what you need. We offer the only social work night classes in the area at our Lee’s Summit campus near Kansas City. You can also take some of your undergraduate courses online or in a hybrid format, which may allow you to maintain other commitments while you’re in school.

View Courses


Marlys Peck, MSW, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Social Work
Program Director
Wood 005
Tel: 660-543-8227 |

Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies

Department of Human Services

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Accredited by CSWE-BOA since 1986

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Most students employed before graduation

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Small class sizes

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Real-world experience before graduation



What you will study

At the start of the University of Central Missouri’s undergraduate Social Work degree program, you’ll spend 40 hours in a social service agency learning everything about how it's run — from how to get funding to how to help clients. This experience gives you the insight to make sure becoming a social worker is right for you.

From there, you’ll take courses that build up important skills for social work practitioners, such as how to prepare case reports, provide social services, counsel and advise people, analyze social science data and more. Classes you may take include:

  • Human Behavior Across the Lifespan
  • Social Policy and Economic Justice
  • Social Services and Policy With Older Adults
  • Methods of Inquiry and Evaluation for Social Workers
  • Social Work Practice: Intervention With Communities and Organizations

In your senior year, finish out your social work schooling in the Field Practicum class. Spend significant time working with a local agency under the supervision of a professional social worker. This immersive field experience is what gives you the skills and knowledge that employers say they value most about UCM graduates. In fact, many students end up getting hired full time because of their practicum experience.


Excellence in Social Work

  • The University of Central Missouri has been accredited continuously by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) since 1986.
  • A Best Value Bachelor’s Degree Colleges for Social Work (College Factual, 2022)
  • A Best Value College for Social Work (College Factual, 2022)


Unique learning opportunities in social work

Face-to-face interactions are essential for social workers to ensure we connect with those we serve. It’s why fully online degrees in social work can’t compare to UCM’s focus on providing a truly experiential education to our undergraduate students. 

Hands-on learning opportunities in our Social Work BSW program include: 

  • Undergraduate research: Connect with a faculty mentor who shares your research interests, and work toward solving a problem together as part of your social work schooling.
  • Volunteering: Volunteer for a local organization in the Warrensburg or Kansas City metro area to get an up-close look at what social workers do in the field. 
  • Social Work Program’s Annual Conference: Attend this annual event to learn how to participate in a professional meeting and network with fellow social workers.
  • Student life: Join fellow Social Work majors in field-specific student organizations, such as the Phi Alpha Honor Society or the Association of Social Work Students.
  • Project Community Connect: Assess the needs of community organizations, and connect them with available local resources.
  • Pursuit of Happiness Day: Join in events with the Warrensburg community to celebrate all the things that bring joy to our lives.
  • Take Back Your Time Day: Take part in activities focused on promoting wellness as it relates to work-life balance.


What can you do with a degree in Social Work from UCM?

Be prepared to help people through social, economic and emotional crises in a variety of ways as a professional social worker. Rely on your skills and training to make personal connections with those in need at community agencies and social organizations that serve people of all ages.

As a graduate of the Bachelor of Social Work degree program at the University of Central Missouri, you can find work in places such as:

  • Adult protective services
  • Community action agencies
  • Job training programs
  • Juvenile justice centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Rape crisis centers
  • Schools
  • Substance abuse treatment centers

You can also choose to continue your social work schooling in a master’s program. Benefit from UCM’s accreditation if you apply to an advanced standing program for graduate school. As a graduate of our BSW program, you can apply credits from your undergraduate degree toward your master’s to save time and money. 

Careers with a Social Worker degree

Use the interactive tool below to explore the wide range of career options you have available with a Bachelor of Social Work degree. Learn about salary ranges, industry growth, job openings and more.




Financial assistance options for your Social Worker degree

The University of Central Missouri’s bachelor’s degree in Social Work is a more affordable option than many of our competitors’ programs. On top of our cost-competitiveness, we offer a number of ways to help you finance your social work schooling. Financial assistance includes university scholarships and tuition awards, as well as federal loans and grants.

In addition, UCM makes certain scholarships and cash awards available just to students in the Bachelor of Social Work degree program. Those include:

  • C. James Britton Scholarship
  • Dr. J. Mark Wehrle Sociology & Social Work Scholarship
  • Dr. Theresa Gordon Social Work Senior Scholarship
  • HCBPS Outstanding Student in Social Work
  • Riley H. Pittman Awards in Sociology & Social Work

You can learn more about program-specific scholarships at the UCM Scholarship Finder.


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Take your degree further.

After you graduate with your bachelor’s degree in Social Work, continue your education in one of the following related master’s programs at UCM.

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Make yourself more marketable.

Add to the skills learned in UCM’s Social Worker degree by taking on one of the related minors or certificate.

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Explore programs related to social work.

If you’re interested in helping people through societal, economic and emotional challenges, you may also want to explore one of these related majors.

Class Locations -Warrensburg and Lee's Summit

Courses leading to completion of the BSW Degree are available on the main campus and through UCM Lee's Summit.

You can complete a degree from start to finish on our main campus in Warrensburg, or once you have completed two years or have an AA you may transfer to either location. If you have not completed SOWK 2600 Introduction to Social Welfare and Social Work or an equivalent course prior to transferring to UCM, the course is offered in Warrensburg fall and spring semesters and online during the summer. This course is required before you can continue your Social Work coursework in your junior and senior years.

Warrensburg campus

  • Social work program classes are typically held Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the day.
  • Classes require enrollment in fall and spring semesters.

Lee's Summit campus 

  • Social work program courses leading to degree completion require enrollment in the fall, spring, and summer semesters for two years.
  • Classes are held Monday through Thursday nights in Lee's Summit.
  • Courses are taught by the same faculty who teach in Warrensburg.

If you are transferring to UCM from an area community college, please check the UCM Admissions information on Dual Admission.

For more information about the Social Work Program at either location, please contact Dr. Marlys Peck, Social Work Program Director, 660-543-8227, Wood Building, Room 5.

Accreditation and Competencies

The University of Central Missouri’s Bachelor of Social Work degree program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). 

Accreditation of a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Board of Accreditation indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process.  An accredited program has sufficient resources to meet its mission and goals and the Board of Accreditation has verified that it demonstrates compliance with all sections of the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. 

Accreditation applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.

Graduates of accredited programs bring up-to-date knowledge and skills to work with groups, organizations, and communities in addition to individuals and families in any social service agency. Graduates from UCM are eligible for licensure at the baccalaureate level in Missouri and in Kansas; graduation from an accredited program is required for social work licensure and/or registration in all states that license/register baccalaureate social workers. Graduates of accredited programs may apply for advanced standing admission to graduate social work programs; if admitted to an advanced standing program, the student can complete the MSW degree in a shorter time period, typically 12 months (although program length may vary). Regular MSW program admission typically requires two years of graduate study. 

2021-2022 BSW Competency Report


logo for Council on Social Work Education

The Social Work baccalaureate program has been continuously accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), since 1986.

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Phi Alpha is the National Honor Society for social work.



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