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Social Work BSW

Be The Change

Graduates of the University of Central Missouri's Social Work Program help people meet life's challenges. The required coursework for a bachelor's degree in social work from UCM will equip you with the knowledge, skills, and values for entry-level (generalist) social work practice and advancement to graduate level study. 


What You Will Study?

Social workers are involved in helping people to resolve emotional, social and economic problems and engage in political advocacy. You will learn about social work theory and concepts, assessment, and intervention. You will develop communication skills for working with clients. The interviewing, assessment, and intervention skills you develop will enable you to work with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. You will learn about the core values of the profession, which include service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, integrity and competence. Graduates of our program know how to ethically practice social work at the BSW level. 

Most of the required social work courses are taken during the junior and senior years.  A minor is not required with the social work major although students may select a minor, if desired.


Why Choose Social Work at UCM?

There are many reasons to choose the Social Work major at the University of Central Missouri, including:

A group of people in a family group setting

Hands-On Experience

  • Volunteer in an agency (one semester) - learn what social workers do; gain a greater understanding of the variety of settings in which social workers practice
  • Experience a semester-long practicum (final semester) - gain 480 hours of agency experience working with clients under social work supervision
  • Learn from faculty - the UCM faculty bring social work practice experience and wisdom from the field to the classroom
  • Participate beyond the classroom - explore interests and build skills as you work with community members on- and off-campus in service-learning projects and other in activities:
    • Project Community Connect (fall)
    • Take Back Your Time Day (fall)
    • Pursuit of Happiness Day (spring)
    • Social Work Program’s Annual Conference (March)
    • Association of Social Work Students in Warrensburg and in Lee’s Summit
    • Phi Alpha Honor Society, UCM chapter of national honor society

Social work students can be in the Honors College or involved in undergraduate research and social work faculty serve as mentors for students’ projects. If you are interested in the McNair Scholars program, social work faculty members serve as research and/or program mentors.

A teacher speaking to a group

Full Acceditation

The University of Central Missouri's Social Work program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and has been continuously accredited since 1986. This assures you that the program’s curriculum has been reviewed and is current and up-to-date, meeting the standards of the field’s accrediting body.


Careers with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Degree:

Social workers assist people in strengthening and improving their abilities to meet the wide variety of life's challenges. They help individuals and communities resolve emotional, social, economic, and political problems. Social workers are employed in a wide variety of community agencies and social institutions and provide services to individuals across the lifespan, from birth to death. 

Social work employment is projected to grow 19% by 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. BSW graduates find employment in:


  • Substance abuse programs


  • Long-term care centers with older adults
  • Nursing homes

Criminal Justice

  • Criminal justice agencies
  • Juvenile justice centers
  • Probation and parole

Family and Children

  • Children and youth services
  • Child welfare: foster care, adoption, assessment and investigation
  • Domestic violence shelters
  • Family services
  • Adult protective services

Health Care

  • Home care agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Hospices
  • Public heath agencies

Mental Health and Disabilities

  • Community support programs through mental health centers
  • Community agencies serving individuals with disabilities


  • Schools (elementary and secondary)

Social Welfare

  • Community action agencies
  • Job coaching and training programs
  • Homeless shelters
  • Rape crisis centers

Professional social workers practice within the scope of their professional education and competence, guided by the National Association of Social Workers' Code of Ethics. 


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 Social Work Program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).  Accreditation by CSWE is recognition that the program has successfully met national standards guiding baccalaureate social work education. 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. 

2019-2020 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.

phi alpha logo

Phi Alpha is the National Honor Society for social work.



Dr. Marlys Peck
Social Work Program Director
Wood 5
Tel: 660-543-8227

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