Online Social Work Programs in Missouri

Missouri social work careers include both casework management and clinical roles assisting clients with challenges and obstacles. Social workers provide counseling and intervention in cases of child abuse and neglect. They may assist patients struggling with a difficult diagnosis by helping them access services and care along with process their emotions. They may also work with clients to access social safety net programs, find appropriate job training, and launch productive and fulfilling careers.

Social work offers a rewarding career field, both personally and professionally. Missouri expects continuing growth in the profession through 2026. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mental health and substance abuse social workers represent the fastest-growing positions in the field for the state, with 22.1% job growth expected. Healthcare social workers, with a projected job growth of 20.8%, follows. The southeast Missouri nonmetropolitan area offers the highest employment for this specialty among all nonmetropolitan areas in the nation, with 610 social workers earning a mean wage of $37,130.

Social Work Programs by Degree Level

Online Master’s in Social Work Programs

Education and Licensure Requirements for Social Workers in Missouri

The Committee for Social Workers within Missouri’s Division of Professional Registration administers state laws and regulations for the social work practice. The state offers licensure for social workers with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, including the licensed baccalaureate social worker, licensed master social worker (LMSW), and advanced licensure for clinical (LCSW) or macro social workers. Under state rules, candidates seeking the clinical or macro licenses must begin with an LMSW license.

Education Requirements

Whether you attend school on campus or online, social work programs in Missouri should hold accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This accrediting agency sets standards for a curriculum that prepares social workers for the rigors of their future career. The state also requires licensure applicants to complete a CSWE program before applying to practice.

The best social work programs in Missouri combine class-based instruction with hands-on practice. Students take courses in human development and behavior, social policy, cultural diversity, research methods, and social work practice. Candidates pursuing a clinical degree also need courses in client assessment and evaluation, counseling methods, and treatment planning. Both undergraduate and graduate programs offer supervised internships as capstone experiences.

Exam Application Process and Requirements

Applicants for Missouri social work licenses begin the process by mailing their application and fee to the Missouri Committee for Social Workers. Applicants must also complete a background check, which remains valid for one year. Your university should send official transcripts to the agency. After receiving the application materials, the state issues permission to schedule the licensing exam. Missouri uses the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exam for all licenses.

Candidates with a bachelor’s degree qualify to provide a variety of social work services, such as advocating for their clients, gathering administrative files, and providing crisis intervention. After completing 3,000 hours of supervised work, these licensed professionals may practice independently.

Before applying for a clinical social worker license, graduates of a master’s program must apply for an LMSW license. After passing the ASWB exam, clinical social workers begin serving patients under the supervision of a LCSW. Missouri requires 3,000 hours of supervised clinical practice before taking the ASWB clinical exam.

Continuing Education and Licensure Renewal

A license to provide social work services in Missouri remains active for two years. After that, social workers must submit their renewal to the state and a $58 fee. To ensure social workers continue their skill development and remain up-to-date on professional standards, Missouri requires all social workers to complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years. The training must include two hours of suicide prevention training and three hours of instruction in professional ethics.

College-level courses completed for credit count toward the continuing education requirement, with each credit hour equivalent to 15 hours of continuing education. Time spent in noncredit lectures, seminars, workshops, or conferences also count toward the required hours. Licensees may meet up to half of the continuing education requirements through home study, which includes online providers. Professional activities, such as publishing research or presenting a social work course, also count toward the required hours.

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Why Choose an Online Social Work Program in Missouri?

Online social work programs in Missouri offer flexible, accessible education opportunities. Thanks to the use of innovative distance learning platforms, students can further their education and pursue a new career path. Missouri residents enjoy reduced tuition at public universities, and many schools offer a flat tuition rate for online students.

Online classes feature personal scholarship and research, collaborative assignments and discussions with peers, and multimedia presentations from faculty. Though the courses offer asynchronous scheduling, most do not provide self-paced study options. Students should meet all assignment deadlines. CSWE standards require field experience for all students. Schools often work with clinical or social work agencies close to a student’s home to arrange for supervised internships and practicums, ensuring students receive a relevant and rigorous course of study.

Ranking Methodology

Here is our list of online social work degree programs in Missori as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics. We cover online bachelor’s in social work, online master’s in social work, and online doctorate in social work programs. All programs are regionally and CSWE accredited, and all are available entirely online.

Online Social Work Programs in Missouri

University of Missouri

For 90 years, the School of Social Work at the University of Missouri has offered social work education at the state’s flagship college. Faculty actively engage in the acquisition, dissemination, and application of knowledge in areas such as homelessness, gerontology, health disparities, school-based interventions, and the mental health needs of vulnerable populations. The school offers baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees in social work. The School of Social Work offers one of the best social work programs in Missouri in a fully online format for local students and those in neighboring states.

University of Missouri’s Master of Social Work

  • Concentrations: The MSW offers concentrations in advanced clinical practice or policy planning and administration in human services.
  • Credits and Courses: Each regular standing student must complete 60 credits, while an advanced standing student completes 39 credits. Students engage with the program asynchronously online, with no required on-campus visits.
  • Completion Time: A regular standing student can finish the online MSW in three years, while each advanced standing student with a CSWE-accredited BSW can complete the program in as little as two years. A student typically completes two classes each term, making this a part-time program.
  • Field Education: An enrollee must complete a total of 1080 hours, the first of two practicums (400 hours) at an agency in Missouri or one of the contiguous states in which students must reside to enroll in this program. Each learner can complete the final practicum (680 hours) Monday through Friday during normal hours at an agency in or outside of the region. MSW students have access to a database of more than 300 locations that offer potential placement sites.
  • Exam Preparation: This program prepares students for the ASWB exam.
  • Cost: $368/credit.
  • Admission Requirements: Each applicant must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of their undergraduate education. The MSW only accepts online applicants from Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

The University of Missouri is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The University of Missouri’s social work programs are CSWE-accredited.

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