Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Social Work

Master of Science in Social Work (M.S.W.)

College: College of Nursing and Health Professions | Graduate School

Department: Social Work


This MSW offers a concentration in rural based clinical social work practice. Students learn the fundamental knowledge, skills, and ethics that guide social work practice and the populations traditionally served by the profession.

Graduates of this program are:

  • prepared to acknowledge and utilize the less formal social exchange between people and systems that exist in rural communities.
  • educated on how to identify and develop resources, and how to use natural helping networks.
  • expected to employ a broad range of approaches, theories and models in their practice and to develop skills that enable them to perform multiple roles in the helping process.
  • aware of the importance of examining issues of diversity; social work values and ethics; how to identify, prevent and interrupt social and economic injustice; and the importance of community empowerment.

Students can also complete a certificate in Addictions Studies while completing their MSW.

Note:  The MSW Program requires a completed Graduate School Application.

MSW Program Mission Statement

The mission of the MSW Program at ASU is to provide a transformative educational experience that prepares graduates for compassionate, ethical, clinical practice that enhances the well-being and quality of life for individuals, families, groups and communities. Graduates utilize contemporary, evidence-base theories and approaches to intervene and bring about positive changes including economic and social justice for the client systems we serve. Our primary focus is serving vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups in rural environments including the Lower Mississippi Delta Region and beyond.


The deadline to apply to the MSW program is the second Friday in February.

  • Prerequisites

    Required Courses

    Prior to applying, specific courses must be completed with a “C” or higher. These courses can be found in the most current Graduate Bulletin.

    Visit the bulletins page >>

  • Admission Process

    How to Apply

    Applying to the Graduate School

    The deadline to apply to the MSW program is the second Friday in February.

    Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School. To apply, visit the graduate admissions website. Submit the completed application form, required application fee, and official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work to the Graduate School.

    Completed Social Work Application turned in to the Graduate School with the following:

    • Personal & Professional Orientation Paper (see details on pg. 3 of Social Work Application)
    • Department of Social Work Applicant Reference Form (3)
    • Transcripts (GPA in last 60 hours of the undergraduate degree)
         Standard Program - 3.0 GPA
         Advanced Standing Program - 3.2 GPA
    • Resume

    Interview/Spontaneous Writing Assignment- Scheduled interviews to be determined by Admissions Committee.

    Graduate Admissions
    P.O. Box 60
    State University, AR 72467

    For questions regarding material submission, please call the Graduate Admission at (870) 972-2031.

  • Curriculum Overview

    Flexible Curriculum

    The MSW Program offers both full-time and part-time study for post-baccalaureate students. The MSW is available in the following tracks:

    Degree Plans

    Advanced Standing Program

    This program is available only to applicants who have received a BSW degree within the last five years from a social work program that is accredited by CSWE. Students in this program complete clinical practice in a rural setting concentration.

    Standard Program

    This program is designed for students with a baccalaureate degree in any discipline, who graduate from an accredited BSW program more than five years ago, and any other student who does not meet requirements for the Advanced Curriculum option. Students in this program complete the Foundation curriculum. They then complete the clinical practice in a rural setting concentration.

    Full-time vs. Part-time

    Each of the two tracks has two options: part-time and full-time.

    Advanced Full-time

    The Advanced Standing Full-Time Program consists of three semesters of study which is spread over 12 calendar months. This includes two summer courses at the beginning of the program and two complete semesters immediately following. 

    Advanced Part-time

    The Advanced Standing Part-Time Program consists of two academic years of study which includes two summer terms; the first summer term in the beginning of the program and the first summer term in the middle of the program.

    Standard Full-time / Part-time

    The Standard Program Full Time consists of two academic years of study; and the Standard Program Part-time of four academic years of study.

    Time to Degree

    The time allowed for completion of the master's degree is six years, exclusive of time spent in the armed forces of the United States. Graduate work completed prior to six years from the students' date of completion of the degree cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements. Transfer credit taken prior to admission at Arkansas State University will be included in the six year limit.


    Curriculum and degree requirements can be found in the most current Undergraduate Bulletin.

    Visit the bulletins page >>


    MSW Handbook

  • Frequently Asked Questions
    What kind of scholarships and financial aid are available for MSW students at A-State?

    The Martha Ivener Scholarship is awarded annually to a student pursuing a career in public child welfare. MSW and BSW students at ASU are eligible to apply. Loan forgiveness is available through the National Health Services Corp. Visit their website for more information.  Otherwise, check with campus Financial Aid.

    Can I get my MSW from A-State online?

    While some courses are web only or web-assisted, we are primarily a face to face program. We schedule classes and arrange field experience sites so as to minimize student travel.

    What is the job market like for Social Workers?

    Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates the social work profession will grow by 25% from 2010 to 2020, a faster-than-average rate for all occupations. (NASW News, June 2012 p. 1)

    I have been out of school for several years. How can I prepare for graduate school?

    Technology can be a challenge. Visit SmartMeasure, which is designed to help you see whether or not you are ready for online and web-assisted courses. It also covers time management, technology use and access as well as class performance. Advisers are also available to assist you.

    Do you offer part-time as well as full-time program options?

    Yes. We offer Advanced Standing both full and part-time for persons who have recent BSW degrees with a 3.2 in the last 60 hours. We also offer the Standard Program for persons with undergraduate degrees other than social work or persons with BSW degrees who don’t meet the above requirements.

    I need to work while I go to school. How many hours can I work and still successfully complete the MSW at A-State?

    That depends on your MSW program option. Experience tells us that full-time students are more successful and less stressed if they work 15-20 or fewer hours/week. Part-time students often work full-time.

    So when are the classes scheduled?

    Classes are scheduled in the late afternoons and early evenings to accommodate working student schedules.

    How much does it cost to attend A-State?

    Since costs change year to year, please visit Tuition & Fees or Financial Aid to get the most current information. 

    Do I have to take the GRE or Millers in order to get into the MSW program at A-State?

    Neither is required.

    Where do I send my application materials?

    Submit all materials directly to the graduate school.

  • Professional Resources

    The National Association of Social Workers

    The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is “a membership organization that promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers” (Arkansas, NASW, 2003). Students receive a special membership rate and have access to practice insurance while in school. All students are encouraged to join the NASW.

    Visit the national NASW website >>
    Visit the Arkansas chapter NASW website >>

    NASW Code of Ethics

    The NASW Code of Ethics guides all social workers in ethical practice.

    View the NASW Code of Ethics >>

    Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board

    Licensing information and continuing education requirements can be found on their website.

  • Application Statistics

    Class of 2017

    Number of applicants: 51


    • Male - 10
    • Female - 41


    • African-American - 10
    • Caucasian - 28
    • Hispanic - 2
    • No answer - 11

Accredited by CSWE

CSWE LogoOur MSW and BSW degree programs are nationally accredited through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), The only accrediting agency for social work education in the United States.