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Master's in Social Work – Standard Track

If you do not already have an undergraduate degree in social work, this standard track Master of Social Work can provide the path you need toward an advanced career in social work settings. With the Master of Social Work online program at Indiana Wesleyan University, you can learn the skills to assess, engage, intervene, and evaluate diverse populations of individuals, families, groups, and communities in advanced social work contexts. Discover how IWU helps MSW students prepare for administrative, supervisory, and other high-level roles in social work.

Why Pursue My Master of Social Work at IWU?

There are several benefits to earning your master’s degree in social work online at IWU. This accredited online master’s in social work is taught by faculty with experience in a variety of roles in social work settings. We also provide student services, from tech support to tutoring, to help you succeed in this MSW online program. Our Christian faculty teach from the same biblical worldview valued on our campus, so that students can implement these principles in a fulfilling career. Our approach to online learning allows busy professionals and parents to continue their careers without putting their current lives on hold. Plus, we lock in the cost of your education as soon as you start the program.

What Will I Learn in This Master of Social Work Online Program?

This MSW online program is designed to help students engage in interactive, career-focused projects through innovative learning technology. Course materials are delivered through virtual reality, video discussion, concept maps, demo videos, and other tech-driven applications. Course topics cover a comprehensive spectrum of topics, including, mental health and psychopathology, advanced practice with families and groups, leadership, and more.

What Makes IWU Different?

Education Pioneer

IWU has provided on-campus education for more than 100 years.

Rooted in Christ

Faith-integrated curriculum and a commitment to changing the world.

Superior Support

Center for Student Success for counseling, tutoring, and more!

Tuition & Aid

60 Credit Hours


$575/ Credit Hour

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, loans, scholarships, veterans’ benefits, and employer reimbursement.

Financial AidTuition Info

Applicable fees for resources and services will be assessed throughout the program. Tuition and fees for prerequisites and required elective courses are in addition to the charges shown on the program cost sheet. Your tuition rate will remain the same as long as you remain continuously enrolled in the same program. Cost sheets may be requested from an enrollment counselor by calling 866.498.4968 or emailing
What You Will Study in This MSW Program

The curriculum for this master’s degree in social work advanced track program covers how to:

  • Prepare for advanced social work practice by building essential clinical skills
  • Grow personally and professionally as you integrate your faith experiences into your service as a social worker
  • Serve and advocate effectively using theory, policy, research, and the insights you gain from practice
  • Affect positive change in individuals, families, and communities by drawing on their strengths


Faith-integrated curriculum

As part of a Christian University, the MSW program at Indiana Wesleyan is committed to helping students to explore the meaning of the Christian faith and the value of a Biblical worldview in social work practice.

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Field Education

Field Education is a vital component of completing the MSW program with Indiana Wesleyan University. The Council on Social Work Education considers Field Education the signature pedagogy of social work education as it allows students to apply knowledge, values, and skills in practice to achieve competency as a Master’s level social worker.

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After Graduation
Potential Careers

  • Agency Director
  • Case Manager
  • Program Director
  • Social Service Supervisor
  • Therapist

Work in Various Industries

  • Industry

Program Requirements
  • A baccalaureate or graduate degree from a college or university that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) verified on original transcripts sent by the institution directly to IWU.
  • Two Letters of Recommendations are required for all applications. These should be completed by persons who have worked directly with you and can vouch for your work ethic, skills, competence, and character and/or by a university professor who can attest to your ability to perform basic social work skills and demonstrate professional identity as a social worker.
  • Standard Track applicants must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.7 or higher from a baccalaureate degree granting institution at which at least a minimum of 30 hours was completed. Applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement for the Standard Track may be accepted on a probationary basis.
  • Advanced Standing is awarded only to graduates holding degrees from baccalaureate social work programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), recognized through its International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Services, or covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work accreditors. The Regular Admission requirements for Advanced Standing are:
    • Must have a minimum GPA of 2.7.
    • Degree must be conferred within the last seven years.
    • Complete a Personal Statement.
  • Applicants who do not have a 2.7 GPA but otherwise meet admission requirements for admission can be accepted as Probationary Admission as long as their GPA is greater than 2.5. Applicants who do not meet the requirement for when their BSW degree was conferred but meet all other requirements for Advanced Standing and have an active social work license in good standing can be accepted as a Probationary Admission.
  • In addition to the above, admissions decisions are based upon a review of the content of the applicant’s personal statement regarding required areas of completion including alignment with the MSW program goals and mission, interest and fit for the social work profession, writing skills and interest in a program with a Christian worldview. Personal statements are evaluated for content in these areas resulting in a score of 1-20. Applicants who meet all other criteria and obtain a score 15 or above are admitted per the guidelines below. Applicants with scores of 10-14 are requested to provide additional information before making a final determination. If additional information is submitted that raises the score to 15 or above, applicants are admitted per the guidelines below. Applications with overall scores below 10, are not admitted

In accordance with CSWE standards, it is the policy of the IWU MSW Program that students are not given credit for life experience or previous work experience

  • Successful completion of the MSW curriculum.
  • Successful completion of 500 Field Practicum hours for Advanced Standing Track and 900 Field Practicum hours for Standard Track.
  • Successful completion of all credits required in the core curriculum sequence with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a minimum grade of “C” in each course. A grade of “C-” or below will require the course to be repeated in order to continue in the MSW program.
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all IWU graduate work.
  • Payment of all tuition and fees is required to receive a diploma.

Academic Standing

Students whose GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation and are given two consecutive courses to satisfactorily raise their GPA. The GPA is reviewed after the second course, and if it has been successfully raised, the probationary status is removed. Academic suspension will result if the student's GPA is not successfully raised.

Academic suspension will result if a student fails to clear the academic probationary status within the probationary period of two consecutive courses. The suspension will occur once the grades have been recorded in the Registrar's Office. Students will be notified of the academic suspension in writing. Application for readmission may be made after six months. The application must be made in writing to the MSW Program Director.

Upon a second academic suspension in the MSW program, a student is dismissed from the university, and no longer eligible to earn the MSW degree.

Incomplete Grades

Students are expected to complete the course requirements by the last class session. There may be
instances when crisis circumstances or events prevent the student from completing the course requirements in a timely manner. In these rare situations, a grade of "I" (incomplete) may be issued but only after completing the following process:

  • The student must request an "I" from the instructor.
  • The instructor must obtain approval from the appropriate Regional Dean/Program Director/Program
    Chair/Division Chair.

However, the issuance of an incomplete cannot be given if the student fails to meet the engagement policy. Because "incompletes" are granted only for extenuating circumstances, the student’s grade will not be penalized.

Extenuating Circumstances for Incomplete Grade Request

  • Incapacitating illness which prevents a student from attending classes for a minimum period of two weeks
  • A death in the immediate family
  • Judicial obligations
  • Other circumstances deemed emergencies by the instructor and approved by Program Director.


  • The request for a grade of incomplete must be initiated by the student. (see MSW Program Request for
    Incomplete Grade form)
  • The faculty member retains the right to make the final decision on accepting a student’s request for an
    incomplete grade even though the student may meet eligibility requirements for an incomplete.
  • Valid reasons for not completing the work within a course must be presented in writing to the professor before the last day of that course. (See MSW Program Request for Incomplete Form).
  • Request for Incomplete Form will be submitted to the MSW Program Director for approval.
  • If approved, written arrangements for completion of course work must be provided by the granting faculty member to the student along with this policy document at the time the incomplete grade is submitted (see Plan for Completion of Course Work).
  • The student must have the ability to pass the class at the time of the request.
  • No more than 1/3 of the work for the course may be left to be completed.
  • Grades of “I” may only be awarded at the end of a course.
  • Incomplete grades will not be computed into GPA.
  • Incomplete grades may have an impact on Financial Aid.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to complete and submit the remaining course work before the assigned deadline.
  • Coursework must be completed and a grade submitted no later than 8 weeks from end of course.
    Any student not fulfilling the contract obligations of the Incomplete, the grade will default to the grade earned in the course if the remaining work is graded as a zero
  • Students who receive a converted grade that is unsatisfactory may appeal disputed grades as outlined in the university catalog.
  • Students who receive a converted grade that is unsatisfactory will not be able to continue in their existing schedule or register for new courses until that course is repeated according to MSW Policy.


A student with more than one incomplete on record is subject to academic suspension.

Gatekeeping and Performance Review

Gatekeeping and professional performance review of students in the MSW program occurs throughout the program. While each part of the curriculum is designed to evaluate knowledge, skills, values, and behaviors, there are several points at which particular focused evaluation occurs.

Review Points:

  • Application to the Social Work program.
  • Social Work Field Education Application for each practicum year (Generalist year and Advanced year) is
    initiated by the Director of Field Experiences approximately three months prior to each field experience.
  • Successful completion of this application process gives the student permission to continue into that field placement.
  • The student must demonstrate competency in their field experience in all field courses in order to graduate with the MSW degree. Competency is measured by the Agency Field Instructor Evaluation and the projects completed as part of the Field Education Seminars. The student must pass their Field Evaluation to pass Seminar.
  • Evaluators will identify strengths, evolving interests, issues, areas of improvement, or recommend resources at each gatekeeping point. Students are responsible for demonstrating follow-through at the subsequent application/ interview/presentation points.

Field Practicum

Field education is an educationally directed and supervised planned learning experience which gives the student the opportunity to apply and refine knowledge, values, and skills learned in Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Social Welfare Policy and Services, Social Research, and Social Work Practice courses. Field is the key integrative component towards which all other sequenced learning is directed and from which classroom learning is assessed and refined. Through field experience, students will have the following opportunities:

  • To learn by “doing”. To assume professional social work practice roles in the provision of direct and indirect services to a variety of client systems.
  • To correlate and integrate classroom learning with actual practice.
  • To test out, apply, and refine concepts, principles, theories, and values taught in the classroom.
  • To learn additional or specialized knowledge, skills, insights, and role modeling.
Experience will be sought and student growth will also be evaluated in field practicums in the following areas, as they apply to systems of all sizes.
  • Knowledge and Understanding of Placement Agency
  • Social Work Values and Ethics
  • Professional Learning and Development
  • Work Performance
    • Professional Growth
    • Supervision
  • Social Work Skills and Process
    • Communication
    • Assessment
    • Selection of Intervention Plan
    • Implementation of Intervention Plan
    • Termination and Evaluation

Field Practicum at Indiana Wesleyan University is a vital component of the student’s MSW program. According to the CSWE Educational Policy 3.32.2, field education is the signature pedagogy of Social Work professional program development. “Field education is designed to integrate the theoretical and conceptual contributions of the explicit curriculum in the field setting” (p. 20). (CSWE, 2022 Educational Policy and
Accreditation Standards). Students under appropriate supervision and consultation can apply the skills, knowledge, and values of the profession to real life situations in social service agencies working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities in their local community. Students have the opportunity to apply the generalist model in the Generalist year (for standard track students) and advanced practice skills in the advanced generalist year in assessing, planning, contracting, implementing, evaluating, and terminating various client systems.

The IWU MSW program provides goal-directed education with specifically designed curriculum content and outcomes, to facilitate conceptualization and stimulation of the student’s cognitive processes. It is therefore a logical sequence for the field experience to come after significant coursework developing social work knowledge, skills, values, cognitive, and affective processes is completed. Placements assist students in experiencing a variety of delivery systems as well as models and methods for delivery. The student is given the opportunity to conceptualize the “whole” person-in-situation. The student will review and experience agency policies, the larger social welfare system, and social work practice as a possible focus of change. The integration of the class and field experience, the signature pedagogy, provides the venue for students to begin the process of developing into social work practitioners who are capable of entry level and advanced clinical social work practice.

Due to the importance of assessing readiness for field practicum,students are required to complete the Social Work Field Education Application and be accepted for moving forward into the Field Experience component for both the generalist and advanced generalist specialty practice years. Applications are due three months prior to the beginning of the first field seminar. The purpose of the Field Education Application is to identify practical information and set professional and academic goals. The MSW Director of Field Experiences will contact each student prior to the field placement to initiate the process of application and placement. Students will identify field placement options and a tentative plan will be created for Field Placement based on student interest and needs. While student desires are considered, the final approval of a placement is the responsibility of the Director of Field Experiences.

Students in their generalist year complete a minimum of 400 hours of field education (average of 12.5 hours per week) in a generalist social work practice setting. Field practicum hours are completed in conjunction with four seminar courses, each lasting eight weeks. Courses include SWK-560, SWK-561, SWK-562, and SWK-563. The placement is at one agency and is complete when 32 weeks and 400 hours are completed. Students must complete 100 hours during each eight-week field seminar to continue in their practicum.

Students in the advanced generalist practice specialization year complete a minimum of 500 hours of field education (average of 15.5 hours per week) in a social work practice setting. Field practicum hours are completed in conjunction with four advanced field placement and seminar courses, each lasting eight weeks. Courses include SWK-666, SWK-667, SWK-668, and SWK-669. The placement is in one agency and is complete when 32 weeks and 500 hours are completed. Students must complete 125 hours during each eight-week field seminar to continue in their practicum.

Each field seminar course in the Generalist and Advanced Generalist specialty practice year also contains a pass/fail component that the student must pass to continue in the program including evaluations of professional behavior and evaluations of competency at mid-point and end of field placement. Students who drop out of or receive a grade of a “C- or below in a Field Seminar may retake the field course only upon approval of the Director of Field Experiences after review of satisfactory professional performance of the student in the field placement. Students repeating a field seminar course are also require start over in completing the required hours and assignments for the seminar. The s process of approval to return to field may also include additional review of completed seminar assignments, progress on learning contract activities, and feedback from the Faculty Liaison and Field Instructor.

Student Performance Improvement Policy

Formal evaluation of professional performance occurs when a professional performance issue has been identified and brought to the MSW program faculty. The faculty use a Rubric for Assessing Professional Behavior that operationalizes the following twelve professional performance behaviors: attendance; punctuality; respect; self-awareness; diversity awareness; collegiality; oral communication; written communication; initiative; reliability; responsiveness to feedback; compliance with professional requirements of the program, and; compliance with NASW Code of Ethics.

The following Student Professional Performance Policy and Procedures has been included in the MSW Student Handbook to inform students of the criteria for evaluating their professional performance.

Student Professional Performance Policy

Students who violate ethical standards of practice established by NASW in the Code of Ethics, whose professional performance affects their ability to be licensed as a social worker, and/or who do not meet the practice behaviors established by CSWE, may be recommended for a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) to offer the opportunity to correct the identified behaviors. Students who do not meet goals as detailed in a Performance Improvement Plan will be terminated from the Social Work Program.

Performance concerns may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Fails to meet generally accepted standards of professional conduct, personal integrity or emotional stability required for professional practice;
  • Fails to demonstrate the effective interpersonal skills necessary to perform professional helping relationships;
  • Fails to adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics;
  • Has been found guilty of criminal misconduct that affects the student’s ability to be licensed as a social worker;
  • Displays inappropriate or disruptive behavior toward clients, other students, faculty, or staff which interferes with professional judgment or jeopardizes the best interest of those to whom the Social Work student has a professional responsibility.

Procedures for Student Performance Improvement

  • Faculty should submit a written report that delineates the reasons (evidence) based on one or more academic and/or nonacademic violation(s) to the Performance Review Committee (PRC). The Performance Evaluation
    Tool should accompany the report.
  • The Performance Review Committee will include the social work faculty member bringing forth the evidence, the Program Director (or surrogate), the Field Director, academic advising, and full-time social work faculty. Other committee members may include representation from the registrar, disability services, financial aid, and program administrators (i.e. Chair and Dean).
  • The Committee will review the evidence and discuss recommendations, including any performance outcomes deemed necessary to correct the behavior(s) and continue in the program. Once the discussion is concluded, the Director will call for a decision vote.
  • The Program Director will contact the student to invite a meeting to discuss the evidence and decision of the PRC. During this meeting, the student will have an opportunity to present any additional information relevant to the performance concerns.
    • If a Performance Improvement Plan was recommended by the PRC, this will be presented and discussed with the student.
    • If the PRC decision is suspension from the Program, the Academic Advisor will explore and facilitate alternative schedules with the student.
  • The Program Director will notify the student in writing a summary of the meeting with the student. This letter will include the following: the performance concern(s); the PRC decision; a date for the PIP Review (if applicable); the re-entry plan for a student being suspended; and the date of exit from the program for a student terminated from the MSW program. Students will also be provided the information for filing a grievance should they contest the PRC decision, including the link to the Grievance Policy.

Continuation in and Policy for Termination from the Social Work Program

To remain in the MSW program, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA, must pass all courses with a minimum of a "C," successfully pass all the seminar courses, complete required field hours and pass the field performance evaluation based on required established scores indicated in the manual for field education. If a student receives below a "C" in a course, he or she may re-take the course but may not move on in the program until successfully passing the course.

It is the desire of the MSW faculty that students admitted to the program will continue in the program and graduate. However, there are circumstances that could lead to dismissal from the MSW program. Some violations may include but are not limited to:

  • Failure to meet or maintain academic grade point requirement as established by the University (3.0 overall) and a minimum of a "C" in all courses.
  • Failure to pass any of the gatekeeping and performance review points.
  • Behavior judged to be in violation of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics.
  • Behavior judged to be in violation of University Expectations of Professional Conduct.
  • Academic cheating, lying, or plagiarism (see Honesty, Cheating, Plagiarism, and Forgery).
  • Unresolved personal issues that, in the professional judgment of the social work faculty, could impair the effective quality provision of services to future clients.
  • Evidence of chemical dependency documented as occurring during the course of study.
  • Recurring or habitual absenteeism.
  • Inappropriate behavior and/or an inability to develop the appropriate interpersonal skills necessary for effective social work practice.
  • Repeated failure to demonstrate professional work habits and professional behavior.

In the event of any of the above violations, the MSW Program Director in consultation with Social Work faculty may require outside evaluations and/or opinions of professionals as is deemed necessary to determine the most appropriate course of actions. Each situation is treated individually, and the student may appeal any decision that is made.

As a result of violations of program policy such as those identified above, the MSW Faculty Committee may
recommend to the Dean that the student be dismissed from the program. Students may appeal the decision and may be given the opportunity to complete an improvement plan or other means of remediation . However, failure to follow through with the intervention/remediation plan will result in a denial of the appeal and dismissal. Significant violations of MSW program policy or the Code of Ethics can result in immediate administrative withdrawal from courses and recommendation for dismissal to the Dean with no remediation/improvement plan.

Academic Grievance Procedures

Students may contest academic and professional review decisions through the grievance process. The purpose of the grievance procedure is to ensure that students are being treated fairly and that their rights have not been violated. In accordance with the academic grievance policies outlined in the University Catalog and established by the University and College of Adult and Professional Studies(CAPS), within which the MSW program is housed, students may use the following appeal and grievance procedures if they feel their rights have been violated: Grade Appeal and Academic Policy Grievance.

MSW Program Grievance Policy Internal Grievance Steps

Within the MSW program, students may also report a grievance of any kind according to the following process.

  • When appropriate, and or possible, the student shall attempt a satisfactory reconciliation directly with the MSW faculty member involved.
  • In situations of unsatisfactory resolution or incidences not directly involving a faculty member, the student may petition the IWU MSW Program Director in writing. The Director will then hold a conference with the student within ten working days of the request.
  • If a student is not satisfied with the outcome of the above meeting, he or she may submit a written request for a hearing with the Chair of the Behavioral Sciences Department. The hearing shall be held no later than ten days after the student’s written request for a hearing in keeping with the University grievance process as stated in the Catalog.
  • Direct request for further hearing or petition may be made to the Academic Dean per University Academic Grievance policy described above.

Students with Special Needs

IWU recognizes and fulfills its obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and similar state laws. IWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified disabled learners in university programs and activities as are required by applicable law. See Services for Disabled Students.

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Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC),, 312-263-0456. Other accreditations and associations of Indiana Wesleyan University are available at

CSWE Accredited

Indiana Wesleyan University's Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education's Board of Accreditation.

Accreditation of a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on 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 Commission on 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.

CSWE Assessment Outcomes

2019 Outcomes

2020 Outcomes

2021 Outcomes

2022 Outcomes

The Mission of the IWU MSW Social Work Program
The mission of the IWU MSW Program is to prepare social work students for advanced social work practice through an emphasis on clinical skills and assist students who desire to integrate personal faith and learning in becoming world changers through service to their fellow human beings. The MSW program is committed to training social workers who embody a global and person-in-environment perspective, demonstrate respect and humility in responding to diversity in their fellow human beings, value scientific inquiry and the pursuit of truth, promote individual and societal justice, uphold inherent human rights, seek to address conditions that limit them, and seek to eliminate poverty and advance the well-being of others.

Further, the MSW program seeks to prepare students who uphold, embody and promote core social work values including service to others, honoring the dignity and worth of all people, acknowledging the importance of human relationships, and valuing personal integrity and competence. The program is committed to creating a personal, professional and innovative experience in the online environment to achieve its mission.

Diversity Statement
IWU, in covenant with God’s reconciling work and in accordance with the Biblical principles of our historic Wesleyan tradition, commits to build a community that reflects Kingdom diversity. We will foster an intentional environment for living, teaching and learning, which exhibits honor, respect, and dignity. Acknowledging visible or invisible differences, our community authentically values each member’s earthly and eternal worth. We refute ignorance and isolation and embrace deliberate and courageous engagement that exhibits Christ’s commandment to love all humankind.”

In this vein, the MSW program is also committed to recruiting and accepting MSW students without regard to “…age, class, color, culture, disability and ability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, marital status, political ideology, race, religion/spirituality, sex, sexual orientation, and tribal sovereign status” (CSWE Educational Policy 3.0 – Diversity), and as thus, the MSW Program has adopted this language.

Note on Licensure
The minimum academic credential required to obtain licensure to practice as a social worker in most states is a Master of Social Work (MSW) from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Indiana Wesleyan University’s MSW program is accredited by CSWE.

State licensing boards are responsible for regulating the practice of social work, and each state has its own academic, licensure, and certification requirements.

IWU recommends that students consult the appropriate social work licensing board in the state in which they plan to practice to determine the specific academic requirements for licensure. It remains the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all licensing requirements for the state in which he or she intends to practice. IWU makes no representations or guarantees that completion of its coursework or programs will permit an individual to achieve state licensure, authorization, endorsement, or other state credential as a social worker.

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