Social workers are committed to care-centered practice, community-building and social justice. Our programs give you the knowledge and skills to promote these values in an array of settings.

Social work is the valued infused professional activity of helping and supporting people, organizations and communities restore, enhance and advance wellbeing. We explore not only personal thoughts, feelings and actions but also the social environment as a primary arena for opportunities for change.  
Our advanced generalist curriculum is based on core professional competencies, including social work practice theory and intervention, diversity and human rights, organizations and leadership, community-building and social action, research and evaluation and professional development.

Master of Social Work

This program provides opportunities to learn in the classroom and in the field.

  • theoretically based understanding to assess diverse human behaviors in varied social environments;
  • skills for operating in a multidisciplinary agency and community environment;
  • research methods with practical application to agency practice,
  • and approaches to working with culturally diverse populations.

View the MSW Plan of Study

Faculty members and students co-create empowering learning environments through group discussions, role play, experiential occurrences and readings that enable transformational learning.

  • Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education
  • Available as a part-time or full-time program
  • Undergraduate degree in social work is not required for entry; some applicants come from a variety of undergraduate majors or fields, have diverse employment experiences, are advancing their human service career, or are making a career change
  • Schedule can accommodate working professionals with many classes held in late afternoon, evenings or weekends
  • Students may choose from two tracks, both offered full or part-time;
    • Regular Master of Social Work (two-year, 60-credit hour curriculum, combining classroom and field experience)
    • Advanced Standing Master of Social Work (available for students who already have a Bachelor in Social Work, this program is 36-credits hours taken during a Summer semester and one full-time year of coursework with a supervised field practicum)
  • Prepares students for licensure with a focus on Missouri or Kansas
    • LMSW - Licensed Master’s Social Worker
    • LCSW (MO)/LSCSW (KS) - Licensed Clinical Social Worker
    • LAMSW (MO) - Licensed Advanced Generalist Social Worker

Learn more about field education


Careers in Social Work

Student Organizations

We have several student groups specifically for our social work students. Additional student groups can be found on RooGroups and as well as by exploring UMKC Student Life.

Master of Social Work Student Organization (MSWSO)

This organization offers an opportunity for students to actively be involved with the social work program, build networking relationships with peers and gain additional skills and experiences to enhance their social work career. Throughout the academic year, the organization sponsors events such as a licensing information seminar, social gatherings and licensing exam preparation courses. The MSWSO also gives students input into program decisions through service on faculty committees and participation in the faculty meetings. Programs and events are announced via the list serve email. 
Staff Advisor: Taylor Blackmon 
Faculty Liaison: Steven Onken

Phi Alpha Honor Society

The purpose of Phi Alpha Honor Society is to provide a closer bond among students of social work and promote humanitarian goals and ideas. Phi Alpha fosters high standards of education for social workers and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work.


  • Recognition of academic excellence
  • Respected by employers, social workers and college admissions
  • National presentation opportunities
  • Lifetime membership
  • Membership certificate and lapel pin

Faculty Advisor: Amy Simmons 

Faculty, Staff and Leadership

Rosalyn Bertram

Professor, Advisor
Phone Number: 816-235-5878

Mandy Caruso-Yahne

Social Work Field Education Sr Program Coordinator
Phone Number: 816-235-6208

Ile Haggins

Director of Field Education, Advisor, Field and Practicum Advisor
Phone Number: 816-235-6717

Steven Onken

Associate Professor and Chair
Phone Number: 816-235-5791

Robert Prue

Associate Professor, Advisor
Phone Number: 816-235-5878

Amy Simmons

MSW Program Director, Associate Teaching Professor, Advisor
Phone Number: 816-235-5870

Nancy Twillman

Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor
Phone Number: 816-235-5878

Heidi Updike

Administrative Assistant
Phone Number: 816-235-1025

Annual Assessment of Student Outcomes

To request more information or to see granular information, please email program director Amy Simmons or call (816) 235-5870.