Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should I pursue a Master of Social Work degree?
Social workers interact with diverse client populations and seek to improve the quality of life particularly for those who exist on the margins of society. There are many career opportunities for social workers, particularly for those with a MSW. The job market for professional social workers is expanding, both locally and nationally. MSW's practice in a wide variety of public and private agency settings such as child welfare, youth services, mental health/counseling, schools, criminal justice, veteran's services, service agencies for the elderly, medical settings such a hospitals and long term care facilities.
A Master in Social Work degree can also open the door to upward career mobility within the profession. More and more frequently the MSW degree is a requirement of supervisory or management level positions. Often, the MSW degree brings higher salaries.
2. What are the current application deadlines?
- Advanced Standing Class: September 16, 2013
- Regular Program: Review of those applications will begin March 11, 2013. Applications will be accepted until the program is full.
4. How many credits do I need to take?
- 60 credits are required for the regular program (2-years)
- 36 credits for those granted advanced standing (4 semesters, summer, fall, spring, summer)
5. I have a BSW. Can I be given advanced standing?
To qualify for advanced standing you must meet the following qualifications:
- BSW from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education
- BSW was earned within 7 years of beginning the MSW program
- 3.0 or better GPA in your undergraduate social work classes
6. I have a master's degree from a related field. Can I qualify for advanced standing?
7. How is the program offered?
- Full-time program
- Distributed over six semesters during a two year period: fall, spring, and summer
- Regular program begins with the fall semester
- Advanced standing program begins with the summer semester in May
10. Do I need to have a certain undergraduate major to be admitted to the program?
- No particular undergraduate major is required
- Applicants must have a strong background in the liberal arts
Are there any prerequisites?
- You will need to have the following courses with a grade of C or better:
- Biology with human content
- Human development across the lifespan
- Three additional courses in Social Sciences (sociology, psychology, political science, history, communications, criminal justice)
11. How many students will be admitted?
- 17 students will be admitted to the regular program each year
- 17 students will be admitted to the advanced standing program every other year
12. Will I be able to do my practicum work at the agency I currently work for?
It may be possible for you to complete some of your practicum hours with your current employer. Many social service agencies have a variety of programs. You would need to be assigned to a completely different job/program with a different supervisor. Many agencies are willing to work with students to help them meet these requirements. You are encouraged to explore this issue with your employer. You many not use your job as your internship.
13. Is the GRE or another entrance exam required?
14. I have taken other graduate courses. Can I transfer them?
- Courses may not be transferred for any required course
- A maximum of three credits may be considered for transfer credit for the elective course
15. I have been working in the field for many years, surely this should count for something?
- Academic credit for life experiences and previous work experience is not given, in whole or in part, in lieu of field practicum courses or academic courses
- CSWE prohibits accredited programs from granting credit for life/work experience
16. What are the requirements for the MSW degree?
Students are responsible for completing all requirements for the MSW degree—completing required and elective courses, meeting the standards for competency in coursework and in field, completing successfully all field placements, and maintaining a 3.0 GPA.
17. What if I earn a C in a graduate course?
- Graduate students are expected to maintain a 3.0 GPA
- Two C's throughout the course of the program will be accepted, A third C will result in dismissal from the MSW program
- If your grade falls below a 3.0 you will be placed on academic probation and will have one semester to bring your GPA back to a 3.0
- Please see the MSW handbook regarding academic probation and grades below the 3.0 that is expected for a graduate student
18. Are Graduate Assistantships available?
There are Graduate Assistantships available through the Graduate School. Our students are encouraged to apply even though the Department of Social Work does not employ Graduate Assistants.