*See School of Social Work for accreditation status.
MSW Admission Requirements
The MSW Program provides two levels of admission: Regular (Two-Year) Placement and Advanced Placement. Students who are accepted into Regular Placement (59 credits) may complete the program with full-time enrollment in four semesters over two years, or part-time over three or four years. Students who are accepted into Advanced Placement (31 credits) complete the program in three semesters over 12 months with full-time enrollment, or in 24 months on a part-time basis. Applicants seeking admission to the MSW Program must meet the basic requirements stipulated by the School of Social Work as follows:
MSW Regular Two-Year Placement
Applicants to the MSW Regular Placement Program must:
- Complete a graduate application.
- Have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
- Provide an official transcript that demonstrates coursework with a strong liberal arts background.
- Possess an overall GPA of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate coursework. Any lower GPA will require that the student be considered for provisional admission status.
- Submit a professional résumé documenting related experience and a personal statement describing applicant’s aptitude for and interest in the field of social work. Past practice experience strengthens all MSW student applications; however, academic credit is not given for life experience.
- Submit two professional reference forms. The Admissions Committee may request a personal interview, third reference and/or other information when there is a question on aptitude for a career in social work.
MSW Advanced Placement
In addition to the requirements for admission into Regular Placement, students seeking admission into Advanced Placement standing must:
- Have completed a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from a recognized college or university program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
- Possess an overall GPA of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate coursework with no more than one “C” in a core social work course. Any lower GPA will require that student be considered for provisional admission status.
- Submit one letter of reference reflecting past satisfactory practice experience from the applicant’s field placement faculty liaison, field instructor, or current human service job supervisor.
MSW Admission Procedures
Inquiries about the MSW program come to the Graduate Studies Office or directly to the School of Social Work Admissions Coordinator. From either office or online, the applicant receives an admissions packet specifically designed for MSW applicants. The Graduate Studies Office collects the application materials, verifies the transcripts, and sends the materials on to the School of Social Work. After receiving the application materials, the School of Social Work’s Admission Committee makes a determination of the type and level of acceptance and notifies the Graduate Studies Office of their findings.
The MSW admissions procedures were designed to interface with existing university graduate admissions protocols. When the Graduate Studies Office and/or the School of Social Work receives the applicant’s package, they will:
- Determine whether required admission documentation is complete.
- Establish whether the applicant meets the requirements for advanced, two-year program, and/or provisional admission.
- Attach the application content analysis cover sheet.
The School of Social Work’s Admissions Coordinator completes an admissions evaluation form using the quantitative and qualitative information such as transcript, GPA, and score of the professional statement among other admissions eligibility resources. The Admissions Coordinator creates a program applicant file and circulates the qualitative materials for evaluation by two faculty members from the Admissions Committee. These materials include the applicant’s official transcript(s), résumé and personal statement, and the required recommendations. These files are then returned to the Admissions Coordinator who then schedules a full applicant review with the Admissions Committee, where an admission decision is made. Finally, the MSW Program Director sends a letter informing the applicant of his/her acceptance or denial. An applicant denied admission to the MSW program may reapply or may appeal the denial decision in person and/or in writing to the Admission Committee.
Students are notified of their acceptance status within three weeks of the School of Social Work receiving their completed application materials. The student will be notified by email followed by a posted letter.
The time limit for completing the program will be five years.
In the event an applicant is not granted admission to the program, he or she may reapply after 12 months.
The MSW program will use a rolling admission process until a cohort of up to 25 graduate students in each admission level has been selected out of the pool of applicants over each academic year.
Students/applicants wishing to transfer to the Southern MSW program from another accredited college or university must follow the same application procedure for program acceptance as other students. Transfer graduate students must complete 75% of the Advanced Placement requirements at Southern. Transfer grades must be “B” or higher. Southern does not transfer “P” grades. If the student would like to transfer credit for a core social work course, it must be from a CSWE accredited graduate program to be considered. Transfer students may be required to extend their program because some social work courses are taken in sequence, following a prescribed timeline.
Academic Credit for Life Experience
Field experience courses are required of every social work student and no academic credit is given for life experience or previous work experience. No course credit in the professional foundation or advanced curriculum is waived because of previous employment.
MSW Graduation Requirements
- Complete application to graduate, to be filed in the Records and Advisement office, a minimum of two months prior to expected graduation date.
- Complete all coursework with a minimum grade-point-average of 3.00, including no more than one class with a grade below “B-“. Classes with a grade of “C-“or below will not be counted for credit toward the master’s degree.