MSW Program Admissions

Become part of our MSW program

Social Work is one of the fastest-growing professions in the United States and includes diverse and varied fields of practice. Social Work students prepare for careers in community-based clinical practice in fields such as child welfare, elder services, health and mental/behavioral health, veterans’ services, immigrant and refugee services, school social work, and many other fields.

Information Session

Learn about the Master of Social Work program at an upcoming Information Session.

Register for an Upcoming Session

Admissions Criteria

Standard Program (61 Credits)

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75 (expected GPA of 3.0 or higher)
  • Experience in social services as an employee, volunteer, or student is recommended
  • Evidence of strong potential for clinical social work and motivation for graduate studies
  • Successful completion of a prerequisite course (Statistics) with a grade of “C” or better*

*May be completed after admission to the program

Advanced Standing Program (33 Credits**)

  • The advanced standing program is only available to graduates of Bachelor in Social Work (BSW) programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or an international degree program recognized by CSWE.
  • Degree conferral from a BSW program within the last six years is preferred, although applicants whose BSW was awarded more than six years ago but who have worked continuously in the field may apply for full or partial advanced standing.
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.0
  • Grades of “B-” or better in all Social Work courses.

**Otherwise qualified applicants with a BSW foundation course grade below the required minimum B- grade will be required to repeat the course at the graduate level to demonstrate competency in the relevant foundation area. A maximum of six (6) foundation year credits may be repeated at the graduate level for advanced standing applicants. These courses must either be completed prior to enrollment or in the first year of the student course plan. Applicants with more than 6 credits of BSW foundation courses below the minimum B- grade are not eligible for the Advanced Standing Program but may apply to the regular 61 credit program.

Admissions Process

  • Complete both The Graduate School Application and the MSW Supplemental Application form and pay the non-refundable $50 application fee
  • Submit Official Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate programs
  • Submit two professional letters of recommendation with cover sheet
  • Complete the Social Work Admissions Essay describing your specific area(s) of interest in the field of community based clinical social work practice, your professional goals, and expected contributions to the profession.
  • Admissions Interview virtual meeting with a member of faculty (by invitation)
  • Supply an updated copy of your resume
  • NO GRE or other exams required

Additional Requirements for Advanced Standing Applicants:

  • Advanced Standing applicants are required to have one additional professional letter of recommendation, which must come from their BSW Program Director or Field Practice Supervisor
  • A copy of most your recent BSW field evaluation must be submitted.

All materials are submitted online through the USJ application system. Once your application has been submitted, you will receive login credentials via email that enable you to track your document submissions online.

For assistance with the Graduate Admissions process:

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 860.231.5216

Application Deadlines

The MSW program uses a rolling admissions process.

The file completion deadline for priority admissions decision is January 15 for advanced standing and March 1 for all other applicants. Applying before the priority dates increases your chances of being admitted since applications are evaluated as they arrive (rather than all at once).

Applications received after the priority dates will be reviewed and students will be accepted until the fall entry class is full.

Completed files will be sent to the Social Work Admissions Committee for review.

Note: The MSW program only admits new students to start in the fall semester except for one year advanced standing students who start in the summer term.

Once Your File is Complete

  • Schedule and attend the Admission Interview, and complete the Writing Sample. The Admissions Committee will review each file and invite qualified applicants for a brief admissions interview and writing sample. The interview process provides you with the opportunity to meet with faculty to discuss your perspectives on becoming a community-based clinical social worker and it provides the program with the opportunity to meet you and get to know what you are passionate about beyond what we can learn on paper. Students normally are notified of admissions decisions within two weeks of the interview.
  • If you are accepted into the MSW Program, pay the $200 Program Deposit online. Accepted students have 15 days to submit the deposit to secure their place in the program.
  • Register for your initial semester. The Social Work Program operates on a cohort model where students move through the program on a planned course of study with a common group of peers. Although circumstances will result in some changes to the cohorts over time, your general course sequence will be established by the program option you have selected. We will send you information on registration once your acceptance is confirmed.

Note: Per accreditation requirements, the USJ MSW Program does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience.

MSW Scholarship for New Students

The MSW Scholarship for new students is open to MSW students admitted for Fall 2023.

What you need to know to apply for the scholarship:

  • Scholarship is merit-based. Students must apply for the scholarship. The Review Committee will consider the following criteria:
    • Prior college GPA
    • Letter(s) of recommendation
    • Demonstrated commitment to Social Work profession
    • Admission Interview
    • Responses to questions on scholarship application
  • Recipients must enroll in at least 6 credit hours per semester
  • Scholarship is divided into equal payments for Fall and Spring semesters/$500 per semester (not applicable to summer courses)
  • Renewable for year 2 based on the following:
    • Maintain a USJ GPA of 3.3 or higher and satisfactory academic progress
    • Continuous enrollment in at least 6 credits per semester (Fall/Spring only)
    • Scholarship is applicable for up to two years, and cannot be extended or reinstated if terms/conditions are not met
    • Applies to new, incoming students enrolling in the MSW program only
    • *USJ employees are not eligible

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