Athens | Gwinnett


MA in Nonprofit
    Management and

Double Dawgs
Dual Degrees
Certificate Programs
Continuing Education

Institute for Nonprofit

Field Education
Financial Aid
Global Engagement

MSW Frequently Asked Questions

MSW Program Overview | Program Values, Mission & Goals | FAQs | Forms & Resources

UGA Graduate Student FAQs

MSW Admission Requirements

MSW Program


Admission Requirements

What is the application deadline for the MSW program?

The priority deadline for the Part-time, Full-time and Advanced Standing programs is February 15th and for international students, February 1st . Completed applications received by those dates will ensure an earlier admission decision. Applications submitted after the deadlines will be considered on a space available basis.*Applications that are received after July 1st will not be considered for admission.. *Please let us know if your file remains incomplete due to transcript transfer problems that are out of your control. We may be able to help.

Do I need an undergraduate degree in social work?

 No. We have a specially designed program for students who have an undergraduate degree in social work (BSW) called the Advanced Standing Program. For all others, they are welcome to apply to our other programs. However, we do require that applicants have a liberal arts background. We will consider applicants with backgrounds outside of liberal arts if they include liberal arts course work. The undergraduate curriculum should include the following:

  1. Biological sciences
  2. Social sciences
  3. Psychology
  4. Statistics

If you do have a BSW., please review the requirements for the Advanced Standing Program. You may be eligible.

Do I have to take the GRE?

Yes, but you can take the Miller Anthology Test (MAT) as an alternative. All applicants must take one of the two. No exceptions. We only admit from the applicants who have a completed file. The GRE or the MAT is necessary to complete your application. Please note: We do not require the quantitative section of the GRE, only the Verbal and Analytic (writing) portions.  Additionally if you have completed at least one full semester in a degree-seeking graduate program at UGA, your scores will be accepted indefinitely.

What GRE score is required of your applicants?

The UGA Graduate School suggests a Verbal GRE score of 146 and a written, analytical score of 3.5. We do accept students with lower GRE scores, and welcome applications of all qualified persons with a sincere interest in social work. You can take the GRE once a month to improve your score. We recommend that you start early and repeat the test if you are not satisfied with your score. The Graduate School only uses the best of the two scores; so your score can never go down. It can only go up when you take it again.

How recent do my GRE scores have to be?

GRE scores must be no more than 5 years old (counted to the end of the calendar year). If older than that, you must retake the test and submit more recent scores.

What are other admission requirements for the MSW program?

  1. The School of Social Work requires an overall undergraduate GPA of no less than 3.0. (3.2 for Advanced Standing).
  2. Three written letters of recommendation.
  3. A narrative statement (average length 3-5 pages) explaining your reasons for seeking admission to the MSW program (see instructions on the application form).
  4. Work experience or volunteer work in the human services is encouraged, as well as diverse cultural experiences.

All of these factors go into helping the Admissions Committee make a decision about each candidate. All are important. The application form itself explains the documentation of these additional requirements.

What is the typical undergraduate GPA of applicants?

Recently the overall average GPA for students admitted into the program is approximately 3.2. We do accept students with lower GPAs and welcome the applications of all qualified persons with a demonstrated interest in social work. The minimum undergraduate GPA for admission into the MSW Program is 3.0

.. The minimum GPA for Advanced Standing students is 3.2.

Do I need to submit a separate letter of reference to the Graduate School?

No. Submit your letters of recommendation with the School of Social work application included in the application packet.

What is the purpose for the narrative statement and what is the committee looking for?

We are looking for individuals who exhibit strong potential for developing professional competence, whose personal value system promotes social work core values such as social justice and an appreciation for human diversity and who have demonstrated academic promise to be able to perform successfully at the graduate level. The narrative statement is your opportunity to provide the Admissions Committee members with a clearer sense of who you are and what has motivated you to pursue a career in social work.

Can I receive credit for life experience or previous work experience?

We do not grant social work course credit for these experiences.



MSW Program

When can I begin the MSW program?

Students with a bachelors degree in a field different from social work can only begin the MSW program in the Fall semester (beginning in August).
Students with a BSW earned from a CSWE-accredited program (within five years of admission) seeking admission into the Advanced Standing Full-Time program can only enroll in the Fall semester  (beginning in August).

Do you have an off-campus or part-time MSW program?

Yes, the Extended-Time MSW Program (formerly the Part-Time MSW Program) at the UGA Gwinnett Campus in Lawrenceville, Ga., is geared especially for people who have been and are currently working in the human services in the Atlanta Metropolitan region.

Can I apply to both the full-time and extended-time programs at the same time?

No. You must indicate which of the two programs (full or extended-time) you are applying for, on the MSW application. You may only apply for admission to one program.

If I have a BSW degree, do I qualify for advanced standing in the MSW program?

In order for the BSW to qualify an applicant for admission into the advanced standing program, the following conditions must be met:

  1. It must be from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education,
  2. It must have been earned within five years of beginning the MSW program.
  3. The required social work GPA for the Advanced Standing program is 3.2.

If your average social work classes do not meet this minimum, or if your BSW was obtained over five years ago you may still be accepted, but only to the Full-Time progam and not to the Advanced Standing program. Earning a BSW degree within the five year limit does not prevent you from admission to the regular program of study. However, you must specifically request this option. Exceptions to the five year rule are BSWs who have worked in a social work setting, which includes MSW staff and professional learning experiences. The limit for those applicants is ten years.

Where is the UGA Gwinnett Campus?

The UGA Gwinnett Campus is located at 2530 Sever Road, Lawrenceville, Ga 30043. Directions to the Gwinnett Campus are at
Travel time:
From Athens: About 50 minutes by car, via GA 316.
From downtown Atlanta: About 30-45 minutes by car.

How long is the program?

Full-time, Regular Program, is about 2 years: 2 semesters during each of 2 academic years. Summer attendance is optional, but it does not shorten the program.
Extended-Time, Regular Program, is less than 3 years: 8 semesters including summers.
Full-time, Advanced Standing Program is about one year: 1 summer and 2 semesters.

How many credit hours is the MSW program?

Advanced Standing Full-Time Program: 40 semester hours.
Regular Program: 60 semester hours. (Same for both full time and extended-timestudy.)

How many hours/classes per week?

Full-time: About 15 hours per week, in the classroom/4 or 5 classes a week.
Extended-time: About 9 hours per week, in the classroom/3 courses a week taken over three weeknights (or two nights and a weekend course in special cases).

When will I find out if I've been accepted?

You will be notified approximately six weeks after the Feburary 15 deadline if your file is completed. Please note that often the G.R.E. delays completion of the file, so please take the exam well ahead of applying.

If I am admitted to the extended-time program, can I later transfer to the full-time program or if I am admitted to the full-time program, can I later transfer to the extended-time program?

Transfers between the extended-timeand full-time programs are not encouraged. Exceptions to this rule are made when seats are open in the other program prior to entry into the program. Approval is required by the Director of the MSW Program.

Do you accept transfer students from other programs?

Transfer students from other CSWE-accredited MSW programs may be admitted, depending upon the availability of space in our classes. Students may transfer in up to six graduate credits. Students who seek a transfer to our school of social work will have their transcripts individually evaluated by the Director of MSW Admissions and the Director of the MSW Program to assess which courses may be waived. Please note that while all foundation curriculm (first year) curiculum are similar in CSWE-accredited schools, there may also be differences which may result in a delay in completing a MSW degree at UGA.  The Graduate School requires a 40 credit hour minimum taken at UGA to earn a masters degree  Please address letters requesting such transfers to the Director of MSW Admissions, University of Georgia, School of Social Work, 279 Williams Street, Athens, GA 30602.