The MSW program is open to any applicant who holds a baccalaureate degree in any major from a regionally accredited institution. Applications are evaluated based on overall strength of the application package. Experience in diverse environments is a plus.

Please direct all questions about MSW Program admissions to the MSW Admissions and Recruitment Coordinator, Allison L. Haynes at sswadmin@uga.edu.

During this virtual recorded session we discuss: MSW programs of study options, areas of specialization, the application process and resources. Click the videos below to view.


MSW Application Information

The MSW Program accepts cohorts to begin Fall semester of each year only.
The MSW Advanced Standing Program (for those who hold a BSW from a CSWE-Accredited School) cohorts begin in Summer semester each year only.

Applications to the School of Social Work master’s degree program are submitted through the UGA Graduate School. Visit the UGA Graduate School website to view the requirements and fees for applying. Please also review the below information.

Application Checklist

MSW applications take several steps to complete. We recommend that you begin the application and work on it over several days. Payment will not be required until you submit the application. Only complete applications are reviewed.

Applications are complete when the following items are submitted to the Graduate
School:

  • The Graduate Student application. *Select correct program and term; see MSW Program options below.
  • Transcripts – Upload unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended to the Graduate School application. Send official transcripts after you are offered admission.
  • Narrative Statement – Through the personal narrative, you will have an opportunity to describe your interest and motivation for becoming a professional social worker as well as your understanding of the concepts and guiding principles associated with the profession. Click Narrative Essay for instructions.
  • Resumé – Include details of your work experience in human service through paid, volunteer and internship experiences.
  • Three letters of recommendation supporting your readiness for graduate work, appropriate interpersonal skills and talent for leadership. At least one academic reference is preferred. Letters are to be submitted online via the Graduate School admissions website. The application will prompt your recommenders to submit their letters electronically after entering their email address in the application.
  • Graduate School Application fee: Domestic applicants = $75 for the first application; $25 for each additional application. International applicants = $100 for the first application; $25 for each additional application.

*GRE Test Scores are not required unless applicant deems they are instrumental in demonstrating academic promise.

**International applicants have additional requirements. Please visit the Graduate School webpage International Application Information for complete details.

Application Deadlines

The deadline to submit completed Graduate School applications to all MSW Program options is January 10, 2025.

Any complete applications received after January 10, 2025 will be reviewed on a space-available basis. Applications received after July 1st will not be considered for admission.

**Full-time Athens and Advanced Standing Athens applicants who wish to be considered for a Graduate Assistantship must complete both the Graduate School application and the Assistantship Application by January 10, 2025.

MSW Program Options

Classes operate on a Cohort model. Be sure to select the correct campus, program and term on your application. Students are not allowed to transfer between programs or campuses. You may not change between programs once you have been admitted into a program.

Choose from our five UGA MSW programs:

Athens Campus Advanced Standing Program

Intended Program: MSW_SOWK; Intended Term: Summer

“Advanced Standing” means that students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) can receive their MSW with only 40 additional course credits.

This option allows students to earn the MSW degree at the Athens campus in three semesters (Summer, Fall, and Spring).

• Daytime classes, 4-5 classes per week
• Choice of Micro, Macro or Combined Specialization
• The Specialization practicum internship begins during fall semester;
students intern an average of 20 hours per week

To apply for advanced standing, the following conditions must be met:

• BSW must be from a CSWE-accredited program.
• BSW was earned within five years of beginning the MSW program.*
• GPA guideline is 3.2 or better in undergraduate social work classes.**

*If you earned your BSW within five years but prefer to apply to the regular program, you must specifically request admission to the regular program.

**If your undergraduate social work GPA is less than 3.2, or if your BSW was obtained more than five years ago, or if you have a degree from another discipline, you may still be eligible for the regular MSW program of study, but not to the Advanced Standing program.

If you earned your BSW within ten years, but have worked in a social work setting that includes MSW staff and professional learning experiences, you may still be eligible for advanced standing status.

Athens Campus Full-Time Program

Intended Program: MSW_SOWK; Intended Term: Fall

The Full Time MSW Program in Athens is completed within 2 years (60 course credit hours).

• Daytime classes, 4-5 classes per week
• Undergrad GPA guideline is 3.0
• Choice of Micro, Macro or Combined Specialization

In addition to your coursework, you will have a practicum site placement.

The Generalist year requires 312 combined hours of supervised practicum internship. This includes 72 hours in the fall and 240 hours in the spring. During the Specialization year, students complete 600 practicum internship hours.

For more information, contact the Practicum Education Office at sswpracticum@uga.edu

Gwinnett Campus Advanced Standing Program

Intended Program: MSW_SOWK_GWN; Intended Term: Summer

The Extended-Time Advanced Standing MSW program (formerly the MSW Part-Time Program) is located at the UGA Gwinnett Campus in metro Atlanta.

“Advanced Standing” means that students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) can receive their MSW with only 40 additional course credits.

This option allows students to earn the MSW degree at the Gwinnett Campus within 6 semesters/2 years.

• In-person classes after 5:00 pm, 2-3 classes per week
• Undergrad GPA guideline is 3.2
• Micro Specialization only (with the ability to take electives in Macro practice)

To apply for advanced standing, the following conditions must be met:

• BSW must be from a CSWE-accredited program.
• BSW was earned within five years of beginning the MSW program.*
• GPA guideline is 3.2 or better in undergraduate social work classes.**

*If you earned your BSW within five years but prefer to apply to the regular program, you must specifically request admission to the regular program.

**If your undergraduate social work GPA is less than 3.2, or if your BSW was obtained more than five years ago, or if you have a degree from another discipline, you may still be eligible for the regular MSW program of study, but not to the Advanced Standing program.

If you earned your BSW within ten years, but have worked in a social work setting that includes MSW staff and professional learning experiences, you may still be eligible for advanced standing status.

Gwinnett Campus Extended-Time Program

Intended Program: MSW_SOWK_GWN; Intended Term: Fall

The Extended-Time MSW program (formerly the MSW Part-Time Program) is located at the UGA Gwinnett Campus in metro Atlanta.

• Complete within 3 years/8 semesters, 60 course credit hours
• In-person classes after 5:00 pm, 2-3 classes per week*
• Undergrad GPA guideline is 3.0
• Micro Specialization only (with the ability to take electives in Macro practice)

*If you are unable to attend classes 3 times per week, there is also a 4-year program of study option where you would attend 2 classes per week.

In addition to your coursework, you will have a practicum site placement beginning during the second year. Practicum internships are primarily held at the field sites during weekday business hours.

The Generalist year begins the program’s second year and requires 312 combined hours of supervised practicum internship and seminar class once per week. This includes 72 hours in the fall and 240 hours in the spring. During the Specialization year (3rd year of the program), students complete 600 practicum internship hours over the fall and spring semesters.

For more information, contact the Practicum Education Office at sswpracticum@uga.edu

Online Extended-Time Program

Intended Program: MSW_SOWK_ONL; Intended Term: Fall

The Master of Social Work Online program prepares you to be a leader in the field of social work and meets all educational requirements leading to licensing as a social worker. The Online MSW program is designed to provide flexibility to persons in Georgia interested in pursuing a career in social work.

• Complete within 3 years/8 semesters (60 course credit hours)
• 3 classes per week (asynchronous)
• Undergrad GPA guideline for admissions is 3.0
• Micro Specialization only (with the ability to take electives in Macro practice)

Please note that practicum internship placements are to take place within Georgia.

The Generalist year begins the program’s second year and requires 312 combined hours of supervised practicum internship and seminar course work. This includes 72 hours in the fall and 240 hours in the spring. During the Specialization year (3rd year of the program), students complete 600 practicum internship hours over the fall and spring semesters.

For more information, contact the Practicum Education Office at sswpracticum@uga.edu

Practicum internship hours are required for all MSW programs.

More Program information: MSW Programs of Study
For MSW Practicum information: MSW Practicum


Informational Sessions

MSW Program Informational Session

During this virtual recorded session we discuss: MSW programs of study options, areas of specialization, the application process and resources. Click the videos below to view.

UGA Gwinnett Tour with MSW faculty/staff Meet & Greet

Join us to tour the UGA Gwinnett Campus located off exit 109 off I-85, then meet faculty and staff to learn more about the MSW extended-time program.

Click the link below to register:

Gwinnett MSW Extended-Time Program Session

Below is a recorded information session for applicants interested in the Extended-time MSW degree programming offered on the Gwinnett campus. In it we discuss flexible program options at the Gwinnett/Metro Atlanta Campus (three-year, four-year, or advanced standing 2 year programs), the application process, and resources.

MSW Funding Options Information Session

Register for this virtual information session where guest panelists will review information about financial assistance opportunities to fund your MSW including: UGA Financial Aid, School of Social Work Graduate Assistantships, the Title IV-E Child Welfare funded training program, and the Department of Behavioral Health and Disabilities (DHBDD) funded training program. Panelists will have time for questions after reviewing the options. Check Back for future session dates. For more information see the MSW Tuition & Funding Webpage


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the application deadline for the MSW Program?

The deadline to submit completed Graduate School applications to all MSW Program options is January 10, 2025. Only complete applications will be reviewed. Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered on a space-available basis. Applications 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.

*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:

  • Biological sciences
  • Social sciences
  • Psychology

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?

No, GRE test scores are not required unless applicant deems they are instrumental in demonstrating academic promise.

What are other admission requirements for the MSW program?
  • An overall undergraduate GPA of no less than 3.0. (3.2 for Advanced Standing).
  • Three written letters of recommendation.
  • A narrative statement (average length 3-5 pages) explaining your reasons for seeking admission to the MSW program (see instructions on the application form).
  • 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.

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.

When can I begin the MSW program?

Students with a bachelor’s 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 Summer semester (beginning in June).

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, Georgia, and the Online MSW Program are geared especially for non-traditional students who for various reasons cannot attend class on a full-time basis.

Can I apply to two programs at the same time?

No. You must indicate which of the three programs (full, extended-time or online) 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:

  • It must be from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education,
  • It must have been earned within five years of beginning the MSW program.
  • 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 https://gwinnett.uga.edu/prospective-students/visit-the-campus.

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?

Program length varies depending on the program:

  • Full-time, Regular Program, 2 years: 4 semesters. Summer attendance is optional, but it does not shorten the program.
  • Full-time, Advanced Standing Program is about 1 year: 1 summer and 2 semesters.
  • Extended-Time, Regular Program, 3 to 4 years: 8 to 11 semesters including summers, depending on student need.
  • Extended-Time, Advanced Standing Program, 2 years: 6 semesters including summers.
  • Online Program: 8 semesters: 3 or 4 years, depending on whether the student attends summer semesters.
How many credit hours is the MSW program?
  • Regular Program: 60 semester hours. (Same for full time, extended time and online study)
  • Advanced Standing Full-Time Program: 40 semester hours.
How do my recommenders submit letters of recommendation?

You will be asked to list names and contact information for recommenders on the application for admission. An email request with a secure link will be sent from the Graduate School to each recommender. Once the recommender completes the recommendation form and attaches a letter, they will be included in your application for admission. SSW Admissions will be able to view the submitted forms and letters of recommendation in the application portal. You can re-send notification emails to your recommenders via your Status Portal.

How much does the program cost?

UGA is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top values in higher education. Cost can vary depending on a number of factors. For information about Tuition & Fees, a Cost Calculator, Deadlines and more visit UGA Bursar & Treasury Services.

Information about funding opportunities can be found on the MSW Tuition & Funding webpage.

How many hours/classes per week?
  • Full-time Athens: About 15 hours per week, in the classroom/4 or 5 classes per week over 2-3 days. Classes typically begin around 9:15 am and end around 4:30 pm.
  • Extended-time Gwinnett: About 6-9 hours per week, in the classroom/2-3 classes per week typically over 3 days. Classes typically begin around 5:30 pm and end around 8:15 pm.
  • Online: 100 % asynchronous, but professors may offer optional office hours or other opportunities to enhance the learning experience.

*Practicum internship hours are required for all programs (see below).

How many hours of field practicum are required?

Practicum/Field Education is a signature pedagogy within the MSW program and is required for all CSWE-accredited MSW programs. The UGA MSW program of study includes two academic years of practicum placement:

Generalist Practicum Placement – 312 hours of practicum service; 8 hours per week during fall semester, along with the Field Practicum course, and 16 hours a week during spring semester. The generalist placement is to give you an overview of basic skills and how human service programs are developed, implemented and evaluated. Both semesters of the generalist placement will be completed at the same agency.

Specialist Practicum Placement– 600 practicum hours (300 per semester); 20 hours per week for both fall and spring semesters. Specialization practicum is compatible with the student’s concentration/area of interest. Both semesters of the specialization practicum will be completed at the same agency.

The Practicum Office will work to place you at an approved agency within the state of Georgia.

For additional information about MSW Practicum/Field Education, visit: https://ssw.uga.edu/academics/field-education/msw-field-education/

or email: sswpracticum@uga.edu

Do you accept USG TAP students to the Online Program?

The School of Social Work is not currently accepting University System of Georgia TAP applicants for the Master of Social Work Online program due to limited space-availability. We review USG TAP applicants for the Athens and Gwinnett programs on a space-available basis.

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

Those who apply to the UGA MSW program prior to the Jan. 10 priority deadline should hear an admissions decision by the end of March.

Once admitted to a program, can I later transfer to another program?

No, transfers between programs/campuses are not allowed. Due to the use of the cohort model, transfers to other programs make completion difficult and costly for the student. In addition, there are limited seats in each cohort. Exceptions to this rule are sometimes made when seats are open in the other program prior to confirming admittance into the program.

Do you accept transfer credits from other programs?

Students who wish to transfer from other CSWE-accredited MSW programs should apply through the regular application process. Applicants who wish to request an evaluation of transfer credits should provide their request in writing, their transcripts, and course syllabi to the SSW Admissions and Recruitment Coordinator. Transcripts and any additional course materials will be individually evaluated by the Director of the MSW Program and/or the Online and Gwinnett Campus Coordinator to assess which course requirements may be satisfied.

The School of Social Work (SSW) may accept the transfer of up to six approved graduate credits. Credits must be from a CSWE-accredited MSW program, cannot already have been used to complete a degree, and must have a final grade of B or higher. Practicum/field education course(s) will not be accepted for transfer credits. Please note that while generalist year curricula are similar across CSWE-accredited programs, there may also be differences which may result in a delay in completing an MSW degree at UGA. Please address letters requesting such transfers to: MSW Admissions, University of Georgia, School of Social Work, 279 Williams Street, Athens, GA 30602 or email sswadmin@uga.edu

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