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GSSWGraduate School of Social Work

Admission Criteria

In selecting students for our Master of Social Work (MSW) program, GSSW seeks individuals who support the school's mission and will advocate, in their subsequent careers, for the values and principles embodied within that mission.

GSSW offers admission to applicants who demonstrate the potential for successful graduate study. Applicants are evaluated on the basis of their prior performance and professional promise as evidenced by academic records, letters of reference and other pertinent data. You must have the following minimum qualifications to be considered for admission to the MSW program:

  • Two-Year Program—a baccalaureate degree earned at a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting body
  • Advanced Standing Program—a baccalaureate degree in social work from a college or university whose social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) at the time the BSW or BA degree is conferred
    NOTE: To ensure that students who have earned a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited program do not repeat what has been mastered in their baccalaureate social work education, they are not accepted into the two-year MSW program. Exceptions to this policy are rare and may be considered through an appeal to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Please contact the GSSW Office of Admission for additional information.
  • a minimum of 20 semester hours or 30 quarter hours in undergraduate course work in the arts and humanities, social/behavioral sciences and biological sciences
    • For each liberal arts course taken to fulfill this requirement, students must earn a grade of "C"—2.0 on a 4.0 scale—or better. In addition, you must have completed at least one course in English composition or present evidence of testing out of the English composition requirement.
    • a cumulative 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale for the baccalaureate degree

Once you have met these minimum qualifications for admission to the MSW program, you also will be evaluated, to the extent possible, on your communication skills, acceptance of diversity, self-awareness, empathy, professional behavior, integrity and ability to complete graduate-level education.


Admissions decisions are based primarily on an evaluation of your previous undergraduate and graduate coursework, experience in the human services (paid, volunteer, research and internship), written Career Goals Statement and letters of reference.

Transfer of credit and waiver of courses

You may transfer graduate credits earned from another regionally accredited institution to meet GSSW's degree requirements, if those credits have not been applied to any other degree. Details are available from the Office of Admission.

All requests for transfer of credit must be approved by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs after you have been admitted. In keeping with CSWE standards, GSSW cannot grant academic credit for life experience or previous work experience, in whole or in part, in lieu of the field internship or any courses in the curriculum.