The MSW program is open to any applicant who holds a baccalaureate degree in any major from a regionally accredited institution. As of the 2019-2020 academic year the GRE is optional, but the score will be considered if submitted. The GRE is required for some of the dual degree programs. Applications are evaluated based on overall strength of the application package. Experience in diverse environments is a plus.
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, deadlines and fees for applying. You can submit your application online through the Graduate School website OR using the links below.
Applications are complete when the following items are submitted to the Graduate School:
The Graduate Student application. 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.
* Please note that the School of Social Work can offer an application fee waiver on a first come, first served basis. The application fee waivers are now closed for the 2024 Application term.
- GRE Test Scores: not required unless applicant deems they are instrumental in demonstrating academic promise.
- 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. 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.
*International applicants have additional requirements. Please visit the Graduate School webpage International Application Information for complete details
MSW Applicants: Advanced Standing Athens** and Advanced Standing Gwinnett (BSW required from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education): The deadline to submit completed MSW applications for Advanced Standing enrollment in Summer Semester 2024 is January 1, 2024. Any applications received and completed after January 1, 2024 will be reviewed on a space-available basis.
MSW Applicants: Full-time Athens**, Extended-time Gwinnett and Online: The deadline to submit completed MSW applications for Full-time and Extended-time enrollment in Fall Semester 2024 is February 15, 2024. Any applications received and completed after February 15, 2024 will be reviewed on a space-available basis.
**The deadline to submit completed MSW applications for Full-time Athens and Advanced Standing Athens enrollment for individuals who want to be considered for a Graduate Assistantship is January 15, 2024. Any applications received and completed after January 15th, 2024 will be reviewed on a space-available basis.
To apply for the Graduate Assistantship, please visit the Assistantship page at https://ssw.uga.edu/admissions/financial-aid/assistantships/.
Please direct all questions about MSW Program admissions to the MSW Admissions and Recruitment Coordinator, Allison L. Haynes at email@example.com.
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.
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.
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. Click the link below to register:
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 it is 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:
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.
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 many hours/classes per week?
- Full-time: About 15 hours per week, in the classroom/4 or 5 classes per week.
- Extended-time: About 6-9 hours per week, in the classroom/2-3 classes per week.
- Online: 100 % asynchronous, but professors may offer optional office hours or other opportunities to enhance the learning experience.
When will I find out if I’ve been accepted?
You will be notified approximately six weeks after the February 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.
Once admitted to a program, can I later transfer to another program?
Transfers between programs are not encouraged. Due to the use of the cohort model, transfers to other programs make completion difficult and costly for the student. Exceptions to this rule are made when seats are open in the other program prior to entry into the program. The MSW program director must approve the transfer.
Do you accept transfer students from other programs?
Transfer students may be admitted from other CSWE-accredited MSW programs, 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 curriculum (first year) curriculum 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 master’s degree. Please address letters requesting such transfers to: Director of MSW Admissions, University of Georgia, School of Social Work, 279 Williams Street, Athens, GA 30602.