Admissions Information

Thank you for your interest in the MSW Program at UNC Charlotte. Applications are submitted through the UNC Charlotte Graduate School’s website. Use the "Apply Now" link below:

Apply Now

Program Options

There are two available pathways to earn the MSW on campus (traditional):

 
  • 1-year Advanced ​Standing Plan of Study - Advanced standing is awarded only to applicants holding degrees from baccalaureate social work programs accredited by CSWE, those recognized through its International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service, or covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work accreditors. Students start this plan of study in the first summer session and complete this Plan of Study over a one-year period. 
  • 2-year Plan of Study - Students ​start classes in​ the ​fall ​semester ​and ​complete the program ​over ​a ​two-year​ period. 

There are two available pathways to earn the MSW​ online (Distance Education): 

Courses are delivered online with most having virtual class meetings weekday evenings or Saturdays. Field practicum is completed in person.
 
  • 2-year Advanced ​Standing Plan of Study - Advanced standing is awarded only to applicants holding degrees from baccalaureate social work programs accredited by CSWE, those recognized through its International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service, or covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work accreditors. Students start this plan of study in the first summer session and complete this Plan of Study over a two-year period. 
  • 3-year Plan of Study - Students start classes in summer and complete the program over a three-year period. Field practicum is completed in person.  

Minimum Criteria Used for Admission

The criteria used for admission to the MSW program (traditional/campus-based and online/Distance Education) are: 
  • Earned baccalaureate degree or its U.S. equivalent, from a college or university accredited by an accepted accrediting body.  See the Graduate Catalog Glossary for a list of accrediting bodies.
  • GPA 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) as indicated by transcripts - If an applicant has earned or attempted a post-baccalaureate degree (i.e. a master’s, doctoral or other), grades in that program will also be taken into consideration. The website includes this note:  It is rare that applicants with undergraduate GPAs below 3.0 are offered admission and usually those who are have other compelling evidence pointing to success (e.g., - GPAs very close to 3.0, extensive work experience, earned master’s degree or graduate certificate in a related area with a 3.0 or higher).
  • Three recommendations
  • Resume 
  • Statement of Purpose addressing all of the following in no more than six (6) double-spaced pages:
    1. Discuss: 
      • Reason(s) you are interested in obtaining an MSW
      • Population(s) or social problems you are interested in 
      • What you hope to learn about in the program that you don’t know now
      • Explain your reasons for seeking admission to the UNC Charlotte MSW Program specifically
    2. Discuss:
      • A challenging educational or professional situation you have experienced
      • Steps you took to navigate this situation
      • How your actions affected you and others in the situation
    3. Describe a social, economic, or environmental challenge in the NC/Charlotte region in which you have interest or a passionate commitment to make a difference.   Also, discuss how a social worker might intervene with this challenge.
    4. The MSW program is committed to dismantling oppression in order to increase equity, access, and inclusion for all people. Describe your commitment to diversity and social justice. (Diversity can include gender identity, race, ethnicity, abilities, age, education, regionality, upbringing, beliefs, religion/spirituality, and more.)
  • For non-native English language speakers: A minimum score of 83 on the Internet-based TOEFL or a minimum overall band score of 6.5 on the IELTS is required for admissions consideration.

Advanced Standing Eligibility

Applicants ​are ​eligible ​to ​apply ​for Advanced ​Standing (traditional/campus-based and online/Distance Education) if ​they ​meet the minimum criteria used for admission and​ one​ of ​the ​following​:
 
  • Applicants in their final year of study in a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) ​and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Applicants who have earned a BSW within the past ​seven years from a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) ​and who have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher​. 
  • Applicants who have earned a BSW recognized by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) through its International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service or who earned a BSW covered under a memorandum of understanding by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) with international social work accreditors are also eligible to apply for Advanced Standing. International applicants should contact the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) for more information and visit the Council on Social Work Education International Degree Review website. 
Applicants who have earned a BSW within the past seven years and have opted for the full 60-credit MSW program (traditional/campus-based and online/Distance Education) rather than Advanced Standing will not be expected to repeat courses where they have demonstrated mastery. They can substitute courses.  See the ​Course Substitution Policy in the MSW Student Handbook.
 

Application Priority Deadline: January 15th annually

 

Overview of Application and Selection Process

The application process for the MSW program (traditional/campus-based and online/Distance Education) is competitive and not all applicants who meet the minimum criteria for admission will be accepted. Applications must be submitted through the Graduate School portal by the School of Social Work priority deadline of January 15th for full consideration. Applications submitted after January 15th will be reviewed by the School of Social Work on a space-available basis. Applications are reviewed by the MSW Admissions Committee which is composed of full-time social work faculty members who regularly teach in or administratively support the MSW program. Additional faculty members and staff may also review components of the application. The following materials are submitted: Application form, transcripts, Statement of Purpose, resume, three recommendations, and any additional materials required by the Graduate School. Standardized test scores are not required. Application elements (academic preparation, experience, recommendations, and Statement of Purpose prompts) are scored using a MSW Application Rating Rubric which is based on a point system. Competitive applicants (those with highest scores) are selected until all seats are filled.  ​The committee’s recommendation is submitted to the Graduate School for a final decision. Applicants are notified of the decision of admission, denial, or waitlist via a letter in the Graduate School portal. The waiting list is rank-ordered by the committee and offers of admission are made on a space-available basis. Applicants for summer admission are notified of final decisions no later than May 1st and applicants for fall admission are notified of final decisions no later than August 1st.
 

Additional Information for Applicants

  • Academic credit is not given for life experience, nor is life experience part of the admission rating rubric. ​This ​​is​ communicated ​to​ applicants​ via ​the​ School​ of​ Social​Work​ website and student handbooks.
  • Applicants with past convictions who are offered admission and opt to enroll would be doing so with the understanding that this background could be a potential barrier to graduation or future employment. The MSW Program does make every effort to assist students with a positive criminal background check in finding​ field​ placements.
  • Persons with disabilities who need assistance in the admission process must contact the School of Social Work to request such assistance a minimum of fifteen days prior to the application deadline. The applicant will be connected with the Office of Disability Services to request that a staff ​member​ assist ​the ​applicant ​with​ completing ​the ​application.
  • Students who leave the MSW program (in good standing, due to suspension, or due to termination) and wish to return can contact the MSW Program Director or the Graduate School for guidance related to readmission or reinstatement.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any additional questions about the MSW Program at UNC Charlotte or want to view some tips for applying, please view our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you still have further questions, please contact sswadmissions@uncc.edu.