FAQs for Prospective MSW Students

Yes. We are offering a 3-Year Online plan of study set to begin in summer 2022, pending final approval by CSWE accrediting body.  Most classes will be scheduled as synchronous with "live" sessions.  Some will be asynchronous without "not live" sessions.  Synchronous classes will be scheduled evenings (Wednesdays or Thursdays) and Saturdays.  In addition to online classes, students have the opportunity for engagement experiences. These experience will include visits to campus, in-person and virtual, on selected Saturdays that will extend classroom learning and provide professional development opportunities. Students will also be able to network with other cohorts of students in the program.  Dates and meeting platforms will be announced at the beginning of each semester. 

Students are also required to complete a 16 hour per week internship during the fall and spring semesters of year 1 and 2 of the 3-Year program.  The internship hours are typically completed on weekdays during business hours so please keep this in mind when considering the program.

Students frequently wish to know how high their grades need to be for admission in the MSW Program.  In admissions, we talk in terms of general, rather than specific figures.  The School of Social Work uses a holistic review process, taking into account the applicant's life journey.  The Admissions Committee is looking for students who will be successful in graduate school. The program also values diversity, an applicant's commitment to social justice and a range of life experiences that will enrich the class.  While earning a particular GPA is not a guarantee of admission, a competitive application is generally one where the applicant meets the minimum of a 3.0 GPA for entrance into graduate programs. The applicant's Statement of Purpose (essay), recommendations, and related experience is important as well.  If an applicant has a low overall GPA, the Admissions Committee will look for other evidence of the applicant's potential for success in the MSW Program.  Examples include high undergraduate grades in courses related to writing, research, and statistics.  Some applicants have been out of school a lot time and are concerned their GPA may not be competitive.  It is recommended that if you do not meet the minimum GPA requirement, you comment on this in the Statement of Purpose.  You also might consider taking up to two post-baccalaureate courses before applying to the program.  Keep in mind that, even with a holistic review, the program receives many applications so it is a competitive process and the School of Social Work is only making a recommendation to the Graduate School regarding admission.  The Graduate School makes the final decision.

GRE scores are no longer required for MSW applicants, so they will no longer be considered in the application process. The Graduate School will be implementing waivers for all 2021 applicants and beyond. This is a temporary accommodation as this change is still working through the official approval process.  The previous requirement (any applicant with an undergraduate GPA of below a 3.0 is required to submit GRE scores) is temporarily no longer in effect and will become permanent upon official approval. 

We offer a 3-Year Online plan of study.  Students enroll in fewer than 9 credits for the first year of the program which is considered "part-time." However, in the second and then the final year of the program, students enroll in 9 credits several semesters and this is considered to be a full-time load.  See our Curriculum to view the sequence of courses.

The GRE is not required for MSW applicants. Applicants can still opt to submit standardized test scores, but this is not required.  

Applicants are encouraged to their submit their documents (i.e. - application, resume, transcripts, etc.) at least 30-45 days before priority deadline for the particular plan of interest.  It takes time for the Graduate School to process an application and the School. The Graduate Schools verifies that the applicant has submitted transcripts for all colleges and universities attended and also completes a background check on applicants.  Often, the Graduate School finds applications to be incomplete due to missing transcripts or recommendations and this delays the application from being sent to the School of Social Work for review.  Building in time for the application to make its way to the School of Social Work before the priority deadline is highly recommended for full consideration.  Applications submitted after the priority deadline will be reviewed only on a space-available basis.

An applicant can request to transfer a maximum of 12 credits into the MSW Program, If the applicant did not already apply the credits toward an earned degree.  The applicant should contact mswprogram@uncc.edu for additional information and assistance with this process.  Transfer credits are evaluated for consistency with the UNC Charlotte MSW curriculum. Field hours from another MSW Program are not transferable.  Applicants who have already completed more than 6 credit hours in another MSW Program, may not find it in their best interest to apply to our program.

Applicants who earned a BSW more than 7 years ago are not eligible to be considered for Advanced Standing.

If an applicant is considering more than one plan of study, they may apply to more than one plan of study as long as the plans of study begin in different semesters. For example, an applicant may apply to the 1 Year Advanced Standing plan of study that begins each summer (May) and the 2 Year plan of study that begins each fall (August), or they may apply to the 2 Year plan of study that begins each fall (August) and the 3 Year plan of study that begins each summer (May). However, an applicant may not apply to both the 1 Year Advanced Standing and the 3 Year plan of study, since they both begin in summer (May). 

If an applicant is considering more than one plan of study, they may contact our Admissions Team (sswadmissions@uncc.edu). While our team cannot decide for an applicant which plan of study to apply to, our Admissions team may be able to give insight into which program may be best suited for an applicant.

Applicants to our 2-Year and 3-Year Online plans of study do not need to have an undergraduate social work degree to apply, but do need a degree in a liberal arts field (i.e. - psychology, sociology, business, criminal justice, political science, human services, etc.).

We advise applicants to know something about the practice of social work before they apply to a rigorous graduate program, but we do accept applicants with diverse educational backgrounds. It is looked upon favorably if the applicant has been exposed to the human service field, such as through volunteer work, because it may mean the applicant has an basic understanding of the social work profession.  You do not need to have an undergraduate degree in social work or employment in the field in order to apply.

Please visit the Financial Services website - http://finance.uncc.edu/student-accounts/tuition-and-fees - for up-to-date tuition and fee information. Studnets in our traditional on campus prorgrams (1-Year Advanced Standing and 2-Year) are charged at the general graduate rate. 

Students who will be on the online 3-year MSW program will be charged at the Distance Education rate. Please see the https://ninercentral.uncc.edu/billing-payments-refunds/tuition-and-fees/distance-ed-tuition-fees for information on Distance Education tuition rates. Tuition may vary depending on residency status. 

Applicants are encouraged to complete FASFA forms because many scholarships are need-based and you cannot be considered if you have not completed a FASFA.

General Scholarships:  There are some scholarships available through the University, College of Health and Human Services, and School of Social Work.  For more information, visit the UNC Scholarship portal at: http://scholarships.uncc.edu/ 

Stipends related to Internships: There are very few agencies that offer stipends for field placements, but there are some.  Contact Dr. Ticola Ross, the Director of Field Education, to learn more about field related stipends.  

Graduate Assistants: The School of Social Work employs a limited number of Graduate Assistants for approximately 10 hours per week at an hourly rate.  Contact Dr. Diana Rowan, MSW Program Director, for more information.  There also may be other assistantships available on campus.  For more information on those, see the Graduate School's webpage at: http://graduateschool.uncc.edu/funding

Primarily, loans are available to help fund your graduate education. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information. 

UNC Charlotte has had tremendous response to the MSW program and each year is typically very competitive.  Our suggestion is to apply.  If you are not accepted, you will need to submit a new application and the processing fee to the Office of Graduate Admissions, which will put your application in the next year’s pool.

There are no required pre-requisite courses that applicants need to complete prior to the start of the program. We advise applicants to know something about the practice of social work before they apply to a rigorous graduate program, but we do accept applicants with diverse educational backgrounds. The School of Social Work does consider the applicant’s familiarity with the social work field, leadership contributions, commitment to social justice/advocacy efforts, and the extent of community engagement (i.e. - length of commitment, types of activities, populations served) as described in the applicant's resume and Statement of Purpose. 

Post-baccalaureate students may enroll in up to two courses, but availability is limited.  If offered admission to the MSW Program, students can transfer up to 6 credits for courses taken as a post-baccalaureate student.  Please contact Amy Peters at amy.peters@uncc.edu for more information.

For more information on taking Post-Baccalaureate classes

The UNC Charlotte Office of Graduate Admissions will receive your online application and hold it until all of the components are in.  If you are wondering if a transcript, for instance, has been received track your application status in the application portal.  If you have questions after checking the application system, please contact the Graduate School at gradcounselor@uncc.edu

Students in the online 3-year MSW program will take fully online courses as is laid out in the curriculum. Students do have the option of enrolling in hybrid or face to face elective courses for those who prefer additional learning opportunities. Please note that regular main campus tuition rates will be charged for optional hybrid or face to face courses and these are not eligible for the distance education rate.

See Graduate Tuition & Fee rates

See Distance Education Tuition & Fee rates

Yes, but only up to 6 credits can be transferred from another accredited institution and they cannot have been been already applied toward another degree that was completed. These courses would be transferred as electives.

The School of Social Work has a positive reputation in the Charlotte community.  Alumni can be found all over the region engaging in direct practice and in supervisory roles. Our graduates have gone to work in schools, hospitals/MD offices, Department of Social Services, hospice and home health care agencies, health departments, trauma centers, shelters, domestic violence centers, as counselors and much more. Graduates of the MSW Program may also pursue state licensure or certification. 

Students interested in graduate certificates should contact the program of interest for details. Students should keep in mind that they may or not be able to complete the certificate before graduating with the MSW as it depends on the timing of course offerings and each student’s schedule while in the MSW Program.  Some of the graduate certificates available at UNC Charlotte include: Certificates in Substance Abuse Counseling, Gerontology, Non-Profit Management, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Play Therapy.  The School of Social Work and the College of Educaton have partnered to offer a Certificate in Early Childhood Mental Health. See a complete list of certificate programs.

Once a graduate student expresses an interest in a pathway that may lead to licensure (MSW Program for social workers), students will be included in a personalized email that expalins the state-by-state nature of the licensure and everything the student will need about a program's status in the state where the student plans to practice. In addition, if the University ever discovers that a program’s status in the state where the student plans to practice has changed (e.g., changes in a state’s licensure requirements means the program no longer fulfills the educational requirements for licensure), the student will automatically be notified.  These system and process changes were also mandated by the new federal regulations (34 CFR 668.43(a)(5)(v)).
Those interested can view the Inventory  and  Inventory of Pathways to Licensure  in advance here.