FAQs for MSW Program
Can I apply to more than one program option at the same time?
If an applicant wishes to be considerd for multiple MSW program options (i.e. 2 Year Traditional MSW and the 3 Year Distance Education MSW), multiple applications need to be submitted. One (1) application will not be considered for all program options. There is limited seating in each cohort within each program option, so applicants must submit one application for each program for which they wish to be considered. An applicant may use the same application materials for multiple applications (same statement of purpose, same recommendations, etc).
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 (email@example.com). 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.
Can I live outside North Carolina while in the online MSW program?
The Distance Education (online) MSW program is generally targeted toward those who live in the North Carolina region, but UNC Charlotte is authorized to offer online programs and courses in all US states and territories (Practicum Education availability may be impacted based on individual state, contact the School of Social Work Practicum Office for more information). UNC Charlotte is not currently authorized to offer any of its online programs outside of the United States, according to the School of Professional Studies. If a student listed in their application that they live in the North Carolina region and they are admitted, then it is with the understanding they plan to live in the North Carolina region throughout the duration of the program. If a student plans to move out of the North Carolina region during the program, they should consult with the MSW Program Director, Practicum Director, and Office of Distance Education to further discuss the program as this may impact the ability to complete the program. Please review the State Authorization from the UNC Charlotte School of Professional Studies for more information.
Can I take courses in the MSW Program as a post-baccalaureate student?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Can I take face to face electives while in the MSW Online program?
Can I transfer credits into the MSW Program?
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 email@example.com for additional information and assistance with this process. Transfer credits are evaluated for consistency with the UNC Charlotte MSW curriculum. Practicum 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.
Do I need to complete any pre-requisite courses before applying to the program?
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.
Do I need to take the GRE?
No, the standardized test scores are not required for MSW applicants. Applicants can still opt to submit standardized test scores, but this is not required.
Do you offer an online social work degree?
Yes. Our Distance Education programs are geared toward those who wish to complete an MSW, but cannot attend graduate school full-time or on campus. 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. Practicum is completed in person.
We offer a 2-Year Advanced Standing Distance Education plan of study.
The 2-Year Advanced Standing Distance Education (DE) plan of study is designed for students who have earned a BSW from an accredited social work program within the past seven years and wish to pursue the MSW through a Distance Education (online) format. Advanced Standing students are not required to complete the Foundation curriculum for the MSW. Under the 2-Year Advanced Standing DE plan of study, the MSW can be completed over the course of two academic years (summer/fall/spring semester for two years). Students complete 39 graduate credit hours, which includes 33 credit hours in the classroom and 6 credits in an approved practicum placement.
The 2-Year Advanced Standing DE plan of study is offered with fully online classes. All courses in the program are offered in synchronous “live” and asynchronous “not live” learning experiences. Synchronous means students and instructors will log in at the same time for live virtual classes. Asynchronous means students do not have to log in at the same time as other students and instructors. They can complete assignments when it is convenient for them as long as they are completed by their weekly due dates.
During the Summer, Fall and Spring semesters, students continue to take courses through online classes, and during the second year they also complete the Advanced practicum placement during other days of the week. The practicum placement requires a total of 16 hours per week on site at a social work services agency under the supervision of someone with an MSW.
We offer a 3-Year Distance Education plan of study.
The 3-Year Distance Education (DE) MSW plan of study is designed for students who wish to complete an MSW but cannot attend graduate school full time. The 3-year DE MSW can be completed over the course of three academic years. Students take the same courses as students in the 2-Year plan of study, but at a slower progression. They complete 60 graduate credit hours, which includes 48 credit hours in the classroom and 12 credits in an approved practicum placement.
The 3-Year DE plan of study is offered with fully online classes. All courses in the program are offered in synchronous “live” and asynchronous “not live” learning experiences. Synchronous means students and instructors will log in at the same time for live virtual classes. Asynchronous means students do not have to log in at the same time as other students and instructors. They can complete assignments when it is convenient for them as long as they are completed by their weekly due dates.
During the Summer, Fall and Spring semesters, students continue to take courses through online classes, and during the last two years they also complete the Foundation practicum placement during other days of the week. The practicum placement requires a total of 16 hours per week on site at a social work services agency under the supervision of someone with an MSW.
How can I become certified or licensed in other states?
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.
How early should I apply?
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. 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.
How high do my grades have to be to be offered admission?
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).
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.
How many applicants do you expect to apply?
UNC Charlotte has had tremendous response to the MSW program and each year is typically very competitive. Our suggestion is to apply by the listed priority deadline. If you are not accepted, you will need to submit a new application and processing fee to the Office of Graduate Admissions, which will put your application in the next year’s pool.
How much does the program cost?
Please visit the Financial Services website – http://finance.uncc.edu/student-accounts/tuition-and-fees – for up-to-date tuition and fee information. Students in our traditional on campus prorgrams (1-Year Advanced Standing and 2-Year) are charged at the general graduate rate.
Students in our Distance Education programs (2-year Advanced Standing and 3-year) are 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.
I am an international applicant, am I eligible to apply?
Traditional MSW Program Options: 1-Year Advanced Standing and 2-Year
International applicants can apply to on-campus programs at UNC Charlotte. The UNC Charlotte Graduate School requires additional materials be submitted by international applicants such as TOEFL or IELTS scores. Please read more about these requirements at: https://gradadmissions.charlotte.edu/admissions/international-applicants. International Student and Scholar Office: https://isso.charlotte.edu/
Distance Education MSW Program Options: 2-Year Advanced Standing and 3-Year
Students enrolled in either Distance Education MSW program option must live within the United States. To be as clear as possible, students enrolled in our Distance Education program may not live outside of the United States. The Graduate School is not able to accept any applicants living outside of the United States into either Distance Education MSW program at UNC Charlotte. Because of this, those who intend to live outside of the United States throughout the duration of the online MSW program are not eligible to apply. The exception is that applicants living outside of the United States on an American military base will still be able to apply. https://distanceed.charlotte.edu/programs/msw
Note to International Applicants:
The UNC Charlotte Graduate School requires additional materials be submitted by international applicants such as TOEFL or IELTS scores. Please read more about these requirements at: https://gradadmissions.charlotte.edu/admissions/international-applicants.
I would like more information related to graduate programs at UNC Charlotte. Where do I find it?
I would like to apply to Advanced Standing, but I earned my BSW more than 7 years ago. Am I still eligible?
Applicants who have earned a BSW more than seven years ago may submit a written request for consideration. Submit a one-page detailed statement of your social work experience and continuing education activities along with a standard resume to the MSW Director, Dr. Travis Hales (firstname.lastname@example.org). Dr. Hales will review your request and pending approval, you may apply for the MSW advanced standing program.
I would like to supplement my MSW by also earning a graduate certificate. How do I do that?
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.
Must I have an undergraduate degree in social work to apply? I have a degree in another field.
Applicants to our 2-Year traditional and 3-Year Distance Education plans of study do not need to have an undergraduate social work degree to apply, but should have a degree in a liberal arts field (i.e. – psychology, sociology, business, criminal justice, political science, human services, etc.).
Applicants must have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree in order to apply to the 1-year traditional Advanced Standing or the 2-year Distance Education Advanced Standing plans of study.