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MSW Frequently Asked Questions

When is the Next Application Deadline?

The deadline for admittance into the Fall 2017 MSW Program is December 15.

Why was I wait listed or not accepted?

It is not our policy to give specific reasons for wait listing or non-acceptance of an applicant.  Over 150 students were not selected to join our program this year and if we provided specific information to one applicant, we would have to provide it for all students.  Therefore, instead we provide information on our decision making criteria.  These guidelines help applicants make an assessment of what may have caused their application to be denied or wait listed.  Please consider the following:

  • Did you submit a complete application to the graduate school?
  • Did you complete the Department of Social Work application and answer all the questions thoroughly?
  • Did you submit three references?
  • Was your GPA above a 3.0 for the traditional program or a 3.5 GPA for advanced standing?
  • Have you completed the equivalent of ST 311 and one of BIO 105/106, 181, 183 or 212 with a passing grade of C-?

If these things were satisfied, we then move onto the quality of the application and review it against the pool of applicants. This means that any given year, the competition for admission into the program is different. A student that was denied or wait listed one year based on the comparison with other applicants the same year might be accepted the following academic year based on a comparison to that particular years' applicants. Therefore, we encourage applicants to reapply the following academic year in the event that they are not admitted into the program for the academic year they applied for. 

How can I make my application more competitive?

There is no single way to guarantee that an applicant will be accepted.  Because the review is based on a multidimensional rating, no single aspect of an application is the definitive reason for admission or denial.  However, applicants who have proven success in undergraduate or graduate education (See Non-Degree Studies [NDS]), have paid or volunteer social work experience, demonstrate leadership, and have strong recommendations tend to rate highly in the admissions process.

How long will I be on the waitlist?

The time line for the waitlist is variable.  It is simply based on the number of students that accept admissions offers, which most students do by April 15, 2017.  Unfortunately, the timeline for final decision can go as long as August.  However, we try to fill positions as soon as slots become available. We understand that it is difficult to wait. 

When is the deadline to apply to the MSW Program?

Review of applications for admission begins on December 15, 2016, both for the Advanced Standing program that starts in May 2017 and the Traditional program that starts in August 2017. We will continue to review applications until a complete cohort is chosen, however, we cannot guarantee that the committee will review applications submitted after December 15th. We strongly encourage prospective students to submit their applications as early as possible.

Can I submit an application after December 15?

Yes! The December 15 deadline is a PRIORITY Deadline. All applications received by 11:59 PM December 15 will be reviewed.  Applications may be submitted after December 15. However, applications submitted after that date will only be reviewed until the fall admissions cohort is accepted.

What is the Advanced Standing MSW Program? What is the Traditional MSW Program?

The Advanced Standing MSW Program is a one year, full-time course of study that begins in the summer. Students MUST have a BSW degree from a CSWE – accredited Social Work program in order to apply to the Advanced Standing MSW Program.

The Traditional MSW Program is a two-year, full-time course of study that begins in the fall. Students must have an undergraduate degree (in any discipline) from an accredited college or university in order to apply.

Review of applications for admission begins on December 15, both for the Advanced Standing program that starts in May and the Traditional program that starts in August.

What are the requirements for admission into the MSW Program?

For the Advanced Standing MSW Program, the requirements are:

  • A Bachelors' of Social Work (BSW) degree from a CSWE – accredited program at a college/university.
  • An overall GPA of 3.5.
  • Grades of "B" or higher in all Social Work courses.
  • Pre-requisites: Biology and Statistics course, passing grade of C- or higher.
  • Must be equivalent to Statistics 311 and one of BIO 105/106, 181, 183 or 212 at NC State.
  • Pre-requisites should be completed prior to the start of classes.
  • Three references: Professional, academic and one from your Field Instructor/Field Supervisor

For the Traditional MSW Program, the requirements are:

  • Bachelors' Degree from an accredited liberal arts college/university.
  • Overall GPA of 3.0.
  • - Coursework in Social Sciences and Humanities.
  • - Pre-requisites:Biology and Statistics course, passing grade of C- or higher.
  • - Must be equivalent to ST 311 and one or BIO 105/106, 181, 183 or 212 at NC State.
  • - Pre-requisites should be completed prior to the start of classes for the term the prospective student is applying to at NC State.
  • Three references: Two professional and one academic.
  • Variety of work and life experience.

Can I submit an application for both the Advanced Standing and Traditional Programs, or must I choose one or the other?

In the first section of the MSW Departmental Application, you can indicate whether you are interested in applying for either the Advanced Standing or Traditional Program, or both programs.

I do not meet the minimum admissions requirements. Can I still apply?

If you believe your individual circumstances warrant exceptional consideration for a waiver of the minimum admission requirements, please use the Petition for Exceptional Consideration section of the MSW Departmental Application to demonstrate how the admission requirements do not adequately represent your capabilities.

PLEASE NOTE: The Petition for Exceptional Consideration CANNOT be used for missing prerequisites.

Do I need to take the GRE in order to apply to this program?

The GRE is not required, but you may choose to submit official GRE scores to supplement your application. NC State University’s code for GRE score submission is 5496.

Can I complete my application by sending hard copies of my application materials to the Department of Social Work?

No. ALL MATERIALS must be submitted online as part of The Graduate School online application.

When will admissions decisions be returned?

For prospective students who submitted their applications by December 15, admissions decisions will be returned by March 17. Applicants will be offered admission, wait listed or denied. Wait listed applicants will be notified of admission or denial by the start of classes.

What is the cost of MSW Program?

The MSW Program costs can be found on the University Cashier’s website under Graduate Tuition and Fees

Are there scholarships available to help cover the costs of the MSW Program?

When funds are available, the Department of Social Work seeks to appoint Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA’s). GTA’s support the department’s teaching mission and assist in the day-to-day functioning of the department. GTA’s Attendance to these responsibilities both fulfills program needs in the department and contributes to the education and training of graduate students. GTA’s are expected to work approximately 20 hours/week. The GTA funding or the Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP) includes both tuition remission and a small stipend. For further information, please consult The NC State Graduate School website.

If would like to be considered for a GTA position, please compose a brief statement in the “Graduate Teaching Assistantship Application” section of the MSW Departmental Application.

Is there financial aid (i.e. student loans) available to cover the costs of the MSW program?

Financial aid is available for graduate students at NC State. Information about financial aid can be found on the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid website.

Is it possible to request an application fee waiver?

In cases of severe financial hardship, The Graduate School may waive the application fee due to the applicant's need. To request the waiver you must submit a supporting letter from the financial aid officer at your current or previous educational institution to the Assistant Dean of The Graduate School, David Shafer. His mailing address can be located using the directory on the NC State website. Fee waivers are rarely granted and will delay the processing of your application by The Graduate School until the fee waiver has been approved.

Are there any prerequisites required for admission to the MSW Program?

We require that all applicants have completed an undergraduate Biology course with a grade of C- or better and an undergraduate Statistics course with a grade of C- or better.  Prerequisite courses should be completed by the application deadline. For applicants enrolled in the prerequisite courses in the Spring, any offer of admission is contingent upon the applicant’s completion of the prerequisites with a grade of C- or better. Biology courses must be equivalent to BIO 105 or BIO 181 at NC State. Statistics courses must be equivalent to ST 311 at NC State.

Please use the NC State Transfer Course List to check equivalencies. If your course is not listed on the transfer course list, when you apply, please upload a copy of the course syllabus with your application. You may need to use a pdf stitcher tool as the system only allows a few uploads. If you are recommended for acceptance, your syllabus will be evaluated. If the course meets the requirement, you will be offered full acceptance. If it does not meet the requirement, you will be offered conditional acceptance and will be required to meet the prerequisite prior to the first day of classes.

Is it possible to apply to the program if I am currently enrolled in the prerequisite courses?

We encourage all applicants to submit the most competitive application possible. Each application is reviewed against the other applications in the pool. If an application is submitted that does not yet meet the prerequisite requirements but reflects a current enrollment in the needed course(s), the application may be less favorable when compared with other applications indicating completed prerequisites. However, the Admissions Committee reviews each application in its entirety, and an applicant with a pending prerequisite requirement may be more favorable than another applicant in an alternate area.  If you are enrolled in a prerequisite course but will not have completed the course by the application deadline, any offer of admission will be contingent upon your completion of the course with a grade of C- or higher.

Do I need to send hard-copy, official transcripts to The Graduate School when I apply?

No. Applicants must upload UNOFFICIAL transcripts into their online application. Official transcripts are only required for applicants who are recommended for admission and will be requested by the Graduate School at that time. Please DO NOT send transcripts to the Department of Social Work.

Where do I submit my MSW Departmental Application? 

Please upload the MSW Departmental Application into the Graduate School online application. Applicants should upload their departmental application in the "Other Documents" section.   

What is the TOEFL requirement for international applicants?

In order to be eligible for admission to the Graduate School, all international applicants, regardless of citizenship, must demonstrate proficiency in English at a level necessary to be successful in a graduate program at NC State University.  This requirement can be met for most applicants in one of the following ways: provide at least the minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores as required by the Graduate School; be a citizen of a country where English is an official language and the language of instruction in higher education; have successfully completed at least one year of full-time study in a degree program at a four-year US college or university. Please contact The Graduate School or the Office of International Services at 919.515.2961 for additional information.

Is it possible to transfer into the NC State MSW Program?

Applicants may request that courses taken in another CSWE – accredited Master of Social Work program be considered for transfer credit. Applicants requesting to transfer credits from another university must first apply to the MSW Program. If admitted, the applicant should then submit The Graduate School Transfer Credit Form and the syllabi of those courses for which they are requesting transfer credit to the MSW Program Director. Please note that only graduate courses from a CSWE – accredited social work program may be considered for transfer. No undergraduate courses can be transferred for credit in a graduate program. Transfer credit may ONLY be granted for courses with a grade of B or better.

Is there an all-online or part-time MSW Program?

The MSW Program is a full-time, on-campus program. The Department of Social Work does not offer an all-online or part-time MSW Program. Depending upon enrollment and instructor availability, a small number of courses may be offered online in a given semester. Our online course offerings are variable and online options may not be available every semester.

What should I do if I experience technical problems with the Graduate School Online Application?

The Online Application is managed by The Graduate School. If you have technical problems with the Online Application (e.g. files not uploading, recommendation providers not receiving emails, etc.) please contact The Graduate School at 919.515.2872.

Admissions Disclaimer

Should a prospective student be denied admission into either the Bachelor of Social Work or the Master of Social Work program, the individual should be advised that the Department of Social Work at NC State is prohibited by federal law from providing any reasons for the denial of admission over the phone, email, etc.