MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK

Mission and Goals

The Master of Social Work program strives to prepare students for social work leadership roles in the effort to solve, in partnerships with others, the existing and developing challenges that confront communities in the United States and internationally. Community partnerships, based on a generalist practice model, is the sole focus of the MSW program. Students in the Community Partnerships specialization are educated to advance the needs and capacities of the total community by promoting social and economic justice and maximizing human potential. They are educated to commit themselves to addressing the life circumstances, such as poverty, violence, discrimination, and disparities in social and economic justice that fall disproportionately on vulnerable groups and challenge the spirit of the entire community. This unique focus provides students with the opportunity to learn about social issues facing urban communities through a social and economic justice framework.  Our graduates have become leaders in various service delivery sectors including health care, public child welfare services, non profit management, and numerous other contexts.

To accomplish the mission of the MSW program, the School of Social Work has set forth these goals: (1) students will be able to think critically and communicate effectively in the application of social work knowledge, skills, and values to community partnerships practice; and (2) students will be able to engage as social work leaders to build and strengthen communities.

MSW Student Competencies:

The following competencies provide the structure for the graduate social work curriculum:

BSW & MSW1 Competencies

2nd-Yr MSW Competencies

Contact an Admissions Advisor

General Questions
Office of Academic Assistance
Phone: (404) 413-0021
Email: gradays@gsu.edu

Program-specific Questions
Renanda Wood Dear, Director of Student and Community Services
Email: socialwork@gsu.edu
Phone: 404-413-1057
Office: 1252 Urban Life

Twitter: @GSUsocialwork

Facebook: www.facebook.com/GSUsocialwork

The Council on Social Work Education requires that current students show competency measures as part of their curriculum. Click here for information on MSW 1st year. Click here for information on MSW 2nd year.

Visit the Catalog 

Program Degree Requirements

  • SW 7100 - Foundations of Community Partnerships (3)
  • SW 7200 - Human Development Through the Life Course (3)
  • SW 7300 - Methods of Community Research (3)
  • SW 7400 - Social Work Practice I (3)
  • SW 7500 - Foundation Field Education I (5)
  • SW 7501 - Diversity and Social Justice (1)
  • SW 7600 - Social Welfare Policy (3)
  • SW 7800 - Social Work Practice II (3)
  • SW 7900 - Foundation Field Education II (6)
  • SW 8100 - Skills and Techniques of Community Partnerships (3)
  • SW 8200 - Skills and Techniques of Community Partnerships II (3)
  • SW 8300 - Leadership and Management (3)
  • SW 8500 - Community Field Education I (6)
  • SW 8800 - Community Project (3)
  • SW 8900 - Community Field Education II (6)
MSW students are required to take two elective courses. At least one of those courses must be a social work elective. It is strongly recommended that the second elective support the community partnerships specialization. The social work electives include:

  • SW 8450 - Child Maltreatment Practice, Policy, and Research
  • SW 8460 - Aging Practice, Policy, and Research
  • SW 8470 - Substance Abuse Practice, Policy, and Research
  • SW 8490 - Child Welfare Practice, Policy, and Research
  • SW 8310 - Group Facilitation
  • SW 8315 - Social Media Tools for Community Partnerships Practice
  • SW 8320 - Grant Writing
  • SW 8330 - Health Challenges
  • SW 8340 - Social Work and the Law
  • SW 8350 - Economics of Poverty and Public Policy
  • SW 8360 - Forensic Social Work
  • SW 8370 - Psychopathology
  • SW 8480 - Disabilities Practice, Policy, and Research
  • SW 7950 - Selected Topics
  • SW 7990 - Directed Individual Study

Advanced Standing Status

The Advanced Standing, Master of Social Work program is available only to applicants possessing a Bachelor of Social Work from a Council on Social Work Education accredited program awarded in the last five years. Advanced Standing applicants must have earned a grade of “C” or better, or be in the process of completing: Social Welfare Policy, Research Methods, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Social Work Practice and Field Education. The application should include a copy of the final field evaluation. The Advanced Standing student will enroll for 9 semester hours in the summer session, and will be expected to fulfill the second year curriculum as noted in the full-time program.

Students who are admitted to and enter the Master of Social Work program as advanced standing students have met the 30 credit hours of Social Work Foundation course work as a result of their bachelor’s degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The students will be expected to take nine semester hours of bridge course work in the summer prior to beginning the specialization year course work. The nine semester hours will consist of:

  • SW 7100 – Foundations of Community Partnerships, (3)
  • SW 7501 – Diversity and Social Justice (1)
  • SW 7700 – Community Foundation Integrative Seminar  (2)
  • SW Elective (3)

Given the nature of the knowledge and skills expected of advanced standing students, the purpose of the bridge course work is to provide students with the foundation content that is essential for entering the community partnership specialization year.

Advanced Standing Program

Full-Time Study

Students who are admitted to and enter the Master of Social Work program in full-time study can expect to complete their program of study in two years.  All classes are held Georgia State University’s downtown campus Monday-Friday.  Field placements are also held during the working hours of 9:00am-5:00pm. The full time program operates as a cohort model where all students will be admitted every fall semester.

Total Degree hours: 60 semester hours for full-time students

MSW Full-Time Program

Part-Time Study

Students who are admitted to and enter the Master of Social Work program in part-time study can expect to complete their program of study in three years. The part time program operates as a cohort model where all students will be admitted every fall semester. Each course is offered through a blended model with online delivery and face to face learning once a month.  Classes are offered one Friday a month and students can expect to meet from 9am- 4:30pm.  This structure ensures that the classes that part time students need are offered in a way for continued progress to graduation.

Total degree hours: 60 semester hours for full-time and part-time students; 39 semester hours for advanced standing students.

MSW Part Time Program 

Mindy Wertheimer, PhD, LCSW
MSW Program Director
mwertheimer@gsu.edu
(404) 413 1058

For additional information about the MSW program, please contact:

Renanda Wood Dear, Director of Student and Community Services
socialwork@gsu.edu
404-413-1057

Apply Now 

Application Deadlines*

Fall Semester Summer Semester - Advanced standing only
Priority Deadline - February 1
Regular Deadline - April 1
Priority Deadline - February 1
Regular Deadline - April 1

*Online applications must be submitted and all materials received by the deadline to be reviewed for admission.

Application Submission

All applicants must apply and submit all materials online.

Application Requirements

A completed application includes:

  1. Submitted Online Application. All online applications must be submitted by the deadline. Paper applications are not available.
  2. Application fee: A nonrefundable fee of $50 is required for each application. This fee must be paid online by credit card.
  3. Statement of Purpose: See the Statement of Purpose Guidelines and supplemental questions to be answered in the "Admissions" tab of the MSW page here.
  4. Official GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores: Official scores must be reported to institution code 5251. More information can be found at our Admissions FAQ page or, to schedule the test, at www.gre.org.
  5. TOEFL or IELTS Academic scores (International applicants only): All international applicants are required to submit official TOEFL or IELTS Academic scores.
  6. Three letters of recommendation: All letters should be submitted through the online application. If not submitted online, letters must be in sealed envelopes from recommender and sent to the Admissions Office address.
  7. Copies of Official Transcripts from each post-secondary college/university attended:
      • Official transcripts are not required at this stage of application review.** Do not send paper copies unless instructed to do so.
      • Transcripts should be uploaded to the Educational Information section of the online application and must be copies of university transcripts. This can either be an official electronic transcript, or a paper copy that you have scanned and uploaded.
      • Copy of transcript must have one or more of the following features: registrar’s seal, registrar signature, or watermark of the institution.
      • Documents such as self-printed academic histories, web-based academic evaluations, and anything hand-written are not acceptable for review process and should not be uploaded. Doing so will significantly delay the review of your application.
      • Submit one copy of transcript for each post-secondary institution attended, regardless of length of time you attended, your status, whether grades are listed, or where your final degree(s) were received. This would include community colleges, study abroad programs and AP credit. If you received college level credit, a transcript should be submitted for review.
        **Official transcripts will only be required if an applicant is admitted to the program.

    If you issues with your online application, please email GradAYS@gsu.edu.

Statement of Purpose Guidelines

In order for the School of Social Work to obtain a clear picture of who you are, why you have chosen to enter the social work profession, your readiness for graduate education, and what motivates you to apply to Georgia State University’s Master of Social Work program, we ask you to write a statement of purpose and submit it with your application. This statement, which is an important part of your overall application, should NOT include a detailed description of your entire life; it should briefly cover important experiences, interests, and abilities as they relate to your seeking professional training in the School of Social Work. You should use the following statements to discuss your personal background, career objectives and personal evaluation. The Statement of Purpose should be no more than six typed, double-spaced pages and answer the following questions.

  • Understanding that there are many helping professions, we are interested in knowing why you want to be a social worker. Describe the factors that have led to your decision to enter the social work profession. Discuss life experiences, other people, or educational, employment or volunteer experiences that have contributed to your decision. Discuss your understanding of the social work profession.
  • Having read the School’s mission statement and description of specialization, discuss how your particular interests fit with our specialization in Community Partnerships.
  • Discuss the personal qualities that equip you for the social work profession. Include any experiences in which you have exercised leadership, responsibility, and/or judgment. Discuss also what areas of your professional development you would like to strengthen.
  • Discuss experiences you have had which make you believe that you can work effectively with people from diverse populations reflecting religious, racial, ethnic, handicapped status, socio-economic, gender, and sexual orientation differences.
  • Discuss any extenuating circumstances which may have affected past academic performance.

ADVANCED STANDING APPLICANTS ARE ASKED TO ANSWER THE ABOVE QUESTIONS AND THE ONE BELOW.

  • Having earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree, we would like for you to analyze a social work experience, using your practicum or employment (pick the most significant).
  • What social work theory or theories did you find to be the most valuable in the experience?
  • What did you learn from the experience?
  • How will a Master of Social Work degree with a specialization in Community Partnerships help strengthen you as a social work practitioner? In the spirit of confidentiality we ask that you do not reveal names or organizations or individual people.
Field education at Georgia State is organized and implemented as a partnership between the educational community and the practice community in training future social work practitioners. Within this partnership, there are three key people to the success of the field education experience: the student, field supervisor, and faculty liaison. First is the student, who possesses the willingness and desire to observe, learn, take action, and reflect. The student’s professional development is guided and nurtured by the field supervisor whose role as teacher is pivotal in the student’s evaluation of self as an emerging professional social worker. The faculty liaison’s role is to provide ongoing support and information to the student and the field supervisor. Communication among all parties is critical in meeting the objectives of field education and maintaining a healthy partnership. Ongoing feedback is welcomed from all parties.

Field Education Information 
MSW students may choose to pursue one of the following certificate programs:

  • Gerontology (Gerontology Institute)
  • Nonprofit Management & Social Enterprise (Department of Public Administration)
  • Geographic Information System (GIS) (Department of Anthropology & Geography)
  • Public Health (Institute of Public Health)
Students must inform the Director of Student and Community Services of acceptance into and the intent to pursue a certificate program outside of the School of Social Work.

 

Master of Social Work FAQs

A Liberal Arts perspective is required by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) for those entering MSW programs. Students are required to have completed an introductory statistics course with a grade “C” or better. 
An undergraduate degree with a 3.0 grade point average overall in all undergraduate course-work, or a 3.25 in the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate course-work. For advanced standing status the applicant should have a 3.25 grade point average overall.

There is no minimum GRE requirement for consideration to our graduate programs; however, the average score of a competitive applicant to our master's programs would be a cumulative 800 points (pre-2011 testing) on the verbal and quantitative sections of the test and a cumulative 295-300 (post- August 2011 testing) on the verbal and quantitative sections of the test.

  • Applicants to the Master of Social Work program may be considered for a waiver of the GRE with departmental approval.  MSW applicants should complete the following form for consideration:  https://aysps.wufoo.com/forms/social-work-gre-waiver-request-form/.
  • Master of Social Work – Advanced Standing applicants are not required to take the GRE if they have a BSW from an accredited institution.  Contact Ms. Renanda W. Dear, Director of Student & Community Services at 404-413-1057 or socialwork@gsu.edu for details.
The Advanced Standing, Master of Social Work program is available only to applicants possessing a Bachelor of Social Work from a Council on Social Work Education accredited program awarded in the last five years. Advanced Standing applicants must have earned a grade of “C” or better, or be in the process of completing: Social Welfare Policy, Research Methods, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Social Work Practice and Field Education. The application should include a copy of the final field evaluation. The Advanced Standing student will enroll for 9 semester hours in the summer session, and will be expected to fulfill the second year curriculum as noted in the full-time program.
All Master of Social Work classes are held at Georgia State University’s downtown campus. All Master of Social Work classes are held during the day, Monday through Friday. Field Placements are also during the working hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Transfer admissions are handled on a case-by-case basis. All transfer credit must be from a M.S.W. program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The student must have earned a grade of “B” or better in all transferable courses. The M.S.W. Admissions Committee will be responsible for reviewing the applicability of transfer credits. Questions regarding transfer credit should be directed to Renanda W. Dear, Director of Student and Community Services at 404-413-1057.
The School of Social Work requires the applicant to submit three Reference Forms. We suggest that at least one be an academic recommendation. Other recommendations should be sought from employers and/or supervisors from paid and/or volunteer work. It is suggested that a friend, relative, or peer not be used as a reference. Give recommenders adequate time to fill out the forms and write letters, and ask them to return the forms to you in a signed and sealed envelope, so that you can submit them with your application.
Upon receipt of your application and materials, the Office of Academic Assistance in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies will notify you via e-mail and through your online application "VIP Page." To check the status of your application, login here to review your VIP checklist.
For applications submitted by the February 1st priority deadline, written notification of admission will begin after March 1st. Applicants who apply by the April 1st deadline, written notification of admission will begin after May 1st. No admission decisions will be given by telephone.
Please see Tuition and Fees for information on tuition costs.  You can check on your financial aid status by calling the Office of Student Financial Aid.*All figures are estimates only and subject to change. Please visit http://www.gsu.edu/studentaccounts/tuition_and_fees.html for up-to-date numbers.
You can call or e-mail Renanda W. Dear, Director of Student & Community Services at 404-413-1057 or socialwork@gsu.edu.